Lum was quite the entrepreneur and held a variety of positions over the years. He also fancied himself a philosopher and was able to come up with an ol’ Ed’ards sayin’ appropriate for just about any circumstance. Abner’s classic response was “Huh?” which usually digressed into hilarious dialogues as Lum tried to explain exactly what he meant.
- Co-owner and proprietor of the Jot ‘Em Down store (and usually manager)
- Jestice of the Peace of Cloverleaf Township
- President of the School Board (but had to run for this office every year, and didn’t always get elected)
- King of the Hogs
- Manager of the Pine Ridge Planetarium Pitcher Show
- Head Librararian of the Pine Ridge Library (housed in the Jot ‘Em Down store)
- Head Astronomer and President of the Ed’ards Memorial Observatory
- High Supreme Loyal Counselor of the Lodge
- Notary Public
- Movin’ Pitcher Actor
- Scientifics (“Call me Perfessor E’dards.”)
- President and Cashier of the Pine Ridge United Bank (housed in the Jot ‘Em Down Store)
- Head Chef of the Pine Ridge Bakery (housed in the Jot ‘Em Down Store)
- Harbinger of Truth and Circulation Manager for Diogenes Smith
- Air Raid Warden
- Head Publisher of the Ed’ards & Ed’ards Publishin’ Company, Incorporated (housed in the feed room of the Jot ‘Em Down Store)
- Barbarian and Shampooist at Ed’ards Deluxe Tonsorial Parlor (housed in the Jot ‘Em Down Store)
- Bon Mot: Women’s Hat Designer
- Hotel Manager of the Mountain View Inn
- Lumburger King and Cookin’ Chief of the Meadowlark Restaurant (housed in the Jot ‘Em Down Store)
- President and Program Director of Radio Station VPR (housed in the Jot ‘Em Down Store)
Ol’ Ed’ards Sayin’ses
Also, check out the list from Lum and Abner’s 1936 Almanac.
- “A barkin’ dog never bites.”
- “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
- “Ain’t no use cryin’ over spilt milk.”
- “Ain’t no use to lock the barn door after the horse is stoled.”
- “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”
- “Can’t see the trees in the forest on account of the… uh… trees in the forest. (That don’t make a whole lot of sense, does it?)”
- “Chickens always come home to roost.”
- “Coals to Newcastle, owls to Athens, peppers to…”
- “Ever’thing comes to him who waits.”
- “Ever’thing that goes up must come down.”
- “Give a feller enough rope and he’ll hang hisself.”
- “Haste makes waste.”
- “He put the shoes on hisself, so jest let him wear ’em.”
- “He travels fastest who travels alone.”
- “He who steals my pocketbook steals nothing. But he who steals my good name steals my most precious of possessions.”
- “He who steals my purse steals trash.”
- “Honesty is the best policy.”
- “If it was a bear it would’ve bit me.”
- “If the shoe fits put it on.”
- “It’s more gracious to give than to receive.”
- “It never rains but what it pours.” It means when you get troubles they always come in a bunch like bananners.
- “It takes a crook to beat a crook… er, no, that’s sum’pin’ else.”
- “Love always wins out.”
- “Modesty is the best policy.”
- “Money don’t grow on trees.”
- “Money is the root of all evil.”
- “Never leave an unfinished task undone.”
- “Never put off ’til tomorrow what you orta do today.”
- “Opposites always distract one another.”
- “Small leaks sink great ships.”
- “Speech is silver and silence is golden.”
- “The grass in the other pasture always looks the greenest.”
- “The man worth while is the man that can laugh when things don’t go right.”
- “Them that don’t take chances don’t… umm… somethin’ or other… take no chances, I think it is.”
- “They ain’t no use to grieve over spillt milk.”
- “They ain’t no use to send good money after bad.”
- “Tomorrow never comes.”
- “Two heads is always better than one.”
- “We can hire him for a song and sing it ourselves.”
- “Weigh your words careful ‘fore you speak.”
- “What’s worth doin’ well at all is worth doin’ well at all.”
- “When in Rome do as the Romans does.”
- “You can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people some of the… well, yeah…”
- “You can take Mohammed to the mountain, but you can’t take the mountain to Mohammed.”
- “You can’t tell how much a chicken weighs by lookin’ it in the face.”
- “You can’t trust a crook no matter how dishonest he is.”
- “You never miss the water till the well goes dry.”
