Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Hebron Crossroads 8-15-04
By Jeff Gill

If you see this before Saturday afternoon, Aug. 14, an opening note to lay this paper down where you can find it later, and run down to Hebron United Methodist Church on E. Main between 4:30 and 7 for their Ice Cream Social.
They’ll have the usual array of tasty food, ice cream, and a chance to meet Rev. Penny Drenton, their new pastor. Go ahead, I’ll be here when you get back. (Rustle of newsprint, slam of door.)
(Click of door opening, creak of sofa.) All right, now that you’re well fed, let’s talk about the home of fine dining on a stick, the Hartford Fair! Not only fine fair food, but plenty of great weather, a marvelous set of 4-H booths and projects on display (yes, those were plastic water bottles transformed into tropical fish!), and a whole herd – really – of animals shown from around the Hebron Crossroads.
Special congrats to David Cable, Junior Fair Board member from Hebron who got to go to the State Fair after winning the Tractor Rodeo. This is all the more special as his grandfather, John Slater, won the same event at the same age, making it a few years back in Hartford history.
This is one of the delights of the Biggest Little Fair In The World since 1858: family history and continuity and tradition. Like our tradition of getting sick on elephant ears, part of our Gill family heritage. Some families just have a bit more to be proud of, that’s all.
Kindergarten Orientation and Open House at Hebron Elementary is this Thursday, Aug. 19 at 6 pm. Dr. Jeff Geist, our building principal, and members of the kindergarten teaching staff will be in the gymnasium for the opening and in the classrooms to meet parents, grandparents, and guardians with their new school-age charges, as they charge (gently) around the building.
Your friendly neighborhood columnist will be there, disguised as this year’s PTO president, with a few words to share about a new year for our whole building, K through Third Grade, and about our Fall fundraiser which will start in less than two weeks, with a student rally on Friday, Aug. 27. Let’s get it done, and focus on education and improvement through the year with the help of your purchases.
Do you think you’ll hear a bit more the next few weeks about the Hebron PTO fundraiser? As they say in Minnesota, “Yah, youbetcha.”
Back to school for all is Monday, Aug. 23; note the bus stops and the kids waiting in the still well lit dawn, plus the high corn (shoot, the high soybeans!) around the rural intersections. Those big yellow buses will be a’rollin’ hyar soon, and remember to “Stop” when the little red octagon swings out from the side.
Amazing how many people seem vague on what that’s about. Feel free to write down license numbers and share them with your local law enforcement: they’d be happy to help deliver a reminder to those confused drivers.

Many, many little start o’ the school year details to tend to, and little of note to share with y’all at the moment, so I’ll close with this note about health and fitness.
No, not stay off of scooters. But wear your helmet and elbowpads, right?
Seriously, with the end of summer vacation and the start of school, the new schedule is a critical time for kids to make activity a part of their afterschool plan. Others (read: teachers) will tell you more effectively and with stronger incentives than I have just how important doing your homework is when you get home. Let me add a plug for “motion,” a bit before you sit down to study and more after.
With hours of chair piloting behind your child when they get home from a school day, slumping into a seat at home just helps push the Numb Button for the brain as much as the gluteus maximus. Get outside while the days still have an evening and warmth, and get your blood pumping. Pull some weeds (don’t tell me you haven’t any), ride a bike (no scooters? Well…), play hopscotch – whatever. Just move!
And after homework time is done, whether it’s getting the stack of engine blocks moved out of the garage to the shed out back or sitting in the driveway playing jacks, don’t plug your cerebrum into the tube right away. Time enough in the chill darkness of winter to soak up the latest pop culture by passively absorbing flickering images while slumping your spine before the shrine of silliness.
This applies to child, adult, or senior alike. If the late summer/early fall pattern is set with sitting and soaking up TV on returning home, you’ll surely do little else in the dim winter days, either. Start now molding a day around the school schedule with some motion (push-ups, playing catch, chasing fireflies) and the momentum might just carry you into next spring with your pants still fitting. . .unless you’ve grown five inches taller.
So I’ll stop here to go shop for new school clothes for the Little Guy, who seems to have done just that.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and Hebron PTO president this year (for his sins); if you have news of the upcoming Sweet Corn Festival to share or other notes to pass along, e-mail him at, or call 928-4066.