Roses are red / Las rosas son rojas

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

DO YOU REMEMBER ALL THE corny poems and adages that were standard in autograph books from your school days? For example: “In your chain of friendships, regard me as a link.” Did you even have autograph books? Not for celebrities, but for when you transitioned from one school to another? Or when you moved to a new town?

Of course, there are signatures in my old school yearbooks, but those little autograph books were different. I’m sure they’re now a thing of the past. I had two that I can’t find anywhere — one from when we moved from Massapequa to Brooklyn and another, less than two years later, when I went from grade school to junior high. I can’t imagine I tossed them because I know I would have scanned them first, and I can’t find any scans.

Anyway… the reason I’ve been thinking about autograph books is because Isabel noticed last week that there was a slow drip from one of the never-used faucets below our water heater. Drip, drip, drip. Among the many snarky autographs kids would write was the standard: “When it rains, I think of you. Drip, drip, drip.” (That’s precisely what Michael Dominic wrote to me when we left Massapequa.)

The plumber was here Wednesday morning and replaced the faulty faucet. He also found another slow drip within the ancient water heater itself and he repaired that. We have the water heater cleaned every year and the plumber insists it’s excellent quality and worth keeping. However, yesterday when he removed the cover, he laughed, “Man, this sure is old!”

Another memorable ditty left in one of my autograph books: “Roses are red. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet. So, why aren’t you?”

I’ve ended this post with today’s sunrise and a video of one of The Kid Brother’s favorite jokes from the old children’s television show, Electric Company. A Spanish translation follows.


¿RECUERDA TODOS LOS POEMAS Y adagios cursis que eran estándar en los libros de autógrafos de sus días escolares? Por ejemplo: “En tu cadena de amistades, considérame un eslabón”. ¿Tenías libros de autógrafos? No para las celebridades, sino para cuando hiciste la transición de una escuela a otra. ¿O cuando te mudaste a una nueva ciudad?

Por supuesto, hay firmas en mis viejos anuarios escolares, pero esos pequeños libros de autógrafos eran diferentes. Estoy seguro de que ahora son cosa del pasado. Tenía dos que no puedo encontrar en ningún lado: uno de cuando nos mudamos de Massapequa a Brooklyn y otro, menos de dos años después, cuando pasé de la escuela primaria a la secundaria. No puedo imaginar que las haya tirado porque sé que las habría escaneado primero y no puedo encontrar ninguna.

De todos modos … la razón por la que he estado pensando en libros de autógrafos es porque Isabel notó la semana pasada que había un goteo lento de uno de los grifos nunca usados ​​debajo de nuestro calentador de agua. Goteo, goteo, goteo. Entre los muchos autógrafos sarcásticos que escribían los niños estaba el estándar: “Cuando llueve, pienso en ti. Goteo, goteo, goteo”. (Eso es precisamente lo que me escribió Michael Dominic cuando salimos de Massapequa).

El fontanero estuvo aquí el miércoles por la mañana y reemplazó el grifo defectuoso. También encontró otro goteo lento dentro del antiguo calentador de agua y lo reparó. Limpiamos el calentador de agua todos los años y el plomero insiste en que es de excelente calidad y que vale la pena conservarlo. Sin embargo, ayer cuando quitó la funda, se rió, “¡Hombre, esto seguro que es viejo!”

Otra poema memorable que quedó en uno de mis libros de autógrafos: “Las rosas son rojas. Las violetas son azules. El azúcar es dulce. Entonces, ¿por qué no lo estás tú?”

Terminé esta publicación con el amanecer de hoy y un video de uno de los chistes favoritos de El Hermanito del vieja programa de televisión para niños, Electric Company. Sigue una traducción al español.

If we ever replace it, I might display it as a piece of art.
Si lo reemplazamos, podría mostrarlo como una obra de arte.
This morning’s sunrise as it began,
El amanecer de esta mañana como empezó,
As it continued,
Mientras continuaba,
And an hour later.
Y una hora después.


[Toc Toc Toc
Loro: ¿Quién es?
Fontanero: Es el fontanero. He venido a arreglar el fregadero.

[Toc Toc Toc]
Loro: ¿Quién es?
Fontanero: Es el fontanero. He venido a arreglar el fregadero.

