Main Street- by Roger Allen publisher – July 9, 2009

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

25 Years Ago… It was a trip down memory lane. The class of ’84 opened their time capsule a few days ago. Inside, among other memories, were 10 issues of The Rockford Squire. They dated from the first weeks of publication under that name after I bought the original local paper, the Rockford Register. The papers were full of names I knew well. Jack Schwab was mayor, Dave Bass led the band. There were dozens of others, some of whom are no longer around. Many were friends of mine and I miss them. A lot of local businesses took out ads in the first few issues. Some are still here and surviving the current downturn. Neil Blakeslee, attorney at law, was there, and The Sewing Room. Sears-Coon’s ad was there, although the business is gone now. Floyd Havemeier’s business was called The Melting Pot, but that successful company has absorbed about four others to become Herman’s Boy in a larger location. J.T. Stitchery was a first customer, and the Old Mill was there. Byrne Electric supported our efforts to start a new paper, and so did Wynalda Litho. Rockford Flower Shop is at its same address and so is Young Insurance. The Squire changed its address, but we’ve hung in here through thick and thin (which is why you can read this). In a front-page article of issue No. 1, I explained how I named the Squire. In case you missed it, here’s a reprint: “To choose a name for something like a newspaper gives one pause. The name will certainly be before the public often and will, we hope, last for a long, long time. If unsuitable it is not easily changed. “One cannot think of Rockford these days without some association with Squires Street Square. However, there is a great deal more to Rockford than a part, although a unique part, of its commercial district. Rockford is also the home of many sophisticated people who prefer a smaller city and its quieter pace. Most of us in this area own our own homes, many with some acreage. “Recalling the English definition of a ‘Squire’ as a ‘landed proprietor or country gentleman,’ there was really little question that the name of the paper should […]

Main Street – May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009 // 0 Comments

Fixing the glitch     We are a capitalist country. If a family opens a little shop and invests all their money in it, hoping to make a living, what happens if it fails?  The owners go broke and out of business, right?  That’s the way it’s always been, and still is, around here. A different system applies to Wall Street and the credit industry. If they go out on a limb hoping to make $millions, and they don’t do it right, we give them a few $billion to stay in business. Why the difference? It’s because they are “too big to fail,” meaning if they go down they take the rest of us with them. That glitch in capitalism is fixable by adopting the right regulations so Big Business can’t risk the financial health of the whole nation. Those big tax-funded bonuses for failed executives should light a fire under all of us taxpayers, whatever our politics. We need to demand that Congress reinstate the regulations that will keep this financial meltdown from happening again. Notice: will tell jokes for food. Call the Squire. Fixing the flu Our H1N1 flu pandemic seems to have fizzled. At least, for the time being. But let’s not get too comfortable about it: keep washing your hands and don’t skip your flu shot this fall. Even though the “pandemic” seems below average, we should follow the Boy Scout motto and “Be Prepared.” This is a Public Service announcement, brought to you FREE, no taxpayer money needed. Fixing the urge If you ever get the sudden urge to run around naked, you should sniff some Windex.      It’ll keep you from streaking. Free joke A young woman brings her potential fiancé to meet the parents. After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man. The father invites him to the study for a drink. “So what are your plans?” the father asks. “I am a Torah scholar,” says the young man. “A Torah scholar. Hmm,” says the father. “Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter?” “I will study,” the young man replies, “and God will provide for us.” “And how will you buy her a beautiful […]

Main Street—May 7, 2009

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

Don’t blame the pigs Apparently it was the pork chop producers lobby that got the name “swine flu” changed to “H1N1 flu.”  I’m glad.  I had flu myself last winter and I never kissed a pig. Anyway, pigs never had this particular strain of influenza. These intelligent animals got the bad rap because it’s related to a disease they sometimes get. What an injustice – encouraged, no doubt, by the fact that pigs aren’t beautiful. Human beings are so shallow. Looking east, I understand in Egypt they are killing all the pigs just to be on the safe side.  If we have to blame the disease on an innocent animal, let’s call it “mole flu.”  Nobody is fond of moles and they’re not part of a food industry. Maybe the Egyptians should kill all their moles. The pork lobby would appreciate having the world’s attention diverted from its product. Looking south, I think we should just feel sorry for the Mexicans. Between swine flu-oops, H1N1-and the drug wars, they’re living dangerous lives. They have plenty of reasons for sneaking into the U.S. TO:  GOD FROM: DOG Dear God:  Is it on purpose our names are the same, only reversed? Dear God:  Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another? Dear God:  When we get to heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or is it still the same old story? Dear God:  If a Dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad Dog? Dear God: We Dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID’s, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand? Dear God:  More meatballs, less spaghetti, please. Dear God:  Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize? Dear God:  Let me give you a list of just some of the things I must remember to be a good Dog:  1. I will not eat the cats’ food before they eat it or after they throw it up.   2. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell.  3. The Litter Box is not a cookie […]

