Enroll us in the remedial course:
The caption on a photograph in the Arkansas Times' higher-education issue Aug. 23 read “Sociology professor says the persuit of tenure and motherhood are a bad match.”
Another photo caption, same issue: “The reining Arkansas Professor of the Year, Dr. Catherine Bordeau, teaches a French class at Lyon College in Batesville.” Of this one, Mary Catherine McSpadden of Mountain View writes, “The professor apparently teaches both French and horseback riding at Lyon College — or maybe she just reins in the rambunctious students in her French classes.”
Catching up on his reading, Michael B. Dougan of Jonesboro saw this in a century-old Sharp County Record: “John Simpson made a hit for a clean home run. Tom Wainwright pitched the ten innings without a rest. Ira Matheny (catching his brother Dotson) got a hand hurt trying to catch the ball before it passed the bat. Wiley Brown made a healthy-looking ‘pig tail' for the T.P's.”
“My sources differ on the meaning of a ‘pig tail,' ” Professor Dougan writes.
I have only one source, but it's a pretty good one. My father played baseball in Logan County as a boy, and he told me that the kids' games often included a player called the pig tail. The pig tail was always one of the less-skilled participants — a smaller boy, or maybe even a girl — and his/her job was to stand some distance behind the catcher and stop, or more likely run down, all the balls that got past the catcher. There were quite a number, apparently. These games were played long before Little League, and the catcher would have had little or nothing in the way of protective gear.
Now he belongs to the ages:
The name of a former Razorback basketball coach has entered the language — “Try winning a national championship before going Nolan Richardson on a school that hired you based solely on your last name.” It's something like “going postal,” I think.