Archive for October, 2008

Beware of Presidential Polls; A House for a Dollar; A Deer Goes To School; A Wizard Has A Birthday; Who Cares About Halloween?
October 31, 2008

140 year Old 5000ft home for a dollar...a good deal?

140 year Old 5000ft home for a dollar...a good deal?

Nice Stretch: Thursday had temperatures, as expected, generally in the upper 20’s and low 30’s. More low 30’s than upper 20’s. I don’t think I had a freeze here the past two nights because my Hydrangia still is hanging in there. We warmed, again as expected, to the low 60’s. Look for upper 60’s and low 70’s with lots of sunshine from Friday through Voting Day…no excuse not to vote.

Wanna Buy a House for a Dollar? In these days of falling prices on homes, we’ve seen stories about homes on the market for far less than they had previously sold. But, a home for a dollar? A church is selling a big house for a dollar…but there are strings attached. (CLICK HERE)

Halloween? Fiddlesticks!

Halloween? Fiddlesticks!

Who Cares About Halloween? Not me. I don’t get all of the hubbub with Halloween. When I was a kid,

Pets Often Suffer on Halloween

Pets Often Suffer on Halloween

Halloween was for kids. You dressed up and got candy. Sometime over the past 20 years adults have gotten into the act. I think that the baby-boomers wanted to recapture their youth. I think I read the other day that even in this time of economic woe, Americans have ponied up $6 Billion in spending for Halloween. All of the complaining about the economy, yet we have billions to spend on a kids day. Then there are those who take it so seriously. People who go and worship some sort of devilment and those who think that its a day of devilment and then there are those who claim it is really a Christian day that has been usurped. I know its not as it always has been the same in my lifetime and probably before because I saw Meet Me In St. Louis where Tootie goes around throwing flower in people’s faces and making a bonfire. But again, it was kids. Anyway, I’m not going into the detail about Halloween except that the weather will be great for Trick-or-Treaters. Mid to Upper 60’s for the kids. If you want to look at a history of Halloween, below are two different versions:

The History Channel’s (History.com) Version of Halloween History

ExploreFaith.org version of Christian Roots of Halloween

Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient John R Wooden

Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient John R Wooden

Wizard of Westwood:

I love John Wooden. Everyone who ever played for him seem to hold him close to their heart, even Bill Walton who was a UCLA student who tried to be involved in the fading counter-culture movement in the early 1970’s while working with the conservative Wooden. Wooden recently had his 98th birthday. Read the article from Rick Reilly about this humble man who achieved greatness on and off the court.

John Wooden as told by Rick Reilly

Buck Goes To School:

Good Thing For Kids at Manual HS That it wasn't a Moose

Good Thing For Kids at Manual HS That it wasn

Louisville is blessed with its heavily wooded environment. I suspect that

3rd Ave 1897

3rd Ave 1897

what we see in Louisville regarding the number of trees is not natural. Photos from the early 20th century reveal that Louisville did not have nearly the number of trees that we enjoy today. Many of the large trees were planted around that time and they have a natural lifespan of 100 years and now they are falling down. We hear reporters after a large storm talk about how vicious the winds were because they

3rd Ave Today

3rd Ave Today

“brought down this tree that stood for 100 years” when, if you look at the tree, its diseased or has rotted wood. It

4th Ave 1906

4th Ave 1906

wasn’t the storm as much as the fact that the tree was near the end of its lifecycle. Anyway, I’ve wondered if our area is considered an urban wooded area. I can’t find that information and don’t feel like looking any more than I have. Nevertheless, as part of our “forest” we get creatures of the forest. Snow White and I love to go out at night and walk. She can actually talk to Owls. She hoots and they hoot back. We even had one follow us one night. I think it thought that I was a big

4th Ave Today

4th Ave Today

rat. We often see deer. I’ve had a deer running in front of me down the street when I was leaving the TV station. But, I can’t figure out how a deer managed to get to near downtown to Manual High School…but it did. Pretty good lookin’ buck. Read what happened and see the the story as it aired HERE
or see the Raw Video of Deer Roaming HS campus not far from downtown Louisville

Famous Presidential Pole?

Lech Walesa: Famous Presidential Pole?

This Date in History: The presidential polls are all over the place. Today I’ve seen polls with Senator

Truman Thankful Not All Polls as Forthright As Lech

Truman Thankful Not All Polls as Forthright As Lech

Obama up by 11 points and another that claims 3 points. Apparently, the polling business is quite lucrative. There are about 3 times as many polls out for this presidential go-around than 4 years ago. They claim to be scientific but they can’t all be right. I think you have to know the methodology to know which ones to believe and we aren’t privy to that. It’s kinda like weather computer forecast models. There are at least a dozen and often, they say completely different things. What you have to do is understand what is going on, analyze the models to see if what they say make sense and understand the biases of the mathematics involved with each model. Anyway, polls have been wrong quite often. Everyone remembers the famous headline from the Chicago Tribune, “Dewey Defeats Truman.” (Story as told by Chicago Tribune) But, before that there were other miscalculations. In 1916, the New York Herald proclaimed Charles Evans Hughes as President, which was a surprise to President Wilson. On this Date in 1936, The Literary Digest went out and asked its 10 million readers “to settle November’s election in October.” Their poll resulted in Alf Landon winning by a pretty sizable margin. Too bad for Alf that the Literary Digest wasn’t in charge of the election. President Franklin Roosevelt won all but two states in a very lopsided electoral landslide.

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Did Bill Ayers Write Obama’s Book? Is Palin Really a Tax Raiser? Did Mars Attack?
October 30, 2008

A MARTIAN INVASION!!!!

A MARTIAN INVASION!!!!

The weather turned out as expected. The winds were sufficient to keep the mercury from falling too far on Wednesday morning. The low in Louisville at the airport was 34 and the NWS office was 32. Other areas were similar with many around the freezing mark, a few in the uper 20’s and the cooperative observer at Bradfordsville in the extreme Southeastern part of the viewing area getting down to 24, which seems rather odd but other nearby places around Campbellsviille being 26. I guess the wind wasn’t as strong there. A frosty start Thursday will mark the end of the chilly conditions. We’ll have an inversion over us on Thursday afternoon so the highs will be in the low 60’s but we jump to the upper 60’s and low 70’s for Halloween and that type of regime will continue through the weekend. No rain in sight until the middle of next week.

