I hope everyone is enjoying the summer. The hot, muggy weather is looking like it will be with us for the rest of the summer, which is not very good for outdoor activities.

I remember the 4th of July when I was growing up, I would help my grandmother and we would make homemade ice cream. There were times when we would have three different kinds.

The recipe this week is not for homemade ice cream, but one that would be good on top of ice cream. For a delicious summer treat, you could make your own ice cream sundaes.

Hot Fudge Sauce

5 Tb. butter

4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 c. sugar

2/3 c. heavy cream

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Combine the butter, chocolate, sugar and cream in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter and chocolate are melted. Whisk until smooth.

Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. Pour warm over cold ice cream.

The fudge sauce may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. To serve again, reheat slowly and stir frequently.

As the town of Exline gets ready for its big 4th of July celebration that is planned for this Sunday, I recall hearing stories that the town used to have such celebrations years ago.

They say there used to be 4th of July celebrations in towns as well as Labor Day celebrations that were held for quite a number of years. They even used to have carnivals at those events.

In the old days, when everyone was in attendance at get togethers, they used to have big tanks of water in town. If you wanted a drink of water, you just used one of the tin cups that was there, dipped it into the tank, took your drink and left the cup for the next person to use.

Today, everyone either buys a bottle of water or brings it with them. They would not think of drinking out of a community water tank with a shared cup.

Another story I heard over the years is that in the days before modern ice was readily available, people used to cut their own ice from a pond, stream or other source of water in the wintertime. It would then be placed in an ice house, packed in saw dust. Then you could use it to cool drinks, make homemade ice cream and other things in the summer.

Also, I was told that although you had ice years ago, you did  not place it directly in your glass with your refreshments. If you did, you could get germs from the old pond or where ever the water source for your ice was from.

Instead, they filled a big pitcher full of whatever drink they were going to have. Then they put the pitcher in a big bowl and filled the bowl full of ice around the pitcher. That way, the drink could get chilled, but did not contaminate the liquid in the pitcher.

In these modern times as we plop ice cubes in our drink or get it fresh from the ice maker on the refrigerator door, we do not think of the ice not being good enough to put directly in our drinks.

This year's seventh annual 4th of July festivities will kick off Sunday morning with a flag raising ceremony that will be held in front of the Leslie one room school house along Main Street at 10 a.m.

The day will be filled with all kinds of events throughout the town, including live entertainment. Everyone is asked to please bring their own lawn chairs for the entertainment and festivities because seating will be at a minimum.

If you are still considering entering a pie in the pie contest, you need to have your pie at the community center before 11 a.m. on Sunday morning.

The prizes that will be available for the pie contest are as follows: A grand prize of $100 will be given by Thomas Lange Funeral Home in Centerville in honor of L.J. Johnson.

There will be two first prizes of $250 for two of the entries. One for one crust pies and one for two crust pies. The second place prize will be for $15.

There is also going to be a reserve grand prize of $50 which will be awarded by Billy Thomas of the Thomas Funeral Home in Centerville.

If you plan to donate a cake for the cake walk, please have your cake at the community center that morning. The cake walk will be held at the community center at 1:30 p.m.

This is to also let everyone know there will be restroom facilities available that day, for everyone in attendance, either at the Exline Old Country Store or inside, in the back of the Hose Company No. 1 Museum.

The day's activities will conclude with the fireworks display on the west edge of town.

The cookbooks are here! You may now purchase them at the Exline Old Country Store. They are $10 each. If you ordered one earlier, you may pick them up at the community center on Sunday.

You may also buy them that day at the community center, from the Exline Recreation Committee during the activities.

On Saturday, July 3 they will again have the Farmer's Market on the front porch of the Exline Old County Store from 8-10 a.m. That morning the new Exline Cookbooks will also be available to purchase out on the porch during the market from members of the Exline Recreation Committee.

If you can not make it down for the 4th of July activities and would still like to purchase a cookbook, they will be available each Wednesday at the Centerville Farmer's Market on the Square. For those that would like to stop by in town and purchase one.

Area residents, Murl and Marge Hatfield have just returned home from a vacation to the southwest. They visited the states of New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

During their travels, they visited Murl's brother Lester and his wife Donna in Oklahoma City.

While they were on their trip, they did a lot of sight seeing. They rode the Sandia Park Tramway, toured the Pueblo Native American Village and also toured the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Museum.

Congratulations are in order for Mary Ann Hurley. She recently was selected as the Royal Neighbors of America Fraternalist of the Year. Her application was submitted for consideration by a local member of her Chapter 3000 in Exline.

The Royal Neighbors award for this honor is $1,000, which Mary Ann will donate to the Exline Community Center for the purchase of a new commercial dishwasher.

The first runner up was from Illinois and the second and third place winners were from Nebraska.

This is quite an honor for the local Exline Royal Neighbors. Mary Ann's application will now be submitted to the National Fraternal Congress of America, to be considered for the National Fraternalist of the Year award.

There are more then 10 million members who belong to this group of organizations who do volunteer work for their communities.

The winner of this program will be recognized at the 2010 annual meeting of the National Fraternal Congress of America in Chicago in September.

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