When did you last play pick up sticks? For myself, I can’t remember. But, then, I can’t remember what color socks Kaye laid out for me this morning. And, further, why the heck did pick up sticks pop into my addled brain?
I first thought I would write about Groundhog Day, but I don’t like groundhogs. They eat my birdseed and everything green in my garden. Besides, I can lick my finger and stick it out the window to predict how long the winter will last with just about as much accuracy. I’ve never been to Gobbler’s Knob and it’s certainly not on my bucket list.
I like the old English rhyme that is related to this time of year: “If Candlemas be fair and bright, winter has another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, winter will not come again.”
So, I got around to looking at my correspondence and decided to talk about loose ends. That led me to pick up sticks. Yes, I’m strange. If I offered you 50 bucks, could you tell me how many of those maple wooden sticks we had in those cardboard tubes when we were kids? If I could find ours, I’d count them. I’d guess the number would be 40 or 41, depending if you count the one that the dog ate in 1953.
When we were as cold as frozen dog bumps in the yard a couple weeks ago, I starting posting “It’s so cold that…” sayings on Facebook. Here’s one: “My car won’t start running and my nose won’t stop.”
We were taking headers and rear-enders on the ice and emergency rooms were busy. We tried to find those sharp things to put on our shoes, but most area stores were sold out. Same with those buckets of ice-melting material. I have a huge black-and-blue mark in a place that I won’t be showing anyone except very close friends and relatives.
I learned recently that my friend Jack Maheu died at the age of 83. He was a premier jazz clarinetist who graduated with Kaye’s sister Lee from Plattsburgh High School in the late ‘40s. When I was a teen, I heard him in person with the Salt City 5 and 6. His work later with the Dukes of Dixieland was legendary. I have much of his recorded work here and have often compared him to the best who ever lived. He’s now playing an angelic gig with Saint Peter at the gate. No cover charge.
Les Bradford, retired Air Force pilot, flew the last B-52G Stratofortress out of Plattsburgh Air Force Base. He settled in Peru and illustrated my first children’s book. Les informed me that the final B-52G has been eliminated from the so-called “boneyard” at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. The tail was ceremoniously cut off from the fuselage. The first one was delivered in 1959. I have always dreamed that we could get one here as a static display with the others on the former base.
Les loves peanuts in his Coca-Cola. I never heard of it before. He’s from Massachusetts and the practice is a southern tradition. Go figure.
That brings me to all those weather-related booms we’ve felt for weeks. Few had ever heard the word “cryoseism” until we mentioned it based on information from our nephew Ed Dashnaw in South Carolina. Some call them “frost quakes.”
Joanne Bodah asked if I ever heard of a kind of fried bread dough her mom used to make. She thought it was a French name that sounded something like “germailes” with a hard “g.”
Sondra Gillett said her mother made “gilletts.” Laura Lafountain remembers “guilettes.” Carol Hoenig called them “zeppols.” Others said they were made from “galette” dough. One woman said they are definitely “gimmes.” In New Orleans they have a specialty called “beignet” with powdered sugar on top.
I’ll just refer to it as “fried bread dough” if you don’t mind. And put some real butter and maple syrup on mine, please.
Have a delightful Groundhog Day and please, drive carefully.
Gordie Little was for many years a well-known radio personality in the North Country and now hosts the “Our Little Corner” television program for Home Town Cable. Anyone with comments for him may send them to the newspaper or email him at email@example.com.