Question: My beer buddies and I have had an ongoing disagreement about the song "Toes" by the Zac Brown Band. One line says, "PBR on the way." What do these initials stand for? - W.S., Lorena, Texas
Answer: After reading the lyrics, the only thing that makes sense to me is Pabst Blue Ribbon. For those readers interested in beer, Pabst has an interesting and long history. German immigrant Jacob Best and his sons established Empire Brewers in Milwaukee in 1844. They produced 300 barrels of Best Select lager that year. In the 1850s, Philip Best took over the company and his son-in-law, Frederick Pabst, sold his interest in a shipping company and bought into the family business.
According to company records, in 1876, Pabst Best Select won a gold medal at the Centennial Celebration, one of many awards it would win over the years. A few years later, Pabst placed a hand-tied blue silk ribbon around each bottle of beer. Within a few years, the company was buying nearly one million feet of silk. Before long, patrons started ordering "the beer with the blue ribbon."
The nickname stuck, and before the turn of the century, the beer was rechristened Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Q: Where does John Drew Barrymore fit into the family of actors? - R.H.C., Peoria, Ill.
A: As you said, John Drew Barrymore was a member of the Barrymore family of actors, which included his father, John Barrymore, and his father's siblings, Lionel and Ethel. His half-sister was Diana Barrymore. His birth name was John Blyth Barrymore, but he later changed his middle name. He was married four times and had four children: John Blyth Barrymore, Blyth Dolores Barrymore, Drew Barrymore and Jessica Blyth Barrymore.
Barrymore's social behavior inhibited his ascension to the throne of the royal family of acting. He was incarcerated for drug use, public drunkenness and spousal abuse. He was born June 4, 1932, and died Nov. 29, 2004.
Q: Why does someone sit backwards in the first row at Comerica Park behind home plate? - J.R.B., Queen Ann, Md.
A: Comerica Park is the home of the Detroit Tigers, a Major League Baseball team. Although I did not find anything official, I asked several fans of the Tigers, and they say it's a security guard.
Q: I would like to know what the "33" represents on every bottle of Rolling Rock beer. - J.P. Pine Grove, Pa.
A: Rolling Rock was launched in 1939 by the Latrobe Brewing Company and marketed in Western Pennsylvania. The number 33 has been printed on the bottles for as long as anyone can remember, but no one remembers what the significance is.
There are lots of theories - at least 33, I'm sure. The one that makes the most sense to me is 1933 was the year Prohibition was appealed. Another theory is that the quality pledge of the beer has 33 words in it.
The brand was sold to Anheuser-Busch in mid-2006, with the brewing operations being sent to New Jersey.
Q: What ever happened to child actor Johnny Crawford, who played Mark McCain, son of Lucas McCain, on "The Rifleman"? - No initials, Raleigh, N.C.
A: John "Johnny" Ernest Crawford was born March 26, 1946. The talented actor, singer and musician was selected as one of the original 24 Walt Disney Mouseketeers in 1955. The studio reduced the number to 12 at the end of the first season, and Johnny was let go. He was 12 years old when he got the role of Mark McCain in the Western "The Rifleman."
The series ran from 1958 to 1963. After the series was canceled, he had five Billboard Top 40 hits. He served two years in the United States Army and continued acting after his tour of duty. Since the early 1990s, he's led a vintage dance orchestra in California. He is married to his high school sweetheart.
Q: Has any country south of the equator won a medal in the Winter Olympics? - J.L., Quincy, Mass.
A: Yes, Australia and New Zealand have both won. By the way, no country in the Southern Hemisphere has ever hosted a Winter Games.
Q: Which Winter Olympics were the first to be televised? - T.H.K., Pensacola, Fla.
A: The 1956 Winter Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, were the first to be televised. The 1968 Games in Grenoble, France, were the first to be broadcast in color.
Q: I know a few athletes have medaled in both the Winter and Summer Olympics. Has this remarkable feat ever been done in the same year? - R.M., Pasadena, Calif.
A: Christa Rothenburger Luding is a former speed skater and track cyclist from East Germany. She participated in several Olympics and won many international championships. In 1988, Luding became the only athlete to win medals in both Winter (Calgary, Canada) and Summer (Seoul, South Korea) Games in the same year.
Q: I recall during the 1980 Winter Games, held in Lake Placid, N.Y., Mother Nature needed help in providing snow. Which Games were the first to use man-made snow? - L.F., Spokane, Wash.
A: Man-made snow was first used in the Olympics you are thinking of, at the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Q: Who won the first Winter Olympic Games gold? - D.L., Goldsboro, N.C.
A: The first Winter Olympic Games were held in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The first recipient of gold was Charles Jewtraw, from Lake Placid, N.Y., who won the 500-meter speed skating title.
Q: In one Winter Olympics, there was a competitor known as Eddie the Eagle. He turned his inability as a ski jumper into international celebrity. What is he doing these days? - D.K.O., Port Huron, Mich.
A: Michael Edwards - known as Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards - wore the British banner during the 1988 Games in Calgary, Canada. He was the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping.
Edwards was a good downhill skier, but he narrowly missed the team in the 1984 Games. To improve his chances to reach the Olympics in 1988, he moved to Lake Placid, N.Y., and switched to ski jumping. Not having any financial support, he worked when and where he could and trained during his off times. During the Calgary Games, he competed in both the 70-meter and 90-meter events and finished last in both. His lack of success endeared him to viewers, and he became a minor celebrity. However, his widespread attention was an embarrassment for the ski jumping establishment; many thought he was making a mockery of the sport.
Edwards failed to qualify for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France; the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway; and the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan. He has since written a book, gotten a law degree and even recorded several songs. He has been the host of several BBC radio shows and has appeared on several TV shows. He is billed as the world's favorite ski jumper and is available for personal appearances. He married in 2003 and has two children.
Q: What is your favorite Winter Olympic movie? - Y.L., Seattle, Wash.
A: One of my favorite movies is "Miracle," starring Kurt Russell. The movie is about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team achieving their amazing victory over Russia. Another favorite is "Cool Runnings," starring John Candy, about the Jamaican bobsled team.
- Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at AskMrKIA@gmail.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.