What do Sevilla and rhubarb have in common?

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Sevilla and rhubarb have nothing in common.  But since it’s spring, the earliest spring in the upper midwest that I have experienced these twenty years here, I had to share this pic of hubby in his “No Do” shirt holding our first rhubarb crisp(it’s not quite done yet in this pic) of the season.  A fun thing happened in the last week that I felt compelled to share.

Earlier this same day that he wore the shirt, we were at an art show in a local mall where our daughter’s artwork was being displayed. A few of her friends’ works were also on display.  While we really enjoyed the fun drawings, we never did find her artwork nor that of one of her friends.  Kinda goofy, I wonder if they ever turned up?

Along comes a gentleman who, upon seeing my husband’s shirt, accosts him asking what his shirt meant.  That he had recently lived in Sevilla for a few months, saw the motto everywhere and wondered what it meant. His wife is a professor at a local university here in Minnesota and they lived in Sevilla due to her job. They also spent some months in Madrid.

Hubby told him, as best he could, the meaning of “No 8 Do”.  And then I went looking on the internet to refresh my memory.  We looked it up when we returned from our trip to Spain almost two years ago but I had forgotten the details.  The meaning that I recall was something along the lines of “It has not abandoned me” (no me ha dejado).

I found this website that shares one story of how the motto came to be everywhere in Sevilla.  Please don’t read the English translation, it is awful. Of course you can if you want, but you’ve been warned.  Here is my brief, rough translation.  King Alfonso X  was not very good at governing. So the town of Sevilla, where he lived, was divided into two camps, those that supported the king and those that supported his son, Don Sancho. This site says the king and his son were at war.  In any case, the son conquered Spain but he did not attack Sevilla and left his father and his loyal subjects alone. At the end of the king’s life, he gave the city a gift as appreciation for their loyalty and for not abandoning him.  The motto NO 8 DO, is made up of two syllables, No and Do with a skein of yarn in the middle. Skein in Spanish is madeja which can be a shortened version of No me ha dejado or No madeja do. There are other versions of what the motto means(this site has a couple more versions, towards the bottom of the page), but I like this one the best.  I am a sentimentalist and want to believe this is the correct story.

And then Wikipedia states(about a third of the way down the page) that the motto is even on Columbus’ tomb.  Below is a bad pic of the tomb but it’s the best one I’ve got. And I am not seeing the motto.  I will just have to go back and find it :)

Here is the motto:

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Filed under Gardening, Minnesota, Sevilla, Spain

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