“The Champion”

(top row l to r) Jordan Spieth after his big Open win at Royal Birkdale; One of Royal Birkdale’s interesting sand traps. (row two) Golf really is a great family game. (row three) A very early leather golf ball; An exploded view of Nike’s newest golf ball; A highball in a golf ball glass I saw on Amazon. (bottom) I really, really, like golf.

Last weekend, after visiting with great friends for breakfast on Sunday morning, I had a chance to watch some of the British Open, and the amazing finish by Jordan Spieth. I was mesmerized by his shot making, patience, creativity and approach to the game, as he battled shot after shot with his closest opponent Matt “kooosh” Kuchar.  As a golfer myself, and one who clearly understands PIA (pain in the #$%) Jobs, (something I equate with my own golf game – often!), I thought it would be fun to dig into the archives and find some random trivia about the game we can all share with friends while on the course. Ironically, I have had a golf shot named after me, granted this was years ago, so next time you see me ask about the “Kowalski”. Special thanks to golfandcourse.com for the insights.

  1. The game of Golf was invented over 500 years ago in Scotland, however it is claimed that the Chinese developed a similar game as far back as 943 A.D.
  2. Between 1457 and 1502, golf was banned in Scotland on three separate occasions to prevent Scots from being distracted from preparations to defend against an English invasion.
  3. The origin of the word “golf” is thought to have come from the Dutch word “kolf” or “kolve”, meaning “club” and the passed into Scottish language and became to “golve,” “gowl” or “gouf” because of the eccentricities of Scottish dialect.
  4. The “birdie” was coined by an American named Ab Smith who initially referred to a “bird of a shot” which later became a “birdie.”
  5. A “caddy” is derived from the French word “cadet” (with has roots in the Gascon Occitan as capdèth or capdet, meaning chief then younger boy) used to refer to the Cadets de Gascogne, the youngest sons of the aristocratic families of Gascony who were captains serving in the French Army during the 15th century.
  6. A “scratch golfer” is a golfer with a handicap of zero.
  7. On February 6, 1971, Apollo 14 member Alan Shepard hit a ball on the moon with a six-iron. Shephard had to play the shot with one-handed because of his space suit.
  8. The longest putt ever was a huge 375 feet by Fergus Muir in November 6, 2001 at St Andrews.blank”>Try watching this video on www.youtube.com</a>, or enable JavaScript
  9. Michael Hoke Austin of Los Angeles, California holds the record for the longest drive on an ordinary course. On September 25, 1974 in the US National Seniors Open Championship at Las Vegas, Nevada he hit a phenomenal 515 yard drive.
  10. Coby Orr is the youngest golfer to make a hole-in-one. In 1975, at just 5 years of age he achieved every golfer’s dream on a par 3 in Littleton, Colorado.
  11. Richard Lewis holds the record for the most number of holes of golf played in a single year. Between January 1st and December 31st 2010, he played 11,000 holes, every one of them at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving, Texas.
  12. The longest hole-in-one record has stood since March 1961 when Lou Kretlow aced the 427 yard 16th hole at Lake Hefner course, Oklahoma City, USA.
  13. The Honor (or “you have honors”) is when a golfer is entitled to tee off first, usually having won the last hole, or maintained “The Honor since the last hole with a winner.”
  14. A “condor” is the name for a score of 4 under par. There have only been four verified condor’s, all hole-in-one’s on par 5s.
  15. Links golf courses are characterized by being built on the thin strip of grass, sand and dunes between the sea and typical agricultural land. Parkland courses typically have lush, well maintained fairways, mature trees and woodland, deep rough and bunkers and Heath-land courses have rolling fairways, sculpted through the natural landscape with bushes, shrubs and few trees.
  16. A “mulligan” is a bad shot which, by mutual agreement between playing partners, is cancelled and replayed (truly one of my favorite shots)!
  17. Striking the ground before making contact with the ball was called a “sclaff”.
