Grandpappy Spears: According to the Almanac

Fascinating facts gleaned from the Almanac by Grandpappy Spears
  • In January 1937 Keokuk, Ioway had a plus-one variation in it’s magnetic declination.
  • Bristol, Tennessee is 1,680 feet above sea level.
  • Bozeman, Montana is 4,755 feet above sea level.
  • In 1936 there was 1,784 votes cast for Landen in Ramsey, North Dakota.
  • The 1930 census gives Red Lodge, Montana 3,026 population.
  • Hubert Utterback was on the Democratic National Committee in 1939.
  • The center of the state of Alabama is Chilton, 20 miles southwest of Clanton.
  • On Tuesday, December 1, 1936 in Atlanta, Georgia, the sun rose at 6:44 a.m. and set at 4:54 p.m.
  • Colors used for automobile license plates in 1936:
  • The coldest temperatures in 1936:
    • New York City: -14
    • Milwaukee: -25
    • Kansas City, Missouri: -22
  • The United States had 731 bicycle shops in 1935.
  • G.N. Collins was president of the Technical Association of the Pulp & Paper Industry in 1936.
  • The fastest the wind blowed in Fort Smith, Arkansas in 1936 was 57 miles an hour. It blowed 54 miles an hour in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Beaver Bridge over the Ohio River in Pennsylvania has got a span of 769 feet. Red Rock Bridge has a span of 660 feet.
  • The four-man team that took first place in the 1936 North American Bobsled Race on February 22-23 was A. Wells, K. Gelbock, M. Luck, and J. Otis. The two-man team was M. Monahan, Jr. and W. Morrison.
  • The lifespan of the rhinoceros is 40-50 years.
  • The lifespan of the elephant is 150-200 years.
  • Roanoke College beat William and Mary 13-0 in a football game in 1936.
  • There were 160 farms in Hamilton County, New York in 1930.
  • Upper Sandusky, Ohio increased its population by 180 from 1920 to 1930.
  • McNamara and Van Kempen won the 6-day bicycle race in 1924.
  • Sam Atchison & Walter Stoolery of Memphis won the National YMCA Doubles Four-Wall Handball Championship in 1936.
  • Annie Edson Taylor went over Niagara Falls in a barrel on October 24, 1901.
  • Bobby Leach went over Niagara Falls in a barrel in 1911.
  • Jean Lussier of Springfield, Massachusetts went over Niagara Falls in a 728 pound rubber ball.
  • [Ad in the back.] Become a man of muscle in 30 days. Develop a perfect physi-cue with the new Marvo exercise machine. Why be ashamed to be seen in a bathing suit when just 15 minutes a day on the Marvo will give you rippling muscles and untold strength? Melvin Elkins of Staten Island, New York writ a letter here sayin’ “The Marvo machine increased my biceps six inches in one week. It made a new man out of me.”
  • Steven Lysak won the one-man single-blade national canoeing championship in 1936.
  • The Hooker telescope on Mount Wilson, California has a concave mirror 100 inches in diameter.
  • A partial eclipse of the moon will be visible at Washington November 1937.
  • $3,265,144 worth of sausage casings was produced in Illinois in 1939.
  • The hydraulic turbine was invented in 1849.

Milford Avery Spears

“This here is Milford Spears, knowed to most as Grandpappy. He was one of the first settlers in the cammunity and claims that when he first come to Pine Ridge the mountings round here wasn’t no bigger’n perater hills. They’s some thats a leetle joobus bout this story but that dont slow him down on tellin it ever chanch he gits. You know bout the only injoyment abody his age gits outa life is a tellin about what turible things was did in his day. If yarns is bein told and he aint got one right on the end of his mouth that he knows’ll out-cap anything thats been told, he’ll set ther and pull at his whiskers till he can study out one that’ll out-do the otherns. They’s some that claims Grandpap is turible hard to git along with on account of him drapping and spillin his temper if he aint handled jist right, but them that knows him lays it off on to his years. You know he’s runnin onto eighty seven year old and you might say he’s a livin on borryed time so hit aint astonishin that abody’d be a leetle crabit at that age althow he eats as harty as a meat hog and is as peert as a cat-bird. He’s allus gittin his back up over sompin another at the meetin house. If the Cirkit Rider fergits to shake hands with him or makes his reemarks too pinted in their meanin, he’ll git up and stomp out like he was bein pestered by a wasp. Facts is he jist takes reeligion like hit was medysine; jist only wen he needs it. Ever time he gits bed-rid with the fevers or has one of his sinkin spells, the first thing he does is to send fer the Cirkit Rider and the doctor both. He most gineraly allus promises to give a lot of money to the meetin house if the Cirkit Rider’ll hep him pull through the shadders but ag’n he gits up and on his feet agin, they caint make him reekollect ever sayin anything about it.

They’s lots of fokes thataway; git em in a tight place and they’ll promise might nigh anything if they git out but agin hits all over they have a dreadful hard time ever callin it to mind.”

From Lum and Abner and Their Friends from Pine Ridge, By Themselves