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The dateline reads “April First”, ….

The dateline reads “April First”, …. The dateline reads “April First”, ….

The dateline reads “April First”, but under the circumstances, an April Fool’s joke just doesn’t seem appropriate today. However, welcome to the month of April and the arrival of our spring flowers.

How am I doing with the Governor’s orders to Stay-at-Home? Well, surprisingly pretty well. I joked the other day that I got so much sleep napping during the day and slept well at night to the point of over sleeping the next morning.

Actually I’m not alone. I got my friends. The telephone, the television, the Internet, e-mail and Facebook. So I’m not lonely. Well, yes, but able to cope with it.


It was a bit hard to get adjusted to the television. This should have been the time for the Final Four, the Masters Golf Tournament and the opening of season for major league baseball.

The sports channels have tried to fill in with reruns, but they just aren’t the same.

The news channels are almost the same, only they are just the same thing over and over again. Something called coronavirus. How many times can you say the same thing over and over again. Let’s have something about a cure and the stop to all the illness and deaths.

I’m a bit puzzled about some of the networks and local channels. It was a bit upsetting when the White House decided to hold a news conference and held it at the same time as the local news. Now I’ve discovered something new. They seem to break into the last of Jeopardy in the afternoon so I can’t find out who won. Then they start the news conference and, at least NBC did it, cut away and carried local news.

The news conferences always seemed the same, the president telling one thing and all the health experts another. I guess you could say we are probably lucky that he decided not to take any responsibility for the virus.


A couple of things pleased me on television this week. I’d written last week about seeing the highway warning signs in south Florida for the “Panther Crossing”. A few nights ago I was watching a show on our National Parks and one of the parks featured was the Everglades in Florida. They showed the panthers.

When I mentioned this to Jackie, she said she had thought they were black panthers, but actually they are brown. I guess maybe the highway department onlyhasblackpaint,sothatwouldexplain why the black and yellow warning sign. Jackie said one of the reasons for the warning is that so many are being killed when a car hits them and they are getting to be an endangered animal.

The real treat came yesterday. I have one of those televisions that show you all the programs coming up. I was checking out RFD-TV and noticed Riders In The Sky was going to be on. That’s one of my favorite group of singers and I think the last time I saw them in person was at the Lucille Tack Auditorium in Spencer.

It was a double treat because I thought it only listed them for a half hour show when it turned out to be a whole hour. I guess there was one disappointing thing.

They never sang,”Ghost Riders In The



I made a list of the odds and ends from my Florida trip that I wanted to share with you. When we arrived in Florida I noticed all the welcome centers had a sign on the entrance “night security” and wondered what that was all about. I don’t know if I found the answer but when we stopped at one I walked into the men’s rest room and noticed a fan running on the floor. I assumed it was there to help try and keep the floor dry, but then I noticed something. The fan had a heavy chain on it and it was chained to the wall.


Another interesting thing I noticed in Florida was U.S. Highway 41, running with or very close to Interstate 75. I got to thinking Highway 41 also runs up through Wisconsin. In fact, checking the Michigan highway map shows it running or started just out of Copper Harbor in the Upper Peninsula. Somewhere in my keepsakes I have a picture showing the starting point as it heads south. After following I-75 south to Naples, it then cuts across the state, running through the Everglades and ends just out of Miami.


I made this up a long time ago and like it a lot. Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow. That explains why I’m going to try and finish this now so it can sit and be still until I send it in.

I was talking about my trip to Florida and you may recall me telling you that Kent Smith, Florence’s nephew who drove us down, is married to Susan, who was born and grown up in Florida. In fact, she was in reality a farmer’s daughter. As we talked one day about her life on the farm, I asked her about segregation at the time.

She told me there was actually a threeway separation. The whites and the blacks, but actually two kinds of blacks which also were kept separated. It was those who could read and write and those who couldn’t.

She also talked about the Island Blacks, which I assumed were from the Bahamas and that area of the Atlantic. They better understood the need to take care of orange groves.


When we think of how the blacks lived in the south, we also have to think of how we treated the Native Americans in the north. The town of Johnstown, in Polk County, where I grew up wasn’t exactly what you would call “prime agricultural” land. However, as I think back, the land picked out for the Round Lake Indian Reservation was and still is some of the poorest wood and swamp land in the whole township.


We must have stopped at a place called Calhoun, Georgia, as some of the things I picked up are from there. I can’t resist free reading material. Anyway I found the paper just full of interesting items. Did you know typewriter is the longest word that you can type using just one row of keys on a keyboard?

Did you know chewing gum is banned in Singapore? The things you learn and it didn’t cost me a cent.