[Toc Toc Toc
Loro: ¿Quién es?
Fontanero: ¡Es el fontanero! ¡He venido a arreglar el fregadero
! [jadea de dolor y cae al suelo]

Mujer: ¿Quién es?
Loro: Es el fontanero. Ha venido a arreglar el fregadero.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

36 thoughts on “Roses are red / Las rosas son rojas”

  1. Were autograph books the ones with folded down pages that looked like triangles (the pages, not the book)? Never had one. I did have yearbooks that I’ve kept. I had a lot of “to a nice sweet girl” written in them. Yeah, I was a rebel! *Snerk*. That cartoon was so corny and had me laughing out loud (I don’t do LOLs).
    Afterthought: To this very day, I never understood the violets are blue part of this rhyme. Violets are purple!
    I’m not going to comment on the whole plumbing situation. *Shudder*.

    1. Deedles:
      Some people (not I) folded down pages to make a pattern in the book. I hope I can find my yearbooks or my mother’s (I found them last year) to share photos of what they looked like. Autographs in yearbooks tended to be shorter and more staid. In autograph books, you got a page to yourself. Plumbing situation was a breeze.

  2. What in the hellllll?!?!?? I have never seen a water heater that looked like that. But it would make for a lovely gin dispenser I bet!!!!!!!!

    Seems all I know or dirty limericks.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      Neither had we. It heats water on demand. When you turn on the hot water anywhere in the house, the pilot light ignites flames in the entire width of that box (those vertical panels to the right and left of the pilot). The water goes throught the pipe and is quickly heated (and it works). So, sadly, there’s no water tank and, therefore, no place to keep the gin.

  3. Oh my friend, thanks for making me laugh. Children 4 or 5 and I was 20 maybe, and The Electric Company. Of course there was Fargo North, Decoder. Who could not love him? But my favorite was the running soap series, “The Boy.” The child that watched that show with me lived across a grain field from a woman named Naomi. He knew her well. And after the preposition exercises there was always the question, “And what about Naomi?”

    1. Tom and Dimi:
      Because my brother was so much younger and developmentally disabled, I used him as my excuse to watch Electric Company every day. He needed company. I loved that show.

  4. lucky for you that the water heater could be repaired.

    some of the 14″ of snow we received is already melting in the bright blue sunshine sky. every so often, we hear a BANG! outside; icicle falling from the roof to the metal basement escape hatch door.

    1. anne marie:
      That metal basement escape hatch door must have an interesting texture by now!

  5. That’s a pretty good gag from The Electric Company, LOL! And my gawd, that water heater is positively ANTIQUE!

    And oh yes, I remember autograph books! When I was in Grade 3 (1965-66), our teacher gave all the girls autograph books as a gift (all the boys got miniature hockey sticks to put on their wall like a pennant). Anyway, I still have mine and must dig it out some time to do a blog post about too.

    Here’s some favourite salutations (from memory) —

    “Yours ’til I.D.K.”

    “Yours ’til the USA drinks Canada Dry”

    And goofy little poems —

    “2 Y’s U R,
    2 Y’s U B,
    I C U R,
    2 Y’s 4 ME!”

    And here’s what my brother wrote in my book —

    “If I had your picture,
    I’d treat it very nice.
    I’d hang it in the barn,
    To scare away the mice.”

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane today, Mitchell!

    1. Debra:
      First, I thought “Hockey Sticks?!?” Then I remembered, “Canadian.” Still, I would have prefered the autograph book! Thanks for all the autograph memories. 2 Nice 2 Be 4 Gotten. Yours till Niagara Falls!

  6. Glad you had your drip fixed! What year was your building built? I’m guessing the water heater is the original.

    I had never seen the Electric Company before; I was clearly missing out!

    1. Wilma:
      The building went up in 1973 and I’m guessing you’re rate about the water heater. The Electric Company was a wonderful show. Regular cast included Rita Moreno and Morgan Freeman!!! The humor was often very adult (clean) that kids wouldn’t even be aware of, so it was fun for everyone.

  7. Tankless, not thankles, tankless! There are few of those in the states. The last time I fixed a sink, I had to have the house dried out. That will be the last time I do plumbing – ever. Wonderful sunrise.

    1. David:
      I had never heard of this type of water heater until we moved into this apartment. SG considered fixing the tap himself. He’s actually a great plumber/handyman. But things are different here and there’s always a surprise. I’m glad I called the plumber because we wouldn’t have been aware that a drip inside the water heater was causing the drip in the tap.

