Thursday, February 18, 2010

bell

When we moved to Willow Manor 22 years ago, this great old bell
was on the property, mounted on a wooden post. It's been well used
over the years, to summon children on warm summer nights. The
clapper rings a wonderful clear G major that wafts across the Scioto
River. I often wonder of its history, hidden inside the dark iron crown.


The tolling of bells always evokes poignant emotions in me. The tiny
Indiana village, where I lived as a young girl, had two churches whose
bells tolled for Sunday services, as well as weddings and funerals.
Wedding bells rang wildly with happiness, while funeral tolls were
hauntingly slow, with several seconds between each chime. I can't
hear a bell toll today, without it reaching in, grabbing my heart, and
giving it a squeeze.

Speaking of heart grabbing, there are some powerful bell scenes in
movie history. My favorite would have to be the chilling scene in
Black Narcissus as Deborah Kerr clings to the bell rope after
Kathleen Byron pushes her off the vast cliff. Just as scary, is the
bell tower scene in Vertigo, where Kim Novak backs off the dark
edge and falls to her death, much to Jimmy Stewart's chagrin.

But, the sweetest bell scene would have to be Father Murphy
rewarding Darby O'Gill, for volunteering to pick up the church bell
from a neighboring village, with the music of the bell for generations
to come.

A sweet real life bell scene happens to be scheduled for Thursday,
February 18 at 2:00 EST, as we proudly ring our manor bell, along
with our good friend Barry, who will be ringing the bell at Princess
Margaret Hospital in Toronto, a ritual performed by patients who
have completed their last chemotherapy treatment. Join with us in
supporting Barry, as well as all those brave souls out there who are
winning the battle against cancer.

Barry, the music of the manor bell is for you, dear friend. It will be
pealing with love and hope, across the frozen Scioto.

.

For more Theme Thursday participants click [HERE].

85 comments:

  1. I must confess that my original Magpie Tales post was about a bell I own because I misread the instructions initially thinking that it was supposed to be about one of our own objects. It turned out to work better with the pewter creamer. But now I think I will write something with the bell that I first showed and clang my own bell in honor of Barry.

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  2. Bells are such a rich part of the historical human experience. I love the Orthodox Easter tradition in which the community is welcome to enter the bell tower and ring the bells in celebration. (I wrote two posts about the very topic of church bells about a year ago).

    Happy ringing Barry - I'll be listening for your bell!

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  3. what a beauty that is, willow...

    love it ringing on warm summer nights...

    i live downtown San Luis Obispo..the Old Mission is right in the plaza...and we hear the bells every Sunday morning,the joyful bells of a wedding and the somber toll at a funeral....

    i love it too...

    I have commented back and forth with Barry..and I'm all set too...


    more later, my friend
    sending love,
    kary

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  4. The world becomes a smaller place when we join with one another in harmony. Never seek to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

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  5. CLASSIC PHOTO, classic narrative.
    stepping back, and into, real life.
    "ring the bells that still can ring"
    great part of a shared celebratory ceremony in toronto

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  6. What a wonderful post, I loved all those movies, and the story of the Bell Ringers, and Hurrah for Barry, let's all ring out in celebration.

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  7. wonderful post willow. we had an old bell outside of my great uncle Lawrence's house...which inspired my poem today. i always wondered who would answer if i rang it...

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  8. What a wonderful old bell, she's a beaut.
    When we were married the church bells rang out, it seems like more churches had bells and church organs, when I was young.
    I'm like you, still appreciate them ringing, they make my heart flutter.
    I will ring my daughter's dinner bell in honor of Barry.

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  9. This post brought back a memory of SWMBO and I wandering in Wiesbaden, Germany, on Easter Sunday in 1985. We were near a church when its bells began to peal. A moment later another church some distance away also began sounding its bells. I looked at SWMBO and said "It's Dueling Church Bells!"

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  10. Really nice. I'm reading the Magpie Tales too. Not participating this week as we're on vaca and it's the first day I've picked up the computer.

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  11. We used to have a wooden church pulpit in our garden, left by the previous occupants. It was the focal point of many a happy gathering, used for dispensing refreshments and for enactments of the Romeo & Juliet balcony scene.

    I often wonder how the house's previous owners used it. We gave it a special role and little traditions and I imagine they did too. Like your bell and the people before you who involved it in their lives too.

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  12. There are so many great bell memories in your post. I especially remember that Vertigo scene!

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  13. What a beautiful old bell!

    Ring, ring for Barry! Congrats on your last treatment!