  18. The chances of making two consecutive holes in one is at the edge of the realms of possibility and odds have been put anywhere where between 25,000,000 and 65,000,000 to 1. But at the 1971 Martini Tournament in Norwich, England John Hudson did just that, with aces on the 11th and 12th holes.
  19. In 1963 Jack Nicklaus became the youngest player to win The Masters.  In 1986, he became the oldest player to win The Masters.
  20. In 1744, the first golf club was founded, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers which played at Leith links.
  21. Founded in 1754, The Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews set the standard of the 18 hole golf course.
  22. The first golf club to open in the United States was the Chicago Golf Club opened in 1893. The club moved two years later and has resided in the same location since 1895. Downers Grove Golf Course is at the original site.
  23. The oldest known rules of golf were written in 1744 by the Edinburgh Golf Club. The first golf instruction manual was published in 1857 “The Golfer’s Manual”, by “A Keen Hand” (H. B. Farnie).
  24. The International Golf Club in Massachusetts is the home of the longest golf course in the US (at 8,325 yards the course plays to a par of 77).  The Nullarbur Links in Australia, begins and ends (depending on the direction of crossing) in the goldmining town of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, and measures 1365 kilometers (1,482,940 yards) – clearly the longest course.
  25. The Sano Course at the Satsuki Golf Club in Japan boasts the world’s longest hole. The 7th hole on the course it is a par 7 and is 964 yards long.
  26. Pine Valley Course in New Jersey has the world’s biggest bunker. Affectionately named “Hell’s Half Acre”.
  27. The largest green in the world measures in excess of 28,000 square feet.
  28. The Augusta National Golf Club, the home of The Masters, was closed for 3 years during World War II to support the war effort. The course was used to raise cattle and turkey.
  29. Cast golf clubs are made by pouring molten metal into a mold, around 90% of golf clubs are made using this process.  Forged golf clubs have a softer steel, stamped or beat into shape which is what give forged clubs “a better feel.”
  30. Up until the 1920’s two-wood golf clubs were referred to as “the brassie”, three-wood clubs “the spoon”, four-wood clubs were “the baffy” and five-wood clubs “the clerk”.  A five iron was called “the mashie”, and an 8 iron was called “the pitching niblick”.
  31. There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.  The number of dimples range between 330 and 500.
  32. Golf balls were originally made from thin leather stuffed with feathers. At the time, tightly packing feathers was the most effective way to produce golf balls that flew the longest distance.
  33. Before the use of tees, golfers would tee-off from a pile a sand (something my friend Rob has known to use on our annual golf trips).  It wasn’t until the 1920’s when the plastic and wood golf tees today started to gain popularity.
  34. You’re not allowed to carry more than 14 golf clubs in your golf bag for a sanctioned tournament.  Before the 1890s, there were no golf bag, caddies would tie a strap around clubs to carry them.
  35. 80% of all golfers will never achieve a handicap of less than 18.
  36. If you walk an 18 hole golf course, you’ll walk roughly 4 miles and burn 2,000 calories.  If you ride around an 18 hole golf course on a golf cart you’ll burn around 1,300 calories.  And if you flag down the beverage cart, for a cool drink and a snack, you are most likely right back to zero.
  37. It’s common for Japanese golfers to have insurance for getting a “hole-in-one”. Having made hole-in-one it’s customary to throw a party and present gifts to all your friends to share your good luck.
  38. Johnny Weissmuller, famous for his role as Tarzan, was playing golf in Cuba during the Revolution when he was surrounded by a group of rebels. He immediately gave his trademark Tarzan yell. The soldiers recognized it and were so delighted to meet Tarzan that they escorted him to a safe area.
  39. South African golfer Gary Player wore a pair of trousers with one black leg and one white leg at the 1960 Open Championship in St Andrews to protest against Apartheid.
  40. Golf is a game – it should be fun to play.





Glorious Watermelon!

