Signs of fall

By Patrick Fisher

The signs of fall have been showing over the last few weeks. Leaves have started to turn vibrant colors, such as orange, red and yellow. The farmers are out in the fields gathering up their crops and, while there have been some dog days of summer, there’s also a bit of a chill in the air some days.

Locally a person can tell it’s fall by the different activities that are going on. The fall sports at New Prague High School are in full swing, Homecoming was recently held and students have begun practice for the fall musical. This year the production is A Christmas Carol and if the past shows are any indication, this musical should be full of surprises.

Of course, pumpkins are another sign that fall is here. I’ve always found it interesting how the two biggest holidays of the fall season have pumpkins, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

With Halloween, people carve pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns. While there are the traditional faces of happy, scary or surprised looks being carved into pumpkins, I’ve seen a few more people go with more detailed carvings, such as the Headless Horseman or a black cat.

Like a lot of families, mine had the annual tradition of gathering around a table and carving the pumpkins. There was nearly always a chorus of eeww when we would reach inside the pumpkin to clean out the seeds. Sometimes we would have two pumpkins that the four children in my family would share. It taught us to combine ideas and we would come up with unique looking pumpkins.

There were times when my mom would save the seeds from the pumpkins, clean them and then bake them in the oven. With a little salt, they would taste very good.

Thanksgiving usually includes two things with pumpkins, the centerpiece for the table, or pumpkin pie. When my family would get together for Thanksgiving, you could count on there usually being two kinds of pie, pumpkin and apple. A slice of one of those, plus some vanilla or cinnamon ice cream always seemed like the perfect dessert after a big meal.

National Newspaper Week

This week marks National Newspaper Week, a week when newspapers are recognized for their contributions to communities and society.

Newspapers have a long history, and while they have had their highs and lows, one thing that hasn’t changed is their goal to provide the news. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small farming community of just a few hundred people or a major metropolitan city of millions, the newspaper, or newspapers, strive to let people know what is going on.

Newspapers also have a variety of uses. The New Prague Times lets people in the New Prague area know what’s happening in the community, whether it concerns the city, the school or the people. Sometimes the stories are very straightforward, such as those about an election, taxes or a policy change. Other times the stories are more about human interest, such as someone who has been working for a company for 50 years and the changes they’ve seen, or the unique hobby someone has.

Of course, newspapers have changed over the years. It used to be that news was the only thing in a paper, then as time went by, newspapers added a section for sports. These days there are a variety of sections, including business, entertainment and classifieds.

While recent years have given us other forms of media, I believe that newspapers are going to be around for quite awhile still. They may change yet again, but there will still be a newspaper to provide people with information on a variety of levels.

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