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Popcorn Fest, Oz Fest approaching

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Updated: October 1, 2012 5:03PM



It’s getting near fall festival time, with Valparaiso’s Popcorn Festival the grand-daddy of them all. Activities start Tuesday, Sept. 4, and end with an all-day affair Saturday, Sept. 8.

Whether you are a child running in the Lil’ Kernel Puff race, a member of a band strutting your stuff, a spectator enjoying the parade, a shopper looking for unusual gifts, or a hungry man or woman taste-testing the variety of foods, this year, Orville Redenbacher will be there, too, as his bronze statue will reside at Central Park Plaza.

I think Redenbacher would be amazed at how much this unique festival has thrived all these years. I have a friend, Pat, who comes “home” to Indiana each year (from California) to attend.

Then, Sept. 14-16, the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival will celebrate the 1939 movie classic based on L. Frank Baum’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

It is such fun, with little Dorothy look-alikes — right down to their ruby slippers — a parade with floats carrying the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion, and another good time to shop and eat.

I have just one request: When you attend either event, please leave the bees at home!

I am a fan of garage-yard-rummage sales, and it seems I always discover something I didn’t know I needed.

Our daughter, Carol, and I have a “date” each Friday morning all summer. Often, we see many of the same people and end up chatting about bargains.

I’m sure when it is garage-sale time at the old hospital on LaPorte Avenue, we’ll see lots of our Friday morning friends.

And congratulations to all the Porter hospital workers who transported patients to their new, beautiful rooms. The transition seemed almost effortless.

It had to be a relief for Porter Health System CEO Jonathan Nalli and his staff to have everything go as planned; even the weather cooperated.

And hooray to baby Aaron Martin for entering this world as a celebrity by being the first precious person born at the new hospital. How many other kids can boast of having their pictures prominently displayed in the newspaper when they are only hours old?

Who knows? His fame might grow as he does.

I’m sure glad national elections don’t happen each year. It appears that both political parties’ candidates and their supporters spend more time digging up dirt on their opponents than having some good, old-fashioned positive statements about how to put our nation back on the plus side with issues such as employment, health care and education.

Perhaps more of us would pay more attention to politics, and the voter turnout would be much higher, if that happened.

And maybe, if our elected leaders in Washington, D.C., were under the same umbrella as their constituents, some quick changes would be made.

But nothing will change unless you and I make some changes at the polls.

Please take time in the next two months to familiarize yourself with the candidates and issues — and vote!

Then, I hope you have a great day because you deserve it.

Thanks for reading.

Fly your flag.



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