Louisville's Christina Fougnie Stars

Louisville's Christina Fougnie Stars in Clancy

Shot In Metro Louisville

Shot In Metro Louisville

Local Movie of Note: Snow White and I had dinner with Jefferson and Kelly Moore the other night. Jefferson Moore is a local actor who, with his wife, have formed a production company. They have made two films that have done quite well world-wide on video and it was adapted into a tv series. It’s called The Perfect Stranger and the two movies are available in Blockbuster or directly from Kellyfilmworks. The movies and series were shot in the Louisville Metro Area with much of the cast being local talent. Coming next is Clancy which is a very heartwarming story. It too was filmed in the Louisville Metro Area and you may recognize some of the cast, including the star, 12-year-old Christina Fougnie. They are working on distribution and it may be in a theatre near you or on TV in the near future. But, if you CLICK HERE you can get a sneak preview. It’s a good flick for the whole family and, while it is quite uplifting, it’s not something that will send the community into hair-raising pandemonium like

Orson Welles did On This Date In History:

A Vicious Invader?

A Vicious Invader?

The Martians Invaded on this date in 1938…at least that’s what millions of Americans thought. A young 23 year old radio man named Orson Welles presented a show on CBS radio. He began by saying it was an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. It began at 8 pm. But a whole bunch of people were listening to Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy on NBC. Bergen’s routine ended at 8:12 and many switched to CBS. By then the radio-play was already going so they missed the opening disclaimer. Welles’ production had some sort of regular sounding broadcast with a weather report followed by some cheesy music that went on for some time before a reporter broke in with a report (I don’t think they called it “breaking news” then) and he said there were explosions on Mars. Then more music followed by another break in with a hysterical “reporter” describing ugly Martians getting into large machines that rose out of the ground with long tentacles. It reported that the machines fired heat rays and destroyed a national guard unit, dropped deadly gas bombs and they were destroying everything.

People thought it was real. Some went bananas and jammed the highways looking to get out of

Orson So Good He Caused Mayhem

Orson So Good He Caused Mayhem

town. CBS had Welles break in and remind everyone it was fiction, but no one listened. The panic was on. Reports of suicides came in but there was no confirmation. Congress naturally had to investigate and found nothing was wrong. Welles thought his career was over. Instead, he got a cinematic contract which led to his production of Citizen Kane which has regularly topped the list as the best movie ever made.

Like Welles, sometimes we create the worst in our mind when, in fact, the best is just around the corner. If you are discouraged or feeling that you’ve made a terrible mistake, keep your head up. You don’t know what the future holds and today’s set back may just be the foundation for tomorrow’s success.

Political Tidbits worth reading:

Used a Ghost Writer?

Used a Ghost Writer?

The weather is quiet so I’m taking the opportunity to bring up a couple of questions posed by some writers of such things. Just some items to consider.

Senator Obama wrote a memoir Dreams From My Father. It has been well received by critics. However, this writer raises the question of who wrote Dreams From My Father? He presents evidence and a point of view that Senator Obama could not have written it and suggests that none other than Bill Ayers wrote it.

Here is the article-decide if the writer Jack Cashill makes his case.

Governor Sarah Palin has run on a record of standing up to the oil companies. She is

Raised Taxes and Cut Hockey?

Raised Taxes and Cut Hockey?

running on a platform of cutting taxes. The top part of her ticket, Senator McCain, has been charged with wanting to cut corporate taxes. Yet, Governor Palin raised taxes on oil production in her state. This writer raises the question is Sarah Palin a tax cutter? The article suggests that not only did she raise taxes, but did so when the state was running a budget surplus of over a billion dollars and that, in spite of the budget surplus and projected overwhelming growth of tax revenue, she cut some programs…including funding for a local hockey association…by a “hockey mom.”

Here is the article by Alison Fitzgerald-decide if she made her case

I put these types of things in here from time to time because it seems to me that we hear all of these things on TV in commercials and speeches but really don’t get the details or in depth analysis. It makes it difficult to figure out what is truth, what is spin and what is total fabrication. I short, it is my view that the media has done a poor job in providing information to the public concerning this election. These two articles just seem to touch on some issues that may provide some things to consider.

A Look At The Stock Market Crash of 1929; Freeze Watch?
October 29, 2008

NAM 12hr 925mb 1029 00Z

NAM 12hr 925mb 1029 00Z

NWS Forecast AM Temps 1029

Freeze Watch? You know what, I looked all over the place at NOAA and National Weather Service glossaries and found no listing for a Freeze Watch. Matt Milosevich said he never heard of it before either. But, then again, he went to the University of Oklahoma. Jay Cardosi said he’s heard of it before and agreed with my assessment that it probably means that a freeze is possible but not necessarily imminent. He said typically they put out the watch 48 hours out and then either change it to a warning or cancel it. What I showed previously for the wind forecast aloft. Above, you see the NAM 12Z 10.29.08 925mb map. While those winds are running right along at near 30 kts at about 2500 feet, ours at the surface will be still in the 7-15 mph range. Because of the breeze and low dewpoints, we won’t have any frost. We will mix down some warmer air from aloft so what might be a low in the mid 20’s area wide on a calm, clear night will be upper 20’s or mainly low 30’s. (see explainer previous post) So, the Freeze Watch got changed to a more conventional Freeze Warming. The airport, where no one lives, probably won’t be below freezing nor extreme southern areas…but it will still be cold. Frost will be possible on Thursday morning and by Halloween…look for a high near 70.

Brooklyn Newspaper Oct 30 1929

Brooklyn Newspaper Oct 30 1929

1929 Wall Street Panic

1929 Wall Street Panic

On This Date in History: On this date in 1929, the stock market crashed. The Dow had been quite

Dow Chart Before & After 1929 Crash

Dow Chart Before & After 1929 Crash

volatile before suffering a sharp drop on Oct 24 and then again on Oct 28. On Tuesday October 29, 1929, a day that became known as “Black Tuesday,” The market collapsed. 16 million shares of stock were sold as prices tumbled with a loss estimated at $9 Billion, which was a lot of money back then. The decline continued and by mid-November losses totaled some $30 Billion. (Video from 1929)

Fortunes were lost and eventually jobs were lost

Panic at the Exchange 1929

Panic at the Exchange 1929

and then there was the Depression that followed. Many historians of economics suggest that it was not the stock market crash that caused the depression, but rather governmental action and reaction that caused the economic malaise. Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Act that raised tarriffs on 3200 imports by 60% in late September. On October 21, Congress defeated an attempt to exempt agricultural goods. Three days later, the market began its decline. President Hoover could have vetoed the measure but instead signed it 7 months after its passage and the resulting market crash. Prices on many good rose. Taxes were also increased. This is why you hear politicians today say that now is not the time to raise taxes and not the time to be closing the global market place.

