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WIT & WISDOM - December 21, 1998
"It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." - John Andrew Holmes 
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
ARE YOU WILLING -
to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children;
to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old;
to stop asking how much your friends love you, and to ask yourself whether you love them enough;
to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts;
to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke;
to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open?
Are you willing to do these things for a day?
Then you are ready to keep Christmas!
By Henry van Dyke 
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
WOULD YOU BELIEVE?. . . these are copies of actual correspondence received by the Mormon Church Family History Department:
Our 2nd great grandfather was found dead crossing the plains in the library. He was married 3 times in the endowment house and has 21 children.
He and his daughter are listed as not being born.
I would like to find out if I have any living relatives or dead relatives or ancestors in my family.
Will you send me a list of all the Dripps in your library?
My Grandfather died at the age of 3.
We are sending you 5 children in a separate envelope.
Documentation: Family Bible in possession of Aunt Merle until the tornado hit Topeka, Kansas, now only the Good Lord know where it is . . .
The wife of #22 could not be found. Somebody suggested that she might have been stillborn - what do you think?
I am mailing you my aunt and uncle and 3 of their children.
Enclosed please find my Grandmother. I have worked on her for 30 years without success. Now see what you can do.
I have a hard time finding myself in London. If I were there I was very small and cannot be found.
This family had 7 nephews that I am unable to find. If you know who they are, please add them to the list.
We lost our Grandmother, will you please send us a copy?
Will you please send me the name of my first wife? I have forgotten her name.
A 14-year-old boy wrote: "I do not want you to do my research for me. Will you please send me all of the material on the Welch line, in the U.S., England and Scotland countries? I will do the research. 
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
I was casting kids in our church for our annual Christmas play, and I was giving out choices, such as Shepherd, Lamb, Villager.
One 5-year-old couldn't decide, so I said, "Luke, you can be a Villager."
He said, "ok" - ran over to his parents. Very excited, he said to them, "Guess what! I get to be a mini-van!" 
NINE-YEAR-OLD WINS TOY OVEN BAKE-OFF IN NEW YORK
By Ellen Wulfhorst, NEW YORK (Reuters-10/09/98)
It is not easy baking a prizewinning cake in a toy oven heated by just a light bulb, but a 9-year-old from Arkansas it can be done. Lindsey Thompson of Little Rock, Arkansas, won the Baker of the Year contest sponsored by Easy-Bake Oven -- the children's toy that bakes tiny cakes by the heat of a 100-watt light bulb inside a metal reflective oven. Thompson triumphed with her Toffee Trifle Cake, a candied concoction made from Easy-Bake cake mix, instant vanilla pudding and heaps of chocolate toffee.
Like the other entries, the prizewinning cake was baked in a pink-purple-and-white toy oven, using little pink-and-purple plastic utensils and cake pans hardly bigger than coasters.
Thompson earned a $5,000 savings bond and a two-year supply of Easy-Bake cake mixes. She said she learned to bake when she was 4 years old. "What I like about it most is when you get to taste the ending," she said.
The contest was held to mark the 35th anniversary of the Easy-Bake Oven, made by Hasbro Inc. of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. More than 16 million Easy-Bake Ovens have been sold since the toy was invented in 1963, Hasbro said. 
 (David Baker via Bill's Punch Line
 (Bits & Pieces, December 13, 1990,
 (Big Al via Fast Eddie's Funnies
 (Granny's Funnies
 (InfoBeat via Keith's Mostly Clean Humor