Ask Mr. Know It All

By Gary Clothier

Q. I was watching a DVD of the movie “A River Runs Through It.” Where was the movie filmed?

V.A.D., Carson, Calif.

A. “A River Runs Through It” is a film based on the Pulitzer-nominated short-story collection by Norman Maclean. Robert Redford directed, produced and narrated the film. The movie tells the story of Norman and Paul Maclean (played by Craig Sheffer and Brad Pitt), sons of a Scottish Presbyterian minister growing up in turn-of-the-century Missoula, Mont.

Though the movie is set in Missoula and on the Blackfoot River, it actually was filmed in and around Livingston, Bozeman and Big Timber, Mont. Many of the fishing scenes were filmed in the Gallatin Canyon on the Gallatin River, south of Bozeman. The waterfall shown is Granite Falls in Wyoming. The church scenes were filmed in Redeemer Lutheran Church in Livingston, Mont.

Q. A few years back, my wife and I were traveling through the southwest United States when we noticed Snowflake, Ariz., on the map. The name conjured wintry scenes in our mind. Not so: It was pretty much a desert community with a confusing name. Can you tell us how the town got the name?

K.U., Silver Springs, Fla.

A. Snowflake, Ariz., was founded in 1878 by Mormon pioneers and colonizers Erastus Snow and William Jordan Flake. Today, about 5,000 people call Snowflake home.

Q. What is the origin of the phrase “hurts like the dickens”?

P.R.H., Bradbury, Calif.

A. Surprisingly, this phrase has nothing to do with Charles Dickens. “Dickens” is used as a euphemism, specifically a minced oath, for the word “devil” or any other curse words.

One of the earliest known uses of the phrase is in William Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” (1600): “I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of.”

Q. When did the TV show “Card Sharks” debut? What can you tell me about two of the hosts, Jim Perry and Bob Eubanks?

L.R., Peoria, Ill.

A. “Card Sharks” debuted in April 1978 on NBC.

Jim Perry was born in 1933 in Camden, N.J. He was a talented athlete in high school. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Perry became a singer, taking over for Eddie Fisher at Grossingers in the Catskill Mountains. He teamed up with Sid Caesar for several years as the straight man. He later became a popular game-show host in Canada and the United States. He retired in 1990 and spends time with his wife of 52 years, June, in Florida and North Carolina.

Robert “Bob” Eubanks was born in 1938. He became an incredibly popular television and radio personality, probably best known for hosting the show “The Newlywed Game.” In 2000, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his television work. In 2005, he received a lifetime achievement Emmy award. He continues to make guest appearances on TV shows.

Q. What is the origin of the shopping cart?

S.R.M., Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

A. In 1937, Sylvan Goldman, a grocer from Oklahoma City, acquired several Humpty Dumpty grocery stores. This was during the Depression, and his sales were slow. One day he noticed that customers would stop shopping when their hand-carried basket got too full or heavy. Goldman had the idea to have wheels attached to a folding chair, then added hand baskets to the top. It was crude, but it was a shopping cart.

Unfortunately, shoppers shunned the unusual-looking contraption. Being ever resourceful, he hired greeters who offered patrons a cart when they entered the store, and models hired to act like shoppers walked around the store pushing and using his new invention. The idea caught on. Today, we find grocery carts in stores, parking lots and in parts of cities far removed from any retail outlets.

Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

Copyright 2012 Gary Clothier

More like this from

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.