Why would they say this now? We are in a stock market decline with shares falling some 40% from the all time highs of a year ago. I have compared this with the panic of 1907.(Click Here) However, I must say that history is not prescriptive and what happened in the past does not necessarily repeat itself. The times and conditions are different on a number of levels.

A Long Recovery

Dow: A Long Recovery

Nevertheless, if you must look at history as a guide, you need to know the truth. In general if you bought stock at the highs in 1929, you did not see your portfolio back to even for 25 years. Some individual stocks took longer than that. The speculation running rampant in the “Roaring 20’s” was probably more comparable to the run up in the market in the 1990’s than this past run. The decline in the late 1920’s into the 1930’s was about 87%.  An 87% of a drop from the Oct 2007 highs would be about 1700 which would take us back to the 1980’s. This latest fall took us back to numbers we had in late 2001 and early 2002. So, we’ve gone up and down and up and down again in the past 10 years, which is not comparable to the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

Anyway, with all that in mind, I offer you this. It is an excerpt of a letter written by Earnest Elmo Caulkins to

Confident Investor

Caulkins: Confident Investor

the New York Times on this date in 1929, the day after “Black Tuesday.” Caulkins was a successful advertising executive who had a rather extraordinary life story.(Click Here) He was deaf but was an achiever who did not let his disability get in his way. It’s really remarkable when you consider that he did this in the late 19th and early 20th century when it was particularly difficult for deaf individuals living in a hearing world.

He began by saying “I have a feeling that fewer persons are affected by the stock market drop than one would infer from the figures, just as fewer persons were affected by the previous rises.” That can be said today but not entirely. Today, millions of Americans have pension plans and 401K plans that are affected. For instance, I have a 401K but its decline does not affect my standard of living today.

He goes on to say that one day, the men on the market decide his AT&T stock is worth $310 and a few weeks later $232. He bought the stock at $98, so he is disappointed but he doesn’t consider it a loss. First off, he points out that its still more than twice as much as what he paid for it. So, to suggest that lumping he and other together and say that millions have been “lost” is a false implication. Compared to the previous day its a loss but compared to a few weeks before, he’s even and compared to prior to that, its a gain. I think what he is pointing to is the only difference is time. Millions of shares were NOT traded and for those who did not trade, what was a great position of happiness and wealth in September was being characterized as a position of gloom and despair in late October.

He went on to review his portfolio and said that his previous high profits were on paper and his recent losses were on paper and reasoned that the two cancel each other out. He concluded with a story of a farmer who told his friend that Mr. Stebbins offered him $200 for his horse. The friend replied, “But Stebbins ain’t got $200.” The farmer answered, “yes, but ain’t it a good offer?”

Much of what Caulkins says here is true today. The Dow at the end of Jan 1980 was at 874.40. Oct 28, 2008 it closed at over 9,000. Yet, in October 2007, the Dow hit 14,000. When I worked at Merrill Lynch, my office mate, Martin Feinberg, used to say “Stocks go up and stocks go down.” They do. The question here is time. We like it when stocks go up quickly but then get upset when they fall quickly, as if one is normal and the other is a crisis when, in fact, both signal volatility.

I have always reasoned that it is not wise to “play the market.” Over the past 30 years, people have entered the stock market like they are going into Churchill Downs to bet on the ponies. Men like Caulkins entered as investors.

Inspirational Quotes

Lombardi:Inspirational Quotes

I guess what I am saying is that it’s silly for people to claim this is 1929 all over again. I took a look at 1907 but I never suggested that this was 1907 all over again. That was then. This is now. The future has yet to be written. It is often said that it’s not whether we face adversity but how we react to adversity that counts. I’ve read a quote from Vince Lombardi(inspirational quotes) (origin probably elsewhere) that said “the greatest accomplishment is not in never failing, but rising again after you fail.” The past is the past and its how we conduct our future, whether it be governmental policy or personal actions, that really counts. With global intervention, coordination and new policies, this may be the beginning of a turnaround and, then again, it may be the beginning of a long fall. Who knows for certain? But, I do know that nothing lasts forever either way. If you believe that the sun rises every day and will again on this nation, this economy and the global economy, then invest in the future. If you do not, then stay out of the market. In my view, its as simple as that. Mr Caulkins overcame his disability and had great confidence in the future. You need to ask yourself if you have the same ideals.

A Quitter Never Wins and A Winner Never Quits; Not Quite a Fridgidaire but Still Cold
October 28, 2008

NAM 925mb 1029 12Z

NAM 925mb 1029 12Z

As a good reporter, I brought to you the National Weather Service Freeze Watch for Tuesday morning. However, I had been using qualifiers such as “perhaps” and such regarding freezing conditions and was much more forceful about Wednesday morning. I think I even said “certainly on Wednesday.” Well, let’s see if I can claim any bit of victory or not because it’s not so certain. First off, most people can probably forget the freeze on Tuesday morning…too many clouds….though some may get close. Now, the clouds do erode on Tuesday  as the long wave trof lifts out. As it does, the high to the south drifts somewhat and we get into an strong upper return flow. Now, we should be generally clear and cold at the surface. But, aloft, warmer air will be racing in…with strong winds. And that is the problem. The above map is from the NAM at 925 mb which is about 2500 feet….about twice the height of the Sears Tower…and the winds are howling at 30 kts. The air acts like water and the wind running along the ground has friction which slows it down, much like the water in a river runs slower along the bottom and along the banks than it does in the middle of the channel. So, the winds at the surface will probably be about 10-15 mph. Now, what else happens in the river with water flow? You get whirlpools and also turbulent water. Same thing happens with the air. The wind aloft goes faster than the wind at the surface…the air aloft then tumbles downward…in this case it will be mixing down the warmer air aloft and you don’t get the radiation release that would normally occur on a clear cold night. So, that’s a long way of saying that a freeze on Wednesday morning is not necessarily imminent. If the winds do like the computers claim they will, and there is indications that a sufficient pressure gradient will exist to do so, then it will be unlikely. We’ll see. Nonetheless…the National Weather Service now has their Freeze Watch for Wednesday morning. For the record, I’ve gone all through the glossary of the National Weather Service and have yet to find out exactly what a “Freeze Watch” is. There is a “Freeze Warning” listed but not watch. I assume that it means that freezing conditions are possible but not imminent.

