Of Mooncursers and other Spun Yarns

Of Mooncursers and other Spun Yarns
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Saturday, October 28, 2017

                                                The Thingy


                                              Douglas G. Pollard Sr.

There is this thing invented by early man and handed down over the centuries by virtue of it's usefulness, service and beauty. A thing that gave comfort to millions, from new mothers, young warriors home from the wars to the elderly and infirm. It's an instrument of health, and an exercise machine for the muscles, vascular, nervous system and mind. It is a harbinger of good thought and serene imaginings. I defy anyone when using the instrument to conjure up a troubled thought. There is no better place in the world to think, rest, or read. It is an escape from the rigors of worldly pressures that rivals the use of deadly opiate anesthesia.

It's the perfect place to study, think, pray, or read the Bible. A place to contemplate the universe or delve into some book of demanding study! There is on better place to suspend staunch and rigid realism or except the flights of fancy of some printed word.

What is this, this instrument? By now you are likely to have guessed. Of course it's the now lowly and often overlooked rocking chair. We have to wonder why its place today is a distant second and relegated to the porch! A nice rocker is a thing of curves, lines and surfaces that satisfy not only the user but the casual observer.

In early America and Europe and all over the world where our ancestors grew up and lived, a young newly married man was soon to learn from his young wife that there was to be a child. He was likely over come with awe and great tenderness toward his lovely bride. He felt a desire to shelter and protect her. He wanted to give her a gift that was fitting, luxurious and flattering to her now swelling figure. It must be useful and practical, in those days there was little use for the many foolish things we cherish today. This gift of a rocking chair if he had the skill was made by his own hand. The wood was chosen, lovingly planed shaped, and fitted together with care. It would after all be a practical token of his affection for her. It would no less be a meaningful gift for a soon to arrive child.

As the "would-be" mother sat in the rocker during her free time and practiced the age old therapy of motion, the sinew, muscle and her skeletal frame gently massaged the unborn infant in a rhythm that will for all it's life be comforting. NO living person can fail to enjoy the comfort and motion of a well made rocker that is suited to them.

We in our misguided wisdom after sitting in a stationary wood seat for a time find our bottoms getting tired so we head off for a pillow to sit on. Worse than that, we likely went off to a store and purchased stuffed furniture made to fit everyone and no one. Over time manufactures began to use the newly invented foam for cushions. Soft? Yes they are, and they feel luxurious as well. For a while! Most of us today rest on our back sides several hours a day or more and watch television or read. Sit a while and you will soon have to move your fanny or you will feel a tiredness or even pain in your lower back or butt. It requires another move to get comfortable. If you fail to move or squirm it is possible that blood may clot in the legs and in extreme cases, even move to the lungs. This in a rare case has been known to happen. Man was never built for long idleness while sitting. Your elderly mother or father may sit many hours more than younger people and there is danger there. They can suffer hip and back pain. Their discomfort may well turn into a chronic condition that is caused by soft cushions, I believe. The back side of our hip joints press down into that soft foam. These bones that carry our weight on a hard chair no longer do. I believe the flesh and muscle of our derriere now carry the load. That flesh and muscle press on the sciatic nerve and squeeze it where it runs through the pelvis. I am not a doctor and there is no reason for anyone to take my word for this, unless you see some logic in what I am suggesting. Everyone should suit themselves and believe what they will.

I have found on a couple of occasions in my life that the use of a rocker relieves this hip suffering.

If you take this advice, don't buy a rocker with cushions on it and don't put one on it. The hard seat will be slightly uncomfortable for a time but rocking will relieve that in short order. Sitting on a hard stationary chair puts pressure on specific spots on those hip bones and you have to keep moving around to relieve the pressure on the flesh between the seat and the bone. In a rocking chair, because you weight is constantly moving and are actually massaging you back sides.

While rocking can never replace the good use of aerobic exercise like walking or working out, it can be much more than an unconscious supplement during those relaxed hours in front of the television set and will never damage you knees as running might. You can burn some no so small amount of calories per minute for hours on end while rocking and it is nearly effortless.

If you think about what is going on while rocking you may have to agree with me that it is far better for you and I than us moderns might think. As you rock too and fro gravity is pulling on different parts of your body the whole time in a slow rhythmic massage. There again is that word massage, the two things do have a lot in common.,

I have wondered some what is the sense of well bing that comes to us all, as we rock. It is narcotic like and it can and will likely be addictive. It is relaxing and can be great fun when done with a child like intensity. In my opinion, one of life's greatest pleasure's is rocking while listening to fine music. Oh, so nice!

