I was digging around in the back of our crowded china cabinet and came across a long-lost item, actually a couple of items, which had faded from memory long ago. One was Governor Steunenberg's hankie.
In the 19th century, a hankie was a prized possession and they were laundered and neatly ironed on a regular basis. I even remember having a drawer full of hankies in the 1950's/60's and often kept one in my back pocket (the habit of keeping it regularly laundered and neatly ironed probably didn't apply in my case). I am guessing that the governor kept one in his back pocket too. It seems today, with all the emphasis on using less trees, paper products and energy, that a lot of Kleenex and the boxes it comes in could be saved by merely having a few more hankies.
Swine flu has sure created a big brouhaha and folks are being told to sneeze or cough into their shirt sleeve if they don't have a Kleenex handy. Now that sounds a lot more disgusting then using a hankie! You would think keeping a hankie in our pocket would be more sanitary then coughing and sneezing into our shirtsleeve. Instead of revving up the production of flu vaccine, would it not be a whole lot easier, more economical and greener to start ramping up hankie production? I never heard one person make that suggestion when they said blow into you shirt sleeve! Seems to me, changing hankies would be easier that changing shirts.
Maybe I will give the governor's old hankie a gentle wash to get out the decades of dust and tuck it into my back pocket. I reckon I can give a good "country blow" or sneeze, will know that I have done my part to contain germs and save energy too―and will have been as close to nose to nose with great-grandpa Steunenberg as I will ever get.