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Monday, January 2, 2012

Who Is Buried In Grants Tomb?

I grew up in the 1950's and can remember when television was introduced into most American homes. Many of the old TV shows still come to mind from time to time. Some of my favorites were Howdy Doody; Junior Frolics, a cartoon show featuring Farmer Gray and mice that seemed to be endlessly running over hills; Captain Video; Kukla, Fran and Ollie; Rootie KazootieThe Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, and You Bet Your Life starring Groucho Marx. I'm sure most of you out in the Blog-O-Sphere remember those shows and have a few other favorites of your own.

You Bet Your Life was a simple little quiz show that ran in the 1950s and early 1960s. It featured Groucho's unique sense of humor and interaction with the contestants rather than big money prizes and fancy sets. Groucho would ask a team of two contestants a series of questions. They could also earn extra money by saying the secret word during the session. A duck would come down from the ceiling when the secret word was uttered.

Today's secret word is CLOCK!

Following is a clip from the show showing Grouch's banter with contestants.

Click the arrow to play the clip.

I particularly enjoyed the interaction between Groucho and his announcer and sidekick, George Fenneman.

Click the arrow to play the clip.

Should the contestants fail to earn any money, Groucho asked them one last obvious question, so that they would not go away empty handed. My favorite farewell question was "Who was buried in Grant's Tomb?" Surprisingly, some contestants, thinking it must be a trick question, would out think themselves and give the wrong answer. I guess they figured that the obvious was not always the correct answer.

If I were hosting a "You Bet Your Life - New Gretna Style" TV show and you were a contestant that didn't do too well at the quiz, I would ask you a farewell question, just as Groucho did. However, I'm cheaper than Groucho, so my question may sound obvious, but would be a bit tricky. Let's give it a try and see if you would answer the question correctly and leave my show with a few extra bucks.

The December 22nd and 24th Blog entries had to do with Frank Cramer, so I thought I would ask you a Frank Cramer themed question as a farewell question. Let's see how you do!

Your farewell questions is "What is Frank Cramer's first name?"

If you answered Frank, you are wrong! Everyone in New Gretna called him Frank, but Frank wasn't his first name. The following March 1, 1934 Tuckerton Beacon article dealing with the issuance of 1934 New Gretna liquor licenses lists Frank Cramer's full name as Abram Frank Cramer. It seems that Frank was really his middle name, a fact not well known in old time New Gretna circles. Abram was his first name!

Should you doubt that this is the same Frank Cramer, the address listed in the news article is the address of his New Gretna establishment. Route 4 is the present day Route 9 and Allentown Road is now called North Maple Avenue.

It seems that things are not always what they appear to be in old time New Gretna. I bet you were not the only one to get my "You Bet Your Life - New Gretna Style" farewell question wrong. As to "Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?", I'll leave that up to others to sort out.

Pete S


  1. Ah, but who else is buried in Grant's Tomb? No fair googling... I know from visiting it over twenty years ago.

    John Yates

  2. John,

    I'm guessing, maybe Jimmie Hoffa.

    Pete S

  3. Well, at least you didn't Google it. His wife is also buried there, Julia Dent Grant. So when someone tries to trick me with this question, I always reply "General Grant AND his wife!".