Indiana Jones and Spacemen?

If you’re a big “Indy” fan, you’ll be happy with Harrison Ford’s return to the big screen! I took my nephew movie-buddy to the Palace Theatre to see it on the big screen for only 5 bucks. Sweet deal! My favorite Indy movie is the Last Crusade with Sean Connery as his dad, and he does pay homage to him in the movie. This is still Ford at his best, but the movie takes a weird twist. Set in the 1950’s (great malt shop scenes and CARS!) it has a certain nostalgia, but the nazi/communist bad guys are in America! Indiana Jones has always searched for ancient wonders like the Holy Grail, and I thought the crystal skull in question was another ancient artifact. It is ancient…kind of…

I don’t want to give away the story, but if you’re a sci-fi fan who skipped this movie because it’s “ancient history,” do an about-face and head for the last show on Saturday. It’s Out of This World! (pun intended) 🙂

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Garlic powder! Sponge Candy! What’s new at our market?

Don “Ski” Pyskaty, our local Polish Prince of Garlic, had his wildly popular garlic powder at tonight’s farmer’s market in Barker. Folks who used up last year’s supply of the potent powder have been waiting for the Pyskatys to start the process of making freshly grown garlic into a sprinkle of flavor. It sells out quickly as more people find out how great it is. Some purists still prefer the fresh garlic bulbs and there are more of those every week!

I tried a new kind of leaf lettuce today from Humble House Gardens- it was “butter_____” (I forget) and it was nice and mild for those who don’t like the strong flavor of dark leaf lettuce. Oh, and the Goodie  Barn is now making red candy apples (yay) and homemade sponge candy!!! See what you’re missing????

The array of fruits and vegetables we see in the park every week is an ever-changing palette of colors and flavors. It doesn’t get any fresher or better than this, and there are many weeks of harvest surprises left, so come on down and tempt your taste buds. I watched folks munching on fresh cherries and apricots while they watched the fabulous Barker Community Band play in our gazebo. It was a beautiful night of sweet music and pleasant chit-chat with friends and neighbors. We love it!

Looking for the Secret Word?

If you have the answer to the trivia question in yesterday’s “Chatterbox,” look at the tabs at the top of this page for “SECRET WORD” and contact me with both to have a chance to win those Palace Theatre movie tickets.

Do you know where your children are?

Warning: this is NOT my usual “sunny” look at life.

Seeing the lovely, smiling face of an 18 year old girl in the obituary column usually brings sadness because illness or disease has robbed someone of a lifetime of hopes and dreams. Today it filled me with anger. I’m not angry with the young man who took her life, and then his own. I’m angry at the society I live in for glorifying violence. I’m worried that our values and priorities are so skewed that we cannot recognize that our children are in trouble. Do you know where your children are at this moment? Do you know what’s on their mind and in their heart?

Yes, at 58 I guess I’m in the geezer category. I know “things are different these days.” They always are. Times change, life gets more complicated, but basic values and inherent goodness should last. We give our kids every new electronic gadget to keep them occupied, give them space, give them love in our own inept way… but do we give them time?

So your kid is a top student, won scholarships, is a track star… is that what you wanted from them? Are all the things they accomplished the things THEY really wanted? If your 4.0 student just wanted to be an auto mechanic  would you think less of them? I guess the point I’m trying to make is, do YOU know what’s in your child’s heart? Do you know their hopes and dreams? I mean REALLY know. If one of their dreams shattered and their angst was too much to bear, would you know? Could they throw down the  “cool, independent” shell and come to you for comfort…and a hug…or a good cry?

My prayers are with both families, and their community. It may seem that all the bad news we hear about teens these days is random, just chance. When we see news about young people who are binge drinking, having casual sex, committing crimes or disrespecting life and property, we think it’s always someone else’s problem. Not MY kids. Not anyone I know. Guess what? I’ll bet all the parents of all those kids in the police reports said the same thing. Not my kid.

I choose to believe there are far more good and decent young people out there than the rotten apples. I am proud of all the wonderful young men and women who are a part of my community and the larger world. I want to believe they will make the right decisions in their lives, or learn from the wrong ones, just as we did, and our parents and grandparents before us. They’re carrying a troubled world on their shoulders but they will survive and make it better. At least, most will survive.

