Good decision to remove elephants from circus

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

You have probably read or heard about the current news story concerning the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s removing the elephants from its circus performances. Pressure from humane organizations prompted this.

This popular family-oriented company used about 40 of these huge animals in their worldwide performances. Now these graceful and Sampson-like animals will be live at Ringling’s 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida, according to a circus spokesman. Breeding of these elephants will continue and they will be used in a pediatric cancer research project.

Learning of this news, I am reminded of a day in the late 1940s when a small caravan of circus trucks came to a halt on Highway 31 in the Nokomis area. A collision of two large trucks not connected with the circus group blocked the highway and traffic could not get through.

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My dad and I were traveling along that highway that day and we stopped to watch the highway be cleared. The circus entourage included only two elephants and they appeared not too large, probably medium size. Not soon after the wreck, a man and woman from the circus led the two elephants up to one of the wrecked trucks and began pushing it off to the side of the highway. About the same time, a state trooper came on the scene and encouraged the elephant handlers to continue their efforts.

In only a few minutes, they managed to make the highway passable. Fortunately, there were no injuries. The trooper graciously thanked the duo for their help and soon traffic was flowing again. Immediately after that, a pretty lady with the circus walked into the small crowd that had gathered and handed out free tickets to a circus performance scheduled in Mobile.

Now that these animals have been removed from circus performances we can only think back to those days when we appreciated and enjoyed their performances. I often wonder what the movie, “The Greatest Show on Earth” would be like without those graceful elephants.

I have a correction from my column last week. I stated that the movie short “Essau’s Tales” was an allegory. I meant to say it was a satire. I’m glad to make this correction.

Now, some of my Sunday school class members can smile and acknowledge the fact that we do, indeed, offer satirical English lessons in our columns. (Only kidding).

Have you ever wondered why pizzas cost so much money? I see commercials offering special pizzas for as low as $9.95. Now I realize this is somewhat cheaper than the regular $14.95 price. But, for crying out loud, how in the world can a pizza cost $14.95? After all, all it contains is inexpensive flour, some eggs, grease and probably a couple of dollars of toppings. This indicates to me labor in making pizzas is extremely profitable.

I still find myself eating these high price meals, however. I have eaten all types of pizzas with all types of toppings. But the most unusual pizza that I have ever eaten was in Golden Meadows, La., in 1992, following Hurricane Andrew.

Working severe flood losses in that area that year after the storm almost completely destroyed Homestead Florida. I became friends with a nice family in that southern Louisiana town.

They invited me to lunch one day and introduced me to Crawfish Pizza. That’s right it was pizza with a crawfish topping. Now, I can never describe the unique and mouthwatering taste of this delicacy. The marinade and sweet taste of the crawfish were out of this world.

Since my wife Ouida is such an excellent cook I brought back the recipe for her to whip out this delicate meal. But, crawfish turn her off, and, so far I am still waiting on a 180 from her with a change in attitude about these crawfish.

I know of only one other person who can cook up this crawfish pizza for me. And, that, of course is Tommy Gerlach. I bet he already has his own formula for this unique meal.

Now, for some morbid news. Have you ever heard of a Brown Service Insurance policy? Well, I have one. It was taken out when I was a tot. The premiums were only pennies a month, so to speak. I believe the policy has a value of $300. And, it apparently states it can be used at my funeral. Now, I know for a fact that funerals cost much more but, I am to assume this policy will pay for my funeral. I believe it also includes a casket, too. Perhaps, I should have researched this more before writing about. And, so I will do just that. Then I will report to you just what I do have in my $300 policy, which can, apparently, be cashed in at my death.

Here are a few tidbits from 1966. Sherry Robinson, 16-year-old senior and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Robinson, was selected to attend “Girl’s State” at Huntingdon College in Montgomery.

The Atlanta Braves left Milwaukee that year to make Atlanta their new baseball home.

Medicare C Plus was made available for the first time offering big help in medical needs for those in that particular age group.

Mrs. J H Biggs, long time Lottie and north Baldwin news correspondent, was recognized by The Atmore Advance and The Baldwin Times, for her dedicated efforts writing the weekly news for these areas.

More news next week.

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