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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ohioana Library Has Christmas Treat: Penmanship Bar None

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- The Christmas-themed writings of O. Henry have been posted online for the holidays by a state agency that preserves the work of artists with an Ohio link. O. Henry spent time in the Ohio Penitentiary as an embezzler, and served his sentence as William Sydney Porter for the 1897 conviction. Some believe "O. Henry" originated as the convict's play on words -- "OHio pENitentiaRY."

There are those who say O. Henry is America's second most widely read writer after Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain. The all-time O. Henry favorite Christmas story may be The Gift Of The Magi, which you can read right here. It begins like this: One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it.

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