April 2019 Soto’s Chronicles
Protecting your most valuable asset — your family
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF GEORGE P. BURDELL
FROM THE DESK OF DeDe Soto
Happy spring, Passover, Easter, and happy birthday to my mom, who celebrates hers on Easter Sunday! We will have a double celebration for her on April 21. Spring is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. I have been focusing on Joy. We should all have joy no matter what the circumstances are in any given day. I try to find joy in all of life’s many blessings. We have to be joyful that we live in beautiful Southern California, even if we had an unusual rainy season. Of course, I am looking forward to seeing the joy in the sunshine this spring. So, as you are finding your joy, I would love to hear from you and see you at our workshops. Make sure to visit our website to find the next dates, and, while you’re at it, let me know what brings you joy! Our box for WHW was full. Just so you know, we participated in a clothing drive for those who have experienced hardship and are entering the workforce again. I thank all who participated; it’s a wonderful organization!
O ne of the M ost E laborate P ranks in H istory
Whether April Fools’ Day is a time-honored western tradition or a tired, unfunny festival of eyerolls depends on who you ask. Ask the mom who just got blasted with water via the old “rubber band on the sink sprayer” trick, and you’ll probably find the latter. But ask the kid who planted the trap, and you’ll get a hearty, cackling endorsement. Even if you’re sick of watching your back on April Fools’ Day and tired of the corporate cash grabs masquerading as (mostly) bad jokes that pop up like clockwork every year, you still have to give it up for the classics. Even the most bitter among us must admit that some pranks are so clever, elaborate, and inspired that they deserve their place in the annals of history. The name “George P. Burdell” will certainly reverberate through the hall of hoaxes for decades to come. Never make a clerical error with a young student who has too much time on his hands. In 1927, when William Edgar Smith was mistakenly sent a second enrollment form for the Georgia Institute of Technology, he had an idea. Combining the name of his then-principal, George P. Butler, with Burdell, the maiden name of his best friend’s mother, he enrolled the fictitious George P. Burdell in the prestigious university. Next, Smith signed Burdell up for all his same classes and, for the next four years, completed every bit of his schoolwork twice — once under his own name and once under Burdell’s, changing a few details here and there and varying his handwriting slightly so as not to raise suspicion. GEORGE COMES TO LIFE
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