MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

Roger Allen, publisher. “Rockford is the Humor Capital of the World”

Time travel

Samoa skipped last Friday entirely, and landed on the other side of the International Date Line. They are only about 10 miles from it. They wanted to be in sync with Australia and other populated areas closer to them.

On February 29, 1948, I was on a ship heading home from Korea. It was leap year, so we had an extra day. That night we crossed the date line and it was February 29 all over again. So, 30 days hath February. My first and only.

Out of tune

Submitted by a correspondent:

As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently a funeral director asked me to play at the graveside service for a homeless man with no family. It was to be held at a paupers’ cemetery way out in the country. Not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost.

An hour late, I finally arrived and saw that evidently the funeral guy had gone. The hearse was nowhere in sight. Only the diggers and crew were left, and they were eating lunch.

I felt bad and called out an apology to the men for being late. I walked over to the graveside, looked down, and saw the vault lid already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches. I played heart and soul for that man with no family or friends. As I played “Amazing Grace,” the workers started to weep. In fact, we all wept together. Finally I packed up my bagpipes and headed for my car with a full heart.

As I opened the car door, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothing like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

Sweet stop

Another reader contribution:

Returning from a trip to visit my grandmother in California, I was stopped in Kansas by a state trooper for exceeding the speed limit. Grateful to have received a warning instead of a ticket, I gave him a small bag of my grandma’s delicious chocolate chip cookies and proceeded on my way.

Later, I was stopped by another trooper. “What have I done?” I asked.

“Nothing,” the trooper said. “I heard you were passing out great chocolate chip cookies.”

On the move

A young man was a slow worker and found it hard to hold down a job. On one of his visits to the employment office, he was offered work at the local zoo. When he arrived for his first day, the keeper, aware of his reputation, told him to take care of the tortoise section.

Later in the day the keeper dropped by to see how the young man was doing. He found him standing by an empty enclosure with the gate open.

“Where are the tortoises?” he asked.

“I can’t believe it,” said the new employee. “I just opened the door and whooooosh, they were gone!”

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    The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.

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