02 December 2011

Ooooh Look - Something Shiny



Well it's happened to me again.  I begin a search for information for an article I am trying to write and 25 hours later I am full of all kinds of useless information and no closer to finishing the article.  Don't laugh - I KNOW it has happened to you too!


IT ALL STARTED when I happened upon the NARA blog called "Prologue: Pieces of History" and the post by Hillary - What's Cooking Wednesday:  Truman and the no-turkey Thursday.  President Harry S. Truman delivered the first televised presidential speech on October 5, 1947.  Speaking from the White House, Truman appealed to Americans to conserve food for starving people in Europe - no meat on Tuesdays, no poultry on Thursdays.


Ooh - I need to learn how this affected my rural SouthEast Kansas ancestors who were farmers.   Clickity- clack goes my keyboard and I do a search for "Americans no poultry on Thursday."  I scan down the list of results and this pops out at me-


Mike the Headless Chicken


No way can I move on without checking that out first.  In 1945 a man attempts to behead a chicken for dinner and botches the execution.  With the brain stem and one ear left intact, the damn bird lived.  The owner named it Mike and took the chicken on the road.  Don't believe me?  Check out the Life Magazine photo shoot of Mike the Headless Chicken.  There is even a festival celebrating Mike's will to live in Fruita, Colorado every year in May.


So now I am thinking I need to find out about sideshows and carnivals back then.  Maybe my ancestors lived in areas where they frequented and maybe had the opportunity to attend one. Clickity clack type type type and now I find "Rural Kansas Tourism" that has such gems as "Bicycle Mystery" and  "The Biggest Ball of Twine."    But the best find of all?  My ancestors were living in the thick of the carnies and Freak Shows.  Kinsley, Kansas is where you will find the National Foundation for Carnival Heritage Center.  Boy, I never saw that coming. They even have a Facebook page!   Kinsley is also called Midway, USA because it is exactly 1561 miles to San Francisco and exactly 1561 miles to New York City.


By this time I can't even remember what the hell I was searching for in the first place.  Figuring my brain needs  some R & R from the information overload, I spent the next two hours playing "Angry Birds."  After dinner and some T.V. viewing, I am back at the computer going through my email.  It's now 1:00 am and I am just about to shut the computer off and all the sudden remember about the article that I need to have finished by the next morning.  


And so clickity clack,  I begin again with the searching. So let's hear about the last time you saw "Something Shiny", where did it take you?
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