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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Things we learn from history

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Actually, this comes from the electronic mailbag, but then again most of the mail coming my way these days comes electronically. As an aside, junk mail received via the postal carrier does not compare to the amount of junk mail delivered to the inbox on my computer.

Roland Chambers is a former resident of Kennett and still keeps up on what's happening around these parts. Last week he forwarded me information about the time the great-great-grandfather and great-great-great-grandfather of President Bush, 41 and 43, respectively, visited Kennett.

Need a hint? Some of you might, others won't but here's the hint anyway.

Specifically, we're talking about President George Herbert Walker Bush and George Walker Bush. The Walker who came to Kennett those many years ago was David Davis Walker, partner of Frank Ely in the Ely & Walker Dry Goods Company that built Ely & Walker Shirt Factory No. 5.

The restored shirt factory is now the site of 46 apartments developed by Carlson Gardner and Mid America Management.

How about another little trivia question? Does anyone recall the first location of Ely & Walker's sewing operation here?

"By May 9, 1923, the Ely & Walker Dry Goods Company opened a temporary shirt factory at an old opera house while the new Ely & Walker Shirt Factory No. 5 was being constructed just down the street at 221 S. Main Street."

That old opera house has also made a comeback. The shirt factory moved into its new building in August of that year.

Mr. Chambers found this information on the registration form placing the former shirt factory on the National Register of Historic Places with the Department of Interior's National Park Service. There is a lot more interesting information about both the Ely & Walker Company and the founding of the manufacturing plant here available online here:


There's one other interesting note from this registration form filed in November 2007. One other building in Kennett is on the National Register of Historic Places. Anyone know what which building that is? That building is the current Dunklin County Museum located at 211 College Street, just off the courtsquare.

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Easy "mark"

Many football fans will recall the famous, or infamous, "Heidi" game. For the benefit of those who might not remember, here's a quick rundown of what happened.

On Nov. 17, 1968 the Oakland Raiders were hosting the New York Jets and losing 32-29. NBC was showing the game nationally. The issue for NBC was that it had planned a new made-for-TV showing of the classic "Heidi."

With 1:05 seconds to go in the game and Oakland having the ball at their own 23 yard line NBC opted to cut away at 7 o'clock, the pre-planned time to start the movie. Football fans went from watching 22 sweaty dirty guys to seeing a fresh-faced, blonde pixie on their television screens. They were not happy.

The subsequent backlash let the networks know how popular football had become in America. These days no network would even dare to preempt an NFL game or any other nationally televised game. Well, almost no network although one network is apparently willing to do so, at least on a selective basis.

Last Saturday night's University of Missouri football game against San Diego State University was only available on pay-per-view. DirectTV, the national satellite service offered the game to subscribers at something like $49.95.

One local attorney decided to take DirectTV up on its offer. He hosted several friends to view it with him. The Tigers did not play very well in what should have been a fairly easy home game for them.

In fact, with about four minutes to go and Mizzou losing 21-20, MU quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw an interception. At that point the local newspaper guy decided he had seen enough (by the way, I haven't watched an entire Cardinals game in about a month either and for the same reason).

About the time I pulled into the driveway I heard SDSU kick a field goal to go up 24-20. I went on in the house and turned on a different game.

After about 10 minutes they broke in on the game I was watching with an announcement about "a wild finish in the Missouri-San Diego State game."

They cut to a highlight of Gabbert throwing a pass to wide receiver, T.J. Moe. It was a good throw, but a better catch and run for what was a winning touchdown, and a 27-24 Missouri win. I was a little bummed out about having left early.

It was the next day, when talking to another of the fellows who had been watching the game and decided to stick it out, I learned they hadn't seen the play at all.

Seems DirectTV pulled a "Heidi." With about two minutes to go in the game, about the time SDSU kicked the field goal, DirectTV cut the pay-per-view signal off. The screen went black.

Mark Pelts, know for several things in these parts but patience and understanding are not necessarily at the top of that list, called DirectTV. I think the response, likely from a guy sitting overseas somewhere who thinks football is played with a round white ball kicked infrequently into a net with a goalkeeper in front of it followed by shouts of "Goal!", was, "Well, you got to see most of the game."

I doubt the guy with DirectTV has ever seen "Heidi" all the way through either. And DirectTV apparently didn't learn anything from history about cutting off football fans before the game is over.

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Rotary trivia

Per the local club's resident scribe, Rotarian Danny Ray delivered the program at last week's meeting. Danny conducted a little quiz about the month of September. One of his interesting little tidbits about Sept., was that Ford introduced the Edsel to the motoring public on Sept. 4.

Proving that Rotary has its share of wags, Steve McElwrath spoke up and said something to the effect that it was true, but it was also true they took it off the market on Sept. 5.

Bud Hunt is

regional vice president,

publisher of the

Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and

North Stoddard Countian.