A duke’s mixture

By the bank of Wildcat Creek
By the bank of Wildcat Creek

I wanted to get a picture of Wildcat Creek a few weeks ago, and went to a public landing spot to get a good view. The view wasn’t all that good, but these pretty wildflowers caught my eye. I don’t know what they are, so if you do, please enlighten me.


I had originally thought to title this post “this and that,” which I have used before. But I like change, so I wanted to title it something else. Then I remembered my dad often use the phrase “a duke’s mixture” when he was talking about a mix of different things. It is sort of like Mulligan Stew (another of his favorite phrases), but can be applied to non-food mixtures as well.

Curious person that I am, I decided to Google “duke’s mixture” to find out which duke was being referenced and why. I supposed that it was another English duke; remember the Duke of Sandwich?…wait. He was an earl, not a duke. But those English titled guys like to name things for themselves or for their monarch (suckups that they are). But I was receptive that the duke might be from another country.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that it was an American Duke,┬áJames Buchanan Duke. Yep, the same Duke who gave his name to Duke University in North Carolina. The man who made a fortune selling tobacco in all its glorious forms. You may have heard of Bull Durham tobacco and cigarettes. That also came from Duke’s tobacco empire. Of course when I think of Bull Durham I also think of the Kevin Costner/Susan Sarandon/Tim Robbins film. Cindy and I went to that movie on our first date. I remember being embarrassed by the language in that movie. The language is mild by today’s standards, but I thought that the good Christian woman I was with would be offended. But I digress.

Duke’s Mixture was a blend of loose tobacco that was sold in small white bags and used by those who rolled their own cigarettes. It was THE cowboy cigarette before the Marlboro Man came along smoking pre-rolled filtered cigarettes. It doesn’t seem quite as masculine when you think of it that way.

Anyway, instead of writing a post about a number of subjects, I’ve ended up writing about the title. Perhaps I can do a Part 2 that isn’t just about one thing. Not that this post is.