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  14. Lovely, Willow. We had neighbors who had a large family, and every night, they rang their huge bell for all the kids to come running at suppertime. We all loved it. I learned this past weekend that my younger sister has Stage 2 breast cancer, and she has a lumpectomy tomorrow, so I'll tell her about your bell, too. She has a long haul ahead with chemo and radiation, etc, so I'm pulling for her.

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  15. My thoughts are with your sister, Sue. I'll say a little prayer for her, as well, when I ring the bell.

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  16. What a beautiful, snow-muffled bell!
    Very with you on the Black Narcissus scene. Rummer Godden eventually ended up living in a village very near here.
    Bell memories are good ones, aren't they? Wedding bells, of course, but my favourite is from
    my first trip to Florence as the usual penniless back-packer. We arrived late at night, and marvelled at the rooftop views from the room we secured, particularly the spectacular campanile just opposite. Of course, it rang out on the hour of 6am. And every hour afterwards.
    And we wondered why the room was so cheap...

    I'll ring out for Barry, though mine's an old ship's bell.

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  17. A beautiful sentiment, with movie scenes and special effects, all a-la-Willow Manor!

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  18. We have just such an old farm bell on our front porch. I'll give it a ring for Barry and all the others.

    Dorothy L.Sayers' THE NINE TAILORS is a wonderful novel with lots about the English custom of change-ringing on the church bells. I always had trouble imagining it till, during a visit to England, we were fortunate enough to be just leaving a pub one evening and passed by a church where change-ringing practice was going on. Such a wonderful pealing of sound!

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  19. great post. is it a coincidence that this weeks theme thursday was "bell" and the last chemo "bell" ringing ceremony are in the same week or did someone plan that.
    very sweet.

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  20. My beautiful Willow, how enchanting that you have such an exquisite bell on your property. I feel the same about them.

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  21. A beautiful photo to illustrate a wonderful post, willow...I would love to hear that bell ring...there are stories that bells have souls...and to Barry - I will ring for you here too...

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  22. I'm so glad to be a part of the bell ringing for Barry tmro. I'll be there thinking of you and praying for him
    xox

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  23. What a lovely thought, and lovely reason to ring that bell up in Toronto.

    And thanks for mentioning Darby O'Gill. One of my favourite movies when I was a little girl. And I didn't even know who Sean Connery was then!!

    Speaking of bells, have you read The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers? You might like that one.

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  24. THIS Theme Thursday is SO VERY SPECIAL! I am so glad to ring a bell for Barry!

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  25. I was so thrilled for Barry that I forgot to say how WONDERFUL the Manor bell is...steeped in so much history...wouldn't you like to know more?

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  26. I love the sound of bells. My tante used to summon us home at dusk on summer evenings when we visited her little hamlet, by standing in the courtyard gate and ringing the bell until we came running. I have that bell myself now, resting peacefully on one of my library's shelves.

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  27. Willow, I'm sorry I'm so late on Magpie Tales - with my nephew leaving for Iraq, I just got lost in the shuffle. But I posted it tonight. I will try to do better, much better.

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  28. Oh to have a bell. I would surely ring it for Barry.

    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

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  29. beautiful post! it struck a deep chord within my own heart....

    I'm grateful to live within earshot of a couple churches who toll their bells on a regular basis and for special events.

    ah and tomorrow, there will be blessed bells tolling, tinkling, chiming, and singing whatever song they sing for barry and all who are battling cancer.

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  30. Thank you for the bell reminder. I will ring the bell tomorrow for Barry and for all those who are so brave.

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  31. Oh, I love bells. We have one like yours at our farm. Yours must be special; ours clanks. Wonder if it would sound better atop a post? My husband rang a bell at MD Anderson 8 years ago and is going strong today.

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  32. Well done luv! Now you've got me to wondering about that bell of yours, heh...

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  33. Every time I read a new post on this
    theme, I kept hearing the song,
    You can ring my bell by anita ward . lol

    hugs
    shakira

    http://justmeshakirack.blogspot.com/2010/02/theme-thursday-bell.html

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  34. Willow and Barry ~ I will be joining in with your bell ringing from here, off the coast of western WA state (11 am for us). We have a friend here in our small community who is fighting his own cancer battle, so this bell will be for him as well...

    Lovely sentiments. Power to the bells!

