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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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