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Jim's Jottings

Here to inform and be a little offensive

October 13, 2010 - Here to inform and be a little offensive

Was learning cursive really necessary?

It's become a habit for me to tune in Channel 7 (ABC) at 5 p.m. to see and hear the local area news.

Unfortunately, I'm often a bit early, which gives me the last few minutes of the Oprah Winfrey Show.

In a printout of "Adult truths" I received recently was: "How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?"

Stay with me, readers, while I connect the dots.

Oprah's closing guest was Martha Stewart, the home everything guru. She started demonstrating how to fold a fitted sheet. We've used fitted sheets at our house for many years.

With my shortage of patience I had daughter Luan show me several times how to fold these unnecessary, awkward, nerd-invented pieces of cotton.

Even when she did it in slow motion for her unimaginative and uncoordinated father, he didn't learn. Now I wash 'em and put 'em back on.

Luan and Martha both said, "Hold up one corner, then take another corner and mesh it into the first corner."

Then taking the other end of the sheet by a corner with the free hand, mesh it with the fourth corner. Martha lost it. She held two inside-out corners up to the camera, waved her arms a little, flipping the mess. Then the camera went to a table where a correctly folder fitted sheet lay.

Both Martha and Oprah smoothed out the sheet, then they folded and refolded until they got a square.

Their next appearance will be on the Comedy Hour, or "Are You Smarter than at Fifth Grader?"

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• I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I'd bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

• The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874, and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

• Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey -- but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from three feet away in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

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Throughout life there are facts we know.

I know my dad was born in Mt. Gilead, Ohio. He was named Dair McKinley Sherman. The McKinleys were close enough (relatively) to bind us -- my brother was Dair McKinley Sherman, Jr.

A couple months ago an undated newspaper clipping fell out of a book in our archives.

President McKinley had been shot, and this story was a rehash of his life. He was born in 1843, elected President of the U.S. in 1896, reelected president in 1900, shot by an assassin in Buffalo, N. Y. 1901, died 8 days later.

Right after he was shot the President's words were: "Let no one hurt him."

In our latest search we learned he took a train from Pontiac to Bay City, and that his father owned and operated an iron works in Caseville. The President was a regular visitor there.

Another article in the clippings read, "President Visits Oakland -- Spends an hour in Pontiac and gave short talk in Oxford."

There were more than a thousand Oxford and Orion people at the Oxford station.

I read and reread this clipping trying to see President McKinley's name, because I knew my "kinfolk" was here.

However, instead of proving President McKinley was this speech-making visitor, I learned it was President Taft.

It's hell being proven wrong - again.

Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.
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