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My Two Cents
by Stephen Scalf
Last week when I was working on the Treasure Finder article, I decided that in order to write a more effective article I needed to get some first-hand experience with the information. I learned that although Kentucky Treasury maintains its own database of unclaimed property, they also operate in conjunction with several other states. This information is available on the website www.missingmoney.com.
"Wouldn’t that be really amazing?" I thought. "What if there is some money out there I didn’t know anything about? That would be exciting!"
The website asked for my first and last name, and the state where I live. None of the three results that appeared were mine. How disappointing! There is no pot of gold stashed away in some treasury with my name on it.
"Well… if I am not able to claim a treasure for myself," my inner conversation continued, "It would still be a lot of fun to help a relative recover some money."
With that in mind, I began searching using my immediate family members’ names.
There it was!
It showed that the State of Idaho had some unclaimed money belonging to my mother! And then the treasury in Arizona was holding onto something belonging to my brother! A couple of my cousins showed up, as well!
I was really excited by this point. I couldn’t wait to call my relatives and tell them what I had discovered.
"Idaho’s treasury has some money belonging to me?" my mom asked in disbelief when I called her on the phone. I told her about the website and how she could begin the claim filing process to find out how much it was.
After overcoming her initial skepticism, Mom got pretty excited, too. "Do you think it will be enough to buy that new pair of shoes I’ve been looking at? That would be so nice."
The next evening I called Mom back to see how her claim turned out.
"How much was it?" I asked. "Are you going to be able to get those shoes?"
Mom laughed. "It was 28 cents."
With the cost of a stamp at 46 cents, Mom would have lost money just mailing in the claim application!
This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to help out by calling people and telling them that they had money coming to them. I met with all sorts of reactions, but a few were just plain skeptical. "This sounds like a scam," one woman told me. I assured her that I was sitting in the Nicholas County courthouse at the same table as Judge/Exec Pryor and Kenny Lyons. My caller ID even identified me as Carlisle Courier – from a local number. But I don’t think I convinced her. I told her I didn’t need any information from her - she just needed to show up at the courthouse. I don’t think I convinced her, though.
It’s like a twist on that old saying: One man’s treasure is another man’s… well… treasure.
And that’s my two cents,
Sharing a Smile
by Tom Metcalfe
Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?
Do you remember that old song? It was sung by Lonnie Donegan, the Irish Rovers, and others. Sing along (Take note of the British spelling of the word "flavor". Since they are both pronounced the same way, don’t let that affect your singing.):
"Does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight?
If your mother says don't chew it,
do you swallow it in spite?
Can you catch it on your tonsils?
Can you heave it left and right?
Does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight?"
Recently, National Public Radio (NPR) morning show host, Renee Montagne reported: "Researchers at St. Lawrence University found a distinct gum advantage in tests taken by chewing and non-chewing students. That effect lasts 20 minutes. It seems chewing wakes people up, which makes one wonder whether gum should really be banned in schools."
That poses a fair question. Most teachers would welcome most anything, including gum chewing, if it would help students be more alert in school at any time of the day. As a former educator myself, I didn’t have objections to students chewing gum in class. It was what happened after they put it in their mouths that I objected to: gum popping, bubble blowing and the irresponsible disposal of the gooey matter after they were tired of it. There’s not much that frustrates me more than stepping in some carelessly tossed gum that lands on a hot sidewalk or street in the summer time.
Buzzle.com tells us that chewing gum ingredients consist of a gum base ( a combination of food-grade polymers, waxes and softeners), flavoring and sweeteners. The earliest records for gum chewing were established when archeologists found a 9000 year old skeleton with a gum substance (chewed birch raisin) in its teeth. The Greeks chewed a gum raisin from the mastic (pronounced mas-tee-ka) plant. The first commercial chewing gum was sold in the US in the 1800’s and it was called the spruce chewing gum. The next most popular chewing gum was sweetened paraffin in 1850.
This same web site listed some 44 different brands of chewing/bubble gum. I had heard of most of them but some I hadn’t. Do you know these brands? Lotte, Razzles, Fusen, Strimorol, Xylichew, Chicza, Hoodia, Kallas, Zoft, Zapp, and Amurol. They even threw in some from other countries for good measure.
Kids have always seemed to like bubble gum. My niece was having problems blowing bubbles when she was a child. So her friend chewed the gum for her and then Susan placed it in her mouth in order to blow the bubble. Do you remember the scene from the movie, "Miracle on 34th Street", when Edmund Gwenn as Santa Claus blew the bubble and it broke into his whiskers?
My favorite scene involving chewing gum was in the Dennis the Menace movie. Dennis was "messing" around in Mr. Wilson’s bathroom and he broke the two front teeth from Mr. Wilson’s upper plate. Dennis fixed it by gluing two Chicklets in the space. Mr. Wilson looked like Bugs Bunny.
I remember another song from years ago about chewing gum. The title is "Chawin’ Chewin’ Gum, Chewin’ Chawin’ Gum". Perhaps you remember it. My research revealed that it has been around since 1928 and the author is unknown. The Carter Family was given credit for singing it, but I think there were probably others.
Last week’s trivia question was: How long have Twinkies been around?
This week’s trivia question: How long has Wrigley used the concept of the Doublemint Twins in their ads?
(around the corner from Deposit Bank)
P.O. Box 206
Carlisle, KY 40311
Tel: 859-289-8899 Fax: 859-289-8890