Who Invented It?

Who Invented It?

On This Date in History:

Back in the day, there were no zippers. Pants were fastened in the front with buttons. For some reason, some jean manufacturers have gone retro with buttons. But, zippers are everywhere. Quite handy, they are. There have been some attempts to improvement with the space age velcro but the original zipper just keeps zipping along. It has been described as one of industrial America’s “most successful products.” It’s one of those little items that, if you think about it, would make you a fortune if you owned the patent. But, the genesis of the device did not exactly slide along…there were hitches.

Whitcomb Judson-Quit Too Soon

Whitcomb Judson-Quit Too Soon

In 1891, Whitcomb Judson applied for a patent for “Clasp Locker or Un-Locker for Shoes.” The patent office had never heard of such a thing, he got the go ahead. He teamed up with the only person who saw any promise in the apparatus, Col. Lewis Walker. Walker set up the Universal Fastener Company in 1894 as a manufacturing source. Trouble was, they couldn’t develop a machine to make the contraption until 1905. Walker scheduled a demonstration, ordered a keg of beer and I guess everyone got drunk because the machine didn’t work. Back to the proverbial drawing board they went and Judson came up with a simpler version of the fastener. The called it the C-Curity fastener. They advertised with the slogan, “A pull and it’s done! No more open skirts…ask the girl!” Well, they should have asked the girl first because the fasteners tended to pop open at most unintended times. The whole campaign and the product became a joke and Judson quit in humiliation.

Sundbach's (Sundback) 1917 Patent

Sundback's Patent

Walker continued on working through meager personal financial times and came up with the prototype for the modern zipper in 1913. However, saying Walker was “working” on it is a bit of a misnomer. See, he was a entrepreneur and lawyer, not a tinkerer. Judson was the one who did all of the work. Walker’s company, the Universal Fastener Company, had hired Swedish

Gideon Sundbach-Not Left Out

Gideon Sundback-Not Left Out

engineer Gideon Sundback (aka Gideon Sundbach) who is the one who perfected the zipper and it worked wonderfully. But, memories were long and people remembered the garment opening experience with the C-Curity fastener. On This date in 1914, the first true zipper, the Hookless No. 2 was sold. But the sales mainly were for actors costumes and novelty items. The public relied on the trusty button…that is until 1917. That is when a tailor made money belts for sailors with zippers. The moniker “zipper” was attached by BF Goodrich…the tire guy. They made galoshes and put the fasteners on them, though I can’t imagine how practical that was since galoshes generally get wet and I bet the original zippers were made of steel that rusted. Anyway, BF Goodrich promoted the product by exclaiming “Zip’er Up, Zip’er down!” Zippers became the trademark for the galoshes. Even though the overshoes went out of style, the zipper carried on….and carried Colonel Lewis Walker all the way to the bank. He owned the company and got the money while Gideon, who was given the patent, got credit….hopefully that credit was not backed by sub-prime mortgages.

Unlike other stories in which the guy who does the work gets the shaft, Gideon Sundback also invented a good machine to mass produce the zippers. Zippers were mainly used in Tobacco pouches and boots until the 1930’s when the zipper came into widespread use in clothes. Sundback ran his own company, the Lightning Fastener Company…so everyone did well with the zipper…except for Judson whose fate reminds me of what my old Junior High Football Coach, Granville Hambright, used to say. “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.”

Grab A Blanket on This Day of Firsts: Quakers, TV, Barbed Wire and Baseball
October 27, 2008

NAM surface Temps Mon (10/27) Afternoon

NAM surface Temps Mon (10/27) Afternoon

NAM AM Temps Tue(1028)

NAM AM Temps Tue(1028)

The cold air is working its way in

…now you don’t need to go and build an igloo…it’s not going to get that cold.  In fact, if this were January we’d be saying that it was seasonal. But, it’s not January and we had temps in the upper 60’s on Sunday and so the schock will be worse than the actual temperatures.  Sorta like when we get a warm up in January or February and the afternoon gets to say 59…you see people in shorts whereas upper 50’s in September means

NAM AM Temps Wed (1029)

NAM AM Temps Wed (1029)

jackets.  Anyway, this system is very winter-like. The front comes through and we get fair skies followed by clouds as the jet stream dives down. Then as it lifts out, the clouds go away and we then start to rebound in the temperature department.  In the winter, often when the clouds roll in following the front, we get snow flurries. In this case we won’t get any precipitation.  Look for us to get to the mid 40’s by midday on Monday then we don’t go a whole lot higher due to the clouds.  In spite of the clouds, we still go to freezing or below on Monday night and then the clouds start to break up on Tuesday afternoon.  A relatively clear night on Tuesday night should send everyone down below freezing before we warm up quickly for the latter half of the week.  There is a Freeze Watch for the entire viewing area Tuesday morning.  Bring in the plants if you want to save them for a little longer.

A DAY OF FIRSTS ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY!!!

Mary Dyer Taking Her Turn At the Gallows

Mary Dyer Taking Her Turn At the Gallows

So much for religious freedom: 

On this date in 1659, two men gained infamy in the Boston Commons as the first Quakers executed in the New World for their religious beliefs. Mary Dyer and William Leddra soon followed.  After that, those who were sentenced to death had their sentences commuted to simply being whipped out of the colony. Marmaduke Stevenson and William Robinson had left England to seek freedom of religion.  Their first mistake was to settle in the Massachusetts Colony where the Religious Society of Friends, the formal name of Quakers, was banned with the punishment of practicing their Faith being death by hanging.  Seems that the Quakers opposed a central church authority and preferred to seek spiritual counseling through local Quaker meetings.  They stood for a truely egalitarian society in which there was equality between men and women and they opposed the notion of slavery.  Oh…such dastardly people those Quakers.  Robinson and Stevenson left a legacy of staying out of Massachusetts as others who followed found refuge in Rhode Island and other colonies.  But, the legacy of Massachusetts lives on.  While we are taught in school that Massachusetts was the cradle of liberty, we must remember the fate of the Quakers, those who were to be bussed to get equal access to schools in the early 1970’s, the tax system in the Commonwealth and of course, all of the anti-global warming folks who opposed windmills off the coast of Cape Cod because the clean-energy devices spoiled their view.  Yes, indeed. Quite a history of freedom in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

Barbed Wire That Closed the Open Range

Barbed Wire That Closed the Open Range

So Much for the Free Range: On this date in 1873, Joseph Glidden applied for a patent on his version of barbed wire.  He had seen the barbed wire of Henry Rose at the DeKalb County Illinois State Fair but he was not impressed.  He came up with a new design that used two wires to hold the barbs firmly in place.  His proved to be the first to be mass produced and his inexpensive wire fencing was up to 80 million pounds in production by 1880.  By making it available to farmers en masse on the plains, it effectively brought to an end the big cattle drives because ranchers driving their cattle to market suddenly found their routes cut off by barbed wire fencing all across the plains.

