June 04, 2014 - I predict this Jottings will compete for the most boring of the thounsands of columns I have written. (But, because it involves my brother-in-law, Ronald Smith of Durand, I feel compelled to write it.)
Way back in the late 1940s, Ron and his wife Ethel, had a well drilling business. To find where to dig for a well, Ron would witch or dowse the area.
He used a forked stick called a dowser or witching stick to locate underground water. Ron walked the area, holding the pronged branch in front of him, and when the dowser pointed down Ron knew where to dig the well.
One day he got a call from someone hired to build a 1-room school in Shiawassee County. Ron found the right spot for a well and the school was built there.
On another day, Ron tried to teach me his technique. The branch did nothing for me, but when Ron used the branch with me, it pointed to a water source.
He continued his well drilling, I went back printing.
Moving right along to today's world, I asked an internet user in our office to check out dowsing.
She came back with 10 pages of stuff.
Since the sixteenth century, mankind has used dowsers to locate drugs, weapons, golf balls and even coon dogs.
Of course, Phd candidates have extensively researched dowsing. And, since they can't prove scientifically that dowsing works, they universally deny dowser claims, and attribute their findings to chance.
So, when German scientists studied dowsing results in Sri Lanka, Zaire, Kenya and other African countries in 1989, they attributed their success rate as "lucky guesses."
California scientists say there is no evidence dowsing works, and you might as well use a palm reader or mentalist to find well water.
A British company sold dowsing rods to Mexican military and the Thia army, one was looking for hidden bombs, the other drugs.
Thai army lost three police from a bomb.
The Mexicans found a bottle of Tylenol.
I believe there is nothing wrong with the dowsing rods. It has to be the user.
* * *
It's amazing to me how the makers of lawn keeping tools, fertilizers and seeds constantly direct their message toward people who detest yard work.
Like: "Use our product and have more time to enjoy life!"
The picture that follows is of a man sitting on his duff, in a lounge chair, in his yard.
First off, the scene is a fake, just like their message. No keeper of lawns leaves a lounge chair in his yard to mow around or over.
More importantly, we men love having neat lawns, and it ain't work keeping our lawns neat.
It's a man's joy of life.
Lawns get men out of the house. Lawns are gifts we give ourselves. Lawns extend man's life. Lawns give men more opportunities to buy rideable tools and play in the yard.
Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.