The Weather has dipped

Christine Vernon

The weather has dipped all the way down to the forties in Chicago....this in late August and early September. That is eight degrees above freezing before summer was even officially declared over! Good sleeping weather is the positive thing happening as a result of this. Some people are calling this “the summer that wasn't” because of temperatures on the milder side. “It beats the heat” is the sentiment of some of us who prefer cooler weather but even we concede it does seem unseasonably cool.

The talk of health care still dominates the news in the US, a good time to feature the worthwhile work of an agency operating out of the center of the U.S., St. Louis, the Not-for-Profit Center for Immigrant Health Care Justice, founded and headed by Kevin Minder. The mission of the CIHJ is well-articulated in this article by their Assistant Director Laura Weiss. It helps make sense of the whole health care situation as it relates to all people, “a right, not a privilege”.

Chicago held a candlelight vigil for health care insurance reform September 2nd in Grant Park where William McNary was the guest speaker.  Dan and Midge Hough were also guest speakers who told the story of the loss of their unborn grandchild and beloved daughter-in-law who had no insurance.  Can you imagine the many tragic stories like this one that are caused by a lack of insurance?! Surely as a society we can prevent senseless losses like these deaths.

Two of us here at Women's International News suffered losses this summer. Webmaster/writer Chris Mickens lost her Great Grandmother Magglean Wade, a remarkable lady who lived to be 104 years old. I also lost someone, my mother, Mariruth Brandstrader Gawne, another remarkable woman who died after a full life at 86. You can read about these women's lives in IN MEMORIAM which we will start in a future issue.

Dorothy Weiss (no relation to Laura Weiss of CIHJ) of Orlando has given us something to think about in Spirit, inspiration from a turtle.
Dorothy is a seasoned writer and lovely lady enjoying life as a New York transplant to Florida. We hope she will write more for us.

We have been slow to enter content this month, in part because of the deaths in our families, but we are now back at the helm working hard and looking forward to developing new content at Women's International News. The highlight of August was the gift of an unplanned article about the National Horseshoe Pitching World Championship in Springfield, IL. Talk about a clean cut group of people, horseshoe pitchers. Watching horseshoe pitching is a pretty quiet sport but engage the fans in conversation about it and their enthusiasm is contagious. One of my good friends had just told me about Gibson's West Harbor, a resort in Washington Island, Wisconsin where she vacationed. They had just put in a new setup where they have had horseshoe pitching competitions for years. It is definitely a sport which is a piece of Americana even though it originated elsewhere long before it was played in the U.S. The history of horseshoe pitching is online at www.horseshoepitching.com - official the site of the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association.

The first horseshoe pitching World Tournament was in the summer of 1910 in Bronson, Kansas. Frank Jackson won the championship that year. Contestants score by throwing ringers, where the horseshoe encircles the stake or is close to the stake. Mention the summer tradition of horseshoe pitching to older people and middle aged people and everyone seems to have a story. The article took shape because of Gloria Smith, who was there to participate in the Tournament. Warm and welcoming to me, not knowing I was a writer, she explained what was going on. I was there as an observer but Gloria's engaging way convinced me to write about this. The National Horseshoe Pitchers Association has the perfect public relations person in Gloria, one of those warm Wisconsin women we all wish we had as a relative. Like Gloria, Ernie Bowdell, the official photographer for the Tournament, also graciously schooled me in the sport and provided photos. We thank them for inviting us into their world of horseshoe pitching.

Enjoy the swan song days of summer,

Christine Vernon

Christine Vernon

Christine Vernon is the founder and editor of Women's International News.