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[Tidbits] Chelonia



Question. To what organization do and did Johnny Carson, Dean Martin,
Lonesome George Gobel, and former astronaut Wally Schirra belong? I’ll tell
you a little about the organization…and about a mystery clock designed
by Cartier in 1943 which symbolizes the source from which the above named
organization got its name. I’ll give you a couple of clues along the way

So…our organization was founded in 1931. Clue number uno…the name is
derived from a living animal. The creed of the members of this organization
is simple. The philosophy is as follows: The members are bushy-tailed,
bright-eyed, fearless and possess a fighter pilot attitude. They think
clean, have a lot of fun, and recognize the simple truth that states you
will never accomplish anything worthwhile in life unless you stick your
neck out.

Clue number two lies in the last part of the last sentence of the second
paragraph. You folks like cryptic and enigmatic clues? Hmmm? Our
organization sponsors a multitude of festivals…all deriving their name
from the animal which so gallantly allowed them to use its name for their
purposes. A lifetime membership to our organization costs $1.00 and is good
for one hundred years. After that…you have to renew and pay an additional
fee. Our organization has over 5.5 million card carrying members.

Clue number three: Run to your dictionary…look up Chelonia…and if it’s
a good dictionary…you will have your animal. He symbolizes persistence
and endurance and wisdom. In a Swahili song, our beastie sings: “I move
house and yet I never move house; I am at home wherever I travel.” In
Chinese symbolism our creature supports the world and it’s feet represent
the four corners of the earth. In Japanese lore it supports the cosmic
mountain. In Amerindian myth, the cosmic tree grows out of its back. It is
also associated with fertility.

And last but not least, our little critter was immortalized by a famous
Greek slave of the 6th century B.C. who went by the name of Aesop and who
wrote a little parable entitled: The Tortoise and the Hare. Our creature
folks…is none other than the lowly turtle. The organization to which our
illustrious panel belongs and belonged is called: Turtles International
Association, Ltd. And Cartier designed a clock in 1943 entitled the
Turtle-Chimaera Mystery Clock, which I scanned for you all to see. It’s a
delight. So then…for those of you who are new…to my home page as
quickly as your fingers can skim a keyboard…scroll down the table menu
till you see Tidbits Graphics…and click on Turtle.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark

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