Lost and Found

Hi everyone,

I was checking my mail yesterday, electronically, and noticed that among the incoming is something from FEEDING AMERICA. It’s a plea for money I assume. Everyone gets such letters. Many non-profit organizations depend on donations to keep their doors open.

What makes this pitch different is that it’s addressed to L. Neva Harrison, my mother. Mom died in 2012 and she never lived at our house. Eleven years later, an organization that needs money to operate still doesn’t know she’s dead or have a policy to drop someone when they’ve gone eleven years without donating. It makes you wonder what percent of pleas for money, as well as every other kind of mass mailings sent by organizations all over the world, are mailed to dead people. If I were a journalist, I might see an article in that envelope. I’ll stick to my stories and poems. But it does make me think I’ll wind up pulling some material from this opportunity.

Do you know this song?

REMINDER: Tomorrow is your last chance to win a free copy of A HATFUL OF DRAGONS. Tomorrow evening I will draw one name from the pool of those who have helped promote Vikram’s book and notify the folks who will mail out the book. Good luck!

Hi everyone,

One of my early memories is of my mother’s beautiful soprano voice. She hummed, whistled, and sang through her days as she went about her many activities as a fulltime mother and home maker. She sang in vocal duos, trios, quartets, glee clubs, and choirs. I learned to try my own voice and discovered the fun of singing too. On long trips down endless Arizona highways, Mom and I often sang together when we weren’t looking for animals in clouds. Dad drove while we entertained ourselves.

But now and then, always when least expected and always to my immense delight, Dad would burst out with his one and only musical accomplishment — the part chant/part song that follows. I know it’s a variation of the frog went a’courtin’ song, which has many versions, but I’ve never seen this one in print. Here it is, phonetically spelled and from memory stretched thinly over seven decades.

John Harrison’s song

Sayro jayro stripe-back pennywinkle
foddle-doodle yellow bug rinktum pollywog skymbo.

Mr. Frog went courting and he did ride,
walchum polly won’tcha kie me,
He asked Miss Toad to be his bride,
walchum polly won’tcha kie me,

Kimbo kyo flimbo flyo kimbo kyo flyo
Walchum polly pennywinkle doodle little booger,
Walchum polly won’tcha kie me.

There you have it. And here is one of the sites you can visit for other versions. https://www.mamalisa.com/blog/the-many-versions-of-frog-went-a-courtin/

Poems by L. Neva Harrison

Hi everyone,

While rearranging some files I stopped to read these two poems by my mother. Our family had no idea she wrote poetry until she was in her nineties and casually asked one day if I would like to read her poems.

My sister Jule worked for a printer at the time so she pulled Mom’s poems together and presented everyone in the family with a booklet of poems by L. Neva Harrison. Mom carried her copy in her walker to show friends at Montclair, where she was living then. These two poems are about me. Jule hadn’t come on the scene yet.


Dirty fingerprints
On the icebox door,
Muddy little footprints
Across the kitchen floor,

Sticky drops of jelly,
Scattered cookie crumbs,
Clues to refreshments
Taken on the run,

He may be fighting dragons,
Rounding up a spy,
He may be mighty Superman
Flying through the sky,

Could be he’s a cowboy
Handy with a gun
Keeping cattle rustlers
Always on the run,

Might be he’s outwitting
Giants that he meets,
Maybe he’s a wizard
Performing magic feats,

No time to wash his hands,
No time to wipe his feet,
No time to get a plate,
Only time to eat,

Today’s the same as yesterday
And the day before,
Fingerprints on the icebox,
Footprints on the floor.

(c) 2005 by L. Neva Harrison, all rights reserved


Straw hat,
Cane pole,
Can of bait,
Fishing hole.

Sunny day,
Lazy stream,
Place to rest,
Dream to dream.

Light heart,
Whistle of joy,
Perfect day,
Happy boy.

(c) 2005 by L. Neva Harrison, all rights reserved

Take a bow, Mom. And thanks!

Blossoming memories

Hi everyone,

My mom died in 2012 on August 15. On September 9, 2012 Neva Harrison would have been 100 years old.

A dear friend of ours, Ann Mericle, sent an orchid for the funeral. Every Saturday Sandy drops three ice cubes into the pot, which rests on a kitchen windowsill. From time to time exquisite blossoms burst forth.
Each time I think of my mother. And Sandy and I talk again about Ann’s loving gift.

We called her Mimi. She reminded us all of Auntie Mame.
Neva Harrison

Thanks again, Ann!
Thanks again, Mimi!