The Greater Jasper Regional Chamber decided to create a copy-cat tourist attraction modeled after successful theme parks. In a brainstorming session, members suggested popular attractions and films. The guy assigned to research the new extravaganza was hard of hearing and dull: he heard Thoracic Park. Within a week, he described for committee members a roller coaster called the Ascending Aorta and the short water ride named the Superior Vena Cava for Thoracic Park. Committee members laughed.

The eager researcher tried another approach patterned after the Kentucky Derby aka the run for the roses. Our budding creative enthusiast misunderstood again and suggested plans for the Canisteo Derby and the run for the dandelions: “Well, they’re posies.” The committee disbanded.

Tasteless A-E

Alferd Packer Restaurant and Grill (that’s not a misspelling, Neal) at the University of Colorado-Boulder is named after one of only two people in our country’s history who have been charged with cannibalism. Students selected the name and the dining hall slogan: Take a Friend to Lunch. The New Executive Office Building in Washington, D. C., held a similar popularity contest for a new dining hall in the mid-1960s. Alfie Packer won again but humorless bureaucrats squelched the suggestion. Legend has it that Judge Melville B. Gerry of Lake City, a Democrat, pronounced sentence upon Packer this way: 'You voracious man-eating SOB, there was seven Democrats in Hinsdale County and you ate five of them. I sentence you to be hanged by the neck until you are dead, Dead, DEAD, as a warning against reducing the Democratic population of Hinsdale County.”

Praise every school board member in every Greater Jasper school

A-E wants readers to learn more about the men and women who devote too many hours scouring minutiae to pare budgets and assure the best possible education for their kids, typically the motivation that drives them to such masochism. Following is a sentence edited from a Tribune story because of space limitations: “This writer wonders how school districts continue to attract smart and busy men and women volunteers to give up hundreds of hours annually. As an example, Arkport board members include a parent of a co-valedictorian, business owner, banker and two people whose day jobs involve education locally and regionally.” Yeah, the article was about Arkport schools but could have been written about any board of education that depends on people who are willing to assume long hard labor for no pay.

Why hockey is called the toughest sport

Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Olesky described his life protecting goalies: “Ninety percent of the time I look like I got hit by a car,” he said. “The other 10 percent is the off season.” Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin played the final two games against the New York Rangers and all of the world championship series representing Russia with a broken left foot. (The Capitals and Russians lost). Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguin star who lost half a dozen teeth when a puck smashed his jaw in April, less than a month later was back battling for the Pens. Best sign at his first game: “Teeth are overrated. Welcome back, Sid.”

Thomas Jefferson on Freedom of the Press

European naturalist Alexander von Humboldt spotted a ferociously negative Federalist newspaper in the cabinet room of Jefferson’s President’s House, the dwelling that became the White House. “Why are these libels allowed? Why is not this libelous journal suppressed or its editor at least fined and imprisoned?” he asked. The President’s reply: “Put that paper in your pocket, Baron, and should you hear the reality of our liberty, the freedom of our press, questioned, show this paper and tell where you found it.” From the letters of Margaret Bayard Smith’s The First Forty Years, page 397.

Al Bruce of Canisteo writes a weekly column appearing Fridays in The Evening Tribune.