April 20, 2014
Local Columnists
A little of this ... a little of that ...

According to Evangelist Harry Camping, who unsuccessfully predicted the end of the world in December 21, 2012, now has his own world end.  He was 92.
The New Year started with a New Year’s Eve celebration here at the retirement home; the notice above the fireplace said that it was to be from 8 pm. to 9:30 pm. About 35 of us senior citizens sat around with funny hats on, listening to the music we used to dance to. One younger man was able to dance and had three volunteers. The best part of the party was the table with punch, shrimp and other good party food. That hour and a half was plenty long enough for all of us. We could go to our apartments, get in our recliners and watch the replay of the celebration of the New Year in Sidney, Australia, then Hong Kong and Japan followed by New York City.

January – a month to remember

The Christmas decorations have been put away for another year, company has safely made it home and now it is January.  Usually it is an uneventful month but not this year.
Kicking off the new year with bitterly cold temperatures and blizzard-like conditions will be something that is remembered for quite some time and make the temperatures for the coming week seem balmy as they rise to the upper thirties and low forties.

No one talks anymore ... We’re all working our thumbs

Greetings from the Ridge.
Maybe the only thing sweeter than Christmas is listening to your friends’ tales of the holiday season. Our Ladies of the Afternoon group meets around three o’clock every day to rehash the past 24 hours, catch up on gossip, and solve every problem in the civilized world. Unlike the United Nations, we have the world straightened out by suppertime.

Illinois builds a magnificent Capitol

It proved easier to select Springfield as the capital city than build a suitable Capitol building.
Architect John F. Rague, who moved to Springfield in 1831, designed the new Capitol and directed its construction. This building would become the crowning achievement of his career.

Anniversary is a big deal

We didn’t realize it was such a big deal to have a 70th anniversary.  Except that we must admit that during the last three months we did pray that God would let us live until the 23rd of December.  Our children had a three day party for us at the Hampton Inn in Springfield, and every one of our 38 member family was there which we enjoyed very much.  After our anniversary dinner there was a slide show that our granddaughter Jessica had made.  She had asked the other family members to send her pictures and she made a nice slide show of our lives (Christine and mine) which we enjoyed as did the others.  One item that they gave us was an antique frame that had this printing: 

More Good Rules For Life

It’s only January 2nd, but how many of your New Year resolutions are already broken? Well, cheer up! Here are more good rules for life from Charles J. Sykes, “50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School.”
Rule 26: A moral compass does not come as standard equipment. People do not always naturally know right from wrong, and your feelings are not a reliable guide to moral and ethical conduct. H. L. Mencken once described conscience as “the-mother-law whose visit never ends.”

Volunteer firefighters are key to providing assistance at explosion

Virginia is fortunate to have such a dedicated team of volunteer fire fighters.  That was evident Two weeks ago when the call came in about the explosion on Gridley Road.  It is like a huge Superman moment when upon hearing the cry for help, ordinary citizens waste no time transforming into firefighters to provide whatever assistance may be needed.  So thank you all for answering the call, your dedication to the community is greatly appreciated.

Continuing the Christmas story

Santa and Mrs. Claus headed for the house, while the head elf and the workers got busy fixing the sleigh runner. Santa needed some supper and a little rest before he got dressed for his long cold journey Christmas Eve.
Santa was just about to doze off when the head elf came in, announcing all was well. The runner was fixed and the loading was almost complete. Santa and Mrs Claus breathed a sigh of relief, it had been pretty hectic praying that everything was going to come together.

Freida shares her ‘Best of 2013’

Greetings from the Ridge.
Compiling “best of” lists is usually the bailiwick of the urbane and well read among us. In my household we have neither, so I’ll sum up the past year from my aging armchair and let the stuffing fall where it may.
Freida’s Best Of 2013:
The celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela. Not that the death of this great man is a cause to rejoice, but in his passing a whole new generation was treated to the many retellings of his life. His lifelong fight against institutionalized racism, poverty, and inequality served as a gleaming model first for the citizens of South Africa then for the entire world.

From Kaskaskia to Springfield via Vandalia

When Illinois was admitted to the Union on Dec. 3, 1818, a small frontier settlement on the Mississippi River became the first capital city.
It was the French who settled Kaskaskia in 1703. It then passed to the British, who fortified the place. George Rogers Clark and his intrepid Virginia militiamen captured Kaskaskia in 1778. Clark immediately declared Illinois to be a county of Virginia with Kaskaskia as the seat of government. The name “Kaskaskia” was taken from the American Indian tribe which had been the principal member of the Illinois confederation.