A Gay Elephant? In Poland there is this elephant. And it doesn’t seem too interested in the ladies. So, the experts have decided that the elephant is gay and a local politician is furious. They are spending money on its care even though it does nothing to help in the efforts at conservation regarding the big mammal. How’s that for gay bashing? Here’s the story on video ( Gay elephant conservation row | Video | Reuters.com )
On This Date In History: In 1864, Nevada was in the midst of a silver boom while much of the nation was mired in Civil War. Reuel Colt Gridley was pitted against Dr. H. S. Herrick in a mayoral battle in Austin, Nevada. The two made a wager that said the loser had to march over a mile carrying a sack of flour while singing either John Brown’s Body or Dixie depending on who won. Herrick won and Gridley carried the flour to Herrick while his son played John Brown’s Body.
Gridley then had the idea to auction the sack and give the proceeds to the US Sanitary Commission, the precursor to today’s American Red Cross. On this date in history, Gridley ended up with the high bid of $300. Gridley then donated the sack again for re-auction. People in nearby Virginia City didn’t want to be out done so they had a winning bid of $5000. Then the winner re-donated the sack for re-auction. Gridley then took the sack across the nation using the same scheme of auction and re-donation. He took his sack from San Francisco to New York and finally to St. Louis and the Sanitary Commission Fair where he turned the sack over to the Sanitary Commissin which turned the flour into small cakes that were sold for a dollar a piece.
In total…the bag raised $275,000! And that was 1864 dollars. I suppose today that
would be several million dollars. And this was before E-Bay! Good thing that Gridley lost the election. Who knows? Halleck may have taken the flour and made a loaf of bread. The Nevada Historical Society has the empty sack in its collection and Gridley’s headstone reads, “The Soldier’s Friend.” It should be noted that Gridley died some 6 years following the magic sack of flour tour and he was nearly penniless. He had a wife and 4 children and when newspaper editors in California and Nevada found out about his poverty. they raised $1400 for his benefit. His health deterioated though and he died on November 24, 1870. The people of Stockton sold small sacks of flour to pay for a monument in Gridley’s honor. Mark Twain wrote Roughing It, based partly on Gridley.
This story reminds me of the more recent tale of a Canadian who went on e-bay and started trading. He started with a single red paperclip and 14 trades later he had a house. I wonder what Grindley could have done with his magic sack of flour had he had the internet.
Weather Bottom Line: We had rain for Monday morning and then the sun came out late in the day. You could see the random showers popping up. They were cumulus but didn’t really develop all that much vertically, so there weren’t too many thunderstorms. Just didn’t get enough of a temperature difference between the surface and aloft. However, because of their random nature and the time of day, there was lots of sun shining through. I told Snow White someone was seeing a rainbow as we drove to Clarksville to the Bass Pro Shop. Sure enough, the picture above came to the National Weather Service of a double rainbow in Lexington. Tuesday, as expected, there still should be plenty of clouds with scattered showers. Then we get to the low to mid 60’s on Wednesday. Thursday mid 70’s and low 80’s thereafter through the weekend. One thing we’ll have to watch in the next several days will be a trof building in the west will eject several waves of energy. At this point, they appear to be getting routed to our west through the central plains but, if the long wave pattern shifts a bit east, then we may be in for some interesting weather as the Gulf will open wide up and plenty of moisture will be moving into the Mississippi and Ohio valleys in the next 4-7 days. All in all..the weekend looks great.