“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”

— Thomas Paine

By Candace Cooksey Fulton — Brownwood Bulletin

The weather’s soggy but the weekend’s arrived — that official but unofficial gateway to summer — Memorial Day weekend.

And sure, it may be tough going for the average Joe hoping to fire up the grill, and far from ideal weather for pool openings and lake swimming, but you can’t control the weather, just your attitude. The Zephyr Community Club members posting flags on the veterans’ graves at the cemetery may have to wait for the sun to come out, then hurry, before it rains again, or they may postpone the whole flag posting until another Saturday. They’ve done that before. But school’s out, and June’s around the corner. The weather’s bound to get hot before too long and the livin’ might get easy if we let it.

If you’re out and about, enjoying life and freedom, do remember those who are honored this Memorial Day, and be thankful to all who have served or are serving the land we profess to love.

For there are no truer words to be spoken of our men and women in the armed forces than this, “All gave some, some gave all.”

Meat and music at the mall

The Texas Championship Rib Burn-Off and Old Time Fiddling Contest is going on this weekend at Heartland Mall, like it has this same weekend in May for who knows how long. Hailed a “family fun weekend” the contests and events are sponsored by the Early Chamber of Commerce and Heartland Mall and include:

The Texas Championship Rib Burn-Off; Barbecue brisket and ribs, for sale inside the mall, starting at 11 a.m. as a fund-raiser for the Pecan Valley Kiwanis Club; The no charge to watch and listen fiddlin’ contest, also inside the mall (bring a lawn chair if you want to sit a while); An amateur on-the-grill cook-off (weather permitting); Horseshoe pitchin’ tournament (also may depend on the weather).

Farmer’s markets

The Brownwood Area Farmer’s Market, sponsored this year by Downtown Brownwood Inc., will be open Saturdays from 7 a.m. to sellout, and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3 p.m. to sellout, in the parking lot located in the 500 block of Brown, between Adams and Chandler streets. Available will be fresh homegrown fruits, vegetables, herbs, plants, jams, jellies, eggs and nuts. This year the market expands to include poultry, chicks, ducks, rabbits and small farm animals. Local crafters who sell handcrafted items such as homemade soaps, candles and birdhouses are also invited. Membership fees are $25 and include the first setup fee. Please call Market Manager Todd Price at 646-1422 for more information. The City of Bangs is hosting a local farmer’s market, free to vendors, in the open area of downtown on Kyle Street, Saturday mornings. Anyone interested in participating should call Bangs City Hall at (325) 752-6223 or Marisa at (325) 752-6282.

Recycle, recycle, recycle

The citizens of Lake Brownwood and Keep Brownwood Beautiful will cosponsor the recycling trailer from 9 a.m. to noon at the Lake Brownwood Bridge Volunteer Fire Station on Highway 279, south of the bridge. Items accepted are glass, plastic drink bottles, milk jugs, corrugated cardboard, newspaper, aluminum and tin cans. All items must be clean.

Nice day for a swim?

The Brownwood Parks and Recreation Department has announced the Camp Bowie and Wiggins pools will open today. These pools will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

The Cordell pool will be closed this season.

The Camp Bowie Pool is $2 for children 12 and under. The admission for those 13 years and older is $3.

A season pass for Camp Bowie Pool may be purchased at Adams Street Community Center. Season passes for age 12 and under are $20, and for 13 and up are $30.

There is no admission charge for Wiggins pool.

Lifeguards will be on duty at the pools, but parents are reminded that lifeguards are not baby-sitters and responsible adults should accompany young non-swimmers.

During rainy or threatening weather, parents should be aware that pools might have to close early, so parents should make arrangements for their children to be picked up.

Grave honors

The Zephyr Cemetery Association is holding its annual special service of remembrance today — weather permitting — honoring the deceased veterans in the cemetery.

Flags will be placed on approximately 189 known veterans by members of the cemetery board, family members and friends beginning at 8:15 a.m. A 9:15 a.m. memorial service will be held at the cemetery pavilion.

The speaker for the program this year will be the Rev. Richard Ivy, pastor of Avenue D Baptist Church in Brownwood and a history teacher at Brownwood Middle School.

The public is invited to attend and participate.

Various and sundry

Angel Food Ministries’ distribution day will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Family Life Center of First United Methodist Church at 1073 Early Blvd. Payment is made at the time order is placed. Cash and Lone Star Cards are accepted, but not checks or phone orders. UNITI (United Neighbors Involved to Improve) is sponsoring a fund-raiser bake sale from 10 a.m. to sellout on the Big Lots Parking Lot. New Way Narcotics Anonymous meets daily at 8 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. at 602 W. Commerce. For more information call 646-7777.