Wednesday, January 30, 2013

If you still love me...


I have had a particularly GOOD day today, I found the keys that I had lost, I found the ticket to a party that I had lost, and several other really good things happened. Some days are just like that, you can fall face-first into a cow-pie and come up smelling like a rose. Today was one of those days, so, I feel inspired to write a paragraph or two. Then, I got to thinking, it’s been so long since I wrote anything, maybe nobody wants to read anything anymore.

 In the Wild West, back when there weren’t too many rules of etiquette, there was a test to test how welcome you were in the bunk house or the saloon. You would throw your hat in through the doorway. The condition the hat came back out the doorway told you how welcome that you were inside. If they threw your hat back out clean it meant that you were welcome inside. If your hat came back out stomped on it meant that you were probably going to be frowned upon. If the hat came back out torn up it meant that you would be stepping into a fight inside. If your hat came back out with a bullet hole through it, it meant that you might be better-off to get back on your horse and keep riding.

I got to thinking about how information was passed back in history, back before text messages, back to when the pace was slower. Back when you weren’t given the gratification of instant information, like we have nowadays. Sometimes it would take a pony express rider a day, or even two, to deliver a letter. So, information moved slower back then. The old-timers would leave messages, like a stick leaning against a tree might mean “we’re not home right now, so don’t spend all day riding out to the ranch house”. Information was crude but functional. I got to thinking about the old song, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘round the Old Oak Tree”. I started wondering where that expression came from. I’m sure that you’ve heard the song, made famous mostly by Tony Orlando and Dawn;

 I'm comin' home, I've done my time
 Now I've got to know what is and isn't mine
 If you received my letter tellin' you I'd soon be free 
Then you'll know just what to do if you still want me
 If you still want me 

CHORUS: 
Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree 
It's been three long years Do you still want me?
 If I don't see a ribbon round the old oak tree 
I'll stay on the bus Forget about us Put the blame on me 
If I don't see a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree 
 Bus driver, please look for me 'Cause I couldn't bear to see what I might see 
I'm really still in prison, and my love she holds the key
 A simple yellow ribbon's what I need to set me free
 I wrote and told her this: 

 REPEAT CHORUS 
 Now the whole damn bus is cheering
 And I can't believe I see 
A hundred yellow ribbons 'round the old oak tree
 I'm comin' home I'm comin' home, I've done my time
Now I've got to know what is and isn't mine
If you received my letter tellin' you I'd soon be free 
Then you'll know just what to do if you still want me 

CHORUS:
Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree
 It's been three long years
 Do you still want me?
 If I don't see a ribbon round the old oak tree
 I'll stay on the bus Forget about us 
Put the blame on me
If I don't see a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree 
 Bus driver, please look for me 
'Cause I couldn't bear to see what I might see
 I'm really still in prison, and my love she holds the key
 A simple yellow ribbon's what I need to set me free
 I wrote and told her this: 

 REPEAT CHORUS 
 Now the whole damn bus is cheering
 And I can't believe I see 
A hundred yellow ribbons 'round the old oak tree 
I'm comin' home 

So, I thought that I would tell you where the expression might have come from, who really knows, history has many tales, some even true.

The story of yellow ribbons goes back centuries. The Puritans wore yellow ribbon and yellow sashes onto the battlefield in the English Civil War. It is thought that the yellow ribbon tradition came to America with the Puritans. During the American Civil War women would wear yellow ribbons as a sign of faithfulness to their beloved that had gone off to fight in the war.

 There is another story that I remember reading a long time ago about a white ribbon of forgiveness. I looked it up. ( I told you that this was my lucky day ) As luck would have it, I found the complete story on Wikipedia, so I copied and pasted it here. (Get out your hankies, this will make even to toughest person moisten up)

. …"A friend of his happened to be sitting in a railroad coach next to a young man who was obviously depressed. Finally the young man revealed that he was a paroled convict returning from a distant prison. His imprisonment had brought shame to his family, and they had neither visited him nor written often. He hoped, however, that this was only because they were too poor to travel and too uneducated to write. He hoped, despite the evidence that they had forgiven him. To make it easy for them, however, he had written to them asking that they put up a signal for him when the train passed their little farm on the outskirts of town. If his family had forgiven him, they were to put up a white ribbon in the big apple tree which stood near the tracks. If they didn't want him to return, they were to do nothing, and he would remain on the train as it traveled onward. As the train neared his hometown, the suspense became so great that he couldn’t bear to look out of his window. He exclaimed, “In just five minutes the engineer will sound the whistle indicating our approach to the long bend which opens into the valley I know as home. Will you watch for the apple tree at the side of the track?” His companion said he would; they exchanged places. The minutes seemed like hours, but then there came the shrill sound of the train whistle. The young man asked, “Can you see the tree? Is there a white ribbon?” Came the reply, “I see the tree. I see not one white ribbon, but many. There is a white ribbon on every branch. Son, someone surely does love you.”

So, just for old time sake, I tied a yellow ribbon on the top of this blog. I surely do miss the good times that we have had on this blog.
ERNIE


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Neat story. Welcome back.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks, Like I said, it's been a good day. Oops, that was yesterday. However, I expect today will be as good.

Eel River Ermie said...

As one Ernie to another, welcome back, missed your stories, humor and insight!

Ross Sherburn said...

Too many Super Bowl beers tonight,I shall return!!!

Ernie Branscomb said...

The Niners may not have delivered a win, but they delivered one hell of a thrill.

Kym said...

I came back out of nostalgia and lo, and behold, you'd been here and I missed you.

Still enjoyed your post though.

Robin Shelley said...

'round her neck she wears a yellow ribbon.
She wears it in the winter
and in the merry month of May.
When I asked her, "Why the yellow ribbon?"
She said, "It's for my lover who is far, far away."
Everybody sing! :)

Anonymous said...

Take stand Ernie and hold on tight. You can't make everyone happy.

Oregon

Anonymous said...

By the way Ern, you make me happy:)

Ross Sherburn said...

Where is Flint Rock Road? I couldn't find it,using Mapquest.

Thanks,Ross

Ross Sherburn said...

Was curious where all those guns were stashed!!!!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Oregon
I have no problem making a stand. In fact I'm getting too good at it lately, but a man's gotta' do what a man's gotta' do.

Ross, typical of any news that you get is that it is seldom correct. It's not the news services fault, but they simply don't know the right questions to ask. My first question would have been, "where the hell is Flint Rock Road". I'm guessing that they meant "Flat Rock Road".

Anonymous said...

Snyder Rock Road maybe?

Oregon

Ross Sherburn said...

OK Then??? Where the fook is "Flat Rock Road"???? Looks like near the river somewhere???