Gnomes - Friday, October 23, 2015

It's difficult to believe that gnomes are as old as they are.  These adorable little guys and gals often found complementing fine gardens around the world, date to the 1500's, to the Swiss alchemist Paracelsus.  The Latin root of their name is gnomus, which literally means 'earth dweller,' and gnomes had the ability to walk through earth, a power they did not always use exclusively for good in the olden days.  Sometimes they were described as withered old maidens, or guardians of treasures, or in the case of the Harry Potter books and movies, mischievous busybodies able to endure the harshest of treatment.  Of course, none of these descriptions does justice to the adorable gnomes on display in the Toy Box here at the American Treasure Tour.

The gnomes that we recognize today often have silver or gray hair and guard gardens.  The world-travelling gnome depicted in the 2001 French comedy Amelie and borrowed for TSA ads is what we know of today, and that's a good thing.  Because these gnomes may not say much, but they are excellent companions and great listeners!
QUESTION:  The star of Amelie (not including the gnome) is Audrey Tautou.  In what film did she star opposite Tom Hanks in 2006?
A)  The Da Vinci Code
B)  Cast Away
C)  Captain Phillips
D)  Charlie Wilson's War

HOLY SMURF!  A celebration of gnomes would be incomplete without also acknowledging other diminutive characters difficult for humans to find.  Of course, Smurfs are not nearly as old as gnomes, since these guys have only been around for exactly fifty-seven years.  It was on this day in 1958 that the world first met the Smurfs, and that was in the French cartoon La flute a six schtroumpfs.  They were introduced to American audiences by Hanna Barbera in 1981. We have never been the same since then.  Have a smurfy day!

HEEERE'S WHATHISNAME!  Yes, it is Johnny Carson's birthday today, the most recognizable name in late night talk shows would have turned ninety today.  Carson fought in World War II in the Navy, but knew he wanted to be in radio.  He achieved his goal with peace, and created popular comedy sketches in Omaha, Nebraska, before making the move to New York City.  He took over The Tonight Show in 1962 and had a great run prior to his retirement thirty years later.  Others have come and gone, but there was only one Johnny Carson.

QUOTE - If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover Spam. - Johnny Carson

ANSWER:  A)  The Da Vinci Code