Maybe we can’t stop disease, or accidents, or wars, or natural disasters. Maybe we are powerless to intervene in the natural order of the universe. My own brother died by someone else’s hand, just shy of his 18th birthday. It was something we could not have prevented but the feeling of helplessness never goes away. No matter how many ways we can lose a child, we should never…ever…lose a child because there was not one person they could talk to, to reach out to. Our culture of violence and indifference to death has blurred the lines between fantasy and reality. It is up to us to define those lines, hard and fast, and keep our kids on the right side. We need to be able to pull them back when they get too close to losing their way. How? I don’t have any answers. I only know that I wish that troubled young man would have cried his eyes out to someone first. I wish the young lady could have seen the warning signs in so explosive a relationship. I only know that each of us is responsible for ALL the children of this world, and if it takes a village to raise a child, our village may be in trouble.

Bottom line? We are responsible for the state of the world we live in. All of us. Collectively. We may not be able to save every young person, but we ought to go down trying. Those “Have you hugged your kid today?” bumperstickers may be the most important piece of literature you read today. Hug them, love them, yell at them… just let them know that there is always something, or someone, worth hanging on for. Don’t be embarrassed to say “I love you unconditionally and am always here for you.” Start listening to your kids, their kids, everybody’s kids. We can’t save them all but we have to say we tried.

Spaghetti Dinner to benefit Daniel Sennett

Daniel Sennett was an avid baseball player for 38 years, a die-hard Yankees fan, motorcyclist and a volunteer at Sister Mary Loretta’s Soup Kitchen for 10 years. This was Dan’s life before he was stricken with a bacteria pneumonia, which changed his life forever. The pneumonia affected Dan’s extremities, which caused gangrene. The doctors had to amputate his feet, one hand and several fingers on the other hand. Because of this Dan now needs special equipment for driving and special transportation for his electric wheel chair. Dan is unable to stand or walk for any long period of time. He has made a remarkable and steady recovery. He fights back everyday, relearning how to do everything. He has prosthetic legs and is awaiting one for his hand. Any support to help Dan with his everyday challenges would be greatly appreciated!

Spaghetti Dinner Benefit will be held August 10, 2008 from   1-4pm at The Moose Lodge 617, located at 204 Monroe Street, Lockport, NY

Ticket purchase will include spaghetti and meatballs, salad, roll and butter. There will also be a cash bar, music, Chinese auctions, bake sale and 50/50 drawing. Cost is $6. in advance and $7. after August 2nd. Tickets available at the following locations: Moose Lodge 617,   Ski Lodge,   Pleasant Valley Tavern, Or call 433-4239 Please send any monetrary donations to First Niagara Bank in Lockport  c/o: Moose Lodge – Dan Sennett- Fund Raiser.

Chinese auction donations needed

The Soda Jerks team of the Relay For Life is having a Chinese auction on August 23rd, in conjunction with the Barker Centennial Summer Splendor event in Barker Village Park. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. If you have items, baskets or gift certificates to donate, please drop them off at Thee Barker Store or contact me to make pick-up arrangements! Thank you!!

Free movie passes anyone?

Would you like free movie tickets? Lockport’s Palace Theatre starts a summer of movies this week, and you could win two tickets to see one of them. Each Tuesday there will be a new trivia question in the Union Sun & Journal’s “Chatterbox.” If you know the answer, you’ll need to check my blog for the secret word of the week. Contact me with the answer and the secret word, and your name will be put in a hat with other correct guesses. Contact me by Friday night; the winner will be drawn on Saturday.

            The movie line-up is “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” “Wall-E,” “Kung-Fu Panda,” “Sex in the City,” “Space Chimps,” “Mama Mia” and “Batman, Dark Knight.” Indiana Jones plays tonight at 7:30 p.m., tomorrow at 1 and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 9:30 p.m. Wall-E plays at 7 p.m. Saturday, 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. on August  5, 6 and 7, with a 1 p.m. show on August 6. All seats are $5.

Don’t forget to get Tuesday’s paper!