[Bordermarch] Populace door prize

Lathrop, Dave David.Lathrop at valero.com
Thu Jul 26 10:47:04 PDT 2012

Greetings Bordermarch,

I have consulted with HE Elisabeth about the origin of the turtle neck sweater and she says it has been in her family for centuries!

It seems that one of her distant relatives in the France's former province of Languedoc had a medieval turtle farm, and raised only l'Emyde Lépreuse turtles.

These fresh water pond turtles were farmed for the sole purpose of harvesting and weaving their ultra fine neck hairs into sweaters.

Since Languedoc is located just north of the Pyrenees mountains, the warmest sweaters were needed by its populace.

In the rich farmland valleys of the Pyrenees, turtle sweaters were common but were often crafted with a loose fitting shallow-cut neck which eventually became

known as the "Dickey". The goat shepherds of the Languedoc highlands were responsible for adding the extended neck to their sweaters, thereby warding their Adam's apples

from frostbite.

The ultra fine neck hairs of the l'Emyde Lépreuse turtle is very difficult to harvest. The turtle farmers learned that the turtles would extend their necks to the fullest

to get at a buttered nut-muffin if it was placed in front of them. In this day and age, the small shears we commonly use to clip our nails were developed out of a need

to harvest the ultra fine hairs on the turtle's neck. Only French women with little hands were allowed to cut the turtle hair.

Once the turtle's neck hair was harvested, it was sun dried along side of tomatoes and peppers.

The individual hairs had to be tied together into one long thread before it could be woven into turtle cloth for the sweaters because the bone needles used in the looms during

those ancient days were only large enough for one needle eye.

I have yet to tell HE Elisabeth that tonight I was going to give her family's pass-down sweater away as a door prize; I might have to rethink this.

I've re-thunk already, and have decide that tonight's door prize will be some shoe laces!!!

HE Santiago

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