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Hoping for a no-shadow Saturday for the groundhog

My spouse, Mister Z, is by nature very curious, so curious that we have limited him to one question a day.

Anticipating one of his key observances he is asking this today: If the Groundhog sees his shadow on Saturday, will the six more weeks of winter be more like the season we have been having so far, or will it be the deep snow winter we never had?

 It’s not so much that he would need to worry about snow removal (thank you Mike and Luke). It is more like a fashion dilemma.

Which hat? There’s the furry skunk, the numerous raccoons, the badgers and Persian lamb, all pre-PETA, and the numerous man-made animal representations.

Then there’s his Legion cap, his thinking cap, and as he switches roles, the men’s ensemble cap, the Poppy (grandfather) cap; did  I mention the cowboy hat or the Greek fisherman or the Lithuanian doofus hats? Well, you get the idea.

 Let’s just hope for a no-shadow day so we can move on to the gardener’s hat, the well-worn Hawley trooper, and get ready for weather that is simply nice.

We have already begun the Super Bowl events, the kind that involve being with special people, great food and high spirits (emotions, not libations).

A week ago Mayor DeWitte hosted an event to show appreciation for the dozens of volunteer citizens who have been appointed to the several municipal advisory boards (think of the commissions: Planning, Mental Health, Youth, Tree, Police and Fire, etc ...).  

A look at the city’s website will inform about the many commissions, the volunteer commissioners, and a glance at the various agendas.

The special treat was a presentation by Wayne Messmer. If that name seems familiar, you are among the many who appreciate his role as the resident singer of the National Anthem at Wrigley Field and other sports and public affairs venues. His motivational speech reflected the challenges in his life, including a near death encounter with a gunman and the resulting struggle to regain his speech,
He closed his remarks with a no-lip sync rendering of the National Anthem, which left no doubt about his patriotism and his grasp of the respect for the anthem and his outreaching connection to those present.

Thanks, Mayor Don, for recognizing these volunteers in such a fulfilling way.

 By the way, the Class of ’56 breakfast story should have included a gracious thanks to the real provider, Darwin Thusius, who now lives in the state of Oregon where he puts his scientific background to use as he invents, manufactures and sells good things. We recall that in our high school days and even the Evan Shelby days he was using his quick mind to engineer pranks, chase the girls and impress the teachers.

Finally, Sunny at the West Main Street Dunkin’ Donuts is ahead of the curve for Valentine’s Day.
I got his love message when he introduced us to their heart-shaped pastry stuffed with chocolate. Check it out!

• Joan Arteberry is a longtime resident of St. Charles. Her columns are featured in the Kane County Chronicle’s Neighbors section every other Friday. Write to her at

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