  8. I never had an autograph book, for friends or celebrities.
    And I thought the water heater was some kind of medical equipment and I was very scared for you.

    1. Bob:
      Dale used to get me celebrity autographs on whatever she had handy. She somehow was always running into people. I no longer have the autographs, but they included Red Skelton and Bobby Kennedy!

  9. I remember autograph books, but never had one myself. Only have my old high school yearbooks and most people were kind in their comments…or reminded me of things we did that perhaps we should not have done…like the Great Pumpkin party with several hundred of us in a field…cops were called. Ah, memories. I was not caught. Goody two-shoes.

    As for poems, my favorite one was from one of my third son when he was in pre-school about age three or four. I still have it — framed on my office wall–his misspellings make it all the more treasured:

    Rosis or
    Red vilits
    or Blue
    But ther
    is no
    Love, XXXX

    His poem is surrounded by his artwork — flowers and rainbows. Slightly faded…not surprising, considering he is now 39.

  10. LOVE your brother’s sense of humour!!
    Now that water heater does look OLD indeed! Amazing that it still works. Actually, appliances made in the past were made much better and had better parts than the new ones today. Things today are not made to last.

    1. Jim:
      Except for needing to be cleaned every spring to keep working, it’s amazingly reliable.

  11. You mentioning autograph books reminded me of all of the years I have signed students’ yearbooks. I have never really enjoyed that to be honest. I learned how to sign my name backwards to make my entry a bit different.

    1. mcpersonalspace54:
      I can’t imagine being a teacher and having to sign kids’ autograph books. You can’t be clever. You can’t be yourself (which is, hopefully, clever). You all sound like stuffy old teachers. I have those autographs. My coolest teachers sound so dull and serious. A backwards signature is memorable!

  12. You have reminded me of my Grandmother’s autograph book. She was born in 1890 and it is the most wonderful thing…it is full of poems, drawings, even the odd painting…..all in beautiful writing. She would have been in her early 20s I think when most of the pages were filled. The most interesting thing in it though is a small envelope with a little letter inside tucked in one of the pages. It is a letter written to my Grandmother when she was 1 year old from her grandparents. Among other things, it wished her a good life. ” if you should grow to be a woman” !! I guess in those days it wasn’t such a given that babies would survive to adulthood. I must look it out as not seen it for ages.

    1. Frances:
      That sounds magical. SG has a lot of family items like that. So fascinating that her grandparents felt the need to write “if”. You’re so right about it not being a given in those days, but it’s not even a given now. That book is a treasure.

    1. wickedhamster:
      I wish I had gotten a shot of it while he was testing it completely flamed up. It was a wonder. I could take the cover off and do it myself but I’m afraid of blowing up the building.

  13. My dad had one of those little autograph books, from grade school (this was in the 1930s, Mitchell –ha!).
    As kids, we enjoyed looking at it. We especially liked the entry by E. Gordon Lowell, “Man’s best friend is his dog, when he’s in a very thick fog.” No idea why, but that’s what he wrote. To this day, if I were to mention his name, my sister Lynne would surely put up that quote (okay, I’m going to do that on FB, and you’ll see!).

    1. Judy C:
      Hilarious (well, not really hilarious but the story is hilarious). And I WILL check Facebook.

  14. I had an autograph book like that, but I never had anyone sign it. Since we signed yearbooks every year it seemed kind of pointless! I do remember those silly rhymes, though. I like the way you wove them into your plumber story. Your water heater looks like a musical instrument.

    I REMEMBER that Electric Company joke! I don’t think I’ve seen that in about 45 years!

  15. I never had an autograph book but found one in a box of stuff from my mother’s house that she had kept over the years. So many familiar names – now of course long gone. In the yearbooks we could be awfully cruel.

    You’ve got a On Demand hot water heater! I always thought one of those would be so much more practical than the tanks – not sure why they didn’t catch on in North America.

    1. Willym,
      I had never seen a hot water heater like this. When it needed service the first year we were here, I asked the plumber if we should replace it with a traditional water heater and he said never. We do like it… and it takes up so little space.

    1. Urspo:
      But it’s not blogger. It’s WordPress to WordPress. I don’t get it. Shoot!

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