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 Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Bits, pieces on odds, ends

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew

It seems the word "cranky" did not arrive on the scene until automobiles were invented. When a balky motor was hard to start, requiring extra cranking, it was called cranky, among other epithets. I'm not sure how the word applies to women.

A "buck moon" occurs in July when the new antlers on a buck deer begin to emerge from the velvet casing provided by nature to protect the new growth of antlers.

The "dog days of summer" has nothing to do with dogs on Earth. The term comes from the fact that, from July 3 to August, the sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius the Dog Star.

"Dinky Donkeys," or miniature Sardinian donkeys, were brought to the U.S. in the 1920s by New York stockbroker Robert Green. They now number into the thousands, making great pets, due to their mild disposition. Miniature equines, or little horses, date to Renaissance times, arriving in the U.S. in 1888 as a small Shetland horse named Tum Tum.

Look into almost any farmer or rancher's closet and you will find Carhartt overalls or coveralls. The durable work clothes date to the 1880s, when Hamilton Carhart traveled from rail station to rail station selling his work wear to railroad workers. Now selling globally, and with an T added to the name, the company with 4,200 employees remains a family-owned enterprise.

Where did the name for the Canadian River originate? Take your pick. Some believe it came from early French traders from Canada on a hunting expedition. One historian wrote in 1929 that, later, French explorers named it while camped where the river runs into the Arkansas River.

Other believe the word is of Spanish origin, derived from the word "canada," meaning canyon. This is because much of the river runs through deep canyons.

A mule is an equine with long ears. A flop-eared mule has ears that sometimes flop to the side when relaxed. A lop-eared mule has shorter-than-natural ears. A notch-eared mule has an earmark cut into the ear like earmarks for cattle. A gotch-eared mule has ears that have been injured and aren't natural.

It seems like there was a "drug problem" in the old days after all. The Alanreed Coffee Shop conversation brought this out recently. One man stated he was "drug to church, to weddings and funerals when he was young." Another said he was "drug to the woodshed about once a week to get his rear warmed up for disobedience, telling a fib or not saying 'yes sir' or 'no ma'am.' "

The third man said he was "drug to the kitchen sink occasionally to wash out his mouth for cussing, to wash his neck and ears or to take a dose of Swamp Root medicine to clean out the rust and barnacles from his intestines after a long hard winter."

Those drugs must still be in their systems: They faithfully adhere to those lessons today.

Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew"
December 15, 2009 Column
E-mail: trewblue@centramedia.net.

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