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Of Greeley & West Weld County ColoradoIs Horace Greeley reading Tidbits? Issue 814 The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read ®

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by Patricia L. Cook Next week, on February 21, many people around the globe will celebrate Mardi Gras. This issue of Tidbits will “laissez les bons temps rouler” (let the good times roll) as we explore this celebration. • The city most associated with Mardi Gras in America is New Orleans. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday,” the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which begins the Christian season of Lent. It is also the last day of the Carnival season. “Carnival” season is a period of feasting and fun that always begins on January 6, which in Christianity is the Feast of Epiphany, following the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” While mostly celebrated in areas where Roman Catholicism is predominant, Epiphany is celebrated in other churches as well. • In New Orleans, parades happen for several weeks before Mardi Gras, but the largest and probably most famous happen on the last weekend before and through Mardi Gras day. There are about a dozen held in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day, with even more in the suburbs. • Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday and Lent are all important times for Catholics. Ash Wednesday

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Tidbits of Greeley & West Weld County



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To advertise call 970.475.4829 is the first of 40 days (excluding Sundays) prior to Easter that make up Lent. Lent is a time of preparation for Easter, when the resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated. • Another term used for Mardi Gras is “Shrove Tuesday.” Shrove is the past tense of “to shrive” and means “to go to or make confession.” Mardi Gras is known as the day to party. In New Orleans, when the clock strikes midnight, Lent starts, and the party ends. Mounted police lead a parade of street cleaners, clearing and cleaning the city. • Historians believe that French explorers Iberville and Bienville held the first American Mardi Gras on March 3, 1699. After a very difficult journey down the Mississippi River, they landed about 60 miles south of New Orleans. They had a small celebration and named the area “Pointe due Mardi Gras.” Bienville also established “Fort Louis de la Louisiane,” which later became Mobile, Alabama. Many say that the first official Mardi Gras was held in Mobile in 1702. (During this time, before the Louisiana Purchase, Mobile was part of Louisiana.) • For many years, New Orleans and other French settlements of the South marked the Mardi Gras holiday with street parties, masked balls and lavish m e a l s . When the Spanish took control of New Orleans, they abolished the rowdy celebrations. The bans were in force until Louisiana became a state in 1812. • Secret societies or clubs, called krewes, started forming as early as 1781. The first was the Perseverance Benevolent & Mutual Aid Association. Krewes started the parades as we know them today and keep them going. The krewes are private, non-profit organizations whose members plan and pay for their parades, costumes, throws and more. There are no sponsorships or city funds used. • By the late 1830s, there were processions of masked people with carriages and riding horseback. Newspapers started announcing the Mardi Gras events in advance. More krewes formed, and today there are more than 50 parades in the

