The Saga of A. Nony Muss

Category: The Rear View Mirror & Nostalgia
Published on Friday, 07 December 2012 18:32
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The Saga of A. Nony Muss

 

In 1963 two women of note joined Oklahoma Region; Margaret England and Zebalene (Zebbie) Ramsey. By January 1966,  both had become totally enmeshed into the Region's activities.  Margaret was Recording Secretary and Zebbie was Editor of the Gazette.

Both had Type A personalities, and in March one of the more interesting episodes in Region history began. Zebbie received and printed in the Gazette a poem about the "K-JEM Winter Rallye" held on February 20. The poem, titled "No Rhyme or Reason" was signed by "A. Nony Muss". 

NO RHYME OR REASON

I  attended a rallye, had a nice time.
It inspired me so, I’ve written a rhyme.
Sporty car people and some others, too,
Heard over K-JEM of this thing to do.
We gathered at the Suntide, two by two,
In Porsches, in Sprites, in Healeys, some blue,
Triumphs, Corvettes, neat machinery galore,
One or two kinds I’d not heard of before.
I signed my name for babes at a table
One was MARGARET, perhaps one was MABLE.
They took my money, gave me instructions,
Said read these carefully - don’t make deductions.
We got in a line where SANDRA and JOHN
Handed out papers with details thereon.
They numbered our car, we left with a roar,
Odometer zeroed - toward the lake shore.
We sashayed round Yukon - soon headed North,
Found our correction and continued forth.
A checkpoint !! Glory be, our score was high!
Saw the green flag, had time only to sign.
We read our directions, plowed on ahead,
I won’t repeat some of the words we said.
Four more checkpoints, and a lost sign I saw
Upset me more than my Mother-in-law.
Navigator, driver, we made it thru,
These rallies are wearing, contagious too.
We spend time and money, get frustrated,
Sometimes we win and then we’re elated.
If you’ve read these lines, stayed with me this far,
You’re probably wondering who I are.
I am a member and I’d like to do
One of these each month, if you want me to.
Your would-be—poet,

A. Nony Muss

Zebbie also printed an acknowledging poem, "Whose Who ".

WHOSE WHO ???

There is a mail box on my house
and into it slipped one small 'mouse'
       On the envelope - my eyes met
       To "Zebbie - for Gasket Gazette".

On opening it, below you see
What toppled out and greeted me.
        My brain has been in quite a fuss
        Do you knowan "A. Nony Muss"?

Who e'er you are - just get them done
Printing your poems will be great fun.

        Zebbie

You probably have guessed by now that Margaret England was A. Nony Muss. After the first poem was published, Zebbie began a campaign to discover who "Nony" was. She asked many people, including Margaret, but her relentless quest was unfulfilled. Margaret accepted the challenge and a seven month long game of Cat and Mouse began.

Because Margaret was a retired teacher, she had access to many typewriters, and used a different one for each poem, and the envelopes used to mail them to Zebbie.  I believe one of the shorter poems was composed using separate words cut from magazine articles like ransom notes in the movies. Every poem was mailed from a different Post Office in the city. When Margaret went on her two weeks European vacation in June, she arranged to have one of her teacher friends, whom no one in the Region knew, mail that poem.

In the June Gazette a reply to Nony was printed under the pen name of "Ssumy Nona."  I believe this was Zebbie fishing for leads because the reply mentioned the writer's husband, and Zebbie had been single for several years.

A. NONY MUSS, you got my attention
When you discovered a secret I never mention
Then you took my husband's idiosyncracies
And gaily flaunted them in the breeze.

I searched and questioned all I knew,
By this time, old buddy, you left a clue!
Now I know at least you're a male
Tho I'm not a poet, I'l no fail --

To find you yet
Wadya think of thet?

Ssumy Nona

In October Nony mailed his/her? last poem. Both Margaret and Zebbie rose to ever greater positions in the Region. Margaret died in October 1979, but Zebbie didn't pass until February, 1984.

I know the above to be true because I participated in the charade. To my trophyknowledge, only my father and myself knew the true identity of Nony, or so I thought. When I was cleaning out my father's estate items in 2011 I found a small trophy engraved "1966 A. Nony Muss".  I had never seen this trophy before, and neither my father nor mother ever mentioned it. I assume Zebbie gave it to Margaret, perhaps "anonymous-ly".  Or maybe Ssumy Nona had succeeded.

Some of Nony's poems are posted below.

NONY’ S LAMENT

March has been, she’s blown away
But I am back with more to say.
Looking for a kindred soul
To share my mis’ry - is my goal.

In my garage, this sad day,
Sets a machine in dis-array.
She was a car, now by heck!
Now I’m firmly convinced, she’s a wreck.

I jacked her up, she fell down,
But what she broke was not her crown.
Her axle splintered right in two,
I sat and cried, what could I do?

