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Features

  • Now, there are some holidays I just don’t understand.                    There’s National Dress Up Your Pet Day, which was Jan. 14. April 16 is International Juggler’s Day, which will probably have comedian Chris Bliss showing off to a Beatles song.

    What about Sept. 29, which has been designated as Poisoned Blackberries Day? Supposedly it dates back to the 1700s when blackberries caused more deaths than any other fruit. OK. 

  • I’ve just about had my fill of these cold, rainy days.

    They are dreary, but every once in a while, there is an upside to ’em.

    I couldn’t go outside and ramble with Tiger, but I could ramble in Uncle Harry’s well-stocked library. That was one of the advantages of growing up as the only child in a house of adults. 

    Uncle Harry was a well-read man. He not only gave me permission to plunder through the volumes on every shelf, he always encouraged me to enjoy the printed word.

  • Crouched down beside a brown and white speckled pit bull, Erica Jeffrey tilts her head and starts talking to the dog like they’re old friends.

    At a glance, the 11-year-old South Charlotte girl may seem like just another visitor to the Lancaster County Animal Shelter, but on March 24 she was there on a mission. 

    While other girls her age ask for clothes or CDs for their birthday, Erica decided to forgo presents and asked for items to help some of Lancaster County’s four-legged friends. 

  • The 2011 Lancaster County Relay for Life is May 6-7 at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster. The annual American Cancer Society fundraiser brings teams of local volunteers together to support those diagnosed with cancer and cancer survivors. 

    But until then, the 68 local Relay for Life teams are working hard toward the $220,000 goal. The money is used to help fund cancer research and American Cancer Society programs. 

  • There are millions of meatloaf recipes, including the fool-proof one your grandma came up with years ago.

    Regardless of ingredients, two factors make meatloaf the ideal comfort food.

    First, it’s quite economical and can feed a family of six for less than $10. 

    According to Chris Kimball, editor and chief of “Cook’s Illustrated” and host of “America’s Test Kitchen,” hard times have made meatloaf an economical,  low-cost chic dish to serve at dinner parties. 

  • “The Big C” – cancer – is no respector of age, race, or gender.  

    Cancer can affect anyone, anywhere at any time. Chances are it has touched your life in some way whether it was through a loved one, friend, or even yourself.

    The fact was evident Saturday by the presence of the 180-plus cancer survivors ranging from age 91 to 4, at the Relay for Life birthday dinner held at Covenant Baptist Church.   

  • Now let’s be honest. Age has its embarrassing moments. 

    Just the other day, I ran into a long-lost friend. 

    He walked up, shook my hand and said he was glad to see me. Shucks, we had not crossed paths since the 1950s.

    We’re about the same age and I was sure glad to see him, though our chance encounter was somewhat embarrassing. 

    For the life of me, I couldn’t recall his name and I am so ashamed. 

  • Age: 42

    Address: Taxahaw Road

    Family: A son, Wayne Blakeney Jr., 18, and a daughter, Shanequal Blakeney, 19  

    Pets: A dog, Spot

    Job: Lancaster County Maintenance

    Church: Rose Hill Baptist Church

    Hobbies: Fishing and playing pool

    Favorite book: The Bible

    Favorite movie: Any comedy

  • When Grace and Clyde Steele moved into their home at 1206 Trailstream Drive nine years ago, the 3-acre lot was filled with trees, leaving little space for sunshine to touch the ground.  That’s the way her daughter, Cindy McDonald, liked it. Cindy previously lived in this home with her husband, Jimmy, and their children. After her family moved to Myrtle Beach, the house stood empty for about six years.  

  • There was no electricity or assembly line available to help with the process. 

    Rather, he used a vice called a shaving horse to shape wood into eating utensils, furniture and other items found around the house.

    It took patience and a steady hand to make a spoon or a jug from a piece of stock wood in Colonial America. But the shaving horse was the best option for American settlers in the 1700s. 

