• I am a breast cancer survivor. My story began last June when I was diagnosed with DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ. Because the cancer was found in two sections of my breast it was necessary for me to have a mastectomy. I elected to have reconstruction surgery because I felt it was the best option for me and because I wanted to feel whole again. The following is my story of moving on, how I was able to cope with the diagnosis and aftermath and the journey I took on the road to reconstruction.

  • Hikers on an interpretive hike from the Land Bridge Trailhead learned about different oak trees, heard the songs of different birds, took a whiff of several leaves, saw footprints in the sand and traffic on I-75.

    The footprints were left by a bobcat, said Jim Buckner, a naturalist and leader of the hike organized by staff of the Marion County Parks and Recreation.

    On a recent kayak trip along the Ocklawaha River, paddlers at the front of the group saw a bobcat standing on the bank of the river, said Terry Rou, also with county parks and recreation.

  • Sukkot is one of the most joyous of Jewish holidays. Celebrated five days after Yom Kippur, the festival commemorates the Israelites’ dwelling in little booths or huts (sukkot) during their 40-year wanderings in the desert. It is a Biblically- mandated holiday and in ancient days was one of the three pilgrimage festivals when our ancestors would travel to Jerusalem to make special sacrifices at the Holy Temple. It is also the holiday of the harvest and is the inspiration for our American celebration of Thanksgiving.

  • Legalized gambling has been increasing all over the country. Even though there are opulent casinos in many states, Las Vegas remains the internationally known major resort for gambling and entertainment.

    Belying the expression “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” Pun Alley takes us down the path to some stories from Vegas.


    Betty was having a bad day at the roulette table. Down to her last $50, she exclaimed, “What rotten luck! What in the world should I do now?”

  • The Friends’ three-day fall book sale runs through Saturday, Sept. 26. If you haven’t yet gone, there are plenty of bargains available and, of course, special offers on both Friday and Saturday.

    While you’re there, pick up a Friends application and become a member who actively supports our Freedom Public Library. Forms will be available at the sale and inside the library.

    Ryan Bailey personal appearance

    at Open House for the Disabled

  • Some jobs carry with them a lot of prestige, glamour and worldwide recognition. A few people, however, are not too interested in those sorts of things. We do not care who knows what we do, as long as we know what we are doing and why we are doing it, which is all right with us.

    Our entire country honors the military forces; we should, for the fine job they do protecting our country. In just about every community, emergency personnel are honored for the wonderful job they do in keeping our homes safe.

  • Thank you to the veterans who came to our last meeting to see what we were all about. We hope you now have a better understanding of who we are and what we are trying to do for our veterans.

  • While waiting in the express lane at the grocery store I became rather upset when I noticed the woman ahead of me had a cart piled high with groceries. As the cashier beckoned her to come forward and looked into the cart, she asked sweetly, “So which ten items would you like to buy?” Sometimes, there is justice.

    When I got to checkout the cashier mentioned to me some of the interesting things that happen to them every day, all of which are worthy of Pun Alley.

    Wide eyes


    The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Witness to an Era

    By Caroline Moorhead

  • New Beginnings Rosh Hashanah message 2009

    The Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah, is a time of new beginnings. As it has been since Biblical times, it is a time set aside to take stock of oneself and to think over the events of the previous year.

  • Traditionally, the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is a time of new beginnings. For Congregation Beth Israel of Ocala, this year is an especially auspicious one for the newly formed congregation as it conducted its first Rosh Hashanah service starting on Friday, Sept. 18, Rosh Hashanah Eve, and continuing on Sept. 19, Rosh Hashanah day.

    For the first time in 35 years, a new congregation has been formed expressly for the purpose of serving the needs of the Jewish community of Southwest Marion County and environs.

  • On Sunday, Sept. 8, the Rev. Robert M. Lewis was officially welcomed by the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida, as the second Rector of the Church of the Advent.

  • The most recent business mixer for the West Marion Business Association gave area businesses the opportunity to promote their services. The event was sponsored by Quiet Oaks..

  • A will is one of the most important documents you can create in your lifetime. Think of a will as the financial blueprint of the distribution of your assets after your death. Your will can clearly state who will be guardian of your minor children, who will inherit your assets, when they will inherit your assets, and any conditions that must be met for them to receive your assets. If you die without a valid will, the court does not have your instructions to follow. Therefore, it has no way of knowing how you may have wanted to distribute your assets.

  • The SPCA will be kicking off its new season on Thursday, Sept. 17. The group will be welcoming new and current members at 1 p.m. in Room H of the Arbor Conference Center in On Top of the World Communities. If you live outside On Top of the World, the guard at the front gate will give you directions. Please note that this is a service organization for the entire Marion County area. Residents from all communities who would like to make a difference in the lives of pets in need and their people are welcome. You can come as a guest and then join if you like what you see and hear.

  • According to the Internet site, Bizarre, Crazy, Silly Unknown Holidays, today is the 111th year anniversary of Chiropractic Founders Day. Time to get cracking with some back bending stories.


    A man was very skeptical of chiropractors, but when no other treatment seemed to relieve the chronic pain in his back, he decided to give it a try. Before his first appointment, he told the chiropractor of his reservations, but after a few adjustments he felt better than he had in years. “What do you think now?” the chiropractor asked.

  • What is estate shrinkage? When you die, you will leave behind all your worldly goods. Presumably, you will want these goods, called your estate, to go to your loved ones for their support, or to charity or other specific people, collectively called your beneficiaries. There will be many hands looking for something. Some of your estate will go to your final expenses. Some of it will go to pay attorney’s fees and probate costs. A lot of it may go to pay estate taxes.

  • Since 1981 mystery writer Sandra Brown has attracted legions of fans. This, however, is the first time I’ve read even one of her 50 novels.  It begins with young television reporter Britt Shelley, who has been on an amazing career trajectory, waking beside the corpse of a former police detective with whom she’d been friends for years. Although not an original idea, the twist here is that she’s not immediately aware of his demise. What does disturb her is forgetting the night before and how she ended up in a sleepover with Jay Burgess.

  • Freedom Public Library invites all tweens, grades 4 thru 6, on a Magical Mystery Tour of the new virtual library to “Break the Code” on Wednesday, Sept. 16 and Nov. 4, from 3 to 4 p.m. in the computer lab.

    According to library supervisor Heather Ogilvie, “We are seeking a select group of students to participate on a team of research detectives and unravel a library mystery.”

  • A while back I was getting a haircut when I noticed several copies of the Citizen lying around. I asked Larry, my barber, if he reads Pun Alley. It turns out he reads the puns and jokes, but didn’t remember the Pun Alley name. I told him he now has to read it every week. Today’s column is for him.

    Don’t pin me down