2002.10.16 They write the darndest things

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Enough drivel from me. Time to let readers provide their own.

A few weeks I wrote about the 100 words that high school graduates and their parents should know. This parent didn’t really know a lot of them and there was one that he claimed he had never even seen in print before. That was “moiety,” pronounced MOY-uh-tee.

The next week Brad Whitehouse wrote a note to let me know the word appears in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. “Tom divided the cake and Becky ate with good appetite, while Tom nibbled at his moiety.” That refers to definition number one: one of two equal parts; a half.

Brad gets “Word for the Day” in his email, and moiety was the guest of honor.

In August, I reported on the rattlesnake found in Fayette. Bob Husband of Adrian—himself the subject of a story we had about his mite research and now an Observer reader—wrote a letter about snake bites.

He recalled a Michigan Out-of-Doors television program from about 40 years ago that featured a snake collector from the Saginaw-Flint area. He wanted to demonstrate that the bite of the massasaugua rattler would not prove fatal.

The man batted the snake around until it bit him on the hand, which proceeded to swell. The man said, “It hurts pretty bad but I’m not going to die.” A later sequence showed his forearm swelling. Once again he stated that it wouldn’t kill him.

The next sequence showed his upper arm swollen. “Well, this hurts a lot, but I’m not going to die.”

The man was right, Bob writes. He didn’t die. At least not that day, but a few weeks later he died from the bite of another snake in his collection. It was a non-native species and there wasn’t enough time to get the anti-toxin to him.

Here’s some fresh news on an old subject. I don’t know how long ago it was that I wrote about Kentucky burgoo, but Gary and Mary (Huff) Merillat thought about the Observer as the pot was stirred Saturday afternoon.

 Gary’s church members in Robards always gather for burgoo—both the food and the process—on this day in October.

Volunteers start cutting up 50 pounds of onions at 6 a.m. A fire is built under the big black kettle around 7 a.m. When the water boils, the onions go in and later the potatoes. Some of that is eaten for lunch, then in goes the tomatoes and later the chicken and finally the carrots and corn.

And then comes the squirrel and the road kill.

Not so, says Gary. That’s a misconception. At least it’s not part of his church’s burgoo. Gary has some photos of the event posted on a web site. I suggeset you take a close-up look for yourself at the contents of that cooking pot. You can’t convince me there’s no coon, possum and skunk in there. (http://members.truepath.com/BluegrassGrandpa/Burgoo.html)

Gary refers to burgoo as the stew they eat and to burgoo as the word to describe the day. “If you ever have the chance to join our burgoo…” he writes. True enough, the dictionary describes burgoo as a spicy stew and also as  a picnic featuring the stew. There was also an earlier New England burgoo based on oatmeal.

At Pleasant Valley Christian, burgoo means Chicken Burgoo and that seems a little tame to me. Burgoo without squirrel? I think they’re chicken.

    – Oct. 16, 2002 
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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