Real Wealth Society

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I’ve been thinking about celebrations & afterglow by Fred Cederholm

Greetings Wendy;

I can't believe that happened. We had our annual Creston Booster Days celebration this weekend and it was also Creston's Sesquicentennial this year --- so I got behind in my responses. Sorry for the tardiness of my reply -- I apologize.

That story was "proofed" by four others and nobody caught the gaff. Neither did any of the 25,000+ people who read it at the various web postings (besides you at least no one else wrote me about it). TH*NK*NG is templated so it drops in the same space each week. That is more important for the print editions. After I write it, it gets edited down to be the same number of lines by me before I send it off.

All the information IS actually correct; but because of the edits, a reader didn't get the "apples to potatos" error in the facts as they were finally presented.

The 93 per 10,000 in New York refers to the ratio for the "incarcerated population" and not the "general population." New York State still has the highest ratio of law enforcement personnel to the general population at large. THAT is still a bit less than 1 per 1,000 people like the column states. Somehow when I edited those two sentences and deleted about 9 words, you are absolutely correct that the math and the logic doesn't flow. What I said was all true, it just "looks" screwed-up.

In the "logic of the syllogism," there is a latin phrase which describes what happened here: POST HOC PRAETER HOC, IPSE NON CREDERE (after this before that, the same is not to believe). You are a very thoughtful reader and this was a good catch. It is doubly embarassing to me because I'm a CPA, CFE, and forensic accountant -- so much for credibility. It will probably take a week (or more) to get the corrections made. When I first started writing TH*NK*NG, the mini-bio had me as a "Certified Pubic Accountant." THAT definately did not fit my small town fundamentalist Lutheran upbringing (or personna).

I really do make every effort to be correct and include hyperlinks to my factual sources so my readers can "audit" my columns.

Keep on reading, and definately keep on TH*NK*NG.

Fred C

Here are the past two week's columns which will not appear at the BC, Vheadline, Moneyfiles, Real Wealth Society, or Smirking Chimp because they are "warm fuzzies" about Creston. (Next week I'll be dealing with oxymorons, and the Orwellian use of double speak ---- Civil War, friendly fire, Aggressors for Peace, soft torture, gentle murder. etc. ) I'm not the only one who doesn't always catch the absurdity of what I say (or write).

Column for on/after Sept. 10th, 2006

I’ve been thinking about celebrations. Actually I’ve been thinking about 50 years, 150 years, Booster Days, parades, the Sesquicentennial, reunions, food, and memories. Celebrations are times when we gather together with family, friends, and neighbors at special events to commemorate something. They are a coming together for good times and fellowship. “Memories, like the corners of my mind…”

You see this coming weekend little Creston, Illinois will hold a double celebration. The events will acknowledge our 50th gathering for Creston Booster Days. They will also mark the culmination of activities commemorating Creston’s Sesquicentennial. While I am not old enough to remember (first hand) what transpired in our village during its full 150 year history, I must admit I remember almost all of the prior 50 Booster Days. OK… my memories of the earliest celebrations have been prodded by the archives of photographs and color slides - as the saying goes, “paper remembers, so we can forget.”
Recollections of the first one center around my family’s entries in the parades. In the children’s parade, I was decked out in a plaid shirt and ragged straw hat with a bandanna around my neck. I pulled my little red wagon decorated to the max with crepe paper. In the wagon were my two big white rabbits. I didn’t win a prize, but I had a great time proceeding down Creston’s main street waiving at the crowd with bunnies in tow. My parents had constructed a float in our garage for the Creston Creamery. It had white petal paper and bright green trim. The focal point was a very large mock-up of a Lily Brand Butter carton which my mother created while my father was constructing the decorated base on an old wooden utility wagon. The float was pulled by Robert Gommel’s red tractor and little David (then age 2) helped.

Since float building was new to all of us. The week beforehand was spent going from garage to garage and shed to shed and corn crib to corn crib helping others realize the dreams of their “moving” creations for the parade. The people of Creston worked together on this celebration from the very beginning. I particularly remember the “sausage works” from the Lang’s Royal Blue grocery store float, and a huge flying ear of corn that highlighted the Dekalb AgResearch float. The Booster Club entry was propelled by the members themselves – pulling together for the betterment of the community even then.

The Booster Days event is far more than just the parades, although they are a big drawing point.

It really is about Crestonites – past, present, and future – coming together to share stories, to share memories, and to share photographs. It is a celebration of what is going on in our lives and provides a chance to renew friendships and relationships. In honor of the Sesquicentennial there will be a special Creston Grade School and Creston High School all-school reunion on Saturday, September 16th. There seem to be a lot of alums returning from all parts of the country for this segment of our celebration.

When attendees are not talking, sharing, hugging, and kissing; I guarantee that most of them will be doing a lot of eating. Consumption of “culinary delights” is definitely a central part of Booster Days. The feasting begins on Friday night with a steak cookout in the bus barn. Saturday (and Sunday) there will be the usual burgers, BBQs, corn dogs, pork chop sandwiches, funnel cakes, and home made pies. Sunday before the parade, Headon’s will provide their legendary barbequed pork chops with cole slaw, potato salad, dinner rolls, and lemonade. Between the pork chop sandwiches served and the Headon’s barbequed chops consumed, it will take the local piggy population a full year to recover.

