Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Yesterday was filled with people, music, food and beautiful weather. Holy Cross put on its annual Wurstmart featuring great sausage and many side dishes. Many members of the church work really hard to make this annual day a success.
The customers wait in the gym before being sent to tables
The carry out area as also in the gym this year which made it much easier on those who carried out and those who worked there.
The serving line for those who ate in was in the cafeteria
At 4:00 the seminary was the location of the first of several services and celebrations coming in future months commemorating the 2017 500th anniversary of the Reformation begun by Martin Luther. The chapel was filled to the brim and the singing and music shook the rafters.
Afterward as it was getting dark there was beer and brats for all out be the fountain.
Roofers arrived this morning really early to begin replacing our roof. I seriously have to apologize to our neighbors for all the noise and disruption. I'm hopeful this work will only be an issue for a day or a day and a half.
We really needed the roof done, especially the part over the dormer which had a break in the membrane which let rain into the window of the upper window. So far the wood underneath the old roof looks good.
I've seen links to a story on a canine distemper outbreak in St. Louis animal shelters all weekend. The illness has killed 17 dogs, mostly puppies, at the Stray Rescue of St. Louis. The rescue said 10 other dogs are still alive and have tested positive for distemper. This is bad enough to learn, but the cause is even more disturbing.
The cause is raccoons. Raccoons! Our nemesis in Collinsville for several years. Thankfully we keep Ferdie up on his shots, but it's still worrisome what these raccoons may be carrying. A couple of years ago Critter Control came out and over a period of one week, they trapped 16 raccoons, 1 possum, and a neighbors cat on our property. They released the cat but carried off the others.
Needless to say, raccoons have been prevalent in Collinsville. Recently, I haven't heard of a raccoon sighting nor has Ferdie been fascinated by something or some smell around the deck or our next door neighbors deck, but that doesn't mean we're totally in the clear.
Here's an FYI. Raccoons are not the loveable fuzzballs movies and commercials make them out to be.
Yesterday Collinsville celebrated the opening of the historic Collins House with a history lesson on the Collins family and house in the library and then the official ribbon cutting at the house in its new location on Main Street. Getting to this point was a long process for the house which was built by Daniel Dove Collins in 1845, but so very worth it. Kudos to all the people in town who stuck with it. It's a beautiful little house right now and something residents can be proud of. Elizabeth Donald of the Belleville News Democrat did a great job reporting the entire timeline.
I went over for the ribbon cutting and it was so great to see so many people in attendance.
This week's tragic and shocking death of a Collinsville high school student by a fall on the stairs brought out the very best in the community and I have been awed by the love and care given to his family. Not just support, but "love your neighbor as yourself", care, from one end of the city/school to another.
I'm honored to have been a part of this community. Stories from last night here and here and here .
Today the city is having an auction to eliminate a lot of stuff they don't need. The list is here. It will be held at the old K Mart building on Belt Line. What's interesting is in addition to this, the parking lot became filled with new trucks earlier this week. That was one of the topics of conversation at the Italian Fest, "what are all those trucks doing there?"
Lots of theories, but they certainly have nothing to do with the city auction. It was thought these belonged to Laura Buick who received them from GMC and is using the lot before sales. I don't know if that is true, however.
The first day of the 2016 Italian Fest was just plain wet. It rained and drizzled and dripped and pretty much kept the normal crowds away. The bands were cancelled for the evening and most stands sold much much less than typical. Today is supposed to be better and with the parade and run, the crowds should return.
Here's Patti and I working in the Collinsville Progress beer stand. Actually we didn't work all that much with thin crowds. But it was still fun. We've worked with Progress at the Italian Fest for 31 years, most of which was doing the souvenir stand. I have to confess, the beer stand is so much easier than being in charge of souvenirs.
One group who impressed just about everyone was the JV or freshman Kahok football team. They had the job of emptying the trash barrels throughout the day and night and they did the best job we've ever seen. They were dedicated, energetic, cheerful and very timely. No trash barrel overflowed.
Today is the start of the annual, very popular, Collinsville Italian Fest and boy is it ever raining this morning. The weather news is that the afternoon may see big downpours. I hope not because this fest is a big deal for so many people in Collinsville. Not only the fest goers, but for all the non profit groups work so hard to provide the food and other fun things. It rained in 2013, in the morning of 2008 and the worst was, if I remember correctly, 1987, when the parade and fest was swamped with rain. But otherwise all these many years it hasn't been rainy.
Water was pouring into stands and the street on the Friday. It did let up by the second half, though.