Pat Shingleton: "Star Studded Skies and Hat Wagering!"
In ancient times, evening entertainment included gazing at the stars. “Earth-lings” would enjoy a star-studded sky, creating images of animals by "connecting the dots." The Chinese experienced images different from Native Americans. The constellations that are now referenced by astronomers were "mapped-out" from our European ancestors. From Late July into August Sirius, the "dog star," tags along with the Sun as it rises and sets. Egyptians believed the heat of this star added to the Sun's heat to create hot weather. Romans believed the star was so bright that Earth received its heat as theories evolved that summer heat drove dogs mad thus the legend of the "dog-days" of summer. From constellations to predictions... In the Daly & Spraggs Drug Store in Waynesburg, PA, a customer told owner Byron Daly that it would rain on July 29th. Questioning how he knew, the customer responded that it always rained on his birthday – July 29th. Daly began wagering customers, not for cash but a hat. For more than 135 years, rain was recorded 111 times. Byron’s son, John, continued the tradition and the festival of hat-wagering continues today. John has won hats from Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Johnny Carson, Arnold Palmer, Jay Leno, and Chubby Checker. Harry Anderson, of TV's Night Court, was a bettor in 1988 and the year it didn't rain, and was sent a hat that appeared on the bookshelves behind his desk for several episodes.
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