Mar 15, 2007
"Tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree"... It's been the title of a hit song, and a popular saying associated with several folk-type stories about returning convicts, soldiers and others. It probably inspired the current custom of posting stickers of yellow ribbons to show support for troops. But chances are it all started with an Irish tale about a leprechaun. And it may originally have been a red garter rather than a yellow ribbon. (Come to think of it, did you know that leprechauns themselves originally were dressed in red rather than green?) This week we present "Clever Tom and the Leprechaun", a classic yarn about a fellow who thinks he's about to snag the treasure of one of the Wee Folk, but is not quite as clever as he thinks.
We come to you from Montgomery, Alabama, a city rich in history. Currently the state capital, it was also the site of the first Confederate White House. It was the home of country music legend Hank Williams, and legendary novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. (While stationed here in the army in 1919, Fitzgerald met his future wife Zelda--an encounter that inspired his short story "The last of the Belles").
But it was the city's role in the civil rights movement that really secured its place in modern history. In 1955, a 42-year-old seamstress named Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, as African-Americans were expected to do at that time (a refusal motivated in part because she'd had a previous incident with the same driver), and after being arrested, agreed to become a guinea pig for a court case testing the city's segregation of the buses. The arrest sparked a year-long boycott of municipal buses, and a civil rights drive headed by a 26-year-old Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dennis ("Tom"), Kimberly (Narrorator) and Zephyr (the "Leperchaun" - catch him if you can!)