Cutting Grass, Temple of Apollo and Prestonsburg, Pythia and Unemployment, Dancing With The Greens.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

One of the really fun things I do in the summer is cut grass. WOW ! Bet that raised some eyebrows far and wide. Ya gotta remember cutting grass is much like all your other responsibilities and chores in life. Ya want ‘em to be fun, there’re fun. Want ‘em to be a pain in the butt, there’re a pain in the butt.

Grass cutting became fun when I finally gleaned some insight into the whole world of Grass and God and Summertime. I wasn’t born a grass cutter. Far be it from that. I used to hate grass cutting so much I even prayed the grass wouldn’t grow, but it always grew.

Now ya do learn useful mechanical skills cutting grass. How to push and pull mechanized equipment like the reel type mowers. (old school grass cutting machines, those things). Even though the reel type mowers have long since been replaced with gas or electric blade devices, the reel type mower really done a much better job on the grass plant. The reel mower was more like a haircut for the grass. Today’s 25 hp 60’ zero turn machines cutting a swatch across your yard’s more like Hurricane Katrina ripping across the lawn . Ya also learn stuff like the techniques of lever action and application of physics when you’re cutting grass by hand. Action, reaction are easily explained using grass clippers.

Why grass cutting is so educational, I’m surprised somebody’s not incorporated it into a formal program of learning. Oh, I almost forgot, I think it’s been incorporated into a program. The Montessori approach to education introduces grass cutting to fifth graders, but only with hand clippers. The mechanical grass cutting equipment is introduced in the following years and if ya haven’t injured yourself by the 8th grade, ya get a “I’m a #1 Grass Cutter” award. But if ya have, then ya get a “Red Badge of Courage”

When I first started cutting grass here, there was no EastWing, only a new house, a pretty She and me, and sand, lots and lots of sand. Me and the She bought grass seed and fertilizer, that high nitrogen kind, that supposed to make your lawn a “Mean Green Grass Machine” It helped our sand to produce sandburs, weeds and a little grass here and there. We were on our way to a beautiful lawn. NOT!

Yes, there was even a time I prayed that the grass would grow. Then finally realized that praying for grass to go grow is much the same as when I prayed it wouldn’t grow. God just laughs at ya coming and going. Guess that old saying is right “stupid is as stupid prays” Praying won’t grow grass, or stopping grass from growing that’s for sure.

As time went on, our sand and sandburs slowly turned into other green stuff, I finally figured it all out and I’ve been happy cutting grass ever since. Unlike some people, I’ve never had a high desire to have a manicured lawn. Just don’t, have better ways to spend my summertime than worry ‘bout the green part of the EastWing.

After much pondering on the mysteries of the universe, including such things as why grass grew even when I prayed it wouldn’t, and wouldn’t even when I prayed it would. Then it happened. It happened so suddenly, as if delivered by Pythia, herself. The wisdom of God and Grass and Summertime had been delivered to BobbyRay by the Oracle of Delphi. Pythia had brought me the message.

Now if ya don’t happen to know ‘bout Pythia and that Oracle of Delphi stuff, well that’s ok too, ‘cause it’s been a long time since she’s been on the 10 o’clock news. Do ya remember a year or two ago we’re talking ‘bout stuff and I got started talking ‘bout how I’s always fascinated by Greek Gods and that old Greek stuff. And having read a whole bunch of stuff ‘bout ancient Greece. Well Pythia, Pythia’s just part of that gang of old Greek God stuff I’s talking ‘out.

Actually, Pythia was the priestess (a girl preacher, no less) at the Temple of Apollo. This Temple of Apollo just so happened to be in the city of Delphi. It was a church, that Temple of Apollo. Now Pythia was highly renowned and widely acclaimed for her prophecies in regard to the Greek God Apollo. Seems I remember that Apollo was supposed to be a good looking feller, he mighta even been a hillbilly ‘cause as I recall the Temple of Apollo at Delphi is located on the side of Mount Parnassus.