If You Got Close Enough You Could See The Screen

If You Got Close Enough You Could See The Screen

So Much for Commercial Free TV

It all started on this date in 1946. Geographically Speaking debuted as a travel show on TV. It showed travel films. It was about as exciting to viewers then then as it would be today as it only ran until Dec. 1, 1946. Real clunker. But, it was the first TV show to have a sponsor, Bristol-Meyers. And we’ve had commercials on TV ever since.

 Today with everyone having a remote, advertisers have had to get more creative in order to keep us from changing channels during commercials. It’s called zapping. We see an ad and “zap” we change channels. That’s why so much money is spent on ads for TV in production. We need to be entertained as well as informed. It doesn’t work with me when there are various sports on.

Remember when cable TV first came out? It was initially promoted as the public paying for TV so we wouldn’t see commercials any more. Well, that quickly evaporated. Many of the original cable TV outlets were “superstations.” We thought it was so cool getting a New York station and a Chicago station and of course Ted Turner’s WTBS. But we quickly realized we were paying to see shows with other areas commercials. Now, we pay for cable networks so we can see more commercials. Some time when you have nothing better to do, look at the Weather Channel and count how many minutes in an hour are devoted to weather and how many to commercials. You’ll be surprised. Then you will get mad when you realize you are paying for the privilege of watching all of those commercials. At least ESPN commercials are funny.

So, now I have all of these “premium” channels that show no commercials and all movies. Of course it costs me another $15 a channel on top of the premium cable charge so I don’t have to watch commercials.
It all began on this date in 1946 on a crummy show. But, without advertisers, I’d be out of a job so by all means, frequent all of our advertisers and watch their messages. In fact, I’d recommend that, when you are tuned in to another channel and they show a commercial, zap over to channel 32. Odds are the commercial is just as good as the one you were watching and you know the news that follows will be much better…especially the weather!

Ruth Pitching 1918

Ruth Pitching 1914

So Much for the Curse of the Bambino:

  On this date in 2004, the Boston Red Sox won that franchise’s first World Series since 1918.  They had suffered from what is known as “the curse of the Bambino.”  See, a young pitcher who was also developing as a slugger at the plate played for the Red Sox.  His name was George Herman Ruth, known as Babe Ruth.  He was a pretty good pitcher.  He still shares the American League record for most shut outs by a left hander in a season with Ron Guidry with 9 white-washings.  But, his hitting became apparent as he was hitting home runs when no one else was doing so at the time.  By his 4th complete season, Ruth only pitched in 17 games but hit 29 home runs to lead the league…a new record at the time.  The Sox won 4 world championships between 1903 and 1918.  Ruth went to the Yankees in 1920.  The story has always been that the owner, Harry Frazee sold him to finance a play.  I think that is how all of the

Ruth Batting 1918

Ruth Batting 1918

movies have portrayed it.  But, other sources claim that Ruth had demanded a double in his pay to $20,000 and the owner refused.  When he tried to trade him, the league president supposedly wanted to mess up Frazee’s enterprise and force him to sell so he talked most of the owners out of dealing with him.  The White Sox though supposedly offered Shoeless Joe Jackson and $60,000 but the Yankees, who were terrible at the time, offered $100,000.  Imagine what might have happened if Frazee took the White Sox deal?  As it was, Frazee took the bigger wad of cash and the Red Sox never won another World Series until 2004.  So, the team was cursed. But that’s not as good as the Cubs’ curse.

I think it was in 1945, when the owner of a tavern tried to bring his lucky goat into Wrigley Field for the

Billy Goat Bellies Up To the Bar

Billy Goat Bellies Up To the Bar

World Series. He was denied and he put a curse on the Cubs, who have not won a World Series since 1908.  You can visit the Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan Avenue right by the Wendella Boat Tours in Chicago.  Get a cheese burger and ask for a coke and see what happens.  Snow White went there and asked for fries.  Try that out too.   BTW, I hope the curse is never broken…Go Astros.

Three Killed in Arizona Street Gun-Battle; Take Advantage of Sunday While You Can
October 26, 2008

Famous Gunfight was Near the OK Corral and wasn't much of a Fight

Famous Gunfight was Near the OK Corral and wasn

Our weather: The clouds built in by midday in Louisville on Saturday but gave way to sunshine in the afternoon but the mercury only got to the upper 50’s. Okay, it was 60 at the airport but no one lives there. Sunday at the airport it will probably get to around 72 but in your backyard upper 60’s to low 70’s will work out just fine. It will be breezy ahead of the next front which will bring down some cold air. Most likely many people will not get out of the 40’s on Monday afternoon so take advantage of the nice Sunday while you can. We’re running out of days like this as we move through the calendar. First freeze of the season area wide, perhaps Tuesday morning but certainly Wednesday morning. Then we warm up as the week progresses. At this point, I don’t see much chance for rain though a little upper feature will wander through on Thursday night that may bring a shower or two.

Wyatt Earp Later in Life

Wyatt Earp Later in Life

I always Wanted a Moustache Like Wyatt Earp

I always Wanted a Moustache Like Wyatt Earp

On This Date In History:

In the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona an event occurred that would be etched in western lore: The Gunfight at the OK Corral. Trouble is many historians say it didn’t happen at the OK Corral and it wasn’t much of a gunfight. There had been many disputes between the Earps (Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan) and a group of ruffians known as the Cowboys. Five of the group gathered on this date in 1881 on a vacant lot near the OK Corral. Virgil was the town Marshall with Wyatt and Morgan as his deputies. Their friend and gambler, John (Doc) Holliday joined the Earps and the quartet went down the street to greet the Cowboys. At about 3 pm the gunfight began. About 30 seconds and 30 gunshots later, it was over. Unlike the movie versions, particularly the one with Burt Lancaster and My Darling Clementine with Henry Fonda and Louisvillian Victor Mature, it apparently involved the Earps and Holliday walking up to the bad guys and gunfire breaking out. There is dispute about who fired the first shot but in the end, 3 of the 5 cowboys lay dead and all but Wyatt was injured, though one of the remaining Cowboys fled. There was a trial for the Earps but they were found not guilty with the judge saying they were “fully justified in committing these homicides.”