Aaahhhh.  The sweet, refreshing taste of watermelon.  On a hot, summer, day, there’s something special about biting into a big slice of cool, juicy watermelon, enjoying the sweet flavor, and then spitting out the seeds.  As a kid, I remember Mom and Dad bringing home lots of watermelons for us kids to eat. For any of you who know me, this would almost never end well for my siblings! 🙂   Do you know how many seeds are in a large watermelon and how far you can spit them? (that’s a topic for another post!)   Needless to say, Mom would not be happy with us once we were finished having a seed spitting contest. Even the dogs would get into the act!  So, for our post today, I did some diggin’ just so we all can be a bit smarter about this fun summertime treat.  Enjoy!  Special thanks to watermelon.org (of course there is a watermelon dot org, right?) It’s loaded with fun facts and really great recipes.

  • The origins of watermelon have been traced back to the deserts of southern Africa, where it still grows wild today. The ancestor of the modern watermelon is a tough, drought-tolerant plant prized for its ability to store water for tribes crossing the Kalahari.
  • The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred about 5,000 years ago in Egypt and is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics on walls of their ancient buildings. Watermelons were often placed in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife.
  • From there, watermelons were brought to countries along the Mediterranean Sea by way of merchant ships. By the 10th century, watermelon found its way to China, which is now the world’s top producer of watermelons.
  • The 13th century found watermelons spreading through the rest of Europe via the Moors.
  • By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.
  • Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
  • According to Guinness World Records, the world’s heaviest watermelon was grown by Chris Kent of Sevierville, Tennessee in 2013, weighing in at 350.5 lbs.
  • The United States currently ranks 5th in worldwide production of watermelon. Many states grow watermelons with Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, and Arizona consistently leading the country in production.
  • You need three things to grow watermelon: sun, bees, and water.  Farmers generally grow watermelon in rows (8 to 12 feet apart) and in raised beds (4 to 12 inches high) composed of well drained sandy soils. Tiny watermelon plants from a nursery are transplanted into soil beds.
  • Honeybees must pollinate every yellow watermelon blossom in order to fruit. In a month, a vine may spread 6 to 8 feet, and within 60 days, the vine produces its first watermelons. The crop is ready to harvest within 3 months.
  • The rind of a watermelon is not as tough as it looks, so it is handpicked. Watermelon pickers look for a pale or buttery yellow spot on the bottom of the watermelon, indicating ripeness.
  • Watermelon’s official name is Citrullus Lanatus of the botanical family Curcurbitaceae. It is a cousin to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
  • More than 300 varieties of watermelon are cultivated in the United States and South America, where complementary growing seasons provide a year-round supply of watermelon in an array of shapes, colors and sizes. Because there are so many varieties, they are often grouped according to characteristics, like fruit shape, rind color or pattern, and size.  The most common watermelon options are:
    • Seeded: The classic watermelon comes in a wide range of sizes. (15-45 lb, round, long, oblong)
    • Seedless: Due to high demand, the majority of watermelon cultivars grown today are seedless – and they are getting redder and crisper thanks to seed breeding advancements. They are not the result of genetic engineering, but rather hybridization – the crossing of two different types of watermelons. (10-25 lb, round to oblong)
    • Mini: Petite “personal watermelons” are easy to handle and their thinner rinds can mean more flesh per pound. Hollow them out for a compostable serving bowl. (1-7 lb, round)
    • Yellow & Orange: These varieties lack the lycopene that gives red-fleshed watermelon its color, yellow and orange varieties add a surprising element to the plate or glass. (10-30 lb, round)
  • To pick a good watermelon, look the watermelon over. You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.  Next, lift it up.  The watermelon should be heavy for its size. Watermelon is 92% water, most of the weight is water.  And finally, turn it over.  The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.
  • A two-cup serving of watermelon contains excellent levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, and serves as a valuable source of potassium. At 92% water, watermelon delivers needed fluids and nutrients to the body, including lycopene – which has been studied for its potential role in reducing risk of heart disease, various cancers and protection to skin from harmful UV rays – and citrulline – which can help maintain blood flow within the heart and cardiovascular function.
  • 100% of watermelon is useable and compostable – 70% flesh and 30% rind.  On average, a typical watermelon yields about 11-12 cups of cubes and 6 cups of juice.
  • If you are traveling this summer, there are dozens of watermelon festivals to choose from – here are just a few coming up:  North Carolina Watermelon Festival (7/21) Fair Bluff, NC; Outer Banks Watermelon Festival (8/3) Kitty Hawk, NC; Watermelon Carnival in Water Valley, MS (8/4) Water Valley, MS; Knox County Watermelon Festival (8/5) Knox County, IN; Denton North Carolina Watermelon Festival (8/5) Denton, NC; Hope Watermelon Festival (8/10) Hope, AR; Straffordville Watermelon Festival (8/26) Straffordville, Ontario, Canada
  • Enjoy more at The Slice – What About Watermelon blog.

