Odds and ends as July reaches the mid-point:

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Kathy and I just returned from five days on Anna Maria Island in Florida, joining our daughter Alison, son-in-law Matt, and grandsons Tripp and Bennett as they ended a two-week stay in the Sunshine State. We enjoyed heat, humidity, and good times that included some trivia involving Tampa Bay and the Island itself. Every winter since who knows when, white pelicans have made the migration from northern climes to the shores of the Bay, beautiful white feathered birds who add to the mystique of Florida. Also contributing to the local economy each winter are the good citizens of Darke County, Ohio, Indiana and other areas this side of the old Mason-Dixon Line as they flock to the South. Thanks to the white pelicans, these sunlovers are referred to as “Snowbirds”, and now you know the rest of the story!!

You ardent followers of golf and the LPGA Tour in particular might want to remember the name Mia Hammond. The 15-year-old high school sophomore from New Albany northeast of Columbus received a special invitation to the Dana Open tournament held this weekend up in Sylvania, Ohio and shot six under par to finish in a tie for 26th. Basically a child prodigy, Mia has won sixty of the ninety amateur events she has participated in over the years and finished fourth in the OHSAA girls tournament last fall. Remember the name, Mia Hammond.

New Madison resident Marissa Steen continued to play solid golf on the Tour, finishing at four under, tied for 36th.

Hats off to the many coaches, volunteers, and parents for providing a great summer of baseball and softball for the youngsters. A great family activity and character builder the summer months of diamond action are busy with the sound of balls coming off aluminum bats and the accompanying sounds of thrills and anguish!!

Did you participate in Breakfast at Wimbledon this Saturday and Sunday? The Ladies’ Championship was won by unseeded and 42nd-ranked Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets over Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, making her the lowest ranked finalist since the legend herself, Billie Jean King, in 1963. Marketa’s plan to celebrate the career-changing victory? Go drink a beer and get a new tattoo!

Meanwhile there was an epic Men’s final with the passing of the torch to 20-year-old Spanish phenom Carlos Alcaraz from 36-year-old Novak Djokovic. Alcaraz outlasted the Serbian in five hard-fought sets to claim the title and deny Djokovic a record-tying fifth consecutive championship. Tradition, Prince William, Princess Kate, and great tennis! Here’s this week’s trivia question—what is the traditional dessert at Wimbledon?

It was a good week to be Donny Schwartz, winner of $175,000 and the 40th Kings Royal crown at Eldora Speedway. It was a great week to be Logan Schuchart, who led all 50 laps of the Eldora Million Thursday and claimed the $1,002,023 first prize at the “World’s Greatest Dirt Track” with Carson Macedo taking home “only” $100,000 for finishing second!

Lebron James announced that he’s returning for his 21st NBA season wearing the Royal Purple and Gold of the Lakers. He’s remained as proficient as ever even after all of the years, securing his place as one of the all-time greats. However, even he can’t beat Father Time as the regular season games he’s played in have decreased greatly over the past five years. Those joints and muscles have a way of rebelling after the pounding they’ve taken on the hardwood!!

What’s the most traveled road in the Major Leagues this season? How about I-71 between Cincinnati and Louisville as the Reds have used 33 pitchers, 24 in relief, this year and it’s not even August yet! The AAA Bats and Reds seemingly have interchangeable uniforms, at least when it comes to the pitching staff.

Speaking of the Reds, after losing five of six games to the Brewers and going from a twogame lead in the NL Central to trailing by two, the team can hardly wait for starting pitchers Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo to return from the injured list. They also could benefit from the return to form of the offense, which has basically been nonexistent the past week or so!!

Dessert at Wimbledon? How about some strawberries and cream? Starting in 1877, the dessert has become a must-have for fans who yearly consume over 60,000 pounds of berries and 10,000 liters of cream. Cheerio and Pip Pip, Old Chap!!