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City-wide cleanup tidys the stage for weekend festival

By Jo Ellen Dale

I am enjoying the beautiful flowers and lush green foliage this year. My Paul Scarlet rose hasn’t looked  as full blown in years. The iris as well are thriving.
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Another caution seems to be in order. Look out for the apparently dyslexic drivers who look at 35 mph and seem to see 53 mph. It pays to drive defensively, especially on streets that warn of children playing.
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At the regular meeting of Richmond Kiwanis Club, Jane Bartlett not only gave an interesting program about the aims and efforts of the Ray County Senior Citizens Board but was presented with the Kiwanis Quarterly Star award for the person whose good works are making our community a better place in which to live and work.
That board does much in providing dignity and support for anyone over 60. A levy of 5 cents per $100 of assessed property tax valuation helps provide this service but is not enough to underwrite it fully.
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It was announced that a city-wide clean-up was to be held on April 28 and the Kiwanis team would do its part. More about this later in this column.
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Maxine Wrisinger returned home on Sunday, April 22 after spending two fabulous days in Dallas, Texas for her 58th class reunion. It was held at the beautiful Crown Plaza hotel in Addison. Friday night was a mixer with hors d’oeuvres so beautifully presented that one didn’t want to spoil it by filling a plate. Saturday night was the banquet and her brother, Jack Clevenger, came to that event. It was great connecting with classmates who are like family and spending time with her brother. She was so thankful that she was able to make the trip.  As I have said,  I envy those going to their reunions as my class of 1943 has lost so many that getting one going is impossible.
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Saturday was a busy day. First, various groups walked Spartan Drive and some side streets both ways from Main picking up trash during the city-wide clean-up, using bags that were provided. I and a number of others on the Kiwanis team who were amazed at the number of bags filled.  Later I went to the high school parking lot for the “Drive One 4 Ur School” Ford event to benefit the school. I selected a new Taurus and was very pleased with its performance. All drivers were treated to free food and drink provided by the All Sports Club.  In addition, all drivers were entered into a drawing for a $200 Apple Market gift certificate. Working through the local Swafford dealership, Ford donated money to RHS based on the number of driver who test-drove a new car. Quite a day!
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Sunday after church, Shirkey Nursing and Rehabilitation Center served a spaghetti dinner at the United Christian Presbyterian Church. It was open to the public and judging from the crowd I would surmise that a large amount was raised to benefit Shirkey’s Relay for Life team.
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Another chance to eat out, my favorite way to dine, will be a pancake and sausage breakfast put on by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4398 at the American Legion Building on Saturday, May 5 from 6 to 11 a.m.  I am looking forward to it.
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I had a nice surprise last week when Hannah Norris, my adopted great granddaughter, gave me a beautiful necklace that she had made herself, as well as a picture for my family gallery that I keep on the refrigerator. I have had many compliments on my handmade jewelry and wear it proudly.
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It is obvious that things are gearing up for the Mushroom Festival Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Many of the carnival rides are already here and the booths will be set up soon.  This annual event attracts visitors and vendors from all over the country.  At the Chamber of Commerce we have been taking calls for some time from those wanting booths or those simply asking for information. The festival has been a very worthwhile undertaking for many years, attracting business and visitors to our town. The morels may only be sold by private vendors and they guard their sources carefully. Hope for good weather and enjoy!
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If you’d like to top off a big day of Mushroom Festival fun with some down-home music, Leland Jones’ Country Pickin’ Theater will gear up Saturday night. Music begins at 7:30 p.m., with all the regulars (including Leland’s great house band) and two guest acts. One is songwriter David Knopf, who was one of the three Daves I saw at the Farris Theatre as part of “Three Dave Night”. David happens to be the news editor at this newspaper and is a big lover of country music.
The other act is the John Quigley Family from Liberty, a traditional country trio that includes John and his children, Jackie and Michael.
If you’re interested in going, you can call Carole Jones at 470-2701 for reservations. Tickets are $10.
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Until next week, keep sending. Dale...@aol.com

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