In addition to the conversation and the eating, there will be the usual carnival rides, continuous entertainment, a vintage baseball game, and a huge fireworks display (Saturday evening). There will be karaoke singing which feature local American Idol wanabees. This year a “Game Show Gurus” trivia contest has been added. Who knows what celebrity superstars will emerge from these events?

For me the highpoint comes on Sunday morning with the community church service in the park. At the conclusion of that service, the current recipient of the Theodore Cederholm Community Service Award is announced. Creston is a very special community only because of the hundreds of hours of hard work given each year by self-sacrificing individuals. Things/events do not just happen. They only come about because of the dedication and hard work of local individuals.
The current year’s celebratory events may come and go, but the memories of what transpired this weekend will last forever. They will join all the other “histories of our little village on the hill” when we celebrate 50 years of Booster Days and commemorate 150 years of Creston. I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.

Copyright Questions, Inc. 2006 all right reserved.

Column for on/after Sept. 17th, 2006 by Fred Cederholm
I’ve been thinking about afterglow. Actually I’ve been thinking about Creston Booster Days, steaks, reunions, pork chops, the parade, attendance, awards, and rain. The 50th annual Creston Booster Days and the combined celebration for the Sesquicentennial of the Village of Creston are behind us. The past weekend is now a part of our ongoing history – and what a weekend it was!
You see Booster Park has been restored to normalcy. The trash has all been gathered and sent to the landfill. All the countless volunteers and the “usual suspects” who coordinated so many things are moving a tad bit slower. Things are back to a regular routine. Sure… there may “some” lingering aches, pains, and stiffness; but the memories if this past weekend will stay with us forever. There are smiles on the faces and an inner feeling of satisfaction for a job (and a celebration) so well done. There is an aura and a real sense of pride in what was accomplished. There is clearly an afterglow effect.

Last Friday, 150 tickets for the steak dinner were pre-sold. Over 50 more people showed up (hoping to join in the feast) without getting their tickets in advance. Unfortunately not everyone could be accommodated - that is why we sell the tickets in advance folks, sorry! Skinner’s Carnival rides ran from 7 to 9 and from the top of the Ferris wheel you could see the lights of NIU in DeKalb and those of the Global III Inter-modal in Rochelle. I’m so glad I didn’t join in the “Trivia Blitz;” my reputation as a trivia-ologist would have been completely trashed. (Just who are Brittany Spears and 50 cent, anyway?)

The all-school reunion at CGS on Saturday was so much fun for those who came/participated. The school hallways and gymnasium were filled with alumnae. There were many old class pictures, old yearbooks, and candid picture boards displayed to prod memories. There were hugs and kisses and handshakes galore. I wonder how many more pictures were taken and added to personal collections and archives during those three hours? There is clearly an afterglow effect.

If Saturday didn’t set all-time records for carnival rides taken, food consumed, and friendships renewed; it certainly should have. The fireworks display was even more spectacular than usual. The special initial ground display of the Village of Creston logo set the standard for what followed. There was clearly an afterglow effect that lingered on well beyond all the ooohs and aahhs.
Sunday began with the community church service in the park and the announcement of Gene Roinas as the recipient of the 2006 Cederholm Award for community service. Headon’s Pork Chop BBQ sold out and was absolutely delicious – as always. (Alas… poor Porky, I knew him well.) The parade which followed set a recent record for the number of floats. First prize went to New Beginnings Baptist Church, second went to St. Johns Lutheran Church, third went to the Flagg-Rochelle Public Library, fourth went to First National Bank (Rochelle), and fifth went to Bee’s Crane Service.

Booster Days was clearly on its way to setting a number of all time records when the sky began to darken and the rain began to fall. While the rain may have forced the cessation of the vintage baseball game (which had only just started), the carnival rides were stopped, and the karaoke event had to be cancelled; the rain didn’t really dampen the spirits of the revelers. There was still bingo in the bus barn, and there was still more food available. Pork chop sandwiches continued until about 3:30 PM and burgers, hotdogs and corndogs, BBQ’s, pie and beverages were sold until 7 PM.

Community Awards were not announced from the stage because of the rain, but the certificates will still be delivered to the recipients during the week to come. Most Improved Property went to McInerney’s for the renovation of the “Sam Heal House” and to Young’s for renovation of the “Buster Hansen House.” Certificates for Outstanding Comprehensive Landscaping went to the Dan and Linda Graber, the Morales Family, Greg and Judy Hopkins, Sandra Muraira, and Chuck Martinson. Certificates for Outstanding Colorful Plantings went to Dick Young, Victoria Powers, Charlotte Berg, Bill Middleton, and Ron and Betty Jones. Certificates for Outstanding Lawns went to Bob Garland, Bill Snyder, Don and Dede Forrest, David and Sharon Brown, and Dorothy Lockard. These acknowledge work done to maintain and beautify the Village of Creston.

While the events of the past weekend are now behind us, a heartfelt thank you goes out to all who worked and participated in the festivities. Booster Days may have turned 50 and the Village may have turned 150, but we can sure still throw one “heck” of a party. You all come back now, next year - our best is yet to be. I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.

Copyright Questions, Inc. 2006 all right reserved.


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