Jess Walker got a lesson in inflation last month when he was going through some papers belonging to his father and came across a German 100,000 mark Reichsbanknote:
“My father, who was in World War I, was never overseas, but won the note in a high-stakes poker game.
“I was curious as to how much it was worth, but not enough so at the time to investigate further.
“However, last week a friend gave me a new book about Hedy Lamarr, the most beautiful woman in the world during the 1930s and 1940s. The book is not about her as an actress, but about her genius as an inventor.
“It so happens that in the book there is a discussion about what happened to the value of the mark during the early 1920s, when she was a young girl.
“The mark’s value was 320 to the dollar in early 1922; 8,000 to the dollar in December and a year later 4.2 TRILLION to the dollar.
“In other words, my father’s 100,000 mark banknote went from being worth $312.50 in early 1922 to $12.50 by December, and a year later to worthless.
”There is inflation and then hyperinflation. This certainly seems to qualify as the latter.”
Our creative readers are still pondering a new name for the New Orleans Hornets NBA team, as suggested by new owner Tom Benson:
Dale Aydell, of French Settlement, likes the New Orleans Legends:
“I think this would be a good fit when you consider all the legendary assets of the city and state: jazz, food, culture, voodoo, riverboats, the Mannings — the list goes on and on.
“I can see some great promotional opportunities: Po-Boy Night, Louis Armstong Night, Jean Lafitte Night, Marie Leveau Night.”
(Yeah, on Marie Laveau night you can hand out little voodoo dolls of the opposing team.)
Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville, has a more cynical view of the Hornets new name:
“Because of all the money Louisiana gives Tom Benson in Saints’ subsidies and office space rent, I think the Hornets should be renamed the Louisiana Taxpayers.”
Charles Tramonte says, “Word is out that Brother Eldon Crifasi will throw out the first pitch at an LSU baseball game.
“The avid sports fan and Baton Rouge icon will show off his pitching skills on May 15 against Nicholls State, prior to his 90th birthday.
“Let’s show our love and appreciation by attending this game.”
Local Heroes Dept.
- On Sunday Rose Rolfsen ran in her seventh and final St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Fla., to help fund research to find a cure for leukemia and lymphoma and other blood diseases.
Rose reports, “I came in first in the category of 81-year-old red-headed women living in Westminster subdivision with seven children, 20 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. “During the seven years I collected a little over $100,000, with the help of many people.
“I cannot thank you all enough!”
- Trevor McGuire, a 28-year-old mathematician working on his doctorate at LSU, is one of 10 male contestants in PETA’s national “Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door” contest.
The grand prize for the male and female winners is a trip to Hawaii.
Trevor’s been a vegan since his high school days.
Voting ends May 14 and the two winners will be announced May 21.
For more information and to vote for Trevor, visit PETA.org.
(I assume you can only vote if you’ve eaten all your vegetables.)
Debbie Lugowski, of Gonzales, asks, “Do you know of someplace I can take a retired American flag to be properly disposed of?
“I rescued one from a neighbor’s garbage can. They had no idea that there was a proper way to dispose of a flag.”
There is indeed a proper manner, and I know that Boy Scouts sometimes dispose of them in this dignified manner.
Claude Culross adds to our series on unpleasant (but necessary, I hasten to add) medical procedures:
“As the nurse was prepping me, she asked, ‘Is this your first colonoscopy?’
“ ‘No,’ I answered, ‘it’s my last.’ ”
A damp shame
This story from Jack Kemp won’t make any sense unless you’re old enough to remember Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s famous speech.
Even then, it might not make too much sense, but that’s Jack’s fault, not mine:
Long after they left the Army, two buddies met and were reminiscing about the old days.
One asked about their old sergeant.
The other one said, “Sgt. Dye lives in a cottage near Fay, Ala.
“There is a brook running through the property, and the old boy enjoys wading in it.”
His buddy said, “So he’s not still in the service?”
And the other guy replied, “No, old Dye never soldiers, he just wades at Fay.”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.