Main Street by Roger Allen, publisher—July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010 // 0 Comments

  Best hope   Efforts to fix the “Spill” have been disappointing. We are all pinning our hopes on the relief well designed to plug the old well. It’s still over a month away. But what if that doesn’t work? Nothing else has. It could mean the end of BP as a very major international corporation. The President will surely demand they keep paying damages until all their money is gone. And what then? The worst case scenario may be too serious to contemplate.  Back on Main Street The effects of the recession are still with us. Michigan has been hard hit because of the migration of the auto business to Japan. We won’t get that back. Local business has been hit hard but most are hanging in. Some, however, have gone—with their hopes. Things are slowly picking up. We will recover, but it’s going to take a while.  Lighter side The computer company Jane works for distributed a corporate clothing catalogue that included a pair of cuff links. One was inscribed Ctrl (control) and the other Esc (escape), just as they look on a computer keyboard. “They would make a good present for any man,” Jane commented to a colleague, “if only to remind him of the two things he can never have.”  Last name basis My friend wanted a boat more than anything. His wife kept refusing, but he bought one anyway. “I’ll tell you what,” he told her. “In the spirit of compromise, why don’t you name the boat?” Being a good sport, she accepted. When her husband went to the dock for the maiden voyage, this is the name he saw painted on the side: “For Sale.”  Counsel Sandy began a job as an elementary school counselor and was eager to help the students. One day during recess, she noticed a girl standing by herself on one side of the playing field while the rest of the kids enjoyed a game of soccer at the other. Sandy approached and asked the girl if she was all right. The girl said she was. A little while later, however, Sandy noticed that the girl was in the same spot, still by herself. Approaching again, Sandy offered, “Would you like me to be your friend?” The girl […]

Main Street — by Roger Allen, publisher

June 17, 2010 // 0 Comments

Choose your weapon! Want satisfaction for your grievance? In Michigan, now’s the time. Apparently it was once necessary to classify dueling specifically as a crime; a Michigan legislature in the distant past made such a law. But that ages-old law will soon be no more. The current legislature has passed a bill getting rid of it. The governor is expected to sign the new bill. (Explanation: Lawmakers are approving bills to get rid of archaic legislation.) So, choose your weapon and seconds. Meet me at dawn down by the river! A bit of history: In the olden days, “sword play” could be serious, but not necessarily fatal. With swords, a bad cut would make you the loser of the duel, but not actually dead. Guns, however, made dueling a deadly game. Yes, you might survive a gunshot, but not as often. If we’re going to decriminalize dueling, why don’t we at least limit it to something like flinging Frisbees? (Hey! You win! Let’s go have coffee!)  Choose your weapon #2 Two teenage sisters were arguing in the driveway. The younger scooped up a handful of small branches and threw them at her sister’s car, causing minor, but visible, damage to the paint. The dad ordered them inside and said, “No one is going anywhere until you two say something nice to each other.” The older girl glared but then said, “I think you’re good at making people laugh.” The younger returned, “I like your smile and I think you’re smart.” Then, in all seriousness, she added, “I’m sorry about your car. I was aiming for you.”  School’s out, school’s out… Exam answers (not from OUR schools): • What does “varicose” mean? Nearby. • What is a fibula? A small lie. • How can you delay milk from turning sour? Keep it in the cow. • Name the four seasons. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.  Grumpy season On a hot day when the sweat’s running into your eyes, all sorts of minor complaints come to mind: • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Rats!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What did you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the […]

Letters to the Editor — June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010 // 0 Comments

