The short one came across a wedding ring in her jewelry box the other day. It once belonged to her great-aunt Fannie and the date inscribed on the inside of the gold band was 1906.
So, what was going on one hundred plus years ago? she wondered. Were there problems with health care, the deficit, the environment? Did Fannie complain as much back then as the short one does now–and did all the grumbling do any good?
History disclosed that in the year the wedding ring was slipped on great-auntie’s finger, Theodore Roosevelt was President.
An earthquake and a fire destroyed San Francisco.
Mark Twain was in Washington for the hearings on the copyright bill.
The Chicago White Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.
Women’s dresses were long.
Waistlines were slim.
Hats were a must.
And the streets of New York City were filled with horse poop.
Yes, that was the environmental issue of the day. Throw in mosquitoes, ticks, rotting garbage and you have cholera, typhoid, typhus, yellow fever and malaria to contend with. Add cattle, sheep, pigs, rats and other rodents to the mix and there’s a really big mess.
Can you imagine trying to cross a manure-filled street in a white wedding dress?
Fannie’s complaints must have been loud, angry, and evidently heard–since the powers-that-be managed to mostly subdue the ecological crisis by 1912.
Here in Carpenter Country the ecosystem is doing just fine, but the short one’s happily grousing and grumbling about a lot of other things.
Unfortunately, nobody listens.