Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Say "Ky-oht" and You Say "Ky-oh-tee"

Coyotes, wolves, and coy-dogs

After hearing the coyotes howl for the last few nights, I read a little about the animal. One bit of trivia I picked up is that the word "coyote" comes from the Aztec word "coyotl", which is often translated as "trickster."

I came across some interesting spellings of the animal's name in old books: "cayute," "cayota," "cayeute," and so on. Today we have standardized the spelling, but pronunciations still vary. According to Merriam Webster's entry for the word, the primary pronunciation is \kī-ˈō-tē\ but in the West, it's sometimes pronounced \ˈkī-ˌōt\.

Coyote in Yosemite National Park
Photo source: Wikipedia
Well, I grew up using the Western pronunciation \ˈkī-ˌōt\ . To me, "coyote" rhymed with "my oat." And I was equally comfortable with \ˈkī-ˌyüt\  (rhymes with "my boot".) These were the pronunciations of northern Nebraska.

On the rare occasion that I heard someone say \kī-ˈō-tē\ , it was obvious to me that they knew coyotes only from watching "Wile E. Coyote" on TV. To me, the three-syllable pronunciation was an overly-fancy version that only a dude would say.

Over the years, I've amended that preconceived notion because I've learned that many rural folks in other parts do say \kī-ˈō-tē\.  However, I haven't changed my own way of saying the word. The three-syllable pronunciation will never feel right in my mouth.

I've also heard lots of people call them "wolves." But in my internal dictionary, the word "wolf" is used only for the larger wild dogs. To me, calling them "wolves" would feel just as silly as calling them \kī-ˈō-tēs\.

I base my mental image of a coyote on the animal I knew during my Nebraska childhood. The average male coyote there weighed  maybe 30 lbs. But in the eastern U.S., the native coyote is a bigger animal -- at least a third bigger on average (10 to 15 lbs. heavier) -- than the Nebraska coyote. DNA testing has revealed that some eastern coyotes carry wolf genes as a result of coyotes and wolves mating with each other.

So my notion that no coyote should be called a wolf is probably wrong, too. I read that these crossbreed coyotes are called "coy-wolves." Now I wonder how they pronounce that first syllable, "coy."  Is it \ˈor is it  \ˈkȯi\?

Range map of the coyote
Image from Wikimedia
Website of Jonathan Way, Ph.D., a Coy-Wolf expert

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Crime in 1921, Laramie, Wyoming

Keeping the peace on the High Plains

Laramie's downtown historic district in 2004

On January 3, 1922, City Marshall J. W. Sigman reported to the city council of Laramie, Wyoming, about police activity during 1921. During the year, he stated, seventeen officers made a total of 321 arrests for offenses that included the following:

  • Drunks, 84
  • Breaches of the peace, 42
  • Prostitution, 25
  • Gambling, 35
  • Burglary, 2
  • Robbery, 3
  • Forgery, 4
  • Larceny, 2
  • Rape, 2
  • Assault and battery, 3
  • Speeding, 62
  • Bright lights, 2
  • Wrongful turning of corners, 3
  • Wrongful parking, 3
  • Running with mufflers open, 2
  • Lights out, 5
  • Reckless driving, 1
  • Riding on sidewalks, 4
  • Running on lawns, 1
  • Vagrancy, 6
  • Boys frequenting pool halls, 1
  • Making whisky, 4
  • Trespassing, 1
  • Refusing to pay occupation tax, 2
  • Blocking crossing, 1
  • Beating board bill, 2
  • Concerning rubbish, l
  • Interfering with officer, 1
  • Destruction of property, 1
  • Permitting unlawful cesspool, 1
  • Allowing dogs to run at large, 10
  • Using water unlawfully, 6
  • Keeping pool hall open, 1
  • Others, 2

(Source: Laramie Republican [Daily Edition] no. 123 January 04, 1922, page 5)

In 1921, traffic in Laramie would have been a mixture of horseback riders, horse-drawn vehicles, motor vehicles, and possibly bicycles. I'm guessing that the speeding violations primarily involved automobiles, but most of the riding-on-sidewalk violations involved horses.

William Conners, husband of Philena Baily (my first cousin 2x removed), was one of the policemen who kept the peace in Laramie in 1921. With 83 arrests, he was the most active officer of the Laramie law enforcement team for the year. I was a little surprised to find him on the police force, because he had been working for the Union Pacific railroad as a fireman. But maybe his wife wanted him to be at home, or maybe he was laid off as Union Pacific downsized after World War I.

Copyright 2013 by Genevieve Hill Netz. All rights reserved. Permission is granted for attaching this article to family trees, but this notice must remain with the article. Any other use requires written permission; please contact This article was published originally at

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

400 Mile Sale 2013

Be there or be square.

The 400 Mile Yard Sale will be June 6-9 along Highway 80 in Kentucky. See for the details. Last year, a reader suggested that I should post the dates of this epic event in advance, instead of just posting photos of it afterwards. So, take heed if you're the garage-sale sort! The big one is only two months away!

Blast from the past:
A Yard Sale Extravaganza
400 Mile Sale This Weekend
400 Mile Yard Sale 2012
400 Mile Sale is Underway

EFG's One More Again Thrift Store

New thrift shop in Hopkinsville, KY

Keely and I enjoy second-hand stores, so we were excited when we saw a sign on a Virginia Street corner  for a new thrift in downtown Hopkinsville. We checked it out as soon as we had a chance.

The EFG One More Again store is located on the corner of 6th Street and Virginia, with an entrance on 6th Street (next to Young's Hardware.) This business place (actually two side-by-side buildings) was formerly a furniture store. I don't know the rest of the history of the structures, but to me, they appear to be at least a century old.

"EFG" stands for Evangelical Free Gospel, the church group that runs this thrift shop. They meet at the store for worship. I think the lady tending the store told me that they meet on Saturday nights. She said that the group had previously met in a different location, but they lost their pastor and had to take a new direction. So, they rented this business place and opened the thrift shop.

The inside of the store is spacious so I didn't get that "too-close" feeling that some over-crowded, high-piled junk stores give me. These photos were both taken downstairs. A wide doorway connects the two buildings. As you can see, EFG offers the typical thrift shop selection of merchandise -- totally random!

We climbed an extremely worn stairway in the corner building to the second floor of the shop. (The other building of the shop has stairs to the second floor that are wider and in much better repair.)

The upstairs is divided into a number of rooms. Keely and I spent most of our time in the book room, where we found some good, ex-library children's books. We both left with our arms loaded. I was relieved to discover that we wouldn't have to go back down the same stairs we came up, as my bifocals sometimes bother me on stairways. Keely speculated that there might be a freight elevator somewhere in the building that they used to bring the books and other merchandise upstairs.

The second-floor windows of the corner building have interesting embellishments. The photo above was taken from the sidewalk. I used a graphics procedure on that photo to make the image below. It shows the details at the top of the building better, although I think the windows are longer than the altered perspective suggests.

I picked up a business card at the check-out counter, and here is some of the information from it:
One More Again Thrift Store
118 E. 6th St.
Hopkinsville, KY
Operated by members of EFG Church to give back to the local community.

The card also notes that they will pick up garage sale leftovers.
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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.