Weird Words of Wisdom is back, bringing you more sage advice from vintage teenage advice manuals!
“Have the greatest of respect for girls. Some will lose their heads and be foolish at times. Retain your poise and judgment and keep them in their place.”
Advice for Boys, 1947 (1954 printing)
By the Rev. T.C. Siekmann
About This Book and Its Author: Advice for Boys offers exactly what its title promises. The Reverend Theodore C. Siekmann was a Catholic priest, so much of the book deals with specifically Catholic topics—the Mass, the rosary, and sainthood. Fortunately for us, Siekmann includes a smattering of weird advice on more typical teenage preoccupations.
I haven’t been able to find much information about the Rev. Siekmann. He served at St. Joseph Church in Prairie Du Rocher, Illinois, from 1956 to 1968, and at St. Luke’s in Belleville, Illinois, from 1968 until retirement in 1982. He also did missionary work in Guatemala.
His book’s jacket indicates that he taught physical education and served as a sports coach as well as a religious educator. This background may explain his touching faith in athletics’ ability to keep people out of trouble. (Ask Aaron Hernandez how that’s working for him.)
Siekmann also wrote a book for girls. I haven’t been able to get my hands on it, but it sounds awesome.
Quotes from Advice for Boys
“If you are not happy, then something is wrong with you.”
“Athletics is good, very good…When you are all absorbed in a game, you think of nothing else, you want nothing else. Evil can wait.”
“Say a word of appreciation to your mother occasionally. Compliment her on her pie or cake. Praise the roast. Notice and mention the neat ironing she does for you.”
“At all times there is a supply of current slang expressions that are clean, humorous, and sprightly. A sprinkling of these innocent phrases will add zest to your conversation, without giving offense.”
“One girl among your present acquaintances may be yours till death. At any rate, she will probably be someone’s wife. Treat her even now as God’s noble gift to man, as a mother-to-be. Protect her virtue; guard her innocence. Keep her good for her future husband, whether it is you or Jack or Jim.”
“Personality may be summarized by three words: truth, cleanliness, and a smile.”
“When a room is cold, do not complain. Suffer it in a spirit of mortification. When the summer is hot and humid, smile and bear it for God. When you do not like food, do not complain.”
“Raising chickens is a fine hobby, and supplies fresh eggs for the table. If the location of your home permits, you might raise rabbits, pheasants or foxes, or other fur-bearing animals. All this will be at a considerable profit, in addition to the wholesome enjoyment which you will derive from your activity.”
On becoming a priest: “In short, almost all that you need to do is to enter a seminary and be willing to do what you are told.”
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