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September 29, 2000

It seems that every now and then someone thinks we should enact a law to make English the "official language" of this country. The idea has merit and it deserves the public debate it is getting right now. Personally, I don't know. It seems strange that anyone would consider some other language to be our "official" tongue, even though this country was populated by diverse people from Europe, Asia and many other places. For uniformity's sake, yes, English should be designated as our one and only official language. But, I don't think we should pass a law to that effect until all of us have mastered the English language. If you have noticed the mangled grammatical boo-boos, the bad spelling, wrong word selections, and similar errors in public use of the King's English in this country, you understand what I'm saying. English would be OK as our official national language if we just knew how to use it.

Something needs, to be said about the new look in the women's building at the fairgrounds. I've been reading about the improvements made out there in time for the year 2000 Noble county free fair, but I was unable to appreciate it until I saw it with my own eyes. The floor, walls and ceilings all look better and the new insulation allows the cooling system to work the way it's supposed to. It is no longer necessary to have the doors standing open to catch stray breezes. Now that the doors can be kept closed we have a greatly reduced problem with flies. In the past those pests have dined pretty well during county fair week but now they seem to be under control and out of sight. Samples of good things to eat from several Noble county kitchens can be properly displayed without someone standing by to chase away insects. The building has a much cozier feel to it. Thanks to the fair board and others who assist with things like that. The public appreciates it.

Recent discussion concerning the three-story former Masonic Temple at the corner of Seventh and Delaware, on the west side of the square, has brought up anew the subject of that superstructure on the roof of the building. What is it and why is it there? Many have conjectured wrong answers to those questions. The steel structure spans the roof at the east end of the building. Some thought it might have been intended for use as a fly loft, to store elevated sets for plays to be presented in the building's auditorium. It's out of place for that. The auditorium occupied the west two-thirds of the building, so a fly loft would have to have been several feet farther west.

Victor Green, who has owned the building the past 20 years, tells me that after construction was completed in 1924, the Masons noticed that the roof was sagging. The contractor solved the roof problem by anchoring the north and south walls with the steel superstructure and it became a permanent part of the skyline on that side of the square. It has served the purpose very well and it has been there so long that most of us hardly notice it any more. Next question.