Custom Search


RedBuddyParades, mayors and Civil War Days.

Before settling down with my morning coffee and the headlines of the daily newspapers, I hit the sidewalks in our subdivision, briskly following our 10-pound Papillion on her leash.

That's when I try to rid myself of yesterday's cobwebs that clutter my mind, in awe of the nature of my surroundings that trigger my imagination. And I wonder what on Earth I will experience today for the first time.

This season, I'm always refreshed with the return of flora and fauna, reminding me of the outdoor labs for my field biology course at Murray State University. Sometimes our lab met along the shoreline of Kentucky Lake near the wildlife refuge where I was tested to identify birds by sight and sound. Today I wonder what happened to all that knowledge as I consult my handy "Birds of Illinois" field guide.

Now before I cram a weekend of observations into this space, let me back up to last week's column about Community Heritage Month.

Thanks to readers who paid attention to my Naperville trivia quiz. When I asked for the names of the five mayors -Kenneth Small, Chet Rybicki, Peg Price, Sam Macrane and George Pradel - elected since 1969, several folks wondered why I failed to mention Naperville Mayor Milton Stauffer. Stauffer, elected in 1967 when we had a Mayor-Commissioner form of government, led our city to referendum in 1969 to adopt Council-City Manager form of government.

For information about Naperville's government since the days of Joe Naper, visit the council offices at the Naperville Municipal Center where you'll find four handsome framed documents featuring the progression of elected officials who have served the city.

Early Saturday morning, as I headed to a seminar titled "Women and Investing," the sidewalks of 21st-century downtown Naperville were dotted with costumed re-enactors headed to Civil War Days at Naper Settlement.

The striking historical contrast between two uncertain times in America was mind-boggling.

Though, of course, I don't personally go back 140 years, I'm certainly old enough to have experienced many economic cycles. Heck, when we purchased our first home in Chatham, N.J., in 1981, we locked in interest rates at 16.75 percent!

At any rate, I opened my mind to the wealth of information packaged in Saturday's seminar. Presentations focused on financial independence, FDIC coverage, spending and saving money in today's world market as well as Internet protection and identity theft, awareness I'll consider as the days go forward.

Though I adamantly promote shopping and dining locally, here's one safety tip I gleaned from Saturday: if you must order online, open a separate credit card to use only for Internet purchases.

Sunday brought glorious sunshine for the 8th Annual 5K Run for Reading, held for the second year at River Woods Elementary School. The run for all ages - this year participants ranged from 4 to 77 - benefits the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Fund for Literacy.

As a record 550 runners lined up at the starting line, Councilman Bob Fieseler, serving as emcee, led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and "God Bless America."

I couldn't help but think about how fortunate we are to have the freedom to assemble for charity runs, educational seminars, church services and all.

Sunday afternoon as I trekked along Quincy Avenue to the Rotary Sunrise Drive to the Future Car Show, I spotted an easily identifiable red-winged black bird perched in the open field.

Then as I admired the shiny vintage, classic and not-so-recognizable new cars, I was saddened that the American auto industry has taken such a terrible turn.

Looking ahead, remember the annual Memorial Day Parade steps off in downtown Naperville at 10:30 a.m. May 25.

And beginning today, veterans again will promote the artificial red Buddy Poppy to benefit their Relief Fund. According to Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 Buddy Poppy Chairmen Jan Barbour and Mike Barbour, the local goal this year is $25,000, all of which will be dedicated to help disabled veterans and their families as well as local troops on active duty.

Look for veterans at the train stations and local supermarkets. I hope you'll thank them for their service and their sacrifices - again and again.

Original Source :