Out of the past...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Out of the past...

Updated 08/13/2009 – 05:01 pm

There appears, deep (A14) within the pages of today's Southampton Press Western Edition, a Letter to the Editor bear­ing a name not seen or heard hereabouts o'er the past 20 years.

It's brief, so brief that it is hand-transcribed hereinunder:

"The Palindromic Society of America mourns the passing of a distinguished member, Theodore Brigham Conklin, Jr., who resided in{sic} Quiogue.

We have been awaiting you on The Un­known Shore."

It is signed by one "Myron J. Pleschet" as Director of that august but obscure society which was active if not prominent in the area from the '40s through the late '80s.

(No, it was not responsible for Evidence for Two Mechanisms of Palindrome-Stimulated Deletion in Escherichia coli: Single-Strand Annealing and Replication Slipped Mispairing, a paper presented and published by a pair of poseurs from Brandeis early in this decade!)

I spontaneously clapped and laughed so loud that my wife came running with the albuterol inhaler.

Little is known of Pleschet other than he matri­culated at Dartmouth in the '30s and served in WWII. He was also an intimate of one-time Hampton Chronicle publisher Bill Robinson and "Bo" Rogers, among others, and that the brass rail of The Patio knew the feel of his shoe dur­ing the Society's sporadic meetings.

And while I was not a member, I was privi­leged to have been made privy to some of its good works and anonymous proceedings.

And then the sobering thought struck that I might be one of the few left who could under­stand or appreciate that letter.


1. R. Spencer Fink said...

Having been a member, representing WYS at the first International Sailfish/Sunfish Regatta held in Hamilton, Bermuda I can tell you M.J.P. made his mark known on the pink sands. I didn't really understand it being only 13 but I know that the Finks, Conklins and Nagles had alot of laughs about Myron J. Pleschet.

Thanks Dean – Spencer

Glad someone else remembers the name, Spence... he was legendary.

2. Chris Connolly said...

Incredible! While reading today's Press at home with my wife, I stumple upon this cryptic letter. I knew I was missing something. We Googled "the unknown shore" as well as "Palindromic Society of America" in an attempt to learn more about this enigma. Although I'm proud to say I know the plot to the aformentioned novel, I still had no idea the true meaning of what I read. Thanks for shedding some light on the subject, although I'm still confused.

The full story has yet to be written, of course... but what "novel?"

3. Chris Connolly said...

This is the novel I was referencing: The Unknown Shore. Of course there is a poem by the same name.

Chris, you and EE68 are being w-a-a-a-y too literal... think metaphor.
– Dean

4. EastEnd68 said...

Thanks Chris -- I also Googled trying to learn more and am still confused.

5. Leslie Robinson Sharp said...

Hi! Bill Robinson was my dad, and the Palindromic Society will not be on the Internet. The Society formed before PCs and has had little activity since the '80s, at least outside of the families of the founders.

Dad and his buddies were a swell bunch of guys who loved a good laugh, and I often enjoyed lunch at The Patio with them in the late '70s/early '80s, when I lived again in the Hamptons as an adult. I feel lucky to have known them all.

And I as well, Leslie... I must tell you that one of the high points of my seven years as a columnist at the "Comical" was being quoted from the pulpit by Reverend Chuck Cary during the service for your Dad.

Thank you for making yourself known to us.

6. Chris Connolly said...

So Myron J. Pleschet is not a person, but an anthropomorphised object or idea? We need a follow up because apparently my reading comprehension is greatly lacking.

O, Chris, you are sooooooo badly in need of deconfusing, but it is not my place to deconfuse you, I fear.

M.J.P. was a very real presence here for probably half-a-century, and as I noted, fully matriculated at Dartmouth.

7. Chris Connolly said...

A couple other ideas that are really meant for posting but are guesses. The palindrome reference is TC(initials) and CT (commoodore theodore) and the unknown shore refers to his love of sailing?

You are w-a-a-a-y over brain-storming this, Chris, #1, and #2, "The Unknown Shore" is the easiest allusion there. (Or perhaps you need another 15-20 years on you before you start sniffing your own mortality.)

Wish I could throw you more of a life line, fella, but....

8. Chris Connolly said...

One more guess tonight and I'm done. Arma E Andon's initals are a palindrome.

Chris, you were done a long time ago... I've just been humoring you.

Yes, former Mayor Andon's initials would be a palindrome... except that initials cannot in the spirit of the device, qualify.

One needs words of sufficient length... exempli gratia: civic, rotator, kayak, and racecar... but it is in phrases and sentences that the true art is seen, from the Napoleonic "Able was I ere I saw Elba," to the New Testament "Madam, I'm Adam," to the historic: "A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!"

Let it rest, and one day it will all be revealed to you.

9. Myron J. Pleschet said...

In memory of William Read Robinson: February 24, 1922 -- September 27, 1987 He had just started collecting Social Security benefits! PSA/MJP

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