If you go and look this up, you will find all sorts of conflicting stories. The early movies were based almost

You Don't Find Too Many Pictures of Doc Holliday

You Don't See Many Photos of Doc Holliday

solely on the reminiscences of Wyatt Earp, who spent his later years in Hollywood as a consultant to those making westerns. So, the stories tend to lean toward Wyatt’s heroics. Later films try to be more realistic. But there is no real clear cut truth. However, one interesting aspect to the Earp lore appears to be true. That is that Wyatt, through all of his gunfights and violent episodes never once was shot. The same can’t be said of those who rode with him or against him. Wyatt died in quietly in his sleep 1929 in Hollywood, CA. Many of the western movie stars of the day attended his funeral.

Which is your favorite portrayal of Wyatt Earp in film? I kinda liked My Darling Clementine…Henry Fonda does a great dance.

A Very Weird Film

A Very Weird Film

One other thing about Victor Mature. He sorta retired in 1961 but he did appear in the Monkees last (and only) movie called Head. It was a really weird movie and was a sorta good-bye from the Monkees as their tv show either had been cancelled or if they made the film it would be cancelled. It’s really a psychedellic late 60’s film produced by Jack Nicholson and was totally un-Monkee like. Even Frank Zappa was in it. To give you an idea of how off the wall it was, the premise is that the Monkees are living in a world that is really a spot of dandruff on Victor Mature’s hair. See it if you can. There are really some pretty good songs(especially The Porpoise Song) that, again, are very un-Monkee-like.

A Gay Race Horse? Shaft Gives the Shaft? Who’s Dancing with the Stars? When Did World War II Really End?
October 25, 2008

NAM Surface Tue Oct 28 12Z

NAM Surface Tue Oct 28 12Z

Cat In The Hat Had Good Rain Day Solution

Cat In The Hat Had Good Rain Day Solution

Told you it would be a Lousy Friday: I had remarked on the air last Tuesday that perhaps parents may want to invest in Dr. Suess’s Thing 1 and Thing 2 like the Cat in the Hat for today to keep the kids busy on a rainy day. Well, we got our rain. It would appear that Jefferson County had between 1 and 1.5 inches county-wide. The rain came to an end by the afternoon and the sun made an appearance. So, the rain ended a little sooner than I had been calling for but it was a lousy day nonetheless. Now, this system is a winter-like system in that it will have wrap around clouds that in January might bring snow flakes. In this case, we will have a risk of a return of some very light showers through the early morning and then we will have variable cloudiness and chilly conditions on Saturday. Now, a very strong system will be diving down here on Monday so, in advance of that, sunshine will break out and winds with a southerly component will help us get back to the upper 60’s or even low 70’s on Sunday. Light showers Monday will be followed by cold weather, perhaps the first areawide freeze early Wednesday. Tuesday morning will have a chance but data suggests upper 30’s for part of the area with freezing conditions probable for the northern and eastern outlying areas.

I lounged like my cats, Nit and Wit

I lounged like my cats, Nit and Wit

Boring Day: I couldn’t find much to interest me on this date in history. So, I snooped about my mailbag for a couple of items that may be of interest…or maybe not…as you will find below.

Letter to the Editor Concerning Dancing with the Stars: I received the sneak-preview photo of the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars. The sender somehow has access to prospective performers practicing for the big show. I don’t know how they come by these pictures but this one is certainly worth a thousand words, though I’ll let you come up with the proper prose. Me? I’ve never watched the show nor have I ever desired to do so.

Gay Horse Racing? I received this little video clip from a colleague who will go un-mentioned to protect the innocent…well, not so innocent…but protected he will be. It is a story from The Onion (note the source when you plant tongue in cheek) about a openly gay racehorse. Be sure to look at the crawl running along the bottom of the “news broadcast” when you CLICK HERE.

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

Ike Gives The Shaft? Singer, actor, song-writer Isaac Hayes died not long ago at age 65. Hayes burst on to the scene in the early 1970’s with his theme for the movie Shaft. I think it was the Academy Awards that I recall seeing him perform his song wearing all sorts of gold chains with smoke machines all around. It was a classic moment. For the next several years I think every high school band in Texas played that tune during halftime performances. I really like him as “The Duke” in Escape from New York. More recently, he was the voice of “Chef” in Southpark but he left that show when he disagreed with the show’s lampooning of the Church of Scientology, of which he was a follower. Well, it seems that his support for that organization only went so far. Seems that the writer of the Theme From Shaft gave the shaft to the Church in his last will and testament, leaving the Church of Scientology with nothing. Here’s the story(click here). One must keep in mind, however, that the writer of this story does not tell us how much he gave to the church when he was alive.

On This Date in History: The war in Europe ended on this date in 1951 when a treaty was finally signed with Germany. Proclamation 2950 was put in force on October 25, 1951 stating that a cessation of hostilities had gone into effect Oct 19, 1951 ending the war with that nation that was declared on Dec. 11, 1945. See, Germany surrendered in May 1945 but the country was divided by the allies. Then there was the tug-o-war between the Soviets and the West over Germany and Berlin. No treaty could be signed until all of that was settled and President Truman wanted to wait to sign a treaty with a free and democratic Germany, which was finally possible some 6 years following the end of hostilities. People forget that after an invasion and defeat of a country, creating a new country and government from scratch takes time.