Everybody knows that when you’re in the mountains they all look alike. That Temple of Apollo up there on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Location wise, that kinda reminds me of Saint Martha Catholic Church in Prestonsburg KY. Up there on the slopes of the mountain. Up there toward Jenny Wiley State Park, way up there in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. But I don’t think anybody ever heard of the Oracle of Prestonsburg. I never did, that’s for sure.

I jest, using the Oracle of Delphi as a pawn, but keep in mind this was a form of religious belief that endured for over 8,000 years. Four times the length of current Christianity. The Delphic Oracle was established in the 8th century BC and the last recorded response was written in 393 AD . In that year, emperor Theodosius the First, decreed that all pagan temples cease operations. That was when Pythia went to see ‘bout unemployment compensation.

Too bad they didn’t have a stimulus program back then or Pythia could’ve drawn 99 weeks of free money from the Greek Government Unemployment Program. ‘Course back then they were all republicans, and all the cats were Calico, and nobody got unemployment pay.

Back then if ya wanted money, ya worked. Ya didn’t work, ya didn’t get money. Now that’s such a radical idea. I wonder if something like that’d work in today’s society. Nah, don’t think so, too many democrats would oppose such an idea of giving people something for nothing. Like 99 weeks of something for nothing.

During this eight thousand three hundred ninety three (8,393) years, the Delphic Oracle was the most prestigious and authoritative oracle in the Greek world. Now when ya look at the great writers of ancient Greek history, the names of Herodotus, Thucydides, Euripides, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Pindar, Aeschylus, Xenophon, Diodorus, Diogenes, Strabo, Pausanias, Plutarch, Livy, Justin, Ovid, Lucan, Julian, and Clement of Alexandria, they all come to the forefront. Everyone of these guys made reference to the Oracle of Delphi in their written words. The Oracle of Delphi was that important to the keepers of history.

Make no mistake ‘bout it, these guys knew they were writing history for the future of the world, they just knew, and what they recorded shows the fact that they knew. What’s truly sad ‘bout these guys writings is to think most of their works were forever lost with the destruction of the great library at Alexandria. But that’s a whole different story.

Now for those not accustom to pronouncing Greek words. Plato and Play Dough are not one in the same.

And so the message that came down to me was that God didn’t want me to grow grass, he just wanted me to take care of what I’d been given. With that thought in mind, life became simple and easy back then. That very first spring after the delivery of the message from the Oracle of Delphi, I went outside in the springtime , felt the sunshine on my skin for the first time that spring, the air was warm, and right there realized, with the change of seasons, God turned my world green and it’s just my job to just take care of the green, and don’t worry ‘bout the grass.

I now believe green’s simply God’s choice of color to show us all hope in our future. Stop and think ‘bout it. Green means growing. Growing means the sun’ll come up tomorrow. Your hope and my hope for the future is the sun’ll come up tomorrow.

Upon real close inspection I realized my yard was ½ grass and ½ weeds and ½ those pretty little springtime friends of mine, those pretty little dandelions, and that other ½ , well I just didn’t know for sure what it all was, but it too was green, and my job was not to make ‘em grow, but take care of ‘em. And to keep ‘em all, all those green things, ‘bout the same height. And so I trim the greens and enjoy it immensely. Now I keep ‘em all at the same height, ‘cause that’s my job in the summertime. I don’t have grass, I’ve got greens. I think they’ve even got greens on golf courses.

To me, keeping my greens the same height is kinda like dancing. Some of us can, and some of us can’t, and some of us wish we could dance. ‘Bout ever 10 days or so, me and my greens, we just dance.

Stay safe in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From the EastWing, Cutting Grass, Temple of Apollo and Prestonsburg, Pythia and Unemployment, Dancing With The Greens.

I Wish You Well,


Week in Review for July 25th-29th, 2011

Here is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week:

Gabriel French
Elizabeth Boyd
Joshua Givens

Gabriel French, Elizabeth Boyd and Joshua Givens were arrested Saturday after officers conducted a search warrant at a residence in Knox and found active methamphetamine labs.

Brian Ball of Bass Lake suffered a concussion after a tree fell on him while he was putting up a tent in his yard. Ball’s neighbor, Jim O’Hara, found him unconscious and performed CPR on Ball when he couldn’t find a pulse. Continue reading

Federal Charges Filed against Nathan VanDerAa

Nathan VanDerAa

Federal charges have been filed against Nathan VanDerAa of Star City.

