May 6, 2019
And now, after 396 weeks in the making, it’s Week 397 of this continuing journey down the backroads of the English language, slogging through swamps of perilous prepositions, agitating adverbs and noxious nouns, always in search of Truth. Well, you probably won’t find it here, but thanks for visiting us once again.
Well, seems like spring has just about made its arrival official. (Despite the 43-degree temps a few days ago.) There are several certain signs that Spring has, in fact, arrived in full force. Herewith, my List of Helpful Hints:
You know Spring is here when…
1. You drive down your neighborhood street and things just look DIFFERENT somehow. It’s leaves! The trees have sprouted leaves, seemingly overnight. What was an unbroken line of bare trunks and lifeless limbs just yesterday is now a corridor of lush green. How’d that happen?
2. Your neighbor adjusts his sprinkler and that wonderful city water spritzes the side of your car. Just like last spring.
3. The smell of ‘weed ‘n feed’ drifts through the neighborhood, competing with the much more pleasant scent of backyard grills. Give me a burger or brat over 2-4D any day.
4. You discover that henbit is harder to kill than King Kong.
5. Instead of a backache from snow shoveling, you get a backache from lugging around 40-pounds bags of potting soil.
6. You see a skinny green thing slithering through the grass and up onto your fence. A snake? Nope. Bindweed.
Well, good luck and enjoy the season. All too soon it’ll be 105 degrees and you’ll think, hmm, snow shoveling doesen’t sound so bad.
You’ve been working hard on the trivia questions. Let’s look at the results…
Ah yes, I knew someone would get that song question. Terry had it first: ‘Be True To Your School’ by the Beach Boys. The song has an instrumental bridge with a sampling of ‘On Wisconsin,’ which was the same melody used by the Beach Boys’ high school. Congrats also to Russ, who got it just a bit later.
On the Forest Avenue barbershop, Eldon guessed Nuss-Miner. No, sorry. Roger had it right: the Eagle Barbershop. He worked there fresh out of barber school until getting drafted in 1966. He remembers lots of business activity on that street. KPL and Western Power both had offices there; other ‘neighbors’ included Dixon’s (of course!), Rinker Abstract, American State Bank, Steinert’s Furniture, Bentley Hardware, Frees-Hoge pharmacy, the Tribune, Mayflower Café and a TV repair shop.
He also recalls a guy named ‘Bill’ who ran errands for the bank on a three-wheel Cushman, and bought a snappy new red-and-black AMC Marlin.
Re: shoe type named after a castle, Bruce and Chuck both guessed ‘Windsor,’ and Vicki guessed ‘Oxford.’ Oxford is closer than ‘Windsor,’ being the overall name of a certain shoe design, but the name we need is a type named after those originally worn at another one of the royal family’s castles. (Good grief, how many castles do these people have, anyway?)
Three people tried the ‘was-old-but-now-new’ furniture question. Eldon guessed ‘velvet,’ Vicki guessed ‘cedar,’ and Chuck got it right: Wicker! Actually, if we wanted to be picky, we would hold out for ‘rattan,’ which is the material wicker furniture (a style of weaving) is made from. Yeah, it was popular with the Egyptians and came back strong in this country after the Civil War.
The above was one of those fun questions that I found just by looking around the ‘computer cave’ here. There was a wicker chair a few feet away and I thought, hmmm, what’s the history of that stuff, hence the question.
Two questions are still hanging around: the shoe question (see above) and the “pencil neck” insult. Who came up with that one in the ‘50s?
So, I guess we need three new brain strainers. Try this: who wrote a letter which ultimately set in motion the Manhattan Project?
The same guy who had a hit about war in 1970 had a Top Ten song in 1969 about walking more than two dozen miles. Who was that intrepid traveler?
One more: GB had lots of furniture stores in the ‘70s. One was on the west side of the street in the 1200 block of Main. What was it?
Well, it’s been a distinct pleasure gabbing with you once again. Should you wish to return the favor, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll reply here next week.
Have a great week. And if you can keep the ugly weather away, I would be eternally grateful.