Showing posts from December, 2019

"I Have Spoken!"

The Mandalorian is a new hit series   created by Jon Favreau for Disney Plus. Favreau also produced Iron Man, The Avengers, and Spider Man and is known for his story-telling .  visual effects, selection of music and actors for his series.  The Mandalorian has just concluded eight episodes and is set for a second season to debut as soon as the fall of 2020. This venture is already a big success among lovers of the Star Wars genre. Favreau's genius is often compared to George Lucas! Mandalorian is a lone bounty hunter who works in the outer glaxacies of the Star Wars universe with a cute, large eared Baby Yoda as his side-kick. The series' characters and story-lines are compelling and fascinating. It is hard for viewers not to "binge watch" this at one sitting! Actor Nick Nolte plays a most unique character among the cast. The ageless Nolte (soon to be 79 years old!), is an "Ugnaught" or diminutive humanoid with an upturned nose and thick jowls named Kuiil (

Reflecting on Dad's 90th Birthday!

Nine decades is a very long time, yet it seems that many are reaching this birthday bench mark these days with relative ease! Thanks to God’s grace, good genes, healthy living and excellent doctoring, we now have one of our own who has joined the “ninety club!” My Dad turned ninety on December 9. Joseph Donald Keppler was born in Fayette County, Illinois on this date in 1929 to Kenneth and Thelma Keppler. Dad is the second oldest of what was 14 living children. Their farm house sat north of Vandalia on 80 acres at the base of “thrill hill!” This was only part of what my great grandpa, Joseph (Dad’s namesake!) farmed just south of the state property surrounding the Vandalia Correctional Center today. Joseph Donald Keppler Vandalia, IL Grandpa Joseph also farmed 120 acres on the east side of highway 51 in the bottom land of the Kaskaskia River. Dad said that they planted corn most years and sowed grasses for pasture. There were 14 milk cows, and 8 work horses along with 20 p

Make Time for Christmas!

We were in Vandalia this past Sunday for my Dad’s 90 th birthday celebration. His birthday is December 9 th but we delayed his formal party and reception in order to accommodate the schedules of out-of-town family and guests. The day started by attending Sunday School and worship with him at his home church of Bethel Baptist. Dad loves his church and they love him too! He is especially thankful for and proud of his Pastor, Dr. Ben Foxworth. He loves and appreciates Bro. Ben for many reasons: friendship, his messages each Lord’s Day, for pastoring our family through the passing of Mom in July of 2018, for the fact that Ben and Dena, his lovely wife, bring their cars out to the shop for regular service, and I’m sure there are many more reasons. Photo Compliments of Pastor Ben Foxworth Bethel Baptist Church However, there has been an unusual connection with Bro. Ben since the day he came to pastor Bethel in August of 2014. The reason? Bro. Ben retired from 21 years in the N

Peanuts' Linus Explains Christmas!

Monique and I made a visit to Springfield's Chiara Center during this Christmas season to review over 130 nativities on display for the annual Franciscan Nativity Festival. This was my second year to enjoy seeing the nativities in that beautiful setting. There were so many varieties exhibited from the complex to the simple, ceramic to wood, and hand-crafted to store bought. Each one had been loaned out for the event by owners who doubtless have cherished them for years! This "Nativity Arts' Revue" has become an important part of my annual Christmas observance! Charlie Brown Christmas from Hallmark Courtesy of M. Manci Typically, I am taken in by those depictions that retell the Christmas story in a straightforward, simple and uncluttered way. Last year, I wrote about the Yupik (Eskimo) aboriginal peoples who visualized that first Christmas night of Christ's birth as occurring in an igloo with Mary and Joseph donning parkas (see A Fanciful Christmas Story, 

Christmas in Pink!

I have a question for you, "Is pink a Christmas color?" Monique recently completed writing her annual Christmas newsletter for family and friends both far and near. We have been sending this holiday update for years. It is a practice that was started by my father-in-law when Monique was a little girl. Back then, Bro. Bob Eppinette (her dad was a Baptist pastor!) humorously and I think, accurately, titled his newsletter: "From the Mad House!" Christmas in Pink! Anyway, now that the Keppler newsletter has been written, the next tasks are to print, put them into an envelope with a picture and affix the postage for mailing. However, it is the matter of printing that concerned Mrs. Santa this year. What color would be chosen from the paper supply for the printing? I suggested that we did not have sufficient copies of the red or green paper in our storage, so, "What about pink?" She tersely replied, "That's not a Christmas color!" I begged to

High School Football Takeaway

Williamsville Community Unit 15 High School is still whooping it up after winning its first state football championship! It was a come-from-behind game in the last thirty seconds! The Bullets had the early lead in the first half only to lose it in the second. They regained the winning advantage over their worthy opponent, the Byron Tigers, at game's end with a final score of 46 to 42. One commentator expressed what others felt who were at Huskie Stadium, listening on the radio or watching the game on television by saying, "A game like that just gives you chills!" This exciting event was held Friday evening, November 29 on the campus of Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. Williamsville Bullets 3A State Champions 2019 The Williamsville Bullets are led by head coach Aaron Kunz who is in his 16th season at the helm. Just before the game, Kunz was heard telling his players, "This is why you have made all the sacrifices to be excellent. Now, let's get it do