Sunday, July 04, 2004


Happy 4th of July! Today’s the day we celebrate our freedoms, including one of the most precious ones, the freedom to have fun. Despite all the tough things that face us, we’re a nation that gives the pursuit of happiness a high priority. And that’s good. Here’s to United States of America . . . one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty, justice and humor for all. – With love, S.


A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
— Ecclesiastes 3:4

Worked on one too many charity fund-raisers lately? Goodness gland squeezed dry? Find yourself a little burned out on do-goodism . . . or maybe FRIED to a CRISP?

Then you may like this account of an all-American table display and wine-tasting party that got a little out of control.

I love their name: “The PMS Club.” They held their fund-raiser in an Iowa workplace on a recent Saturday, as reported in The Imogene Hub.***

Quoting from that newspaper:

On the day of the event Kim was the first to have her table set using an old plate that she accidentally spilled paint on. She called it “hand-painted china.” She described her silverware as being from the WalMart Collection, and had it wrapped in a rubber band. Her goblet was chipped glass and her centerpiece was weeds from her back yard, or in her words, “native grasses.”

Maureen Campin chose to set her table in what she called “mid-century.” Her main focus was a turquoise Melmac plate from circa 1958 and a red aluminum drinking glass. She said all they ate in the ‘50s were sandwiches, so she didn’t have silverware.

Mary Ellen King showed creativity with a paper plate and a goblet created from an Old Style can with the top cut out. Her setting was completed with a knife, fork and spoon individually wrapped in plastic that she saved from her last stay at the hospital. A plastic ashtray with Emerald Isle advertising on it served as her centerpiece.

The only person presenting genuine china was Ver Keasling. She said it was Japanese Fukagawa and admitted that it was an ugly pattern but said she bought it because she liked to say the name. Her centerpiece was a spray of plastic flowers with a “Rest in Peace” ribbon that she salvaged from the cemetery after Memorial Day.

Other tables were set with various patterns of Corelle and featured humdrum centerpieces like Kleenex carnations and faded Veteran’s Day poppies.

Therese brought wine from the vineyards of Kellyo and Patio Hugheso in the Farmer City Valley. Next to the wine she stacked little pointy Dixie cups she ripped off from a hotel bathroom. Before the doors opened Kay O’Connor added the finishing touches with her napkins and as she placed a Kotex on each table she apologized for their being yellowed from age.

The mob outside numbered two. Among the crowd were Kim’s husband Gil and the McNeilly shop foreman, Gary Bosley. Kim failed to mention the PMS Club project to her husband and the men were there to work. They refused to pay to get in but reconsidered when they saw the wine table.

The first wine that Therese offered was from the 2003-04 vintage and was called “Chateau Traileur Parc.” She described it as tart with lush aromas of vinegar. She said if one didn’t like the taste, one could always use it for making pickles or cleaning glass.

“White Trashfindel” was the next sample that Therese described as wet, yet dry. She said that according to Patio Hugheso, “White Trashfindel” is the wine of choice to be served with Velveeta cheese.

“Chef Boyardeaux” was the third bottle Therese uncorked. She sniffed the cork, licked it, then took a drink straight from the bottle before proclaiming it to be a full-bodied wine with a helluva kick. She said Patio told her “Chef Boyardeaux” is excellent paired with pasta, and Kellyo suggested Spaghettios.

As her finale Therese brought out the sample everyone had been waiting for, called “Chateau des Moines.” Vinted and bottled right there in Farmer City Valley, the taste was the perfect blend of corn and alcohol with yeast accents.

As the program was ending, two more men arrived and again refused to pay admission. The man doing the talking kept shouting, “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms!” Kim thought one of the club members ordered supplies but when she didn’t see a truck, she pushed the button on her McNeilly Garage Door operator and shut the door in their ugly, screaming faces.


***Reprinted with permission. I highly recommend you subscribe to The Imogene Hub. Its motto: “Lighten up & laugh.” AMEN! It comes monthly for $12 a year. Send checks to 1485 390 Ave., Imogene, IA 51645.


Prayer request: America’s greatest power comes from her dependence on God and His principles. One of those is balance, as shown in our Constitution’s Bible-based, three-estate system of executive, legislative and judicial branches. Father, we praise You for this perfect system of government. We pray for strength to continue to build and sustain freedom in this not-so-perfect world. (Isaiah 33:22)

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