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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



There are some weeks like this one where sitting down to write a column almost gets lost amid all the fun activities going on. So we'll run with a few random thoughts and get this off to the editor before I completely fall asleep on the job.

1. RAGBRAI. What can I say. I spent the moring on Tuesday in Redfield, up at the crack of dawn watching the few hard core bikers start to roll into town. That trickle became a small river of bikes by 9 a.m. and by 11 a.m. it was a flood. Bikes, riders and people everywhere. Complete insanity one might say. Visited with a good number of friendly folks from places near and far, many who had heard of Dexter, Redfield, Earlham and all points around, and many who were completely new to this place. After Monday's ride, the riders enjoyed the scenery and nice weather, although a little warm and were looking forward to thier stop in Waukee on Tuesday night.

2. Of all the comments I heard, none was nicer than hearing "Small groups, that's what these rides are about, and I'm only supporting the small groups trying to raise money!" Redfield put a good foot forward and should be proud of the things they did to host the riders.

3. Speaking of best feet forward. Two exciting developments in our area in regards to area parks. Redfield's new bathrooms are open, and are magnificent. A "good job out of you" goes to everyone there who wouldn't give up getting new bathrooms in the park! In Dexter a hearty group of volunteers have been putting the new equipment together and will be installing it soon. Along with that the new playground barn will be here soon as well. The Dexter park's addition of the walking trail has increased interest and usage of the park, always a good thing and if we continue walking we'll only get healthier!

4. You may notice that work has begun to rebuild the Veterans monument in the Dexter park. Interesting note here folks. Did you know there was a time capsule placed in the top of it? Early reports state that the capsule contained some Dexfield papers, along with Legion items. This is a long overdue project, and rumor is they will be doing similar work with the school bell. Do you suppose there will be another glimpse of the past in that one?

5. In the hot weather please remember to pay special attention to your pets, making sure they have pleanty of fresh water on hand. Also check on those who you know, who might not have air conditioning.

6. The grasshoppers don't seem to bad this year. I noticed a few when I was mowing last week, but were pretty small and hopefully the rain took care of them.

7. Finally this week, it is time to check those cucumber and tomato plants. Paige has had the first two red ripe cherry tomatoes off her plant this week and after somewhat neglecting my garden we've been picking cucumbers the size of small door stops.

Stay cool and we'll see you next week..Remember...we're all in this together.