On June 3rd, VanDerAa was arrested on a charge of Possession of Methamphetamine after a traffic stop and a few days later, Starke County officers arrived at his home in Star City and found that he was in the presence of a meth lab, firearms and ammunition. Pulaski County Prosecutor, Stacey Mrak, filed methamphetamine related charges against him and the ATF was expected to file a federal charge for a firearm possession. Mrak recently dismissed the County’s charges against VanDerAa and they were transferred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Bend. VanDerAa had his initial hearing in federal court in South Bend on July 6th.

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Candidate Filing Deadline Approaches for Municipal Election

Potential candidates wanting to file for a Clerk-Treasurer or Town Board position in the towns of North Judson, Hamlet, Winamac, Monterey, Francesville or Medaryville have until Monday, August 1st at Noon to file.

So far, the towns of Hamlet, Winamac, Francesville and Medaryville will be conducting Town Conventions. A Town Convention is held when there is competition between candidates in the same political party for any town office. In the Town of Hamlet, there is a race on the Republican ticket for Clerk-Treasurer and two Town Council seats are contested on the Democrat ticket. In Winamac, there is a race for Clerk-Treasurer on the Republican ticket. In Francesville, there are four people seeking a seat on the Town Council and only three seats are available so one candidate will be eliminated in that Town Convention. In Medaryville, four Democrats filed for a seat on the Town Council and a Town Convention will determine the candidate for that party for the General Election.

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Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall Rejects Plea Agreements in Hearings held Yesterday

Several plea agreements were rejected by the Starke Circuit Court as Judge Kim Hall turned down submitted agreements from Richard Wilbert, Allen Krock, and Richard Longacre.

A plea agreement was submitted for Krock, charged with Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury as a Class C Felony. The agreement would have sentenced Krock to four years in the Department of Corrections with one year suspended. One year of probation would follow his release, and he would be required to complete alcohol and substance abuse programs.

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James Campbell Charged with Possessing a Stolen Weapon

Starke County Police officers arrested James Campbell, 43, of Knox early Thursday morning after he failed to comply with police when officers ordered him to get out of his vehicle and away from loaded weapons.

Police were called to a church on Toto Road after a citizen reported a male subject acting suspiciously on the property. When police arrived, the reporting officer found James Campbell in his vehicle. The officer got out of his vehicle and approached Campbell’s vehicle and asked him to step out of the truck. Campbell ignored the officer. Campbell was asked several more times to exit the vehicle. The reporting officer noted in his report that he asked Campbell to show him his hands and Campbell reportedly started to fidget with something underneath his seat. The officer drew his weapon and told Campbell to show him his hands. He did show his hands and had nothing in them at the time.

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Culver Town Council Approves Application for Water Study

Culver Town Council Members Ed Pinder, Ralph Winters, Ginny Bess, Sally Ricciardi
Culver Town Council Members (from left to right) Ed Pinder, Ralph Winters, Ginny Bess, Sally Ricciardi

The Town of Culver will be applying for a grant for a water utility study to locate and resolve issues in their water system. A total of at least eight letters have been received by the town council regarding water issues, and a water utility study would allow the town to identify and fix any problems with the water.

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More Details about Memorial Services for Andy Howes

Andy Howes

WKVI has learned some of the details of the services for Chief Warrant Officer Andy Howes, a Knox native whose remains are being transported from Hawaii to Indianapolis on Monday. He was lost 41 years ago in a helicopter crash in Vietnam, and although his remains were sent to Hawaii in 1988, they were only recently identified through DNA analysis.

Services will be held in Knox on Tuesday, and then the body will be sent to its final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery on August 5th. Services are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night, with calling after 5:00 p.m. at the Knox Community Center.

