Wisdom Wednesday – “If you can read, you can do anything.’

Fred Webber was known for his vociferous reading, for his “can do” attitude, and his considerable capability in many aspects of life. These were often combined in his famous – and much repeated – line, “If you can read, you can do anything.” (The Strange-Webber Connection, Spring 2000)

Fred Webber

Fred proved his belief in the power of reading on more than one occasion. His daughter Dee shared this story in the family newsletter:

My father always said, “If you can read, you can do anything.” One evening at 198 Center Street (Hamburg, NY), Mother challenged this somewhat by saying that some things took talent, such as baking a pie. She felt that making the pie crust was something of an art.

The next thing I knew, Daddy was out in the kitchen gathering all the ingredients for an apple pie. He read the recipe, baked the pie, and later served us one of the best apple pies I have ever eaten. He didn’t even have the good sense to be modest! 

Debate Champions - Fred 2nd from left

Baking his first apple pie certainly demonstrated the truth of Fred’s philosophy, but he didn’t stop there. Fred further proved his case by building his own home (in his 60s) in Carol Valley, PA.  As reported in “The Strange-Webber Connection,” Fred wasn’t adverse to accepting help from others, however:

Bea reports that “Daddy couldn’t figure out how to get the stairway to the second floor. Ed came out for a weekend and looked at it, did some calculations, said he had it and off they went to the lumber yard.”  She also reports that she herself did some of the surveying when her dad was building the basement of the house. “I would say, ‘It’s off by a hair’ or ‘a tad’ and somehow we came to know how much was what.” Bea always asked her Dad to double check her surveying, though he said he didn’t need to. Carol Webber did not just sit and watch either – she mixed a lot of cement. 

I would whole-heartedly agree with Fred’s assertion, except for the fact I can’t make a decent pie crust even though I am able to read.

(I first introduced Fred and Carol Webber here.)


Wisdom Wednesday – Take Time

Grandma and Grandpa Hoskins 1966

I have a bunch of clippings from the newspaper that my grandmother Eveline Coates Hoskins cut out and saved – mostly bits of wisdom or humor – sometimes information about something she was interested in. I thought I’d share some of them as they convey a bit about her personality and the times. Grandma was born in 1901 and died in 1989. I’d guess that most of these clippings were from the 60s and 70s.

This item, titled “Take Time” was at one time taped into something – possibly one of the little notebooks that Grandma kept.

Today’s words of wisdom:

When I look back on the days that I lived with Grandma Hoskins (Eveline) as a little girl, my memory of her is of a woman who had a rhythm and balance to her day – much as this clipping suggests. She was older then and didn’t have the burden of lots of small children to raise (just me!), so perhaps this was a reflection of her age and life situation. But I always think about her being up early and getting to work at the day’s tasks  – gardening, laundry, ironing… After lunch she would stop and enjoy watching her soap operas, working a jigsaw puzzle, reading the newspaper, working the crossword puzzle, and writing letters. Then it was back to work. A balance of work and play. Time for herself and time for others.

Not at all like me…. procrastinating, rushing about to do what I have left undone, feeling off-balance a good bit of the time…. sitting here at the computer, unshowered, while responsibilities go unattended.

Oh, to take Grandma’s example and live it!