Thanks G Dubya

Presidents’ Day approaches.

IMHO, the greatest of them all was the Father of our Country.

G Dubya his own self.

George Washington’s greatness began when he was young with his own daily catechism, 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.

In past years, I held him up as a model to my Godchildren.

I pray that one day they may say I contributed to their knowledge of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Back in 2016, I updated a version of G Dubya’s catechism for their reference.

I pray that one day they will look back on these rules inspired by His Excellency and at least know a little something of my love for them, all seven of them.

Yes, seven Godchildren.

There are seven wonderful young people whose parents saw fit to entrust me with being responsible in some way for their spiritual well-being.

Solemn vows.

I will, with God’s help.

Growing in the knowledge, love, and fear of the The Lord.

Sacred trust.

Some live close by. Some live a bit a way. One lives in London. The eldest is in the 11th Grade.  The youngest in 4th.

My updated rules based on G Dubya are reprinted herein.

Gilbert Stuart, George Washington (Lansdowne portrait, 1796).jpg
Gilbert Stuart’s George Washington (Landsdowne Portrait), 1796

George Washington based his rules on those composed by French Jesuits in the 16th Century.

I based mine on my parents, my grandparents, my teachers, and Mrs. Post.

In 2016, I mailed a copy of them to my Godchildren.  Most of them wrote me back.   In thanking me, one of my Godchildren stated emphatically “I will live by the Rules.”

I like to think that they all are living by these edicts.

They’re just nice manners, really.

Apologies for redundancy for those who read them in 2016.

Apologies to His Excellency General Washington, too.

I shall not tell a lie; his were better.


Uncle Hammy’s One Hundred Rules

(For my Godchildren)

  1. Whenever possible, hold the door open for someone else
  2. Eat your vegetables
  3. Drink lots of water
  4. Use sunscreen liberally
  5. Do one thing a day that would make your parents proud but tell no one about it
  6. Always be kind to waiters and waitresses in restaurants
  7. Never stop reading for pleasure
  8. Learn something new every day
  9. Travel
  10. Put your napkin in your lap
  11. If confused at table, always work from the outside in towards your plate, or, wait and see what your neighbor does
  12. Sit up straight
  13. Stretch
  14. Park as far away from the store as possible and walk
  15. Find friends that make you laugh and keep them close to you
  16. Never ask for lemon and milk in hot tea at the same time
  17. Make your bed every day
  18. Floss your teeth
  19. Learn to write a good thank you note
  20. Learn to cook at least one thing better than anyone else you know
  21. Never put sugar in your grits
  22. Buy a good pair of shoes
  23. Wear a belt if the pants have belt loops
  24. Smile at strangers as you may be the only bright thing in their day
  25. Go to church
  26. Learn to shuck an oyster
  27. Take your coffee black, if possible
  28. Know the difference between Phillips head and flat head
  29. Always eat breakfast
  30. Take the tone of the company you are in – Lord Chesterfield said that, not I
  31. Call a cab or an Uber or a Lyft or whatever
  32. Put down the phone once in a while
  33. Remember that salt water is a great cure for what may ail you
  34. Mentholatum or Vicks Vapor Rub under your nose may help when you have a cold
  35. Go to bed
  36. Nothing good happens after midnight no matter what people may tell you
  37. Put flowers in your house every once in a while
  38. Pine straw hides a myriad of sins in your yard or garden
  39. Plant bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, caladiums, or paperwhites
  40. Set the table
  41. Use the silver
  42. Have a favorite sports team and be passionate about them
  43. Put up a Christmas tree
  44. Learn how to make a good steak
  45. Call your parents
  46. Read a Shakespeare play
  47. Thank one of your teachers later in life
  48. Dance at weddings and parties
  49. Swing a hammer
  50. Do some yard work; it never killed anybody
  51. Whenever you can, get in the water
  52. Take care of a houseplant
  53. Have a dog
  54. Wear sunglasses
  55. Do pushups
  56. Keep in touch with your childhood friends as best you can
  57. But, feel free to say goodbye to people who are no good for you
  58. Learn the words to one hymn; sing it often
  59. Use family names
  60. Put the butter out at least two hours before you serve the bread
  61. Salt in a cellar, pepper in a shaker, ketchup in a bottle
  62. Never salt or pepper your food before you taste it
  63. Learn to say Mass-ah-chu-sets and Ill-ah-noy correctly
  64. Always know that you are better than no one else but no one else is better than you
  65. Know that you are LOVED
  66. When your feelings are hurt, and I guarantee that will happen, remember that there are people who will always be jealous of you and who are unhappy regardless of what you do
  67. Take a walk
  68. Remember “anyways” is not a word
  69. Learn stories about your family, your ancestors, and repeat them
  70. Eat together as a family
  71. Make an effort when a guest comes to your house
  72. Learn to use an iron
  73. Clean out your drawers and closet once a year
  74. Wash your hands
  75. Offer a drink
  76. Put a napkin with that drink
  77. Remember that invitations are to be accepted or refused, but if you always refuse, you may never receive another invitation to be accepted
  78. Try to take people as you find them as you do not know what another person has been through that day
  79. Meet your neighbors
  80. Be happy for your friends when they succeed
  81. Commiserate with your friends when they fail
  82. Not everyone needs to know all you think
  83. If you are ever fired from a job, then that job was not right for you, so be glad
  84. Leafy greens should be part of your diet: collards, kale, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts
  85. Remember who you are and where you came from no matter where you go as you are all from amazing stock
  86. Give up your seat for the elderly, new mothers, the sick
  87. Get a haircut before you need a haircut
  88. Do not spit on the street
  89. Take your elbows off the table
  90. Spoon your soup away from you
  91. Offer to bring something and never show up empty handed
  92. Give a compliment to your wife, husband, child, at least once a day
  93. Do not be so hard on yourself
  94. Speak to your friends so you can hear their voices, not just read the screen
  95. Remember birthdays of your families, friends, and neighbors
  96. Pray for your families, friends, and neighbors
  97. Fear not!
  98. An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure
  99. Keep the faith
  100. And, lastly, remember “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

All my love,

Uncle Hammy

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