Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

mullet over

Lake Erie is the second smallest and by far the shallowest of the Great Lakes. It is arguably the most dangerous of the five to navigate. Of the more than 8,000 ships recorded as having sunk in the famous lakes, over 2,000 of those vessels were lost attempting to traverse Lake Erie.

Maine is distinctive for several reasons. It is the only state whose name is one syllable. Maine borders only one other state (New Hampshire). And to complete that odd fact troika: its official state flower is the pinecone which is not a flower.

All major League Baseball ballparks now have “warning tracks” in the outfields. These are borders of dirt that are intended to warn outfielders chasing fly balls that fences or walls are near, hopefully avoiding some costly collisions and injuries. One of the main reasons warning tracks became ubiquitous was the play of “Hustling Pete Reiser” who frequently smacked into outfield fences while running at full speed for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Dolly Parton’s hit recording “Coat of Many Colors” was about a real coat from her childhood – and the garment still exists. The iconic homemade item is on public display in a Pigeon Forge, Tennessee museum.

The world’s most valuable painting is probably the Mona Lisa valued at $500 million by some art experts. Others claim the work would bring much more, if offered at auction. In February of 2015 Paul Gauguin’s When Will You Marry was sold for “about” $300 million. In November of that same year, Willem de Kooning’s Interchange brought “approximately” $290 million in a private sale. Somehow I lost my oil on black velvet Elvis portrait when we moved. I suspect my wife could explain that mystery.

It is claimed that the world’s oldest known gold coin is actually a gold/silver alloy Lydian Lion, circa 600 B.C. It was minted during the reign of King Alyattes. Lydia was in Asia Minor in what is now Turkey.

William Howard Taft was our 27th president (1909-1913). He was later our 10th Supreme Court Chief Justice (1921- 1930). Taft is the only person to have held both offices.

The Dodge Tomahawk is generally recognized as the fastest motorcycle on earth. The limited production machine can generate 500 hp and reach a top speed of 350 mph. I cannot fathom anyone with enough courage (or lack of judgment) to drive a motorcycle 350 miles per hour. Well, be careful when cruising on Lake Erie – and have a great week.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at jkwhite46@gmail.com.