People have been chewing gum for over 5,000 years. Not gum as we know it today, but gum nonetheless. In 2007 the British found traces of gum (tree bark) in Kierikki, Yli-Li, Finland. They found teeth marks in the bark indicating it had been chewed.
Over the years, it has been used to stave off hunger, curb nicotine cravings, and to freshen breath. It has been made from bark, plants, grass, and other resins, most probably not tasting all that good. It wasn’t until 1848 when John B. Curtis started giving it some flavor, or so far as we know. He was also the first to sell it commercially.
It was called “The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum”. As many gums of the time, it came from the sap of trees. It must have been okay because he sold a great deal of it.
In 1850 an upgrade came to gum, being made out of paraffin wax. Sort of like the stuff you find in those little mock soda bottles. The gum didn’t last all that long but it was better tasting as the wax could easily be mixed with different flavorings.
On Dec. 18th, 1869 Willliam Semple filed for a patent on his gum (#98,304).
Obviously gum has changed a lot since then. Wrigley, Dentine, Juicy Fruit… It has been found to improve memory, reduce stress, and increase alertness. The newer sugar free versions also improve oral hygiene, curb cravings, and improve digestion.
Besides that, if we didn’t have gum, what would baseball players chew? How could you blow bubbles? And the 1950’s might never have been! People rarely turn down a piece of gum if it’s offered to them. There are so many positives that maybe the only negative is…
How to celebrate – Get a piece of your favorite gum and give it a chew. Take enough with you and share with your friends or co-workers. Try some flavors of gum you have never had. You may not like them but all you have to do is spit it out! Preferrably in a garbage can.
I asked a young man the other day what the VFW was. At first he thought it was a car, then realized he was wrong, he said, it was the place where old guys go to eat dinner. It’s sad to think that our future leaders might not even know who the Veterans of Foreign Wars are, particularly when they are the reason that we haven’t had war here in the states since 1812 (aside from the Civil War but that was a civil affair).
These brave men and women meet the enemy on soil away from America to keep them from coming to America. Oh, and they aren’t all old!
Formed by the Veterans of the Spanish-American War/Philippine War on September 29th, 1899, the VFW has been a part of America ever since. Their charge is to promote patriotism, create good will, and provide youth scholarships. They provide support for military service, community service, and promote youth activities.
They share a common bond, having served their country, by going somewhere they didn’t want to go, and doing a job they didn’t want to do. Now they come back home and do what they can to make others lives better for the country they already gave to. That’s a pretty honorable group if you ask me. They already gave, and now they give even more. And the rest of us seem to forget who they are, and what they have done.
There was a movie not long ago called, “A Band Of Brothers”, it was about men who served in World War 2. When the War was over, I can only imagine, when they came home they did not simply forget each other. When many of the Vietnam Vets came back they were met with cruelty and disgrace. That shame belongs to all of us… they were just doing their job. And yet forget about how we treated them, they came back here and have helped our youth, provided support for other veterans, and aided in rebuilding communities. How much of that have you done?
It’s time we honored them, more than just one day, but if that’s all you can offer, at least offer the best you can on them, they have already done so for you. Their motto is, “To honor the dead by helping the living.”
How to celebrate – See what you can do for one of your local VFW’s. Thank any soldier you see for their service. Remember those who gave everything so you could live everything.
What makes a neighbor a good neighbor? Is it someone that likes the same things as you? Is it someone that watches your dog while you’re away? Someone that car pools with you? Someone that leaves you alone?
The fact is, a good neighbor starts with you being a good neighbor. Be there when you are needed, invite them to backyard cookouts, share something with them that makes them feel like they know you but don’t force your highs and lows with them.
Finding something annoying about your neighbor is easy. Maybe they have loud kids, maybe they don’t keep their yard up like you do, maybe they butt in where they aren’t wanted. But they are still your neighbor, and you are their neighbor, so find something you can enjoy, even if it’s hard. It is easy to find the bad in people, and sometimes really….really, hard to find the good, but it is there.
When I was growing up I had neighbors that had kids nearly the same age as me. We did all sorts of mischievous things together. We got punished in different ways and at one point, really began to dislike each other. But we still had to live together, at least in the same neighborhood. We found a way to make it work and it wasn’t always easy. Now as I look back at it, those were some of the most fun days I have ever had.
A neighbor is possibly one of the most valuable assets you can have these days, but you have to be equally as valuable to them. What’s even better than a neighbor? …an entire neighborhood. Your neighbors might not be perfect, but neither are you. They may even be annoying at times, but so are you. The fact is that no one is closer, other than family, to you, than your neighbors. In the end they want the same thing as you, to live their lives free of fear and as comfortably as they can. So if you want good neighbors, you have to start by being a good neighbor yourself.
Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana created Good Neighbor Day in the early 1970’s. Jimmy Carter made a proclamation (#4601) to launch it in 1978. It was always the 4th Sunday in September until 2003 when it was changed to September 28th.
How to celebrate – If you don’t know your neighbors, go meet them. Find out your neighbors’ likes and dislikes and adjust yourself accordingly. Try and get your neighborhood involved in some common interest – everyone will be the better for it.
