The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on September 25, 1978 · Page 5
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 5

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Galveston, Texas
Issue Date:
Monday, September 25, 1978
Page:
Page 5
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Peach-Fed Possum: Nothing's Sweeter CLANTON. Ala. lUPI)- They call him the "possum man" and it is quickly apparent why — he keeps one in his office at city hall. The "possum man" is the mayor of Clanton, Frank Basil Clark, 48, who also is president of the National Possum Growers and Breeders Association of America. Members of the association include some well-known people, such as President Jimmy Carter and former p'resident Richard Nixon. No one in the association ever contradicts the name of the group by correctly spelling it "opossum." According to Clark, the "o" in opossum is invisible. "Eat more possum" says a bumper sticker on Clark's car. The association's motto is "a registered possum is a better possum." Usually, if Clark is around, so is a possum. So it was on a hot summer afternoon as Clark sat in his office in Clanton, a small town in central Alabama, and talked about his favorite subject. "I've got a possum running around, here somewhere," the mayor said. He looked in a paper bag beneath his desk. "He's gone!" exclaimed the mayor, who began a systematic search under his desk and behind furniture. Finally he said, "I see his tail," and thereupon pulled a small hairy creature from behind a piece of office furniture. Clark held the possum for a few minutes, which by this time had started drooling. He explained that the possum moistens its tail this way. The tail, to which the possum pumps its blood, serves as a "radiator" to keep its body cool. Being president of such an association, one would think that Clark would tell a joke a minute about possums. But behind his handlebar moustache, the mayor adopts a serious vein when talking about the rat-like animals, one of the few marsupials living outside Australia. Possums have a face like a fox, a tail like a monkey, ears like a bat and humanlike hands. They carry their young in a pouch like the kangaroo. Clark says possums are rapid breeders, their meat high in protein, and they could be the answer to the world's food problem. They also have a simple, elementary biologic structure and make excellent animals for medical research, he said. "Could you not learn auto mechanics on a A-model?" he asked. Clark said several research hospitals have started using possums in their work but the meat of the animal is hard to find on any menu except possibly the Explorer's Club in New York. "The fat .in a possum is low-saturated," he said, "and cleans your arteries like a roto-rooter." There are about 35,000 association members who pay a $5 fee to join, and there are 100 actual growers. You do not have to own a possum to be a member, nor is there any initiation rite requiring a prospective member to eat possum, which Clark says sells for $8 to $10 per pound. "I can't afford it," says Clark, who reported that possum meat tastes "a little like pork and a little like chicken," and is especially good served with sweet potatoes. Clark says "there's nothing sweeter than a peach-fed possum." Despite Clark's defense of the possum as a source of high protein food and animals for research, it is apparent that in this part of the country t at least, the possum's greatest value is as an animal to hunt. Clark himself has been on many such adventures. Usually, the possum, once treed by dogs and captured, is turned loose, to be hunted again. "We need a bunch more possums," said Clark. "We could sell a million possums if we had them." At the end of about six hours of talking about the possum, interpersed with a lunch break and several other interruptions, the mayor's desk was littered with notes from his secretary, presumably about official business. But Clark said "I put possums first and everything else falls right into place." Art Deco Week MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (UPI) — Visitors are invited to take part in the free activities during Art Deco Week, Oct. 13-20, when Miami Beach will turn back the clock to the casual elegance of the 1930s. Events include a parade, beach parties, concerts, dances, puppet shows and walking tours. County Agent Notes The Way It Was GREATER BELL ZION Baptist Church's youth choir and youth workers are shown here in a 1955 photograph taken when the youngsters traveled to the Galveston beach for an outing. Shown, from left, are Lessie Cook Craig, Augustine Hobgood Spiller, Johnnie Spencer Robinson, Dorothy Scott Gordon, Mrs. M. L. Devereaux, Marilyn Stokes Thompson and Joyce Menefee Tyer. The picture was submitted by Mrs. Devereaux. (D|C Monday Morning, September 25,1978 See This Sunday's TV Guide for all The TV Listings Im TO/I Shop Dally 10 ajn. to * pjn. Moo.-Jot. 4-Hers Set Little Britches Rodeo By JOE W. DOBY County Agent The Galveston County 4- H Adult Leaders Association is sponsoring a Little Britches Rodeo, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Runge Park, Arcadia. The age limit is 14 and under as of the day of the rodeo and the maximum weight is 110 pounds for entries in bareback bronc and steer riding. Books on the rodeo will be open Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 to 11 p.m. Call Joe Clement, chairman of the event, in Dickinson at 534-6398. Following are the events: Bareback Bronc Riding, $10; Steer Riding, §10; Goat Dressing (Team of 3), 6 years and under, $9; Goat Tying, $5; Flag Race, $5; Pole Bending, $5; Straight Away Barrels (6 years and under), $5; Break-Away Roping, $5; Clover Leaf Barrels, $5; and Ribbon Roping, $5. Admission prices for the Little Britches Rodeo are $2.50 for adults and $1.50 for children 14 and under. All-Around Belt Buckles for boy and girl will be given and contestants must enter at least two events. In events for contestants 6 years and under, no points will be given for all-around prizes. First through fourth place prizes will be awarded. Minors releases will be required and a notary will be on the grounds. Each night of the Little Britches Rodeo there will be a dance from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. Music will be furnished by Peewee Bowen and his band. Admission to the dances will be $5 for couples and $3 stag. Rodeo fans are urged to attend and watch the future stars of rodeo perform. You will also be helping to support all 4-H activities in the county for the next year. Another fund-raising effort being undertaken by the Adult Leaders Association is the Fall Fishing Fiesta. Prizes and trophies will be awarded first, second and third place winners in each category. The categories are speckled trout, redfish, flounder, croaker, king mackerel, and open. There will be one prize for the heaviest shark only. Contest begins at 12 p.m. Friday and ends at 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets must, be bought before fish are caught. Fish must be caught on hook and line after 12 p.m. Friday. The entry fee is $1 and may be obtained from almost all bait camps and our office. They may also be obtained during the contest from the weigh-in station at the South Jetty Bait Camp area. Texas A&M is again this year sponsoring a Career Day. It will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. End zone tickets to the football game with Memphis State will be made available to Career Day participants at $2 each. This is a good opportunity for students contemplating attending Texas A&M to visit the campus and learn a little more about a possible career. The Langford Architecture Center will be the focal point for general career information and admission information. The football tickets will be on sale at Earl Rudder Center and the Zackery Engineering Center. The College of Veterinary Medicine will have tours with the last one beginning at 11 a.m. According to information from Texas A&M, the last class of veterinary medicine students had an overall 3.49 grade point average. The average for their last 45 hours was 3.73. There were 582 qualified applicants, 350 were interviewed and 138 accepted for the 1978 freshman class of future veterinarians. There are 81 men and 57 women in this class. The oldest is 34 and the youngest is 18. The class had 30 students who were applying for the first time, 62 who had applied once, 29 the second time, 13 three times, and four who had applied four or more times. Seven of those selected had two years of college, 15 had three college years and 47 had four years. Students with five years number 27 and 42 had six or more college years. So anyone thinking about becoming a vet will see that the competition is quite keen. They had also better plan on doing lots of studying and be persistent. loaay s Kent. 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