ONE OF LUM’S CLASSIC SPEECHES (May 24, 1935)
“The harp-strings of memory strikes a tender chord as I stand up here on this platform today on what I b’lieve to be the greatest occasion in the history of Pine Ridge. As I gaze out over the sea of shiny faces it brings re-collections of my childhood when as a barefoot boy me ‘n’ two hound dogs follered my ol’ father as he driv over yon hill in a covered wagon. I pulled one end of a cross-cut saw as we cut down the first tree that was ever put into a log house in this part of the country. And when the first schoolhouse was built in Cloverleaf Township who was the first scholar that entered them doors and set hisself down on the front seat? Who was the little 8-year-old lad that knowed that he’d have ta have a edacation to make a suc-cess of hisself? Little Lum Ed’ards! Plowin’ in the fields an’ splittin’ rails by day, learnin’ my lessons by the light of a candle by night, I kept climbin’ the ladder of suc-cess rung by rung until today… Today! The greatest e-vent of my life.
We have gathered here today to dedicate a monument in my honor. A monument that’ll stand here through the ages as an inspiration to the generations to come. A guidin’ light. A star for the young folks of this generation to hitch their wagon to. And that’s why I’m presentin’ this statuary to you good citizens today. To show my appreciations fer all that you’ve did fer me. I’ve had ever honor a body could wish fer bestowed upon me by you good people. Fer 19 years I’ve sarved you as your jestice of the peace, dealin’ out jestice like Solomon did in his day. Fer ‘leven years I’ve sarved the community as president of the school board. Durin’ that time, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve made lots of improvements in our local school system. In them ‘leven short years we’ve not only put in two new blackboards, but we’ve patched the roof twice and built new steps in front of the schoolhouse. So that a scholar nowadays can go clean through the sixth reader and out into the world, proud to say that he’s a graduate of dear ol’ Cloverleaf Township School District number a hund’erd and eighty-seven!
And now, as the greatest honor of ’em all, you folks has gathered here today to witness and become a part of the ceremony of unveilin’ the statuary of me. Lum Ed’ards, King of the Hogs! My life’s ambition has now been realized. I’m proud to be called a citizen of Pine Ridge.
Pine Ridge, the garden spot of the Ouachita! Pine Ridge, the queen city of this great state! The greatest commonwealth of the union whose star shines out in our old flag like the brightest orb on the most celestial night!
And, now, my young friends, as you go out into life to grasp the skirts of happy chance, may your stream of life unruffled run, and the roses bloom without a thorn. I thank ya!”
LUM’S PREMIER SPEECH (April 7, 1942) –rehearsing it for Abner, italics are side comments to Abner
“Ladies and Gentlemen, and feller citizens of Pine Ridge and all my loyal ad-mirers! On this momentous and ‘spicious o-cassion I wish to take this opporntunity to… Pardon me. There ya are, sir… take this opporntunity to tell ya how I… Pardon me. There ya are, madam… (That’s where I have to stop and give out auty-graphs to people.) …take this opportunity to tell ya how I made such an uncommon suc-cess out of myself. My good and faithful harbingers, I know you will all be inspired to know that I am a self-made man that has raised hisself by his own boot-straps. At a early age I showed great promise of becomin’ a favor-ite movin’ pitcher actor in later life, which I have now be-come. When I was just a handsome lad of eight years I appeared on the stage with a New York company in ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin.’ (This bunch of actors had come out to the town I was livin’ in then and it said right there on the handbill that they was from New York. There was such a big crowd that come to see the play that night that they had to put chairs up on the stage. And that’s where I had to set. So, ya see, I ‘ppeared on the stage with ’em!) After this first triumph in the theater, I then took up elocution…”
PINE RIDGE TO MARS ROCKET SHIP UNVEILING (November 12, 1942)
“Ladies and gentlemen, I now take pleasure in introducin’ a feller that needs no introduction. A man that ever’body ad-mars. A business ‘xecutive and a leader in the community. I’m too modest to mention his name, so I’ll just start out givin’ my speech.
Feller scientifics, all those who it may concern, as I stand here before you today, this great sea of upturned famil’ar faces strikes a tender chord in the harp-strings of my memory. Takes me back to the days when I was just a small boy, but brave boy, trudgin’ to school through the snow bar-footed, without no shoes on. Poor but honest, I was knowed far and wide as Honest Lum. Even in my early school days I showed great promise of becomin’ the self-made man you see standin’ before you today.