Gloomy Friday Is Here; Annie Tackles Niagara Falls in a Barrel; Continent Connected
October 24, 2008

Rainfall Forecast Fri/Sat

Rainfall Forecast Fri/Sat

Your Wet Friday Is here: Snow White and I took advantage of the nice Thursday and took to the Mighty Ohio River in our sculls. She was convinced there would be lots of boat traffic but I was equally as convinced that no one would be out. I was mostly correct. The river was quiet and, in spite of a decent Southeasterly wind, it was relatively calm. Now, its been some time since we were able to paddle about since out dock has been out of commission, but all is well and the rowing was great. So, why did we do all of that? It’s because I know that the storm will finally get here. It’s going to be quite chilly with highs only in the low to maybe mid 50’s at best and we’ll get a steady rain all day. Football games may be salvaged somewhat in that the rain should be tapering off but its going to be cold and wet and there will probably still be light showers in the area that will hold over into the first part of Saturday. I’m suspecting that Sunday will be our next decent day to row…take that as your cue when our next decent weather will be….its in advance of the next cold system that will drop down on Monday and bring us our first threat of an areawide freeze either Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

By the way….if you want a forecast for any city around the world, CLICK HERE.
Telegraph Completed In Spite of Civil War

Telegraph Completed In Spite of Civil War

On This Date in History: On this date in 1861, the Pony Express, for all intents in purposes, came to an end. What caused the demise was that on October 24, 1861 first transcontinental telegraph was completed. Until that date, the Pony Express was the fastest way to get messages from the east…generally from St. Louis….to the western frontier. The telegraph was a vast improvement. What I find most interesting about this and things like the Transatlantic cable is what it says about the Civil War. There were several

Atlantic Cable Completed In Spite of Civil War

Atlantic Cable Completed In Spite of Civil War

attempts all through the 1860’s at completing the cable, which finally was completed in 1866. In my view, this indicates that the Union had no conception of defeat. While the South was trying to figure out how to feed the people, find

Transcontinental Railroad Began In Spite of Civil War

Transcontinental Railroad Began In Spite of Civil War

enough troops, supply those troops with armaments and with even basic necessities such as shoes and finance the effort, the Union had enough resources to work on a Transatlantic cable and complete a transcontinental telegraph. And don’t forget, these efforts were already started when the Civil War began. If all that was not enough, Congress authorized the Pacific Railway Act in 1862 which was the beginning of the Transcontinental Railway. What that means is that the Union began another huge project even after the war had started. As I said, no concept of defeat.

Here’s the good one…on this date in 1901, Annie Edson Taylor made history. The 63-year-old school teacher became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She strapped herself in a leather harness inside a 5 foot high and 3 foot in diameter pickle barrel. She had some sort of padding inside to limit injury. A fine idea when taking a plunge over the 175 foot Horseshoe Falls. She was towed to the middle of the Niagara River and off she went, bobbing to the surface and coming to shore some twenty minutes later none the worse for wear.
Seems the old gal had lost her husband in the Civil War and in 1898 read about the increased popularity of

A Soggy Annie Is Helped Ashore After Her Ride

A Soggy Annie Is Helped Ashore After Her Ride

Niagara Falls. After all, in 1829 some guy had survived jumping from a cliff into the falls but no one had gone over in a barrel. So, why not try? With her husband dead, she had little hope of being able to live anything more than a meager life for the rest of her days. She hoped the stunt would bring her fame and fortune. Well, she got her 15 minutes of fame but never made much money from the ordeal. But, she did inspire others to do the same thing though.

Annie Didn't Find Her Stunt Too Profitable

Annie Didn't find her stunt too Profitable

Throughout the 20th century, 15 people have tried to go over the falls one way or another. Ten have survived. Jesse Sharp went over in a kayak in 1990. He died. In 1995, Robert Overcracker tried to prove technology was the answer when he went over on a jet ski. He died too. Before you get any ideas, its illegal to attempt to go over the falls so even if you live to tell about it you might be telling your story to your cell mates. Besides that, you’d probably just end up like Annie: lost to history and broke, if not broken.

Rain Outbreak Ahead-Let’s Hope There’s Not Another Flu Outbreak; Hundreds Still Missing From Hurricane Ike
October 23, 2008

Rainfall Forecast Thu-Sat

Rainfall Forecast Thu-Sat

Friday will be Lousy: I’ve been telling you that for days and its still in the cards. We have upped the temperatures on Thursday to the upper 60’s to near 70. But then the shortwave comes over the top of us. While we won’t have the blizzard warnings they’ve had in the plains, it will be quite chilly and wet. We feel like that the heaviest rain may be over for the Friday night football games but it will still be raining to some degree and it will be chilly…probably upper 40’s and low 50’s. The showers gradually end on Saturday but it will still be chilly. Sunday remains the pick of the weekend with highs in the mid to upper 60’s before another strong system dives down. That will bring some light rain early Monday but, more significantly, much colder air. We probably won’t get out of the 40’s on Monday and look for the first area-wide freeze of the season early in the week. With these up and down temperatures, I hope you got your flu shots .(See Below This Date In History)

Still Seraching For Victims of Ike

Still Searching For Victims of Ike

Hurricane Ike Still Has Missing persons: Hurricane Ike is a curious thing when related to news reporting. It kinda went away pretty quickly, didn’t it? Did you know that Hurricane Ike is now estimated to be the 3rd costliest hurricane in US history behind Katrina and Andrew? Did you know that there remains some 300 people unaccounted for? The presidential election and the financial meltdown grabbed the headlines but you would think that the national media would make some effort to inform we Americans of the travails of so many of our countrymen. Ask yourself why this has not received more national attention. Here is a list of 147 people missing (some with photos) from the Houston Chronicle and 96 names of missing as compiled by the Laura Recovery center in Galveston. Many I fear are gone. You can see that at least one of the people listed was last seen on the Galveston Seawall. If you can help in locating the whereabouts or fate of these folks, please call. Remember, all of these people have families who want to know what happened to their loved ones. These lists are not complete as they do not include people missing in parts of SE Texas and SW Louisiana.

On This Date in History: In 1918, World War I (The Great War) was winding down. The Americans had gotten into the game and helped turn the tide against the Hun. About 15-20 Million people died in that

Death Chart From Spanish Flu

Death Chart From Spanish Flu

global conflict. But, toward the end of the war, another killer was unleashed. What has been called the Spanish Flu Pandemic took about 50 million lives world wide according to the CDC with some estimates as high as 100 million. It got the moniker “Spanish Flu” because it reportedly took 8 million lives in that country in May 1918. However, the origin of the flu is a bit murky and it probably was not Spain. Indeed, researchers today are still trying to learn more about it. A couple of sources claim that it started at Fort Riley, Kansas when a soldier became sick just prior to his shipping out to Europe in March 1918. But, a more reliable source (Stanford University) claims that the virus probably became mutated in China into a strain that was resistant to any treatment. While one of the first cases in the US was the soldier who went to Europe from Fort Riley, Kansas it wasn’t until August 18, 1918 that the killer strain came to the shores of the new world. The Norwegian Liner Bergensfjord arrived in Brooklyn with a full load of passengers, including 100 who became ill on the voyage. Four of those had died and a fifth died after the ship docked making that pour sole the first US death from the Spanish Flu.

