Pat Shingleton: "Mermaid Sightings and Purple Lips"
As we become acclimated to the heat, we seek ways to cool down. Years ago, when the inflatable pool was “shot-up” with a B.B. gun from Doug Kelly, my Mom would take a wash tub, fill it with cold water and stick my brother Kevin in there for a few days. He enjoyed it even though his lips were purple. Once Dale and Thelma Lutz built a swimming pool, they kindly invited the entire neighborhood to seek relief. When my wife and I visit Rainbow Delights on North Harrell’s Ferry, inevitably, I get a “brain-freeze.” It also happened to Kevin at J and T Custard Stand where the Krebs family delivered an ice-cream beyond compare. The closest to this in Baton Rouge is the new "Freddies" on Siegen. Kevin kept cool with purple lips and a headache. On this date in 1608, navigator Henry Hudson sighted a mermaid while sailing through the arctic waters of Russia. “The Almanac of the Infamous, Incredible and Ignored” notes that Christopher Columbus reportedly spotted three mermaids in the Caribbean in 1493 and later logged additional sightings off the coast of Guinea. In 1614, explorer John Smith spied a young woman in the West Indies. Other sightings date back to 1610 in Newfoundland waters where Captain Whitbourne described a sea creature with the face of a woman. In 1917, the Leonidas, sailing from America to France, was accompanied by a mermaid for six hours. Finally, a “merman” wiggled from a fisherman’s net in India in 1937.