A compendium of proverbs, sayings and expressions deployed within the family for purposes general and specific.


  • “A man should accomplish four things in his life: Plant a tree, Have a son, Write a book, and Build a house.” – My father, via Uncle Patrick, via German Swami Gauribala
  • “Foolish names and foolish faces are often seen in public places.”Grandma Hon, Allah yarhamha
    • Grandma Hon never lived to meet an Influencer but she knew a fool when she saw one
  • “A man thinks with his generation.” – My father.
  • “Nothing is so permanent as that which is temporary” – J.P. Figa, my old boss.
  • “The test of fluency in a language is being able to tell a joke.”  – My father.  
  • “Memory is an act of the imagination.”Uncle Sam, age 95.
  • “If you can convince somebody that white bread is food, you can convince him of anything.”Amiri Baraka, as heard by my father.
Amiri Baraka
Amiri Baraka
  • “Never wise up a chump.” My father.
  • “The important thing is to avoid being crushed under the wheel of history.”My father.
  • “Poverty is not a virtue.”My father.
  • “No Culture without Agriculture.” Goviya Mudiyanse Tennekoon
  • “God saves who He wills and thrashes the rest.”Uncle Pat
Uncle Pat
Uncle Pat
  • “Scratch a liberal, strike a pig.”My father.
  • “The world belongs to those who know what to do with garbage.”My Mother
  • “Don’t raise a child you can’t live with.” – The late great J.B. Graham
  • “Walk fast, nobody’ll notice.”Grandpa Gene
    • Application: wardrobe malfunctions, bad haircuts, etc.
  • “Rich or poor, it’s good to have money.”Grandpa Jules
  • “Der Dreidel Dreitzach.”Grandpa Jules
    • Yiddish for “The wheel turns.”  Quite likely misspelled.
Great Grandpa Jules
Great Grandpa Jules, over 90 and going strong
  • “Youth is wasted on the young.” – My father, attributed to George Bernard Shaw.
  • “Tough sledding when there’s no snow.”Grampa Gene
  • “The city, yes. The country, maybe. The suburbs, never.”MyFather
    • After decades of city living, Dad did in fact move to the country to start farming.  Evidently I misheard this one growing up and moved out of the country instead.
  • “The man with the plan always wins.” – The late great J.B. Graham
  • “Follow the path that has heart.” – The late great J.B. Graham
  • “You just have to make sense to your own damn self.” – The late great J.B. Graham
  • “All wisdom comes from experience, and all experience comes from foolishness.”My Father
  • “Ain’t no fun unless the job’s done.”My Father
    • Ok, actually it is Flavor Flav, but I can’t exactly credit him when I’m dispensing wisdom to my children, can I?

Additional wisdom for the ages will be preserved at the top of the list as circumstances warrant.

Dad in the barn

Warning: Bin Gregory Productions cannot be held responsible for consequences arising from failure to heed all this wisdom.

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  1. This is great, Zayn!!
    Better ask Uncle Ken or Aunt Shira about that Yiddish spelling. I’ve been trying to hear it properly myself. I think its Der Reydl Dreyt Zikh.

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