Saturday, January 15, 2011

Take That, You Blankty-Blank Snake In The Weeds!

July 1967
  Fourteen-year-old Gary Campbell is turning out to be something of a big game hunter. Well, it may not be really BIG game, but it’s the kind that few of us wants to face.
  Last week Gary clobbered his fourth Massasauga rattlesnake near his home at 1745 Crooks Road. That’s four more rattlers than we want to encounter in our entire lifetime.
  Gary was playing ball in his yard when the ball rolled into the field. He ran after it and there coiled up on a rock was a rattler measuring two feet long. Gary ran for a shovel but the snake had slithered under a log. So he then grabbed his B-B gun and that did the job. The snake had a half-inch of rattles.
  Gary killed another rattler last spring, one last year and another the year before that. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Campbell.
  We have already carried one picture of a boy on North Rochester Road who killed a Massasauga rattler a few weeks ago. For the past few years there have been reports of these snakes, especially in the Christian Hills area. The Massasuga bite isn’t usually fatal, but experts say it can make you mighty ill.
  Avon Township had hoped to cut down the snake population last year by approving an ordinance requiring owners of vacant lots to cut their weeds. The only catch is that the subdivision containing the weedy lots must be 60 per cent built up. Not everyone knows if his subdivision is this full or not. And it is no easy job to find someone to bring in equipment to cut the weeds into what may be rock and debris-filled lots. The ordinance says that if the lots are not cut, the Township will do it and assess the property owner.
  Trouble is, if there are many more reports on rattlesnakes, maybe no one will be wanting to wade into those weeds.
  I DON’T personally know folks who enjoy cavorting with snakes. But a woman who dropped into The Clarion office a few weeks ago to buy a paper went even further in her dislike of the slithering creatures. On the front page of that issue was a picture of Steve Kwit of Christian Hills who captured a 42-inch-long garter snake that ended up in the Snake House at the Detroit Zoo. The picture showed the snake wrapped around Steve’s arm. The woman customer refused to touch the newspaper until we cut the picture out. So we obliged— and she happily walked out with a gaping hole in the front page. So help me, it’s true!
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  NEVER HAVING been incarcerated in prison, or even a local hoosegow, I don’t know how difficult it is to maintain a sense of humor. But inmates of Southern Michigan Prison in Jackson came up with some road sign suggestions for various cities while they were involved in a driver education reading course. Here are a few of their suggestions at roadside humor as uttered by law-breakers:
  Brooklyn, New York — “So STOP Awready!”
  Beverly Hills, California — “Welcome to Beverly Hills dahling! How mahvelous of you to come! 150 M.P.H. speed limit— but watch our for our girls”
  Goldwater Highway in Phoenix, Arizona — “Keep to the (extreme) right”
  West Point, New York — “Halt… two… three”
  Washington, D.C. — “There is a dip ahead, according to a reliable source”
  Las Vegas, Nevada — “Bridge out ahead… Odds: 4 to 1”