Two FUN Recipes to try:

Watermelon Rind Stir Fry


  • 2 cups watermelon rind, julienned (white part only, from about 1/2 of a seedless watermelon)
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chives, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • add some spices, like red pepper flakes to taste
  1. Heat sesame oil in a wok over high heat. Add the watermelon rind and carrots and stir fry, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Let sit over high heat for 1 additional minute without stirring. Add the chives and stir to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic and ginger.
  3. Pour the sauce over the watermelon rind and cook, stirring, 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish. Add the basil, cilantro, and mint, tossing to combine.
  5. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve as a side dish.

Watermelon Poke Bowl


  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup watermelon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 green onions, cut on the diagonal with whites and greens separated
  • 3 medium cloves garlic or 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger root
  • 1/3 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound ahi tuna, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • 2/3 cup diced watermelon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • serving pickled ginger or chopped fresh ginger
  1. In a medium bowl, mix soy sauce, watermelon juice, chili sauce, oil, the white portion of green onions, garlic, ginger root and onion. Add tuna, toss and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. 10 minutes before serving, add avocado and return to refrigerator.
  3. Plate over white rice seasoned with rice wine vinegar and top with watermelon and green onions, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with pickled ginger and garnish with dried seaweed for extra Hawaiian flare.



“yabba dabba doo”


ROW 1: William Hanna with a couple of his pals; A frame from Tom & Jerry’s first film “The Yankee Doodle Mouse” which was nominated for an Academy Award; Hanna & his friend and long time business partner Joseph Barbera. ROW 2: The Jetsons; Jonny Quest. ROW 3: Ruff and Reddy; Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy. (I wonder how many dogs have been named after these guys) ROW 4: Pixie and Dixie; The Smurfs (Hey Grandpa Smurf, who’s the hottie?); Josie and the Pussycats. ROW 5: The Flintstones and their neighbors the Rubbles; Huckleberry Hound; Magilla Gorilla. ROW 6: Mr. Jinks; Quick Draw McGraw; Atom Ant; Top Cat; Yogie Bear and his weakness for pic-a-nic baskets. ROW 7: I love this Huckleberry Hound cap; Huckleberry Hound for President pin (I hear he still gets votes); a Boo-Boo thumb drive (poor Boo-Boo); One of the many Academy Awards Hanna and Barbera won over the years.


Isn’t it cool how just a few words can trigger images and memories?  For me, as a kid, I loved watching cartoons – Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, the Flintstones, Spider-Man, Superman, Speed Racer, Ultraman and who could forget The Roadrunner to name just a few! Like recalling old Seinfeld episodes, I remember best buddies Barney and Fred, hard bosses like Mr. Orwell or the Tom & Jerry chase scenes with fondness. On Saturday mornings before chores and the day’s events, I’d steal away just a little time and hang with my brothers and sisters watching our favorites.  Poking around the web this week, I stumbled across the name William Hanna, of the famous Hanna/Barbera team, and found out that today, July 14, was his birthday.  Digging deeper, I learned about an unusually talented guy, who took multiple life experiences and blended them into an amazing career that touched the lives of millions of adults and families.  All our journeys are different, built on places, people we meet, teams we build and chances we take to make a difference.  For me, it’s all about thermal processing, solving your PIA (Pain in the @#$) Jobs, hard work, family, faith and friends.  Hope you enjoy this recap of a truly talented man, and thanks Wikipedia for the details.


