Wednesday, June 21, 2006

salutatorian speech 1922, page 1

My grandfather's salutatorian speech at Johnson City High School:

picture of Carroll Hardy Long as a young boy

I hope you people feel just a little bit more comfortable than I do. If you don't you certainly have my sympathy. It's mighty queer the way a fellow can get all excited around his epigastric and hypochondriac regions when he's situated as I am tonight.

Mr. Haworth told you I was to make a salutation. Now you are wondering exactly what I have for the past month: what is it; how am I going to do it and what am I going to do it for? In order to find out what the word meant I went to the dictionary. There I found it was merely the act of greeting another person or persons. At first it all seemed very simple. I just had to get up, bow, and tell you how glad we are to come to the graduating exercises of the brainiest class that ever graduated from this wonderful school system in the most prosperous city in the whole world with its oceans of sunshine and crystal waters, with a mayor who is going to Congress so that he can pave the whole United States and then build one broad, beautiful stretch of asphaltum that will lead straight to the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem and furnish every Johnson Citian with a free ticket there to.

But upon consideration the matter became more complex. Was this the proper method after all? In order to get still more information about the styles of saluting I looked in up in the encyclopaedia. I was astonished at what I saw there. Probably you didn't know that in Tibet when a fellow meets his best girl he sticks out his tongue,

(page 2 to come...)