Friday, November 5, 2010

“Remember, Remember The Fifth of November”

This is the title of a British rhyme that refers to the failed attempt of Guy Fawkes (aka Guido) and a few other radicals who tried to overthrow King James I in 1605. James had just succeeded Queen Elizabeth I, who died in 1603. Evidently, QE allowed persecution of Catholics in England. When KJ continued that practice, even though his mother was a Catholic, the group decided to overthrow the government. They gathered 36 barrels of gunpowder and hatched a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, killing the King and possibly other Royals.

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

Their plot was discovered on November 5 and Guy Fawkes became the fall guy, the only one of the group who was caught. He was tortured and executed. Bonfires were lit to celebrate the safety of the King that night, and this tradition continues today with the fifth of November being called Bonfire Night, and effigies of Guy Fawkes being burned all over England.


Although this event hasn’t drawn a lot of attention outside England, it has inspired several books and at least one movie. The novel “V for Vendetta” by Alan Moore and the movie based on it bring to light this long-ago event.

Of course, the fifth of November is also the day that Ralph and Norma Cline welcomed their 4th child into their home in Lubbock, Texas 64 years ago, during the first year of the Baby Boom era. Named Sharon Diane, I grew up with siblings who mostly loved and often teased me. We moved to El Paso in 1952 when I was 5, and I attended 12 years of public school while living in the same house. This was the longest period I ever lived in the same location. I moved around for my education and career, as well as relationships, living in 6 different States and 10 cities. My jobs took me to all but one of the States (West Virginia), including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as several international destinations. I visited libraries, gave presentations at conferences, and went to branch offices of my employers.

Now, as a full-time RVer, I’m revisiting those states to see them at ground level, and going to small towns instead of big cities. After 30 years of flying, living out of a suitcase and driving rental cars, I’m glad to sleep in the same bed every night. And I did finally make it to WV recently. It’s a great life, and I’m happy to celebrate one more year of living it! My wonderful husband Don is making this a special day for me, and I couldn’t be happier to have him in my life.

Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday greetings. I return your wishes for many more years of enjoying life!


  1. Wonderful post, Sharon. It's so much fun to read a bit of the history of a friend. I've been told that the decade of your 60's is one of the best - sounds like you might agree. :) Happy birthday.

  2. Happy birthday to you, Sharon, and too bad for poor old Guido. We hadn't known that story, so you've now taught us some history. Mostly useless in the long run, I suppose, but a fun piece to read about!


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