The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 19, 2013

Teams scored 49 runs; Clark Kent came from Gable


It takes patience to grow the popular nut — there’s a seven-year waiting period before the first harvest. Macadamia nuts still in the shell are available in Hawaii and online. You will need a special nutcracker or a heavy hammer to crack the shell. It takes about 300 pounds per square inch of pressure to get to the meat.

In 1857, colleagues named the plant after Dr. John Macadam (1827-1865), a Scottish-born Australian.

Q: I hear that Clark Kent — Superman’s alter ego — was named for Clark Gable and Kent Taylor. How about Lois Lane? —U.F., Brady, Texas

A: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the teenage creators of Superman, did construct the name Clark Kent from Clark Gable and Kent Taylor. As for Lois Lane, Joe Shuster had a crush on a classmate, Lois Amster, which inspired her first name. They took her last name from actress Lola Lane. Joanne Carter was hired to be the model for the comic character; eventually, she married Shuster.

Q: I seem to recall that Alan Hale Jr., who played the skipper on “Gilligan’s Island,” also played the lead in a show called “Casey Jones,” a series about the famous railroad engineer. None of my friends remembers it, and they say my memory is fading. Is it? — I.B.H., Palm Springs, Fla.

A: Is your memory fading? I’m not going to touch that one! But you can tell your friends that there was a show called “Casey Jones” that aired 32 episodes in 1958. It was a 30-minute children’s series, based loosely on the life of the legendary engineer Luther “Casey” Jones.

Alan Hale starred as Casey Jones, the engineer on the Cannonball Express for the Midwest and Central Railroad. Mary Lawrence played his wife, Alice, and Bobby Clark played their son, Casey Jr. Burl Ives performed the show’s theme song, “Casey Jones.”

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