• Forgive me if I have said this before, but, “Happy New Year.” It may be the epitome of redundancy but I have given this greeting for 60 years and I mean it as sincerely this year as I have all the years preceding.
    The first few years of my life, I had no teeth and so all I could say was “Goo-goo, daa-daa.” It meant the same thing. This year I have all of my teeth but I am not certain how many more years.
    The way we start life is the way we usually end life, with no teeth and drooling all the time with a silly grin on our face.

  • Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we diet. Since Thanksgiving it’s been an epoch of dinners and parties with alluring food and drink. This week is Diet Resolution Week, a good time for you to think about controlling your figure.
    To start you on your way we look at a number of think or slim stories.

    It’s Biblical

  • Although I may look a little stodgy on the outside with a few gray hairs blossoming on the top, I still know how to celebrate, and this is the time of the year to do that sort of thing. I love a good Christmas celebration.
    For the last few years, I have never had to check my calendar to know when it is time to celebrate the Christmas season. It seems that the Thanksgiving turkey always gives rise to what I shall refer to as the Holiday Turkey. No sooner is my Thanksgiving turkey resting snugly inside of me when the Holiday Turkeys begin their assault on Christmas.

  • Christmas is Sunday. There’s still time to do that last-minute shopping where you get to fight everyone else to get those perfect gifts before the stores close. This can wear you to a frazzle. So, while the kids anxiously await the arrival of Santa Claus, take a break, relax and stop at Pun Alley for some punny stories.

    Santa’s bull
    Every Christmas Eve, Santa’s reindeer complete a long and tiring journey. Before they depart, Santa’s sled has to be pulled to several North Pole stops while it is loaded.

  • The Ocala Symphony Orchestra plays tonight on the downtown square as part of the light-up Ocala activities. As a prelude to this excellent music, I’m marching down Pun Alley beating my own drum and blowing my horn to produce the following discordant notes.

    Out of tune

  • The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage had commandeered the Christmas decorating operation for yet another year. I am not quite sure how she remembers when to start all of this, because the thought had not yet entered my mind.
    Here it is Christmas and I am about as prepared for Christmas this year as I was last year. One of the great things about my wife is that she keeps all of these holidays in order and on time. I am still reeling from my Thanksgiving Day turkey indulgence.

  • Jews have been called the People of the Book for centuries. Actually we could be called the people of the books since we are forever preoccupied with texts. In fact, Judaism is a text-based religion with its emphasis on the Torah, Prophets, Writings, Talmud and all the commentaries.
    With all the attention given to books, it is no wonder that Jews have set aside a whole month to highlight and promote writings of Jewish interest and/or by Jewish authors.
    Actually it was a librarian at the Boston Public Library who came up with the idea.

  • It was a wise person who divided the year into 12 months. I really do not know who came up with this idea but let me go on record in saying that it was a good one. Each month seems to have its own peculiar value. Some months are better than others.
    For example, I am not a member of January’s fan club. I am not sure if it is the longest month of the year but at times, it sure seems to be. I mean, after all of the excitement typically leading up to the month of January, is it any wonder it seems to be such a dull month.

  • On Dec. 5 President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of 1848 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California. It actually started earlier in that year but did not have countrywide publicity. Our own Ocala gold rush also started slowly with a few places buying gold until now we have vacant storefronts, closed gas stations and previous fast food joints all open as gold-buying business.

  • Thanksgiving is next Thursday, a day when we all should be thankful for our life, blessings, and liberty in the USA. Many celebrate by having a big turkey dinner with family members they haven’t seen for a while. It’s a day when the turkey gets stuffed in the morning and the family in the afternoon. It can also be a fun day with stories from Pun Alley.

    Good hunting
    Last year I had my chance to do the traditional thing of shooting my own turkey for Thanksgiving. Man, you should have seen the people scatter in the meat department!

  • Thanksgiving is my kind of holiday. Apart from the “thanks” part, the primary purpose of this celebration is eating. That is the one thing I do quite well.
    Thanksgiving is the beginning of a feasting frenzy that would make Richard Simmons sweat to the goodies. Any thoughts of dieting at this time of the year are merely blowing in the wind. Hopefully, not in my direction.
    Our Pilgrim Fathers came up with the idea of a Thanksgiving feast. The Pilgrim Mothers were too busy doing the wash and caring for the children to think of any more work.

  • Marie Kindler, a resident at The Bridge at Ocala, who has been at The Bridge a little over a year, celebrated her 102nd birthday on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
    She has one daughter, Evelyn. She was born in Hamburg, Germany, moved to the U.S. in 1928 when she was 18 years old. Marie lived with a very nice Jewish family. She attended school to learn English at night. She worked for the Jewish family in their home as the “upstairs girl.” She made the beds and cleaned the bathrooms.

  • Today is Veterans Day, a holiday to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on Nov. 11, the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I.
    Our parade down Pun Alley starts with a twenty-one-pun salute to honor our veterans.

  • If you missed our first two Terrific Tuesdays, you don’t want to miss the rest! Sponsored by the Friends of Freedom Public Library, every Tuesday afternoon brings a different kind of active exhibit throughout November. Join us for terrific events from 2 to 5 p.m. Mark your calendars.

    Nov. 15
    Freedom Writers Group of Florida Writers Association presents a fascinating lineup of activities.
    In the character of “Dolores Cribbs,” storyteller Kathy Dobronyi leads off at about 2:15 talking about Florida in Cracker style.

  • I was reminded recently that the only thing growing in my family tree are fruits and nuts. Personally, I am not sure if I am a fruit or a nut. Just do not ask my wife.
    I had been away for so long I had forgotten many things about my family. My recent visit served as a refresher course reminding me why I had moved away in the first place. Memory sometimes pays little tricks causing us to remember the “good old days” and forgetting that sprinkled in among the good are ample portions of what I call good-challenged moments and characters.

  • The Third Annual Kiss the Horse for Literacy finale will take place on Dec. 3 at Hennessey Arabian Farms (12780 N.W. 35th St. Ocala) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Advance ticket prices are as follows: Adults $10, Students $5, under 10 free. At the gate, prices are: Adults $14, Students $8, under 10 free. Catering will be provided by Mojo Grill. Horse shows will occur hourly until the Kiss Off at 2:45 p.m.

  • Recently, I needed to make a trip to visit some relatives. These days, the way the economy and gas prices are it turns out to be cheaper to fly. Even though, airlines no longer serve the delicious food of which they became famous.

  • Living in the middle of horse country makes it hard for us to realize that Florida’s cattle industry is one of the 15 largest in the United States. In 1521 Ponce de Leon brought horses and cattle to Florida, making it the oldest cattle raising state in the nation.
    In addition to ranches, diary farms throughout Florida bring some stories to this week’s Pun Alley.

    Sonny’s place