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Greater New Orleans area. • On February 24, 1857, the Mistick Krewe of Comus, a secret society of businessmen, organized a torch-lit procession with rolling floats and marching bands. This began the parade traditions that persist today. The parade was followed by a ball for the krewe and their guests. • Today the elaborate, invitation-only balls for the many krewes begin when Carnival Season starts on January 6. Each krewe elects a king and queen and their court. They wear masks and are never officially revealed; except for Rex, who as the King of Carnival, is revealed the day before the parade. • The Krewe of organized in Caught Reading Tidbits! Rex, 1872 by a group of businessmen, came up with the idea to have a King of Carnival. They held the first parade during the daytime. This krewe introduced the Mardi Gras song (“If Ever I Cease to Love”), the flag and the colors of purple, green and gold. Meaning was assigned to the colors in 1892: Purple for justice, green for faith and gold for Kaylee Allen and Elaine Snow were power. • While most pa- caught reading Tidbits at the the rades require just re-opened JB’s Drive-In! crowds to simply watch and applaud when floats pass, Mardi Gras crowds work hard to catch “throws.” This tradition started in 1871. The most popular throws are beads, plastic cups and doubloons. Doubloons are aluminum medallions, like large coins, that depict the parade theme on one side and the krewe’s emblem on the other. The first medallions appeared in 1884, with the Krewe of Rex, and the start of doubloons like those given out today started in 1960 also with Rex. Hours: 310 8th St • The actual name for the Krewe of Rex is the School of Design. Rex, the King Mon Sat 8am - 5:30pm Greeley of Carnival, arrives by a boat that crosses the Mississippi River on the night Sun 1pm - 5pm before Mardi Gras. When Rex arrives, the Mayor of New Orleans presents 970.352.0544 him with the key to the city. • One of the most popular and “different” parades held during Mardi Gras in New Orleans is put on by the Krewe of Zulu. This krewe started in the early 1900s, with their first official appearance as Zulus in 1909. The group started from a group of black men who belonged to a Benevolent Aid Society. These societies were When it’s YOUR home - you demand the first forms of insurance in the black community where, for annual dues, members received financial help when sick and financial Kitchen & Bath Remodel - Basement Finish aid when needing to bury deceased members. Remodels - Tile & Hardwood Flooring • Zulus made a distinct impression on Mardi Gras Painting - Custom Playhouses crowds in 1909 by being totally different. They wore raggedy pants and had a quartet singing in front and behind their king. The king wore a “lard can” crown and carried a “banana stalk” scepter. • Another difference with the Zulu Parade is their Steve Baily, Craftsman unusual throws. Possibly as early as 1910, the 970.590.1440 krewe made their mark by throwing coconuts, known as “Golden Nuggets.” In the early years the coconuts were in their natural “hairy” state, but a few years later, the krewe started handing out beautiful painted and decorated coconuts. Any project - inside or outside of your home - done on time and on budget. • In 1988, the Louisiana Legislature passed a law dubbed the “Coconut Bill” that excluded the coconut from liability for injuries arising from the Zulus handing out coconuts in their parades. • Louisiana is the only state where Mardi Gras is a legal holiday. Craftsmanship.

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Tidbits of Greeley & West Weld County

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SAGUARO CACTUS One of the largest symbols of the American West lies south of the Grand Canyon in the Sonoran Desert. The saguaro, pronounced suh-wah-ro, is the world’s largest cactus. • The Sonoran Desert covers 120,000 square miles (310,799 sq km) in southwestern Arizona, southeastern California, most of Baja California and the western half of Sonora, Mexico. Saguaros grow exclusively in the Sonoran Desert, but not all areas of the Sonoran have the plants. They generally do not grow in areas that are above 4,000 feet (1219 m) in elevation. They will not survive freezing temperatures. • Saguaros are found in southern Arizona and western Sonora, Mexico. A few stray saguaros may be found in southeast California. Most of these giants are near Tucson, Arizona. There are approximately 1.6 million saguaro cacti plants growing within Saguaro National Park, divided into two districts east and west of Tucson. • Saguaro cacti can grow up to 60 feet (18 m) tall and weigh as much as an elephant! These desert giants can live to be about 200 years old. The plants do not sprout their arms, or branches, until they are about 70 years old. While some saguaros never grow branches, some can be found with as many as 25 arms! • Saguaros have white flowers that bloom in late spring and red fruit in the summer. The cactus blossoms are the official state flower of Arizona. • These fascinating giants provide food and shelter for many animals. Some that may be found high in the branches of saguaros are bats, birds and owls. Harris’ hawks and cactus wrens love the saguaro.

