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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 6, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 56 THE LETHSRIDCE Y.'ednesday, Juna 6, 1973 Doivn the hatch Scarlett O'Hara, the new parrot in the Ccribou Hotel in the tiny Yukon Territory community of Carcross, downs a shot of Yukon mcosemilk in a shot glass held by Marilyn Sawatsky. Scarlett arrived in Carcross in January to replace the late Yukon Polly, reputedly the oldest, meanest, ugliest bird in the Canadian North who died last November at 125 years of cge. ________ A cross between a peacock and a turkey vulture Scarlett is becoming freeloading bar fly By DENNIS BELL CARCROSS, Y.T. (CP) The brightly leathered re- placement for the oldest, mea- nest, ugliest bird ever to utter a salty expletive in the Cana- dian North is rapidly evolving from a polite social drinker into a freeloading bar fly. Scarlett O'Hara is the name of the new bird and she looks like a cross between a pea- cock and a turkey vulture. She arrived in this Yukon Ter- ritory community of 200 on Jan. 15 to take up residence in the parlor of the Caribou Hotel, vacated by Yukon a grizzled veteran of the North and reformed alco- holic who died last November at about 125 years of age. Scarlett, a military bird by birth with bright red plumage, has been picking up new hab- its since travelling into the frigid north from her former residence, balmy Victoria, that fabled bastion of retired admirals and Colonel Blimps. She has developed a pro- nounced thirst for a nauseous potation known as Yukon Moosemilk, a blend of the dairy variety and Yukon Hootch, a local product that by comparison reduces New- foundland Screech to the po- tency of raspberry soda pop. Hotel owner Dorothy Hop- cott says she has had to ra- tion Scarlett to a couple of bracers a day, plus the occa- sional beer chaser to keep the pipes from rusting. On Saturday afternoons Mrs. Hopcott lets Scarlett go on a table-hopping binge in the hotel bar, a tiny room with six tables sandwiched be- tween an inmense beer cooler and an ancient pot-bel- lied stove. It's Scarlett's one day out and she makes the best of it. On a recent Saturday afler- noon, just before the spring breakup on the Yukon River. Scarlett downed, by actual count, two hefty shots of moosemilk and half a bser. She didn't buy a single round, and if she did know any words she had forgotten them all by dinnertime, when the bird was returned to her cage to wobble on her perch Scarlett, sober, has a pretty good vocabulary and a slight English accent, according to Mrs. Hopcott. The bird was once owned by the captain of the British battle cruiser Hood, sunk in the Second World War by the German battleship Bismarck. SURVIVED SINKING Fortunately for Scarlett, she was on shore leave during the naval cap- tain went down with the Hood along with most of the ship's complement. She eventually wound up living in Victoria v.ith en elderly kdy, vho de- cided to send the bud to Car- cross after learning of Pole's death. Scarlett's predecessor in the Caribou Hotel became a liv- ing, then a dead legend in the Yukon. Polly resided in Car- cross, in or near the since the Klondike goldrush era of 75 years ago. When Polly died, the entire town went into mourning and hundreds of telegrams, letters and telephone calls poured into Carcross from across North America and even over- seas. Mrs. Hopcott said she found Polly drumsticksi up on the floor of her wrought-iron bird- cage one morning when came down for breakfast. The bird was pronounced dead of a heart attack by the local chiropractor and laid out in a tiny coffin lined with red vel- vet JOINED PIONEERS Mrs. Hopcott said she had at first planned to stash Polly, coffin and all, in a corner of her freezer until the spring thaw, "but there was too much pressure on me to have a regular funeral. The following weekend, that's exactly what took place. Territorial C o m m i s- sioner James Smith gave Mis Hopcott and the com- munity of Carcross special dispensation to plant the bird in the hallowed ground of the Yukon pioneers' cemetery. A funeral cortege came down from Whiterorse aboard the White Pass and Yukon Railway's passenger train, and Mrs. Hopcoct said the sarvices had to be delayed "for an hour, because some of the really important VIPS were late getting into town. It was hardly a typical fu- neral. The eulogy was deliv- ered in song by Johnny Johns, a local Indian guide in his 70s, who croaked out several cho- ruses of I Love You Truly, one of Polly's favorite ditties. Mr. Johns accompanied himself on the skin drum. At the conclusion of the memo- rial service, he doffed a 100- v ear-old tribal top hat made of swan feathers in a silent tribute. After it was all over, the en- tire town and almost as many mourners from Whitehorse and points south, trooped back to the Caribou Hotel for a wake that left Carcross wool- ly-mouthed on Monday morn- ing. All of this for a parrot. Not just a parrot, but a mean- mouthed parrot at that, a re- formed drunk given to attack- ing any adult with the smell of liquor on his or her breath. Polly, a pretty fair drinker until reformed by a temper- ance-minded former owner of the hotel about 30 years be- fore the bird's death, was down on drinkers, indifferent towards adults, but inordi- nately fond of children. That's probably why there were so many at the funeral. But just about everybody agreed it was the biggest day in Carcross since the death of millionaire Skcokuni Jim, one of the three Klondike gold dis- coverers in 1896, who bad a similarly mammoth funeral and wake after failing off the railway bridge here several decades ago. As a result of all the public- ity surrounding the death of Polly, Mrs. Hopcott found her- self the recipient of some pe- culiar letters and weird phone calls and telegrams. She recalled a hotline radio show host in New Orleans who called her for on-air inter- views on several and then, for no discernible reason, sent her an