Monday, October 3, 2022

Never Give a Sword to a Man Who Can't Dance

That's from Confucius if you're wondering.

Persons of a certain age will certainly remember the 1 week high school PE unit on dance.  I remember it as square dancing - no touching, except for a passing hand perhaps.  And, then in the 50's & 60's along came sanctioned high school dances and not so sanctioned "Teen Hops" at Lakeside. Touching allowed. I'm sure you recall the debauchery of The Hokey-Pokey, The Watusi, The Twist, The Swim, The Chicken Dance and especially The Stroll.

Members of the local ministerial association of the day took umbrage.  They were vocal in their objections to these practices and demanded they be terminated, warning of depravity, hell and damnation. The unstated implication was that dancing leads to <redacted> or vice versa.

A letter addressed to Miss Janice P, a PE teacher in the <redacted> Public Schools has come into my possession. I will not reveal where I obtained this, nor the author of the letter. I am prepared accept a prison sentence to protect my sources

I here reproduce a redacted form of this letter, written in 1958.

Miss <redacted>
<redacted> Public Schools
<redacted, Minnesota

Dear Miss P<redacted>,
We, <redacted<, have become disturbed about a situation that has developed in the <redacted> School as well as other schools. We make reference to the instruction, in the Physical Education classes, of ball-room dancing. Word has come to us that even the eighth grade students are being given this instruction. For many of these students this is the time that pastors and churches through the confirmation instructions and Sunday School Classes are trying to instill and develop moral and spiritual responsibility in the child. We feel that dancing is inimical to this moral and spiritual development. 

There are many scriptural and non-scriptural sources on which we can base this statement. Just a few will be mentioned. 

1 Corinthians 10:31 -”Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 -”Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

The dance is what Jesus said the pleasures of this world so often are, a thorn that helps choke the Word of God and the spiritual life. Even though many may succeed in escaping the moral delinquency of the dance, there is the second fruit of dancing which is not escaped. That fruit is spiritual indifference. As a persons love for dancing increases, his love, faith and obedience to the will of Christ decreases. There have been enough investigations to prove that the dance has helped many a boy and girl on the way to destruction. 

  • Mrs. E.M. Whittemore, the founder of the “Door of Hope” home in New York found that “seven out of ten of the fallen girls came to their moral ruin directly or indirectly through the dance.”
  • <redacted>
  • Dr. E.S. Sonners, a specialist in nervous disorders has stated: “I attack the modern dance as a reversion toward savagery. As a medical man, I flatly charge that modern dancing is fundamentally sinful and evil. I charge that dancing is the most advanced and most insidious of the maneuvers preliminary to sex betrayal. 
  • <redacted>

About the school dance, we recognize that the surroundings are different than those of the night-club, tavern and ball-room. But we do not feel that the public school should be the training ground for the destructive influences of the tavern and ball-room. Young people themselves have admitted that after one or two years, the school dance becomes too tame and they seek the greater excitement of the tavern or ball-room dance.

We recognize also that there is supervision at the school dance. But few dancers are chilled into a sense of modesty. No individual can supervise the heart or mind of another. No supervision can be provided between the time a couple leaves the school and arrives home. Time and time again supervised dancing has provided the training ground for night clubs and taverns for many who but for the cloak of respectability implied in the term supervision would not have learned to dance.

As Christian men and loyal Americans we can not endorse or approve anything to do with a movement that is ruining thousands of young American men and women. We consider the modern dance to be a moral menace eating its way into the moral fibre of American youth.



Ok, then.  But ... I'm not really buying it.  Watch some little kids at play ... it's dance.
  • "Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances." - Maya Angelou
  • “Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” - Voltaire
  • “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” - Martha Graham
  • “Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. .” Martha Graham
  • “After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” - Ann Richards

Copyright ©  2022  Dave Hoplin

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Time Traveler

Time travel is the stuff of SciFi books and magical realism movies. But the thing is ... you time travel constantly. Your memory and your dreams.

In a recent post I included a number of "I Remembers" reminiscences from the 50's. Jim commented "Do you remember them throwing live turkeys off the top of the Pope County courthouse roof on Thanksgiving and all the kids would chase the wounded birds until they were squished?"  Well - no.  I lived in Lowry. We would never consider participating in such cruelty. 

Got me thinking though.  At what age does "I Remember" take over your life? Kind of dangerous actually. Living in the past. But if I stop and consider, what has this blog mostly been about? Memories.  Back to the future 1950's. 

My childhood was an era of freedom to explore and do things that would make today's parents cringe. Unsupervised play. Sort of unheard of these days. In the summer, I would leave the house in the morning and other than a stop back home for a quick lunch when the siren signaled 12:00, out again, only to reappear for supper. (Yes. breakfast, lunch, supper.  Dinner was only a Sunday noon thing.)  Then out again until the siren signaled curfew at 10:00

It's amazing we survived.