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TALK Every Wednesday on • Gila woodpeckers use their strong beaks to hollow out nest holes in the stems of the saguaro cactus. The holes dry out to form a scab that becomes a safe, dry, cool place for eggs to hatch and baby birds to grow. • When gila woodpeckers abandon their nests, tiny elf owls move in. The world’s smallest owls, at about 5 inches (13 cm) long, make the world’s largest cactus their home. They hide in the daytime and search for insects, spiders and small lizards at night. • While the flying critters on a saguaro may not seem too scary, the crawling critters that live in or near the base are. The desert scorpion and desert tarantula are two that hide under rocks and in grasses nearby. • Two rats, wood rats and kangaroo rats, build nests in the ground around saguaros. Wood rats eat cactus flesh, which is poisonous to most animals. They have strong stomachs that allow them to break down the poisons. Kangaroo rats have strong back legs that allow them to hop across the hot desert soil quickly. • Giant saguaros are home to several kinds of snakes, including diamondback rattlesnakes. These snakes can be eight feet long (2.5 m) and have poisonous, deadly bites. • One of the few lizards of the world that has a poisonous bite, the gila monster, also lives near saguaro cacti. This monster hunts small mammals, birds and their eggs, and other lizards. Gila monsters have bright orange and black patterns on their scaly skin and can grow up to two feet (60 cm) long. • There are more critters not covered in this Tidbits that live in, on or near saguaros. When you see a large saguaro cactus and are tempted to stand close for photographic memories, think again. Maybe it is better to take those photos from a distance!


idbits of Greeley & West Weld County is is full of trivia, fun word games and puzzles, and interesting columns! t is one of nearly 200 papers across the nation that enjoy a readrship of over 4-million people each week. istribution makes Tidbits successful. You’ll find it in nearly 200 Greeley locations including 70 restaurants. efore publishing Tidbits of Greeley, Ron and Amy Ross published Tidbits of Douglas County, Colorado. nfo about advertising is readily available! Call Ron Ross at 720.934.7677 and he will design you an ad before you buy! is where you can read Tidbits online. There you will also find all the info you need to advertise. o many people love reading Tidbits - that’s why it’s a great place to advertise! Give us a call NOW and start your ad next week! - 720.934.7677!

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Tidbits of Greeley & West Weld County

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����������������������� ���������������������� By Samantha Weaver • It was noted American wit and columnist Franklin P. Adams who made the following sage observation: “Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.” It’s certainly something to keep in mind during this strife-ridden election season.

Hear and Heed Your Heart

• Americans make more collect phone calls on Father’s Day than on any other day of the year. • It was a German company, Interstuhl Manufactur, that made the world’s most expensive office chair. With a price tag of $65,500, you shouldn’t be surprised that the chair is plated in gold and comes with a matching ottoman.

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• Have you ever wondered where we got the phrase “the dog days of summer”? According to tradition, the dog days start in July -- and not just because it’s usually pretty hot then. At one time, that was when Sirius, also known as the dog star, rose at sunrise. The Romans associated Sirius (called the dog star because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, or “large dog”) with hot weather, and at the beginning of the dog days they would sacrifice a dog in the hope of ameliorating the sultry weather.

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• If you were to take the entire world’s water supply and compress it into one single gallon, freshwater would make up just 4 ounces, and freshwater that is easily accessible would be just two drops. Thought for the Day: “An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.” -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.



Can you imagine the looks on the faces of the first people who saw the gigantic hole in the ground that is now named the Grand Canyon? This Tidbits will go deep into the canyon for some interesting information. • Originally established as a Forest Preserve in 1893, then Grand Canyon Game Preserve in 1906 and a National Monument in 1908, the massive canyon was destined for greatness. Three years after the National Park Service was created, Grand Canyon National Park was established in 1919. The park is famous worldwide, hosting around 5 million visitors per year. • Encompassing 1,218,375 acres (49,3059 ha) of northern Arizona, Grand Canyon National Park is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is 277 miles (446 km) long, 5,000 feet (1524 m) deep and about 18 miles (29 km) wide. • Great environmental variety exists in the Grand Canyon’s large expanse of land. The elevation ranges from 1,200 feet (366 m) near Lake Mead to 9,165 feet (2793 m) above sea level at the North Rim. Scientists have identified five life zones in the park: Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian and Hudsonian. Think of it this way: You can see variations in the ecosystem within Grand Canyon National Park that are similar to what you would see if you traveled from Mexico to Canada! From desert plants to mountain trees — They’re all there. From the North Rim to the canyon floor, the temperature

