Thursday, September 23, 2010

Maine Minutiae : Message in a Bottle

During the three months I've run this blog, I've posted almost 250 entries, but this one is amongst the coolest of them all. It involves kids, so what's not to like? I mean these are somebody else's kids, so they are the kind of kids I like most. :) )  These somebody else's kids were 6th and 7th grade students at Adams School in Castine, Maine. The students were involved in a school project that, for whatever reason, involved putting a message in a bottle and setting it afloat in the Atlantic Ocean. A couple of these students put their message in a bottle and gave it to a fellow student's Dad. The Dad was on his way to the Bahamas and promised to chunk the message-in-a-bottle into the sea. He did and the kids got a response from the bottle's finder....two years later! In the Azores! 2971 miles away! I have done this before. I put a note with my name and address on it in a bottle then threw it in the Trinity River near downtown Fort Worth. About a week later, I got a response! From the Fort Worth Department of Sanitation. With a summons. And a $250 fine. I am certain that the kids at Adams School were much happier with their response than I was with mine, unless they have since dropped out of school to follow Miley Cyrus on her "Hannah Montana Sucks 2010 Tour". Congratulations to the students at Adams School for such a great ending to their story. It's way cool.

UPDATE: The students at Adams School in Castine, Maine are holding a fund raiser this weekend in order to pay the fine for littering in the Azores. And the bottle deposit.

Texas Tidbits : The Oldest Town in Texas

Thick as a Brick
Snuggled tidily in the massive pine forests of East Texas lies the state's oldest town, Nacogdoches. I heard a tale many years ago of how Nacogdoches got its name. This Indian Chief, whose tribe was settled on the Sabine River on the Texas-Louisiana border, had two sons, one named Natchitoch and the other, Nacogdoche. When they became young men, the Chief sent his sons in opposite directions to create new settlements for the tribe. One son was sent eastward into Louisiana and the other to the west further into Texas. Hence, the settlement in Louisiana was named for Natchitoch (Natchitoches, LA) and the settlement in Texas was named, obviously, Nacogdoches. True or not, it's a nice story. Nacogdoches is one of the most historic cities in Texas. Inhabited by the first Texans as far back as 10,000 years ago, Nacogdoches has a rich history of Indian culture. "Nacogdoches County is located in an area that has been the site of human habitation for several thousand years. Archeological artifacts, which date from the Archaic Period (ca. 5000 B.C.-A.D. 500), have been recovered from the area around Sam Rayburn Reservoir to the south. During historic times the area was occupied by the Hasinai Indians of the Caddo confederacy, an agricultural people with a highly developed culture", says Handbook of Texas Online. Click on the link to the HTO link and they have a very good synopsis of the history of Nacogdoches. Today's Nacogdoches is home to 32,000 people and 12,000+ students at Stephen F. Austin State University. Go Lumberjacks !! Many famous athletes and entertainers have ties to Nacogdoches - Don Henley of the Eagles went to SFASU, All Pro NFL players Larry Centers and Jeremiah Trotter also attended SFA.  US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and the discoverer of plutonium, Joseph W. Kennedy, also can point to Nacogdoches as, at one time, their home. I have spent time in Nac so I can tell you firsthand that it's cool little place and you don't have to go very far to decimate the local fish population. nearby are Lake Nacogdoches, the Angelina River and Lake Sam Rayburn. Fish.Fear.Me. Trust me on this one, folks. Be sure to check out the info at the links provided in this post. There's a ton of stuff that time and space prevent me from sharing with you. If you're in the Metroplex or somewhere near it, Nac would make a nice place to take a Sunday drive to, have lunch and see the sites. The brick streets of downtown Nacogdoches await you.

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