Greetings From Sparrow

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The Daily Dose/Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 22, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience…

THE MORE THINGS DON’T CHANGE…: It’s been over a year since Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi embassy in Istanbul and soon found himself dead and dismembered. It soon became clear Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents and that it was not entirely beyond comprehension Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in on it, too. 

…The More They Don’t Change: It also soon became clear the Saudis would get away with it. The Trump Administration shamefully waved away the matter and did their darndest to usher the Saudi crown prince back onto the world stage. The veil began to lift at a G20 meeting in June as countries, paced by a disinterested America, went about the process of dismissing Khashoggi’s murder so everyone could resume making money off and with the Saudis again. President Trump did everything but rub the crown prince’s feet while having Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spread za’atar on the prince’s morning flatbread. Pakistan has given the crown prince their highest civilian honor after signing assorted, billion-dollar investment deals. 

Fly In The Ointment: The UN did get their shorts in a knot in June when they issued a report saying, among other things, there was: 

…credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including that of the Crown Prince.

Yeah, Yeah, Whatever: This could not have been met with a bigger collective international yawn had prizes been issued for ignoring it. Even we’ve stumbled a bit here. We used to provide occasional updates, but we’ve been too busy ranking lousy college football teams to bother lately. 

USA! USA! Saudi Arabia is scheduled to host the November 2020 G20 summit. While it is not clear that President Trump will lead the crown prince pep rally, it is even now expected to be well-attended, which all but assures Khashoggi died in vain and his death will not be punished. 

Business As Usual: The killing itself isn’t a big surprise. Governments have been carrying out precautionary murders like this since time immemorial. All of us should be ashamed, though, by our government’s reaction to it. We’ve allowed our government to ignore it, which has allowed the world to ignore it. US insistence on accountability, both in public and in private, would have ensured we would be getting more than the secret trial the Saudis are currently holding. Sure, some hapless lower level prince might be offered up for a severe wrist-slapping, but the Saudis have brazened their way through the murder of Jamal Khashoggi with full US complicity.

God, Lighten Up, Will You?: Like a lot of things with the Trump Administration, we are the lesser for it. We deserve better than this, of course. We deserve a government that abhors and demands answers for murders like this, but we won’t have that until we demand better on Election Day. 

Today At The Site
It’s Read Free Week! Enjoy both The Diary of a Nobody and The Bottom Ten on the house.
The Diary of a NobodySparrow gives some tips on money handling. Today’s Diary. 

I’ll tell you what, long-time readers of this crap recall my exalted tenure working the Doily Delivery Truck up here for a couple-three years…One thing you learn delivering doilies is you never – and never means not once – deliver or receive anything without a receipt…Say I slid it under the door and they come down wondering where their refund is???…I was prepared to put a note under their door saying their refund was at the front desk when ol’ Sparrow came up with the utterly brilliant idea of videoing my sliding it under the door…And what a production it was, too…I started with a wide shot of my approach to 156, then got a close-up of the door and room number, with a hard cut to the bottom where I displayed the envelope, with the room number written on it, and a mid-range shot of yours truly sliding it under the door…You don’t mess around with money, especially when it’s not yours.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 9Hut, hut hike! The race for the ESPNCup rolls on. 

Here are some funny lines from this week’s NCAA Bottom Ten:

With team having already matched 1869 win total, Rutgers booster(s) have started Project 300, a tricentennial celebration designed to double team’s win total to two (2) by year 2169.

Hawks show mettle of past Continental Cup holders with first shutout loss since last week…

Despite woes, C-USA still managing to post strong .500 mark in conference play. 

Read Free Week won’t last forever! Click here to get in on the laffs. We offer 4Ever and Ever access, or cheapskates can purchase books and columns individually. 

On This Date
In 1836 – Sam Houston is inaugurated the first president of the Republic of Texas. Houston was limited by the Texas constitution to a two-year term and was ineligible of reelection, though he was elected the third president of Texas in 1841. Houston would later serve as governor of Texas after its annexation by the US and Houston, who served as governor of Tennessee from 1827-29, remains the only person in US history to be elected governor of two different states. Houston was from Virginia and died in 1863 while Texas was part of the Confederacy. 

In 1950- The Los Angeles Rams establish a new NFL record for most points in a game, defeating the Baltimore Colts 70-27. The Rams got two touchdown passes each from Norm Van Brocklin and Bob Waterfield and another one from halfback Glenn Davis, who had joined the Rams that year after he resigned his Army commission. The Rams broke the record held by the Chicago Cardinals, who scored 63 points in a 1948 game and the record is now held by the Washington Redskins, who scored 72 points in a 1966 game. 

