Christmas Letter 2014 Franklin & Betty J. Parker, 40 Fletcher Drive, Apt. 206, Pleasant Hill, TN 38578, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 931-277-3268
Yes, Virginia. There IS a Santa Claus
“DEAR EDITOR, ” 8 year old Virginia wrote, just before Christmas, 1897, 117 years ago, to the Editor of The New York Sun, “Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says ‘If you see it in The Sun it’s so.'” “Please tell me the truth: Is there a Santa Claus?” [Signed] Virginia O’Hanlon, 115 West 95th Street, N.Y.C.
VIRGINIA’S LETTER landed on the desk of The Sun’s leading editorial writer, Francis P. Church. He could have ignored the letter. He could have given it to an assistant to answer.
INSTEAD HE answered: “Virginia,” your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.
“YES, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.
“THERE WOULD be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal life with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
“NOT BELIEVE in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove?
“NOBODY SEES Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and un-seeable in the world.
“ONLY FAITH, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
“NO SANTA CLAUS! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
Note: Francis P. Church, born Feb. 22, 1839, in Rochester, N.Y., died in N.Y.C. April 11, 1906, not knowing that his editorial answer to Virginia would become a perennial favorite. END of true story.________________________________________________________________________________________
About Franklin Parker, 1921-, and Betty June Parker, 1929-.
Married 64 years (June 12, 1950). Have lived in Uplands Village, Pleasant Hill, TN., 20 years and in Uplands Fletcher House Assisted Living 1.5 years.
Looking back: *We met at Berea College, near Lexington, Ky, 1946-49, Betty from Decatur, Ala., Frank from Asheville, NC, after Frank’s US Air Force service, 1942-46. *We attended graduate schools at Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, 1949-50; and Peabody College of Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN, 1952-56. We both taught at Ferrum College near Roanoke, Va., 1950-52. Frank then taught (Betty taught or worked nearby) at *SUNY, New Paltz, NY, 1956-57; *Univ. of Texas, Austin, 1957-64, *Univ. of Okla., Norman, 1964-68, *West Va. Univ., Morgantown, 1968-86 (18 yrs.), where Frank retired, age 65. Frank’s post-retirement teaching was at *Northern Ariz. Univ., Flagstaff, 1986-89 and *Western Carolina Univ., Cullowhee, NC, 1989-94 (total 44 years college/univ. teaching). Then. we three–(Frank, Betty, her mother Jane Parker– moved to Uplands Village, Pleasant Hill, TN. Mother Jane died in Uplands in 1998.
Betty’s sister Jo Ann Weber died of cancer May 31, 2014. At her bedside were husband George, son Andy, and twin sister Lee Conrad (Sedona, AZ). Joe Ann & George Weber moved near us in 1996 from Michigan to Sparta, TN. Jo Ann was president of United Methodist Women, Sparta, president of Friends of the White County [Sparta] Public Library, and raised funds for its new building. The Webers traveled extensively USA/abroad and visited their son Andy & Kyle (Michigan), & their daughter Emily and Art Hayden & grandchildren Arthur and Alison (Mass.).
For our June 16, 2014, book review, Hitlerland…, on Adolf Hitler, copy–paste on your browser–and click on: http://bandfparker.hubpages.com/hub/Adolf-Hitler-1889-1945-Today-Germany-Tomorrow-the-World Or: http://tinyurl.com/l8y2ma6
Our next dialogue book review will be on Monday, June 15, 2015. 10 A.M., Adshead, Upland Village, on: Calvin Mackenzie & Robert Weisbrot, The Liberal Hour: Washington & the Politics of Change in the 1960s. Penguin, 2008. The 1960s, the 20th century’s most turbulent decade, saw equal rights clashes for and by Black Americans, women, minorities. Many protested against the Vietnam War; for clean air, water, environment, and car safety. Yet key liberal laws passed in the 1960s that guide us today (though not fully lived up to) have implications for creating a better future everywhere. ______________________________________________
ADDED ADDENDUM: Parkers’ writings:
41 of out publications in the Library of Congress are listed in (beneath 1. Benjamin…:). Copy on your browser and click on the following:
For other of our publications in the Library of Congress and WorldCat publications, many
on George Peabody, copy Franklin Parker, 1921, and Betty J. Parker, 1929-) on your browser and click on: http://bit.ly/mfEmU2
British Library, London, England, lists 9 of our books:
then, under Advanced Search enter: Parker, Franklin, 1921-, and click below on: Search Or: http://preview.tinyurl.com/n47b463
Ten Franklin Parker book entries in Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Franklin-Parker/e/B001KMQUD8 Or: http://tinyurl.com/qdd35z
Access our many articles through google.com or any other search engine by typing as subject any of the following: Franklin Parker, or Betty J. Parker, or Franklin and Betty J. Parker, or Betty and Franklin Parker, or bfparker, or email@example.com or: firstname.lastname@example.org
For 37+ of our articles in blog form, copy and paste on your browser and click on:
For F.P.’s articles on: 1-George Peabody College of Vanderbilt Univ., 2-Peabody Education Fund in TN., & 3-May Cravath Wharton: click on: http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/author.php?rec=190
For a funny skit on our 61st wedding anniversary, access:
Vanderbilt University’s Wise Library, Nashville, has these 9 Franklin Parker, 1921-, publications (with Lib. of Congress call numbers): (copy on your browser and click on): http://tinyurl.com/leroakx
1- George Peabody, a biography Rev. ed. HV28 .P4 P29 1995, 1995
2-George Peabody, a biography [electronic resource] Rev. ed. 1995.
3-Education in the People’s Republic of China, Past and Present : An Annotated Bibliography, 1986.
4-U.S. higher education : a guide to information sources, 1980.
5-British schools and ours, 1979. 379.156 P224b, 1975
6-The Battle of the Books : Kanawha County. Parker, Franklin, 1921-. Z5811 .P25 v.18,pt.1, 1971
7-American dissertations on foreign education; a bibliography with abstracts (20 volume series). 370.8 In8, no.2, 1960
8-African development and education in Southern Rhodesia. 370 P32 no.70 v.2, 1956
9-George Peabody, founder of modern philanthropy.
Berea College’s Hutchins Library , Ky (the Parkers’ undergraduate college, FP, B.A., 1949; BJP, B.A., 1950), lists 17 of their publication titles: Copy and click on:
For Picture/article F. Parker playing Xmas Jingle Bells: copy, paste on your browser:
Lists 66 of Franklin Parker’s publications in the U.S. Government ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) system, with access to Abstract of each Publication plus full access to each Publication. Paste on your browser and click on:
THE END. Comments, questions to email@example.com