Q. I was watching NASCAR Nationwide Series racing and was surprised to see a driver named J. Earnhardt. Is this any relationship to Dale and Dale Jr.? Also, J.J. Yeley was racing in this event; he’s also a regular with NASCAR Spring Cup series. What do the initials stand for?

B.E.S., Ames, Iowa

A. Jeffrey Earnhardt (born June 22, 1989) is the grandson of Dale Earnhardt, the son of former NASCAR driver Kerry Earnhardt and the nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Christopher Beltram Hernandez Yeley is nicknamed J.J. -- the letters stand for Jimmy and Jack, after his father and a close family friend.

Q. What is a flannel cake? I read it in a novel, but there was no explanation.

V.C., Walker, Louisiana

A. My dictionary says it’s the same as a pancake. However, I asked several people who insist a flannel cake is much thinner than a pancake and less tough.

I have also come across red flannel cakes as well as blue flannel cakes, made with food coloring.

I’m going to turn this over to the cooking experts and ask for your input.

Q. Is the 1962 movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” based on a real person or real incident?

A. The Western, directed by John Ford, is purely fictional. The movie was adapted from a short story written by Dorothy M. Johnson. The supporting cast features Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O’Brien, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Woody Strode, Strother Martin and Lee Van Cleef.

Q. Many years ago, I saw a movie called “The Mudlark.” Is it available on DVD? Who starred in it?

Roanoke, Virginia

A. In 1875 London, a young man known only as Wheeler finds a cameo of Queen Victoria. He develops a burning desire to see the Queen, who has been in seclusion for the last 13 years in mourning for her husband. He slips past the guards and enters the palace. At the same time, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is attempting to convince the queen to end her escape from the public.

The movie is available on DVD and stars Irene Dunne as Queen Victoria and Alec Guinness as Benjamin Disraeli.

By the way, mudlarks are street children who eke out a living along the banks of the River Thames.

Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at or c/o Universal

Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

2014 Gary Clothier

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