In 1966 – Reach Out I’ll Be There by the Four Tops is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the second and final week. It was the third of seven Top 10 hits for the group, their second and final #1 on the pop chart and was their second of three soul chart #1s. The song also went to #1 in Great Britain and would spend two weeks at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart. The Four Tops had the same four members – Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton – from their founding in 1953 until Payton’s death in 1997.

Quotebook
I am not what I would want to be. That is why, to tell the truth, I have failed.
Gore Vidal
Creation

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The five frigates besides the Constitution that were authorized in 1794 were the President, United States, Chesapeake, Congress and Constellation.

Today’s Stumper
What country was Texas a part of before becoming an independent nation? – Answer next time!

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The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 9

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 9
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy 

It’s on. 

With three (3) 0-7 teams, three (3) hard-charging one (1)-win teams that have lost six (6) straight and a UTEP squad lurking and ready to pounce, Bottem Ten fan(s) everywhere are gearing up for an ESPNCup race for the ages, with teams knowing that every turnover, every missed block, every false start will be key to determining Bottom Ten success in 2019. 

This week’s mess: 

1. Rice (0-7; lost to UTSA 31-27)
Mitigating Factors: Owls back on top, not missing beat following bye week, blowing five (5) leads as offense chips in four (4) turnovers…Rice defense taken out behind equipment shed for whoopin’ after somehow only allowing seven (7) points following turnovers…Owls can’t rest on laurels, as minefield of C-USA schedule remains, as remaining opponents have only won 41% of games.
FunFact: B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Owls’ Blown-Lead-To-Turnover-Ratio of 1.25-to-1.00 is “like, the worst this week and stuff”.
Next Loss: Southern Mississippi

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The Diary of a Nobody/October 21

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Monday, October 21
So much for my slow night…This proves the value of a lesson I learned back in my sports officiating days: you can’t go into a game or a shift with preconceived notions because you may not be prepared for what actually happens. 

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The Daily Dose/Monday, October 21, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 21, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience…

Leading Off will return.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow reviews his famous winter driving tips with a guest. Today’s Diary. 

…I took the opportunity to review Sparrow’s Winter Driving Tips (SWDTs). 

One, four seconds between you and the car in front of you…There is no argument about this, you must keep a safe distance between you and whatever’s in front of you…This rule of thumb is better than old standard of a car length for every ten miles per hour you’re going if you ask me, because it gives you more space at higher speeds, four seconds giving you sufficient time to move, safely, when the guy in front of you does something stupid. 

Two, don’t do anything – braking, steering, accelerating – too quickly…The quicker you do things the less control you have on an icy road…Three, for goodness sake, SLOW DOWN…Even more so than usual early in the season, when you are still getting your reaction time up to speed…I know I’ve been driving like an old maid the past couple of days. 

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

Click here to get in on the laffs. We offer 4Ever and Ever access, or cheapskates can purchase books and columns individually. 

On This Date
In 1797 – The USS Constitution is launched in Boston. She is perhaps, best known for her actions in the War of 1812 against Great Britain, where she earned her nickname Old Ironsides despite the fact she is made of wood. One of the original six frigates authorized by Congress in 1794, Constitution set a precedent still followed today by being late and over budget. Constitution is still engaged in active, commissioned service, the oldest commissioned naval vessel in the world still afloat and is currently docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, manned by active duty sailors and open for tours. 

In 1973 – Fred Dryer of the Los Angeles Rams establishes a new NFL record for most safeties in a game with two as the Rams defeat the Green Bay Packers 24-7. Both of Dryer’s safeties came in the fourth quarter and the feat also equaled the team record for most safeties in a game, a record the Rams broke in 1984 with three safeties in a game against the New York Giants. Dryer’s record still stands. 

In 1967 – Sam and Dave are at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart – then known as the Hot R&B chart – for the second of seven consecutive weeks with Soul Man. The song also peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100,  was their second and final soul chart #1 and remains their biggest Hot 100 hit. The song was written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter and charted again in 1979, when the Blues Brothers peaked at #14 with it.

Quotebook
Philosophy does not mean reading books about wisdom, it means training oneself in the practice of wisdom. The essence of the matter is that a man should so mold his life and conduct that his happiness shall depend as little as possible upon external things.
Will Durant
The Story of Civilization, Vol. III: Caesar and Christ

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
UCLA is the college football team that has been ranked the most times in a final Associated Press college football poll without having finished a season ranked #1. The Bruins have been ranked in the final AP poll 31 times, their highest finish #2 in 1954, a year they finished ranked #1 by United Press International.

