“From now on … rain or shine … I want bean soup on the menu every day!”

mullet over

In 1649, in Massachusetts, the sovereign Puritan government ruled “Any childe over 16 (years of age) who shall curse or smite their natural father or mother shall be put to death.”            

Later on, it was 1904 in Nebraska when “Uncle Joe Cannon” was Speaker of the House. Uncle Joe had a notable fondness for bean soup and one day at lunch the Speaker was quite upset that bean soup was not listed on the menu and not even available at the House restaurant. The angry man (sans sopa de fríjol) went to the kitchen and roared “From now on … rain or shine … I want bean soup on the menu every day!” Bean soup has been on the House menu in Nebraska daily ever since that soupless encounter more than 115 years ago.            

Mt. Waialeale (Hawaii) is generally considered to be the rainiest spot on earth. Average annual rainfall is 460 inches (about 38 feet).            

In case you were wondering – India gets its name from the Indus River, which may seem a little peculiar because only a tiny bit of that river is in India. Ownership of that tiny bit is in dispute.            

Amadeus Mozart composed minuets at age three. I am in my seventies and I am not certain what a minuet is. Some sort of music, maybe?            

In 1502, 26 year old Michelangelo was walking by a Cathedral courtyard in Florence when he espied a large block of marble standing near a wall. He inquired about the stone and discovered the marble mass had been standing in the same location for at least 40 years. After receiving permission from somebody, he began to hammer and chisel on the block whenever he could spare some time. About seventeen months later, on January 25, 1504, one of the incomparable sculpted masterpieces of all time was declared to be completed – Michelangelo’s statue of David.            

Both Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley were unsuccessful candidates for the office of mayor in NYC. I suspect the younger readers ask who the Sam Hill are Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley? And who is Sam Hill? Sigh.            

Many of those who study the travel accounts of Marco Polo are puzzled by the normally truthful man’s declarations that he saw unicorns. The animals were described as “ugly brutes.” What might be an insightful explanation is that Mr. Polo may have observed and attempted to paint a verbal picture of rhinoceroses. Well, enjoy a nice bowl of hot bean soup and have a great day. (jkwhite46@gmail.com)