Last week there was no “Life in White Springs.” I don’t mean that there was no actual “life,” indeed most of us were alive and well, but that certainly was not the case with me when last week’s column was due. I was sick. This is no “the dog ate my column” excuse; I was actually really sick, too miserable to write. Now most of you probably don’t want to hear about my illness. That is too bad because I’ve got a story to tell and something or somebody to blame for my illness. I have to cast blame, otherwise I would have to accept responsibility for my actions and well … Read on and see if you think I’m to blame.

It all started on Super Bowl Sunday when I attended our neighborhood’s annual Super Bowl party. The centerfold of the culinary offerings is chili served on mashed potatoes. Everybody that comes to the party brings something too, ranging from delightful to decadent. One person even brought a big bowl of salad, and that is what got me in trouble.

There was candy and sweets and pastries in every room, and I thought each of them to be a perfect complement to the chili and red wine I was having. After several refills I was starting to feel full, so I decided to have some “salad.” It was in a large bowl and people were helping themselves. The bowl was full of fruit and vegetable colors. I should have been suspicious when I noticed the green M&Ms. Turns out that every ingredient in the salad was a confectionary counterfeit instead of real veggies.

The counterfeiting was pretty obvious at first bite, but I had to eat two or three bowls just to be absolutely sure. Even then, surely, I thought, just calling this confectionary creation a salad must make it pretty healthy, so let’s have another bowl. Needless to say, this did not end well.

The next day I had a stomachache. My wife was sympathetic until I confessed to what I had eaten, then she was like, “Well, I hope you don’t die.” One does not get much sympathy of overdosing on candy. I learned this lesson once on Halloween when I was 10. Now, 60 some years later, I had to learn it again. I am stupid when it comes to candy, but in this instance I was fooled by the term, “Salad.” Definitely not my fault!

Days later I gave in and went to the doctor. I explained all about the chili and the chocolate and the wine and the “salad” to the nurse and doctor and the cat-scan person. They were not sympathetic, and they suggested that I develop a taste for broth and applesauce until I got over what was apparently just a “stomach bug” that was given super powers by my Super Bowl excesses. I took their suggestions reluctantly, and now have a newly refreshed disgust for the term “bland,” but I am better, and I’m back to writing. I’m sorry I missed a week. I couldn’t help it. It was the “salad’s” fault!

The Ribbon Cutting ceremony welcoming Suwannee Hardware and Feed to their new location in the Adams Country Store was more than just a ribbon cutting. It was also a great example of a community coming together. I love White Springs! Where else in the world would so many volunteers come together to provide a day of entertainment, fun and food just to celebrate a hardware store’s new location, only three blocks away from the old location? We know how to show our appreciation in White Springs! There was BBQ, cake, cookies, punch, old time spinning demonstrations, antique tractors, and there was even a horse that came trotting into the store for a short visit. Much deserved appreciation was shown to Don and Ann Wilson for doing such a good job of keeping a great hardware store in White Springs and relocating it to the historic Adams Country Store.

The “SAVE OUR BELLS” benefit concert at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park was a fundraising success and a pleasure for those who attended. Florida Folk legacy performers Jeanie Fitchen, Joe Mark and Mark Smith put on a great show. Little by little, the bells are coming back to life and they sound better than they have in years!

Also happening at Stephen Foster Park…Each Friday night though April (except March 20) there is live music at the tourism center beginning at 6:30 p.m. And on Saturday, March 21, the park will host Antiques, Arts and Collectibles Day.

The White Springs Wild Azalea Festival is coming soon! Look here for more details. We’ll share them just as soon as we get them!

Our friends at the White Springs Library want to remind you that there is always something special going on at the library. There is an extra-special event this month, a Fancy Nancy Soiree! Soiree means party. Look it up! At this Soiree you are encouraged to come all dressed up in your fanciest clothes and accessories. Girls and boys are welcome for stories, glamorous crafts and delicious surprises. This will take place on Tuesday, March 24, 3:30–4:30 p.m. For reservations, call 386-397-1309 or stop in to reserve your spot.

Once again, I’ve said enough! I love living here and writing about life in White Springs and the surrounding region, but I sure could use your help! Let me hear from you. I am thankful that we can depend on each other, and I hope that we can continue to feel proud of who we are and where we’re headed, and that we all appreciate how White Springs and its surrounding region is a very special place, to be honored and protected. As always, I look forward to seeing you out and about, enjoying your community and your life in White Springs.

Walter McKenzie


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