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Spring has sprung—maybe!

Arthur Graphic-Clarion of Arthur, Illinois

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Town Talk

I knew the minute the thermometer started to climb people would be taking off the coats and maybe not quite ready to toss aside the heavy sweatshirts or sweaters. But it is a start.

March is a volatile month, but I'll just have to hope for more ups than downs without the nasty weather (either winter or spring storms) that can come with the rollercoaster ride.

The last three weekends have been busy, busy. CI-WE was first, antique shows were two weeks ago, and this weekend was home and garden plus the rabbit show at the fairgrounds.

I'm writing this before the weekend has really got into gear, but I think I can safely assume the crowds on Saturday will be much like the past couple of Saturdays.

Perhaps it is because I am getting older, but I can sense the change in the air. We may have a bout of some more snow, more cold, or probably both; but the birds are singing while building nests, the sun is higher making it warmer longer, and the "smell" of spring is in the air.

No, not that smell, but the smell of the earth and our rich black soil thawing out. One of my favorite things about the Midwest — the season of rebirth, in many ways!

Hope you didn't forget to spring forward Sunday night - if you did you have been late for several days now!

The Ides of March

March 15 is a date of which we are supposed to be wary of, historically speaking. I mean some dude in a toga gets stabbed almost 2,000 years ago, so the date gets a bad rap ever since!

I guess Julius Caesar did okay, well at least after that day, because we still use the Julian calendar more or less, he has a palace still in Las Vegas, and who does not like his salad!

Although back in his day, March was the first month, not the third as it is today. The Ides can be considered to be on the 13th or the 15th of every month, and, did you know, the first of the following month is called the calends, where the word calendar originates.

The fifth or seventh of each month is the nones. I suppose you already knew that? You are way smarter than me if you did. I was also reading on Wikipedia that the calendar used to be used in sort of a backwards fashion so instead of saying, for example, April 22 it would instead have been described as the 10th of the calends of May.

So, "The date (in this calendar system) was measured forward to upcoming days such as the calends, nones or ides. To find the day of the calends of the current month, one counts how many days remain in the month, and add two to that number.

For example, April 22, is the 10th of the calends of May, because there are 8 days left in April, to which 2 being added, the sum is 10. Therefore, the first day is called the calends; six days later is the nones of May, October, July, and March; four days later for the remaining months; and the ides is eight days after that. Riiiiight!

So just remember there are worse things than the Ides of March such as Town Talk attempting to explain the Ides of March. Beware the explanation. Yikes! Scholastic Bowl

I know a group of kids who probably understand everything I just copied and pasted — oh wait, wrote — about the Ides of March. They are our Arthur-Lov-ington Scholastic Bowl team who has just once again finished anrundefeated regular Little Okaw Valley Conference season?

They were scheduled to play in the regional tournament Monday night at Meridian High School in Macon in a single elimination set up. I don't like single elimination in something like Scholastic Bowl, but you don't go to round robin play until sectionals.

Arthur-Lovington's first game was with Central A&M. Other teams in the regional were Meridian, Areola, Ramsey, Tuscola, Okaw Valley, and a very good Ur bana University High team.

The conference tournament is today (Wednesday) at Oakland.

On Saturday, March 15, the team is having a special event. They are hosting a fundraiser Trivia Night where community members and celebrities, ahem, like me, will join the kids on teams to compete with one another.

The fun will all take place in the high school gym with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and games starting at 7. There will be food, there will be drinks, there will be a 50/50 drawing, and there will be victory!

Oh wait, I need to calm down my competitive streak; I don't want to take the fun out of fundraiser!

You should come out, join a team or just watch because it should be a hoot. It is truly one of the most successful extracurricular activities historically at our high school, among many. I just hope they have a question about the Ides of March! Good Sports Our Knights made history winning their third Regional Championship in a row but were tripped up, literally on a couple plays, in the first game of the sectional tourney at Danville.

It was a pretty rough contest, and the Knights took it into overtime but just came up short. They ended the season with 25 wins and just 3 losses with not just the regional title but the LOVC tournament title and the Tri-County Holiday tourney title too. Great job Arthur-Lovington!

Our seventh grade Lady Pages volleyball team are 19-1 on the year and will hopefully have reached the 20-win mark with a sectional championship victory at St. Elmo on Monday night.

The Arthur-Lovington girls face Albion, and a victory will send them to the state tournament at Hey-worth. The girls with a victory will face the winner of the Springfield Christ the King vs. Sangamon Valley match. Go Lady Pages!

Finally, with winter being such a bear, it seems odd that spring sports are really just around the corner! Practice is underway, and games will be, too, before we know it - so it just has to warm up, we have outdoor sports to play and watch!

The Arthur-Lovington Atwood-Hammond Knights baseball team will start off their season here on Co-rum Field versus Tuscola on Wednesday, March 19, a day after the Arthur-Lovington Atwood-Hammond Softball Lancers take on the Warriors, but that game is at Tuscola.

The high school track squads, also co-oping with Atwood-Hammond, will start their season off at the Areola Invite on Tuesday, April 1, then host our annual Arthur Invite on Friday, April 4.

The junior high squads will start right here at home on Monday, March 24, with a meet against Bement, Okaw Valley, and Tri-Coun-ty. The Pages and Lady Pages will be in their first year of co-oping with Atwood-Hammond. The high school spring teams started last year.

Watch for schedules, times, and stories in the paper. We'll have schedules, results, and pictures on Facebook as well. Good luck to all our spring athletes and coaches!

A Real Jewell

Arthur lost a good friend a few weeks back, and I intended to write about Jewell Dorjahn last week; but just could not find the right words. Now if Jewell were still around and I said I had run out of things to say, I know I would get a look and a sly smile, "Kent Stock you would never run out of words!" Then she'd laugh, and the laugh was how most conversations ended with Jewell.

She worked with several different groups here in our town which made it and make it a special place. Her devotion to our veterans was outstanding. She always had a story to share, a picture, or a geegaw/doohickey/thingamajig she might have found somewhere to show her friends. Yup, a story went with those to, and of course, a laugh.

Before she fell ill and had to move out of her house, she stopped me one day and said she had something for me. It was one of "Stocks Rocks" that mom painted for her many years ago. She said she thought that I might like to have it back. I did, and now I can have it to remind me of two characters, Pibby and Jewell.

I hope those were the right words for a very nice lady with a great sense of humor, a big heart, and a joyful spirit. Our town will miss Jewell, but that spirit will go on. I will always try to have a story to share, too! I know that would make her laugh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Here are some quotes, sayings, and what not for the Day O'The Green: For each petal on the shamrock This bring; a wish your way Good health, good luck, and happiness For today and every day. -Author Unknown When Irish eyes are smiling, sure 'tis like a morn in spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing, When Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay, And when Irish eyes are smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.

-Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr. (lyrics), Ernest R. Ball (music) What color should be seen Where our fathers' homes have been

But their own immortal Green? -Author Unknown When after the Winter alar-min',

The Spring steps in so char-min',

So fresh and arch In the middle of March, Wid her hand St. Patrick's arm on...

--Alfred Percival Graves

And that's "30" today for shillelaghs, shamrocks, and all things green

Copyright 2014 Arthur Graphic-Clarion, Arthur, Illinois. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: March 12, 2014

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