An armadillo did not seem to be worried at all about the photographer’s presence last Saturday afternoon.

Cruisin' on the armadillo...and other stuff...

Please read this...

Trying to find some sort of a connection in a story involving a former president, a $13,000 cruise on the Mississippi River, a book sale and armadillo might seem a little bit shaky at best.

Oh, well. Here we go...

Happy belated birthday wishes to former President Jimmy Carter. CNN reported that Mr. Carter, the nation’s oldest living former president, turned 98 on Saturday. 

Mr. Carter probably does not remember the ever-so-brief meeting we had many, many, years ago. That’s probably because he would have no reason whatsoever to remember it. The encounter did allow me to take the first photograph of a presidential candidate in the very, very early months of my career in journalism...


I read a story a few weeks ago in USA TODAY about a famous cruise company which is going to offer folks an opportunity to take what is presumably a luxury trip on the Mississippi River. I say “luxury” because the cost of the trip is something like $12,999, or, maybe, $3,999 per person, double occupancy, in a stateroom. I never did really figure out how I would be paying for this adventure.

I’m pretty sure I could figure out how to take a trip on the Mississippi River for a whole lot less than $12,999. I found something online that showed we could pick up a 10-foot jon boat for $700 or $800. We’d need a couple of life jackets; looked like we could get them for fifty or sixty bucks. We could get some bread to make sandwiches, maybe some chips or crackers, something to drink. Maybe we’re up to a thousand bucks. We’ve saved money already.  

When we go on our cruise in a jon boat on the Mississippi, maybe we’ll see an armadillo. Extensive research over a period of about five minutes Monday night allowed me to learn that armadillos are not afraid of water, and they are very capable of crossing small streams or creeks, as well as major rivers, like the one we’ll be cruising in a jon boat. 

Apparently, an armadillo will cross a creek simply by holding its breath and walking across the bottom. An armadillo would get across the Mississippi River by inflating its stomach and floating from one side to another. Really, I read that on internet. Of course, some armadillos just go out and buy a jon boat...and they don’t even need a life jacket, since they can do that thing with their stomach. Maybe instead of buying life jackets for our jon boat cruise, we’ll just find a couple of armadillos, hold on and let ‘em inflate their stomachs. (The Other Half thought that idea was just silly.)

That brings me to the critter I saw rooting around in the neighbor’s front yard last Saturday afternoon. Yup. An armadillo. Alive and kicking, unlike the last one I had seen which was quite still and simmering in the summer sunshine, waiting to be the main course for a vulture’s dinner. The armadillo I saw looked to be pretty dry, too, so I’m guessing it hadn’t just floated across the Mississippi.

The critter didn’t seem to be very concerned about the presence of a couple of folks with cameras. The armadillo finally figured out that it was time to skedaddle. I didn’t know that armadillos could run so fast. 

We’ll close this with yet another shameless plug, which almost slipped my mind...

A ColorFest book sale is planned at Stinson Memorial Library in Anna. The sale is being offered by the Friends of Stinson Library, a group which supports the library in a variety of ways.

A Friends Appreciation Sale is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7. Those who are not members of the Friends of Stinson Library can join at the sale for just five bucks.

The book sale is scheduled to be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. A bag sale is planned from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9. A full bag of books will be $5. Bags will be provided.

Maybe I’ll see you at the book sale. I’ll be looking for a book about armadillos written by Jimmy Carter (who has written a number of books) that I can take on a cruise on the Mississippi River...

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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