MULLET OVER BY JAMES K. WHITE | OCTOBER 30, 2013
Ovations were thunderous
Civil unrest and religious persecution had driven thousands of refugees from Germany during the early 18th century. The British Army provided tent shelters and food for approximately 14,000 fleeing Deutschlanders during the winter of 1709-1710. The “deal” was the Germans were to sail to America and inhabit the Colonies as citizens of Britain, thereby strengthening England’s claim to her new territories. France and Spain had been actively seeking to encroach on the British settlements. Effects of this migration are visible even today as there remain significant Germanic populaces in regions such as Pennsylvania, New York, etc.
Jump forward 284 years to 1994 where we find 73 year old Alvin Straight. Alvin desperately wanted to visit his ailing 80 year old brother. Alvin had no car and no driver’s license. Al lived in Iowa and his brother (Henry) lived 240 miles away in Wisconsin. The younger Mr. Straight drove his riding lawnmower the entire distance and visited bedridden Henry. In 1999, moviemakers produced The Straight Story which depicted some of the trying difficulties overcome by Alvin during his epic ride to Mt. Zion, Wisconsin.
The son of former slaves, one Bill Pickett repeatedly performed a rodeo feat that has supposedly never been duplicated. Bill was born in 1870 in Williamson County, Texas. While still in his teens, Pickett developed a technique for flipping cows, steers and even bulls by grabbing an animal by its ears and clamping down with his teeth on the bovine’s upper lip. It was amazing to watch as the beasts would tumble head-over-heels. Ovations were thunderous. In the early 20th century, Mr. Pickett became a rodeo superstar, performing in front of crowds as large as 60,000.
In Italy, it is common to answer a telephone by saying “pronto” which roughly translates to “I am ready.”
Many of the citizens in the New England States were intensely opposed to the War of 1812. A representative committee was formed with the assigned task of creating documents for secession from the Union.
At last count, Indonesia had 167 active volcanoes.
Meticulous research has revealed that Christmas has been celebrated on at least 135 different days.
Whenever a ship passes through the Panama Canal (opened August, 1914), more than 7,800 miles of sea travel are saved as compared to sailing around the tip of South America. Well, I caution the reader against imitating the trademark stunt made famous by Bill Pickett. Have a great week.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.