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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Retirement home residents enjoy Monday evenings with university ward

Eric and Andrea Ruben perform at the retirement home. / Photo by Jake Ipson

By Jake Ipson

November 11, 2008 | LOGAN -- Every Monday, the Williamsburg retirement community holds a community activity night, called Family Home Evening. For the month of November, the Williamsburg community is having the Utah State University 63rd Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints entertain them for their family home evening events.

Last Monday about 30 residents joined together in a chapel in the Williamsburg building which is located on 132 W. 300 North.

"I love it," said Aloma Hammond, a resident of Williamsburg for the past seven years. Aloma says she tries to attend every family home evening every Monday. "Every once in a while we have some [entertainment] that isn't the best," says Aloma, "but sometimes it's really good entertainment."

Aloma is originally a resident of Millville and for the past two has served as the mayor of the Williamsburg community. In addition to family home evening, the residents are staying busy by making hats and mittens that they donate to the Deseret Industries to be sent off to people who need them.

For the entertainment this week, residents were able to enjoy science projects being demonstrated by Bill Chandler, who also does these projects for his kids in his science class. Then eight members from the ward sang a musical number. That was then followed by Eric Ruben playing a guitar alongside his wife Andrea who played the violin. They were such a hit that the audience asked for an encore.

Ward Bishop Dennis Despain has participated in this event for the past three years. Dennis said, "This is a great experience. If you ever feel sad or sorry for yourself, go and help a group like this out, it lifts your spirits. This is the greatest audience you can have."

Diana Despain, wife of Dennis, said they make it a point to come to these events. She finds it to be "very fulfilling" and said, "These people are fun to be around, and not having parents this brings back lots of memories. It is such a peaceful and happy atmosphere."

Everyone then left for their rooms but not before touching a pin cushion used in the science project. Everyone talking about what they thought and how excited they were for next week and what entertainment might come their way.

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