Village Chat for March 15 2020
Guess who popped into our office the other day? Former Kenwood postal worker Angelo Parisi. Angelo now lives in Lake County with his wife Erica. When he lived in Kenwood, Angelo, an avid astronomer, was a very active volunteer with the Robert Ferguson Observatory. After retiring from the Postal Service, he landed a dream job as manager of the Lake County Office of Education's Taylor Observatory/Norton Planetarium. Angelo says that the night sky is a lot darker in Lake County, and the observatory is at a higher elevation than the Sugarloaf observatory, so there is less particulate matter in the air, which makes for better viewing. Meanwhile, Erica, a costume designer, has started a dream business of her own, hiwirecostumes.com, designing and manufacturing costumes for aerial performers. Both of them are doing what they love and using their creativity, so things really couldn't be better.
One of the epic rescues Tracy recounts in her book is the 1925 Serum Run from Iditarod to Nome to deliver diphtheria anti-toxin to the town that was facing an epidemic. It's the genesis of the modern day Iditarod Sled Dog Race, and Kenwood's own Catherine Jefferson is in Alaska right now for the second year in a row, volunteering at the starting line and cheering on the dogs and their mushers.
The race doesn't actually start in Iditarod. Catherine wrote in an email, “On Saturday in Anchorage there is what they call the ceremonial start. People call it the fake start. They put snow on the streets, and introduce each musher and let them take off and they do a big circle. My security position was to keep the VIPs behind a rope, so they could not get into the chute where the mushers start. It's a big party. People get drunk, and they have the running of the reindeer. Look that up on YouTube. Then they trailer the dogs up to a place called Willow, and they put the volunteers on buses, and drive them two hours through the snow. And so on Sunday is what they call the restart, where the mushers really start their thousand-mile epic journey to Nome, Alaska.”
Things are pretty quiet around here, with a number of events cancelled due to an abundance of caution over the COVID-19 virus. We've all turned into obsessive hand washers, but we're still venturing out and about. Let us know what you're doing during this weird time. What are your strategies for staying well without going overboard? We'd like to hear about that.
In any event, that's all I have for now. Please send in your own news and photos for Village Chat. It's easy to do. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP