The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Thursday, December 24, 2009 Volume XVIII, Number 131

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... The VFW Men’s Auxiliary has canceled the turkey shoot Sunday.

Did Ya Know?... The Recycling Center will be open for operation from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Monday, December 28, 2009. Normal days are Tue. - Sat.

today's laugh

A clergyman was walking down the street when he came upon a group of about a dozen boys, all of them 10 or 12.

The group surrounded a dog. Concerned the boys were hurting the dog, he went over and asked, "What are you doing with that dog?"

One of the boys replied, "This dog is just an old neighborhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we’ve decided that whichever one of us can tell the biggest lie will get to keep the dog."

The reverend was taken aback. "You boys shouldn’t be having a contest telling lies!" he exclaimed. He then launched into a 10-minute sermon against lying, beginning, "Don’t you boys know it’s a sin to lie?" and ending with, "Why, when I was your age, I never told a lie."

There was dead silence for about a minute. Just as the reverend was beginning to think he’d gotten through to them, the smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, "All right, give him the dog."

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.

The Perry Recital.

Edward Baxter Perry, the noted blind pianist, will appear at the Christian church next Tuesday evening. The Paris journal of April says: "Edward Baxter Perry of Boston, gave a concert yesterday, which was the occasion of a new triumph for this eminent pianist. An old pupil of Liszt and Clara Schumann, Mr. Perry, who has given thirteen hundred concerts in the past ten years in America, is a remarkable virtuoso, interpreting with an equal authority the works of Beethoven, Liszt and Chopin. We had all but forgotten to say that Mr. Perry blind; but all those who applauded his execution so precise, and his cleanness of attack, probably like ourselves, in listening to the virtuoso, quite forgot his infirmity."

Acrobats with Field’s Minstrels.

The Faust family of acrobats are booked for a season of 40 weeks with Al. G. Field, and will be in this city tomorrow night.

  Today's Feature

Grandparent Scam.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster issued a Consumer Alert warning Missouri seniors of a scam aimed at swindling grandparents out of their savings.

Koster said the scammers will place a phone call to unsuspecting seniors posing as their grandchild, saying he has been in an accident, is in jail—most often for drunk driving—or that the grandchild is in some other kind of trouble. He said the caller often says that the grandchild is in Canada and asks the grandparent to wire money there via Western Union. Koster said one worried Missouri grandparent wired more than $20,000 after receiving a call from her "grandson" saying that he had been arrested for DWI in Canada and needed her to send money.

Koster said that complaint reports his office has received indicate that the callers have an uncanny amount of personal information about the family, often knowing the grandparent and grandchild’s name.

Extra Trash Pickup.

Allied Waste Services will collect extra trash left over from Christmas presents during the week of Dec. 28 through Jan 1.


Sorenson Looking for a Cup Ride

When the Daytona 500 rolls around, Reed Sorenson will be only 24 years old. Unless something changes, he won’t have a car to drive in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup opener.

Sorenson is being replaced in Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43. Teammate A.J. Allmendinger is moving into the car from No. 44, which apparently will be no more. Provided all the intended agreements are finalized, the team is merging with Yates Racing, changing from Dodge to Ford and fielding Fusions for drivers Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, Allmendinger and Paul Menard, who competed last year at Yates.

"I want to thank the Richard Petty Motorsports organization for giving me the chance to race the No. 43 Dodge this year," said Sorenson. "I did the best I could and tried to represent the number and company in a way that would make Mr. Petty and our sponsors proud.

"I learned a lot this year. The opportunity to work with people like Richard Petty and Dale Inman is something I’ll never forget."

Sorenson, of Peachtree City, Ga., is a victim of circumstances, but his inability to put together a solid season contributed to his problems. In his fourth full season, Sorenson finished 29th in the point standings, with only one top-10 finish. He was 24th, 22nd and 32nd in his first three seasons, all with the team then known as Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, a team now aligned with what once was Dale Earnhardt Inc.

After a promising beginning, Sorenson has been unable to make the adjustment to competing at stock car racing’s highest level. He won an ARCA race in 2004 and is a three-time winner in the Nationwide Series.

The combination of NASCAR’s ban on testing and a new team was more than Sorenson could overcome.

Early last season, Sorensen said, "I think we’re making progress and getting our cars better in practice. It’s just tough to do without testing and being with a new team. I think we’re getting the chemistry a little bit better, and I think that should get better as the year goes on."

The improvement never took hold, and by season’s end, Sorenson found himself outside the sport looking in. He’s still young, though, and is likely to resurface at some point, perhaps in the Nationwide Series. He has never competed previously in the Camping World Truck Series.


Monte Dutton has covered motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette since 1993. He was named writer of the year by the National Motorsports Press Association in 2008. His blog NASCAR This Week ( features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. E-mail Monte at

Just Jake Talkin'

I like old stuff. I especially like old hand made stuff. I also appreciate the fact that it was in fact made to last. ‘Course the things that weren’t didn’t last long enough to become old stuff.

I enjoy discoverin’ the simplicity of some of the first automobiles. Mechanical brakes, gravity flow fuel systems, wooden body parts. The discoverin’ part is great, but I don’t want ta be stuck havin’ to use one of the things on a daily basis. They’re great as long as someone else uses ‘em or they sit in a museum where they aren’t a danger to the general populace.

With the cash for clunkers behind us, some enthusiasts fear that there just won’t be any classic cars around for the next generation. Maybe they’ll be ridin’ old Schwin bicycles anyway.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.

Sponsored by Metcalf Auto Parts Weekly Columns




Dear Tom and Ray:

I have often wondered, when I see a street scene in Havana, how they’ve managed to keep those ‘50s vintage cars operating all these years. Of course, we are conditioned to replace a car because of a full ashtray or if a bird defecates on the hood. But still, wouldn’t 50-plus-year-old cars be increasingly expensive to maintain? I would think the majority of those cars would be not only mechanically challenged, but very unsound structurally. And how do they obtain replacement parts? - John

Tom: They go to Pepe Boys: Fedel, Raul and Hugo. Actually they just get very creative, John.

Ray: The structural stuff is pretty easy. That’s mostly welding, which is old technology.

Tom: Yeah, and I doubt they have annual safety inspections, like we do. So, the definition of "structurally sound" may be "the seat doesn’t fall through the floor onto the street while I’m driving."

Ray: But structural things, like floors and frames, are pretty easy to fix.

Tom: And for all the mechanical stuff, they have machine shops. Remember, there were no electronics in cars in those days. There were no electronic ignitions, no emissions systems, no computers. So almost everything is some form of bent, lathed, or poured metal. Their machine shops can do that.

Ray: And I suspect they’ve gotten very good at rebuilding engines and transmissions. Remember, they’ve been rebuilding the same engines and transmissions for 50 years (literally, the same engines and transmissions!)

Ray: Probably the hardest thing to make is something like spark plugs. But they have trading partners that make cars.

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