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Out and About – Week of August 5th

I’m a Vietnam veteran, I get choked up when I say the Pledge of Allegiance, I vote regularly, I remove my hat when the colors pass by during a parade, and I really love America, despite its faults, and yet, there are times when I feel like I’m not a true American because I’m not a sports fanatic.

My wife and I were having breakfast out several days ago. One of the restaurant patrons was in a heavy discussion with a couple of employees over the results of a recent baseball game. I mean these guys really loved the game and were the equivalent of the typical “Monday Morning Quarterback”. These guys had all the answers, and I was wondering why they weren’t on the phone with the big decision makers at Comerica Park, in Detroit. These guys knew all of the statistics, and I’m sure they spend their evenings watching a lot of sports on television. They may not know who the Secretary of State is, but they do know Verlander’s ERA, and the next time he’s due to take the pitcher’s mound. I admire them for their enthusiasm and dedication to the game.

I’ve never spent much time reading the sports section of a newspaper. I played football and basketball when I was younger, but it was the “Backyard” variety. I was never good enough to do sports in high school. Does this mean that I’m not a true American? I’ve attended many baseball games, but I prefer watching minor league teams. I’ve been to Wrigley Field and watched Sammy Sosa hit three home runs in one game, but then I didn’t pay for the tickets. Perhaps I’d enjoy sports more, if the athletes were in the same pay-bracket as our teachers or nurses. No athlete is worth a million dollars a year, and that’s close to a rookie’s salary. Yes, I think I’m an okay American. I’m not sure when Verlander is due to pitch again, and I’m not planning to ever visit Comerica Park. You’ll probably see me next season in the TR High School gym, watching the girls’ basketball team take on an arch rival. That’s entertainment!

I admire Scott Hassinger’s writing. He covers just about every sporting event in the Three Rivers area, and his columns are large and filled with all the facts. You can read his column and come away thinking that you were actually there watching the game. I’m not sure if Scott played sports at all when he was younger. By his height, I figure he had something to do with basketball. In order to write a sports column, you must really love athletics. I think Scott and I are both true Americans.

We are now into the final month of summer. Where did the time go? Back-to-School ads are already on TV, so if you need backpacks, or other school supplies, you have a huge choice of where to shop. It won’t be long before Halloween items will be on the merchants’ shelves. Everyone is in such a hurry to beat the next person with deals. I haven’t started my Christmas list, because I still have to face those hot and humid days of August. I try my hardest to slow down, but it’s difficult with the rest of the world running in the passing lane. The roses are now in bloom. Let’s take time to stop and smell them.

This is Tuesday, which means that the Three Rivers Farmers’ Market is open today from 2 until 6PM in Scidmore Park. Please enter the park off West Michigan Avenue. The entrance is directly across the street from LA’s Coffee Cafe. Some of the items you’ll find at the Farmers’ Market include, fresh fruit and vegetables, lavender products, soaps and lotions, baked goods, jellies, granola products, local artist watercolors, calligraphy, and handmade flowerpot benches. If you are in favor of supporting the local economy, the Farmers’ Market is the place to begin.

Whether you travel long distances, or just get Out and About locally, you might remember that in warm weather, tires can lose air at a faster rate, thereby reducing gas mileage by up to four per cent. It’s best to keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Check your tire pressure on a regular basis. Your mechanic should do this whenever you have your oil changed.

Remember this, please. Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61%.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman