Here’s hoping you all had a wonderful Fourth of July celebration. The Cincinnati fireworks were a teeny bit soggy but nothing could dampen the spirits of the attendees. The food was great and the pyrotechnics we saw were truly fabulous. Thanks to all the Cincy firemen and the wives and everyone else who worked so hard to make the evening a real treat. I am already looking forward to next year.

On Saturday I watched the rain pour down, saw the ditches on my road become rushing rivers and then watched the wonderful Exline fireworks from my back porch. Bravo to the community of Exline for carrying on despite the downpour.

Last week I took in my first batch of recycling to the new drop off area. There was some confusion because one of the old signs was still up and it had a few of us going in circles. The annual newsletter put out by Rathbun Area Solid Waste Commission did a good job of trying to explain it but I still got turned around. There is a brand new 24 hour recycling drop off building just east of the office. You will still enter at the same gate and turn right instead of left. Or you could just get out and walk the entire area as I did and eventually you will find the spot for drop off. Director Rodger Kaster assured me that he would remedy the sign situation so you should have better luck in the future. It is a really great thing that we can now get rid of our household hazardous waste at no cost. Please take advantage of this and call ahead to make arrangements. And all useable products received at the RASWC Regional Collection Center are available at no charge for use by the public so you might want to call and see if they have something you could use. Their office hours are Monday–Friday from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.–noon. Call (641) 437-7279 for more information.

My good friend Lisa Barickman Eddy shared some of her home grown cherries with me last week. I do a little bit of baking but I have never enjoyed doing pies so I took those cherries over to Aunt Cele Budiselich. Now I know I am always bragging on my family and what great cooks they are but I have got to tell you….that was the very best cherry pie I have ever had. Everyone who tasted it thought she would have easily won any pie contest. Really, it was that good. This has convinced me that I absolutely must plant a cherry tree here in the near future.

I visit Bradley Hall on a pretty regular basis and I was pleasantly surprised last week to see that the top floor has become an art gallery. Take the time to stop in and browse and see if you might be inspired. Brad Davis has some work displayed there along with several other local artists.

Congratulations to all the scholarship winners of the class of 2009. That was a pretty impressive list last week and yes, there were some of my cousins who were among the winners. It is a wonderful thing to see that CHS grads are working for and winning these awards and we should all be proud of them. If you know any of those winners take the time to mention how much you appreciate their efforts.

Can you believe that it is already the final municipal band summer concert? Thursday, July 9, at 8 p.m. is your last chance to hear them play this summer. The ice cream social will be sponsored by the Continental at St. Joseph’s. If you are any where near the square this Thursday night you will want to get over to the band shell and enjoy this treat. A big thanks to all the participants for making music for all of us to enjoy this summer.

We have a busy weekend ahead. You can ride the Historic Wabash Rail Line for a scenic 90-minute excursion from Moravia to Albia, and return. These rides are available Saturday, July 11 and Sunday July 12 this year.

Reservations are strongly recommended and tickets are on sale now.

Please call (800) 611-3800 to be sure you get a seat and to check departure times. The train will board at the Wabash Depot Museum in Moravia. The diesel-electric engine and open-air passenger cars transport 80 passengers at a time. This is your only chance this year to enjoy this outing. Cost is $10 for adults, $6 for children six-12, and children five and under are $2. You can also call the chamber for more information at 437-4102.

This will be the sixth year for the annual Children’s Art Festival that celebrates our children's artistic abilities. On Saturday, July 11, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m., artwork created by southern Iowa's youth will be displayed. Band, choral and dance ensembles will perform all day in the Centerville band shell. Participatory events include painting the mural and visiting the craft tent where children can build a sculpture or make jewelry. Jumping tents, trolley rides and hotdogs and lemonade will all help to make it a festive occasion. The event includes a Missoula Theatre production of “Pinocchio” performed by more than 60 local children at the Simon Estes Auditorium at 4 p.m.

The Shops at Granny's House are planning their outdoor quilt show for Saturday, July 11, from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. It sounds like the weather is going to cooperate and they say they will display the quilts indoors if necessary. Their special this week is 30 percent off precut fabric (charm packs, fat quarters, kits, etc.) and premade jewelry. They are located at 2797 600th Ave., just a few miles west of Moravia. Call them at (641) 724-3131 for more information.

On July 12 the Second Sunday sing along with Bill Thom and his buddies is happening. The public is invited to listen to Gospel singing and join in on sing-a-longs at the Historic Second Baptist Church on Highway 5 in Centerville from 6–7 p.m.

The Appanoose County Fair is just around the corner! From July 19-25 this is happening at the Appanoose County Fairgrounds. The 2009 Appanoose County Fair is dedicated to William McCClintock, DVM, in appreciation for his many years of dedication to the Appanoose County Fair. You can get all the information about the fair by going to their Web site at www.appanoosecounty fair.com or you can e-mail inquiries to Martha Furlin, Fairboard Secretary at furlinfarms@lisco.com. The Fairboard Office telephone number is (641) 856-2646. The most exciting part of the fair for me is always the Demo Derby which will be held on Saturday July 25 at 7:30 p.m. If you buy your pre-season ticket before noon on Monday, July 20, the cost is only $15 and it will be only $20 after that. This is a great bargain folks and gets you in for all six days of the fair. Tickets are available at the Chamber office or Iowa Trust and Savings bank. Reservations for commercial exhibit space at the fair are now being taken. Contact Jon Schmidt at (641) 856-8661 or (641) 895-2424 for information on that or go to their Web site and click on the booth and consignor information tab at the bottom of the page.

Wayne County Fair is overlapping our dates a little bit. They will be hosting their fair from July 21 - July 26. Their Summer Slam Demo Derby will be on Sunday July 26 at 6:30 p.m., and that means a two demo derby weekend for all you fans. For more information check out their Web site at www.waynecofair.org.

My sources tell me that the reopening of our Ben Franklin store is very very near as of this writing. Watch the Iowegian for updates on the actual day. I know you will all join me in welcoming this merchant back to business. It has been a long time coming and we are all grateful for the efforts they have put forth to get up and running again.

The Iowa Downtown Resource Center, housed at the Iowa Department of Economic Development is sponsoring a workshop in Centerville on July 21. This workshop is one of a series across Iowa this year with expert trainers for independent businesses to learn new skills and techniques. This will be an opportunity to strengthen businesses in tough economic times, and is free of charge to attendees. Centerville-Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is the co-host for this event. It will be held at the conference room in Motel 60 at 117 N. 18th St. For more information, contact IDED’s Special Projects Coordinator, Stephanie Weisenbach, at (515) 725-3007, or e-mail her at Stephanie.weisenbach@iowalifechanging. com.

The next Cincinnati City Council Meeting will be Monday, July 13 at 7 p.m. at city hall. If you are interested in your community you will want to attend this meeting and show your support for our wonderful little corner of the world. You can call 658-2666 for more information. Remember that working together for the betterment of our neighborhoods is the best way to get things accomplished. Benjamin Franklin said, “We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” So come ­on down and become a part of the solution.

This Week's Circulars