Gene Williams

When I have the Cabin open for visitors, such as July 4, Little League Opening Day, and

Christmas, one of the historical things I tell you about is “Don’t throw the baby out with

the bath water” On the surface it seems like a silly saying, but as I have explained it to

you, it makes sense. There are some other things that we have in our language that have

historical beginnings that we really have forgotten, or, in the case of the younger

generation, never knew the meaning. Today, I will share a few with you, just for “Good

Measure”. “Right off the bat”, I will start with something really old. In the 1400’s, a

law was set forth in merry old England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a

stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have “the rule of thumb”. Several centuries

ago, in Scotland, a new game was invented and only men were allowed to play this game

It was ruled ”Gentlemen Only…Ladies Forbidden”…..and, thus, the game and the word

“GOLF” entered into the English language. Fairy tales and cartoons play a big part in

the lives of our children as they grow. Did you know that Fred and Wilma Flintstone

were the first couple ever shown on prime time TV lying in a bed together? Every day

more money is printed for the game of Monopoly than is printed by the U.S. Treasury.

There are even more useless things to know about……such as……….Men can read

smaller print better than women can: women can hear better. Grouch about taking out

the trash and Mom will always say, “I can hear you”! Coca-Cola was originally green

in color and made with what we now consider a very dangerous drug. The State with the

highest percentage of people who walk to work is Alaska. Africa is 28% wilderness.

North America is 38% wilderness. The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of

eleven is $16,400. I know that my Grand-pup, Zander, a Labradoodle, who has two

brothers in this little town, will cost a whole lot more than that…but Grandma spoils

him. Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair. I am gonna start

braiding my hair with pennies, just so I can be a better writer. The first novel ever

written on a typewriter was “Tom Sawyer”, by my favorite writer, Samuel Clemons,

better known as Mark Twain. The first typewriter that I ever owned was a survivor of the

Xenia Tornado. My brother-in-law was a teacher at Xenia and it was only one of two

items that survived in his office. I still have it, but it didn’t survive my two youngest

grandchildren this year in my office at home. The San Francisco Cable Cars are the only

mobile National Monuments. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great

king in history: Spades is King David. Hearts is Charlemagne. Clubs is Alexander the

Great. and Diamonds is Julius Ceasar. Only two men signed the Declaration of

Independence on July 4, 1776, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest

signed on August 2, 1776. The last signature was added to it in 1781. I guess that I am

not the only procrastinator in town. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has

both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the

air, the person died due to wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the

ground, the person died of natural causes. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of

their birthplace. If you were to spell out numbers, you would have to count to “one

Thousand” before you would use the letter “A”. Bulletproof vests, fire escapes,

windshield wipers and laser printer were all invented by women. The perfect food has

been with us from the beginning….Honey is the only food that will not spoil. When

Shakespeare was still writing, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes, just like

the one in my Cabin in Monroe Park. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress

tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase…..Goodnight, sleep

tight. In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts, so in merry olde England, when

customers got unruly, the bartender would yell “Mind yer pints and quarts, and settle

down! Hence the saying “Mind your P’s and Q’s. 4000 years ago in Babylon, it was the

practice of the bride’s father to supply his new son-in-law with all the mead he could

drink for a month. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this

period was called the Honey Month. Today we know that period of time as the

honeymoon. Pub frequenters in merry olde England had a whistle baked into the rim of

their cup. When empty, they would use the whistle to get the bartenders attention. So

that is where “Wet your Whistle” got its start. Don’t ya just love learning all of this

useful information?

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