Covered with grease, heaving sighs,
I looked at her thru tear-stained eyes.
Then my thoughts went far astray,
Perhaps there’d be a better day.

I dreamed of SHROYER’S Porsche blue
Of CHUCK’S MG, DAVE’S XKE,
KLINER’ S Datsun, RUDY’ S V,
Even ENGLAND’S TR-3.

LARRY’S Stingray, nice and bright,
GWYNNE’S Volks or CINA’S Sprite,
ROBERT’S Spitfire, BOB BROWN’S TR-4
I could name so many more.

My dreaming stops, I revive.
She’s still sitting there, tho not alive.
Take her to salvage in a sling
Or let JIM TAYLOR buy the thing.

PONCA CITY PRIX

Ponca Lake, that is a place

Where Nony went, saw a race,

Picnicked under shady trees,

Watched the cars, enjoyed the breeze.

 

Saturday - they qualified

And they practiced side by side.

Round a turn toward “Outhouse Bend,”

Mastered that, sped on again.

 

Took turn 3, then on the gas,

Through the sweeper - some could pass.

Hit the brakes, turn 6 was near,

Took it slow or lost it here.

 

Speeded up, then took the straight,

Crossed the start line, didn’t wait.

Kirk reported nice and loud,

Each car’s progress to the crowd.

 

Ed Walsh in a Bobsy-Saab

Made a Mini weave and bob.

Morley went his merry way,

Led the Brabham in the fray.

 

Sunday came, the Sprites were back

Kemp and Johnson led the pack.

Vic’s Renault, around did go,

But Walker’s Saab took the show.

 

A Mustang dragster made the start,

Overheated, flew apart.

Dooley in his “seventeen,”

Won again, chauffeured the queen.

 

I saw Glenn and Elouise,

Then out came those little Vees,

Foerster’s Datsun made the course

like a tired, stubborn horse.

 

Bob and Jack, Durant and Morley

Started round, went like fury

Broke all records for the Prix,

Gave the crowd a sight to see.

 

Ev`r’y stanza’s getting worse,

I must stop this silly verse.

Won’t say where I worked the Prix

For you would know WHO is me.

 

NONY GOES TO MEETING

The second Wednesday of each month
I climb that flight of stairs,
And join a motley, rugged group
To talk of parts and spares.

The R. E. pounds his gavel hard,
At first it doesn’t take,
He pounds again and grumbles loud,
The sounds reverberate.

At last the crowd is settled down,
We hear the minutes read.
Our secretary rambles on,
I wonder what she said.

The treasurer gives his sad report,
Shows races really pay.
Then comes his list of big expense
That takes our cash away.

A happy member takes the floor,
He’s found a new race course.
The members ooh and ah aloud,
No sponsor saunters forth.

We introduce invited guests, 
One babe is quite a dish.
Why can’t I bring some lovely doll?
This is my secret wish.

They start a heated argument,
I find myself tongue tied.
I couldn’t say a single word,
Not even if I tried.

Our R. E. hammers loud again,
And speakers take their turn.
The business is all straightened out,
In time, we do adjourn.

Then comes the time of fellowship,
Some movies, then we dine.
I’m glad I joined S.C.C.A.,
This group is really fine.

The crowd splits up, they go their way
And I go home to bed,
Then lay there thinking of the things
I really should have said.

 

 

 

 

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PONCA CITY PRIX

 

Ponca Lake, that is a place

Where Nony went, saw a race,

Picnicked under shady trees,

Watched the cars, enjoyed the breeze.

 

Saturday - they qualified

And they practiced side by side.

Round a turn toward “Outhouse Bend,”

Mastered that, sped on again.

 

Took turn 3, then on the gas,

Through the sweeper - some could pass.

Hit the brakes, turn 6 was near,

Took it slow or lost it here.

 

Speeded up, then took the straight,

Crossed the start line, didn’t wait.

Kirk reported nice and loud,

Each car’s progress to the crowd.

 

Ed Walsh in a Bobsy-Saab

Made a Mini weave and bob.

Morley went his merry way,

Led the Brabham in the fray.

 

Sunday came, the Sprites were back

Kemp and Johnson led the pack.

Vic’s Renault, around did go,

But Walker’s Saab took the show.

 

A Mustang dragster made the start,

Overheated, flew apart.

Dooley in his “seventeen,”

Won again, chauffeured the queen.

 

I saw Glenn and Elouise,

Then out came those little Vees,

Foerster’s Datsun made the course

like a tired, stubborn horse.

 

Bob and Jack, Durant and Morley

Started round, went like fury

Broke all records for the Prix,

Gave the crowd a sight to see.

 

Ev`r’y stanza’s getting worse,

I must stop this silly verse.

Won’t say where I worked the Prix

For you would know WHO is me.

A. Nony Muss