Here are some unusual facts about the United States:

More people live in New York City than in 40 of the 50 states.

Ever been to NYC? If you have, this statistic sounds logical. I have never seen so many cars in my entire life, and the masses of people milling around in the streets stagger the mind. I had briefly thought of moving to New York City when I was still young and foolish. Now, I am very glad that I did not. There’s the crime rate and the traffic and the price of living. I’m not always happy with my little burg, but I have to admit that the livin’ is easy, and the lifestyle is comparatively cheap. NYC is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America.

Well, you couldn’t prove it by me, but it sounds mighty scary. I can only hope that the lake never empties. I’d hate to be floating away, and I really don’t swim well at all.

But then, come to think of it, in one foot of water, (which stats say would cover the two continents) I could swim as well as Esther Williams. and not too terribly much would even be under water, so if

it ever happens, maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. Now, the question is: What would enable that lake to empty?

• There’s a town in Washington with treetop bridges made specifically to help squirrels cross the street.

Lucky squirrels. As I’ve said before, squirrels puzzle me. and when they cross the street in front of my car, they worry me. I never know when they’re going to turn and go back the other way.

My brother Jim has his own mode of crossing for the squirrels in his backyard who come to eat the bird seed he puts out. Not for them, of course. For the birds. Only the squirrels scamper across the electric

wires and often get to it first. They don’t even need bridges.

Arizona and Hawaii are now the only states that don’t observe daylight savings time.

Don’t you wonder why? and wouldn’t that confuse you when you were trying to get in touch by phone with a friend or relative? I remember how my friend Alice Ann from Albuquerque disliked

the changing to daylight savings time. Maybe Arizona and Hawaii agreed with her. I don’t know personally if Alice Ann ever got in touch with government officials in those two states, but it’s possible. And

knowing Alice Ann well, I can tell you that she could be very persuasive.

The Empire State Building has its own Zip code.

And it deserves it!

For many years, it was the tallest building in the world. Of course, that is no longer true, but while it was, the Empire State Building reigned supreme. and supreme means you get to have a lot of things

your own way, including your own Zip code.

The Library of Congress contains approximately 838 miles of bookshelves – long enough to stretch from Houston to Chicago.

Ah, books. I doubt I would enjoy ALL of the books in the Library of Congress, but since I absolutely love books, I’m sure I would like many of them. What a delightful lazy day it would make – browsing

through even a few of those miles and finding books I had never read. Well, I can dream, can’t I?

In 1922, a man built a house and all his furniture entirely out of 100,00 newspapers.

The structure still stands today in Rockport, Massachusetts. Good grief! How did that house survive the long, hard winters in Massachusetts? and how about rain storms and even heavy

morning dew? I’m going to have to go to Rockport and find out. If I do, I’ll let you know.

The town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, has been on fire for 55 years.

Yep! This one I know about. It’s because of the coal mines which underly the town. People used to live in Centralia. No more. The smoldering fires in those underground mines drove them out. Seems it

is worse than auto emissions and adds all kinds of bad things to the air in the area. Seeing photos of Centralia now, you know that no one could live there. There are cracks in the roadways, for example, that are over a foot wide.

The word Pennsylvania is misspelled on the liberty bell.

Wow! Some teacher should have corrected that error a very long time ago. Wonder who etched those letters on the bell and why, in all these years, they never changed them? But ... you can’t change history, and you can’t change the Liberty Bell at this late date. If you could, someone might have mended that big crack in it, too.

In 1872, Russia sold Alaska to the United States for about two cents an acre.

Whoee! I’m thinking they really regretted that, especially when oil was discovered in Alaska. Because until recently, cars needed gasoline, and gasoline was made from oil. Maybe now that we are turning to electric cars, it’s not such a big deal, but it was for a long time. Wonder if folks in Alaska ever stuck out their tongues and said, “Nah, nah, nah” across the Bering Strait?

That’s all I know right now. However, it’s more than I knew before. Learn something new every day. That’s a good policy, and one that works for me.

PAT LEALI, a lifelong resident of the Shenango Valley, graduated from Sharon High and Westminster College. She has lived in Hermitage for more than 45 years and has three children and eight grandchildren.

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