Fairy Floss!?

Hi friends,

What child doesn’t love “Fairy Floss”?

Known today as Cotton Candy!

In 1899 Thomas Morton and John C Wharton of Nashville, Tennessee patented the first electric cotton candy machine.

Cotton Candy became a big hit when it was introduced to the public at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and at the Ringling Brothers Circus.


Rome, Italy and Sports in the USA

Hi friends, What is the connection many schools, religious figures, the NFL, MLB, and the state of Kentucky have to Rome, Italy? The Northern Cardinal.

When early settlers from England to North America saw a bird with bright red feathers they were reminded of the scarlet outfits worn by Roman Catholic officials.

The St. Louis baseball team was founded in 1875 and named after the Cardinal in 1900.

On February 26, 1926 the “Cardinal” was chosen to be Kentucky’s State Bird.

The “Cardinal” is the mascot for the Arizona football team which started in 1922 as the Chicago Cardinals named after a team in Racine, Wisconsin.

It is easy to understand why the bird has become a popular mascot for so many schools, teams and a State. The bird is simply beautiful.


Paint, Hairspray & Christmas

Hi friends,

What does paint, hairspray and Christmas Snow have in common?

Carl Svendsen founder Chase Products Co. used his knowledge of pressurized containers to develop the first spray paint can

and the first hair spray.

They were the second company to develop Christmas Snow in a spray can.

The Chase Product Co. is still going strong in Broadview, Illinois.


Another legal immigrant entrepreneur who added to our lives in America

Hi friends,
I’ll bet you didn’t know you probably have something in common with a German immigrant named Ignaz. Ignaz Schwinn was the founder of the world-famous Schwinn bicycle. He started his company in 1895. But, did you know he also made motorcycles? From 1917-1931 he owned the Henderson Motorcycle Company. At that time Henderson was known as one of the big three along with Indian and Harley-Davidson. in 1931 he stopped producing motorcycles to concentrate on his bicycles.

You may not know who he is, but he lit up your life!

Hi friends,
At the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department located in Livermore, California, you can see the World’s Longest Burning Light Bulb.

It was first installed in 1901 and with the exception of a few days has been lit since then. You can view it live at www.centennialbulb.org. This would not be possible if not for a man born on September 4, 1848 in Chelsea, Massachusetts named Lewis Latimer.

Mr. Latimer, who became an employee of Thomas Edison in 1890, was the inventor of the method to cause the long lasting carbon filament. Before his invention light bulbs would burn out in just a few days. His invention helped the carbon filament to last month’s thus making the light bulb less expensive and more efficient. We can thank him for contributing greatly to electrical lighting in all of our homes.

Mr. Latimer is one of the unknown men who has had a large impact on the daily life of people all over the world for the past 100 years.


How did the Los Angeles Lakers get their name?

Hi friends,

Have you ever wondered how the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team got its name.

Before coming to Los Angeles, the Lakers were located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Minnesota’s motto is “The land of 10,000 lakes.” A cargo ship used on the Great Lakes was known as “Lake Freighters” or  “Lakers”.


A 49er started Macy Department Store

Hi friends,

Did you know a 49er started Macy Department Store.

In 1849 Rowland Hussey Macy went to California as part of the gold rush from the east coast.

When he arrived on the west coast instead of pursuing gold, he and two partners opened Macy & Company in Marysville, California, which at the time was one of the biggest gold rush cities because of its location where the Feather and Yuba Rivers join together. Macy moved back to the east coast in 1858, where in New York City he opened the small eleven foot store front which has grown to the grand department store we know today.


Why the name Bluetooth?

Hi friends,

Who would have imagined the name of a Christian Viking King born in 940 A.D. would have been so popular today.

Daily, his name is spoken all over the world by men and women, old and young, the wealthy and the poor and of all races. The funny thing about this, almost all do not even know it!

When Ericsson, Intel and Nokia created a Special Interest group (SIG) to unite their companies to advance a single technology, they needed a code name. Intel’s Jim Kerdach came up with the name. Since he was a history buff he remembered a king who had united Denmark and Norway. Since three large companies where uniting to work on one project it only seemed right to apply the kings name to their technology.