Spanish Flu Ward 1918

Spanish Flu Ward 1918

In the fall and spring, people in the US were dying daily. One day in Philadelphia, 528 people died and the bodies were collected by horse drawn carts. On “Black Thursday” in Chicago, nearly 400 died. Schools and theatres were closed and it was common to see people wearing face masks. On October 23, 1918, 815 people died from the flu in New York City. The war was certainly an aspect of the world situation that sped up the spread of the virus. Many allies thought it was some sort of biological warfare set loose by the Germans. Curiously, the end of the war in November 1918 may have hastened its spread as people took to the streets to congregate and party to celebrate, thus raising the prospcts of it going from person to person. In the US, the deathtoll has been set between 650,000 and 700,000.

Here’s the kicker…no one knows why this flu was so fatal. It affected about 1/3 of the total world

Victims Removed From Quarrentine House In St. Louis 1918

Victims Removed From Quarrentine House In St. Louis 1918

population. Even President Wilson came down with it. Recently, tissue from a dead soldier who died from the virus was collected in an attempt to better understand it. Mysteriously, the flu pandemic ended abruptly in 1919….though some sources claim 1920. Either way, it came and went and nothing has come close to it again in scale and scope of the suffering it brought. In the US alone, the life expectancy statistics fell by 10 years. Because of the mystery of the Spanish Flu pandemic relating to the virus itself, its origin, its spread and its disappearance, researchers today are quite concerned about something new, like the bird flu. It is the reason why such drastic measures were taken to try to stop any hint of the bird flu in Asia before it could get into the human population and why it remains such a concern today.

A Presidential Love Polygon; Friday Looks Lousy
October 22, 2008

Rainfall Total Forecast Through Sunday Morning

Rainfall Total Forecast Through Sunday Morning

The National Weather Service in Wilimgton put out a Freeze Warning for their area for Tuesday night, which includes our extreme Northeast counties of Gallatin and Trimble counties. Our area had a frost advisory for Jackson and Jennings counties, put out by the Indianapolis office and then our extreme eastern counties were put under the same advisory by the Louisville office. I don’t get it. Our dewpoints were in the 20’s and clouds were overspreading the area. As of this writing early Wednesday morning, I have my doubts. Nevertheless, high clouds will dull the sun on Wednesday and Thursday they will thicken up as the day goes on. We think that general rainfall will hold off until Thursday night and then carry through a chilly and wet Friday with Saturday not being much better, though improving. Sunday is the pick of the weekend. There is some indication in some of the data that suggests a sharp chill down early next week. Let’s wait and see how it shakes out. The computers sometimes get confused during a seasonal change. Invest 91in the tropics has really taken a beating but continues to lurk just off the coast of Belize, though nothing is imminent. It’s so uninspiring that there aren’t even any spaghetti models to show.

Most "Active" President?

Most "Active" President?

On This Date in History: On October 22, 1919 a baby girl named Elizabeth Ann was born to Nan Britton. That was no big deal to most people, unless you were aspiring to become President of the United States.

The Lovely Couple

The Lovely Couple

Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding won his first term as Senator in 1914. He said he found the upper chamber of the Congress “a very pleasing place.” He was handsome and popular, having served in the Ohio State Senate and as Ohio Lt. Governor, though he lost a bid for Governor. He gave the nominated speech for President Taft at the 1912 Republican Convention. Let’s see…first term Senator from Midwest…handsome….popular…active in state politics and key speaker at a convention. Sound familiar?

Anyway, there was a snarl in the nominating process at the 1920 Republican convention and in one of those “smoke filled room” stories, party leaders agreed to make Harding the candidate. It is unclear if those party leaders would have even considered Harding had they known of his affection for the ladies.

In 1927, 3 years after Harding’s death, Nan Britton published a book

Infintesimally Scorned Woman?

Florence Harding: Infintesimally Scorned Woman?

called The President’s Daughter. In it, she claimed that she had fallen in love with Harding when he was 45 and she was but 14! In 1917, Nan moved from Ohio to New York and wrote Harding for help in finding a job. She said he came to her and “tucked $30 in my brand new silk stocking.” She claimed that they had a long romance but that she had burned all of the love letters that he had written her as per an agreement between them. She said that he had burned her letters too but, after his death, the real Mrs. Harding, burned all of his correspondence and up in smoke went any corroborating evidence. But, the charge remained that Elizabeth Ann was the only child of Warren G. Harding.

Object of Presidential Affection?

Wife of Harding's Friend

Warren G. Harding love letters to his mistress did eventually show up. Trouble is, they weren’t to Nan Britton but instead belonged to Carrie Phillips, the Ohio wife of one of Harding’s best friends. Not sure if that makes Warren his best man. The letters show that Carrie “was the love of Harding’s life.” Their 10 year affair began in 1909 when the two couples were touring Europe. I’m trying to figure out what Mr. Phillips and Mrs. Harding were doing when Mr. Harding and Mrs. Phillips were horsing around. Anyway, Warren didn’t just write letters to Phillips, he wrote novels. They were often as long as 40 pages and were sexually explicit.

But…there’s more! People today often try to make up excuses for their behavior. Well, Warren’s not around to do that but he has modern clinical analysts to do his bidding. There is a school of thought that President Harding was a victim of satyriasis. That is an unmangeable, excessive need for sex. They point to the fact that he kept a room next to the Oval Office reserved for quick action with any number of women that may wander his way. They also suggest it as a reason for his habit of writing such long, rambling, graphic love letters.

I don’t know about all of that but I do think that, aside from the Teapot Dome Scandal, this type of catting around may be a good reason why many scholars over the years tried to make the case that when he died in 1923 it was murder and not food poisoning followed by a heart attack. If it was murder, it sounds as if there would be a long list of suspects, starting with Mrs. Harding and then carrying on through a long list of women as well as their husbands, boyfriends and fathers. One thing for certain, if a love triangle involves 3 people, then Warren G. Harding would have to be described as being involved in a love polygon.