What’s in a name?
Including: Fun facts to know and tell
Al B of Hartland writes: “The most common names for new babies in my neck of the woods are Adalyn, Alexander, Anna, Aria, Asher, Ava, Ayden, Bennett, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Emma, Genesis, Henry, Isaac, Isabella, Kinsley, Jackson, Liam, Madison, Mason, Oliver, Olivia, Paisley, Sophia and Zoey.
“I haven’t encountered a single Primghar. Primghar is a fine name.
“I was working in Primghar, the county seat of O’Brien County, Iowa. The sign declared it to be the only Primghar in the world. The town’s name is an acronym, created by using the first letters of the last names of influential county officials and surveyors of the town. Pumphrey, Roberts, Inman, McCormack, Green, Hayes, Albright and Rereick.”
Fun facts to know and tell
Anglo-American History Division (responsorial)
Twitty of Como: “Dr. Chrysanthemum‘s mention of George Washington’s birthday reminded me of something I heard on the news recently — something which went unchallenged, I’ll add.
“Throughout the recent campaign, and continuing since his inauguration, much has been made in the media as to the current president’s policies on immigration. His views are hotly contested by many. But my ears pricked up the other night while watching a news segment covering protesters of the president’s executive order on immigration when I heard a protester, trying to make his argument, state that ‘George Washington was an immigrant.’
“It might be an easy mistake to make. Many persons not versed in our history probably equate 1776 with the start of this country. But, as any Native American knows, there were Caucasian migrants making nuisances of themselves on the soil of this continent for several hundred years prior.
“While his parents might have been, President Washington was, in fact, not an immigrant: He was born in Virginia, before it was a state; in America, before (that part of it) became part of what we now know as these United States.
“George was here early, but most assuredly did not migrate here.”
BULLETIN BOARD ADDS: His parents might have been immigrants — but, in fact, were not.
Not only was George Washington born in Virginia; so were his father, Augustine Washington; his mother, Mary Ball Washington; his paternal grandfather, Lawrence Washington; and his paternal grandmother, Mildred Gale Washington. His maternal grandfather, Joseph Ball, was born in England.
As for his maternal grandmother: That, it seems, is something of a mystery.
Dumb Customer Jokes (perhaps)
Wild Bill of River Falls, Wisconsin: “Subject: Life in the Service Economy, perhaps.
“Went to see the movie ‘The Great Wall’ the other day. As there was nobody in line behind me, I decided to have some fun with the ticket seller. I said: ‘Two for “The Great Wall.”‘ When he printed the tickets and asked me for the money. I frowned and said: ‘I thought Mexico was supposed to pay for it.’
“He looked pained, then laughed. Life in the Service Economy, I guess.
Our toys, ourselves
Dr. Chrysanthemum: “Hall of Fame selections (and non-selections) often are controversial.
“Recently, Terrell Owens failed to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, despite ranking second or third in most major career pass-receiving statistics. (The lesson: Be nice to others.) Because of his gambling, Pete Rose will probably never be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (although Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and a few others might have been barred if similar criteria had been applied to them). Dick (formerly Richie) Allen and Gil Hodges should have made the Hall years ago (Gil should have been in long before Bill Mazeroski — gotta say that despite my Slavic DNA).
“Other Hall of Fame candidates may have an even greater case for selection, however. In particular, some classic Marx Toys, especially the Marx playsets, should be in the National Toy Hall of Fame.
“Technically, the Louis Marx Company is represented in the Hall. The Big Wheel tricycle, which they introduced, is in there. So are the Green Army Men, who probably reached their zenith with the Marx 60-mm dark green rubbery vinyl figures of the 1950s. The sculpting on these old soldiers is far superior to that of some of the green blobs that masquerade as toy soldiers.
“For decades, Marx was the world’s largest producer of toys: trains, doll houses, dolls, trucks, dinosaurs, soldiers, action figures, guns, Disney toys, and just about everything else.
