"The time to repair a leaky roof is when the sun is shining" (FDR, not JFK)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 10 01:19:31 UTC 2006

On 4/9/06, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "The time to repair a leaky roof is when the sun is
> shining"
>               (FDR, not JFK)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Wolfgang Mieder's Dictionary of American Proverbs (1992:
> 515) gives "Thatch your roof before rainy weather; dig your
> well before your are thirsty" as a sort of fused double-
> proverb, from Illinois.  It is also in Frances Barbour's
> Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases of Illinois (1965: 154).
> Both of those collections are based the data from the
> venerable ADS proverb-collecting project (long supervised by
> Margaret Bryant).
> Both Meider and Barbour cite Burton Stevenson's Home Book of
> Proverbs [etc.] (1948: 866), which gives as a Chinese
> proverb "Thatch your roof before the rain begins" and, from
> the Latin of Mencious (c300 B.C.), "Dig your well before you
> are thirsty"-- along with English analogs (from the 17th and
> 18th centuries) about procuring a cloak before the rain
> starts falling.
> Assuming that all those sayings are employed (for the most
> part) metaphorically, we could compare not only numerous
> other sayings about the formic prudence of foresight but
> also "carpe diem" sayings like "Make hay while the sun
> shines."
> I am also reminded of a short joke--it's been in oral
> circulation for a few decades--about a rustic (maybe an
> Aggie)

But neither a California Aggie nor a Texas Aggie, no doubt.

-Wilson Gray

who remarks that when it's raining, he can't fix the
> leaks in the roof of his house, and when it's not raining,
> they don't NEED fixing.
> --Charlie
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