Response to My Cell in the Desert

Letter No. 338 | March 22, 2009

I was thinking of my Dad today, right before I read your column. I was thinking of the books he used to read to us, when we were very young.

He read The Adventures Of Robin Hood, and the writing was poetic and eloquent, He read the Rubyiat of Omar Khayamm and it was also very lyrical and eloquent. He would read for a long time, and we loved to snuggle up to him and hear his beautiful voice reading us so many classical stories. He said the classics were written for the masses, and although we did not grasp everything he was reading at the time, we just loved hearing him read it and even remembered a good deal of his readings. I know when I was 14, my sister and I saw a Tony Curtis swashbuckling movie, and this girl was singing,

Ah, Love, could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp the sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would we not shatter it to bits—and then
Remold it nearer to the Heart's Desire!

And my sister and I looked at each other and whispered, "Omar Khayamm!"

My Dad never became well known like his younger brother and he never achieved much fame. He was a very quiet and private person. He was compared to "Full many a gem of purest ray serene, The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear: . . . Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air." From Gray's "Elegy Written in A Country Churchyard."

I always thought my Dad was a wonderful person, and so did his brother who quoted from Gray's "Elegy." He opened our imaginations and minds to the joys and wonders of learning. He was definitely one of the most influential and remembered people in our lives.

That is so true of you too, Jon.

We love your writings and your web page.


(Sallie Covolo)


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