Today is a very important day, the day you can register for your right to vote. If you like the way the country is being run, you need to vote to keep that in place. If you don’t like the way things are going, you need to vote to change things. The important thing is, you register to vote so you can help shape the country and therefore, take some responsiblity for who we are and where we go.
Nearly all of us complain about government. Some of us want government to take care of us, others want the government to stay out of our business. If you don’t vote, you have no right to say anything. Not that anybody should be able to tell you how to vote, you need to decide that for yourself. Not voting ensures that at least for you the wrong person gets elected.
There are many things you may agree with, many things you may not agree with, but your voice is equal to anyone’s voice if you vote. No, things may not go your way, but at least you did what you could to keep things the same, or change things. Standing by and not voting is letting someone else decide for you what is right and what is wrong.
We already know all politicians lie to us. They cannot tell us the truth because if they do, we would be panicked. Making guns laws strong will not keep guns out of the hands of those who get them illegally. Not having regulations on where toxic wastes are dumped will ensure that they get dumped whereever a company wants to dump them. Certain truths we can decide for ourselves. The lies we hear from those running for office should all be discounted because none of them ever do what they say they will do. It doesn’t matter what side you are on, that is the truth. The question becomes what comes closest to the values you have? Should illegal aliens be made legal? Should we continue to let the rich get richer? Is it our job to take care of those who wont take care of themselves? Should we go into wars we have no intention of winning? Those are questions you have to ask yourself but it doesn’t mean anything unless you can vote and you can’t vote if you aren’t registered.
How to celebrate – Stop complaining and get registered to vote. Stop blaming others if you do nothing to stand up for what you believe in. Volunteer to work at a polling place in your area.
John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in Leominster, Mass. in 1774. He is famed for spreading the apple industry across America and showing the importance of the fruit.
His practice started in Warren, Pa. on the Brokenstraw Creek where he planted a small orchard and fenced it off. He left the field to neighbors allowing them to sell off shares of the fruit harvested from the trees. He would return every year or two to tend to the fields and reap whatever profits he could get. He traveled across Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and what would become West Virginia.
In fact, he made a great deal of money using others to do his work while he continued to travel and own numerous apple orchards, all fenced in and operated by neighbors. He looked the part of a beggar, often going shoeless, though he could well afford them.
In many ways he is a true American hero. He did create an industry and helped many people around him, though he really did not care for people all that much. He was also an Evangelists, though his people skills left few transformed by his vision.
He did, however, have one true love in life, animals. He would often go without in order to make sure the animals around him were taken care of. Few wild animals ever threatened him while most befriended him. He was, more-or-less the Doctor Doolittle of his time.
How to celebrate – Have an apple in honor of Johnny Appleseed. Plant your own apple tree and see if you can get it to grow. Go to an orchard and pick your own apples.
A Gold Record equals 500,000 sales. This is what most musical artists wish for. Just once in their lifetime. Well, there are hundreds of artists that reach that milestone level, but they only do it once, in many cases never to be heard from again.
The Proclaimers did it with “I’m Gonna Be“.
Now that doesn’t mean the artist(s) don’t ever release another record, it just means they have only had one that hit a national or international level, selling enough to be considered a hit.
Like Dee-Lite with “Groove Is In The Heart”
Which is sometimes a very good thing! Just like a movie, they can have one song that appeals to many but never have another one. This happened a lot in disco when artists found a groove but couldn’t make it last for more than 3 or 4 minutes.
The Baha Men were famous for their “Who Let The Dogs Out” but never came up with another success.
Well I don’t know who let the dogs out, and I really don’t care, but the Baha Men did! It made them and the record label a fortune, for one hit.
Snow had “Informer” as their one and only hit.
Of course most bands, and single performers, would love to have that one hit. Some can make it last a lifetime, playing the song over-and-over, at concerts and events.
Right Said Fred only had one hit, “I’m Too Sexy”
Apparently they weren’t sexy enough to launch another hit. There are many artists that should never have had that hit to start with. I’m sure you will agree after listening to a few of these.
Nena had a hit called, “99 Luftballons“.
Maybe it would have been better if they had actually released 99 red balloons!
All it takes, in many cases though, is one hit to land a position in Las Vegas headlining a show. As long as that one song remains popular, the artist is in!
Delys Midnight Runners had a hit with, “Come On Eileen” that they drove to the bank and still make a decent living off of royalties.
It can be very depressing to a writer who creates beautiful music and has a goofball song become a hit when their other material never takes off. They are caught having to perform a song they really don’t like over-and-over, but at least it keeps them working.
Chesney Hawke hit it big once with, “The One And Only“.
Hits can be launched by record companies, in movies, or television shows, and even in commercials. And sometimes they take older songs that were already hits and make them hits again.
Like Taco did with, “Puttin’ On The Ritz“.
The real test is, can an artist reach a million sales, and win the “Platnium Record”!?!
The most cherished record on the face of the earth!
The last of my one hit wonders is New Radicals with “You Get What You Give“. These are rated as the top ten One Hit Wonders. There are many, many more.
How to celebrate – Look for a list on YouTube and make your own top ten One Hit Wonders. See how many one hit wonders you actually have heard of before. Check and see if these one hit wonders are still around.