  1. William Denby “Bill” Hanna was an American animator, director, producer, voice actor, and cartoon artist, whose film and television cartoon characters entertained millions of people for much of the 20th century.
  2. William Hanna was born to William John and Avice Joyce (Denby) Hanna on July 14, 1910 in Melrose, New Mexico. The third of seven children and the only son, Hanna described his family as “a red-blooded, Irish-American family”.  His father was a construction superintendent for railroads as well as water and sewer systems throughout the western regions of America, requiring the family to move frequently.
  3. When Hanna was three years old, the family moved to Baker City, Oregon, where his father worked on the Balm Creek Dam. It was here that Hanna developed his love of the outdoors.  The family moved to Logan, Utah, then to San Pedro, California, and eventually settled in Watts, California, in 1919.
  4. In 1922, while living in Watts, he joined the Boy Scouts and attended Compton High School from 1925 through 1928, where he played the saxophone in a dance band.  His passion for music carried over into his career where he helped write songs for his cartoons, including the theme for The Flintstones.  Hanna became an Eagle Scout as a youth and remained active in Scouting throughout his life.  As an adult, he served as a Scoutmaster and was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with their Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1985.  Despite his numerous career-related awards, Hanna was most proud of this Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. His interests also included sailing and singing in a barbershop quartet.
  5. Hanna studied both journalism and structural engineering at Compton City College, but had to drop out of college with the onset of the Great Depression.  In 1936, Hanna married Violet Blanch Wogatzke, a marriage that lasted over 64 years (WOW!), producing two children.
  6. Hanna worked briefly as a construction engineer and helped build the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. He lost that job during the Great Depression and found another at a car wash. His sister’s boyfriend encouraged him to apply for a job at Pacific Title and Art, which produced title cards for motion pictures.  While working there, Hanna’s talent for drawing became evident, and in 1930 he joined the Harman and Ising animation studio, which had created the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. Despite a lack of formal training, Hanna soon became head of their ink and paint department and wrote songs and lyrics.
  7. During 1938–1939, he served as a senior director on MGM’s Captain and the Kids series, based upon the comic strip of the same name. Hanna’s desk at MGM was opposite that of Joseph Barbera, who had previously worked at Terrytoons. The two quickly realized they would make a good team. By 1939 they had solidified a partnership that would last over 60 years.
  8. Hanna and Barbera worked alongside the famous animation director Tex Avery, who had created Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny for Warner Bros. and directed Droopy cartoons at MGM.
  9. In 1940, Hanna and Barbera jointly directed Puss Gets the Boot, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best (Cartoon) Short Subject. Despite the success, their Hanna supervisor, Fred Quimby, did not want to produce more “cat and mouse” cartoons. After much resistance, Quimby finally gave Hanna and Barbera permission to pursue their idea, resulting in their most famous creation, Tom and Jerry.
  10. Hanna said they settled on the cat and mouse theme because he knew he needed two primary characters for conflict, and friendship, and a cat after a mouse seemed like a good, basic thought.  Over the next 17 years Hanna and Barbera worked almost exclusively on Tom and Jerry, directing more than 114 highly popular cartoon shorts and wartime animated training films.
  11. Despite its popularity, Tom and Jerry has often been criticized as excessively violent. Nonetheless, the series won its first Academy Award for the 11th short, The Yankee Doodle Mouse (1943)—a war-time adventure.
  12. In 1955, Hanna and Barbera were placed in charge of MGM’s animation division. As the studio began to lose revenue due to television, MGM realized that re-releasing old cartoons was far more profitable than producing new ones. In 1957, MGM ordered Hanna and Barbera’s business manager to close the cartoon division and lay off everyone by a phone call.  Hanna and Barbera found the no-notice closing puzzling because Tom and Jerry had been so successful.
