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Monday, January 23, 2012

Chinese New Year and Frisbees!

Happy New Year CHINA!!
Still wish I knew how to find a Chinese Book Forum and put an add or blurb about my books in Chinese!  It couldn't do any worse than Amazon DE, IT, FR, or ES.  I have yet to sell a single book anywhere besides the US and UK on Amazon.
Growing up in the back woods of Idaho, on a dirt farm against the edge of thousands of acres of National Forest, in the evenings when the work was done my Dad and Great Uncle Garth would throw the Frisbee after dinner until it was too dark.  As I got older the Frisbee bug bit me also.  Partly because of the nostalgia of my childhood watching my dad and uncle, and partly because when you play with another good player you can pretty much stand there and throw one for hours and never move more than a foot or two from your starting point.  It's a lazy man's sport for sure when you and your partner are both good enough throwers.  Catching one is the easy part unless you get hit on the tip of the finger which with a screaming 160 gram Wham-O Frisbee could do some real damage impacting your finger in that manner.
I caught the bug so bad my first year of college I majored in Frisbee.  I played Frisbee on the lawn of the college instead of studying and doing homework.  That's a bad joke that still upsets my parents.  Because I flunked out of my first year of college and I was pretty much cut off – financially – from going to school, I in my infinite wisdom of 20 years of age decided I would join the U.S. Army.  After my stint in the Army playing on tanks, when I got back to school I had perfect grades, primarily because this time I was paying for it, and because I had grown up and actually gotten much wiser during that time in the service.
Years and years later in what almost seems like a different lifetime I occasionally get to play Frisbee with my children after dinner.  At this point they have no idea how much that means to me.  The wisdom now of knowing that part of Freedom translates into being able to go into the backyard and throw a Frisbee if that's what you want to do.  How I remember watching my Dad and Great Uncle Garth throwing the Frisbee for hours in the twilight time of the evenings as a child.  The skill I have after years and years of throwing a Frisbee and chasing after the attempts of my children to throw it back to me, thinking this is how they will learn.  Thinking about how I won't tell them the story of myself flunking out of college until after they all have received their college diplomas.
In 1871, William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Students from nearby universities would throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling "Frisbie!" as they let go.
In 1948 Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner, Warren Franscioni, invented a plastic version of the disc called the "Flying Saucer" that flew farther and more accurately than the tin pie dishes.  After splitting with Franscioni, Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to a new toy company called Wham-O.
On this date January 23rd, 1957, Wham-O produced the first Frisbees.  They didn't officially call it that until a year after its release when they changed the name to Frisbee, misspelling the name of the historic pie company.  Wham-O was also the company behind such mega toy wonders as the Hula Hoop and the Super Ball.  By their 50th Anniversary in 2007, the company had sold more than two hundred million Frisbees!


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