can vary up to 35 degrees. While there are a number of lodging choices for visitors, there is only one lodging facility below the rim of the Grand Canyon. Phantom Ranch is only accessible by hiking or mule trip and for hardy travelers who want to see more than the rim. The rustic architecture of Phantom Ranch and other structures designed by the Fred Harvey Company is referred to as “parkitecture.” The Fred Harvey Company started working on structures in the park in the early 1900s. When the Grand Canyon Railway, an extension of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, was brought to the South Rim of the canyon in 1901, housing for visiting guests was needed. The Fred Harvey Company, working with a railroad architect, built the El Tovar Hotel 20 feet (6 m) from the edge of the South Rim in 1905. The beautiful, rugged building is sometimes called “the most expensively constructed and appointed log house in America.” It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. John Wesley Powell, a Civil War hero and geology professor, recorded the geology and geography of the Green and Colorado Rivers and the Grand Canyon after two historic trips in 1869 and 1871. His trips opened up new interest and provided much information for the future with his mapping of the wild Grand Canyon area. The Colorado River and canyon walls are full of scientific evidence about the history of the area. The Grand Canyon is one of the most amazing natural features on earth.

Think about it...“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

When times are tough it’s easy to think only of survival. However, tough times can be a wonderful occasion for personal reflection and life re-direction. Did you get fired? Did your business go broke? Do things look really bleak? Consider this: It might be the best thing that has ever happened to you. Perhaps you are being called away from the clatter and chatter of those who think they know what’s best for you and instead you are being drawn to the yearnings of your own heart. What is your heart saying Dr. Ron Ross to you? To hear and heed your heart three things must happen: First, you must have a heart. If all you’ve worked for so far in your life is the accumulation of stuff or the collection of trophies, then you may be empty on the inside. So the task before you is to find a cause greater than yourself or discover a challenge that calls forth the best within you. Seize the opportunity to do something significant, not just for profit (though there is nothing wrong with that), but something that blesses someone else. As the songwriter declared, “First you got to have heart!” Second, you must hear your heart. Shakespeare said, “Go to your bosom, knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know.” Your heart sees and hears things your eyes and ears cannot. But watch and listen carefully, as the heart speaks mostly in gentle whispers. Your grandest thoughts, your greatest ideas, and your most profound passions will be apprehended from the whispers of your heart. Third, you must heed your heart. The advice to heed your heart may at first seem to be reckless, and I suppose in some instances it could be. However, to heed your heart is not about living within your comfort zone or being overly concerned about what other people think. It’s about becoming fully you; it’s about finding and living out your personal passions. To heed your heart is to live courageously and thus, be fully alive. Pay attention to what your heart says, and act on it. Someone once said, “The heart is wiser than the intellect.” Still, you may not know what is in your heart; you may not sense a calling within. Do not despair; keep listening and keep inquiring of your heart. I believe that already planted deep within your heart are seeds of greatness, seeds of the person you aspire to become. Right now is a good time to water those seeds with goodness and joy, fertilize them with grace and hope, nurture them with meekness and kindness, and one day your hearts desire will be realized. These tough times may be just what you need to help you meet head-on the truth that you are not defined by the job you do, the amount of money you make, where you live, what you wear, or the trophies that hang on your wall. You are defined by what is in your heart. Hear and heed your heart and you’ll be ready for the boom!

“Prepare for the Boom” is a series of columns that will appear over the next six months. A compilation of the series will be made available toward the end of the series. Dr. Ross is the publisher of Tidbits of Greeley & West Weld County. To contact him email:

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Tidbits of Greeley & West Weld County

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Tidbits of Greeley Issue 814  

Tidbits of Greeley