Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Family & Old Glory - A Celebration of Home


My Grandmother Lillian Greene with her
classmates on the steps of her home
Carnegie Hall
Waving Old Glory in celebration of
our home - America!



THE NAME OF OLD GLORY

1898

James Whitcomb Riley


OLD Glory! say, who, By the ships and the crew,
And the long, blended ranks of the gray and the
blue, —
Who gave you, Old Glory, the name that you bear
With such pride everywhere
As you cast yourself free to the rapturous air
And leap out full-length, as we're wanting you
to?—
Who gave you that name, with the ring of the same,
And the honor and fame so becoming to you ? —
Your stripes stroked in ripples of white and of red,
With your stars at their glittering best overhead —
By day or by night
Their delightfulest light
Laughing down from their little square heaven of
blue !—
Who gave you the name of Old Glory ? — say, who —
Who gave you the name of Old Glory ?

The old banner lifted, and faltering then

In vague lisps and whispers fell silent again.


II

Old Glory, — speak out ! — we are asking about
How you happened to "favor" a name, so to say,
That sounds so familiar and careless and gay
As we cheer it and shout in our wild breezy way —
We — the crowd, every man of us, calling you that —
We — Tom, Dick, and Harry — each swinging his hat
And hurrahing "Old Glory !" like you were our kin,
When — Lord! — we all know we're as common as
sin!
And yet it just seems like you humor us all
And waft us your thanks, as we hail you and fall
Into line, with you over us, waving us on
Where our glorified, sanctified betters have gone. —
And this is the reason we're wanting to know — (
And we're wanting it so! —
Where our own fathers went we are willing to
go.)—
Who gave you the name of Old Glory — Oho I—
Who gave you the name of Old Glory ?

The old flag unfurled with a billowy thrill
For an instant, then wistfully sighed and was still.


III

Old Glory : the story we're wanting to hear
Is what the plain facts of your christening were,—
For your name — just to hear it,
As salt as a tear ; —
And seeing you fly, and the boys marching by,
There's a shout in the throat and a blur in the eye
And an aching to live for you always — or die,
If, dying, we still keep you waving on high.
And so, by our love
For you, floating above,
And the scars of all wars and the sorrows thereof,
Who gave you the name of Old Glory, and why
Are we thrilled at the name of Old Glory ?

Then the old banner leaped, like a sail in the blast,

And fluttered an audible answer at last.


IV

And it spake, with a shake of the voice, and it
said : —
By the driven snow-white and the living blood-red
Of my bars, and their heaven of stars overhead —
By the symbol conjoined of them all, skyward cast,
As I float from the steeple, or flap at the mast,
Or droop o'er the sod where the long grasses nod, —
My name is as old as the glory of God....
So I came by the name of Old Glory.

A VERY HAPPY 4TH OF JULY


Note On Photograph:

The photograph was taken on the stairs in front of the Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. A copy of the photograph has been sent to the archivist for Carnegie Hall to examine. There is some question as to whether or not that is Marian Anderson in the upper left hand corner. (I do not believe it is.)

I had always been told that my grandmother attended school in Carnegie Hall. If that is true, perhaps the other students are the children of performers or members of the New York Philharmonic, which had its home in Carnegie Hall.

Another mystery!

My contribution to the 3rd Edition of Smile For The Camera - A Celebration of Home!

Photograph:

Class. Photograph. ca. 1907. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, WA. 2008.

2 Comments:

Blogger Laura said...

What a brilliant photograph! And not only for the Smile carnival but also the 4th of July!

A very happy 4th to you - I celebrate mentally up here, having just had a Canada Day of fireworks etc on Tuesday.

July 3, 2008 at 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Tipper said...

Neat post! Love the picture and the poem.

Thank you for hosting another super carnival-and letting me be part of it!

July 14, 2008 at 11:48 AM  

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