Minnesota is the home of a thousand lakes, so it came as no surprise that the new NBA team for Minneapolis would be named the Lakers. Years later as the jet plane softened the friction of distant and professional ball moved to the west coast, the Lakers followed the Dodgers to the desert and added another team to Los Angles’ love affair with sport name anomalies.

The anomaly of the Lakers name is only exaggerated by Los Angles’ aquatic history.  A strip of desert capable of supporting life maybe in the hundreds was turned into America’s second largest city in a large part by one William Mulholland, who diverted the water of the Owners River and turned the valley into the city it is today.  Of course Mulholland was not only a great engineer and entrepreneur, akin to the great builders of the Progressive Period, but was too, a product of the “for profit” Gilded Age robber barons; he built a shoddy damn, it collapsed, and hundreds of people died. It must cause a mixture of emotions for today’s locals as they cruise down Mulholland Drive, pass the statue of the “great man.”

But it was another saint turned devil, Walter O’Malley of Brooklyn, who taught the City of Angles to love a team whose nickname made no sense whatsoever to the region.

Refused a new stadium by the five boroughs of New York City, Walter O’Malley punished one those boroughs when he broke the heart of a million Brooklynites. In the late 1950s O’Malley pulled “his” baseball team and went west to the coast. In doing so, he took from Brooklyn its last true identification of city independence, the Brooklyn Dodgers.  An independence, which culturally, economically, and politically, had been slipping away ever since the Progressive Period’s great cities consolidation movement made the City of Brooklyn merely one of the Five Boroughs.

The name Dodgers has its origin from the turn of the 20th century when trolley car operators would bemoan the capacious manner in which the locals would cross the trolley tracks. The derogatory nickname “trolley dodgers,” stuck; as so often happens in history, the intended insult was quickly embraced by the local populace with an attitude of “Yea, that’s us.” (See: The Quakers, The Shakers, the Republican Elephant, and Yankee Doodle Dandy.)

This proud Brooklyn name “dodgers” may now rest in Los Angles, but the ability to dodge traffic may purely be a Brooklyn talent as exemplified below.

From: Flappers, Bootleggers, Typhoid Mary, and the Bomb, by Barrington Boardman

[1929] Long-distance walker Edward Payson Weston died at the ripe old age of ninety. In 1860, Weston had made an unusual wager on the outcome of the Lincoln-Douglas presidential election, the loser to travel on foot from Boston to Washington for the inauguration, a distance of 478 miles. Weston lost the bet and set out on February 22, 1861, from the State House in Boston, braving snow, rain, muddy roads, and curious dogs, to arrive in Washington and shake Lincoln's hand at the inaugural ball.

Weston's journey had whetted his appetite for further long-distance walks, and he took to the road again, betting $10,000 that he could walk from Portland, Maine, to Chicago in twenty-six days, a distance of 1,326 miles. Decked out in a red velvet tunic and derby hat, Weston's pace was so swift that he was soon comfortably ahead of schedule, allowing him to pause from time to time to attend church services and lecture to interested bystanders on the evils of drink. Weston won the bet easily, and the press lauded his journey as the Giant Pedestrian Feat. But Weston was just warming up for even more impressive hikes to come:

• In 1879, he journeyed to England to win the Astley Belt, the so-called world championship of walking. Weston outpaced the host country's best, one "Blower" Brown, walking 550 miles - in six days. In addition to winning the prize, Weston won a $2,500 side bet with Sir John Astley, originator and sponsor of the event.

• In 1909, Weston performed his piece de resistance at the age of seventy, walking from New York to San Francisco and back in 187 days, a record that has yet to be bested.

Weston's walking was brought to an end in 1927 when he was hit by a taxi while walking down a Brooklyn, New York, street. He was paralyzed.