Dog issue raised by reader Dear Editor, While shopping at the Rockford farm market Saturday, I had to get out of the way of a man with a large Doberman on a leash. The dog was huge and must have weighed over 120 pounds. I reported it to a police officer on site only to learn that the Rockford City Commission had rescinded the no dog rule at the farm market. In my opinion, this was a justified rule and dogs are out of place at this crowded market. The commission made a poor decision when rescinding the no dog rule.  Bill Kury Rockford resident    Rockford Hardware a source of old-fashioned values Dear Editor, When I was a little girl, I used to love to go to the feed store with my dad to pick up baby chicks. I loved the smell of hardwood floors, seed and fertilizer. The men behind the counter would tease me about my freckles until I squirmed (and I hated it). Then they would hand me a sucker or a penny for the gumball machine and I forgave them. When I walk in to the Rockford Hardware, there is still that smell in the air that bridges the 230 miles between me and my dad. It’s like he’s right here. I needed polyurethane the other day and literally had to drag my moaning kids out with me. I promised to stay in Rockford and be quick. We walked in and the greeter pointed us to the exact spot we needed. The gentleman helping me then took the kids to a big gumball machine and offered them each one. Their eyes were as big as the gumballs. As if that weren’t enough, since it was Saturday, we each got a free bag of popcorn. Rockford Hardware has managed to keep the feeling (and smell) of a real hardware while offering everything I need. They have also managed to bring together three generations with one sniff. It is the kind of feeling that keeps Rockford quaint and makes me want to spend my money right here in town. Thank you!  Julie A. K. Lovelace Rockford resident

Main Street by Roger Allen, publisher — May 20, 2010

May 20, 2010 // 0 Comments

Optimism No. 1 A 16-year-old Australian teenager, Jessica Watson, just finished sailing around the world alone, the youngest ever to do so. The trip took seven months. Her sailboat was 34 feet long—and pink. According to news reports last October when she started out, “She smiled and waved to scores of well-wishers on land and in boats that had gathered on the harbor.” Now that she’s back, she says, “I don’t consider myself a hero. I’m an ordinary girl who believed in her dream.” Apparently Jessica never had any doubts about her success. That kind of optimism should carry her a long way. Yay for Jessica. This story is an upper. But, as a parent myself, I wonder how Mr. and Mrs. Watson enjoyed themselves during those seven months. Optimism No. 2 My thanks to Sally Thompson for this story: My husband and I were taking groceries from the car when a little neighbor boy came over to talk and offered me some of the potato chips he was eating. “No, thank you. I can’t eat them because I have no teeth.” I opened my mouth to show him. He took a look and said, “Oh, not having any teeth is okay. They grow right back in, see?” And he opened his mouth and proudly pointed to his newly sprouted front tooth. Optimism put to the test A news reporter heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray twice a day, every day, for a long, long time. She went to the Western Wall and there he was, walking slowly up to the holy site. She watched him pray, and when he turned to leave she approached him for an interview. “Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall every day to pray?” “For about 60 years.” “60 years! That’s amazing! What do you pray for?” “I pray for peace between the Christians, the Jews and the Muslims,” he said. “I pray for all the wars and the hatred to stop. I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults, and to love their fellow man.” “How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?” she asked. “Like […]

Main Street by Roger Allen, publisher

May 13, 2010 // 0 Comments

Deep doo-doo Problems, problems everywhere. • The oil spill in the Gulf may be coming under control, but the damage is tremendous. BP, the oil company that owns the rig (and the problem), may end up broke. Maybe better them than all the people depending on the Gulf for food and a living. • The Greeks spent themselves into serious debt, and many Greeks want the country to go bankrupt instead of using the grit-your-teeth and pay-up approach. Could somebody foreclose on the Acropolis? Be a great spot for McDonald’s. (If the U.S. went bankrupt, the Chinese might foreclose on the Grand Canyon or the Washington Monument. Maybe they’d settle for a state. I suggest Texas.) • Iceland’s volcano is pumping out ash again, disrupting more European flights. At least this one is a “natural” disaster, not caused by human beings, whose silly behavior just goes on and on. Deep thoughts Four-year-old Tim came in from playing in the yard one day and asked, “Mommy, where do babies come from?” “From God, dear,” his mother replied. “Mommy, who keeps bad people from robbing our house?” Tim asked next. His mother answered, “God and the police, dear.” “Mommy, if our house was on fire, who would save us?” “God would, probably working through the fire department.” “Mommy, where does food come from?” “God gives us food, working through the farmers.” “Mommy?” “Yes, dear?” “What do we need Daddy for?” Deep freeze Our correspondent Michelle sent in this one: Scientists at Rolls Royce built a gun specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners and military jets, all traveling at maximum velocity. The idea was to simulate the frequent collisions with airborne fowl in order to test the strength of the windshields. American engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high-speed trains. Arrangements were made, and Rolls Royce sent a gun to the Americans. When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof windshield, smashing it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped an engineer’s backrest in two, and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin like an arrow shot […]

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