Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bed Slats & Husbands

My mom's notebook of clippings and poems from the 1940s is full of treasures. And I am full of questions. What caused her to save some of the things that she did?

Way back then the Houston Post newspaper apparently printed a Sunday School lesson each week. (Imagine how that would go over today!) One in particular was deemed worthy by my mom to clip and save. Dated June 13, 1948, the headline alone stopped me short:

What in the world?! The article/lesson was an overview of the entire book of Esther, but right in the middle there is a little discourse on the first chapter where Queen Vashti is deposed for refusing to appear upon command at King Xerxes' banquet. If you are not familiar with the story, you may read it here.

The writer, a prominent U.S. District judge in the area and a man who was instrumental in starting one of the one older churches in Houston, expounded on this as follows (you may need to click on the image to enlarge it enough to read):

And there you have it. Can you just imagine some poor woman wrestling the bed slat out from under the mattress and whacking her husband with it? Were drunks not violent in the 1940's? Did the judge not worry about what might happen to the wife if she did such a thing?

Maybe AA & MADD should research this as a treatment. Or not.

And why in the world did my mom cut this out? Was it for the overview of the book of Esther? Did she think she might need to counsel one of the ladies in her class at some point? My dad never drank anything stronger than instant coffee, and my mom wouldn't even eat a dessert or a gravy if she thought it had been cooked with any alcohol.

It was a whole 'nother world 60 years ago!


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Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

Your mom sounds like my mom and grandmother about the's hilarious. She won't even eat my beer bread. LOL!


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

So I'm thinking you inherited your wit from your mom, for sure. This is cracking me up because Jorge and I always talk about what "tough talkers" people in the forties and fifties were. If you watch movies from back then, you'll pick up on it. So this tough-talkin' guy fits right in the mold. Hilarious!

Joanne said...

This is almost comical, read in today's context! I guess we've come a long way after all, thank goodness! Enjoyed browsing here!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

That is PRICELESS! I chalk it up to the different flavor of a different generation. After all, weren't our grandmothers (and in some cases, our mothers) counseling to give the baby a little whiskey in the bottle to expedite sleeping through the night?

A Stone Gatherer said...

It sure was a different world! WOW! I have to admit though I side with Vasthi too! I've studyed the book of Esther and that was some drunken brawl. They had been drinking for days. could you just imagine what that would have been like!

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

You probably know better than I do that it was common practice to clip and save things to a booklet/journal/recipe book. I've got my precious Grandma's recipes after she died and I have several of these most treasured books.
BUT, there have been a few that completely puzzle me, too! LOL!