Strates Shows - Friday, March 27, 2015

Everyone loves the carnival!  If you don't, you may want to talk to a professional to find out what's going on in your life.  The rides, the games, the food - the carnival is a wonderful distraction from the realities of life.  And of all the organizations that run carnivals, we are happy to make a call out to Strates Shows.  In fact, some of their posters adorn the walls in our Toy Box, right next to posters from circuses like Ringling Brothers and Forepaugh.

Strate Shows has been active for over ninety years, travelling around the country for seven months every year.  Four hundred-plus employees travel by rail (sixty-one rail cars to be exact) and road (thirty-four trucks) to fairgrounds big and small.  The man who started it all, James E. Strate, emigrated from his homeland of Greece in 1909.  He took over Southern Tier Shows in 1923 (it included an Allan Herschell carousel when he acquired the carnival!) and ran it until he felt it was time for the company to pass into his son's control in 1959.  E. James continues to lead this small army today.  Strates Shows is now regarded the last of the railroad carnivals in the country.
QUESTION:  For the first year of his life, E. James Strate and his sister Theodora went by what names?
A)  Felix and Beatrice
B)  Him and Her
C)  Brother and Sister
D)  Male and Female

BAD MARY.  Have you ever heard of Mary Mallon?  She was an Irish immigrant to New York City who found work with different families of better means.  The problem that compelled her to continue finding new work was that every family she worked for got very sick while she was there, some members dying.  Still haven't heard of her?  Maybe you know her by her nickname, Typhoid Mary.  She is the first healthy person known to have been a carrier of disease. Between 1900 and 1907, she hopped from family to family.  Then, her unique problem was exposed and she was forced into quarantine on this day in 1907.  Innocent of malice up to this point, Mary was released again in 1910, when cases of typhus popped up again.  She hid from the authorities, but was captured again and spent the last twenty-eight years of her life alone in prison.  

CASTLE!  Okay, we're stretching the whole "American" in the American Treasure Tour for today's birthday, but who doesn't love Nathan Fillion, the Canadian-born actor currently starring in the popular television series Castle?  Born in Edmonton, Alberta, he worked in theater before becoming part of the Joss Whedon universe, first with a recurring role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then the short-lived but much-loved Firefly.  Since 2009, he's starred in the crime dramedy Castle, gaining attention for his sense of humor and charm.  Happy 44th, Nate!

QUOTE:  I like to say there's certain things you can't take back.  One of them's "I love you," and one of them is bullets. - Nathan Fillion

ANSWER:  C)  Brother and Sister