Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

Sweaty Cities

I want to assure you that I was looking for something else one day last week when I came across this bit of information.

According to the annual rankings of America’s “sweatiest cities,” sponsored by Proctor and Gamble’s Old Spice Deodorant, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester and Albany are traditionally among the top 100.

According to the most recent rankings available, Syracuse was ranked in 77th place; Albany, 80th; Buffalo, 81st; and Rochester, 85th.

As I continued to read the article I wasn’t surprised to learn that New Orleans, my favorite vacation destination, is just outside the top 10 at number 12.  I have done a lot of sweating in the Big Easy, but I have enjoyed at least most of it.

You may be interested to know the cities of Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., Las Vegas, Tallahassee, Miami and Tampa, Fla. and Houston and El Paso in Texas, work up top 10 sweats every year.

The temperature in Phoenix averages 94 degrees in June, July and August – causing the average Phoenix resident to produce 27.7 ounces of sweat per hour.

Old Spice points out, “that’s more than two cans of soda.”

Florida’s combined sweat would fill Shamu the Whale’s Sea World tank in about 3.25 hours – that’s 6.5 million gallons of sweat. Seven of the top 10 sweatiest cities are in Texas.  San Francisco, with an average summer temperature of just 63.5 degrees, is the nation’s least sweaty city, coming in at 100 on the list.

How do you finish up an article about sweating? There must be something good to say about sweat. How about — “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”                          –Colin Powell

“Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things”.       –George Carlin

“I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.”         –Michael Jordan

“Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.”                                –Ann Landers

“It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get us where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave to our children is just a little better than the one we inhabit today.”

–Barack Obama

 Losing a Friend   

I was saddened this week by the death of my friend, Jan Peacock, following a lengthy illness.

We had been friends since my early days in Fulton. When we met we lived in the northwest area of Fulton, and the Peacocks were neighbors from around the corner.

The Peacock daughters, Sheila and Marcia, were babysitters for our boys.

Several years later, Jan joined others in the Patriot’s “shop” once a week to put the finishing touches on that week’s newspaper for publication the next day.

Jan was the last surviving original member of the Fulton Hoboes clown group.  If you read Jan’s obituary which has appeared in area newspapers this week, you will know the real Jan.

She was fun-loving; she considered herself one of the “ink-stained wretches in the back room” at The Fulton Patriot. Jan didn’t invent that role, but she certainly did play it to perfection.

She was compassionate, having served as a foster mother to 57 children. Jan could have taught the course on love of family, as evidenced by the long list of surviving family members in her obituary – including children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, brothers-in-law, nieces, great nieces and nephews, and a cousin.

Jan Peacock will be sorely missed.

Vintage Hodgepodge

From Hodgepodge, Aug. 15, 1989:

On Saturday I sat on the front porch of The Patriot building for three hours, soaking in the soothing Dixieland strains of the Hanover Squares, a talented six-some of musicians from the Syracuse area.

I was joined by many other Fultonians and visitors who were enjoying the Riverfest activities.

The afternoon’s musical program had been underway for a few minutes when the city’s esteemed group of fanatical funsters, The Fulton Hoboes, showed up to partake of the entertainment.

I guess the Hoboes had sent an advance clown to scout the premises and as soon as the announcement was made that there was food and drink inside, the Hoboes trooped in enmasse.

Hanover Squares drummer Dick Jones, who is always quick with appropriate commentary, noted: “That must be the paper’s staff.”

Funny?  Yes, but . . . two of the hoboes actually are (in real life, as they say), members of The Patriot’s staff.

The Fulton Hoboes were formed in the early ‘60s as part of the program at the First Methodist Church annual talent show. The group became well known publicly after Fulton’s Cracker Barrel Fairs were started in 1966.

Original members of that troop of clowners included Chubby Scaringi, Jan Peacock, Barbara Phelps, and Betty McGraw, with Shirley Collins and Norma Owens also logging plenty of duty in the early years.

. . . Today’s contingent of Hoboes includes veteran (not old) Hobo Jan, who also spends time in the city’s Civil Service office and does part-time duty as a layout artist at the Patriot; Jeff Hodge, whose byline appears every week in The Patriot; Hobo Sheila (Peacock), Project Architect for Dalpos, currently working on the Carousel Mall project; and the two youngest Hoboes, the two little Kings, Mike and Adam.

The Fulton Hoboes have been an important part of almost every Fulton celebration for almost a quarter of a century.

That’s Funny!

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

I asked God for a bike, but I know it doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Knowledge is to know that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


  . . . Roy Hodge

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