The Pryor Times


March 4, 2014

The hat makes the man

PRYOR, OK — Q: Basketball great Walt Frazier was nicknamed "Clyde." Why? -- K.K., Middleboro, Mass.

A: He wore a wide-brim hat similar to one worn by Warren Beatty in the movie "Bonnie and Clyde." Frazier played with the New York Knicks (1967-77) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (1977-80). He was inducted into basketball's Hall of Fame in 1987.

Q: Who was Jethro Tull of the band of the same name? -- H.B., Montrose, Colo.

A: One of the co-founders of the band, Ian Anderson, explains that in the early days, their band was not very good. In order to get rebooked into clubs, they changed their name every week. Finally they were asked to return right after playing one gig; they happened to be Jethro Tull that week and had to stay with the name. The original Jethro Tull was an 18th century agriculturalist and inventor. It is said of the person Jethro Tull (1674-1741) that he helped the British Agricultural Revolution succeed.

Q: In an English newspaper headline, there was a story about "twitchers." What are twitchers? -- E.B., Melbourne, Fla.

A: The British version of dedicated bird-watchers. My dictionary says the word is not synonymous with bird watcher but a special breed dedicated to sightings of rare birds.

Q: How did the term "to get fired" come about when you lose your job? -- T.V., Payette, Idaho

A: There are several explanations. The one I like best goes that when the villagers wanted to get rid of someone, as in evict them from their village, they would burn down their house. Presumably the now-homeless person would get the hint that he was no longer wanted and would then move to another village.

Q: Do you have any idea what John Lennon's middle name was? When and where was he born? -- U.G., Waycross, Ga.

A: John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool on Oct. 9, 1940. However, after his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. On Dec. 9, 1980, the former Beatle was assassinated by Mark Chapman outside The Dakota apartment building. Lennon was shot four times.  

Q: When the United Nations celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1995, there were 185 members. Has that number changed? Who was the most recent nation to join? -- D.W., Elk Horn, Iowa

A: The U.N. was founded in 1945 with 51 members. There are now 193 member states. The last new member was South Sudan, which joined in 2011.

Q: A historical novel I'm reading refers to Fort Dallas. I, of course, assume we are in Texas, but turns out it is in Florida. Is the author correct? -- S.I.L., Brookhaven, Miss.

A: Fort Dallas was established in 1836 along the banks of the Miami River in what is now downtown Miami, Fla.  

Q: In the 1980s, Tom Hanks' first starring role was a TV show called "Bosom Buddies." What was his character's name and who was his buddy? -- Y.J.

A: The show aired from 1980 to 1982, with Hanks playing Kip/Buffy Wilson, while Peter Scolari played the role of Henry/Hildegarde Desmond. Scolari went on to play Michael Harris on "Newhart," while Hanks established himself quite well.

Q: The "Miracle on Ice" refers to when a bunch of American college ice hockey players defeated the powerful Soviet Union team during the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. What was the score? What was the date of the game? -- T.J., Willmar, Minn.

A: On Feb. 22, 1980, the U.S. defeated the Soviet Union 4-3.

(Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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