by Rick H
Some stories of questionable fact. But fun reading.
|Myths, Legends, and Other B.S.
Every once and awhile you hear a story which is very entertaining although you know deep down it has probably long since out lived any truthfulness. These types of stories seem to have a life of there own. Here are a few of these stories. Some are funny, some are sad, I hope the reader finds all of them entertaining. I make no claims as to the reality or accuracy or detail of these tales. I, however, would like to believe that they happened just as they were told to me.
This first tale involves the well known American frontiersmen and hero Daniel Boone. Most of us know Daniel Boone is responsible for exploring and mapping out much of the Ohio River Valley as well as most of the land mass from the Cumberland Gap to the Mississippi river. Unfortunately, he never bothered to make his mark on the land he explored. While others were busy taking their axe and marking trees which was law back then, the legal way to personally claim the land. Daniel simply walked and explored thousands of miles not bothering with the details. Sadly, after exploring and quite possibly being the first white man to ever have seen this new country, he died owning barely two hundred acres and near penniless. This however is not the incident I wish to tell.
It is a fact that Daniel even in his time was a celebrity. His adventures and exploits grew in size, grandeur, and popularity in his day. So much so that a young cub reporter was sent out from Philadelphia to find the elusive Mr. Boone and interview him for the newspaper. After weeks of arduous travel and adventures of his own I’m sure, this young city slicker finally found Mr. Boone. Our young reporter on gleaning through all the facts and stories of the great man’s adventures was about to leave the pub where they were sitting and visiting. “I have one final question Mr. Boone. Have you ever been lost?” Mr. Boone looked at the boy puzzled and then questioningly at his fellow frontiersmen. There was a sudden hush in the room as they looked at each other perplexed. Daniel shaking his head pushed away from the table as he stood, Then smiled down and said, “No son, ain’t never been lost, but I’ve been a might bit perplexed for five or six weeks.”
Our next tale starts back in the mid 1800's, in a little Alpine lake town on McCall, Idaho. It was truly the wild west. Miners and loggers were fighting together to prevail, against the seasons, a hostile environment and themselves. It was the 1850’s, times which were as hard as the men who shaped those days. At the time gold had just been discovered in the Idaho mountains. Tens upon tens of thousands of men seeking their fortunes filed into the Idaho wilderness, panning and hard rock mining for the yellow rock. Not all that came sought their fortune this way. Many were shrewder; knowing miners required things they would pay dearly for. There were shop keepers and merchants. Bar owners and teamsters. Our story involves all of them.
It seems one night a rather thirsty teamster arrived from Boise some one hundred and so miles south. Fourteen days of steep, rocky, narrow mountain trails to arrive in McCall on his route to the mining town of Warren still five days and fifty miles further north.
Well, whiskey flowed, the stories and egos grew taller. It seems our brave and industrious teamster set about talking about the trail conditions, roaming Indians, and other dangers he faced daily to make his monthly trip through this inhospitable wilderness. Egos grew as the whiskey dulled the senses. He began to boast he could haul anything, anywhere, at anytime.
McCall was settled on the shores of Payette Lake which according to the legend had no salmon or sturgeon in it up to this time. A wager was thrown out to the teamster. For the sum twenty dollars in gold, he could not haul a live salmon or sturgeon up the trail from the Snake River which lay some twenty miles south of Boise and deliver them into the lake across the street from the saloon.
Well the bet was taken. The next morning the teamster left for Warren to finish his duties. The legend continues the teamster did in fact return some months later in the fall with his load. Legend has it he coated the wagon bed with canvas and pitch then filled the bed with water placing a dozen salmon and three sturgeons in it. It took him nearly a month to travel up the near mile of rocky elevation alongside the Payette River. He successfully delivered four live salmon and two live sturgeon into the Payette Lake and collected his bet.
This according to legend is how the land locked Salmon came to be in Payette Lake. It may also explain the existence of ‘Sharlie’, the local legendary lake monster similar to the more famous ‘Nessie’, which is said to inhabit Payette Lake. No one to my knowledge has ever caught a sturgeon out of this lake, but on one late night walk home from the same a fore mentioned saloon, both my wife and I, thought we did in fact see the famed Sharlie swimming about under the moonlight for a few minutes.
Next our story fast forwards to the future. We’re on the East Coast, at Princeton University in New Jersey. This story as I heard it comes to pass on the stage of a lecture hall at Princeton. In a back office, a frantic and somewhat amused dean is calling Mrs. Einstein. He is telling the dear Mrs. to please bring his completely preoccupied professor a change of clothes. Apparently our lovable laureate was a little too consumed with the plight of the universe and Quantum Physics to pay any attention to dressing himself this one morning.
Our dear Dr. Einstein was shuffling back and forth and expounding on groundbreaking theories on stage. He was dressed in striped pajama bottoms, a checkered shirt, capped off with a sport jacket and mismatched bedroom slippers. Lost in thought ,chewing on his pipe, he had no Earthly consciousness of his appearance. Mrs. Einstein, bless her heart, hurries to his rescue at the university with appropriate clothing. She immediately afterward went down to Sears and Roebuck and picked out five identical sweaters, pants, shirts, and ties. She hung these items in outfits in his closet so the preoccupied professor would always be appropriately dressed. This may be why we now see our dear Professor in similar sweaters in photos.
Another story also involves the brilliant Dr. Einstein. Albert Einstein is still a professor at Princeton University. He had by this time won the Nobel Prize for Physics, the Copley Medal from the Royal Society, the Gold Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society, He was also offered the Presidency of Israel and was developing Calculus in is spare time. He was declared the smartest man on Earth. One of the national newspapers interviewed Mrs. Einstein and asked what it was like being married to the smartest man alive. She sat quietly and thought about it for a while then smiled and fondly replied, “That may be true. But he still can’t make bread.” There's a lesson for couples in there somewhere.
More to follow: … soon
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