Peace Roses . . . and Zippers! Beauty, History and Innovation . . . Great Reasons To Celebrate!

Apr 29th

Humor Month – Joke of the Day

A Love Story – I ran across this while looking for jokes that featured roses.  It isn’t a funny joke, but it’s a sweet story – sometimes we just need one of those. Enjoy.

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She now lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II. During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting – 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York. “You’ll recognize me,” she wrote, “by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel.” So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen. I’ll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened: A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. “Going my way, sailor?” she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. “I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?” The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. “I don’t know what this is about, son,” she answered, “but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!” It’s not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell’s wisdom. The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive. “Tell me whom you love,” Houssaye wrote, “And I will tell you who you are.”

International Dance Day – This day was introduced as a celebration in 1982 by the International Dance Council to commemorate the birthday of Jean-George Noverre (born in 1727), a French dancer and ballet dancer, and a great reformer of dance.  This is observed annually as World Dance Day with the goal of increasing the awareness of the importance of dance among the general public.  The goal is to persuade governments all over the world to provide a proper place for dance in all systems of education.  On World Dance Day there are events like open-door-courses, exhibitions, dance evenings, street shows and special performances to get their message out.  Now, I am not a person with any dance ability whatsoever, but I’ve always wished I could dance.  I’m pretty sure, with my lack of basic coordination, that I would have ended up doing bodily damage to myself and/or others.  Far better for me to watch and appreciate the grace and rhythm of others. 

It’s Peace Rose Day –  The Peace Rose has full petals and a creamy yellow center that is framed by white petals with tiny pink tips.  It’s positively gorgeous.  Each rose has a history, and the Peace Rose represents world peace at the end of World War II.  It was developed by  French horticulturist Francis Meiland between 1935 and 1939.  Seeing the writing on the wall about the German invasion of France, he protected the rose by sending cuttings to friends in Italy, Germany, Turkey and the United States.  The cutting bound for the U.S. made the last plane before the German Invasion.  The cutting was cultivated in the United States by the Conrad Pyle Co, during the war.   So, considering it’s rough start, how did it get the “Peace” name?  Well, in France it was called the “Madame A. Meiland” after its creators mother.  It Italy it was called “Giogia” (Joy), and in Germany “Gloria Dei” (Glory to God) and Peace in the U.S.  In 1945, Francis Meiland contacted Field Marshall Alan Brooke, who was the principal author of the master strategy that helped win WWII, and to offer to name the rose after him.  Brooke, thinking that his name would be forgotten, suggested that it be called Peace.  The name was officially announced on April 29, 1945 by the Conrad Pyle Co.  It was the day that Berlin fell to the allied Forces, and the official end to the war.  Peace roses were presented later that year to the first delegation of the United Nations in San Francisco with a note that said:  “We hope the Peace rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace.”   What a wonderful name and meaning for such a beautiful flower.

Zipper Day – The person who invented zippers needs our undying gratitude! Without zippers we may still be trying to interlock a series of hooks and eyes with locking clasp!  Litcomb Judson invented and patented the precursor to the modern zipper, a clumsy clasp locker system, in 1891.  The early metal zip was in production by 1893, but by 1913 a new zipper was patented by Gideo Sunback of Hoboken, NJ.  The new zipper locked more easily and quickly than the original metal zip.  April 29 is the anniversary of the day Sunback patented zipper.  I thought this was interesting . . . this is a brief history of zippers that I found:

* 1917 – Zippers were used for shoes, tobacco pouches and Navy jackets.
* 1930s – Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli used plastic colored zippers for both function and decoration according to Fashion Era History .

* Through the 1950s – Side zippers were used to fasten dress and trouser seams.
* 1950s – Zippers moved to the front of pants and the back of skirts.

* 1980s and 2009 – Zippers provide more than an easy way to fasten clothing. Zippers as a visible embellishment became a fashion trend.

We’ve come a long way, and I for one, am grateful.

Food Celebration of the Day –

National Shrimp Scampi Day  Scampi in Italian actually refers to langoustine, a kind of shellfish, but in the U.S., it has come to mean a preparation for shrimp — one that’s heavy on the garlic, lemon juice or wine, and parsley! Today is your opportunity to eat and enjoy a great meal…or snack. Shrimp scampi is simple and easy to make. And, its ohh so tasty! Just cook the shrimp along with butter and chopped garlic in a skillet. Do you know how to celebrate Shrimp Scampi Day!? …………You guessed it! Try one of these recipes from to get started!

There’s a lot to appreciate and celebrate today. Zippers, roses, shrimp and dancing.  Now if we could just put them all together we’d have some STRANGE day, wouldn’t we?  Seriously, celebrating each of these things on their own merit could bring a lot of fun into your day.  If nothing else, throw on some happy music and dance around your house with the people you love most, your family.  Have a wonderful day!  God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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