With all the hoopla about Illinois now allowing concealed carry, what about non-concealed carry? Can I drive around with my .30-.30 in the back window of my pickup as we did in the '50s? -- Roy Hobbs, of Tilden
I wouldn't unless you have somebody on speed-dial who can keep bailing you out of jail.
Concealed-carry is just that, the folks at Curt Smith Sporting Goods in Belleville tell me. If you have a permit, you can carry a handgun in your car, but it must be in your glove compartment or otherwise concealed from view. By law, a rifle or similar weapon still must be unloaded and enclosed in a case to prevent theft or accidental misfiring.
I would not bother you with this personal quest except that I have exhausted all other resources. I am a huge fan of "Lonesome Dove" starring Robert Duvall. I guess I only remember the original TV series and the copies I made of it at the time, which are now lost to time and moves. There are two particular scenes that I seem to remember differently from new versions. In one, where the herd is crossing a Texas river, one of the young men is bitten by a number of cottonmouths and dies. What I remember is Gus (Duvall) saying at the burial: "Life is short. Shorter for some than for others. Now saddle up!" In the new Blu-Ray version, he says something like "He was a good boy and a true man, now we have to get on to Montana." I can't read lips but I swear that has been changed. In another scene before the drive, he wants the company of Lori (Diane Lane), a beautiful prostitute, and flat out asks her for a "poke." In the version I have now, they cut cards and he offers her $50 win or lose. Maybe it's in the book, but I never read it (very long). Any clues? -- K.S., of O'Fallon
I'm not sure whether they were trying to create a kinder, gentler Duvall for the DVD, but according to posters on www.moviequotes.com and other sites, your memory is impeccable on both counts.
"Life is short, shorter for some than for others," he is supposed to have said. "Now we best be moving on to Montana."
Now, he apparently says something like this, "I'll say a word, just a word. This was a good, brave boy. He had a fine tenor voice. We'll all miss that. There's accidents in life and he met with a bad one. Now the same may happen to us if we ain't careful. Dust to dust. Now let the rest of us go on to Montana."
In the other, Gus is asked whether he cheated. According to the Internet Movie Database, ol' Gus replies:
"I won't say I did and I won't say I didn't. But I will say any man that don't cheat for a poke don't want one bad enough."
Stubborn facts?: When we last visited Blackjack -- that area between O'Fallon and Troy -- in this column, I wrote that it may have been named for the blackjack oak tree, which, according to early residents, "cast a dark shadow and deep pall over the land."
But now Josephine Thiel, who recently returned to the area from Alabama with her husband, Harry, has, perhaps, an equally plausible theory.
"My husband's great-grandfather came from Germany and farmed in the mid-1800s in Blackjack," she wrote. "We were told this area was so named because the farmers couldn't afford nor would they use horses. They used mules. A blackjack is a male black mule."
Punctuated history: My recent history of the hashtag (#) prompted Will Shannon, curator of the St. Clair County Historical Society (and a self-described punctuation aficionado), to pass along more trivia:
* Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist widely accepted as one of the grandfathers of the World Wide Web, has apologized for using those two slash marks that precede Internet addresses. In a 2009 tongue-in-cheek apology, he admitted the slashes were not really necessary and apologized for the wasted time, paper and ink (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8306631.stm).
* The @ symbol, now a staple in electronic communication, languished in obscurity until 1971, when computer scientist Ray Tomlinson needed a rarely used symbol to denote messages sent between users of Arpanet, a forerunner of the Internet. He saw the "@" on his teletype, and the rest his history. He jokes that he saved the poor symbol from going the way of the symbol for cents on keyboards. (www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-accidental-history-of-the-symbol-18054936/?no-ist=)
Where was the deepest hole on Earth dug? How deep?
Answer to Thursday's trivia: If you want to see really rip-roaring tides, head to the Bay of Fundy in Canada. According to the National Ocean Service, this area, which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia, will see a 54-foot difference between high and low tides at some times of the year. Specifically, the Guinness Book of World Records in 1975 declared that Burntcoat Head in Nova Scotia had the highest tides in the world. In 2009, the bay was named a finalist for the New 7 Wonders of the World, but was not chosen.
Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 618-239-2465.