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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
October 16, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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October 16, 1997

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I0 Thursday, October 16, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Columnist Barry was wrong-- I recently came across a column by Dave Barry who, for some reason or another that I can't quite put my finger on, I happen to like. Maybe because he has such aphenomenal first nall. At any rate, the greatt  to get his column all screwed up. He wrote abom the history of hockey and, in particular, the Zamboni. To enlighten yon desert jackals out there, the Zamboni is a ice resurfacing machine. Well, OK, I understand that you don't understand. Let's put it this way, run out in the desert and ciomp all around in the sand. Now look at the mess you've made. Now drag a huge 10-foot concrete block across your mess. See how smooth it is? That's a resurfacing machine, kind& There's not one within a country mile of Death Valley, I guess. Now, according to Barry, the machine was invented in Canada by South Africans. Well, maybe I didn't get that quite right. But it was invented "up there." And it crashed through an ice pond and remains there to this very day. Here's the real story of the Zamboni. The honest-to- goodness true story. I can prove it because it was told to me by Antonio Velecha. More about him later. There ouce was a magician called Tbe Gzeat Zamboni. No one really knew ! real name because he never became famous enough to justify an expose. The GreatZamhoui was, however, looking for a way to become famous. When Zamlxmiju off a freight lrain in Detroit he met the famons  The Gn Houdini. He  Hondini jump into the Detroit River in a sealed box before a majestic crowd of people. The date was August 6, 1926. Houdini almost died in that performance and, in fact, did die in Detroit on Halloween, 1926. Zamboni was crushed. He wanted to learn from Houdini but never had the chance. As the years passed by the best he could ever do was perform between periods at hockey games. But be never took his mind off Houdini and his great water tricks. Zamboni finallyhad a brainstorm. He made alarge canvas bag and filled itith hot water. He would get into the bag of here's the real story water and escape from it. To add some drama to the perfor- mance he would mount the canvas bag of hot water on the front of a large truck and have the truck driven around the rink so everyone could get a good view. While that was going on he would perform his escape. NORTHERN EXPOSURE by Dave Downing On December 4, 1943, The Great Zamhoni performed his new act before a huge crowd at Detroit's Olympia Stadium. Between the second and third liod of a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Baboons the stadium lights dimmed. At the sound of a great trumpet fanfare the truck started and jerked forward. Unfommately, someone forgot to open the boards and the Intck crashed through them and out unto the ice. The Great Zamboni, inside the canvas bag, was knocked unconscious by the collimn and drowned. The mechanism holding the can- vas bag dislodged, went under the truck and was snagged by the rear b. The track made one pass around the rink witha board still on the front scrapping the mushy ice away. The bag with the late Great Zamboni was pulled behind it resurfacing the ice. After the one pass the driver quickly left the rink. It also left the hockey fans wondering what the beck that was. After the boards were repaired the third-period was al- lowed to start and the players hopped onto the ice to begin a warm up. Detroit Red Wings superstar Gordie Howe skated over the section of ice where the truck had been and almost fell down because the ice was so smooth. He stopped and looked down at the incredibly smooth surface. He began to shake his head back and forth. A nearby fan, seeing the great hockey superstar, cupped his hands to his lips and screamed as loud as he could, "Hey Gordie... Gordie Howe!" Gordie shook his head and answered, "I dunno." Meanwhile, the referee was trying to get the game started but conldn get Gordie's attention. He ska.ed over and said, "Hey, Howe!" Gordie looked up and said, "I dunno." A linesman skated over and said, "Move it!" Gordie looked at him and said, "How?" The linesman, getting mad, said, '"rhat's right. Howe!" Again, Gordie shook his head and said" "I duuno." Thinking a fight was starting, the referee reached over and shoved the linesman and  Howe away from each other. This action caused the players on both benches to rush onto the ice and begin to hit each other over the heads with their hockey sticks. The fans began to fight each other and poured out of the stadium unto the streets. This is how the Detroit riots of 1943 began. It was eventually figured out, during Congressional hear- ings into the riots, that Zamhoni's truck is what made the ice so great. The Red Wings kept the original truck for the next 32 years. Between every period of every game the Zamboni, ns it came to he called" crone ont and resurfaced the ice. Everyone forgot about the poor magician and through all these years his hones were still in thecanvas bag. But now you know why the Zamboni stunk so bad. During the summer of 1975 the Zamboni was retired for a new model. The original was taken to a Mafia junk yard. The hones of the magician were then discovered and out of respect for The Great Zmhoni and his love for Houdini, the junk yard people took the truck and dumped it in the Detroit River. It was there on July 30, 1975, that I saw the junk yard people watching the Zamboni get dumped into the