OVER THE LONG Fourth of July holiday, people were getting out of town with a vengeance, traveling to their cabin, their favorite camping park, or visiting with friends and families.

The long winter with Covid and the high vaccination rate in Minnesota and Wisconsin gave people a sense of freedom and they took advantage of it.

FOR A GREAT fireworks show, you take 20 minutes and fire off multiple cannons continuously. The sky lights up beautifully and the crowds ooh and aah and leave with a good feeling. The cost of fireworks for a display like that is about $25,000. With the Fourth on a Sunday night this year and beautiful weather, White Bear Lake as usual had crowds on the shore and on the water. Good job, volunteers.

LIVING IN YOUR 80s has an advantage when it comes to enjoying great-grandchildren. Kathy and I were invited to join four great-grandchildren at Inver Woods Golf Course in Inver Grove Heights for the Minnesota PGA Junior ‘Sota Series. Olivia Foster, age 8, from Indio, California shot an 80. Mara Schneider, age 9, from Chanhassen shot a 60 and took third place in her class. Conner Schneider, age 11, from Chanhassen shot a 43. Patrick Foster, age 9, from Indio, California shot a 79. Our eldest daughter, Julie Johnson, and her husband, Craig, are the grandparents and avid golfers.

The ‘Sota Series is comprised of four unique tours based on age and skill level. Each year they offer 180 individual events allowing children to play in as few or as many events as they would like.

IT’S ENCOURAGING TO have the Centers for Disease Control come out with their guidelines for Covid early enough for the schools this fall.

It will be good to have children back in the classroom so parents can plan their work schedules accordingly. That may provide necessary employment with so many stores, offices and restaurants having a difficult time hiring staff.

VACCINATIONS WILL HAVE to continue and some surveys indicate that people are looking for lottery tickets to encourage them to get vaccinated even more than gift card incentives.

MINNEAPOLIS CONTINUES TO be crime ridden with shootings, violence and damage to property. It’s been recommended they get more police on duty, but it’s not easy to find qualified people and get them trained. The police shortage in Minneapolis is long overdue.

Not all police departments carry individual body cameras. Is that a good idea to be considered for small towns throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin?

I have a question as to whether it’s necessary to chase vehicles in a city without regard to speed. Innocent people are getting killed. I thought a long time ago those kinds of chases by police were curtailed.

HEART ATTACKS AND other cardiovascular diseases are America’s number one killer. The American Heart Association provided stroke warning signs and heart attack warning signs. Review them, post them and keep them in mind.

Stroke Warning Signs Face drooping. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

Arm weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech difficulty. Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 9-1-1. If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.


Gene Johnson is publisher emeritus of Press Publications.

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