Friday, August 15, 2003


To: The Rittenhouse Review
From: Shawnee Kizzire
Date: August 3, 2003

Not only was I told I looked like the wreck of the Hesperus, I also was told I looked like I had been “dragged through a knot-hole backwards.”

How do these things get around?

My mother was from Minneapolis.

Shawnee Kizzire

Jim Capozzola of The Rittenhouse Review responds:

That’s a new one on me. But based on the e-mail generated by my “Wreck of the Hesperus” post, I’m betting I’ll hear from dozens of readers whose mothers said the same thing.


To: The Rittenhouse Review
From: Tracy MacShane
Date: August 4, 2003

From the antipodean side of the pond (New Zealand), I am pleased to announce that my mother says with regular monotony that I and various other benighted types look like the “Wreck of the Hesperus.” [See: “ Did Your Mother Say This?”, The Rittenhouse Review, July 30.]

She can even recite parts of the poem (along with that other classic, the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”).

My (slightly tongue-in-cheek) theory is that our Irish grandparents were so traumatized by the sea journeys to their new countries that these poems became of particular resonance to them. My Irish grandmother arrived in New Zealand in the `40s. While the voyage wouldn’t have been as onerous as for those poor steerage folks of the 19th century, I’m sure it was no picnic, what with the memories of U-boats fresh in everyone’s minds.

Thank you for letting me know it isn’t only my family’s oddity!

Tracy MacShane
Wellington, New Zealand

Jim Capozzola of The Rittenhouse Review responds:

“Oddity”? In our house, phrases like that one, and there were legion, passed for normality.

Thursday, August 14, 2003


To: The Rittenhouse Review
From: S. Gale Dick
Date: August 14, 2003

I like your blog and find your commentaries to be generally smarter and more interesting than the average blog.

But I sense a note of the self-aggrandizement that seems to be so irrestistable to bloggers.

Why would you brag about your language proficiency on line?

Why would you subtitle your blog “Philadelphia’s journal of politics, finance, ethics, and culture”?

Stay humble, my friend.

S. Gale Dick
New York

Jim Capozzola of The Rittenhouse Review responds:

That’s all part of the fun, my friend. I’m sorry if you don’t get the joke.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003


To: The Rittenhouse Review
From: C.R.
Date: August 12, 2003

I have to tell you about my experience with the coin rule.

I once was employed as a teller in a now defunct bank in Philadelphia. A gentleman came in with two cloth bags filled with pennies. The head teller informed him that he would have to wrap all of the pennies and provided him with few hundred wrappers. Another requirement was that the depositor's account number had to be written on each wrapper.

The gentleman went over to the customer service waiting area and proceeded to wrap $122.50 worth of pennies!

He then returned to my window to make his deposit. The coin counter was located directly behind me on the rear counter. (You can see where this is going). The head teller then came to my window and began to break open all of the wrappers the gentleman had just wrapped, right in front of him!

I will never forget the look on his face. Despite my best efforts, I could not stop laughing, and ended up being reprimanded for laughing at the situation in front of the customer.

I still get a good laugh whenever I think about it.


Jim Capozzola of The Rittenhouse Review responds:

Is there a provision in Pennsylvania law for justifiable assault, because if the customer in question opted to beat the crap out of the head teller, I think he’d meet the hypothetical requirements.