  13. In 1957 Hanna reteamed with Joseph Barbera to produce cartoons for television and theatrical release. The two brought different skills to the company; Barbera was a skilled gag writer and sketch artist, while Hanna had a gift for timing, story construction, and recruiting top artists. Major business decisions would be made together, though each year the title of president alternated between them. A coin toss determined that Hanna would have precedence in the naming of the new company, first called H-B Enterprises but soon changed to Hanna–Barbera Productions.
  14. The first offering from the new company was The Ruff & Reddy Show, a series which detailed the friendship between a dog and cat. Hanna–Barbera soon established themselves with two successful television series: The Huckleberry Hound Show and The Yogi Bear Show. A 1960 survey showed that half of the viewers of Huckleberry Hound were adults, which prompted the company to create a new animated series, The Flintstones, based on a parody of The Honeymooners. The new show followed a typical Stone Age family with home appliances, talking animals, and celebrity guests. With an audience of both children and adults, The Flintstones became the first animated prime-time show to be a hit.
  15. The company later produced a space-age version of The Flintstones, known as The Jetsons. Although both shows reappeared in the 1970s and 1980s, The Flintstones was far more popular.
  16. By the late 1960s, Hanna–Barbera Productions was the most successful television animation studio in the business, producing over 3000 animated half-hour television shows. Among the more than 100 cartoon series and specials they produced were: Atom Ant, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy, Jonny Quest, Josie and the Pussycats, Magilla Gorilla, Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks, Quick Draw McGraw, Top Cat, Scooby-Doo and the Smurfs – (how many characters can you name?)
  17. Hanna–Barbera was key in the development of limited animation, which allowed television animation to be more cost-effective. To reduce the cost of each episode, shows often focused more on character dialogue than detailed animation. The number of drawings for a seven-minute cartoon decreased from 14,000 to only about 2,000, and the company implemented innovative techniques such as rapid background changes to improve viewing. Reviewers criticized the change from vivid, detailed animation to repetitive movements by two-dimensional characters. The new style did not limit the success of their animated shows, enabling Hanna–Barbera to stay in business, providing employment to many who would otherwise have been out of work. Limited animation became the standard for television animation, and continues to be used today in television programs such as The Simpsons and South Park.
  18. In 1967, Hanna-Barbera was sold to Taft Broadcasting for $12 million, but Hanna and Barbera remained heads of the company until 1991, when it was sold to Turner Broadcasting System ($320 million), which in turn was merged with Time Warner in 1996, where Hanna and Barbera stayed on as advisors.
  19. Hanna and Barbera won seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards. Their cartoons have become cultural icons, and their cartoon characters have appeared in other media such as films, books, and toys. Hanna-Barbera’s shows had a worldwide audience of over 300 million people in their 1960s heyday, and have been translated into more than 28 languages.
  20. Most of the cartoons Hanna and Barbera created revolved around close friendship or partnership; a reflection of the close business friendship and partnership that Hanna and Barbera shared for almost 60 years. This theme is evident with Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, Ruff and Reddy, The Jetsons family and Scooby-Doo and Shaggy Rogers, as well as Cartoon Network characters that Hanna-Barbera created such as Johnny Bravo and Carl, Cow and Chicken and their schoolmates Flem and Earl, I.M. Weasel and I.R. Babboon, Dexter and his supercomputers, and the Powerpuff Girls. (I have to admit not a big fan of the Powerpuff Girls!)
  21. Hanna is considered one of the all-time great animators and on a par with Tex Avery. Hanna and Barbera were among the most successful animators on the cinema screen and successfully adapted to the change television brought to the industry. Leonard Maltin says the Hanna–Barbera team “[may] hold a record for producing consistently superior cartoons using the same characters year after year—without a break or change in routine. Their characters are not only animated superstars, but also a very beloved part of American pop culture.”
  22. In all, the Hanna–Barbera team won seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards, along with numerous awards for television achievement, licensing, youth entertainment, music, the Governors Award of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and induction into the Television Hall of Fame to name just a few.