river and I met Antonio Velecha. He was the owner of the junk yard and told me the entire sto W . I wished I could have talked with him more but I worked for "Associated Press" back then and we had just gotten word that Jimmy Hoffa had disappeared. I had to get to work. The Southern Poverty Law Center Run by Morris Does, Jr., the Southern Poverty Law has tarred most of the militias with the same brush. He has accepted the government version of the Okla- homa City bombing, without a question as to the massive inconsistencies that suggest it was a govern- ment sting gone awry. On Waco, he thinks the gov- Changing Patterns by mchard Seul 00lllllilllliliiiii!!iiiiiii I ernment made no mistakes. The people, he said, refused to come out. (They didn't because they sus- pected they would be slaughtered.) On Ruby Ridge, he conceded mistakes but trusts Louis Freeh, the FBI Director. In summary, Morris Does is an apologist for our government. He has become the media-quoted au- thority on the militias. Although he privately con- cedes that many militia groups are innocuous, you'd never know it by reading his direct mail advertising or his media pronouncements. His career is earning Center in Montgomery, Ala. is the nemesis of the Klu Klux Klan and various militia groups, if you believe his interview in the AARP magazine, "Modern Matu- rity." The interviewer was Colonel David Hackworth, a decorated Viet Nam war veteran and a frequent columnist on military affairs. I have long been an admirer of Colonel Ickworth. His columns on military issues have been incisive, have effectively defended his fellow soldiers and have frequently challenged current military poli- cies. I did have some reseations about his attack on a former Chief of Naval Operations who committed suicide on Hackworth's revelation that he was wear- ing an unearned decoration. But in his interview with Morris Does, Hackworth has strayed from his field of expertise. Admittedly an interviewer does not necessarily support the views of an interviewee, but Hackworth went out of his way to  characterize Does as "one cool, brave and noble hombre" for taking on militant hate groups such as the Aryan Nations and the Klu Klux Klan. Morris Dees founded a fantastic money-making operation and the contributions roll in. Using his successful operations against the Klan as a basis, he Something in the female nature him millions of dollar s per year. (So much for the Southern Poverty Law Center.) As for David Hackworth, he should stick with he military issues he knows best. If he must interview people like Morris Dees, he should do his homework and remain neutral or adversarial to retain our re- spect. The American Association of Retired Persons is also a vast money-making operation. Ostensibly rep- resenting its 34 million members, it sells overpriced insurance to them and takes up pro-government causes. In a recent year it received $68 million in government grants and $14 million in subsidized postage. Yet it spent only around $14 million on programs directly affecting the elderly. The AARP supported the 15 percent surtax for Catastrophic Health Care passed and then repealed by Congress after a senior outrage occurred. It also backed state sourctaxes, which were finally banned. The AARP has likewise been active in gun control legislation. All these positions were taken without consulting its members. Numerous AARP execu- tives have been rued for revealing violations of senior interests or suggesting better fmancial prac- tices. My going off on trips to different art shows and events has it s good and bad sides to it. Especially when Ditto the bride doesn't go with me. Her reason being that most of the time she wants to keep on top of all the big news and happenings here in Goldfield and the surrounding areas. It also gives her a chance to clean the place up after I leave. Which probably takes her all of five minutes. Then she can settle down to the serious business of writing notes on all the stuff that will need to be changed, painted, rearranged, fixed, thrown out, etc. There's something in the female nature involved here. If they ain't busy, they start thinking up stuff for us guys to do, as if we didn't have enough to do already. There might even be a bit of jealousy or suspicion here to as after I get back there's usually some phone calls from people I have met. It's alright if the caller happens to be male. But when it's another female, I may get something like "I think it's one of those nude women you met." Slim Sez by Slim Sirnes But what got me started offon this vein, the note business. When I got back from the Burn- ing Man affair there was a bunch of them. Most of which could be ignored or put off. Why spend time fixing the leaky roof?. It only leaks when it's raining and it wasn't raining. I think what got her on this kick was all the talk on the tube about El Nino and how our weather could change. Maybe I ought to get a little suspicious about what goes on around here when I'm gone on one of my trips as one of the notes concerned some of the aluminum shingles on the front porch entrance that I had put on. One of our rare for Nevada, and especially Goldfield, gentle winds had a few of them dangling waiting for the next wind to finish the job of removing them. Now when I built this addition, I made it about seven feet from the deck to the top, which would give me plenty of head room so I wouldn't be bumping my head even if I was wearing high heels. She was worried that somebody else would be in danger of bumping their head. Hey, if she has callers in the seven feet plus range when I ain't here, I sure don't want to know about it. I think I will put off on fixing them shingles until I get back. Have a good one. J f,