My great-grandfather, Ulst-Heinrich von Pfefferknudlerhorst, once said that; “You may think you’re right, but only the man in the big house on the hill can say for sure.”
I think what Boom-Papa Ulst-Heinrich meant by this was more like, might makes right, he who has the gold makes the rules, poor people like us can’t afford opinions, you can lead a horse to water, etc. You get the idea.
It’s a complicated thing. I know for sure that there was a lot of heavy metals in the water around his house and he had his share of peculiarities. For example his real name was Eddie Finkle and he lived his entire life just outside Tonganoxie, Kansas. He adopted the name Ulst-Heinrich von Pfefferknudlerhorst after a blow to the head from a falling beam in his sod house. Following the same event he discovered he could understand the native language of game birds. It lead to him writing an “Pheasant-English Handbook of Common Phrases” or “Fasan Grammatik für die Engländer” in his newly acquired language. In truth, the German version of the book’s name was the only foreign phrase he knew or needed to know as the book was written in and for pheasants. It never sold well but did lead to a coven of followers who called themselves the Pheasant Babblers (who still exist as the Noyes County Auctioneers, LLC).
I know all this calls into question any wisdom that might be winnowed from anything he said, but consider this, it was he who made up the familial honorific “Boom-Papa” and insisted upon being addressed as such by everyone and the name he pulled out of thin air was pretty cool, especially around turn-of-the-century Tonganoxie.
It is important to keep in mind that there were no hills anywhere around his house or big houses for that matter.