“Hey Boo Boo – That Looks Like A Tasty Pic-in-ic Basket”

Start with a picnic basket then add food and a ton of fun. Hey, look! There’s my hot dog in the middle!


Around this time of year, I really enjoy northeast Ohio weather and going on picnics.  Beyond the food (Jackie can just about pack anything, because she knows my love of food), we love to go exploring to find new places to sit and relax.  Living close to the lake, we find ourselves stealing away, basket in hand, to find a spot to kayak and then enjoy a breakfast or lunch, while soaking in an early morning view or late night sunset. Below is a little history on picnic’s and some great places in the area to visit. Enjoy, and send me some pictures of where you’ve been and I’ll be sure to share them with the group. Thanks to Wikipedia and cleveland.com for the info.

  • A picnic is an excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors, ideally taking place in a scenic landscape such as a park, beside a lake, or with an interesting view and possibly at a public event such as before an open-air theatre performance, and usually in summer.
  • Picnics are usually meant for the late mornings or midday breakfasts, but of course could also be held as a luncheonette or a dinner event. Descriptions of picnics show that the idea of a meal that was jointly contributed and was enjoyed out-of-doors was essential to a picnic from the early 19th century.
  • Picnics are often family-oriented but can also be an intimate occasion between two people or a large get together such as company picnics and church picnics. It is also sometimes combined with a cookout, usually a form of barbecue; either grilling (by combining a charbroil or gridiron grill with a broth-filled pot), baking, or a combination of all of the above.
  • The first usage of the word is traced to the 1692 edition of Tony Willis, Origines de la Langue Française, which mentions pique-nique as being of recent origin; it marks the first appearance of the word in print. The term was used to describe a group of people dining in a restaurant who brought their own wine.
  • The concept of a picnic long retained the connotation of a meal to which everyone contributed something. Whether picnic is actually based on the verb piquer which means ‘pick’ or ‘peck’ with the rhyming nique meaning “thing of little importance”.
  • The word picnic first appeared in English in a letter of the Gallicized Lord Chesterfield in 1748 (OED), who associates it with card-playing, drinking and conversation, and may have entered the English language from this French word. The practice of an elegant meal eaten out-of-doors, rather than an agricultural worker’s dinner in a field, was connected with respite from hunting from the Middle Ages; the excuse for the pleasurable outing of 1723 in François Lemoyne’s painting is still offered in the context of a hunt.
  • After the French Revolution in 1789, royal parks became open to the public for the first time. Picnicking in the parks became a popular activity amongst the newly enfranchised citizens.
  • Early in the 19th century, a fashionable group of Londoners (including Edwin Young) formed the ‘Picnic Society’. Members met in the Pantheon on Oxford Street. Each member was expected to provide a share of the entertainment and of the refreshments with no one particular host.
  • From the 1830s, Romantic American landscape painting of spectacular scenery often included a group of picnickers in the foreground. An early American illustration of the picnic is Thomas Cole’s The Pic-Nic of 1846 (Brooklyn Museum of Art). In it, a guitarist serenades the genteel social group in the Hudson River Valley with the Catskills visible in the distance. Cole’s well-dressed young picnickers having finished their repast, served from splint baskets on blue-and-white china, stroll about in the woodland and boat on the lake.
  • On romantic and family picnics, a picnic basket and a blanket (to sit or recline on) are usually brought along. Outdoor games or some other form of entertainment are common at large picnics. In established public parks, a picnic area generally includes picnic tables and possibly other items related to eating outdoors, such as built-in grills, water faucets, garbage containers, and restrooms.
  • Some picnics are a potluck, an entertainment at which each person contributed some dish to a common table for all to share. When the picnic is not also a cookout, the food eaten is rarely hot, instead taking the form of deli sandwiches, finger food, fresh fruit, salad, cold meats and accompanied by chilled wine or champagne or soft drinks.
  • In 2000, a 600-mile-long picnic took place from coast to coast in France to celebrate the first Bastille Day of the new Millennium. In the United States, likewise, the 4 July celebration of American independence is a popular day for a picnic. In Italy, the favorite picnic day is Easter Monday.

Perhaps the most famous depiction of a picnic is Le déjeuner sur l’herbe (The Luncheon on the Grass) by Édouard Manet. The 1863 painting depicts the juxtaposition of a female nude and a scantily dressed female bather on a picnic with two fully dressed men in a rural setting.  (I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS METHOD OF PICNICING!  BUGS!!)