Car seats or seat belts. What the heck were they? We stood on the "hump" in the backseat to see out the front windshield or laid in the back window of the car to see out the back. My family didn't have a car - only a pickup - until I was a teen, so I frequently rode in the back of the truck, sometimes sitting on the tailgate.

Biking to Chippewa Creek or Lake Malmedal.  Highways 55 & 114 were  dangerous roads, hilly, curvy and no shoulders but we would sail down Hedlin Hill to the lake or slowly struggle our way west to the creek for and afternoon of water fun, cars and pickups flying by.  A favorite dark of night game was bicycle tag, tearing through backyards, risking unhorsing by clotheslines to avoid being tagged. Helmets - you must be kidding. 

Stranger danger. No such thing in our little town. Everyone knew everyone and everyone looked out for each other.

Eating habits. I thrived on Topps baseball card bubble gum, Sugar Daddy's, Sugar Pops and ice cream cones, paying the price in Dr. Wright's dental chair.

Tag games on railroad cars. Well, this did cause me severe angst. I've never been a fan of heights and running along the tops of freight cars and jumping across a chasm from one to the next to avoid a tag was only possible because of fear - fear of ridicule by my buddies. Luckily no one died or was maimed that I can recall.

We would save up allowances for weeks to purchase firecrackers for July 4 - illegal in MN.  A couple teens with a car traveled to South Dakota and returned with a trunk load of fireworks, which we would buy up at exorbitant markups. One use was to setup toy army soldiers in a sandbox, light up a firecracker and toss it, artillery style, into the sandbox. Lots of dud firecrackers in those days, but you could break the dud in half to expose the powder, light it on a slab of cement and then stomp on it with your Red Ball Jets

BB guns. I never had one, only an "air rifle", but most every kid took a BB at some point or another. No lost eyes, happily. The more common warfare weapon was a rubber gun, a homemade wooden facsimile of a gun on which strips of inner tube rubber was stretched, held in place by a clothespin. Range was limited. You had to get within a few feet of your opponent to be successful.  There were some who had "extreme" weapons, say a couple feet long.  This gave them considerably greater range but the hazard of loading and the clothespin failing made them unpopular.

Smoking. Most every adult male smoked. The military provided free cigarettes and WWII veterans were addicted. We admired those guys so we "bought" packs of cigarettes, leaving a quarter on the counter at Frankie's gas station and hustling away with a pack of Winstons or Kools or Old Golds. Off to the old road on the south end of town to indulge in this forbidden "pleasure", coming home smoky. One buddy's father encouraged him to try a cigar and had him smoke it in the tiny bathroom - he quickly turning multiple shades of green.

Playgrounds. Guys liked to prove their strength by slinging swings over the 15 ft high swing set, wrapping the chains around and around the cross frame. Problem was, someone then had to shinny up the side braces and straddle the top to unwind them.  Not I. The teeter-totter straddled a steel bar that of course required the application of a tongue in the dead of winter to 'see what would happen'. And except for the ball field, that was about it for playground equipment.

Climbing trees and fire escapes, clamoring up on roofs, jumping off onto snow banks. Why are so many of my vivid memories associated with heights? 

Not self inflicted but perhaps one of the more dangerous hazaards of my childhood - each year the city contracted to 'spray for mosquitos'. Trucks would go up and down each street spraying DDT into the trees and grass, kids tagging along behind.

But, I'm still here, decades later. I'd really be interested in hearing some of your "dangerous lives" childhood stories. Add some examples in the comments.

Copyright ©  2022  Dave Hoplin

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Oh, The Places You'll Go!


In praise of Baron von Drais. Or perhaps Karl Kech. Or Pierre Lallement. Or Leonardo da Vinci. (Actually, not Leo. Those drawings turned out to be a hoax.) 

The identity of bicycle inventor may be disputed but whoever was responsible, there is no dispute from this quarter that the bicycle is the most glorious form of transport ever invented. Transport from place to place at a pace that allows the rider to absorb the beauties and the weirdnesses of the planet. But also transports the spirit to a calmer place, breathing the fresh air, escaping from a world of woe.

Of course, every motorcyclist makes the same claims ... but the noise, oh the noise. A bicycle ride is communion with the natural world, minus the fumes, an opportunity for solitude and silence. (Wind in your ears is as good as silence.) But even better, cycling is also a social activity, a perfect opportunity for good conversation with friend and a coffee break along the way. I prefer the leisurely, take in the sights ride. 