  • “Dive…dive…” 

    These words are familiar to anyone who has ever seen a Hollywood film about a submarine. The words are always followed by a warning signal and the unmistakable sound of “a-rooo-ga, a-rooo-ga.”

  • Most folks my age will never forget how Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, changed our lives forever.

    For you youngsters, that’s the day the Japanese attacked our naval installation, Pearl Harbor.

    That was one rough month for me.

    Reality sunk in when Sears, Roebuck & Co. canceled my order for a J.C. Higgins Roadmaster Deluxe bicycle because someone in Greensboro thought it would be needed by the Army to fight the enemy.

    I still bet somebody whose daddy worked for Sears got my bicycle for Christmas.

  • Age: 73

    Address: Kershaw-Camden Highway

    Family: Wife, Flossie, 69; two sons, Arvan, 47, and Myron, 40, and a granddaughter, Mya, 11 

    Job: Retired, Lancaster County School District

    Church: Second Calvary Baptist Church, Heath Springs

    Hobbies: Fishing, hunting, boating and raising quail

    Favorite book: The Bible

  • Summer is just around the corner, which means children will be looking for things to do outside.     

    Lancaster High School senior Holly Ellis may be 17, but she’s never forgotten how much fun a slide can be.

    Ellis is making sure that a special group of children have the chance for a little swing set adventure, too. 

    A member of Girl Scout Troop 3671, sponsored by St. Luke United Methodist Church, Ellis just completed a playground at Family Promise of Lancaster to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award.

  • Gettin’ the word out is always important.

    Today’s cell phones and palm pilots are far advanced of my first one. They’re more expensive, too.

    Me and one of the fellas managed to make it home from Mackey’s Drug Store with a couple of Dixie Cups.

    Thanks to a block of Gulf Sealing Wax and a short piece of kite string, we were jabbering away in no time.

    Alexander Graham Bell would be impressed with our choice of raw materials. We knew that a waxed kite string offers the best reception. 

  • Age: 83

    Address: Pensacola, Fla.

    Family: Wife, the late Donnis Boyle Neal; two children, Merrio Neal Barton and Paul Neal Jr.; five grandchildren, Austen Neal, Alex Neal, Katie Neal, Sarah Neal and the late David Neal

    Job: Retired U.S. Navy officer; I served on nine ships during World War II, Korea and Vietnam (32 years)

    Favorite food: Shrimp

    Favorite getaways: Hawaii and Marco Island, Fla.

  • On Feb. 2, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow in Gobbler’s Knob, Pa.     

    When the world’s most famous groundhog didn’t see his shadow, its supposedly a sign that warm weather is on the way. 

    According to the StormFax Weather Almanac and records kept since 1887, Phil has been correct 39 percent of the time and has predicted an early spring 15 times. 

    Based on blooming forsythia, jonquils, crocus, winter daphne, Bradford pears and flowering cherry trees, Phil just may be right.

  • The City of Lancaster will host its second Red Rose Festival in beautiful historic downtown Lancaster from 5 to 10 p.m. May 13 and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 14. 

    Join us on Catawba Street and in the City Hall parking lot, where playing in our streets has never been more fun.

    Stretch out in the Lancaster sun and enjoy the great sounds of local and national entertainment on the city stage. 

    Artisans and crafters will be selling collectibles and hand-crafted items, such as art, jewelry, children’s clothing and crafts. 

  • You might have thought a Cinderella ball was taking place in downtown Lancaster last Saturday night. 

    Guests decked out in evening attire stepped out of their cars as valets in red jackets buzzed back and forth from the Artisans Center to nearby parking lots.

  • The Lancaster County Boy Scout Hall of Fame doubled in size Wednesday night. 

    Larry Cauthen and the seven “Neal Boys” (W.C., Paul, Dewey, Jack, Frank, Bruce and Billy) were inducted to the hall of fame during the annual Friends of Scouting Banquet at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster.

    Cauthen and the Neals were honored for the impact they have made on local scouting.

    The eight were selected from a group of nominees recommended by a grassroots committee of long-time scout volunteers.