Monday, November 27, 2017

Quaint Sayings of Uncle Jeff: On Choice of Companions

Water finds its own level.

Uncle Jeff ruminated on thoughts and themes from sorrow to happiness at the turn of the last century. His niece, Iva, noted nine such sayings. As a young woman of 26 in 1929, Iva was determined to collect and write down the quaint sayings of her Uncle Jeff for posterity's sake. She wrote down his homespun adages within the pages of her second-hand copy of Three Centuries of American Poetry and Prose.

As we come upon the holiday season we look at what Uncle Jeff had to say about companions...


The fool — he laughs at folly,
And for the rounders revel

The wise man holds himself apart,
So — water seeks its level.


— Iva B. Core


A child of the heartland, Iva Beatrice Core (1903-1987) grew up and lived most of her life in Richland Center, Wisconsin. We have visited Iva and Uncle Jeff from time to time and reflected upon a simpler time.

The last line of Uncle Jeff's rumination dates back to 1778 and is attributed to colonial statesman Gouverneur Morris according to the Dictionary of American Proverbs.

Over the years, we have shared Uncle Jeff's ruminations on: hope; sorrow; benevolence; regret; friends; happiness; faith and; mothers. Today, with Uncle Jeff's rumination on companions we conclude our series.