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Joiner’s Corner: Grier’s Almanac

I was standing at the counter in Forbes Drug Store a while back and noticed a small stack of Grier’s Almanacs.  Steve Morgan, who owns the pharmacy with his brother Frank, told me I was welcome to take one.  I was glad that he offered it for free, greatly relieved that I wouldn’t have to make the stressful decision of whether to part with a dollar.  Even if I hadn’t wanted an Almanac, I would probably have taken it anyway.

The late Miller Lawson was a beloved friend to our family and a fountain of common sense.  He told me that when somebody offers you something for free, it’s usually best to take it.  Miller said that he had hauled off some things that weren’t even good enough to throw in the trash.  But he had smiled and said thank you, and kept the door open for better possibilities.

Grier’s Almanac was a staple in farm households during the days of my youth.  I don’t remember where ours came from.  Maybe it was from nearby Joiner’s Store, or maybe from somewhere in Unadilla.  We kept it on the kitchen counter, right next to the phone book.

Farmers and other folks with vegetable gardens faithfully consulted the Almanac to decide when to plant.  Daddy didn’t use it for that.  Our Almanac seemed more for entertainment than agriculture.  Before smart phones, 24-hour television, and social media, people read things from printed pages and then had what we called conversations.  It might be good for someone to do a documentary on that sort of thing.

I was kind of excited that day in Forbes to be taking the 2018 Almanac home.  It had been a long time since I had seen one.  It brought back childhood memories of flipping through the pages, wondering what life changing information that year’s edition might offer.

According to the cover this is the 212th annual issue, having been published every year since its debut in 1807.  With that kind of track record, I figured it must be loaded with valuable information.    

It didn’t surprise me to find a deal on hearing aids.  Those ads seem to be everywhere.  Sometimes my wife turns down the corner of a page, so that I’ll take notice.  Not long ago, Jane suggested I should get my hearing checked.  But the thing is, if I get hearing aids I won’t have an excuse that now allows me to slyly ignore some of what she says.  Clear hearing is convenient, but it comes with a cost.

There were ads for fatigue remedies, walk-in bathtubs, Zoysia lawn plugs, and poultry products, plus some canine antiseptic powder that’s been relieving itchy pups for 1,022 dog years.  I don’t know if it’s safe for humans, but I’m thinking about ordering a bottle for a friend of mine.  My buddy Chris Kauffman taught me that referencing, “a friend of mine,” is how to buy something when you don’t want people thinking it’s for you.

What I found most exciting were the numerous ways to improve health, wealth, and luck for a nominal price.  There’s a Fast Money Candle for eight dollars or Love Draw Oil for only five.  Lucky Mojo Bags are priced to sell at fifteen bucks, or for ten more dollars you can get the extra strength version.  Shipping and handling is only another $7.50.

If you don’t want to wait by the mailbox, you can call one of the reverends, psychics, or spiritual advisors.  One lady is available to help change your bad luck to good, plus provide you with some lucky numbers.  The ad shows a picture of Jesus, but it’s possible that picture was used without His approval.

There’s Snake Oil to destroy all sorts of evil and Holy Water for money blessings.  Some of the products are guaranteed to be the most powerful available.   

For those of you who prefer to shop locally, here’s something I’m sharing but asking that you keep in strict confidence.  I have access to a limited supply of lucky chinaberries.  It’s a pick your own orchard that is available only by invitation.

I can point you right to it during berry season or give you directions by phone.  If I’m not home just put ten dollars in our mailbox and help yourself to the berries.  If you’ll leave that ten dollars with me, I can just about guarantee that someone is going to get a blessing.