Animated bugles

Editor, Paul Rosenberger

Editor: Paul Rosenberger




             Clarence Josephson & Lori Jensen

Norm Jensen introduced two University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners - his wife, Lori, and a fellow retired Millikin Chemistry professor, Clarence Josephson.  Lori, a 14-year MG told of her recent experience as co-chairing the annual local Garden Walk.  She brought some flyers explaining how to join the 37,000 Illinois Master Gardeners, whose single goal is to “Help others learn to grow.”  She listed the projects that MGs volunteer for, noting that the MG program began in Macon County about 30 years ago when Stu Hawbaker was the Director of the Extension Office here..  He had observed that the office was called very frequently with horticulture questions and he felt that one person couldn’t handle the job without help.  The first volunteer jobs of the trained MGs even today is to work in the office answering gardening questions from citizens by doing research – actually a continuation of their twelve all-day education classes led by experts from The University of Illinois.  This coming year the classes will occur from January 22 through April 2.  The flyer states the cost of the training is now $150 for in-person classes and $250 for on-line training.  Lori listed the big projects besides the help desk research and the more visible garden walks, include creating and maintaining all but one of the gardens surrounding the Decatur Public library, managing all aspects of a Heritage Garden at the Macon County Conservation at Rock Springs, conducting a profitable plant sale of annuals donated by local nurseries and perennials from MG’s own flowerbeds, offering an educational Gardening Insight seminar, and attending continuing education seminars. 

          Clarence, who, since retiring, has taught high school at LSA for a couple years, is a new MG graduate. He told of the many areas of learning he has enjoyed, including working at the Heritage Garden where the MGs recently harvested many vegetables to donate to Northeast Community Fund’s food bank, researching at the Help Desk ‘panic’ questions about trees, pets, diseases, and soils.  He is now promoting growing milkweeds to hopefully save more Monarch butterflies that are becoming an endangered species.  Now he plans to take another intense training course to become a Master Naturalist offered at the Rock Springs Nature Center. 

          Thanks to both the veteran and the newbie Master Gardeners, Lori and Clarence, for their informative presentation and for their volunteer work to make Decatur a better city.




September 4-5-6 – Great Lakes Regional Convention in Chicago

September 12 – Regular meeting at 7:00 a.m. at Scovill Golf Course Banquet Facility

September ? – Elephant Ear Trailer cleanup at 9:00 a.m. at Mark Kennedy’s storage building

October 7 – Board meeting at 6:50 a.m. at Perkin’s

October ? – Fall hot dog roast at Steve and Pam Wentworth’s





  16 members but no guests arrived on time for our fine fellowship, good food, and excellent program. President Chuck Shonkwiler was absent because he and Sid were in Greece, so president-elect Tom Smith presided. Board Chair Mick Hoehne reported on last Tuesday’s board meeting (minutes were sent out). Some details are in reports below.




  VP Will Sudduth announced that next Friday, August 22, Dave Shields has invited RN Ann Scott, to speak about organ donations. On August 29 we’ll socialize. Here are September assignments: 5 – Norm Jensen; 12 – Mick Hoehne; 19 – Stu Hawbaker; 26 – Social meeting.







Sheriff Stu Hawbaker was absent so deputy Dave Shields jumped into action.  Noting that he was in the minority of ‘still working’ members, he asked all retired members to anti up a quarter.  Then he evidently found an easy trivia question: “What’s the capital of Bulgaria?”  Immediately someone at the head table correctly answered, Sofia.  Dave put all the badges of our absentees in the bag and one of our speakers, Lori Jensen, drew Mike Boliek’s badge for the small pie-pumpkin donated by Jim May.  Absentee Rick McVey’s badge was then pulled so we’ll have a 50/50 roll-over prize next week.






VP Norm Jensen did not set a date to clean the trailer. At the board meeting we agreed to continue our relationships with the Communications Departments at both EIU & ISU to whom we offer two $1000 scholarships to deserving students, with preference to those from Macon County and nearby counties. One of our recurring matching funds has been with Easter Seals; I reported that our local agency changed its name to Independence Point effective September 1, but will maintain its same services, including the AgrAbility; Dick Vissering serves on their advisory board. Another matching donation we’ve given in prior years is the WSOY Food drive.


                         FUTURE PROGRAMS


VP Will Sudduth announced that next Friday, September 12, Mick Hoehne has invited Ron White to explain his hobby of collecting unusual tombstone epitaphs. Other September program assignments: 19 – Stu Hawbaker; 26 – Social meeting.


VP Lance Gauble welcomed Jim Watson today. At the Tuesday board meeting we accepted his application unanimously. We also held a lengthy discussion about ways to make our club more visible and thus attract new members. Of course, one way is for everybody to be alert for opportunities to INVITE MORE GUESTS.




VP Hugh Rowden reported that we’ll soon set the date for our annual October hot-dog roast at Steve and Pam Wentworth’s country farm home. At the board meeting we talked about how we want to reward our spouses for their past (and hopefully future) assistance with our big fund-raisers by catering more parties rather than potlucks.



An elderly man in Florida had owned a large farm for several years.  He had a large pond in the back.  It was properly shaped for swimming, so he fixed it up nice with picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some orange and lime trees.  One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over.  

He grabbed a five-gallon bucket to bring back some fruit.  As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee.  As he came closer, he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond.  He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end.

One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!"  He frowned, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked."  Holding the bucket up, he said, "I'm here to feed the alligator."

Some old men can still think fast.



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