Historical Trivia

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Did you know  the saying “God willing and the Creek don’t rise” was in reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of water?  It was written by Benjamin
Hawkins in the late 18th century.  He was a politician and Indian diplomat.  While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President of the U.S. to return
to Washington .  In his  response, he was said to write, “God willing and the Creek don’t rise.”  Because he  capitalized the word “Creek” it is deduced that he
was referring to the Creek Indian tribe and not a body of water.
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In George  Washington’s
days, there were no cameras.  One’s image was either sculpted or painted.  Some  paintings of George Washington showed him standing  behind a desk with
one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms.   Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted,
but by how many limbs were to be painted.  Arms and legs are  ‘limbs,’ therefore painting them would cost the  buyer more.  Hence the expression, ‘Okay, but
it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’
(Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

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As  incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept  their hair covered, while men shaved their heads  (because of
lice and bugs) and wore  wigs.   Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn’t wash the wigs,  so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of  bread,
put the wig in the shell, and bake it for  30 minutes.   The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term ‘big wig… ‘  Today we often use the term ‘here comes the Big Wig’ because someone appears to be or is powerful  and wealthy.

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In the late 1700’s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The  ‘head of the household’ always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor.   Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To
sit in the chair meant  you were important and in charge.  They called the one sitting in the chair the ‘chair  man.’ Today in business, we use the expression or  title ‘Chairman’
or ‘Chairman of the Board.’

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Personal  hygiene left much room for improvement.. As a  result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee’s
wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions.  When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman’s face she was told,
‘mind your own bee’s wax.’  Should the woman smile, the wax would  crack, hence the term ‘crack a smile’.  In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . .. . Therefore, the expression  ‘losing face.’

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Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in ‘straight laced’ wore a tightly tied lace..

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Common  entertainment included playing cards. However,  there was a tax levied when purchasing playing  cards but only applicable to the ‘Ace of  Spades..’
To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead.  Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were  thought to be stupid or dumb
because they weren’t  ‘playing with a full deck..’

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Early  politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important.  Since there were no telephones, TV’s
or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local  taverns, pubs, and bars.  They were told to  ‘go sip some Ale and listen to people’s
conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different  times.  ‘You go sip here’ and ‘You go sip there.’ The two words
‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term ‘gossip.’

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At local  taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint  and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was  to keep an eye on the customers and
keep the drinks coming.  She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in ‘pints’  and who was drinking in ‘quarts,’ hence the
phrase  ‘minding your ‘P’s and Q’s’.
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One more: bet you didn’t know  this!
In the  heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls.  It was  necessary to keep a
good supply near the cannon.  However, how to prevent them from rolling about  the deck?   The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with
one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen.  Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.
There was only one  problem….how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a ‘Monkey’ with 16 round
indentations. However, if  this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting  problem was to make ‘Brass Monkeys.’ Few landlubbers
realize that brass contracts much more  and much faster than iron when chilled.  Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so
much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey; Thus, it was quite literally, ‘Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.’
(All this  time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn’t you.)

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About Dick and Danna

OUR BUCKET LIST: 1950 First kid in the area with a portable radio on my bike when I was in grade school........... 1951 Built a 5 watt radio transmitter when I was in high school and went on the radio from home. Not the most legal thing to do. Built a PA system from scratch also........... 1951-1954 Learned to play Steel Guitar. Played many shows of country music on 6 different radio stations with different groups in Western Pennsylvania........... 1954 Married Danna Lewis at when she was 15 years old........... 1960 Got into Citizen Band Radio. Danna and I were two of the original founders of CB Rangers CB club in Butler. We published a call book of all of the CBers in the Tri-State area............ 1969 Danna and I were two of the original founders of the Tri-State Country Music Association. I wrote a column for their newspaper every month........... 1960 We went to Nashville. Met Ralph Emery of WSM radio and Archie Campbell, a Hee Haw TV Entertainer. Had coffee with them at Linbaugh’s Restaurant in Nashville. Archie bought the coffee........... 1965 We developed a successful network marketing business. In later years developed a few others. Greatest training on attitudes and success........... 1968 Had a Built an outdoor stage. Had a country music jam session on our lawn at home with around 500 musicians and their family from 5 different states........... 1969 Played music on the staff band of the WWVA Jamboree and backed up all of the entertainers in front of thousands of people for 4 months. WWVA was second largest country music show at that time next to WSM Grand Old Opry........... 1984 Danna started her own typesetting business in her home. Danna Vernon Graphics had customers in 3 counties. Very successful. She taught herself how to run the typesetter machine. It was a photo typesetter. She also did layout work for printers........... 1988 I taught the secretaries at Butler hospital how to use word processing and computers, but I never had any schooling or education on it. I also did some computer programming. Before this I ran the printing operation at the hospital........... 1989 I quit a good computer job and Danna and I bought a printing franchise, Minuteman Press in Butler PA. Operated it for 5 years............ 1994 We bought a motor home. went to Florida. Spent 9 years going to Florida for 6 months every year and back to Pennsylvania for 6 months............ 1995 We played music with “Spur of the Moment” band in Florida........... 2001 Never knew my dad. Met him in 2001 and Danna and I spent a wonderful 5 years together before he passed away. Went on a wonderful 2 weeks tour of Europe (5 countries) with him. He lived in Bradenton Florida........... 2002 Danna started singing and ended up running the Suncoast Jamboree in Florida, She had her own band and scheduled everything. She sang and emcee’d the show. Played many of the RV parks in the area........... 2004 Started a recording studio in Pa and FL. Danna recorded numerous CD’s........... 2007 Since I was a little kid, I have always wanted to wear the spots off a deck of cards. I finally accomplished it this year. Threw the deck away........... 2010 We started and played in various Gospel Music Groups. Country Transition, Good News Country Gospel. Played churches all over Western Pennsylvania........... 2010 We played music on television shows on WHCU-TV Kittanning........... 2010-2014 Danna and I did a 30 minute interview talk show, Danna’s Radio Diner, on WTYM & WAVL radio. Over 30,000 hits from over 100 countries on our website as of June 2017. Still get many hits every day........... 2010 Danna and I were on TV participating in Family Life TV WHKU helping their Christmas Auction on television........... 2011 Danna and I both read our first commercial to be broadcast on WTYM radio. Also I wrote a radio promo and a short radio script........... 2012 Operated a TV camera on a live TV show on WKHU-TV........... 2013 Produced an hour TV show – Armstrong Trails on WKHU-TV Kittanning, PA. Produced a monthly live country music dinner show with various bands at WTYM radio........... 2014 We went on a country music cruise and interviewed 12 top county music TV stars for our radio show........... 2014 Rode for an hour in the cab beside the engineer of a locomotive on Kiski Jct. railroad. Broadcast it on one of our radio shows........... 2014 Played Steel for Nashvile recording star Teea Goans when they came to Kittanning on WKHU-TH and WTYM Radio. Also in 2013 backed up Joann Cash (Johnny Cash sister)........... 2015 Started Danna’s Internet Café, an internet radio show. Also shows were run on WXED-FM 107.3 and WFSN-FM 96.7. for a year and a half........... 2016 I bought a Uke Bass and learned to play it. Played a jam session a week later. Sounds like a big upright bass.
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