The kings name was Harold Bluetooth. The logo is designed by combining the Nordic symbols of the first letter of the kings first and last name.


Parents of Veterans May Suffer Their Own “PTS”

This past weekend we celebrated Veterans Day in the “land that I love.” I am not sure why, but my thoughts during this year’s celebration were different than the last. I was more affected by my thoughts about veterans and their families. My thoughts were about the parents of soldiers. I think parents of soldiers in some different way experience their own form of “PTS”, though varied in degree.

In 2001 my son joined the army. He was 20 years old at the time and there was no war. His mother and I had discussed with him what he wanted for his future and after going to college for a brief period he decided that the military was the best option for him to take. He wanted to pursue law enforcement and the military would provide both education and experience simultaneously. He joined and was accepted into the military police and would be sent to Fort Leonard Wood for Basic Training, then stationed at Fort Lewis. As a family we thought he was on his way to a great career. Like all of us in the U.S. at the time, we had no idea what was next.

In September of 2001 I was at a gas station fueling my trucks for the day when I noticed people around me acting a little different. The first tower had been hit. I finished fueling and sent the crew on its way and went home to watch the news to see what was happening. What I saw was tragic, but it did not give rise to thoughts that we had been attacked. No one was sure what had happened. Then, as my wife and I were watching the report we saw the second plane go into the second tower. We were at war! My son had just gotten out of basic training and had moved to Fort Lewis from Fort Leonard Wood two weeks previously. He was no longer in the military to train for a job when he gets out. In fact, his experiences over the next 5 years would remove his desire for a career in law enforcement altogether. That day in September his mom and I had no idea what would come next.

We got our first call. We were happy to hear his words because he was going to stay in the U.S. for his first assignment. He was going to the east coast to help provide security at an important installation on the east coast. What a relief! He did his time there and went back to Fort Lewis.

Then came the second call. “Mom and Dad, I am going to Iraq for a year.” Too soon, he deployed. We were not a military family so we had neither experience nor understanding of military life. We were clueless. Every day for the next 12 months we watched every news report we could. Morning, noon, and night our focus was on Iraq. We watched as reporters talked about injured and killed soldiers. We listened for hints about what was next. We knew what our son’s job was and were generally aware of where he would be or of that which he may be a part. But, most terrifying of all was going to bed a night to go to sleep knowing that when we got up in the morning he may be dead or injured. We turned on the news first thing so we could hear the reports.

It is horrible to feel relief that your child is alive and uninjured and to watch and hear of the soldiers and parents who are not experiencing the same. Our child is alive, theirs is dead. Our child is not wounded, yet theirs is missing arms, legs and so much worse. As parents this created such conflict in us. We were so relieved and yet their lives would never be the same. This went on for 12 months. When he came home we celebrated; when they came home their families cried and mourned. We could be thankful to God, while others were asking God, “Why?” We cannot pretend to relate to or understand what these families are experiencing today. Did their child also go into the military for an education he or she would use after 4 years or service? Now that child is gone due to war.

My son did a second one-year tour in Iraq, so his mother and I lived through it again. While he was safe, he was not the same person he was five years earlier. Time and experience had changed him. We live with those changes every day. But, he is alive and safe without injury.

I admire all the parents who have gone through the same. I will never trivialize the loss any parent is feeling do to the death or injuries that have changed their life forever. It is no small thing. “Thank you for your service,” will never be a slogan I will use without thought. When you see soldiers with their parents, be sure to tell them. For all the soldiers without parents, thank you.

To those who make the decision for us to go to war, be sure to make that decision for our freedom and national safety only. No person should die or be injured for a corporation or government. Only for our freedom and safety should any American experience such suffering and loss. We Americans are willing to give up our life for our freedom, our family, and our friends, so please be mindful and careful that you not ask or require us to sacrifice for any other reason.

My thoughts are with you moms and dads this Veterans Day.