SPAM: THE UNDECORATED HERO OF WWII
By: Stan Jordan
I am not knocking SPAM, I like the product, but looking back 75 years ago, SPAM was a little jewel in a lot of ways.
SPAM is a canned meat product of the Hormel Corporation in Austin, Minnesota. It was first produced in 1937 and consist of pork with ham meat added, salt, water, potato starch as a binder, sugar and sodium. Sometimes there was concern over its nutritional value, because of the sodium.
It is sold in 41 countries and six continents and in 2007 the seventh billion can of SPAM was sold.
Back in WWII it became a product at the mess hall that nearly everyone liked. When there wasn’t any other form of meat, SPAM filled in.
The difficulty of delivering fresh meat to the front during WWII had SPAM becoming a very important part of the United States soldiers’ diet. It became referred to a ham that didn’t pass a physical or meat loaf without basic training. Over 150 million pounds were purchased by the military before the war ended. It was good for breakfast also.
During WWII SPAM was introduced into the South Pacific, Guam, Hawaii, Okinawa, the Philippines and some other islands. It became a hit at once, and was part of the history of the islands.
Even in the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister, referred to it as the “wartime delicacy”.
The scuttlebutt during the war was the Hormel Company had acres and acres of SPAM in the empty salt mine of Minnesota and they helped start the war to sell the SPAM and they did sell it to the government. I ate a lot of SPAM during my time in the army, but I haven’t eaten any since and I imagine there are a lot of other boys that can say the same.
A 1910 car License Plate
By: Stan Jordan
John and Julie Taylor found this old license plate in the Maumee River. The water was so clear at that time they could see a lot of big fish in the water and then enspied what looked like a board with numbers on it. So they secured the plate and it is full of history. This is what we found on the computer.
In 1907 the Center Mobile Division of the Secretary of States office was established and admitted as a register. The first car registered was a Franklin. That year of 1908 there were 10,649 vehicles of all types registered.
Up until that time, the local government done the registering because their wasn’t many cars around yet.
John Taylor just left my office and he told me all about finding the plate. John and Julie have three children and their daughter Rachel and her husband Andrew Skinner were visiting their folks and were paddling around the river in a canoe. The water being so clear, they were amazed at the big fish they could see along with the river bottom.
I was very glad when those people thought of the West Bend News when they found this plate. It brought out all kinds of history about the DMV and its beginning.
Yes, I was very interested in the history of the plate. Ohio on one end and the date of 1910 on the other end, and how well the license plate was preserved.
But, I also enjoyed my visit with John Taylor, a long time friend of mine. John lives close to the river and they spend a lot of time enjoying the water and our wildlife. Let me tell you what John told me about what he and Julie see in the area.
They have all sizes of deer in that yard and in their one tree an eagle a lot of times, sometimes it’s an adult eagle and sometimes it’s a young one.
John has seen a number of beavers in the water and has a lot of pictures on his phone, along with an otter and the eagles.
This Time Change Crap
By: Stan Jordan
Early in the morning of November 5th, at 2:00 a.m. to be exact, we set our clocks back one hour. That was to make up for setting them ahead one hour last March.
The white shirt boys in Washington have a name for that time, but they just use the initials like CST, DST, PDT, PMT and a few other names.
Then on that Sunday, you went around and reset all the clocks on the wall, the alarm clock, the microwave, the big oven, the one on the range, the one in the car and various other places.
Those so-called stupid Russians are smart enough, they don’t wiggle their clocks around, it stays in one category all year.
This time changing crap has been going on for years. It started back in WWII time and I’m sure they had a good reason.
That is flat out dumb to think a farmer goes by the United States Government time periods. A farmer works night and day as long as he can or has too. Sometimes he is going to bed and it is already time to get up.
Everyone that I have talked to does not care for this time changing crap. It is still pretty dark at nine o’clock in the morning.
Do you think John Wayne and Ward Bond would have waited till 9:00 a.m. to start that wagon train settling the west? I don’t think so!
Thanksgiving Day History
By: Stan Jordan
I remember one night back in 1774, Juan Valdez, myself and Ben Franklin, spent a joyful evening at a pub in Boston. Yes, Ben had a couple of his lady friends to come and sit at our table.
Big Nose Kate, a lady of questionable renoun, but she owned a share of a couple of pubs down on the water front, plus a right smart tea house up on Second Street. When the Boston Tea Party took shape, Kate had a row boat and rescued a lot of the parcels of tea that was thrown overboard into the water. Well she operated her tea house for many months on the tea leaves she rescued.
Our other guest was LuluBelle, a woman who drove the Waterford Stagecoach round trip, 6 days a week. She had muscles to prove it! She dressed like a roust-a-bout, looked like a roust-a-bout drank and swore like a roust-a-bout.
We drank rum and talked quite a bit and the subject of Thanksgiving came up.
Ben said that he was pretty sure that from now on the Thanksgiving holiday would be observed on the last Thursday of November and then it took an hour and a number of jiggers of rum to get the job done.
Thanksgiving started as a religious holiday dinner on Sunday, but it got moved around a number of times.
The South Shore Chapter of the East Coast School Teachers Alliance here in Boston carry a lot of weight and they got the date moved to Thursday and this is why:
A couple of the teachers’ husbands were on the State School Board and to keep peace in the family, these men bow down to their wives and that demanding union.
They got Thursday off for a holiday and they say there is no use in having school one day, so they get Friday off also. After they got that accomplished, now they want that Wednesday off also so they can get ready for Thursday Thanksgiving and travel time.
The hour was late and you could tell Ben didn’t like the teachers’ union and Ben had had too many jiggers of rum and he started to pick on those lady school teachers.
LuluBelle had gone home about midnight. Ben was going with Kate up to the tea house and Juan and I would stay at the livery stable. Because of the late hour, the hotel was filled up, there was no room at the inn.
At the stable Juan growled at me, I think he had too much grog. I said for him and his burrow to sleep in no. 3 stall and Juan got upset because I didn’t know his ass from a burrow.
Small Business Saturday
By: Stan Jordan
Saturday, November 25th, the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce is backing a town wide sale.
I know some people go to the city on what is called Black Friday to shop, but this year, we would like you to do your shopping here locally.
Nearly all the businesses will be running some sales and their will be a lot of things marked down.
The business people have put in a lot of time and effort to make this a worthwhile occasion, so please plan on shopping locally.
The local business people back everything, the school, the first responders, the baseball association and any and all of Antwerp’s affairs. The big department stores don’t help us out.