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Features

  • February is the month for remembering presidents. We’ve always had Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays; in 1971 Presidents Day was proclaimed to honor all past United States presidents. Naturally, Pun Alley has to take a stab at some presidential and political stories, beginning with our first president.

  • A gentle mist enveloped the beautifully landscaped grounds of Sholom Park in Ocala as members of Congregation Beth Israel of Ocala observed Tu Bishvat, Jewish Arbor Day, by planting a tree on Monday, Feb. 1.

    About 25 members and guests attended the ceremony led by Judi Siegal, president. The special ceremony began with an original prayer especially written for the occasion by Judi Siegal and concluded with the congregants reading selections from Jewish tradition. The tree is located in the labyrinth section of the park.

  • 145 people gathered together on January 17, 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the congregation of Joy Lutheran Church on SR 200 in Ocala. They began by singing the song “We Are United in Christ” as written by a former church member, Ilona Haltula-Arntzen, who is now deceased.

  • Last Wednesday marked the 130-year anniversary of when Thomas Edison was awarded the patent for the incandescent light. Back then people didn’t trust this new way of making light, so Edison went around the country installing lights in different towns in order to drum up publicity.

    While in Oklahoma, Edison stopped by an Indian reservation and offered to put lights in any building they wanted. After much thought the Indian chief decided that he wanted lights in his outhouse. This made Edison the first man to wire a head for a reservation.

    Delighted

  • The recent cold weather here and extensive snow up north provide very good reasons to stay indoors and curl up with a good book. Perhaps that’s why January is known as the Book Blitz month, according to the Internet site, Bizarre, Crazy, Silly Unknown Holidays. Our travel down Pun Alley today stops at the nearest library to see what tales we can find.

    Computer Literate

  • Tarpon Springs is much more than just the picturesque waterfront road lined with docked sponge boats, shops and restaurants we visited on these pages a few months ago. It’s the same 90-miles from our Corridor by way of your favorite route to U.S. 19 and on south ’til you turn off on Alternate 19 just below SR 54 and the town of Holiday. Dodecanese Boulevard will still be just over the Anclote River bridge. But this trip, let’s keep on going beyond that turnoff. Alternate 19 soon becomes Pinellas Boulevard as you spot the St.

  • If you’re familiar with the Marion County Parks and Recreation Department, you might know its unofficial motto, “It starts in parks.” In addition to the ubiquitous activities that occur at these parks, though, something else is happening at the department – a rising in the ranks of one staff person to statewide status.

  • Judaism Goes Green

  • The eighth annual Health and Wellness Expo will be on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Circle Square Cultural Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come and see what Ocala has to offer in the field of healthcare and learn the latest in medical advances. This is free event.

  • About three weeks ago the first snowstorm of the winter did a major dump on the East Coast. Then the Midwest got its share of ice and snow. News about these storms has reached Pun Alley.

    In Washington, D.C. they called it the city’s biggest snow job since the health care bill.

    Police everywhere said there would’ve been traffic jams if people still had jobs to go to.

    A sign on a northern nudist camp gate was changed to “Clothed For The Winter.”

  • Quick! Go outside and see if the daffodils you planted last summer are coming up. They should be about ready to begin setting their flower stalks. Did you plant them among other perennials as was suggested, so the leaves could be left to wither without looking ugly? Remember, the leaves must stay undisturbed after the flowers fade in order to feed the plant for next year’s bloom. Their lovely yellow or white color is so delightful among all the green and brown of winter.

  • On a recent trip to the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, I came across an interesting license plate in the parking lot of a shopping center. It said: “Read D Book”. Now I know this could have been the car of a librarian but I immediately began to think in different terms based on the area I was in and therefore concluded that the tag referred to The Book, i.e. the Bible.

  • Harmony Corner has been quiet for some time, but not so for the Ocala Big Sun Chorus and Good Vibrations Quartet during the Christmas season.

     

    On Dec. 2, the Good Vibrations serenaded the Scleroderma Support Group in “The Villages.” Christmas Carols were sung as well as standard Barbershop music. The audience was appreciative and demonstrated that appreciation by giving hugs and kisses to each member of the quartet.

  • Today is New Year’s Day -- sleeping in, watching sports on TV, and nibbling on snacks all day. It’s the one day of the year most Americans can pretend they’re civil servants.

    The holiday also allows you time to slowly wander down Pun Alley to see what others, and maybe you, did last night.

    A New Year’s Wish

    On New Year’s Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living.

  • On Sunday, Jan. 3, Tim and Daphne Delaney, Walter and Sudie Jenkins, and Nesly Leonvil will be hosting a charity fundraiser for the less fortunate of Nicaragua and Haiti.

    The event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pete’s Produce Stand, across from Big Lots on State Road 200. For every donation of adult and/or children’s clothing and shoes, toys, medical and/or school supplies, vitamins, monetary, food or anything else your heart desires to give, you will receive free fruit from Pete’s fruit stand.

  • Merry Christmas! Kids have opened their presents, played with their new toys, and are still making a lot of noise. Adults have opened theirs and wonder how to return the ugly ones without hurting anyone’s feelings. Now is the time to take a break, get out your sleigh - on wheels of course, and take a ride down Pun Alley.

    Christmas Fireman

    On his way to Florida for Christmas, Arthur noticed a “Nativity Scene” in a small Southern town, but something bothered him. The three wise men were wearing firemen’s helmets.

  • More than four years have passed since this column began, in September 2005. Twice a month, news of events and programs at Freedom Public Library have appeared in these pages of the South Marion Citizen. Writing this column has been a continuous learning experience as well as a fun occupation for me. I have enjoyed the contact with our excellent library staff, the terrific folks at the Citizen and the talented people who display their wonderful creations, but it's time for me to move on to something else.

  • It is heard at Jewish weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and occasions of great joy. The song has been recorded in many genres from rock, reggae, jazz, folk and country by such artists as Harry Belafonte and Neil Diamond. Despite its popularity in the world today, Hava Nagila, started out with humble origins over a hundred years ago.

  • Childhood Christmas memories are of a model train running through a miniature village, all under the tree. These thoughts initiated my visit to the “Trains at the Holidays” display at Central Florida Community College’s Webber Center, continuing through December 30.

    While there I was regaled with railroading stories from the present and past. Today, Pun Alley takes to the rails.

    Wow!

  • Pound the gavel as a Marion County commissioner. Stare fear in the face as a Marion County firefighter, and walk through freedom to see veterans’ sacrifices first hand. That’s what citizens can expect, and so much more, if they sign-up for Marion County’s Citizens Academy.

    During a recent board meeting, Marion County Administration said it will make good on a promise to re-initiate the Citizens Academy as detailed in the “Doing More with Less” plan.