I begin this news article and this day, as many of you readers, with the Iraqi war ever present on our mind. Yes, as Americans, living and enjoying this great land of the “free” while our dedicated sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers who have given their lives in prior wars for our freedom, and are now doing the same. I support all our military troops and our leaders in this effort. I am against war as such and feel it should be as the last resort’and in this case, was the “last resort” to rid the world of this merciless, ruthless, mass-killer of thousands of his own innocent Iraqi people and to give the Iraqi people liberation to pursue their own dreams in a free society. Although I do not claim to be an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, I do have a pretty good first-hand knowledge of their feelings, their religion and their culture after having lived and worked closely with them for seven years. Prior to my retirement (after 36 years) with Lockheed-Aerospace, I spent three years on assignment in Teheran, Iran (1975-1978), two years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (1980-1981) and two years in Ankara, Turkey (1988-1989). During these years we met, worked with and associated with many of these people. My wife and I still correspond with lasting friendships developed while there. I can truly say that the vast majority of the people there are just like the average American (except they are living under a stifling, oppressive, tyrannical dictatorship). They know there is a better life, they long for the same things that we do, better food, better sanitation, better medical care, better education, just a chance to democratically govern their own selves and seek a better way of life. While on my ‘soapbox’ I will say one thing concerning the war then I’ll get on with the “Melvin Hap’nin’s and that is’relative to the musical group called the “Dixie Chicks” and their statements made to fans while performing in London that they “were ashamed that our President was from Texas.” I say, as the majority of Americans do, that I am gratified that we have a decisive President who will stand up against terrorism and the evil regimes around the world and I am proud that he is from Texas! The Melvin Cemetery Association held it’s annual meeting on April 6 at the community center with good attendance. Jason Jacoby, association president, presided over the meeting. The treasurer’s report was given by Virginia Malmstrom and then old business and new business was discussed. Among the items reported were the status of building of a new rock entrance way and the status on roadway improvements. Other items agreed upon included the painting of the tabernacle and flagpole, installation of water faucet protection and cemetery mowing/maintenance. Some new business included the election of officers and directors of the association. Those officers and directors of the Melvin Cemetery Association are: Jason Jacoby, president; David Siler, vice president; Virginia Malmstrom, secretary/treasurer; Bill Ferris, board of directors; Manuel Pina, board of directors; R. L. Hargroves, board of directors; Benito Benevides, board of directors. The Melvin school reunion will be held this month beginning on Friday evening, April 25 and concluding on Sunday morning, the 27th. Letters have been sent to all ex-students (where addresses are known) and should have been received by now; but just in case you haven’t, mark your calendar and try to make it. You will have a great time’seeing your old girlfriends and boyfriends’reminiscing about the “good ole days” etc., etc.; and saying to yourself, “Wow, that Suzie Q. and Bobby McGee are surely getting old! Am I looking ‘that’ old'” Also I want to announce that the Melvin Community will hold an Easter Sunrise Worship service beginning at 6:30 a.m., Easter Sunday, April 20, on the east side of the community center. After a short program, breakfast will be served to all attendees. The public is encouraged to attend; so come bring a friend and enjoy. On May 3, voting will take place at the Community Center beginning at 7 a.m. for three places on the Melvin City Council. Seven candidates are seeking election to fill three seats that are becoming open and are now held by Gary Davis, Frankie Holubec and Ruben Flores. Those seven candidates are: Lavada Davis, Mike Hammeter, Ernest Constanuela, Elizabeth Stephenson, Bobby David, Gilbert Steelhammer and Ruben Flores (seeking re-election). Current council persons whose terms are not up until May 2004 are Reba Sutton and Abraham Rodriquez. In case you haven’t noticed yet, the city has become a little brighter at night. Bulb replacements have been made as well as some newly installed lighting fixtures. Other dark spots have been identified and additional lighting, as needed, will be incrementally installed. On Saturday, May 17, a community-wide garage sale is going to be held on the town square in Melvin. So now is a good time to begin getting those “treasurers” out of the attic, do some spring cleaning, and make “tons” of money for that long-waited trip to Hawaii (or maybe Salt Gap)! Spaces will be marked off for your items and can be reserved by calling the City Office at 325-286-4222 or by fax at 325-286-4294. The entire area is welcome to come and sell, buy, look and enjoy a full day of fun at the First Annual Community-Wide Garage Sale. In addition to the sale, there will be food and drink vendors, antiques, arts and crafts, music and entertainment and more. Additional information will be announced. Melvin has some new residents who have moved here from Eden within the last few weeks. They are Mr. and Mrs. Phillip and Darlean Boyd and daughters, Darla and Donnelle and son, Scott. They have purchased the former Holmquist home at 302 White Street. We extend our welcome to the Boyd family. More Melvin Hap’nin’s later’meanwhile, I leave you with this’a minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you all understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.” The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many people read Mark 17. Every hand went up. The minister smiled and said, “Mark only has 16 chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.” Gotta go for now’remember’hug someone and tell them you care.