Main Street, April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009 // 0 Comments

What’s for Breakfast? In the “old” days, breakfast was a lot of pork and bread and potatos and eggs.  Maybe even pie!  I was facinated by the long shelves of cereal at the store.  Our local D&W has about 100′ of shelving, six shelves high, devoted to cold cereal.  That’s 600 feet!  The internet lists page after page of different cereals. The original breakfast cereal was a “granola” designed to promote digestion. It was terrible! Corn Flakes was an accident. Some cereal paste was accidentally left overnight. When cooked in the morning…voila! Corn Flakes. The original Kellogg was a doctor with a sanitarium in Battle Creek. He wanted a breakfast food that provided more fiber. He wanted nothing to do with the food business; he thought it would compromise his professional status. His brother, W.K. Kellogg took over the cereal business and went to town!  The current amazing variety of cereals is the result. We don’t want to overlook Charles William Post.  He became a patient at the Kellogg sanitorium.  He didn’t do well at the hospital, but he got interested in the new food fashion.  He started his own cereal business in Battle Creek and invented Grape Nuts.  They were like the oringinal granola but edible!  He became successful with Post Toasties and went on from there. Next week, Lunch? A Southern Baptist minister was completing a temperance sermon.   With great emphasis he said,  “If I  had all the beer in the world,    I’d take it and pour it into the river.”  With even greater emphasis he said,   “And if I had all the wine in the world,    I’d take it and pour it into the river.” And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he said,   “And if I had all the whiskey in the world,   I’d take it and pour it into the river.”  Sermon complete, he sat down. The song leader stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, nearly laughing,   “For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365,   “Shall We Gather at the River.” Gas or electric? After booking my 80-year-old grandmother on a flight from Florida to Nevada, I called the airline to go over her special needs.  The representative listened patiently as I requested a wheelchair […]

Main Street

April 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

Constantly confusing We’ve just enjoyed another Easter event with church services, goody baskets, and Easter egg hunts. We’re also enjoying some pretty nice weather compared with the last couple of months. Originally, Easter was a celebration of spring, although in these parts spring weather sometimes lags behind. At least we know the official date of spring’s arrival: the Earth moves, the seasons change. The date of Easter is elusive. If you can’t keep track, blame your confusion on Emperor Constantine. It was he who decreed that “Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox.” Watch out, though. The “full moon” in the rule is the ecclesiastical full moon, which is defined as the fourteenth day of a tabular lunation, where day one corresponds to the ecclesiastical New Moon. It doesn’t always occur on the same date as the astronomical full moon. The ecclesiastical “vernal equinox” is always on March 21. Therefore, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25. Now you know everything about the date Easter falls on. You probably won’t even have to consult a calendar in the future. However, if you have any continuing confusion about when it will be Easter, watch for a pink bunny carrying eggs. Mysteriously transmitted Two guys are out hunting in the woods, and as they’re walking along they come upon a huge hole in the ground. They approach it and are amazed by its size. The first hunter says, “Wow, that’s some hole. I can’t even see the bottom. I wonder how deep it is.” The second hunter says, “I don’t know. Let’s throw something down there and listen to see how long it takes to hit bottom.” The first hunter says, “I see an old transmission over here. Give me a hand and we’ll throw it in.” So they pick up the transmission, carry it over, count one and two and three, and throw it in the hole. They’re standing there listening and looking over the edge when they hear a rustling in the brush behind them. As they turn around, they see a goat come crashing through the brush, run up to the […]

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