Category Archives: Laughter in the Refectory

Alice Roosevelt Longworth

In a chapter on the descendants of presidents in Brady Carlson’s Dead Presidents, there are these priceless quips from Alice Roosevelt Longworth, T.R.’s daughter: “As for Herbert Hoover, she said, the Hoover vacuum cleaner is more exciting than the president.  … Continue reading

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Land Developer

Even though the Oregon Trail was published early this summer, presumably the author, Rinker Buck, had no inside knowledge about the current state of the Republican election campaign when he wrote: “Few academics and high school history teachers want to … Continue reading

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A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka

Last week we finished reading Living in the House of God, and began to read Lev Golinkin’s memoir:  A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka.  The vodka refers to eight crates of it that his family fled with … Continue reading

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Nixon and Reagan

The Presidents Club is producing its fair share of humorous anecdotes. After quoting from a friendly letter Nixon wrote to Reagan in 1967 the authors write: “Seldom has a politician been less qualified to give a rival advice on charming … Continue reading

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Laughter in the Refectory: The Wright Brothers

In reading about the Wright Brothers in Tom Crouch’s The Bishop’s Boys we are learning a lot about the early life of Wilbur and Orville.  Who knew they were at one time journalists? After covering the 1891 campaign of Fire … Continue reading

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Divisions of the Pope

In the biography of Pope Pius XII we are currently reading at table there have been very few amusing movements.  Apparently Pius XII did not have the same sense of humor as his successor Pope John XIII.  However, at lunch … Continue reading

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Laughter in the Refectory: Will in the World

In his discussion of the role ghosts play in Shakespeare’s plays, Stephen Greenblatt makes a digression into Catholic and Protestant perspectives on the afterlife. Here is an amusing little gem concerning Purgatory. “Purgatory was a vast prison house under the … Continue reading

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