Monday, November 23, 2009


Recently, I ran across a blog post that was only up for a short time. It was a fun story of living with the same last name as a car dealership in their mid sized town. It reminded me of my favorite story of coincidental last names, and I have to tell that one here.

For those who remember the Burma-Shave signs, this will make sense; for those who don't, go ask your grandparents to explain.

A crew of Burma-Shave PhD 's (post hole diggers, seriously that is what they called the crews) were working their way across New England, replacing some signs, putting up new ones in other places, when they finished up the last job of the day.

It was getting toward dark and the crew leader made the last drive past to be sure the signs were spaced correctly, at the right height, etc. Everything looked fine as he drove past

Old McDonald
On the Farm
Shaved so hard
He broke his arm
Then he bought

Then he rounded the last curve and saw the mailbox: McDonald.

It was too close to dark to take the signs down, so they nervously found the farmer in question. He was a big man, who looked kind of solemn. Upon hearing the story, Mr. McDonald looked at them for a long moment, and then burst out laughing. It seems he got a big kick out of the gag, and so did the whole neighborhood.

So, there is your coincidence story for the day.

By the way, I never saw any Burma-Shave signs myself, as they were taken down permanently the year I was born, but if you want to learn more about the signs, read The Verse by the Side of the Road: The Story of the Burma-Shave Signs and Jingles, by Frank Rowsome, Jr.

Today is:

Big Help Day

Eat A Cranberry Day

Great Tinker Toy Extravaganza

National Cashew Day

Niiname-Sai, Japan (Grain Festival)

Opera Day

Repudiation Day, Maryland, US

St. Clement's Day (invented felt; patron of blacksmiths, hatters, stonecutters, tanners)

St. Columban's Day (patron against depression, floods)

St. Felicity's Day

Birthdays Today:

Miley Cyrus, 1992
Salli Richardson, 1967
Bruce Hornsby, 1954
Johnny Mandel, 1925
Harpo Marx, 1888
Boris Karloff, 1887
Billy the Kidd (William H. Bonney), 1859
Franklin Pierce, 1804

Today in History:

Charlemagne arrives at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III, 800
Conquest of Seville by the Christian troops under King Ferdinand III of Castile. 1248
Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship, and written by John Milton is published, 1644
People of Frederick County Md refuse to pay England's Stamp tax, 1765
Henry Burden patents Horseshoe manufacturing machine, 1835
Patent granted for a process of making color photographs, 1863
King William III of the Netherlands dies without a male heir and a special law is passed to allow his daughter Princess Wilhelmina to become his heir, 1890
Andrew J Beard invents "jerry coupler," to connect railroad cars, 1897
Pencil sharpener patented by J L Love, 1897
Enrico Caruso makes his US debut at the Metropolitan Opera House, NY in "Rigoletto", 1903
Wright Brothers forms million dollar corporation to manufacture airplanes, 1909
Life Magazine publishes its first issue, 1936

1 comment:

  1. How very cute!!!
    I see that it's Cashew Day - I saw some chocolate covered cashews the other day at market but I was good and did not buy them. If only I had known!!!


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