March 17, 2009

Can't Lose for Gaining

I found this poem and photo in some old papers from my grandfather Elmer Madsen. He insisted that we call him Elmer and not "grandpa" saying that that made it sound too old - even though he was born in 1889. This photo is of him with a bevy of girlfriends on a picnic circa 1910 most likely in one of the canyons east of Salt Lake City. If you open the photo and enlarge it, you will notice the smiles and laughs captured by the camera - quite a beguiling shot from one hundred years ago. At any rate - enjoy the picnic and then the poem.

Can't Gain for Losing
by Fanny Gudmundsen Brunt

I carefully counted calories,
As at the table I sat,
And visioned my figure willowy,
With thirty-five pouns less fat.

I ate my hot rolls butterless,
My baked potato dry - -
Non-fattening milk my beverage,
And I passed up the rich cake and pie.

My clothes seemed a llittle looser,
And my spiritis fairly flew - -
Soon I'd be wearing a thirty-six,
Instead of a forty-two.

But then came the time of testing,
Where fat women rise or fall - -
Finding lush leavings on grandchildren's plates,
To scrape in the Dis-pos-al.

Wasting was always so sinful,
To children of my generation,
So a bite of this, or a spoonful of that,
I ate just for con-ser-va-tion.

This morning I got on the scales to weigh,
And the numbers went zooming by,
To that same old hundred and eighty - -
Oh rates! Pass the strawberry pie!
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