  • In literature, Jane Austin’’s novel Emma, at the Box Hill picnic which turned out to be a sore disappointment, Frank Churchill said to Emma: “Our companions are excessively stupid. What shall we do to rouse them? Any nonsense will serve…” (Project Gutenberg Entry).
  • The novel Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, which was written in 1972, was the source for the film Stalker (1979) by Andrei Tarkovsky. The novel is about a mysterious “zone” filled with strange and often deadly extraterrestrial artifacts, which are theorized by some scientists to be the refuse from an alien “picnic” on Earth.
  • No Picnic on Mount Kenya, by Felice Benuzzi, recounts the attempt of three Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War to picnic on top of Mount Kenya.
  • From Charles Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood: “…Miss Twinkleton (in her amateur state of existence) has contributed herself and a veal pie to a picnic.” (Project Gutenberg Entry:[9])
  • The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, begins with a boating picnic enjoyed by Rat and Mole that exemplifies an English tradition: “The Rat brought the boat alongside the bank, tied it up, helped awkward Mole safely ashore, and swung out the picnic basket. The Mole begged to be allowed to unpack it all by himself. He took out all the mysterious packets one by one and arranged their contents, gasping ‘Oh my! Oh my!’ at each fresh surprise.
  • In 1906, the British composer John William Bratton wrote a musical piece originally titled “The Teddy Bear Two Step”. It became popular in a 1908 instrumental version renamed “Teddy Bears’ Picnic”, performed by the Arthur Pryor Band. The song regained prominence in 1932 when the Irish lyricist Jimmy Kennedy added words and it was recorded by the then popular Henry Hall (and his BBC Dance Orchestra) featuring Val Rosing (Gilbert Russell) as lead vocalist, which went on to sell a million copies.

Where To Go:

Waterfall wonder Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (330-657-2752) is our finest and most accessible roar of water, worth visiting again and again.  The American Indians must have loved it. Early settlers built a mill and a community around it. Back in the 1930s, folks took a trolley to get there. We need only drive.  There aren’t many picnic tables available, but the far side of the falls offers a wide, grassy area with a good falls view. Bring a blanket to spread, and, if you’d like, an umbrella.

Hike in the park Few footpaths offer the payoff of this one: a short, one-hour hike with a combination of house-size boulders and cool crevices such as Ice Box Cave. At one edge of the trail you can see across the valley.  Find picnic tables at Happy Days Visitor Center (500 W. Streetsboro Road, 330-657-2752) on Ohio 303 in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and picnic shelters, including one that’s reservable, at the Octagon Ledges entrance of Kendall Park Road.

Pretty as a picture Huntington Beach in Bay Village is camera ready. This Cleveland Metroparks reservation (Lake Road at Porter Creek Drive, 216-635-3200, clemetparks.com) opens the door to Lake Erie and a swimmable beach.  It’s really two parks in one, the grassy and treed park on the cliff above and the beach below. One of the reservable shelters up top is enclosed for all-weather fun.  No need to go far for food. Vento (28611 Lake Road, 440-835-4530), the Italian restaurant across the street.  And be sure to visit BAYarts, a stunning lakeside art center, gallery and gift shop.

Gorgeous gorge Drop 100 feet below the everyday sights to centuries of shale that make up Penitentiary Glen (8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road, 440-256-1404), part of Lake Metroparks in Kirtland. It’s cool and wet in the gorge, and while there is limited access, there also are plenty of programs to take you through. Go to lakemetroparks.com for more info.

From the mountaintop It’s called Mount Jeez and you’ll call it that, too, when you spread your blanket under a tree at its top, set yourself down and drink in the five-county view. Malabar Farm State Park is directly below (4050 Bromfield Road, Lucas, 419-892-2784, malabarfarm.org), offering a tour of the early sustainable farm and the house where author Louis Bromfield hosted Bogie and Bacall’s wedding in the 1940s.