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Gwin Mitchell Paden Take some time today to recognize our veterans

Finally! We've had enough cold nights for the trees to start turning color, and it was well worth waiting for, particularly the Chinese pistache trees. I think everything else is glad to be able to rest, particularly the roses. And the rain is just what everyone needed, especially the poor neglected plants, trees and lawns around empty homes.

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Gwin Paden

Posted: Thursday, November 11, 2010 12:00 am

Finally! We’ve had enough cold nights for the trees to start turning color, and it was well worth waiting for, particularly the Chinese pistache trees. I think everything else is glad to be able to rest, particularly the roses.  And the rain is just what everyone needed, especially the poor neglected plants, trees and lawns around empty homes.

(Speaking of which, Vern Weigum has told me twice — since I didn’t believe  him the first time — that Jackson and Perkins, long THE name in roses, has gone bankrupt. So has Park Seeds. A sad day.)

***

As always, November moves in with a special day: Veterans Day, once called Armistice D, when the armistice ending WWI was signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. And today at 11 a.m. is the precise time recognition ceremonies will begin at American Legion Hall, 320 N. Washington Street. This promises to be a very special event, with the Lodi Community Band, bagpipers, Girl Scouts leading the Pledge of Allegiance, the POW/MIA recognition, and a speaker or two. A light lunch will follow.  Lodi Post 22 adjutant Martin Jones says to come early; doors will open at 10:30 am or so. I hope everyone makes an effort to be there. We owe all our veterans a lot.

***

Actually, the month began with last weekend’s Crane Festival. Since we were volunteer greeters, my husband and I went, and were greatly impressed. Having been in on the birth of this  event when it was a project of the community services committee of the Chamber of Commerce some 20 years ago or better, I was delighted to see how much it had grown from a few displays in one room and a day’s worth of tours to a weekend observance which spread out all through the auditorium building and featured some fascinating displays and crafts  and two days’ worth of tours. If you haven’t been to this event, plan on going next year.  Ken and Nancy Nieland, as chairs of the committee putting it on, deserve high praise, as do the many volunteers helping out.

***

A November gift for my readers: Name six countries whose names begin and end with a consonant, and have just six letters. First letters are B, B, C, K, N, P, S, and T. (Taiwan is not an option, because its status is in dispute.) I managed to do this one using Y as a consonant. Answers in next column. You can’t believe how many names begin and/or end in vowels!

***

For a long time, various readers have been complaining about grammatical errors in area papers, and begging me to do another language usage column. So here goes. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this headline: “Who to chose for governor?” It should have been “Whom to choose for governor?” I know the word “whom,” in company with most adverbs, is not in common use any more (how many times are we told to “drive safe,” rather than the correct “safely”?

***

Legends on T-shirts shown in a catalog: “I’m so busy I don’t know if I found a rope or lost my horse” and,  “Never underestimate the power of stupid people on large groups.”

***

A musical note to end on: Carol Marvel, former president of the Lodi Community Band; Betty Stover whose husband is a percussionist with the Stockton Symphony; and Gigi Connor, a math teacher in the Stockton School District, flautists all, have formed a trio called the Frisky Flutes and they will be playing at the Lodi Garden Club’s annual Christmas luncheon early next month. If you have an occasion that needs a musical highlight, here you are. Call Carol at 369-4242. Here’s a delightful coda: the group’s substitute player is Bobby Miner, an 18 year-old Bear Creek HS graduate now attending Delta College. The perfect mix — three grandmas and an 18 year-old!                                                                

Gwin Paden has been in Lodi since 1957 and has been writing this column since 1999. She has a question: When does a person who takes a lively interest in things come to be regarded as a busybody?

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