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On Saturday, June 16, the Zor Shriners will host a Variety Show at the River Falls High School Auditorium at 3 p.m. The show will include the magic of Charles and the Lady, circus acts, clowns, musical revues and more. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for children under 12. Tickets will be on sale at the gate, one hour before the show. Proceeds benefit the Zor Shriners. Foster Sports, 326 N. Main St., will be giving away a limited supply of free children's tickets. Stop by to pick up free tickets for children 18 and younger. River Falls High School is located at 818 Cemetery Rd.
I was very happy to receive "Walking the Rails," by Ethel Erickson Radner (available at iUniverse.com; barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com, $13.95 paper; $23.95 hardcover; $3.99 e-book). It's always interesting to read a memoir by someone you know because you normally find out that you didn't know as much about the person as you thought. Ethel Radner, nee Erickson, grew up a block from where I spent my youth.
Gary Boelhower, a St. Scholastica theology professor, writes on a variety of topics, his first wife, his daughter's wedding, his gayness, his grandmother "ground down by the hard soil of two failed farms." His poetry is unfailingly concrete and he breathes life into the most mundane of topics.
The Republican Party of St. Croix County will be hosting an election night celebration for Gov. Walker and Lt. Gov. Kleefisch next Tuesday, June 5. The event is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Hudson Golf Club located at 201 Carmichael Road in Hudson, all are welcome.
The St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners Association will hold its annual plant sale on Saturday, June 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the lawn of the Octagon House Museum at 1004 Third Street in Hudson. Shoppers are encouraged to come early for the best selection of perennial and annual plants from the gardens of local master gardeners. Vegetable seedlings will be available including variety and heirloom tomatoes.
Ever since I read "The Education of Henry Adams," I've thought of its author, the great-grandson of our second president and grandson of John Quincy Adams, as a sanctimonious little prig. Reading his "St. Michel and Chartres" didn't alter my opinions. I guess I was only partially right. I've finished "Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life," by Natalie Dykstra (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26) and have come to know Henry and his wife "Clover" in a more complete light.
Back in the 1950s adolescents looking for exciting reading about the facts of life, etc., turned to a series of books by muckraking journalists Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer. Books like "Manhattan Confidential," "Chicago Confidential" and even "Midwest Confidential," which exposed all sorts of sin in the nearby Twin Cities and notorious streets like Washington Avenue. These books couldn't hold a candle to a new scholarly book called "Island of Vice," by Richard Zacks (Doubleday, $27.95).
Woodville will be hosting its 61st annual Syttende Mai Festival Wednesday-Saturday, May 17-19. Events include citywide yard sales, carnival, parade, Queen's tea, pony rides, music by the Whitesidewalls and Trigger Happy, meat raffles, car cruise and show, softball tournaments, 5K and 1/2 marathons, craft tents, food stands and much more. Grand parade begins 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Dale family -- Mom, Dad, son Zak, daughter Chloe and Lars the dog -- come together for a typical American supper: Zak stepped through the front door of his home at 6:03. Virtually on time. "Wash up, we're at the table," his mother called out. Zak went into the bathroom and decided to use soap instead of just water, since his hands were dirty from dribbling a basketball. His hand washing attempt turned the soap a dull gray, left streaks of mud in the white porcelain basin and imprinted several dirty handprints on the beige towels.
Tom Nash seemingly has it made. He's a retired British spy. He lives on the Cote D'Azur, the French Riviera, hobnobs with artists and writers and expatriates like Gerald and Sara Murphy. His reckless days as a secret agent seem well behind him, and he's so confident that he's out of the woods he leaves his Beretta revolver locked up in a desk drawer. Then one night someone tries to kill him. Who might that be? It's 1935 and the world is working its way to another war, with Nazis and Communists and everything in between plying their spycraft in the most unlikely places.