It may be that my Uncle Mort and George M. Cohan, “the man who owned Broadway,” may not have as much in common as we've been led to believe. For years, Mort has claimed that he and the “Yankee Doodle Dandy” share the same birthday.

It may be that my Uncle Mort and George M. Cohan, “the man who owned Broadway,” may not have as much in common as we’ve been led to believe. For years, Mort has claimed that he and the “Yankee Doodle Dandy” share the same birthday.

“Yep, July 4th was the big day for him and it still is for me,” Mort has bragged, until the world looked level.

“The song says he was ‘a real live nephew of my Uncle Sam, born on the Fourth of July’,” Mort reminds us, breaking into song. “I guess I’m a ‘Rebel Doodle Dandy’,” he jokes….

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Maybe the popularity of the song overshadowed the facts. Historians agree that Cohan (1878-1942) was NOT born on July 4. They can’t decide, however, whether his birth date was July 2 or July 3.

Mort’s kin and friends, however, cut him considerable slack, since most of them question whether imaginary characters are “born” at all.

Anyway, he’s throwing his 105th birthday party down in the thicket, figuring crowds will come if only to get “sticky-fingered” eating cold, juicy, garden-grown yellow flesh watermelons that will be at their best in early July….

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He says he will introduce his latest invention at the party--a one-edged sword. “We live in a world awash in decision-makers bombarding us with laws, suggestions, directives and dilemmas, almost all of them accompanied by ‘two-edged’ sword warnings,” Mort said.

He thinks his sword with a single edge could be helpful in our retreating to a gentler world with fewer edges.

With the push of envelopes to the edge, so many folks trying to get an edge and all of us striving to cope in a world becoming more “edgy” by the day, my old uncle may be onto something….

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When Mort isn’t introducing some invention, he’s known for taking on imponderables which have “befuddled” for decades. During his party, he said an age-old question will be answered--once and for all.

He recently placed two separate orders with Amazon. One was for a chicken, and the other, for an egg.

“At my party, I’ll announce which came first.”…

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My wife and I have often laughed at Mort’s long-ago story about the guy who invented the boomerang. He designed a better one, but didn’t know how to throw the other one away.

Several years ago, the City of Burleson introduced plastic bins for property owners to place curbside each week for pick-up of recyclable materials. Ours finally gave way; a big crack rendered it useless. She called City Hall, learning that if we’d place the old receptacle on the curb the following Wednesday, it would be replaced by a new one.

Sounds simple enough, right? HOWEVER, we forgot to place the old one out, but they brought a new one to our address, anyway. So far, we have placed the faulty bin on the curb for pick-up, but it has been left behind, despite a “PLEASE TAKE” sign scrawled in bold letters….

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A creative Taco Bell franchisee in Indianapolis thought outside the box to warn folks using the drive-thru about dangers of hitting a horizontal pipe extending across the driveway.

Printed on the pipe are these words: “This pipe is 9’3” tall. If you--or your vehicle--should be taller than this, it will ring your bell.”

Forewarned is forearmed….

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My brother, Dr. Fred Newbury, is well-traveled.

When he reflects on the dozens of airlines he has flown, Europe’s Ryan Air ranks at the bottom. (You may recall a few years ago when it proposed charges for use of toilets, and to allow passengers to stand on flights of less than one hour.) Bag charges sometimes exceed ticket costs.

On a recent trip from Marseille to Lisbon, he “sweet-talked” his way to avoidance of an additional charge of 50 Euros for failing to print his own boarding pass!

Now there’s an airline offering “trailing-edge” service….

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Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Comments/inquiries to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com.