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From the editor’s desk

Published: Monday, July 1, 2013 6:00 p.m. CDT

I just got back from a week-long vacation to Nashville, Tenn. As many of you know, I lived in Nashville for 10 years, and while I always enjoy going back, it had been quite a few years since I had stepped foot on “good ole Rocky Top.”

They always say you can’t really go back. After all, it’s been 20 years since I called Nashville my home, and you can imagine the changes that have occurred.  While I could still navigate around the city fairly well, there were lots of surprises, changes, mixed emotions. Though those changes equated to me feeling as if I had lost a piece of my past, I also left Nashville embracing the new and the different.

But amidst all the new experiences, there was clearly one thing that hadn’t changed. One of my reasons for my trip was to visit with my long-time friend Cathy, who is originally from Princeton but transplanted herself in the Nashville area more than 25 years ago. While we keep in touch via emails, texts and phone calls, it’s not the same as a face-to-face conversation. It was great to see her and to pick up right where we left off the last time we got together. Though we are both a bit older and own a few more gray hairs, her friendship was exactly the same as when we met almost 40 years ago.

While Nashville has changed extensively since my days there and I truly understood you can never go back to the way it used to be, I found comfort in knowing the best things in life aren’t places or things, rather the people who have been a part of your past who will ultimately remain with you ... unchanged!

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Can you believe the Fourth of July is Thursday already? Whoa! Seems like we just finished up the school year, took flowers out for Memorial Day, got our gardens planted and opened the area pools.

As you can imagine, a fireworks display is not cheap. A lot of time, energy and money goes into putting together these celebrations, so if you can, please try to attend. But FYI … I just read an article about the effects of fireworks on your canine friends. Their ears are so very sensitive, so please leave them at home. And if you are going to use sparklers, etc., please remember to supervise children … and in many cases, some adults who need supervision too! Have fun, and Happy Birthday, USA!

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Thought for the Fourth of July: “My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” Theodore Roosevelt.

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Where in the World is the BCR? Don’t forget to take along a copy of the BCR on your next vacation. When you get to your destination, have someone snap a photo of you holding the BCR — maybe in front of a landmark or other cool background. When you get home, email the photo to BCR Associate Editor Rita Roberts along with information about who is in the photo and where you are. We’ll be happy to let your friends, neighbors and other readers know … Where in the World is the BCR?

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They’re here! Have you picked up your copy of Illinois Valley Living? Our increasingly popular magazine has hit the streets. You can find them at a variety of locations in the Illinois Valley or feel free to stop by our office to pick up your complimentary copy. I hope you enjoy it! If you ever have an idea for a story for Illinois Valley Living, send me an email to tsimon@bcrnews.com.

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I hope you have a great Fourth of July. While I know there are always many things to accomplish on a day off of work, take some time to enjoy the day with family and friends. Kick back and chat, relax and enjoy. Have a cookout; go the fireworks; make a memory. There is only one Fourth of July 2013! And remember … you are important to me and the BCR.

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