I was immediately saddened when I read that actor Andy Griffith died today (July 3) at the age of 86.
Known for his stoic, but big-hearted character as Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, the news of Andy’s death brings with it memories of the lesson-bearing episodes set in sleepy Mayberry, North Carolina.
But his passing is also reminiscent of an iconic, earlier time when small town neighbors were not only nosy, but keeping a watchful eye out for their own. It was a time when families ate their evening dinner together and retired to the front porch to catch-up with each other and share the day’s gossip. While one person spoke, the other listened. It was when even if real dads didn’t have time to take their sons fishing on a lazy afternoon, they wanted to--oh, so badly--like fictional Andy did. Women wore skirts, and sometimes gloves and hats, and men polished their shoes. Children chased ice cream trucks on hot, summer days and knew their place in the family. And when they talked back to their parents, they soon realized their error.
It wasn’t a perfect time, but it was a slower time. I hope they air a few reruns on the “tube” in the next few days. I could use a deep breath or two, myself.
Editor’s Note: Reruns of Andy Griffith are on the TV Land channel.
Timber Lake Playhouse Experience
By no means am I a film critic, or in a position to consider myself an expert in the performing arts. As a professional artist and one that values and appreciates the talent and gifts of those in the performing arts, I must share my experience recently at Timberlake Playhouse (TLP) in Mt. Carroll, IL.
I have attended TLP since I was 10 years old and living in Chicago. My grandparents would bring us to the theatre to enjoy live performances, of which I enjoyed immensely. As a child, my family took me to various plays, concertos, musicals and other performing art events throughout the Chicagoland.
I have seen and thoroughly enjoyed every show of the 2012 season (and previous seasons) at TLP. It is one of those bittersweet beginnings to the year-as I know the commencement of the season brings forth the things I enjoy most about summer-sunshine, warmth, fresh lemonade, the smell of sweet corn, fireflies amid the full moon, and the bustle of people, new and familiar, in the beautiful downtown of Mt. Carroll. However, I also know from experience, that the TLP season seems to come and go so quickly, and thus, my summer seems to end too abruptly.
Last night, I attended the opening night of Footloose at TLP. Having not seen the movie production since I was a child, I was looking forward to the interpretation of the incredible talented performers of our community’s theatre in the woods. I was completely blown away by the impeccable talent, passion, fervor and joy that abounded the stage and the audience at last night’s performance. Clearly, we are blessed beyond measure by a group of individuals that are naturally gifted and USING their gifts to their full potential. As I sat in my chair during the performance in awe of the musical and acting talent on stage, I couldn’t help but feel slightly inadequate and on the side of average-but thankful, nonetheless, to be in the presence of the ethereal energy that permeated the walls of the theatre.
The energy didn’t stop when the lights and music ended-as I exited the theatre, I have NEVER seen or experienced such an intense energy and jubilation of the patrons and theatre company. The story of Footloose seemed to perfectly blend together the story of putting aside our past, our experiences, our color, our religion, our beliefs and our bias’ for the sake of just loving and enjoying life...together.
Growing up in Chicago and now living and calling a small town my home, I understand the different worlds that each represent. Often each of us feel our “home” is only where we live. However, there can be joy in every place, once we realize we are all in this together.
Nevertheless, I hope it is not too late for you to experience Footloose at TLP. The zealousness and effervescence that spills over from the board members, directors, choreographers, musicians, lighting, sound, actors, managers, support staff and community members make TLP a successful theatre, leaving lifelong impressions on your mind, heart, and course of life.
If you miss the show (which is not recommended), do not miss the chance to dance.
Elizabeth “Elly” Chambers
Photography by Elly
Mt. Carroll, IL
The liberals are trying to demonize the Tea Party. Don’t let them fool you. We are the party of our parents and our grandparents. They knew that government cannot spend more than it takes in year after year.
Were we were sleeping? No! Were we working and paying off our mortgages and taxes? Yes, and we did not notice the expansion of government jobs and programs were growing like a cancer. Yes, we need policemen, firemen, and school teachers, but not to the magnitude they have evolved. Illinois is broke! The government pension system’s most optimistic figure is $85 billion in debt. Joshua Rauh, Northwestern University economist, says it is $213 billion in debt. They need to go to a 401(k) system, like most of us have.
When we see a meeting of the powers that be such as our county board, police, and schools, it is always some sort of scheme to get more money out of us without calling it a tax increase. Pensions are going to have to be cut on the upper end.
People in the private sector have seen their 401(k)s dwindle. The only difference is that they cannot go to the taxpayer and get more! Leave the pensions of $60,000 or less alone. Any over that can take a 10% cut. We have over 5,200 state pensions receiving $100,000 plus. The top one is Tapas Gupta (State University System) at $402,418.
Do you feel like donating more to support the top pensioners? Do you feel like shifting the pension burden to the local school districts like Governor Quinn desires?
