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Well kiddos, another score for me! Sorry Contrarian, but I am soooo far ahead of you. Eat my dust baby.

You undoubtedly play this game with your spouse, significant other, friend, pet, or stranger. Yeah I know you do. Just what famous celebrity could you reach out and touch? Kevin Baconish strands of connection?

First let’s set the record before I tell you of my latest coup.

The Contrarian lists the following:

  • His mother met the man whose father was the Marlboro Man on the TV commercials.
  • The Contrarian once sat in the chair that Fess Parker had sat in when he played Davy Crockett on TV.
  • Once, when a child, the Contrarian’s mother urged his brother Gary to go and get the autograph of the nice man making the rounds at the farming exposition. She was sure he was a politician and would run for President. He did get John F. Kennedy’s autograph, but lost it before the 1960 election.

That’s it. That’s his paltry collection of “I know people in high places.”

Me on the other hand:

  • I attended a summer theatre production of Arsenic and Old Lace in Flint, Michigan and saw William Shatner after the show signing autographs. I was within 8 feet of him (20 foot rule applies). I did not seek an autograph. I am so above that sort of thing.
  • Jane Fonda gave an anti-war speech at MSU and stayed at our dorm that night. I stood within touching distance of her. (She is one tiny person!)
  • I knew the cop who was a bodyguard for then Detroit Mayor Coleman Young and he had been to Camp David and met President Carter. (A true Bacon event)
  • I shook hands with George McGovern when he was running for president.

And now I have another, and this is just an amazing one.

My high school biology teach, Mr. Everette Humphrey, owned the only known saddle of the Lone Ranger! Yes indeed. Aren’t you utterly totally and forever amazed? Now this was not the TV Lone Ranger, not Clayton Moore, but the original radio Lone Ranger.

Mr. Brace Breemer, (for that was his name) traveled widely dressed in his Lone Ranger gear. He also, at his home in Oxford Michigan, kept his horse Silver. When Mr. Breemer died, Mr. Humphrey, an avid memorabilia collector, bought the saddle.

Pretty heady stuff huh? So there you have it. I’m so far ahead, that well, I’m thinking of offering myself onto the speech-givin’ circuit to wow Americans across the land with my “I know people in high places” talk. I’m sure I can command a healthy fee. Move over Sarah, I’m taking over!

What is a Maybell? Depends on where you live. Yes, language is regional. If you are the type who loves words and how they change and are changed by location, location, location, then buzz over the the Humanities Magazine and read their fun article.

And there is a book, The Dictionary of American Regional Language. This is a must for the Contrarian. Unfortunately, it’s multi-volume and probably costs a fortune.

By the way, in Wisconsin a Maybell is a lily of the valley. In Michigan it refers to a marsh marigold.

We’ve had a few fairly interesting discussions about the issue of violence and how we have come to it. Is it part of us? Learned? Inevitable? Subject to evolutionary death?

Steven Pinker writes a wonderful essay on the subject and argues that we are in the most peaceful time of human history. It seems to me I posted something very recently on Pinker’s thinking, but in any case, this seems new and more importantly check out this site. It is called the Edge, and it’s mission statement is:

To arrive at the edge of the world’s knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.

 Looks like a site worth keeping a close eye on. Note: there are other essays there worth taking a look at.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the Documentary Channel and some of the interesting stuff we had got a chance to watch. I mentioned that some of them seemed rather odd, like the one about the “man with paraplegic wife who wants to open a brothel.” 

Now I assumed this was some dirty old man living up in the hills who wanted to run some girls out of his spare bedroom. Not quite the story. It related to a man and woman who lived in Australia. She was pregnant and have a massive stroke.  They were just kids and yet unmarried. She was left completely unable to move, unable to speak, but with feeling everywhere.

Well, her boyfriend married her. They have been married for like 14 years. They have two children (she is able to carry to term.  They run a sheep ranch. Prostitution is legal in Australia and he and some friends invested money and built a lovely brothel and started it up. They never got the clientele they were hoping for and have since closed.

But the amazing tale of how this man loves and cares for this woman is simply a blessing to watch.

So anyway, today the Contrarian went to the lumber yard to get a few things he needed. He stopped at the local market to get me some cream and carrots. He also got some donuts.

“Babe, I got you some donuts at Sherbon’s.”

“Yes, thanks hon. I appreciate that.”

“Always lookin’ out for my sweetie. Can I open a brothel?”

You see what I must contend with?