One day whilst walkin’ home in the rain after a hard day of splittin’ rails to earn money to buy a crust of bread for my pore ol’ gran’ma, I seen a pig stuck in the mud. So what did I do? I went home and put on my Sunday suit and pulled the pig out, revealin’ that I was kind and generous and awful thoughty…”
Lum’s Family Tree
Lum: The only real good idee I got is to in-herit a bunch of money. But I don’t know about that even. You know what I thought might be a good idee would be for me to look up my family tree.
Abner: Look up a tree and get some money?
Lum: Family tree.
Abner: Well, I don’t care whether it belongs to your family or anybody else’s family. You ain’t gonna find no money that-a way. Ain’t you never heared that ol’ Ed’ards sayin’, “Money don’t grow on trees.”
Lum: Well, Abner…
Abner: I’ve heared you say it a thousand or a hunnerd times, Lum. “Money don’t grow on trees.” Don’t you understand them ol’ Ed’ards sayingses?
Lum: ‘Course I do. I made ’em up, didn’t I?
Abner: Well, that’s what I mean. Long as you made ’em up you oughta know what they mean. You oughta listen to yourself once in awhile. Not too much, but just once in awhile.
Lum: Well, Abner, I know that money don’t grow on trees…
Abner:‘Course it don’t. No, sir!
Lum: …but I’m talkin’ about…
Abner: Trouble with you, Lum, you always take ever’thing you say so literary. Now you take leaves, or apples, or pinecones, they all grow on trees. Well, bananars, too, I think, or, no, they grow on stalks. But when it comes to money, Lum…
Lum: All right, Abner, you don’t need to tell me what grows on what.
Abner: Peaches grow on trees, too.
Lum: I know that as well as you do. What I meant was, I’m gonna look up my family history and see if I ain’t got some rich relates.
Abner: Oh. Why didn’t you say that?
Lum: Well, I was tryin’ to, if you’d just give me a chance.
Abner: Oh. Ha, ha, ha! I’m glad we final got that straightened out.
Lum: So am I.
Abner: Uh, rich relates, you say?
Abner: What is he doin’ up in a tree, Lum?
Lum: He ain’t up in no tree.
Abner: You said he was. You said you was gonna look up the family tree and find this rich relate of yours. Is he a lumberjack?
Lum: Not that I know of.
Abner: Oh. Fruit picker?
Lum: ‘Course not!
Lum: Couldn’t get rich that-a way.
Abner: Well, that’s what I was thinkin’. You know, it just seems to me like, Lum, he might be a little bit teched. He might’ve lost a spoke or two.
Abner: That uncle of yours. Full growed a-dult of a man that’s gonna climb up in a tree and set there if he ain’t got no business up there. ‘Special if he’s rich.
Lum: Well, Abner…
Abner: Lum, are you sure he’s rich?
Lum: Well, I don’t know.
Abner: Uh-huh. I’d be pretty careful of this whole deal if I was you. You just take my ad-vice. I’d think all these things out careful. More than likely he just thinks he’s rich, Lum.That’s the trouble. You know, there’s lots of fellas that think they’re Napoleon, and millionaires, and all that junk. I b’lieve you just better forget that idee, Lum. You ain’t saw him runnin’ around with a wheelbarrow upside down or nothin’, have you?
Lum: Are you done talkin’ now?
Abner: Well, I don’t know.
Lum: Well, I’ll tell ya, you air!
Abner: Oh. Yeah. Yeah!
Lum: A family tree, in case you’re interested, ain’t no actual tree.
Abner: It ain’t?! Oh. Arty-ficial, huh?
Abner: I re-collect the Pomray family had one like that. Over there in the parlor. None of ’em was perched up in it, though, that I know of.
Lum: Oh, that was a hall tree.
Lum: That’s what that was.
Abner: No. They had a tree there in the front settin’ room of some kind, Lum. They might’ve used it of a night, but I’ve been over there in the daytime. They never roosted up there in the daytime.
Lum: That’s a hall tree. It ain’t got a thing in the world to do with a family tree. What I’m talkin’ about is a record of all your relates and ancestors.
Lum: Showin’ whose son was whose papa and all that. Sometimes they draw it out like it was a pitcher of a tree. The first ancestor is the trunk and the rest of ’em’s branches.
Lum: I think that’s the way they do it.
Abner: That’s a family tree, huh?
Lum: That is a family tree, yes.
Abner: Wonder how high up I am in mine?