“You cannot help but learn more as you take the world into your hands. Take it up reverently, for it is an old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it.”

— John Updike

By Candace Cooksey Fulton — Brownwood Bulletin

Suddenly — and it really did get here very quickly — it’s a week past the middle of May. The school year’s in its last gasp, and it’s a week or less until high schools’ graduation. Then (of course) it’s going to be summer with all its lazy, hazy, crazy days of — well — summer.

Could it be today is a preparation day for just such a season? Hey, if the weather and attitude count, it just might be. Oh it’s not lazy, for goodness sake. If nothing else, the schedule has a number of fine get up and do, go out and be suggestions on its roster. It’s just a little crazy (in a good kind of way). And hazy? Well who know what that really even means? What is a hazy day?

While you’re pondering that, take a look see at all we’ve got on the list of happenings today. Take time to enjoy what you can and where you are. And please, don’t let things get too hazy.

A once-a-year recycling bonanza

Keep Brownwood Beautiful and the City of Brownwood are sponsoring a free citywide cleanup and e-waste collection from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. under the Austin Avenue over pass at Avenue A and Brady Avenue.

Acceptable E-Waste or “electronic type” items include computers and monitors, printers and copy machines, fax machines, scanners, digital cameras, networking equipment, UPS, VCR/VCD/DVD players, MP3 players, PDAs, cell phones and dry cell batteries. There is a $10 to $20 charge for the disposal of television sets, but all other E-Waste disposal is free.

Other debris and unwanted items are being accepted at the site, including brush, yard debris, household garbage, paint, oil, appliances, antifreeze, car batteries and car tires (maximum of eight per household). Of course, other typical recyclable — washed and clean — items such as metal and aluminum cans, glass and plastic milk jugs and soda and juice bottles will also be accepted, but no hazardous waste, please.

Matt’s Fun Run

An afternoon of food, fun and games is being organized in honor of 13-year-old Matthew Crager, who “loves motorcycles” and has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The event is planned to run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Heartland Church parking lot, 2845 Highway 279.

The “Fun Run” is to show Matthew a good time, and will be open to “any and all bikers” and “patches and bikes are welcome.” Organizers say “lots of bikers from here, Abilene and some other places have promised to come.”

No admission is being charged, but donations will be accepted for Matthew and his family.

Activities include biker games and races, and organizers have said, the important thing is “to show Matt a good time with lots of bikes and bikers.”

Community picnics

The Elm Grove community will hold its homecoming picnic at the community center. Country music will begin about 10 a.m. Games of horseshoe pitching and washer pitching will continue all day. A barbecue dinner will be served at noon. The Concord community picnic will be from 4 p.m. until dark at the tent across from Concord Baptist Church, 6 miles south of Bangs going toward Brookesmith on FM 586.

Book signing

Hastings Books, Music and Videos is hosting a book signing for Linda LaRoque and her debut novel, “When the Ocotillo Bloom,” from 3 to 5 p.m., today, at the store.

LaRoque is a retired teacher — she lived and taught in Brownwood for 14 years — who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna and its people. Her stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas.

Beyond the county line Comanche

Registration for Comanche’s third annual John Wesley Hardin Days Outlaw Run will begin at 7 a.m., and the run will start at 8 a.m. at the corner of Grand and Austin downtown. The run will again consist of a USTAF Certified and Time-Chipped 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run and Kids Fun Run. The ante has raised this year; instead of competing for medals, the top finishing 5K and 10K participants will receive cash prizes. Thanks to sponsors, $2,000 added money will be distributed to overall winners in the 5K and 10K. Walkers can be in the money too. At the awards ceremony a drawing will be held for four $25 cash prizes and only walkers and walk/joggers who complete the 5K will be entered to win.

Santa Anna

The Funtier Days World Championship Bison Cookoff brings “cookers” from all over the Lone Star State to Santa Anna to test their reputations and recipes on beef brisket, chicken, pork ribs and buffalo. The event is sponsored by the Santa Anna Chamber of Commerce.

Vendors will set up at 7 a.m., a children’s parade will be held at 10 a.m. followed by a volleyball tournament at 10:30 a.m. A washer pitch contest starts at 11 a.m., and a bison lunch will be served over the noon hour.

The horseshoe pitch contest opens at 1:30 p.m. Awards will be presented at 4 p.m., and a tug-o’-war is set for 4:30 p.m. Arts and crafts, games, rides, entertainment and food vendors are scheduled throughout the day.

Proceeds are used to restore the “Old Armory” Civic Center and upgrade the Gary James Memorial Park. The cook-off is sanctioned by the International Barbecue Cookers Association, and the spring meeting of the Texas Bison Association is being held in conjunction with this event.