Jim King 2017

Finishing Up colun logo

To borrow a couple of phrases from Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini circa 1961 and Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin from 20 years ago …

Dolce: Church picnics. Capon Bridge Charge has had theirs; I think Harry Spaid said Timber Ridge Christian was having its.

I picnicked with 2 bands of Lutherans atop Dan’s Mountain just outside Lonaconing, Md., Sunday. Thankfully for all involved, God abstained from a lightning strike on the journalist amidst the Christians.

Dolce: The love of a puppy – and their love for us, like the 160-plus pictured in last week’s Review for our annual Dog Days of Summer feature. It was a labor of love for new Review staffer Chad M. Davis and me to put those together in print and online.

Loco: The voicemail that wanted to know if the paper was interested in new happening in Hampshire County (duh) because there’s a new church going in the old VFW and maybe we could go cover it.

That was it. No name for the caller, no phone number of anyone to contact for more information. No name for the new church.

Maybe the anonymous tipster was afraid of the repercussions in case the church was trying to sneak into existence and secretly worship God or surreptitiously evangelize.

Ah, investigative reporting at its finest. Stay tuned.

Dolce: On the other hand, the call from the reader who wanted to know “just when the Dog Days of Summer begin” after looking at the section.

For the record, the Dog days historically run from around July 30 to Sept. 7, linked to the rising and setting of the constellation Sirius.

Loco: Even if you’re a teenager, pantsing an adult you don’t know in front of a crowd.

Dolce: How folks here do for each other, whether it’s gathering old sneakers to (a) help raise funds for the stadium renovation project, (b) give a hand up to microentrepreneurs in underdeveloped countries like Bolivia and (c) to keep said sneakers out of landfills with whatever harmful effects the chemicals and composites would have as they decomposed.

Sometimes it’s as simple as bringing in the excess from your garden to share with co-workers (thanks, Danette) or leaving a parking place for someone who needs that spot more.

Dolce: Smoked brisket from a start-up. With the honey barbecue sauce, please.

Loco: The insistence of the state’s lawmakers on spending education money to fund alternative school settings when they won’t come up with the money to pay teachers in places like Hampshire County enough to compete with our immediate neighbors in Maryland and Virginia.

So Hampshire schools will start next week with maybe a dozen or more long-term subs in front of classrooms instead of people certified in math, special ed and science (among others).

Dolce: A 55-degree night with a big ol’ full moon hanging in a black sky with a zillion stars splattered around it.

In Chicagoland, now 12 years removed, all we got when we looked up was a dull orange-purple glow and the taillights of jets queueing up to land at O’Hare.

Loco: Tap water that catches fire.

Dolce: Sweet corn tonight that came out of the field this morning.

Loco: Trying to take a joy ride on a tractor with a 44-foot corn planter attached behind it.

Dolce: The spectacle of Saturday morning Mini-T’s football.

Dolce: Realizing the sweet life and the crazy life are probably inextricable. 

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