If you - like the Stephenson County Tea Party does - believe in limited government, cutting wasteful spending, lowering taxes, more transparency, and giving the people more say in the decisions of expensive projects (such as Mill Race), then stop and see us at the great “Stephenson County Fair” from July 10-14.
No Tea Party meeting this month. See you at the Fair!
Stephenson County Tea Party
Grieving For Liberty
What does the John Roberts Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare mean? My first impulse, hearing of the decision, was to imagine it a net positive. I said to myself, “This will surely mobilize opposition to the leftist president who gave us this piece of garbage!”
I thought of other positives. The President could not claim a “politicized High Court.” Roberts, a Republican, was voting with four justices appointed by Democrats. Had Roberts decided to make conservatives the scrappy underdogs, for the sake of the November election? He did say in his opinion, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” Could you be any clearer, Chief Justice Roberts?
So, though I couldn’t imagine that the Court would uphold the law, given the remarks of justices in oral arguments, should I be grateful for the decision? And so I was, until I read the July 4th Liberty Legal Foundation piece, “Grieving for freedom.”
The piece called my reaction to the decision a form of denial, the first stage of grief. It said that, “Now Congress can regulate anything, as long as it forces us to comply by “taxing” non-compliance.” It said further that, “The Constitution was supposed to prevent any Congress from enacting any legislation that violates fundamental freedoms,” and, “if we must now depend upon winning every single election in order to keep our freedom, then freedom has no chance of surviving for our grandchildren.”
I’m not feeling so well now. Those who love the Constitution meet in Rockton the third Thursday each month at 302 W. Main Street at 6:30 pm. We have to keep fighting.
(The article referred to, Grieving For Freedom, is reprinted with permission HERE)
With the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare, we now face an egregious threat to personal liberty and religious freedom. It gives government bureaucrats alarming power over individual’s healthcare decisions and will lead to conflicts of conscience.
Contrary to their promises to Congress as well as to the general public, proponents of Obamacare have succeeded in arguing to the Supreme Court that the individual mandate is now federal tax. People of faith will now be forced to either abandon their religious beliefs or resist and be fined with a “tax,” as this onerous law forces insurance companies to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilizations, and many types of abortions.
We urge our national lawmakers to repeal the law and take a reasonable approach to reforming what’s wrong with healthcare. The federal reach into the lives of each and every American citizen is of grave concern and the accompanying threats to freedom of conscience challenge the very concept of liberty.
We hope and pray that this monumental decision will be the catalyst to awaken and unite American voters – especially people of faith – this November, and that voter choose to reaffirm our individual and Constitutional liberties through the choices they make at the ballot box.
Last week the big news for all of us was the highest court in the land upholding Obama Care. The news impacting senior citizens in Illinois was that Governor Quinn signed into law major Medicaid reform designed to save you the Illinois taxpayer over $2 billion.
The program will cut Medicaid spending, step up efforts to fight fraud and abuse in the program, raise revenue, and reduce smoking by adding $1.00 a pack to the cost of cigarettes. It also provides new federal funding for hospitals all designed to save the Medicaid program which had been on track to financial disaster without the implementation of a total of 62 changes. The most important for seniors was the elimination of Illinois Cares RX, a program providing low cost prescription drugs to qualified senior citizens.
Since 2006 Medicare Part D has been providing pharmaceutical help to senior citizens, most states shortly thereafter eliminated the programs that they had which were similar to Illinois Cares RX. What angered Illinois seniors the most was receiving the information nine days before it was to be eliminated on July 1, 2012.
I would be the first to agree, inexcusable. I don’t believe the push back would have been nearly so drastic if seniors had received, say, thirty days notice instead of nine.
It’s fair to say that no one wants to lose an entitlement no matter what it is. If you are 93, blind, in a wheel chair, on a fixed income, and you are told, oh, by the way, in nine days the prescriptions that have been filled at minimal charge to you will now come out of your pocket, it’s devastating.
Our area senior centers do an amazing job. Under the leadership of Kelly Hillan, Stephenson County Senior Center organized a meeting for seniors on June 27, 2012. I attended. I now know what Daniel felt when he walked into the lions’ den. The good news is the senior center did an amazing job of getting out the information to help those affected by this change.
Whatever you do, don’t quit taking your medication.
There are numerous programs available to fill this void. Low income subsidy assistance is available to those receiving Medicare.
Most importantly, make the phone call. Our area senior centers are certainly there to offer help. Important phone numbers for you are The Health Benefit Hotline at 1-800-226-0768; Medicare counseling is available to 1-800-548-9034. Area senior centers can be contacted. Always feel free to contact my office at 1-815-232-0774. We will help direct you. Don’t ever hesitate to contact your doctor. They often have free samples to help you through the changeover.
I will be at the Warren Village Hall, July 11, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., please join me for coffee and conversation. That same afternoon I will be at the Elizabeth Village Hall to discuss your concerns.