All Choked Up

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Elvis Presley had been a tree?  Instead of singing “I’m all shook up” he might have said “I’m all choked up” if he’d been the tree in today’s picture.

You have probably had the pleasure of swinging in a rope swing from the branches of a shady tree.  There isn’t much that is more delightful on a warm summer day!  I recall the rope swing we had on a tree at the old farm-house in Iowa and how my sister and I would pass the long summer days as children alternately climbing up in the cherry trees and eating cherries, climbing into the mulberry tree to eat mulberries, and last but certainly not  least, swinging on the rope swing from a stout branch of an oak in the yard at the front of the house.  The Iowa summer days were hot and humid and the feel of the air as it swept across the skin as we soared into the sky in the shade of that tree is a sensation I’ll never forget as long as I live.

I’m not sure that today’s picture is related to a swing or not.  Be that as it may, at one point in time, a chain was placed around the branch and secured tightly.  Over time, the bark grew around the chain links with the result that you see in today’s picture…and that made me think of Elvis The Tree and how he was “all choked up”!  (See, there is a certain logical progression to my thoughts – even though it may not be obvious most of the time!)

One other note and then on to the  picture.  When you go out to take pictures, don’t just look in front of you, behind you or down at the ground.  Look up!  You never know what you’ll find to shoot!

_MG_6428ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1974,German businessman Oskar Schindler, credited with saving 1,200 Jews from the Holocaust, dies at the age of 66.

A member of the Nazi Party, he ran an enamel-works factory in Krakow during the German occupation of Poland, employing workers from the nearby Jewish ghetto. When the ghetto was liquidated, he persuaded Nazi officials to allow the transfer of his workers to the Plaszow labor camp, thus saving them from deportation to the death camps. In 1944, all Jews at Plaszow were sent to Auschwitz, but Schindler, at great risk to himself, bribed officials into allowing him to keep his workers and set up a factory in a safer location in occupied Czechoslovakia. By the war’s end, he was penniless, but he had saved 1,200 Jews.

In 1962, he was declared a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official agency for remembering the Holocaust. According to his wishes, he was buried in Israel at the Catholic cemetery on Mount Zion.  He was, of course, played by Liam Neeson in the fabulous movie, Schindler’s List, which I highly recommend.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In Echallens, Switzerland in 1998, a 105-year-old retired Swiss teacher was ordered to attend elementary school, thanks to a computer that cut a century off his age. The mix-up happened because a list of local residents had only the last two digits of his birth date. So the man, along with sixty-five 5-year-olds in the town, received a letter ordering him to start school. The matter was taken care of, and the computer system was changed.



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