Pat Shingleton: "Joe Duckworth, The Cone and The Barlow!"
As we enter the third month of Hurricane Season ’18, here’s an anniversary item. For the first time in aviation and meteorological history, Col. Joe Duckworth and Lt. Ralph O'Hair took off from Bryan Field near Galveston, on this date in 1943, and flew into a hurricane. Flying blindly through storms, turbulence, down drafts and updrafts, their single-engine, A-6 trainer broke through the eye wall and entered its calm center. The only way out and a safe return was back through the storm. Bumped and bruised, the pilots exited the storm, landed safely at Bryan Field, refueled, picked up weather officer Lt. William Jones-Burdick and flew back into the storm. This flight was the first to gather meteorological data from a plane flying inside a hurricane. From one anniversary to another. You may be thinking of Abe Doumar, Albert Kabbaz, Arnold Fornachou, or David Avayou during our final weekend in July. All claim to have invented the ice cream cone. Weatherwise Magazine and the Library of Congress’s American Memory Project identify Charles E. Menches as the inventor. He and his brother Frank also claim the invention of the hamburger in Hamburg, New York. They originally topped Parisian waffles with ice cream then wrapped warm waffles around a cone-shaped splicing tool for tent ropes to create the cone. Syrian immigrant, Ernest Hamwi testified that he provided the Menches boys with a zalabia, another waffle concoction when they ran out of glass cups. In 1903, Italo Marchiony patented a pastry cup machine for ice cream. If you missed it, July 23rd was Ice Cream Day.In closing, George Washington carried one and Mark Twain wrote of a “real Barlow” in “Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn” in 1876. A Barlow is classified as a penknife however original penknives didn’t have folding blades that resembled a scalpel and designed to thin and point writing instruments known as quills. Both knives were used for whittling which is an exercise in cutting small bits or pare shavings from a piece of wood. No matter what the season, Bert Price, our grandfather, not only carried a Barlow but also whittled. When we would ask “Gramps” to borrow his Barlow he would fold his newspaper, spit some tobacco juice and retrieve his precious knife from his overalls, saying, “Now mind, that Barlow is sharp and cuts two inches ahead of its shadow.”