Famous quotation about the weather in San Francisco (Duluth in 1900) and a mystery volume with restricted access in Google Books

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 11 23:44:57 UTC 2011

George, with your interpretation of "open winter" the core joke becomes:

Have you ever known such a warm winter?
Yes, last summer.

is that right?

On Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 7:27 PM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Famous quotation about the weather in San Francisco (Duluth
>              in 1900) and a mystery volume with restricted access in Google
>              Books
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  Jonathan Lighter wrote
>> Garson, Eighteenth Century Collections Online contains one volume of this
>> magazine only (1793).
>> I could not find the passage in question.
> Thanks very much for checking that, Jon.
> George Thompson wrote:
>> " If someone wishes to offer an interpretation for the term "open
>> winter" I would like to hear it. My guess is that the phrase refers
>> to the existence of a large number of competitive race horses."
>> Your guess baffles me.
> Thanks for your response George. Bafflement is the natural response. I
> apologize for not including a larger excerpt of extracted text (this
> extracted text may be inaccurate):
> ... number of horses in training, which in the total, including all
> ages, we found amounted to 227. But our principal intention in this
> article is to confine our remarks and observations to the younger fry,
> leaving the elder ones to the places they already occupy in the
> registry of their past exploits, hazarding a cursory opinion on their
> pretensions as they pass us in their gallops. All admit this to have
> been the most open winter in their remembrance. Beresford, when asked
> if he ever knew such a Winter, replied with his usual quickness, "Yes,
> last Summer." No straw beds have been in requisition here, or tan
> gallops at Goodwood. Well, the number of three-year-olds in training
> here is sixty-seven ; the twos as yet reckon eighty-eight. Having so
> far taken time by the forelock, we retired to rest with the old adage
> uppermost in our thoughts — " Early to bed, and early to rise, Makes a
> man healthy, wealthy, and wise ;" and by our usual lark-like "
> good-morrow to the to the pillow," we were enabled to brush off the
> dew on both sides of the town before we saw a nag or heard a snatch of
> song from a single stable-boy. ...
> Maybe "No straw beds have been in requisition" is a reference to the climate?
> George Thompson wrote (message continued):
>> My guess is, that it refers to rivers that usually would have
>> been frozen over, being open to boat traffic.  the NYC papers
>> in the early 19th C paid careful attention to how far south
>> below Albany the Hudson had frozen in the early winter, and
>> how far and how soon the ice was retreating in the early
>> spring.
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