Montagnards & 9 yards proposal

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sat Jan 17 17:18:37 UTC 2004

>A snail mail letter to Elaine (Elizabeth) Shepard in NY was not answered nor
>returned as unknown.

She is deceased, I am told.

>Smash "Crandell," named in 1991 as Smash Chandler, is now deceased, his
>daughter informed me. Nails Nelson was reportedly in March 2002 in Salt Lake

I communicated with several of their USAF colleagues, including a couple
mentioned in the book, in 2001 mostly. Somebody asserted from his memory
that the real-life "Smash" did indeed use the "nine yards" expression a
lot. My correspondents expressed various etymological opinions, with (IIRC)
several favoring "ammo-belt" stories, one the "sailing ship" story, and one
the "sarcastic football" story. I may not remember perfectly now. No
verifiable evidence was forthcoming.

I don't remember "full nine yards" in this book. I just checked the copy
which I have handy and it's two cases of "whole nine yards" and one of "the
... ninth yard": this is a different edition but that's how I remember it
from the "first" edition too. Probably not a significant difference IMHO.

-- Doug Wilson

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