September in Naperville starts with the Last Fling celebration. Sponsored by the Naperville Jaycees, it is a fund raiser that benefits the community. It is four days of free entertainment, beer and brats and a carnival. It used to be run by the local chamber of Commerce but back in 1980 the Jaycees took it over. Under the guidance of Tom Miers and myself we infused youthful exuberance (beer) into an otherwise lack luster event. We started to have free entertainment along with beer and brats, and corn on the cob cooked by an old steam engine tractor. We worked for months before the event, planning and organizing and the four days of the events we were there non-stop. I used to clean the streets starting at 11pm until 2am with a Billy goat vacuum cleaner and a fire hose to clean up and be ready for the next days events. We were concerned that the downtown businesses and the City would not let us continue if we trashed the streets. The Naperville Park District and the City of Naperville were very supportive. It all worked out. And the rest, as they say, is history. Year after year it grew and grew. The money garnered from beer and brats helps a lot of needy organizations in and around Naperville. The Naperville Jaycees are a great organization.
While I donÕt go to the concerts anymore, I do take pride in just knowing that they continue to support those in need. We can here the faint sounds of music in the distance as we enjoy our porch or deck. For a long while I couldnÕt even look at a bratwurst but now I enjoy a good Kreger brat now and then.
After Labor Day we had a nice visit from our good friends the SharpnackÕs. Joe and Jan are close friends from Florida. They are really fun people and we have tons in common. We have had similar experiences in owning and operating a business and raising two kids and now Grandchildren. We are both second generation Riverbenders.
We were fortunate to spend a week with them in CIC during July. (See the July web page) We were able to play 18 holes of golf at the local Springbrook golf course. Jan was a real trooper to play with a sore knee. It was warmer than expected, a perfect day for golf, after which we had TraversoÕs Pizza with an antipasta salad.
Joe and I were able to take a scooter ride while the girls went shopping. Jan loves ChicoÕs. We had lunch on the patio one day at Quigleys Irish Pub. We grilled some barbeque ribs on the grill one night. We had a lovely dinner at the country club after 5:00 Mass on Saturday. We really like the food at the club. They do a nice job.
It was great to see Joe and Jan. We always have fun when we are together. Look forward to playing golf together in Florida soon.
September 9th was a big day. It was the first Bears football game and the annual Church picnic. Stepahnie, Sean and Ōthe boysĶ were able to join us. After lunch Clark and I played in the bouncy house and played assorted games. Lots of prizes.
Diane and Stephanie introduced Ōthe boysĶ to Bingo hoping it would sharpen their math or number recognition skills. ItÕs part of any good Catholic education. Jack was excited when he won some money.
Sean and I were able to have a beer while we watched the first half of the Bears game. We moved the party to our house to finish watching the Bears trounce the Colts. (41–21) I think it was more a reflection on the Colts than the skill of the Bears but a pleasant experience to start the season. Hope springs eternal in a good Bears fan. We still remember 1985.
September signals the return of Football. Both of StephanieÕs boys are able to play tackle football through the St. Raphael Football program. With helmet and full pads they collide at about 2 mph. Its fun to watch and the boys seem to like jumping on top of one another. Jason played football since 2nd grade. He enjoyed it all the way through High School. ItÕs fun to see the kids learn, about the game and about them selves. We enjoy watching the games. Its fun to observe the boys as they get better week after week. Like they did with swimming, by the end of the season they will have progressed and learned a lot. It is nice that their parents provide them with the opportunity. Good job Parents.
As summer ends and our Fall begins we are anticipating our departure and getting the house as ready as we can for the long winter. I have been working on some bare spots in the yard. Damp cool weather is supposed to be good for grass seed.
The Fall colors are vibrant this year. As I take walks around the neighborhood I canÕt help but stop and take a few pictures. Enjoy.