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  35. Those bells we hear in our memory are the clearest of all. Very nice evocation and peal after peal, wave after wave of friendship and warmth that you ring out to Barry and the entire cancer community

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  36. Spectacular picture and lovely post, Willow. My thoughts will be with Barry. If I were home now and not in Georgia, I could ring my collection of crystal bells, all with different tones. I don't think my mother has a bell here at her home! What a sweet idea for Princess Margaret Hospital to do! It truly marks an accomplishment for cancer patients!

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  37. You mention some great bell scenes in film. All are good ones. I love the old films the best.
    You'll find mine here.

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  38. Yes! Vertigo! I Had Forgotten That One!
    Willow.A Very Apeeling Post!

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  39. Lovely post, lovely sentiments (and, indeed, a lovely bell by the look of it)

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  40. I used to fish on the Scioto River. Even slept there on the banks. That's a long way to drive to fish but years ago we did it (we, being guys from work). The picture has that over the hill look and the woods reminds me of Shawnee Forest where I used to wander looking for deer -- not stills.

    Did you know the reason for the farm bell? Besides calling people working in the fields for dinner, it was also used to signal other farmers about fires and Indians.

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  41. Abe, the manor was built in 1927. I'm not sure, but there may have been a farm house on the property before that. No matter, the bell has been well used at WM.

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  42. I will ring my tiny bell, that sits on my Puja, my rather ecumenical altar. It has a lovely icy tinkle that I like to hear each morning when I ring it to summon some angel or other...
    I also am so thankful for being a survivor!!

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  43. Is there nothing about you and your gorgeous home that is not the epitome of quixotic grace and charm? How fabulous to have a big clangy bell outside - I'd have to keep ringing it.

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  44. I adore the sound of church bells. Just around the corner from our house is St. Joseph's church. I love to hear the chimes from its ancient bell tower, calling the faithful to mass.

    Beautiful post!

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  45. What a meaningful connection to your home, your 'neck of the woods'.... I have yet to grow roots, having moved often and then more often in my life.... And so, I mostly live in my head. -J

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  46. Beautiful images, Willow. And Black Narcissus: we have that one. What a great movie, and all filmed (except the last, I think) on a sound stage.

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  47. Beautiful as always, Willow. Love the pic of the Willow Manor bell. It looks so venerable, icicles and all.

    I, too, will be ringing a bell - well - my Tibetan singing bowl - at 2 pm today. I thought Barry was on CST, so I planned to ring at 3 my time.

    Time zones!! Yikes. Maybe I'll ring at 2 and 3. Can't hurt, eh?

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  48. EST time it is! Glad you knew what you were talking about!

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  49. Tut-tut, can you believe Black Narcissus was almost completely filmed on a set?! Incredible. I think the fabulous art design won an Oscar for their wonderful work.

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  50. Very cool -- pun intended -- photo of the icy, snow-covered bell. And I loved both Vertigo and Darby O'gill and the Little People.

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  51. Lovely post, Willow. That is quite an auspicious bell you have.
    Oh, as a person with a bit of a heights-phobia, that scene in "Vertigo" rings true for me!

    Here's to Barry!

    Kat

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  52. 'rings a wonderful clear G major' - Wow, I don't know anyone else who knows the key of their home bell - very cool!

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  53. I will be ringing a Tibetan bowl that I use for chanting... the bell ringing for Barry is a ritual I'm happy to have been invited to join.

    The bell at the manor is very similar to the bell at Marymount hermitage on Mesa Hill, two miles from where John and I live. This bell was also originally from a school house- before there were good roads in this area, places only a few miles apart would have their own schoolhouses.

    Two Catholic hermit sisters have lived on the hill for 25 years now- the first year they had no elecricity, heated and cooked with wood, and hauled water on toboggans! When they were able to build the chapel, the bell was donated to them and it sits high in a tower. When John and I lived up there for a few months one winter (waiting for house construction to be finished!)we'd walk through the snow in the early mornings to get to the one hermitage that has a phone line, so we could work on the computer there - and often several great horned owls would be perched on the bell tower, making that amazing sound they make. On days when the wind is just right, I can hear the bell ringing from my garden. Next time this happens, I'll think of you and the manor!

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  54. My mom has a huge old bell outside her house... when I got married, her husband (wearing the kilt) rang the bell four times to signal the bagpipers to start down the drive. The bell sounds wonderful in my wedding video - and then the skirl of the pipes getting closer, closer, as they piped me towards my future husband.

    Love bells!

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  55. Eberle, interesting story of the two hermit sisters. They must come from stout pioneer stock!