My prescription for depression is a good rocking chair. Can one be depressed in a rocker? I doubt it.

I think gravity plays a part in the relaxation of the mind. With a comfortable back and forth motion the mind can travel unfettered to wonder to far off paces and see imagined sights and think unthinkable thoughts. I think of it as, motion induced mind ease and travel. Is it the pull of gravity back and forth across our gray matter, and the gentle engagement of our brains against the forehead and back of the skull? Does the gentle motion of our brains while rocking contribute to a perceived sense of well being? Does it sooth our minds? I doubt a man ever contemplated murder while rocking gently in a rocker. Would the world be a better place if we were all rockaholics? I bet it would!

There are a few men and maybe women, I don't know about the later, that make hand made rocking chairs in a quality that rivals the master violin makers of the past as well as the many other old world and new world artisans. They build rocking chairs of exquisite beauty. Each is built to suit its intended owner in size and rocking cycle to deliver comfort and rocking pleasure. These are more than utility and intended longevity. These pieces are built of fine woods, swirling grains, knots and highlighted by natural discolorations, and are the handy work of mother nature, time and man. They are covered by beautiful finishes that serve to protect and bring out wood colors and natural patterns that one can never tire of.

One of these fellows is also a teacher on line of the craft and at what I would consider a reasonable fee, a person could go to him and learn both hobby and craft that might be enjoyed for a lifetime. So there may be more enjoyment in rocking chairs than just rocking. This, for someone who would like to achieve huge satisfaction with his or her hands and learn to build a highly useful work of art for gift, sale, or self, family or friends. These family and friend folks, better be highly prized relatives and closely held others because these are rockers of consequence. They sell for a Lot. For you fortunate fellows out there that have somehow found themselves by way of a bewildering set of events a bridegroom and soon to be husband of an expectant mother, the perfect gift of a lifetime is a rocking chair. If you are one who may not have the where with all, at a very expensive time in your lives, to buy a pricey work of art and lack the ability to build your own, there are really nice rockers out there for purchase at reasonable prices.

I just bought a second hand one for $79. at a used furniture store, and absolute bargain I thought. I have a desire to build a really fine rocking chair to replace it in the near future, and likely will.

If a buyer you are, a few hundred dollars will buy an exceptional one, but not the perfect rocker which must be built to the user's measurements. An individual should really try out different rockers for sitting and rocking comfort. A rocker may be comfortable but that is only one aspect of your rocker. It must rock at the right speed, distance and cycle time. Try before you buy.

At the risk of using a well worn phrase here, I would like to offer the idea that: A family that rocks together stays together. Have a rocker for everyone, and rock on folks.

Doug Pollard

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


    I Posted this video here in Memory of the Charles and Ruby Pollard family once at home at 1917 Robinwood road in Dundalk Farms. I was born in 1934 and raised there though the Pollard family moved to Dundalk in 1928. I was teased as being the only Baltimorian in the family.  The oldest son Charles F. Pollard Jr., my older Brother, served during WW2 IN Europe aboard the old Honeymoon Steam boat that ran Between Baltimore and Norfolk.  She was taken by the Government in 1942 and loaned to England  as they were in dire need of ships.  As a boy My dad and I used to row out into the Potapsico river off Sparrows Point and drift with the tide down the bay on Friday Night and return on Sunday evening. We had no motor or sails only a 16ft rowboat  with a set three oars in case we lost one overboard.  My father would tell the time by when the USS President Warfield passed us by.  The time of passing was published and all who fished the bay new what time she would pass a given point. Remeber few people had watches. She was the queen of the old bay fleet and felt like a friend
to me. He passing was a reminder that there was order in the world and all was not chaotic. I started making this video about the little ship from Baltimore to the Mull of Kinyre where she landed in Scotland  During the war. I am making the third edition that goes  from there and Beach Omaha France shorty after the D-Day landing by Allied forces. Version four picks up with her being renamed the Exodus that took part in the founding of the Nation  of Isreal. I felt she should be homered by a video of the duties she performed and her very important part in History, I hope she will take her place of honor for her part in World History.                  Douglas G Pollard Sr.