A Renaissance man or woman is one who has acquired profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field. Is that you?
1. Which of these rivers flows westward? A) The Potomac; B) The Tennessee; C) The Savannah; D) The Missouri.
2. Ehrlich Weiss was better known as A) Blackstone; B) Siegfried the Mystic; C) Houdini; D) Ballantine.
3. All these presidents graduated from Ivy League colleges except A) Herbert Hoover; B) William Howard Taft; C) Teddy Roosevelt; D) Woodrow Wilson.
4. A carpenter would use an auger to A) measure a pipe length; B) remove nails from wood; C) drill a hole; D) drive small brads.
5. All the following survived weeks adrift in the Pacific in World War II except A) Eddie Rickenbacher; B) Lou Zamperini; C) Jim Reynolds; D) Jimmy Doolittle.
6. Before breaking Major League Baseball's color line, Jackie Robinson was an all-around star athlete at A) Stanford; B) Auburn; C) UCLA; D) USC.
7. Helen Keller could not see, hear or speak until this woman became her private teacher: A) Sister Kenney; B) Anne Sullivan; C) Margaret Sanger; D) Mother Jones.
(Answers somewhere below).
A spectacular event concluded this past week that awakened a unique memory of long ago -- 77 years ago to be specific.
I was 11 years old in 1937 when a neighbor drove my mom, two other people and me out to the Oakland airport to witness a piece of history. We saw Amelia Earhart take off in a twin-engine Lockheed Electra to begin an attempt to fly around the world.
If you know your history, you also know she didn't quite make it. She and her companion navigator-mechanic, Fred Noonan, became lost somewhere in the vast Pacific Ocean while on the last leg of their journey. Theories and shreds of evidence abound, but her disappearance has remained a mystery.
Then, this past Friday, another Amelia Earhart (not related but given the famous name at birth) landed at that same airport in Oakland after an 18-day, 24,300-mile encirclement of our globe. Flying a single-engine plane equipped with modern-day technology (instead of her ill-fated namesake's on-again, off-again radio and questionable navigation skills), our present day Amelia fulfilled a yearlong dream when she landed back in Oakland, ending her 'round-the-world flight.
(Now, the answers to our quiz: 1-B, 2-C, 3-A, 4-C, 5-D, 6-C, 7-B). Regular readers of our paper may recall the two columns devoted to Alameda's own Jim Reynolds, who spent 27 days lost in the Pacific with Eddie Rickenbacher and five others. Also, fellow journalist Peter Hegarty wrote a major feature covering Reynolds' harrowing life raft experience.
Related to that same question is the recent news that Lou Zamperini passed away just a few weeks ago. He was 97 years old and the toughest man I've ever known, but I was hoping he would live to see the movie about his life due out this coming Christmas.
Contact Joe King at email@example.com.