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July 3, 1995

The Fourth of July looms just ahead, and we already have experienced many fine days of picnic weather. Every park in this vicinity will be busy with family get-togethers and other happy occasions, but that always brings up an unpleasant side issue. I'm thinking of chiggers. Those pesky mosquitoes and buffalo gnats that swarm in the summer air are bad enough, but at least they are visible.

Chiggers, on the other hand, lurk there in the grass awaiting fresh, unsuspecting victims. This subject always makes me think of Dr. A. M. Evans and the suggestion he made several years ago when a female member of our family discovered she had dozens of chigger bites from head to toe. After a miserable night, we took her to see Dr. Evans in search of relief. "What can I do, Doctor? They're driving me crazy," she asked. If you remember Dr. Evans, he thought for a moment's and then said softly, "Well, you could scratch them."

It wasn't exactly the advice we had hoped for, but it served to illustrate his point -- do what you have to do and wait for nature to take its course. Or, don't wear shorts on a picnic. The common cold and chigger bites remain as two of mankind's biggest nemeses.

Just wondering about this. Has anyone ever ordered a video or audio tape from Burrelle's in New Jersey after watching one of those weekend panel shows on network TV where weighty issues are discussed? Or how about dialing that 900 number for crossword puzzle assistance? If so, are you glad you did?

We're at the midway point of 1995 and I have just made a resolution that should have been made long ago. I promise myself to be more faithful in calling on friends in nursing homes or other care facilities, and also to visit the homebound more often. I know it's a lonesome feeling when you're confined because of some minor disability or illness for even a few days. Those who face that prospect each day are hungry for just a few minutes of our time. Many of you already make it a practice to call on folks like that. I'm sure your thanks come simply from the satisfaction of bringing a little cheer to those you visit. We should all try to be better visitors.

Perhaps you noticed the colorful sign advertising Vacation Bible School at the First United Methodist church recently. A reader advises me that the artist was Gregory Brent Webb, a native of Guthrie who has had no training as an artist but is naturally gifted. Brent, a welder at the Charles Machine Works, Inc., knows that his talent is God-given and he delights in sharing it this way.

July 21, 22 and 23 are the dates scheduled for Stagecoach Community Theatre's production of "Nunsense, in the Perry high school auditorium. You really must reserve one of those dates for this frothy little musical comedy. It's about an off-the-wall group of nuns who put on a show as a money raiser, and I guarantee you'll come away feeling good as well as happy. The cast as announced recently also makes it certain you'll enjoy this one. Mark those dates on your calendar now!

Apparently several others have faced the same dilemma I had concerning what to do with unprocessed rolls of old home movies, and a couple of readers were good enough to furnish the address and phone number of a Colorado firm which specializes in developing such treasures. Here's how to contact them, if you are interested: Rocky Mountain Laboratory, 145 Madison Street, Denver, CO 80206; telephone 305-399-6444.

Sam Henderson and Zella Aigner were the first to call with that information, and I thank them for it. Maybe you can use I it, too. I still haven't decided what to do with my unprocessed roll of 8 mm movie film, which may be at least 40 years old. Something tells me it might not be worth the expense of sending it to Denver, and besides, taking the mystery out of it would spoil the uncertainty which now makes the film intriguing. I need to think about this a little longer.