News of the Weird

Tuesday March 19, 2002

One hot dog, but I won’t hold anything 


BALTIMORE — Betrice Gonzalez may sell you a hot dog, but don’t expect her to hold your stun gun. 

The vendor, fed up with requests to hold items not allowed inside the Clarence Mitchell Jr. Courthouse, posted a sign on her stand recently telling people not to bother inquiring. 

“Absolutely no holding: weapons, bags, radios, drugs, etc. while in the courthouse!!,” the sign reads. 

“I’ve had people offer me money to hold their bags,” she said Friday while serving steaming hot dogs to customers. “People get rude when I say ’no.”’ 

During the seven years Gonzalez has worked at the stand, a few yards from the courthouse entrance, people have asked her to hold everything from clothes to knives. 

“One person even asked me to hold their stun gun,” she said, laughing. “They offered me $20, but I still said ’no.”’ 

Most are not jurors or courthouse employees, but visitors who have forgotten the items are not allowed inside the courthouse. 

“I was stunned when I saw the sign,” said frequent customer Stacy Madden, 28, who works at the bank across the street. “I didn’t know people actually did that. I could believe it, though.” 



Betting on cow dung 


CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. — The prom committee at Connellsville Area High School is hoping to raise $20,000 with one smelly pie. 

Players can participate in “Cow Patty Bingo” for $10, claiming one of 3,025 squares marked off on the front lawn of the high school in Fayette County. A lottery will determine who owns which numbered square. 

At noon on April 6, a cow will be led onto the lawn to graze, moo and, hopefully, do her business within two hours. The square with the most pie will win $10,000. If the pie lands evenly on two squares, both will be awarded $5,000 each. 

“It’s a unique idea,” principal Robert McLuckey said last week. “It’s innovative, and I thought it would be a lot of fun.” 

Tickets went on sale in November and committee members have sold 1,700 tickets, generating $17,000. 

The committee is trying to raise as much money as it can to offset the $32,000 cost of the May 18 prom on the Gateway Clipper riverboat in Pittsburgh, about 36 miles northwest. 


Waitresses get a big tip 



MARKLEVILLE, Ind. — A farmer who became a regular at restaurants in the lonely years after his wife died has left posthumous tips to some of his favorite waitresses. 

Paul Chadwick, who died at age 88 on Dec. 25, 2000, named in his will 10 waitresses, each of whom he bequeathed $2,500. 

Among them was Lana Evans, who, as a teen-age waitress at what was then Pugsley’s Diner in Middletown back in 1982, recalled that Chadwick stopped by the restaurant about every day for lunch. 

“I met him right after his wife passed away, and he seemed so sad,” Evans said last week. “I would sit and talk to him as he ate.” 

Nine other waitresses from area restaurants were named in Chadwick’s will, which also bequeathed amounts to numerous friends, family members and community organizations. 

“Mr. Chadwick was a very nice man; I would even say courtly,” said G. Douglass Owens, the attorney who was executor of Chadwick’s will. 

After the 88-year-old farmer died, Owens was charged with locating those named in Chadwick’s will. He found nine of the waitresses. He believes the other is deceased. 

“It goes to show, you never know what a little kindness might mean to someone,” said Melinda Padgett, township trustee.