Archive for Thursday, May 6, 2004

Just trying to get caught up a little

May 6, 2004

It's been a crazy long stretch here lately and I find myself trying to catch up on loose ends. We'll give it a whirl here, anyway.

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  • The fatality accident last month that claimed the life of a Baker freshman brought about many thoughts. Shawn Trager, 19, was killed. His brother, Aaron, 20, a sophomore, was briefly hospitalized.

Having sons the same age -- Anthony is 19 and a freshman, and Brett is 20 and a sophomore -- it hit real close to home. The car they were in was also just like Anthony's. After the accident, I told them they couldn't ride together anymore. But, you can't live that way.

Probably the most amazing thing that I heard out of that whole situation was what the Tragers' dad said the day after the accident. He felt lucky because he hadn't lost both of his sons. That's certainly a courageous way to look at it. I don't think I could have.

I was also pleased to talk to Baldwin City's Ron Nelson, who was also involved in the accident, a few days later. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but luckily escaped injury.

For legal reasons, he's been advised not to talk about the accident, which only makes sense. But, he wanted everyone to know he's doing fine.

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  • I was also amazed by another act of courage this week. As most of you know, Baldwin resident Myrna Arnote lost her battle with cancer last Thursday. It had been a long struggle.

Somehow her daughter, Kayln Fordemwalt, gathered the strength to sing at Baldwin High School's Star Struck event Saturday night. She sang a song "In My Mother's Eyes," which was a take off on Martina McBride's "In My Daughter's Eye" and it was a show stopper. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

I can't imagine what it took to do that, but I'm sure it made Myrna proud. She will be missed by many.

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  • Moving on though, we can hope Baldwin is out of that mode and there's nothing but blue skies on the horizon.

One of those items will be the return of a Baldwin favorite -- the Chamber of Commerce's Yard of the Week. The beautification project was put on hold last year, but it is supposed to return, possibly as early as next week.

We'll be running the feature every week in the Signal. If you've got a nomination for Yard of the Week, call the chamber office at 594-3200.

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  • Of course, the Yard of the Week is for residents of Baldwin. While there's been talk over the years of expanding it into the country, that hasn't happened yet.

I'll guarantee you that there are plenty of yards, no acreages, in the country that are deserving. There's a lot of hard work put into those, too, I'll more than guarantee you.

Everything is magnified when you're talking acres of lawn and yard. My first round of weed eating this year was Sunday. Five hours later, I was done. Well, for the most part anyway.

It really made a difference. Place looks sharp. The lawn always looks good, but after taking the weed eater around 3,000 trees, the whole area looked so much better. No, I didn't really count them. It just seems like there's that many. Maybe there are more.

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  • Another rite of spring is well on the way. That's turkey hunting. Ron Skaggs brought by his first turkey to show me -- I'm afraid I was on the lawn mower. Then, I was talking to him the other day and he's got his second.

I'm afraid I can't say the same. Although there hasn't been enough turkey hunting time with all that's going on, we've been troubled by something that I've never seen. We're getting great response to turkey calls.

Unfortunately, it's coyotes that are coming in.

That's right, coyotes. The first time, I just thought it was odd. But after several more close encounters with the dogs, I'm afraid it's more of a habit. And more of one than I care for.

I knew the coyotes were thicker than thieves, but this is ridiculous. They're healthy rascals, too. The other evening, I saw a couple strolling around on top of the hill above the pond. I thought they were deer at first. I put the binoculars on them and, no, they were coyotes.

I ran to get the rifle. As I was taking aim, Gloria Roach asked me what I was doing. I said I'm going to shoot a coyote. She said, "those are deer." I said that's what I thought, too.

I missed, but they got the message. They took off. But, it's a long overdue project to get them thinned out. My dad is bringing me up a new rifle for the project this weekend. Anth is interested and I'm sure Brett will be, too.

Then, maybe we can finally get our turkeys. Ron is way ahead.

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