ducks in a row

“to have one’s ducks in a row” is an idiom meaning to have all one’s preparations done or arranged before beginning an activity or project, and the phrase is thought to have arisen by allusion to a mother duck leading her ducklings in an orderly single file. In my original column I noted that the phrase was first attested in print in 1979, but it has since been found in a Washington Post article from 1932.–Word Detective
One of my sister’s favorite phrases.

symbols

Kids love the lions, lions love kids. Bite sized.

Called “New York’s most lovable public sculpture” by architecture critic Paul Goldberger, the Lions have witnessed countless parades and been adorned with holly wreaths during the winter holidays and magnificent floral wreaths in springtime. They have been bedecked in top hats, graduation caps, Mets and Yankee caps, and more. They have been photographed alongside countless tourists, replicated as bookends, caricatured in cartoons, and illustrated in numerous children’s books. One even served as the hiding place for the cowardly lion in the motion picture The Wiz.

According to Henry Hope Reed in his book, The New York Public Library, about the architecture of  the Fifth Avenue building, the sculptor Edward Clark Potter obtained the commission for the lions on the recommendation of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America’s foremost sculptors. Potter was paid $8,000 for the modeling, and the Piccirilli Brothers executed the carving for $5,000, using pink Tennessee marble. After enduring almost a century of weather and pollution, in 2004 the lions were professionally cleaned and restored.  

Their nicknames have changed over the decades. First they were called Leo Astor and Leo Lenox, after The New York Public Library founders John Jacob Astor and James Lenox. Later, they were known as Lady Astor and Lord Lenox (even though they are both male lions). During the 1930s, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia named them Patience and Fortitude, for the qualities he felt New Yorkers would need to survive the economic depression. These names have stood the test of time: Patience still guards the south side of the Library’s steps and Fortitude sits unwaveringly to the north.–New York Public Library

broken promise?

Developer of Carlton Views III is hoping that the Planning Commission will allow a departure from their proffer: Proffer 3(f) states: “The Landowners shall retain the existing tree canopy on the east side of the Subject property, adjacent to Franklin Street, within an area designated as open space for the PUD.” To date the City has shown low expectations regarding this developer’s work product. (If you’d like to know more DM me, Planning Commission will decide last thing tonight)

Doug

Douglas Call Dabney, died on Thanksgiving Day, 2019. He was born October 22, 1952, to Thomas Todd and Lucy Call Dabney. He is survived by his devoted wife, Jo Dabney and her daughter, Rebecca Tirs; his brother, Todd Dabney Jr.; his sister, Susan Dabney Smith; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Doug’s life exemplified the meaning of “joie de vivre” from its start until its finish. He derived joy from his childhood and college activities and escapades. He loved all sports, especially lacrosse and football, hunting, fishing, golf, cycling and sailing. He was an adventurer, a risktaker and a contemplative non-complainer. His never-failing cheerful enjoyment of the simple pleasures in his life was inspirational for all who knew him. Because of the superlative care given to him by his parents and Jo and Becca, he was able to live courageously with grace and dignity. He was proud of his education, thirteen years at St. Christopher’s School and four years at The University. He avidly followed UVA team sports. He delighted in all food, drink and good cigars, and in stories and pictures of the lives of friends and family. He liked telling stories of his past adventures and of imagining himself having new ones. He loved his Tiggy kitty and his people and we him. He fought the good fight. We miss him. We think Doug would appreciate the wearing of UVA colors at the celebration of his life, so please feel free to do so on Saturday, December 7, from 1 until 3 p.m. at Bliley’s-Central, 3801 Augusta Avenue. In lieu of flowers, you are welcome to make a donation to any animal rescue organization.