Posted January 3, 2010
THE TRUTH ABOUT MAGGIE
You're about to hear the truth about Maggie. I'd always seen this sign when
I stopped in at Webb's Texaco service station to get drinks and a snack after tubing
down the Hiwassee River on a hot July day.
I'd never heard the song, but years later, I listened to a You Tube version. Written
by George Washington Johnson, all of the information I could find said he wrote,
"When We Were Young Maggie," in Canada. I researched the internet further. All sources
agreed that the song was written in Canada and not Tennessee, though the sign clearly points
to the Tennessee soil where it was claimed to have been penned.
They say that I'm feeble with age, Maggie,
My steps are less sprightly than then,
My face is a well-written page, Maggie,
And time alone was the pen.
They say we are agèd and grey, Maggie,
As sprays by the white breakers flung,
But to me you're as fair as you were, Maggie
When you and I were young.
When I was younger, I believed anything in print was the gospel. As I've grown wiser, I've realized I can't believe everything that's written or inked in print. Research - crucial. Things could have been reported wrong, or have been skewed in some way. Historians were notorious for recording history from their own point of view. No one wanted to say they looked bad in a battle or their team didn't perform well. Or, the telling by several, perhaps were honest versions, however, because eyes saw different things depending on where the gaze was set, the stories varied.
The Four Gospels of the Bible are prime examples: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John told the same story but some views differed because each person witnessed different happenings or failed to record everything he saw.
It's like asking four people on different street corners about the same building on fire. They're watching the same matter going up in smoke. However, all report the demise of the building in a slightly different way. That's due to viewing from different locations and angles, though they relate the same basic story. And, one or two may forget to tell about the window's glass exploding before the building implodes, while one witness sees people running out of a door and the others don't. That's because there is no door on their side of the street.
Back to Maggie. The song written by Washington was written in only one place unless he was a shape shifter. He couldn't have been in Tennessee and Canada at the same time. Canada is where he pursued Maggie and married her. Shortly thereafter, she passed away.
I now recall the admonition by the apostle
Paul to test the Spirits: Good spirits or evil spirits can test us.
I shouldn't believe just anything someone tells me, even if I trust them
not to lie. Sometimes, people can err on the side of being, er, wrong. Misquotes happen.
Sometimes, humans even embellish. Remember Uncle Bud's fish story about the 50 lb. trout that got away?
I tend to think that's what the Daughters of the American Revolution did when posting these signs in
Tennessee. Perhaps they didn't check out facts thoroughly and delegated the research
to the leadership of the Eagle Scouts. Of all people, I'd like to think I could trust the D.A.R. and the
Eagle Scouts. Perhaps they were aged and grey, Maggie, and just forgot to do their homework.
But then again, everything I read on the internet about the song could be false as well. Who knows,
everything you're reading in this post could be a big fat lie!
So, who can you believe? Even when reading Herodotus's Histories, the introduction
states, "Not much is known of the life of Herodotus and the few items that have come
down to us are not above suspicion." Another introduction quote: "It is impossible to say how much of this is reliable."
In everything and everyone, whether it be newscasters, our President, foreign leaders, our
moms and dads on their religious views and admonition that it's prudent to wear clean underwear when
leaving the house, you have to be diligent in testing the spirits - doing
your homework to make sure that what you're being told is the absolute truth - the gospel - as well as you
can determine. When the research is left up to others, you could drive down the wrong asphalt road to look
for the next marker. And be had again!
Oh, and that lottery ticket you bought last week was a winner. It was up to five million. Outta here, Maggie.
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