If you're planning a garage sale or organizing a church bazaar, you'd best beware: You could be breaking a new federal law. As part of a campaign Resale Roundup, the federal government is cracking down on the secondhand sales of dangerous and defective products.
"The initiative, which targets toys and other products for children, enforces a new provision that makes it a crime to resell anything that's been recalled by its manufacturer.
"'Those who resell recalled children's products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children's lives at risk,' said Inez Tenebaum, the recently confirmed chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.'"
That information was in an article written for McClatchey Newspapers, and adds that "Staffers for the federal agency are fanning out across the country to conduct training seminars on the regulations at dozens of thrift shops." And it mentions a woman in Monroe, Wash., who learned she might be in violation of federal law by selling some old Polly Pocket dolls who daughter no longer wanted. The list of old toys goes all the way back to 1993.
Now I'm wondering if the folks at the Presbyterian Church are going to be in violation of the new law and if the garage sale czar is going to show up?
For the record, this law was passed and signed by the former president, Bush (43). It is growing under the current administration with an additional $117 million added to the agency budget to hire and train garage sale police.
* * *
Several folks celebrated the anniversary of their birth last week. Among the celebrants was Martha Mobley. I just happened to be on hand when her hubby, Matt, was buying her present for the happy day. Personally, I thought she would have looked better in the green oak leaf camouflage pattern, but Matt was pretty well set on the bark pattern. The oak leaf matches her eyes better.
Martha may be the only wife in town to get her birthday shirt from Baker Farm & Hardware.
I should add that when Matt was shopping it was the afternoon of the first day of dove season. Matt and Max, his son, had been out that morning giving the birds the business. Actually, it was Max who was after the birds; dear ol' dad was just cheering him on.
Since Matt was looking at a camo shirt for his bride I figured they were out to make it a family affair. Wonder how Martha's going to like the duck blind?
* * *
I dropped in on what Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder referred to as an "extended-family reunion" Wednesday morning. Some folks refer to this annual event as the Delta Center Field Day. In many ways it did have the feel of a family reunion, though.
Former state rep and Pemiscot County's own Denny Merideth was in town. Denny, who resigned from the state legislature to pursue a career with the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Office, was back for a four-day visit to take care of some family business. His visit just happened to coincide with the Field Day and gave him an opportunity to see some familiar faces.
Denny is stationed in The Netherlands, and told Southeast Missouri State University president, Dr. Ken Dobbins and myself how good it is to get back home, "Even getting off the plane in Atlanta," he said, "it just feels good."
When a person has achieved such a status that they are known by just one name, think Madonna, Prince, Pele; then you know they arrived. They're in a different realm than the rest of us.
One of the speakers at Wednesday morning's breakfast made that connection with Delta Center head honcho, Jake Fisher. And when it comes to agriculture in southeast Missouri, well, that's pretty much true. A little later I happened to catch a glimpse of the name tag on his shirt. Sure enough all it said was, "Jake."
I kinda suspect, though, that when the rock star gets home Shelly still tells him to take out the trash.
* * *
Some would suggest that the timing of Field Day and the opening of dove season is just a coincidence. Don't believe them. The university mucky-mucks like to come south and get their limit of birds just like the locals. Shucks there have even been a few politicians out there in the field with guns in their hands on opening day. Only a wag would suggest that's just a photo op, though.
Opening day means the game wardens get busy, too.
One fellow I ran into last week was really proud not to have been checked by officers with Missouri Conservation Department. Not that he did anything wrong, he was just glad not have been checked.
I had to explain to him that his probation period was over so he didn't need to be checked every year, now. Rex Sutherland migrated (no pun intended) here from Arkansas chasing another kind of bird and stuck around.
* * *
The Missouri Waterfowl Festival is making plans for another successful event on Oct. 23-25. The festival, in its second year, is growing and is adding to new events this year. One of them is a 5K run to be held on Saturday morning.
Charolyn Hilburn, famous bird hunter that she is, will be chairing the committee putting the run together. Start training now and don't get discouraged. A 5-kilometer run is really ONLY 3.1 miles.
Bud Hunt is publisher of the Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and North Stoddard Countian.