The Villages Voice - November 2016

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by Fred Briggs

A MESSAGE FROM VHA PRESIDENT FRED BRIGGS Hi Everyone, It’s that time of the year when we move into the Holidays and hopefully take time to stop and give thanks to those who sacrificed so much to defend our freedom. On November 11th, we honor all who served the United States in the military in all wars, particularly those living veterans.  It’s a very important day of remembrance, and I hope all of you will take the time to thank any veterans you know for their service and to remember those you knew who are no longer with us. Then we move on to Thanksgiving.  It’s a time to gather with friends and family to give thanks for our blessings and certainly one of those is the opportunity to live in The Villages. Thanksgiving has always been a time when all of our family would gather together and celebrate how lucky we were to have each other.  Our children are trying to maintain that tradition, but they admit it was much easier when Mom and Dad were with them, in Pennsylvania. We all have something to be thankful for right here.  Our damage in The Villages from hurricane Matthew was limited to winds and rain.  While we had leaves, tree limbs and debris to pick up, folks in our coastal communities will be dealing with Mathew’s aftermath for months to come. The VHA is really excited about our upcoming major event being held on February 18th.  Our “Hoedown” event will provide good food, wonderful entertainment and lots of fun for Villagers and the surrounding communities.  Be sure to mark your calendar; you’ll want to be there.  There’s no admission fee and only a small charge for parking. Here are a few of the participants:
  • Lori Gill and the Note Benders
  • Country Band Favorite “Hayfire”
  • Local Country Band Featuring Kenny Hicks
  • Cowboy Tom and his Wild West Show
  • Cameron Cox, Four Time Florida Bullwhip Cracking Champion
  • Sumter County Sheriff’s Tactical Vehicle Display
  • Firetrucks, Ambulances, Antique Farm Equipment
  • Old McDonald’s Farm Animal’s Display and assorted Games for Children
  • A Polo Demonstration
  • Demonstrations of Quilts, Whittling, Yarn Making
  • Food and Merchandise Vendors and Beer & Wine Sales
  • T & D Family of Companies Cowboy Stew Cook-off
  • A 50/50
  • Cow Chip Bingo
We’ll need lots of Volunteers to help us make our “Hoedown” a success.  If you want to be a Bartender, drive a golf cart to transport attendees from the paddocks parking area to the event, sell tickets for the 50/50, beer and wine, and Cow Chip Bingo or help support other needs for the event please call and sign up as a Volunteer by contacting: Joan Sullivan @ (352) 446-4705 or email at Russ D”Emidio @ (352) 750-4486 or email at Lastly, I’d like to relay a story about one of my heroes whose recent passing saddened us all because he was a wonderful man and enjoyed a life well lived. When I was a young Naval Officer in the early 1970s, I went to the Master’s practice round with a shipmate of mine.  In those days, if you wore your uniform you could attend any day of the tournament for $5.00.  We saw that Arnold Palmer was going to play while we were there and having never seen him up close, we stationed ourselves along the edge of the fairway on hole  number nine  and waited. Not long after we got there we saw Arnold coming down the fairway walking toward his ball and carrying a towel with which he was wiping his face on that very hot day.  He got very close and looked right at us.  I said “You look like you could use a Rolling Rock.”  He stopped, smiled that great smile and walked over to us and stuck out his hand and said “You must be from Pennsylvania, and thank you for coming, it’s great to have the Navy here.” That’s who he was, a man who would take a moment from his practice round at the Masters to create life-long fans.  There will never be another Arnold Palmer, RIP.