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The print version of this column hits the stands on Independence Day, our country’s birthday. So happy Fourth of July to one and all.

For me, this holiday brings to mind all who served this country, including my own ancestors who served in the American Revolution, the Civil War and World War I. My grandpa fought in the first World War and I still have his mess kit, which consists of a two-parted, oval, aluminum dish with partitions. The band that locks the two halves in place, when unfolded, serves as a handle and thus the top half of the mess kit can be used as a frying pan. The original knife, which is marked, “U.S. 1918,” remains but the fork went missing years ago.

One of my earliest memories was of being in a store and seeing a tall, elderly man with long white hair and a flowing beard. My mother told me that he had served in the Civil War. I also spoke with people, other than Grandpa, who served in World War I. And today, the ranks are thinning on even those who served in the second World War and the Korean War.

But memory and written history never fade and today, July 4, 2019, we can honor their memories by thinking of them and contemplating their sacrifice. This goes for those who fought in more recent wars as well as those who are currently serving in the military. Thank you all and may God bless you and may he also bless America, the greatest country in the world.

The little town of Waldo has no official holiday celebration, but area residents can visit the neighboring town of Brooks and take in an early-morning breakfast hosted by First Church of Brooks at the Varney Memorial Building, followed by the annual Brooks Fourth of July parade.

As for me, I plan on staying home and feasting on lobster and clams from Kirby’s Seafood in Waldo.

Perchin’ prediction

It was, “row, row, row your boat” for me one day last week. While trolling on Swan Lake, my motor experienced problems and despite cranking until it seemed my arm would fall off, the thing wouldn’t start. So I began rowing. After rowing for an indeterminable time, some kind people in pontoon boat saw me and towed me back to the public landing. Oh, and though I fished for three hours before the motor broke down, I never got a bite.

In the garden

“Knee high by Fourth of July,” goes the old saying regarding status of sweet corn on July 4. But for most of us this year, our corn still has a way to go before it reaches knee height.

All the same, most plants are finally putting on some serious growth. Summer squash will soon have blossoms and tomatoes have already set blossoms. Green beans lag behind, however. But they will catch up now that we have warmer days and as important, regular sunlight.

Weekly quote

“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh, but the earth abideth forever.”  — From Abraham Lincoln’s annual message to Congress, December 1, 1862.