Saturday, April 27, 2024

The Dr. Baker Positive Post

 This post is in honor of and prepared for Dr. Wallace Baker from Idaho Falls.  Dr. Baker has heaped high praise on the idea of finding positive news to post here.  NOTE that there are three stories in this post so "Keep CALM and Scroll ON".

So, how do we find such positive material?  Good question!

First we start with a "Random Point Generator".  Then we select a starting point and have the app generate five random points within a 250 mile radius from that point.  We quickly eyeball the resulting map and pick a city or town near one of the random points.  Then we check online to see if that city or town has a newspaper. For today's positive news, we used St. Louis as the central point.  Sure enuf, it turned up that Hannibal, Missouri, was near one of the points generated.  And that's how we found:

Top ten finalists selected for 2024-25 Tom and Becky program

Seriously, what could be more positive than having a bunch of young people vie for their home town's Tom and Becky contest.  Here's what the "Hannibal Courier Post" had to say about it:

"HANNIBAL — Ten finalists for the Tom and Becky program have been named by the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.

Twenty-four semifinalists completed a written exam on the history of Hannibal, Mark Twain, and Twain's writings on Thursday at Hannibal Middle School. On Friday, the 12 boys and 12 girls were scored in personal interviews at Hannibal LaGrange University by two panels of five judges.

Once the scores of both the tests and the interviews were tallied, the top five boys and top five girls were selected to represent the city as goodwill ambassadors for one year. The final two stages of the competition — a two-day orientation with three judges familiar with the program in June and a final judging on July 3 — will culminate in the naming of the office 2024-25 Tom and Becky during National Tom Sawyer days."

Hannibal is, of course, Mark Twain's boyhood home.  And, yep, there's even a Boyhood Home Museum in Hannibal  Viking Cruise Lines now makes Hannibal a primary stop on the company Mississippi River excursions.  Each year visitors from all 50 states and over 60 countries make their way to Hannibal to see the places that inspired Mark Twain’s stories.  You can read all about the Museum here:

And, if you feel so inclined, here's a free online 1884 first edition of 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer":

Goin' Baroque in Cody
We consider this a VERY positive story because it proves beyond ALL doubt that there is more to Wyoming than Cowboys!  And that's a Good Thing.  We chose Billings, Montana, as our center point and one of the random points generated was near Cody so it was a no-brainer to find and read the latest online edition of "The Cody Enterprise" founded by Big Man Buffalo Bill himself in 1899. Cody is nothing if not a gi-normous living memorial to The Big Man.  If you haven't been to the iconic Buffalo Bill Center of The West, you're really, REALLY missing out!  It's the Smithsonian of The West.

OK, let's get back to goin' Baroque, shall we? "The Cody Enterprise" reports:

"In the 17th and early 18th centuries, composers invented a new, expressive musical style designed to stir the listener’s emotions. Later called “Baroque,” this musical language spread internationally and is sometimes referred to as the first global genre of music.

Musicians who specialize in this genre will perform Friday, May 3, at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in the Kuyper Dining Pavillion. The evening will begin with appetizers, a cash bar and an Italian dinner at 6 p.m., followed by the classical concert at 7 p.m.  Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

The Wyoming Baroque ensemble, of Sheridan, will present its program “Consort of Nations,” which showcases 18th-century composers from Europe, Africa, North America and South America and their unique musical language.

Mark Elliot Bergman, PhD, will direct the concert, which features Baroque music as it was originally composed. The performers will play reproduction Baroque instruments–two violins, a viola, a cello, a double bass and a harpsichord.

Tickets are $75 per person general admission, and $65 per person for BBCW members, available at

The dinner menu offers Mediterranean chicken, pasta primavera, roasted broccolini, Caesar salad, Tuscan bacci rolls, and Tiramisu or limon cake.

Wyoming Baroque promotes, performs and advocates for music and music education in Wyoming and beyond, with particular attention to historically informed performance practice. The ensemble features artists specializing in presenting 17th and 18th century repertoire and contemporary compositions.

The ensemble is in residence at Sheridan College. Committed to education and arts advocacy, Wyoming Baroque also presents master classes at schools and community centers throughout the region. The musicians play reproductions of 17th and 18th century instruments and use baroque tuning. They’re accompanied by a soprano. Learn more at

The program includes compositions by Henry Purcell of England (1655-1695); an anonymous composer telling the story of Sephardi fleeing the Inquisition;  \Accramar Mareycoo (1746–1826), of Africa; Manuel de Zumaya (1678–1755), of Mexico; Ephrata Cloister, founded in 1732, a celibate, ascetic, German-speaking, Sabbatarian commune in rural Pennsylvania; and anonymous, indigenous Peruvian composers  of late 18th-century musical scores reflecting dances and customs of the region and era."

And for item Number 3, we chose Knoxville, Tennessee, as our center point and reduced the random range to 125 miles.  That brought up Dayton, Tennessee.  We could hardly believe Dayton has a newspaper but they DO.  And that's where we learned of their love for a tree.  See:

"A southern red oak located near Main Street has called Dayton home for over 100 years. With the opening of BlueCross Healthy Place at Pendergrass Park, the city is employing an arborist to evaluate the historic oak located at the edge of the parking area. Observations of the tree include considerable damage to the roots along with multiple broken branches. In an effort to maintain and care for this beautiful tree, the city is consulting a professional arborist as an important step to ensuring proper care and addressing present concerns. This expert will provide critical information, insight and professional suggestions per arborist standards about the health and maintenance of the tree. City officials said they hope these efforts will keep this aged oak with us for years to come."

No comments: