Dave Richards for June 13th…………
--Well, after a spring which has had (after two days of summer-like weather) the coolest and rainiest run of weather most of us can recall, we have finally been given our first official mini heat-wave. Three or more consecutive days over 90 degrees, and today is number three. Tonight a weather front will pass through and starting tomorrow we are back to late spring weather again, with highs in the 70s. Good.
I look at weather in the summertime the same as I do in Winter. Mix it up, I say. I can more easily take the brutal cold of a New England winter if it only lasts for a few days at a time and then goes above freezing for a few days before returning back to the deep-freeze. And I suppose that’s what bothered all those people I heard complaining about the raw, rainy weather recently. It just kept up day after day without change.
But now that we have more summerlike weather conditions, some of the old summertime downside has returned as well. A few nights ago, at about 1:30 in the morning, there I was snoozing happily with the bedroom window open, enjoying the nice fresh air in my slumber, when my rest was abruptly interrupted by the smell of skunk discharge. Ugh! I closed the windows as soon as I could. Sunday evening the folks in my neighborhood decided to top off a hot day with fireworks, and lots of them, too.
I don’t begrudge them their fun, but it is disturbing over so many hours without stop and so many weeks before the holiday. I remember thinking when they made some fireworks legal a few years ago that we would no longer be hearing simple ‘salute’-type fireworks, but much more of the stuff which hasn’t been made legal yet, and that’s just what I am seeing. I thought the sky rockets which flew up above the tree tops and then exploded were still prohibited from people’s back yards. I just hope nobody gets hurt, that’s my real concern.
I remember as a young boy it hadn’t been very many years since the personal purchase of fireworks had been made illegal by the Rhode Island Legislature. There were some people I knew who still had some they’d bought before they were outlawed and, well, “waste-not, want-not”, right? But I do remember being told of people who lost fingers and eyesight and such because they weren’t careful enough, and that fireworks needed to be respected in the same manner we respect guns. Still, back then we were only poking a hole in the base of an empty vegetable can to stick the fuse of the firecracker out through it and then placing a slightly larger empty tin can on top of that one. When the fuse hit the business end of the firecracker the explosion launched the top tin can way up into the air. I’m seeing far more dangerous incendiary fun taking place today. Let’s all be very careful out there.
--What a wonderful time I had at the 2017 Woonsocket High School Graduation Ceremonies last Friday! I was especially delighted that it took place outdoors at Barry Memorial Field. The forecast early in the week was exemplary, but by Wednesday and Thursday thunderstorms were predicted. However, by Friday morning all references to thunderstorms were removed from the forecast and the chance of a shower reduced to only 20 percent.
I saw Woonsocket Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patrick McGee overseeing the setup early Friday morning at Barry Field and he was beaming as brightly as the sun at the prospect of an outdoor ceremony. He had never counted it out in his heart, not even when the forecast looked threatening. He was like a man whose faith was being rewarded. But not without one more test of that faith.
Twenty minutes before the ceremony that afternoon the skies opened up with a passing thundershower scattering the thousands of early-arrivers to wherever they could find shelter. A surprising number of people had brought umbrellas with them and shared the protection they afforded with those nearby. In about five minutes, the rain was over and the skies remained dry for the rest of the day. I considered it good, strong leadership on the part of the Superintendent. We’re lucky to have such a wise man running our district.
--261 young people received their diplomas that day. I heard several comments about the years when we had twice that many graduates in a class and questions about why the number was “so small”. The truth, as I see it, is that far fewer babies are being born these days compared to twenty or thirty years ago. In fact, a news release this past weekend supported my theory. The Mormons announced that their numbers are barely holding steady this year due to the very facts I stated. Fewer babies are being born and people are often waiting until later in life to even begin having families. So much for the “population explosion” we heard so much about back in the 60s and 70s.
I’ll close this week with a quote. “No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” I know we’re supposed to attribute quotes to their authors when we use them in print, but the author of this one is either long dead, or, if the Desiderata truly is a hoax as some claim, the author doesn’t wish to be credited. So I’ll break protocol and decline. Have a nice week.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading!