Atkins, Arkansas, Home of the Fried Dill Pickle (and probably the Coronary Capital of the World as well), celebrates its annual Pickle Fest today and tomorrow. Highlights are the World's Champion Pickle Juice Drinking Contest and the World's Champion Pickle Eating Contest, where the contestants consume enough sodium to meet the needs of every man, woman, and child in the state for the next five years.
Atkins calls itself Pickle City. When I first wrote about this festival, there were four AOL members who admit to being residents of Atkins. One of them was DonB1921, who described himself in a laconic profile as "retired." Assuming his birth year to be 1921, Don at that time was 77, indicating to me anyway that he was not a past winner of either of the annual Atkins celebrations of gluttony.
Saints du jour include Paschal Baylon (patron of Eucharistic confraternities and congresses, whatever they are), Madern (invoked against lameness), Bruno of Wurzburg, Adrian, Solochon, Pamphamer, and Pamphalon.
Birthdays today include Edward Jenner (1749) and Taj Mahal (1942).
The first Kentucky Derby was run on this day in 1875.
The New York Stock Exchange was established May 17, 1792, and met under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street in fair weather, moving to a coffeehouse in foul. A buttonwood tree is the same as an American sycamore. Planetrees are Oriental sycamores and London planetrees are a hybrid between the Oriental and American sycamore. The "plane" is from the Greek platus, broad, as it pertains to the leaves of the tree.