Gotta love the First Friday Art Walk in downtown Ocala

One of my favorite pastimes here in Beautiful Marion County is wandering around Ocala’s Downtown Square and the surrounding areas on the First Friday of each non-summer month. This seasonal activity kicks off tomorrow and runs each month until next summer.

Artists and entertainers make for an enjoyable evening for visitors just meandering around and taking it all in. I’m too old to do much of anything else, but walking and talking, even if I have to do it slowly, is still on my can-do list. If you like art and entertainment, then you might want to join in on this popular event, too. It’s free — but if you’d like to unload some cash, too, then lots of eateries around the square offer taste temptations for your palate, and the walking is good for you.

Be sure to check out the Ocala Calligraphy Guild’s booth, where skilled calligraphers can impress you with their excellent work and perhaps even set YOU on the road to a greater mastery of handwriting! If you stop there, be sure to tell them Emory sent you!

ON THE MEND: After some serious health issues involving an operating room, surgery, days in ICU, followed by more days in CCU, and then a stint in a rehab facility, I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. Dearly Beloved and I even went to Sammy’s one day last week and Scoops Ice Cream near Big Lots on State Road 200 the next. Two of my favorite hangouts in two days. Great spaghetti at Sammy’s and fantastic ice cream at Scoops ... could life possibly be any better than this for an Olde Geezer like me? Hmmm ... probably not.

BREAKFAST: Ocala’s Henrietta Hardmann wrote: “Read your article this morning and glad to hear you are on the mend. Another suggestion for your oatmeal is a dash of cinnamon in it when you cook it. Helps to keep sugars down. I find the blueberries, strawberries and banana makes it sweet enough for me.”

Suzanne DePascale, Marion Oaks, wrote: “Yes, oatmeal is a quick and easy breakfast choice. I like to take some cheese and cut a few ‘chips off the old block’ and stir it into the fully cooked and hot oatmeal. I know everyone has heard of cheese grits, but cheese oatmeal is good, too.”

WORDS: I wrote recently about altered names and words. Leona Seely then wrote: “My companion's brain often seems to run faster than his mouth. We now recognize a ‘slock’ of horses as a combination of a ‘slew’ and a ‘flock.’ Driving down the interstate, looking for chicken, he caught the first letters of Cracker Barrel, and he declared it as a ‘Chicken Bucket.’ The Canterbury Bookstore has now become the ‘Cranberry Bookstore,’ and he has been known to order a ‘Farmer's Almanac’ for breakfast. You are definitely not alone!”

TV ADS: Ocala’s Ben Yourg wrote: “A long time ago, I would be watching TV, and the ads were mostly for automobiles, food, appliances and department stores. Now I am guessing they're 25% for attorneys, 25% for insurance, 20% for prescriptions and 20% for autos.”

Advertising trends tend to run in cycles, Ben. Next year, your list may look entirely different. Times and tastes — and advertising budgets — are all subject to constant change.

RECYCLING: Ocala’s Ardella Hutchins wrote: “I'm hoping you or one of your readers may help me understand this recycling thing because obviously, I'm doing it wrong. Our refuse people tell us not to do ours separately but wanting to recycle we go once every two weeks to the Marion County Baseline Recycling Center. Here's where the confusion sets in. Our recycle bins at the center say NO GLASS.

“The article says clear, green and brown glass jars and bottles should be recycled. The article says recycle #1-7 but states no meat trays. Our meat trays are #6. Our egg cartons have a recycle emblem on them yet they are on the ‘keep out of the recycle bin’ list. I could go on but you get the idea. Can anyone clear this up for me?”

CAR SHOW & BARBECUE: The Ocala West United Methodist Church is located at 9330 SW 105th St. in Ocala, and the Men's Fellowship will host a Car Show and Chicken Barbecue in the parking lot and the adjacent church pavilion tomorrow from 5-7 p.m. Half a chicken barbecue dinner will be $8. Boy Scout Troop 707 will offer a hot dog with chips and drink for $4.

Please send your comments to slyguy73@gmail.com and include your FULL name and town. This column appears each Thursday and Saturday on page B1 and online at ocala.com