I had a call from Louise Ritter informing me that her brother in law and former area resident Gerald Ritter of Woodward, had passed away recently. Gerald was born on June 6, 1926 near Moulton to Raymond and Lottie (Henderson) Ritter. He married Bernadine "Bernie" McNary on June 22, 1947. He is survived by his wife, Bernie Ritter; sons Roy and Roger; four brothers, Bob, Richard, Ronald and Neal; three sisters, Virginia, Raetta and Christine; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Last Saturday I stopped at the Exline Country Store and saw a vehicle with Oklahoma license plates. I thought immediately of Katie Daily’s family and sure enough, Katie and her son Don and his family were stopping in for a bite to eat. Katie’s son Rick was also in town but had to leave last Friday. While here the boys decorated the grave of their father in Grassville, Mo. and prettied up Katie’s home with a lot of hard work. Katie really enjoyed their company last week.

Later that night I sat with Katie at the Appanoose County Demolition Derby. It was a fine event with lots of flying mud and hot action from the cars and their drivers. It was a wonderful week for all the fair activities this year. Congratulations to Rachel Eddy, 2009 Appanoose County Fair Queen, first runner-up Brittany Sebolt, second runner-up Kaysie Pfannebecker and Kelsey Shanahan who was voted Miss Congeniality and Miss Leadership. What lovely young ladies we had as representatives this year. Congratulations and thanks to all the participants and prize winners at this year’s fair. Those of you who take part in all the categories make the fair the wonderful event that it is for all of us who come to enjoy all your efforts.

Gail and Fred Moorman had a small family gathering last Sunday to celebrate having son Creighton home for a few weeks. As usual the food and company were fabulous and it is great to have Creighton back in the area even if it is only for a short time.

Thursday, July 30 through Saturday, Aug. 1 you can find incredibly low prices at most stores in the Centerville area. Ridiculous Days, the City-Wide Sidewalk Clearance Sales, are here! Be sure to get into town and do your part to stimulate our local economy.

The Drake Public Library is having a carnival on Thursday, July 30, from 2–4 p.m. The summer reading program has been a tremendous success this year and this is a way to thank the community for their help and participation. If you are interested in assisting in any way please call Jami at the library, 856-6676.

Friday Night Live will happen this month on July 31, featuring the music of Matt Woods and the Thunderbolts from 6–9 p.m. Admission to the event is free for everyone this month! Call the Centerville Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce for more information at (641) 437-4102.

Plan to attend Summer Splash, the biggest party on Rathbun Lake, at Honey Creek Resort on Saturday, Aug. 1. There will be a Car Show, hosted by the Centerville Fire Department. Admission for Summer Splash will be $5 per person with children six and under free. You can check out www.rathbunlakeassoc.com or call (800) 611-3800 for more info. Our local Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers to work this year’s Summer Splash so if you are interested in helping, contact the Chamber.

Come on down to the blood drive on Tuesday, Aug. 4 at Grace Tabernacle Church, 914 N. Park, between noon and 5 p.m. Donate a little blood and the Blood Center of Iowa will give you a T-shirt. These are available for a limited time only through The Blood Center of Iowa’s online store. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call the Blood Center at (800) 287-4903.

Aug. 4 is also an important day for both Centerville and Cincinnati residents. In Centerville you will vote on diverting the local option sales tax money to the Appanoose County Community Railroad. A yes vote ensures the money will go to the railroad to match a $500,000 federal grant.

In Cincinnati folks will elect a mayor. Carl (Mackie) Adams is currently filling the position and Jared Opperman will run against him for this special election. I asked each candidate for a brief statement concerning their goals for Cincinnati. Carl said “Whoever gets the position has to have the best interest of all the residents of Cincinnati at heart. There are a lot of things we can do to better this town.” For me the key word in that sentence is WE. Jared said “Listen to what the people of the town have to say and their ideas; consider ways to improve the community within feasible reason of the budget; get children more involved in the community and be a voice and an ear to and for the people of the community.” It is my hope that every resident of Cincy will take the time to vote in this special election. Registered voters of the town will decide who will be mayor of Cincinnati until Dec. 31, 2009.

Aug. 5, the first Wednesday of the month, will be Kaffee Klatch morning. This event will be sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and will be held at Rathbun Lake at 10 a.m. This is a Centerville Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce meeting but everyone is invited to attend to learn about area wide issues.

Corydon will be celebrating the 126th consecutive Old Settlers Celebration from Aug. 6-8 this year. There are lots of activities scheduled including a carnival which opens Thursday evening and a Friday cemetery walk scheduled from 4-6 p.m. A full day Saturday includes the kiddie parade at 11:15 a.m., the big parade at 1 p.m. followed by the Old Settlers Program, an antique tractor display, a water ball fight, all class reunion and the carnival that evening.

Planning is underway for the Aug. 15 firemen’s day in Cincinnati. I promise to keep you posted on all the exciting plans for this party.

The Centerville Chamber will have a booth in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fair with the Corps of Engineers and Albia Chamber this year. The fair runs Aug. 13-23 and if you can work a shift during this time, it would be appreciated. The Chamber will pay your admission, parking and mileage. Contact the Chamber now at (641) 437-4102 to schedule your time as an Appanoose County host!

This is the season to look into the night sky and see the wonder of meteor showers. The best observing is just before dawn but you might see them anytime during the dark hours. Through late July and early August medium-speed meteors will shoot across the heavens fairly steadily. Most meteors will appear from the southern part of the sky. This is a good time of year to lie back and watch these streaks of light until dawn erases the stars, moon and planets. Remember these lyrics by Ned Washington….

”When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires

Will come to you.”

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