Today’s Stumper
What were the names of the other five frigates that had been authorized in 1794? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/October 20

Read Free Week continues!

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Sunday, October 20
Q knocked off at 2200 and was already done with his shifter – the complimentary drink we get at the bar after our shift – and well in on his paid drinking when I reported for duty…The big surprise was he wasn’t out right at the top of the hour to ask Assistant Front Desk Manager Devanie for a ride home…He came a few minutes later, after Devani had gone, and sat in his usual lobby chair until it was time to catch the bus…As he tends to do in this situation, he gave me a full pre-shift briefing event tho I had already clocked in and been fully briefed by Devani…As usual, this annoyed me, tho I like Q and kept my annoyance to myself, except to say, with ruthless cordiality, that I did not need reminders about walking the hallways on Saturday nights, nor about stocking the sundry stand. 

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The Diary of a Nobody: Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 20, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

The Sunday Bottom 5
The very best of the very worst of the week that was: 

1. Brexit Blimey, this is turning into quite the quagmire, with British prime minister forwarding Parliament’s request for (another) delay to EU even as he argues against it…Sunday Bottom 5 pollsters “pretty sure” they have no idea what’s going on, noting they’d probably pay more attention if British food were any good and worth importing.

2. President Donald Trump At least he’s consistent: insult everyone, muddy waters with lies, deflect attention with another scandal…All of this merely reinforces Sunday Bottom 5 pollsters long-held opinion that Trump’s only goal is to draw as much attention to himself as possible. 

3. Democrat Fact Check Current administration not only ones with problems keeping facts straight…Click here for roundup of untruths from recent Democratic debate. 

4. Fake News Further proof were not better than this, as people are actually believing these things…Click here for a summary of alleged news items that made the rounds this week that weren’t true at all. 

5. President Trump Fact Check Sunday Bottom 5 five-hole staple, this week featuring his misguided blather on Middle East. Click here to enjoy.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow knows when to keep quiet. Today’s Diary.

The Wife, for reasons I’m sure she thought good, has hung a drop light in the carport…No, I have some zero clue why either but, like every other married men since time immemorial faced with situations of this sort, I’ve long stopped wondering why wives do certain things…The Wife pointed out, in a very logical manner, that the drop light will provide valuable lighting for the carport this winter…Wisely, I thought, I declined to point out so does/did the porch light…There are some points you – in your role as husband – make and some points you do not – in your role as husband – make…As any husband who’s been married for more than, say, a week knows.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

Click here to get in on the laffs. We offer 4Ever and Ever access, or cheapskates can purchase books and columns individually. 

On This Date
In 1818 – The United States and Great Britain sign the Treaty of 1818 which, among other things, establishes the US/Canadian border west of Minnesota at the 49th parallel. An exception is the Northwest Angle in northwest Minnesota which extends north of the 49th parallel and remained in the United States, a border that was set in 1783 because it was then thought that was where the Mississippi River began. Both sides ceded land on both sides of the border and the treaty remains the last time the US ceded significant portions of North American territory to a foreign power. 

In 1936 – The Associated Press releases its first college football poll, ranking 20 teams with Minnesota at #1 followed by Duke, Army, Northwestern and Purdue. Since then, there have been 1,159 AP polls, with 165 teams making at least one appearance in the survey, with Ohio State having the most appearances with 910 and 13 teams having appeared once. Minnesota would win the first AP national title, their first of four and to date Alabama has won the most national championships with eleven. 

In 1979 – Herb Alpert is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first of two consecutive weeks with Rise. The song also peaked a #13 in Great Britain – where it was not uncommon for the song to be played at the wrong speed – and at #4 on Billboard’s soul chart. It was Alpert’s second consecutive #1 song following 1968’s This Guy’s In Love With You, a song he sang on and Alpert remains the only act in Hot 100 history to have both vocal and instrumental #1 songs. Alpert is now 84 and lives near Los Angeles.

Quotebook
If you follow a straight road, who will follow a crooked one?
Gore Vidal
Creation
Attributed to Confucious

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Jackie Wilson’s biggest hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 was Night, which went to #4 in 1960.

Today’s Stumper
Which college football team has been ranked the most times in the final Associated Press college football poll without having finished a season ranked #1? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/October 19

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Saturday, October 19
My hotel uniform shirts were in a different place when I reported for duty…There’s a rack underneath the phone printer and the CD player for the music you hear in the lobby and my shirts – both old and new – are usually hung on the far right, next to Assistant Front Desk Manager Devani’s pint-sized sweater…Tonight tho, they were pushed all the way into the center to make way for dresses and tuxedos for a wedding party we have in house…I’m adaptable and pretty quick on the draw and I noticed the change before I put on a dress. 

