Names in the News
Matrimony news: In Kissimmee, Florida, in August, Ronald Legendre married his girlfriend, Hope. The best man was unrelated but also named Ronald Legendre, and the judge was yet another unrelated Ronald Legendre. And applying for a marriage license in Allen County, Kentucky, in October were Brandy Joy Lambert, 18, and Bee Jay Bigmeat, 21.
In August Russell Lawrence Lee, 64, an African-American man who said he wanted to defuse the racial tension in America after Detective Mark Fuhrman's trial testimony, filed papers in Ventura County, California, to change his name to Mister Radical Aidid Supernigger.
In September the Montana Supreme Court decided to consider the appeal of a convicted murderer, an American Indian named Lester Kills on Top, who was asking for his death sentence to be reduced to life in prison. And in December in Minneapolis 18-year-old Sherman Killsplenty was arrested for a carjacking murder.
In August noted British scientist Colin Leakey lamented to Reuters news service that he hadn't been able to get sufficient funding to continue studies on the causes of flatulence.
In November Providence College freshman basketball player Shammgod Wells announced that he had changed his name to God Shammgod.
Belgian cardiologist Pedro Brugada won an amateur golf tournament in Brussels in June despite suffering a heart attack during the final round. He was revived on the course by an opponent physician, rushed to the hospital, and released after about 90 minutes to go back to the course.
Ashes in the news: Real Betis, an official of a soccer club in Seville, Spain, said in November that a deceased fan's season ticket had been renewed by the fan's son, who said he intended to place a carton of his father's ashes on the seat at every home game. And in May a Chicago Cubs fan leaned over a railing and scattered his father's ashes into center field during the seventh inning of a game against Houston. And Ohio State University football hero Fred Crow, who in 1935 blocked a Notre Dame extra point to preserve his team's 13-12 victory, died in November, leaving the instructions that if he didn't live to see an upcoming match with Notre Dame his left arm (the one that blocked the kick) should be cremated and its ashes spread in the south end zone (near where he'd made the block).
In August researchers reported in a medical journal article that those retirement-community golfers who weren't good at the game were exceptionally prone to contracting tick-borne infections. The researchers believe that golfers who keep the ball out of the rough have a small chance of becoming infected and recommend that bad golfers use new balls rather than retrieve old ones from the rough.
Sue Olsen, 38, finished a marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, on June 16, then ran 100 kilometers in a Minneapolis race on June 17 and 18. On June 19 she went into labor and the next day gave birth to a seven-pound, three-ounce baby boy.
Britain's Guardian Weekly reported in November that even though Iranian dress codes prohibit women's Olympic teams for swimming, track and field, and basketball, Iran will soon have a women's kayaking team. The coach acknowledged, however, that the team members' robes and veils will add up to ten seconds to their time over a 550-yard course.
In the last regular-season game for the University of Virginia's football team the score was tied when a Virginia Tech player intercepted a pass and ran to the end zone, giving Tech a 36-29 win. As the player ran past the opponent's bench, Joe Gieck, the team trainer and a member of the trainers' hall of fame, stuck his leg onto the field without making contact. Gieck said he only meant to distract the player, not trip him.
The Weirdo-American Community
Concerned about the 1994 death of a patient of Knoxville dentist Stephen Cobble, the Tennessee Department of Health began hearings in October to determine whether he should be allowed to keep his practice. Former patients have testified that Cobble diagnosed their dental problems by having his assistant rub their backs, stomachs, and arms; that he injected patients' pubic areas to sedate them; that he transferred Cesarean-section scar tissue to treat a jaw disorder; that he had a patient stand with one foot on a stack of magazines while trying to swing the other foot (which led to a diagnosis of a short leg and a long arm); and that he prescribed a diet of beef, salt, at least two eggs, and a quarter pound of butter daily.
Send your weird news to Chuck Shepherd, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.