auto- graphed picture of himself. Then there was a telegram from j. parrot named Admiral in Kansas City. "A couple of days later I got another tele- gram from another can't remember his name, but he was a friend of Admi- ral's." Remarkable is the word for Skylab Commentary RUSSELL BAKER New York Times Service WASHINGTON Eiery 93 minutes three men pass in the sky overhead on a route that takes them around the planet. Round and round they go, day aiKi 'it. It is an astounding thing for men to be doing, bux our race is so Inured to the daily occurrence of the astound- ing that we scarcely pause any- more to reflect how remarkable it is. This present circling of the planet is more remarkable than most. Everybody talks con- stantly about the marvelous ways in which science and tech- nology are going to improve man's lot, but it is doubtful if many of us take this talk se- riously. Too often, as we know from experience, a new scienti- fic or technological advance means only that it will become easier to exploit, manipulate or exterminate us. The space program until now has seemed less malevolent than most new ventures in tech- nology, but to people watching those incessant countdowns at Public told to less gasoline LOS ANGELES (AP) The fuel shortage in the United States is creating a paradox in oil industry advertising. Most major firms now are tailing the public to buy less of their prod- uct. "It doesn't make sense to pro- mote more gasoline con- sumption at a time when both government and industry are talking about the necessity of fuel allocations to ensure sup- plies to priority said a spokesman for Atlantic Rich- field Co. of Los Angeles Instead, the spokesman said, the thrust of Arco's national ad- vertising will be directed ''to- ward urging the public to help overcome the problems of air pollution, traffic congestion and energy H. R. Hammerman, advertis- ing director for Standard Oil of California, a San Francisco- based firm that is the state's leading gas marketer, described his company's new ad policy and said: "We'll be talking ere, care and good fuel econ- omy.'1 BARRED FROM MOSCOW MOSCOW (Reuter) Soviet authorities so far have refused to grant a permit allowing nov- elist Alexander Solzhenitsyn to live in Moscow, informed sources said Sunday. The Rus- sian writer married a Moscow woman more than six weeks ago, after being divorced from his first wife. Marriage to a resident of the Soviet capital usually enables Russians to re- ceive such a permit Sol- zhenitsyn now lives m a cottage near Moscow. Cape Kennedy it has also seem- ed pointless. i Going to the moon, for pie. We all know that scientists I were thrilled by the rocks, dust i and what-have-you which came back from the moon, bit let us not lie about our own unscien- tific reactions Sitting there by the tube watching the trip, most of us probably felt un unpleasant urge to think, "so Here were some guys who had gone all the way to the moon and had nothing to do when they arrived there except take a 14-mile hike. That could be done in and through comparable land- scape. It was wonderful, but it didn't really open any horizons for most of us, and it was certain- ly hard to see how it was going to improve man's lot. The present journey, by con- trast, is wonderful. There they are, way up there miles in the skj They are attached to 100 tons of machin- ery that stretches out through space a distance of 118 feet, about the length of an exciting pass play in the National Foot- ball League. And what are they doing' Repair work They are fixing some of the irichinery that doesn't work right. This is space with a purpose ought to be asking why NASA, didn't take this ap- proach from the beginning in- stead of going after moon dust. The repair industry in this country could very well be re- juvenated by this trip, and not be a moment too soon, either As soon as N.A.S.A. gets this present batch of machinery properly repaired and they surely will if it is humanly pos- sible, for they are the last of the "can-do guys" they ought to move on to more practical jobs. I would be more than happy to let them have my el sedan to illustrate to the world how to do a properfront- end alignment. This unfor- tunate machine has been through the hands of dozens of earthbound front-end aligners since 1970 when it was first dis- aligned m a collision with a high curb. Although they have taken dol- lars ranging into the several hundreds for their work, none has yet successfully aligned that f f o n t end. I believe N.A.S A. can, do it. To show my faith in them I herewith offer to let them launch my sedan into earth orbit, rendezvous three astronauts with it at an altitude of 270 miles and en- gage in front-end alignment op- erations. If that works, and it almost certainly will, they can next launch, orbit and repair my television set. After that, the refrigerator. After all those billions for moon dust, the space program may at last be ready to pay off. Coldspot Frostless never needs defrosting. Has butter conditioner! 319 98 White a-46 06 54950. Here's the value-packed family size, 14.6 cu. ft. Coldspot refrigerator you've been waiting for! The completely Frostless interiors end messy defrosting forever. This beauty gives you 2-door convenience with a True zero0 freezer that holds 137 Ibs. What's more, the shelves are completely adjustable. And there's a 3-temperature conditioner that lets you choose your butter's consistency. No more rock-hard butter! Other features include: twin, moisture-sealed vegetable crispers. Adjustable porcelain meat keeper. Moulded egg rack. Door shelves. Separate temperature controls. And the odour-free, porcelain interior is colour trimmed. The exterior boasts new 'sculptured' Woodgrain handles. Long-life rotary compressor is fully guaranteed. In Harvest Gold, Avocado or Coppertone only- b-46 06 64950. Extra-big, 16.6 cu. ft Frostlfess Coldspot.' 359.98 Major STORE HOURS: daily from a.m. to p.m. Thuri. and Fri. a.m. to p.m. Centre Village Mall. Telephone 328-9231 ;