“But Marx should probably be best remembered for their playsets of the late 1950s and early 1960s. (Later sets featured stiffer, waxier plastic and had a cheaper appearance. Reissues and copies of some sets and plastic figures are still being made, but they are not as nice as the originals.)
“My first set was the Armed Forces Training Center with ‘tin’ (actually lithographed pressed steel) buildings that required assembly and 45-mm soft plastic figures, vehicles and accessories (the Army figures were disappointing, but the Air Force, Navy, and Marine figures were well done), although my favorite was the Battle of the Blue and Grey (a pre-1961 Montgomery Ward’s version that had the Southern Mansion plus Lincoln, Grant, and Lee, but not Jefferson Davis, and not the additional 54-mm Centennial figures, which include wounded soldiers and stretcher bearers, found in the later versions of the Battle and Giant Battle of the Blue and Grey. (I would have loved those!) I also had the Ward’s Service Station playset (with figures, vehicles, car wash, and parking ramp).
“And, of course, I had other Marx toys, including a train (not as nice as my later O-27 Lionel and HO-scale trains), several large lithographed steel trucks, smaller plastic vehicles, soft plastic Army men and dinosaurs, and painted hard plastic Warriors of the the World (based on the 60-mm figure molds), including the Civil War, West Point, and WWII issues.
“Many of my friends and cousins also had Marx playsets. Many of these were Christmas presents. Several had Marx Fort Apache sets, and at least one had the large Robin Hood Nottingham Castle set (I think the generic version, not the one based on the Richard Green TV series). And I think another had the Walt Disney version of Davy Crockett at the Alamo.
“There were many other sets, too: various military sets, many Western sets (towns, mines, forts, ranches — including Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, and Wagon Train), airports, circuses, Cape Canaveral, Ben Hur, Prince Valiant, Zorro, Captain Gallant, the Untouchables, a Sears store, and dinosaurs and cavemen.
“Sadly, Marx toys had several different owners in the 1970s, with Quaker Oats finally ending production in 1980. Some toys went to different companies (Big Wheels and Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots, for example), and molds for various soldiers and dinosaurs have been reused by various companies (some, not all, reused the Marx name). You can even buy ‘reissue’ playsets (some use molds from MPC and other makers, and some use copied/new mold figures) at prices much higher than the $4.98 to $10.98 that many of the original sets sold for. If you want an original, boxed set in near-mint condition, be prepared to pay hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars.
“I am interested in hearing from others who enjoyed the playsets and other Marx Toys.
“If you want more information (and photos), check out marxwildwest.com (a non-commercial site that covers much more than cowboys and that provides a list of other websites).”
Everyone’s a copy editor!
Donald: “Subject: Bears or elk? The point is moose.
“On Page C10 of the Sports section in Saturday’s edition of the paper west of St. Paul, this appeared above an article:
“‘WHITE BEAR LAKE 1’
“From the second paragraph: ‘… after the Pioneers’ 4-1 victory over No. 3 seed Elk River in the Class 2A, Section 4 championship game Friday night at Aldrich Arena.’
“From the third paragraph: ‘ … at the end of the first for the Pioneers (23-4-1), seconds after the Bears … ‘
“From the sixth paragraph: ‘about two minutes after Bears junior … ‘
“Final decision: the Pioneers beat the Bears.”
Photography Division (Our Birds, Ourselves Subdivision)
Wayne Nelson of Forest Lake writes: “Here are a few pictures of some beautiful birds that have visited the feeders in our back yard in the past.
“I hope that the readers will enjoy looking at some of the different colors that nature gave to these birds.”
A prayer for today
From Tim Torkildson: “I am a little sparrow, and the Lord will note my hurt
“If I should fail to fly away but crash into the dirt.
“He spares the weak and lowly; he spurns the high and fine.
“And he will always make his love upon his flock to shine.”
Band Name of the Day: The Caucasian Nuisances
Website of the Day: Introducing Open Access at The Met