Booth and Beyond

Posted 4/6/22

FROM THE CORNER We are at the age that each year we lose some additional rela – tives, friends, and special acquaintances, that have been encoun – tered along life's journey. One of …

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Booth and Beyond



We are at the age that each year we lose some additional rela –

tives, friends, and special acquaintances, that have been encoun – tered along life's journey. One of my special acquaintances, who passed on March 12, 2022, was Pat Keating, a Thorp native, the daughter of Joe and Mary Louise Keating, former owners of the Thorp Telephone Company. Pat was one of 12 Keating children and at age 7 lost her sight. While having a number of physical challenges, Pat eventually had a 20 year career working for the IRS. I knew her initially from chance meetings of her in Thorp during the early 1960's. I got to know her much better in 1972, when I provided her transportation back to Thorp for home vaca – tions, while I was attending graduate school at UW-Milwaukee. Her job with the Milwaukee IRS Office was answering taxpay – ers questions when they called an IRS information number. Pat was always a very happy outgoing individual and once she got to know you, she knew your voice forever. There were periods when I would not see her for a number of years and when I talked to her, I always described myself as a voice from the past and she immediately identified me. She was an individual who had a successful fulfilling life, despite her challenges. May she rest in peace.

*** School districts across the state recently received their annual library aid payments from the state. This is a unique program in that the money for these payments come from what is called a Common School Fund that generates income from investments of unclaimed property (money accounts) of citizens from across the state and from the sale of timber from School Trust Lands. The total distribution this year was $40.6 million. School Dis – tricts in our area received their allotment based on enrollment numbers of children ages 4-20. Public school librarians and me – dia specialists can use the money from the annual distribution to purchase books and technology for libraries that help students learn and grow. Schools in this area receiving funds and the amounts were: Cadott – $37,291; Cornell – $23,660; Gilman – $16,668; Lake Holcombe – $12,678; Neillsville – $43,754; Os – seo-Fairchild – $44,954; l Owen-Withee – $35,526; Stanley-Boyd – $56,184; Thorp – $34,148.

*** There is one very special group when it comes to Christmas in Chippewa County. That group is known as, "The Spirit of Christ – mas." It is a group of volunteers that has been around since 1988, when it was formed by Chippewa Falls area clergy and it became a non-profit organization in 1996. Last year, the Spirit of Christ – mas distributed Christmas gifts to 1,300 kids, from 490 families throughout Chippewa County, including 50 families from the Stanley-Boyd area. After being housed in the same building for many years, 18 months ago the organization learned it needed to find a new location for its year round operation. The new location is in the former Stillson School, that was purchased by Library Christian School, after the new Stillson School was built. The new space is 3,000 sq. ft. with positives being it is all on one floor and is carpeted, making it easier on the volunteers' feet, however the downside is that the rent is $7,400 a year. The Stanley Lions donate to this worthy organization annually and provide the transportation of the gifts to Stanley each year as one of their community service projects. Parents then come to the Stanley Fire Station to pick up the gifts for their families. ***

Did you know? April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administra – tion, distracted driving crashes killed more than 3,000 people in the United States in 2019 and 29 of those deaths were attributed to the same in Wisconsin. Distracted driving includes anything that takes your attention away from driving – eating, passenger conversations, adjusting the radio and using your phone. Be safe and especially re-frame from using your phone while driving – If you must talk, pull over to a safe spot for your conversation. +++ The Institute for Highway Safety notes that woman are 20–28% more likely than men to be killed and 37-73% more likely to be seriously injured in vehicle crashes. Some of the reasons are that woman more often drive smaller and lighter vehicles and they're more likely to be driving a struck vehicle.

*** Soon most of the summer birds will have returned to our neighborhoods. We especially enjoy watching the tiny hum – mingbirds that frequent the flowers on our deck rails during the summer. It is interesting that I recently read that there are more than 300 hummingbird species in the world, but just the Ruby Throated Hummingbird lives in the Midwest. They arrive here in May from their wintering in Mexico and Central America. These amazing small birds weight about as much as a penny, beat their wings up to 50 times per second and their tiny hearts beat as much as 1,200 times per minute. To keep going, the tiny birds need to eat half their weight in nectar, insects and tree sap e ach day. Just another amazing creation, that adds to the beauty of the environment in which we live! *** Congratulations to Carsen Hause in being named the 2021-22 Chippewa County Boys Basketball Player of the Year. This year Carsen averaged 16 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Other awards garnered by Carsen this year include: First Team All Chippewa County, First Team Western Cloverbelt Con – ference, and Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All State Honorable Mention. Carsen's father, Tom Hause, served as his son's head coach during his high school playing days. Carsen was joined by fellow senior players Lucas Smith, Cooper Nich – ols, and Brady Potaczek in producing an overall record of 16 win 9 loss season. S-B went 12-2 in the conference for a second place finish. *** Smile time. Age 60 might be the new 40, but 9 pm is the new midnight. +++ It's the start of a brand new day, and I'm off like a herd of turtles. +++ The older I get, the earlier it gets late. +++ When I say, "the other day," I could be referring to any time between yesterday and 15 years ago. +++ I had my patience tested. I'm negative. +++ When you ask what I am doing today, and I say "nothing," it does not mean I am free. It means I am doing nothing. +++ I finally got eight hours sleep. It took me three days, but whatever. +++ When you do squats, are your knees supposed to sound like a goat chewing on an aluminum can stuffed with celery? +++ I don't mean to interrupt people, I just randomly remember things and get really excited. +++ Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Spend 30 seconds in my head. That'll freak you right out. ++++ Some – times someone unexpected comes into your life out of nowhere, makes your heart race and changes you forever. We call those people cops. +++ My luck is like a bald guy who won a comb.