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The Daily Dose/Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 19, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience…

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME: Dear Baseball: You appear to be farting around with the baseball again this postseason. It’s been reported and here and there and players are prancing around after smacking one they were sure was going out, only to see it caught on the warning track. 

Now, in some respects, it doesn’t matter. It’s still three strikes and you’re out and ties are still broken with extra innings and not home run hitting contests. But in some respects it does matter. You regularly change the makeup of the baseball and you no longer have a sport, you have a spectacle, an activity that is as dependent on whatever type ball is in play as it is the talent of the players. 

We know this is the second decade of the 21st century and the nature of entertainment is – as it always does – changing. We deserve better than this, though. 

Fly In The Ointment: And there’s evidence your tinkering isn’t working. Despite your micromanagement, regular season attendance has gone down the past four years and it would have been the past five years except for an increase of four fans per game in 2014. World Series TV ratings have been in the toilet for years, too. 2018’s highest-rated World Series game (Game 5) had 17.6 million viewers, about four million less than this past Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys/New York Jets game.  

A Long Time Ago, In A Stadium Far, Far, Away: Long ago, more or less when you started doing business with FOX, you dismissed your past to focus on whatever would get more fans right now.. Too bad, because that, and your record book, are two of your prized possessions. 

Broad Historical Context: Now there have, of course, been different eras of the game. The first major league game was played in 1876, eleven years after the Civil War ended. Eras are inevitable, however, you keep messing around with the composition of the baseball, you are going to make both the past and record book irrelevant. 

Here’s A Thought: If you are going to deaden the ball, do it year round. All these home runs and strikeouts are not the way the game is meant to be played. Baseball is a game of skill, not brute strength. Slowing the ball up would force hitters to hit to the opposite field again, put a renewed premium on fielding and maybe even cut down on the infernal number of pitchers that are used every game. 

Yer pal,
Gaylon

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow has the latest on the razor blade front. Today’s Diary. 

The race is on to see if we run out of razor blades before early December when the retailer gives a 25% off day and we stock up for the year…There are two blades left in the medicine cabinet and the one in service right now has about a week or ten days remaining so, honestly, it’s doubtful, unless we want to use them too much and start inflicting pain and drawing blood while shaving. 

Honestly, I thought we’d make it thru the year with a surplus, like we did last year when we had three or four left over…I keep track throughout the year and as early as spring it was clear we’d be pushing it and the past few weeks it’s been plain we’ll run out… I was never sure why until this morning when I saw a chick razor in the shower, the first I could recall seeing in a while: The Wife has been using my razor all year!!!

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

Click here to get in on the laffs. We offer 4Ever and Ever access, or cheapskates can purchase books and columns individually. 

On This Date
In 1789 – John Jay takes the oath of office as chief justice of the United States. Originally President Washington had offered Jay the position of Secretary of State, which Jay had declined and Jay would preside over the court’s inaugural session the following February.  Business was slow back then as his court heard only heard four cases during his tenure, and Jay and other members of the court spent no small amount of time holding court in their judicial districts. Jay served until his resignation in 1792 and was later elected governor of New York. 

In 1981 – Rick Monday of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth inning as the Dodgers defeat the Montreal Expos 2-1 to win the pennant in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. The Expos had scored a run in the first and the Dodgers tied with a run in the fifth. The game had been scheduled for Sunday, the day before, but snow and cold postponed it and Olympic Stadium was only about two-thirds full. The Dodgers would later beat the New York Yankees in the World Series. 

In 1959 – You Better Know It by Jackie Wilson is at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart – then known as the Hot R&B chart – for its only week. The song Wilson’s fifth of eight consecutive Top 10 hits to start his soul chart career and his second of six soul chart #1s and the song also peaked at #37 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Wilson had a heart attack while performing in 1975, likely caused by high blood pressure caused by Wilson’s habit of taking salt tablets and drinking lots of water before shows so he would sweat more. He died in 1984.

Quotebook
If you honestly want what is good, the people will want the same.
Gorew Vidal
Creation
Attributed to Confucious

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Bob Beamon broke the long jump of 27 feet, four and 3/4 inches that had been established by Ralph Boston of the US in 1965 and tied by Igor Ter-Ovanesyan in 1967.

Today’s Stumper
What was Jackie Wilson’s biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/October 18

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The Daily Dose/Friday, October 18, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 18, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience…

Editor’s Note: Today’s Leading Off item originally appeared on Aug. 6, 2017. We were going to write a column on wages and American private-sector unions, and this column still accurately reflects our thoughts. It runs as it did then, with only some minor factualy corrections. 