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  56. Marcheline, WT plays the pipes once in a while, on holidays and such. How fun to have them in your wedding!

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  57. Really cool to have a wonderful bell at the manor. It is funny that at one time my mom had one of those triangle things that make a sound like a bell and when she would want us in for dinner she would have which ever one of us that was there, ring the thing. And this was in a city or the suburbs as we call them today. The other kids thought it was cool. I do not know whatever happened to it. I think it got lost one time when we moved.

    I will be ringing my bells for Barry at 11:00 am, my time. Maybe the world hear all these bells for Barry.

    God bless.

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  58. That is a great bell with a lot of character. Let it ring for Barry : )

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  59. ...i was thinking of you the whole time i was making them....

    you made me laugh....

    sending lemon bar love :-)

    kary
    xxx

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  60. Great post for Barry. Thanks for joining in. It is special people like you and Barry, along with all the others that I have met in Blogland, that add little smiles to my grueling days working for a newspaper. Deadlines are killers.

    Thank goodness there no deadlines in Blogland (although I made an exception today) - that is what makes blogging so much fun for me. People are also so forgiving when you don't have time to post.

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  61. I have just read about Barry on another blog so would like to echo your sentiments.

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  62. "I can'thear a bell toll today, without it reaching in, grabbing my heart, and giving it a squeeze."


    --how beautifully put and given that much more meaning with Barry's bell ringing.

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  63. The bell at the Princess Margaret rings with a heart-felt sound in the healing key of g for Barry! I sense the healing vibes on the Pretty River near to the Georgian Bay and fair to Midland! Bell means beautiful in French, and you certainly make beautiful music when I hear such beautiful healing love sounds all around!

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  64. 2pm found me hanging out my office window ringing a bell contained in a cat toy. Wasn't it a wonderful experience?!

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  65. The bells rang in Alabama at 2!

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  66. You always have a way of making me feel like you are living somewhere in the English Countryside in an old castle! LOL

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  67. Otin, how about a ramshackle old house in the midwestern countryside? It's all about lighting.

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  68. willow i had a summer job in a church many years ago and one of my jobs was to ring the single bell during weddings. i loved the sensation of it pulling me bodily off the floor and then my weight drawing the rope down as the clapper made contact with the bell. today at 2 i was with my class inside a strawbale house that is entirely off the grid. i wanted them to see the future i wish for them and at 2:00 i hit a great triangle that was hanging outside the house and knew a moment that is pure magic. pure love. the kind of thing that i wished for through my life where goodness prevailed and rightness sang its song. steven

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  69. Such a lovely thought to ring bells when someone finishes chemo.

    Another great movie with a bell scene is "1776". If you haven't seen it, please find a copy and watch it and grab some tissue. Tears at one's patriotic heart strings.

    Thanks for sharing such a great story.

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  70. Great story and bell, Willow!

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  71. Great story and bell, Willow!

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  72. Ringing the Bell for Barry today: http://bit.ly/awIPJm
    Clang, Clang!

    --Terrace Crawford
    www.terracecrawford.com
    www.twitter.com/terracecrawford

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  73. Bells evoke so many memories! Yay for Barry!

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  74. I loved the feeling this evoked...almost like a trip back in time. Nice and thanks for stopping by mine.

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  75. I truly applaud St. Margaret's initiative, what a powerful weapon to place in the hands of their patients. I hope Barry gave that bell one almighty session!! A happy weekend to you sweet Gypsy Willow.
    Millie ^_^
    P.S. A teeny bit of trivia & a secret revealed - St. Margaret is the Patron Saint of Childbirth & is also my given name.

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  76. Thanks Willow. The clarity of that G Major sound was easy to pick out way over here in Toronto.

    And the photo is beautiful by the way.

    I am over whelmed by the support I've been receiving!

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  77. It was a pleasure, my friend! xox

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  78. There was a bell on my aunt and uncle's farm used for the same purpose...calling loved ones home.
    Bells and train whistles have a special place in my heart.

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  79. there is something about that sound, isn't there?

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  80. I don't even have a doorbell! Love yours though and those movies bring back some memories although I haven't seen the third one and it's just wonderful how so many people, known and unknown are peeling out for Barry.

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  81. This brought to mind a wonderful book of essays by Frederich Buechner entitled The Clown in the Belfry. May our lives ring out!

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  82. I love the bell scene in Darby O'Gill & the Little People!
    I was ringing my little brass cowbell which I keep on my desk...never even told anyone why...until after class.
    I know it was a great day for Barry!

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)