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Out and About – Week of September 30th

For the first time in I don’t know how many years, we missed the annual St. Joseph County Grange Fair. We always manage to make it over to the fair at least one or two times every fall. We were attending a Lions Leadership Forum, along with about 2500 of our best friends, in Overland Park, Kansas. We missed walking through the exhibit barns and partaking of funnel cakes and elephant ears, but, like the Chicago Cubs always say, “Wait until next year.”

From what I’ve heard, attendance at the fair surpassed 140,000. I also heard that the weather cooperated, which was a big plus. It seems that you can always count on having rain during fair week.

Our Kansas experience was quite memorable. The USA/Canada Leadership Forum is an annual event and takes place at a different location every year. Last year it was held in Tampa, and next year it will be in Puerto Rico. We’ll stay home next year and attend the fair. We traveled through Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri prior to entering Kansas. The scenery was great, but was pretty much the same in each state. We stayed overnight in Springfield, Illinois, on the way over, and, on our return trip, we stayed over near Bloomington, Illinois. The nice thing about taking time away from your hometown is that it’s always great to get back home and sleep in your own bed again.

The Friday evening, prior to leaving for home, we had dinner at a popular restaurant in Overland Park, called Oklahoma Joe’s. It’s an unusual name for a restaurant located in Kansas, but it must work, because there are three of them in Overland Park. The restaurant is sort of like a cafeteria. You stand in a rather fast moving line, place your order at one window, pay for your order at another window, pick up your tray and help yourself to a fountain drink, then finally, find a place to sit. My wife and I both ordered “The Cowboy Dinner”, which consisted of three ribs, cut up sausage links, beef brisket, potato salad, cole slaw, Texas toast, and something to drink, which was re-fillable. All of this cost $13.99. Neither one of us could finish our meal, so we ended up taking the rest of it home with us. Given the chance, we’ll go back. I’m not sure if this place has ever been featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”, but it should definitely is a great place to dine.

I enjoy Gospel music, especially when it comes from a good old-fashioned pipe organ. So much music these days comes from electronic devices. The sound is there, but I feel that it’s not quite the same. The last time I attended a concert featuring a pipe organ, it took the organist about three or four minutes to set the buttons before he could start playing. Fear not, pipe organ fans, because the First Presbyterian Church, 320 North Main Street, here in Three Rivers, will host an organ recital, featuring Lucky Middaugh, this Sunday, October 6, at 4 PM. Mr. Middaugh is the music director at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo, and is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in organ performance at Western Michigan University. Becoming a concert musician and continuing his work in the Episcopal Church, are his long-term goals. If you’re a fan of pipe organ music, you won’t want to miss this concert. Admission is FREE, but a free-will offering will be available.

It’s that time again, when volunteers are out on the shoulders of our major highways picking up the litter. As you’re out traveling, slow down and give them room to do their thing. If you’ve never volunteered to pick up litter, you don’t know what you’re missing. Volunteers are always needed.

Some helpful ideas from my friend, Mr. Manners:

Don’t stare at people.

If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.

Never call someone before 9 AM, or after 9 PM.

Smile at strangers.

Know the words to your national anthem.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman