When My Lovely Bride was a mere 14 year old, her parents, Ruthie and Bill, worried how they were going to be able to afford to send her sister Janice on a school chorus trip to Europe. She said, “Mom, you’ve made candy as long as we can remember and everybody tells you to sell it. If we all worked together, I’ll bet we could make enough to let Janice take the trip!” Two days later Ruthie drove to Lititz, PA, for a 50-lb box of their best coating chocolate and to a box factory for candy boxes. Over a three month period, with her girls and a few volunteer helpers, Ruthie hand made over 36,000 five-cent chocolate eggs, barely being able to keep up with the many orders that kept flowing in. Not only were they able to send Janice to Europe for her chorus trip, but they were also able to buy a piano and a new double door refrigerator-freezer. They realized that this would be a great way to pay for Suzanne’s college tuition. Over five seasons, Ruthie made over 87,000 pieces of candy, and not only did the girls take orders at school, but Bill took orders from fellow train engineers, even over the train radio. Ruthie’s hard work paid for Suzanne’s entire tuition, room, board, and books for four years of college, an amazing story. This past week, Ruthie decided to make a small batch for friends, and here she shows off her handiwork.
Our Parking Hall of Shame Team was out in Spanish Springs the other day, and came across this canary yellow car whose driver was “parking space challenged”.
Then, while walking the puppies, Rudy and Gretchen treed six squirrels, a record number for our dachshunds. Luckily, none were caught during their hunting. However, the squirrels often stayed about six feet off the ground, looking right down at our puppies with amusement, and perhaps even taunting them, a squirrel version of “nah-nah-nah-nah-nah”…
Our Person of the Week is Hedy Lamarr, actress and mathematician. (What do you mean, “mathematician?” I thought she was just a gorgeous WWII pin-up girl!) Reve Norman, one of our faithful readers, sent in a great story about Hedy Lamarr, born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Austria in 1913, died in Castelberry, Florida, in 2000, age 86. Once described as “the most beautiful woman in Europe”, she starred in one of the first full-nude motion pictures, “Ecstasy”, and was married at age 19 to a rich Austrian arms merchant who entertained Hitler and Mussolini in their castle. Her husband also took her with him to meetings with military scientists. She escaped from virtual imprisonment in her home to the US just before World War II and became Hedy Lamarr, a famous movie actress. The rest of the story is less well known. In 1942 she and music composer George Anthiel filed a patent for a secret communication system using a piano roll to skip between 88 different frequencies to make radio-guided weapons more difficult for an enemy to jam. Her patent is the basis for modern spread-spectrum communications technology used in BlueTooth, Wi-Fi networking, and CDMA technology in some cell phones. Her story was featured in the premier episode of the Discovery Channel’s show “How We Invented the World”. A very impressive lady!
Being a Panera customer has its benefits: occasional freebies, a quarter off coffee, and periodic emails with good ideas/surprises. Yesterday’s email contained a recipe for stuffed French toast. Being a big breakfast aficionado, I decided to test this recipe on a willing Guinea pig, Corvette Chick… although I may get a smack for calling her that. In any case, it turned out to be a delicious recipe, suitable for guests; and it goes well with bacon. CC was, as always, a bit shocked by the mound of confectioner’s sugar I put on my meal. She may use a couple of teaspoons worth; I start with ¼ cup and go from there. But then, I’m much sweeter than she. (And no snide comments or taking that the wrong way!)