Strangely, the bicycle form has not changed all that much in the past 200 years. Of course the materials are better, lighter, more durable, more comfortable, but the basic structure of the machine is little changed. 

I cannot remember not having a bicycle. My life would have/would be diminished without one.  

  • It's good for physical and mental health.  
  • It's cheap. 
  • It's fun. 
  • It's sustainable - a bike will not turn into a clothes closet. 
  • It's a workout to whatever level of intensity you want it to be. 
  • It uses all the major muscle groups. 
  • As compared to pounding the pavement running, it's low impact. 
  • You don't have to be a great athlete and you don't need lessons - except perhaps in safety. Almost everyone has qualified on a bike and you just don't forget how to ride a bike. 
  • And you can save gas - do some errands on a bike.

And, oh the places you'll go, the sights you'll see.

My pricey bike carrier

Natural Wonders

Pikerel Lake eagle's nest


Luce Line Trail

Minnehaha Falls

Mississippi River Gorge

Pine Bend

Rainbow over the Capitol

Magical Places

Former Fire Station turned theater

Grain Belt Brewery

Camden train yards

Lake Phalen pagoda

Root River Trail

Samuel Morgan Trail

Schaar's Bluff Trail

Stone Arch Bridge

UofM outdoor art


Beats me - choir practice?

A tombstone

Homeless solo camp

The scene of my over the handlebars escapade

Railroad crossing

Skipped BWCA


Most unusual house in the Twin Cities

It's not Santa

Sacred Spaces

35W Memorial

Church bicycle parking

Fort Snelling National Cemetery

St. Paul - city of churches

Pandemic concert

Veterans Memorial

Majestic Buildings

Minnesota State Capitol

Carnegie Library - St. Anthony

Como Conservatory

Lowry Ave Bridge

St Paul Cathedral

Happy Trails To You.

Copyright ©  2022  Dave Hoplin

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Red Flag

A perceived slight, 
Out of control.
Someone must have suspected.  
Someone must have known.

Copyright ©  2022  Dave Hoplin

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Me Googled

I came down with the Covid a few weeks back. Can't for the life of me figure out where I got it.  Church or the grocer are about the only public spaces I've occupied. Thankfully, I was vaccinated (twice) & boosted, which I believe saved me from a potentially ugly ordeal. I isolated for a week. Did a lot of reading, a little writing, too much eating. And boredom. What’s a guy to do?  Yup, Google yourself.  

The Hoplin (JP: ホップ hoppu) is an enemy in Ring Fit Adventure. They have no special abilities. There is a larger variant known as the Gobhoplin. Should I care if a rare Hoplin escapes?

Hop'lin IPA. American India Pale Ale. This smooth, medium bodied American IPA will hit the spot. The intense citrus/pine aroma and taste is accompanied with ..

Revenge of the Hoplin by Uiltje Brewing Company is a IPA - American which has a rating of 3.5 out of 5. This Cold IPA is mad, bad and potentially dangerous. What it lacks in pumpkin bombs and razor bats it makes up for in ruthless innovation.

Hoplin Creek is a stream in Minnesota and has an elevation of 1339 feet. Hoplin Creek is situated nearby to Wolf Creek, and east of Stowe Lake.

HOPLIN Kid's Tooth Gel Toothpaste for kids of all ages. thoughtfully formulated with high quality ingredients. tastes delish. no artificial sweeteners/flavors. sls-free. vegan. cruelty-free. not tested on animals. whitens naturally. tastes awesome. vegan. polishes & brightens. strengthens enamel. 
 A lightweight RabbitMQ client for Java (built on top of rabittmq java client)

Definitions for Hoplin


Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Hoplin.

Did you actually mean hipline or hypovolemia?

Cry Terror!  1958

… Unable to contact Hoplin since then, Jim is now certain that Hoplin used his bomb design as a model to create others. The Molners are then interrupted by the arrival of Hoplin who forces his way into the house at gunpoint. Hoplin admits to using Jim, but suggests that the authorities will believe Jim is involved in the plot. Hoplin then declares he is kidnapping the Molners and their young daughter Pat and forces the family into a car driven by his accomplice, ex-convict Steve.

David Hoplin

Vice President Wc Sw Development at PTC Inc. · Boston

And then there are these ..

Janis Joplin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Janis Lyn Joplin[1] (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970)

Third Row Bill Milne. Bill Moore. Richard I ,a«e. Dan McCreevy. David Hoplin 

A doppelgänger apparently.

And finally, this
George Hoplin, born Circa 1862

George Hoplin was born circa 1862, at birth place , Indiana, to David Hoplin
George had 3 siblings: Mary Hoplin and 2 other siblings .

Beer, gaming and enigmas. Pretty weak public legacy.

Copyright ©  2022  Dave Hoplin
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