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Miss Harvest Festival Pageant this Saturday

Kayla Bailey, Miss Harvest Fest 2010

The Miss Harvest Fest Pageant is tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. at the Knox Middle School. Last year’s Miss Harvest Fest Queen, Kayla Bailey, says there are three categories in this year’s pageant:

“We have Tiny Miss, which is for ages 5-8, Little Miss Harvest for girls ages 9-13, and the Miss candidates are for ages 14-19,” said Bailey. “The contestants will be judged on interviews, summer wear, on-stage question, and evening gowns. All contestants are girls that live, work or attend school in Starke County.”

The winner of the Miss Harvest Fest Pageant will have a free entry into the Miss Kankakee Valley Pageant this fall.

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Lois Collins

Lois Collins, 64, of Knox, Indiana, passed away Thursday, July 28th, 2011.  Funeral services are Monday, August 1st, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. CT at the First Baptist Church.  Visitation is Sunday from 4:00-8:00 p.m. CT at the Braman and Son Memorial Chapel in Knox.

Neil Bogart

Neil Bogart, 56, of Knox, Indiana, passed away Wednesday, July 27th, 2011.  A Celebration of Life service will be Saturday, July 30th, 2011 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. CT at the North Judson United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.  Memorials may be made to the family.  The O’Donnell Funeral Home in North Judson is in charge of arrangements.

William C. Norris

William C. Norris, 73, of Knox, Indiana, passed away Thursday, July 28th, 2011.  Funeral services will be Sunday, July 31st, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. ET at the Van Gilder Funeral Home in Plymouth, Indiana.  Visitation is Saturday from 4:00-7:00 p.m. ET at the Funeral Home.

Memorial Services for Andy Howes Scheduled for Tuesday, August 2nd

Andy Howes

Classmates from as far as Florida, New York and Delaware and throughout Indiana are coming to Knox for memorial services for Chief Warrant Officer, Andy Howes. Many of his Knox High School classmates have MIA bracelets that they wore for a number of years, or put away in a known chest awaiting his return. The family has invited all who have bracelets to put them in the casket with the remains.

Howes will be returning to Knox on Monday, with a Patriot Guard escort, and memorial services will be held at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening at the Knox Community Center.

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Knox Residents Arrested after Hit and Run Accident

John Rupert
Charlotte Rupert

Two Knox residents were arrested after a traffic accident in Winamac on Sunday.

The Winamac Police Department investigated the scene where driver, Mathew Hall of Indianapolis, stated that he was stopped at the traffic light at the bridge construction site on US 35 in Winamac when John Rupert, of Knox, rear-ended his vehicle. Both drivers exited the vehicle and Hall told police that he spoke to Rupert and his speech was slurred and he appeared to be “messed up”. Hall said that Rupert and his wife, Charlotte Rupert, who was a passenger in the vehicle, then ran toward an apartment complex south of the scene. The pair were later located inside an apartment hiding and were later arrested and taken to the Pulaski County Jail.

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Four Area Post Offices to be Reviewed for Closure or Consolidation

When was the last time you received a newsy letter in the mail from a friend or family member? If you’re like most, it’s probably been a long time.

Post offices across the country are on the chopping block. This fall could be the biggest consolidation in postal service history. Over the next 3 months, 3,200 post offices will be reviewed for closure or consolidation. Revenues have declined and mail volume continues to decline. Email and electronic bill paying are only two of the culprits. Another is the pullback in advertising mail because of the recession.

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Knox City Council Discusses 2012 Budget

Knox City Council #2
Back Row: Mayor Rick Chambers, Ed Blue, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Greg Matt and Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

“Even though money is tight, I still think we can grant a 2% salary increase.”

That was told to the Knox City Council this week by Knox City Clerk-Treasurer, Jeff Houston. The two percent increase recommended for all employees and officials was passed unanimously by the Council on the first reading of the salary ordinance.

The State Board of Accounts has completed its audit of the 2012 budget.

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Questions Raised Concerning Culver Golf Cart Ordinance

What’s the difference between a golf cart and a Utility Terrain Vehicle? There isn’t much of one, but enough of a difference for UTVs to be prohibited on town roads, says Grant Munroe, owner of Culver Lodging Realty and CGM Photography. Munroe appeared before the town council and requested a revision to the Golf Cart Ordinance to allow for the use of UTVs on Culver roads.

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