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Jewish World Review
June 17, 2008
/ 14 Sivan 5768
Eisenhower's Barbara Anne; bards; Lassie's hometown
Q: During the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, he frequently used the yacht Barbara Anne. Who was Barbara Anne? J.B.M., Roseburg, Ore.
A: After taking office, Dwight Eisenhower changed the name of the yacht Lenore II to Barbara Anne, to honor his granddaughter. President John Kennedy renamed the yacht Honey Fitz after his maternal grandfather. Lyndon Johnson said he would no sooner change the name of the Honey Fitz than he would change the name of the Washington Monument. Finally, Richard Nixon did change the name to Patricia, after his wife. However, the press and public continued to refer to the boat as the Honey Fitz. In 1970, the presidential yacht was sold. It remains in private hands.
Q: Robert Burns is known as the Bard of Ayrshire and Alexander Pope, the Bard of Twickenham. The most famous bard, of course, is William Shakespeare, the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon. I know what a bard is, but where does the word originate? C.C.V., Mansfield, Ohio
A: Bard comes from the Irish and Scottish Gaelic. According to my Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word dates to the 15th century. That source gives the following definition: "A tribal poet-singer skilled in composing and reciting verses on heroes and their deeds."
Q: In the TV series "Lassie," in which town did the family live? A.J., Waco, Texas
A: The fictional town of Calverton.
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