“Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it,” said Floyd the Barber. “Calvin Coolidge said that, you know.”
Floyd, it seemed, attributed nearly every famous quote to Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States.
“No Floyd,” Sheriff Taylor corrected, “Calvin Coolidge didn’t say that. I believe it was Mark Twain who said it.”
The puzzled barber mused, “Mark Twain? I thought it was Calvin Coolidge who said it.”
Barney Fife chimed in, “Calvin Coolidge didn’t say everything, Floyd.”
To which the indignant Floyd replied, “Well, he said something!”
Lately we haven’t been able to do much of anything about the weather. The recent spate of heavy thunderstorms followed by snow flurries forced two more days of cancellations and postponements of spring sporting events throughout Greene County.
I do not envy our athletic directors scrambling furiously to reschedule these events. But they will do the best they can. They always do.
Last week offered a hint of spring to come and brought a brief respite from winter’s persistent clutches.
Wednesday’s baseball game at Linton against North Central was the first baseball game I’ve attended this season without being bundled up in my Land’s End parka and a ski cap. Or a toque, toboggan or whatever you wish to call it.
By the way, Josh Pyne pitched a no-hitter and Tucker Hayes slammed his first career home run in that game.
Thursday and Friday were downright balmy, the thermometer reaching 80 degrees.
‘Twas but a tease.
Monday’s forecast high of 41 degrees was a full 40 degrees colder than late last week. I realize April is a “transitional month.” Still quite an extreme temperature swing.
Driving to the office Monday afternoon the thermometer in my car registered 34 scorchers. The flashing sign outside McDonald’s read 33 degrees at 2:43 p.m. That’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius.
Our so-called “continental temperate” climate hasn’t been very temperate of late. Temperamental, perhaps.
It could be worse. The Great Plains and the Upper Midwest were blanketed beneath blizzards.
When discussing the weather someone invariably pipes up with, “Well, if you don’t like the weather in Indiana just wait a minute and it’ll change. Duh-huh-huh-huh.”
As if they were the one who first thought to utter that particular banality.
Soon the weather will change – someday, for the better – and we’ll get the games in. After all, the official beginning of summer is just a little over two months away.
I can hear the whining now: “It’s too hot!”
Now, back to the original exchange between Floyd, Andy and Barney – and the quote widely credited to Mark Twain.
The famous saying doesn’t appear in any of Twain’s writings or in any of his recorded speeches.
The first documented evidence of the quote came in an editorial published in the Hartford (Conn.) Courant August 24, 1897.
The editorial actually read, “A well known American writer said once that, while everybody talked about the weather, nobody seemed to do anything about it.”
Charles Dudley Warner, the editor of the Courant at the time, was a neighbor, close friend and associate of Twain.
The editorial was unsigned. However, since Warner was writing editorials for the Courant at the time it’s very likely he did write it. It also seems likely the “well known American writer” referred to was Twain.
However, when asked, Twain denied it and credited Warner as the originator.
We may never know for sure.
I always thought it was Will Rogers who said it.