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Features

  • The world’s biggest festival is Oktoberfest, held each year in Munich, Germany, running from late September to early October. People from all over pilgrimage to Germany to throw down beer, sing in good cheer, and enjoy Bavarian food.

    Our own Oktoberfest celebration, modeled after the Munich event, will be held tomorrow at the Circle Square. Our trip down Pun Alley brings us some German thoughts and a few alcoholic stories.

    Euro-English

  • The year was 1492. Not a good one for the Jews of Spain. The Edict of Expulsion had been signed by their Most Catholic Majesties, Ferdinand and Isabella, and the word was “get out” (of Spain) or convert to Christianity. Many choose to leave while others hoping to keep their fortunes and families intact, remained in Spain and at least outwardly converted to the Christian faith. These New Christians or Conversos often practiced Judaism in secret. In time they were known as Marranos (a derogatory Spanish word for “pig”) or secret Jews.

  • Temperatures, both day and night, have been decreasing; days are getting shorter; and breezes have picked up. Complaints about it being too hot have ceased. All signify that autumn has just started. Pun Alley plunges into the fall to leave you with a smile on your face while you enjoy the nice weather.

    You’ll fall for this one

  • On this day in 1920 the American Professional Football Association, a precursor of the NFL, was formed in Canton, Ohio. This year, professional football just started its regular season and college football is looking at its third week. It’s time for us to get a kick out of some gridiron stories.

    Really offensive

  • It is considered the source of life and here and Florida is a precious commodity even though we are surrounded on three sides by it. And while we welcome the life-giving moisture, the destructive forces of hurricanes are not a desirable guest in our midst.

  • Monday is International Chocolate Da,y according to the Internet site, Bizarre, Crazy, Silly Unknown Holidays. The Cacao tree, the source for chocolate, has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy. Travel down Pun Alley today and get your dose of chocolate happiness.

    Chocolate ice cream

    A man approached an ice cream vendor and asked, “I’d like two scoops of chocolate ice cream, please.”

  • With coloring crayons, colored pencil and colored markers, construction paper was transformed into get well cards last week at Hammett Bowen Elementary School.

    The get well cards were for a Marine who had been shot four times. On Aug. 30, Cpl. Shane Hathaway underwent surgery at National Naval Medical Center for his injuries.

    His parents requested cards to help cheer him up.

  • In a few short days, Jews all over the world will be ushering the New Year of 5771. Many will be attending the special High Holiday services which mark this very holy and penitential time of the year. I would like to give you a glimpse into some of the liturgical offerings in order to give you a better understanding of the nature of the holidays.

  • Monday is Labor Day, a holiday that America has celebrated on the first Monday in September since 1882. The original idea was to have a street parade demonstrating the strength of trade and labor organizations. Now many consider the holiday to be the end of summer while others just welcome a day off work.

    Anticipating the coming holiday, some locals held a parade on Pun Alley to leave some interesting stories.

    The worker

    The Wage and Hours Government Department claimed Mickey was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to interview him.

  • They are our pets. Cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs and gerbils. They are our companions, confidants and loyal friends. In the Hebrew Bible, however, animals have very different roles.

  • For the last two years, bears have bothered a friend of mine who summers in the eastern Tennessee mountains. Last August he killed a bear that had pulled over a peach tree and this year an extremely aggressive bear chased him indoors. Consequently, bears have arrived in the Alley.

    Bear with us

    My friend previously had a neighbor, an atheist, who enjoyed hiking through the woods, admiring nature. On one such jaunt this neighbor heard rustling in the bushes. As he turned, he saw a huge bear charging him.

  • For the seventh year, the Thrivent Committee of Joy Lutheran Church successfully met their project goal in providing shoes for the homeless children in Marion County

    As a result of the ice cream social fundraiser in April, $2,209 was raised, including matching funds and a memorial donation. Norma Erickson, Loretta Kremer, Bert and Georgia Adams purchased 153 pairs of shoes at Famous Footwear.

  • On Monday those big yellow vehicles will again appear on the roads indicating that school has started. It’s important for everyone to watch out for school buses stopping and starting, as well as for children crossing roads and streets.

    Tales being told out of school have already found their way to Pun Alley.

    Get up

    One early morning a lady went in to wake up her son and said, “Wake up, son. It’s time to go to school!”

    The son replied, “But why Mom? I don’t want to go.”

  • In one of the remotest places on earth, once the most isolated city in South America lies Iquitos, Peru, surrounded by the Amazon River and separated from other cities by the vast Amazon tropical rainforest and the high Andean summits. In this exotic setting dwell the Sephardic Jewish descendants of Morocco, Malta, Gibraltar, Alsace and the city of Manchester. They came originally in 1870 escaping anti-Semitism in their home countries and also in search of a better life and fortune as they cast their lot in with the rubber barons who exploited the Amazon region for the profitable product.

  • For those who are unsure about just what vegetable plants grow in the cooler months, the answers can be found during the Vegetable Garden Expo, Aug 21.

    The annual event is held in cooperation with the University of Florida IFAS, the Marion County Extension Service and Marion County Master Gardeners at the extension service office, 2232 N.E. Jacksonville Road.

  • In addition to all the horse farms, the Ocala area has many other beautiful scenic surroundings. One of them starts at the golf course on East Silver Springs Boulevard and extends way into the national forest. This whole area is alive with interesting tales.

    A medium in the median

    At one time a midget psychic set up several pup tents in the wide center island of the Boulevard and proceeded to do business. Her size allowed her to easily run her business in the pup tent. Customers liked her because her fortune telling was always in tents.

  • Modern cars are wonderful. An indicator lights up whenever there’s something wrong; but the source of the problem is not always obvious. Such a problem had me back to my local tire and auto care center several times. They persevered and fixed the car as good as new, spending more effort on it than I was charged.

    Such problems have been known to drive auto mechanics to mental wards. Doctor: “This room is reserved for auto mechanics.”

    Visitor: “But the room is empty; are there any patients?”

  • There are many hurting/sick folks in our world, and many folks who care. Once a month, a number of ladies of Timber Ridge Community Church (10260 S.W. 110th St.) get together to stuff and finish handmade bears which are distributed to critically and terminally ill children and adults in various facilities, so that they may have a physical reminder that they are not alone and that they are cared for and prayed for. Appropriate fabrics are purchased, and the fabric is given to one member to cut the little bears’ pattern; then the cut fabric is given to another member to sew together.

  • The important Oak Run Neighborhood Awareness Program began more than 12 years ago. Some of its volunteers have been with it all that time and are ready to pass the torch to younger residents. NAP is now recruiting new members. Won’t you please help keep eyes and ears out there on the roads of Oak Run? You would only have to patrol once a month, usually for 2 to 3 hours, and attend one meeting per month. Each volunteer has to fill out an application for the Sheriff’s Office and a background check is conducted.

  • Frank Hofstatter was really tickled when the Liberty Middle School Builders Club, sponsored by his Friendship Kiwanis Club, announced efforts to establish a relationship for their members with namesake Liberty Park on Southwest 103rd Street. As the Friendship Kiwanis liaison for LMS Builders Club, Frank works directly with faculty co-advisers, Alexan Johnson and Louann Boemio.