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Woodworking column: Hats off! Hats on!

When I was a kid, there was a cartoonist named Jimmy Hatlo, who not only drew but periodically wrote something nice about somebody. It began "And a doff of the Hatlo Hat to Elmer Snerd of North Baltimore, Ohio...." I always suspected he did it when nothing much was happening. Nothing much is happening in my teeny brain today and I'm faced with the fourth column this month, so I'll give it a try.

Hats off to the City of River Falls (no, I'm not kidding) for returning the speed measuring machine to the corner of Fifth and Walnut, after its summer absence when motorcyclists roared up and down Walnut, in an attempt to reprise Brando's "The Wild Ones." The little machine actually works and you can see eastbound motorists slow down when they spot it.

Hats off to local writers who sponsored the River Falls Lit Crawl last month held all over town. And hats off to those same sponsors who didn't horsewhip me at Gallery 120 for misreading my assignment and getting there late.

Hats off to the River Falls Public Library for showcasing prominent writers like Lorna Landvik,

William Kent Krueger ad other literary lights.

Hats off to the Sunshine Chinese Acupuncture Clinic on Main Street for helping me get out of

bed each morning without benefit of a forklift.

Hats off to the WestWind supper club for bringing back to the workforce celebrity bartender Eddie Miller.

Hats off to the phone operatives at the Social Security Administration. There work should be a template for all government agencies and corporations that begin their answer with "Select from one of the following 234 sites."

Hats off to Chef Shane of Shady Grove for many of his culinary creations, like the ones we ate last month—corn and crab fritters and seafood stew with a cornucopia of critters from the briny deep. Magnifique!

Hats off to the River Falls farmers market, where there are farmers who sell squash that is RIPE.

And while we're at it hats off to the baker at Family Fresh Foods who makes my Wednesday free coffee day with his fabulous apple fritters, going, going, gone, for 69 cents! And to Terry, the hustling clerk who cleans up after us.

Finally, hats off to the first Mexican kid in the history of my alma mater to be named valedictorian. And hats ON to killing "the dreamer" program, of which the kid was a member and cannot now receive a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin for his achievement. What a way to build this nation's future.

Theologian Paul Tillich said that "[Norman Vincent] Peale was appalling and that Paul [of sainthood] was appealing. So lest we join the ranks of the positive thinkers, let us leave our hats on when Harvey Weinstein ambles past us on his way to rehab in Europe.

Hats on also to the U.S. media which bores us to death with statements that Weinstein's misdeeds were a "Big Secret." Haven't these kid pundits ever heard of Louis B. Mayer? Or Fatty Arbuckle? Or Erroll Flynn? Or Howard Hughes? Or Roman Polanski?

Hats also on to current Hollywood moguls who keep remaking earlier successes rather than finding new material and taking a risk once in awhile. Same goes for publishing moguls. How many times can one read the same book?

Hats on to the Minneapolis political candidates who claim the Mill City could get along without policemen.

Hats on again to the media for covering the momentous debate of whether or not Ivana Trump really is "the First Lady." Or whether her ex-husband really was the smartest guy who ever attended the Wharton School.

Hats on to the cartographers who designed the Hanley Road roundabouts as well as the roundabouts on Cascade Avenue. Didn't these learned scientists know that every driver can't afford to hire a navigator?

Dave would like to hear from you. Phone him at 715-426-9554.