TO UNIONIZE OR NOT UNIONIZE, THAT IS THE QUESTION: Last week workers at a Nissan plant in Mississippi voted against joining the United Auto Workers (UAW). The vote wasn’t particularly close with a bit less than two-thirds of workers voting no.

Now, the Deep South has never been a union stronghold, but still, the UAW’s rejection is telling, because it is hardly the only time they’ve been told no in recent years.

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: OK, great, don’t unionize. We would have said OK, great if they had voted to unionize. We don’t really care. It’s the free market, and American labor law, at work.

Dry, Technical Matter: The disappearance of the private sector American labor union is one of the great stories of the American economy the past couple of generations. To deny it is one of the reasons profitable businesses are able to keep wages low is folly.

But you know what? If American workers are content to take what employers are offering without – either individually or collectively – standing up for themselves then so be it. Besides, all of us are free to identify a job that does pay what we want, and then put the work in that is required to get that job. It’s the American way.

Back On Message: Walmart is a great example of the decline of the American union. They are the world’s largest private employer and supremely profitable and like any other business, it doesn’t pay any more than it has to to get the work it needs done.

Brother Can You Spare A Dime: It isn’t that much, of course, and it’s a big reason why between two-thirds and three-quarters of Walmart employees don’t make it to Year Two. Those that do stick around do so either because they genuinely enjoy working for Walmart – there are opportunities for those willing to work, like there are anywhere – while others shrug their shoulders and say it’s not that bad.

What In Thee Hell Is Going On Here?: What we’ve always found interesting is American unions are not fighting tooth and nail to get into Walmart because Walmart employees are ripe for unionization. Relatively low pay, not the best benefits and irregular schedules are just some of the things a good union would have taken care of before anybody could say Jimmy Hoffa.

But we’ve punched a clock for Mr Sam – as he remains affectioinately known in the company – and have some experience in these matters and unionizing is not a big topic among Walmart employees. They will, as employees everywhere do, gripe about this and that, but whining is one of the privileges of punching a clock.

The Bottom Line: You can say this about Walmart’s anti-union policies and you can say that, but if the workers aren’t interested, nothing is going to happen.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody:  Sparrow successfully manages not to do any yardwork whatsoever. Today’s Diary. 

Even an idiot like me can see there’s no point in blowing leaves around in the wind, however the lawn will need one last mowing before winter and that will get the leaves up, too…So I stowed the blower in the shed and then stood in the driveway with my hands on my hips – itself a sign I didn’t really want to do anything – surveying the lawn and I couldn’t see the point to that either and by 1245 I’d successfully managed to talk myself out of doing anything whatsoever. 

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

Click here to get in on the laffs. We offer 4Ever and Ever access, or cheapskates can purchase books and columns individually. 

On This Date
In 1867 – The United States takes control of the Alaska territory at a ceremony at the town of Sitka, in the southeastern part of the state. The treaty for the purchase had been completed on Mar. 30 and was ratified by the US Senate on Apr. 9. The cost was negligible, Russia selling a 586,412 square miles for $7.2 million, about $130 million and 36 cents an acre in today’s money. Alaska became the 49th state in the Union in 1959. 

In 1968 – Bob Beamon of the United States breaks the world record in the long jump at the Mexico City Olympics, jumping 29 feet, 2-and-a-half inches, breaking the previous world record by 21-and-three-quarter inches. Beamon jumped farther than Olympic Stadium’s electronic device could measure and his feat was so dominating – and demoralizing – he beat runner-up Klaus Beer of West Germany by more than two feet. Beamon’s world record stood until 1991 and the mark remains the Olympic record.

In 1952 – Patti Page is at #1 on Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart – a predecessor of the Hot 100 – for the first of five consecutive weeks with I Went to Your Wedding. It was the third of four #1s for Paige on a Billboard pop chart and was her 11th of 27 Top 10 hits and the song also went to #1 in Australia. Paige, born Clara Ann Fowler, died in 2013 at the age of 85.

Quotebook
…Malcolm felt his heart pound with hope because he knew that intuition and instinct had once again performed their customary miracle.
William McGivern
Choice of Assassins

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The commanding generals of the forces at the Battle of Yorktown in the American Revolution were General George Washington (United States), Lieutenant General the Count of Rochambeau (France) and Lieutenant General Charles Cornwalis (Great Britain).

Today’s Stumper
Whose world long jump record did Bob Beamon break? – Answer next time!

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