Smokejumpers

Kip laughed when I asked him what his mother thought of his job as a smokejumper. “She thinks I am crazy… truly nuts and need my head examined.”  Kip and his co-workers have a dangerous job jumping out of an airplane to fight fires in remote areas where there are no roads.   There are only 450 smokejumpers in the USA who attend special schools like the one in Missoula, Montana which has been around for 75 years. The school trains smokejumpers how to jump out of airplanes and use parachutes, fight the fires by hand, and then carry out equipment that can weigh up to 120 – 140 pounds.  This has been a busy year, with 81 fires going on around the Western United States, and I told Kip I admired his dedication to keeping people and property safe.  “I love the outdoors” he simply said.  Purrs, Gulliver

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Montana

Do you have a nickname? Mine is Gully.  Montana has a couple: The Treasure State and Big Sky Country.  Montana is Spanish for mountain. When the territory was being named there were suggestions that a Native American name would be more fitting. Shoshone was a popular suggestion since it was the tribe of Sacajawea, a young Native American girl who traveled and interpreted for the explores Lewis and Clark.  After much disagreement, the name Montana became official.  Purrs,  Gulliver

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Carousel

The word “carousel” was first used to describe a game played by Arabian and Turkish horsemen in the 12th century. The game, which involved tossing a clay ball filled with perfume between riders, was played with such seriousness that the Italian crusaders who first observed the game called it a “little war” or “carosello.” In England, carousels have been called roundabouts and galopers. In America, in addition to carousels they have been called whirligigs, flying horses, hobby horses and of course merry-go-rounds.  Horses with at least 3 feet touching the floor are called “standing figures.” Horses with two back feet resting on the platform and front feet posed in the air are called “prancers.” Horses with all four feet in the air and called “jumpers” and are the ones that move up and down. Sometimes other animals were added to the carousel like tigers and frogs.    FullSizeRender (7)Purrs, Gulliver