The dog days of summer occurs during the hottest and muggiest part of the season between early July and early September. With high heat and humidity it can be the most uncomfortable part of the summer; although this year it seems to have been unseasonably cool almost, fall like.


It seems a few people are a little hot under the collar these days with road closures, in the number of dog related issues, and the discourse that seems to have permeated in our country. However, there are some reasons for, shall I say, “tail wagging” with friends visiting from Homer, Mich., individuals that have volunteered at the carousel, raising money in memory of a friend, and celebrating 25 years.


What does “Road Closed” really mean?


I know that it doesn’t mean you can drive on the sidewalk because the road is closed.


I know that it doesn’t mean you can drive around the signs over the curb because your buddy at the golf course said it was OK to do so.


I do know what could happen if you do. A driver, who lived in another city north of here got off the interstate and wanted to take a short cut home through Story City. He went past the road closure, was pulled over, and was “detoured” to the county sheriff’s office for drunk driving.


I understand the inconvenience this has caused with all the road and infrastructure construction taking place. There was a posting on the City’s Facebook page that summed it up best, “I’m tired of the dang detour, but not nearly as tired of the rough road by the high school. I’m glad it’s being repaired.”


Maybe it has something to do with Sirius?


Roman astrology associates the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius. Sirius is known as the “dog star” because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (i.e., the big dog). It is the brightest star in the night sky in the summer and rises and sets with the sun.


Now, I don’t know if the big dog star is shining a little brighter this year, but we have certainly had an abnormal summer with the number of dogs reported on the loose, dogs harassing people who are out for a walk, or simply attacking another dog or person.


This wasn’t dog related, but I had someone leave me a voice message that started out with, “what idiots ….” After checking out the individual’s complaint, I found out that it had nothing to do with the City.


Some “Tail Wagging”


Mary Bates and her granddaughter McKenna came out from Homer, Mich., for a visit. I served as city manager in Homer prior to coming to Story City. Mary’s mother was born here and her father lived with Brian Sansgaard’s father Reuben and worked at Woodland Farms. A middle school principal in Homer became the new superintendent of schools and he’s hit the ground promoting the school and community. He put out a challenge to post a photo on Facebook from all 50 states and every city in Michigan with the sign “Homer Strong – Homer Community Schools – The Destination for Excellence.” It’s been a great way to promote the school and community, reconnect with alumni &friends, and generate pride and enthusiasm. The photo and post from Iowa was in Story City.


The GCC put out a call for volunteers needed to operate the carousel. So I sent out an email to people who wouldn’t typically be asked; and a few responded. Nate Summers who works for D.A. Davidson; you probably haven’t heard of them, but they are important to the city for they provide the necessary financing for our projects. Nate came up from Des Moines to work a shift on National Carousel Days and even helped Karen Hermanson set up for the evening activities. Jessica Reynolds is our new county attorney. She volunteered and brought her kids who swam at the pool while she operated the carousel. “What a great pool!” Jessica told me. While volunteering one day, the next shift was operated by a family from South Hamilton who heard we needed volunteers and just wanted to help out.


It was just a little over a year ago that our good friend and community leader Rich Olive passed away. What better way to remember Rich and pay tribute then playing some golf, having some food and spirits and a little fun, and raising some money for the cart paths at the golf course and Bliss Cancer Center.


And as for Elizabeth and I, we celebrated 25 years of wedded bliss. Well, 25 for me, you will need to ask her the number of years of bliss. Our son Christopher graduated from Iowa (with Honors I’m proud to say) and daughter Elizabeth just started at Iowa State.


This has been one zany and memorable summer for me with major construction projects, dogs, the opening of a new swimming pool, and celebrating some milestones in the Jackson family. These dog days of summer have at times been no walk in the park, but I do think the big dog star has been a little brighter and overall when you really shine light on what people are doing and what’s being accomplished it’s going to make us stronger, enhance our pride and generate enthusiasm in Story City.