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Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk There we were, driving down U.S. Highway 6, minding our own business chewing a big-league wad of chewing gum, talking on our cell phone and listening to a book on tape, when out of the blue - this green monster shocked us back into the real world when we thought aliens had landed for a Whopper and fries at the Silverthorne Burger King. "No, no," say our colleagues. "That's Shrek and he is an ogre, don't you know?" Sadly we didn't know, but they say he is promoting "Shrek 2" - a popular animation film.

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column finding it hard to be our normal, lighthearted selves on Memorial Day.

In our frenzy to barbecue and celebrate the beginning of summer (Memorial Day has become the unofficial start of summer, after all) we sometimes forget that this holiday is supposed to be solemn, a remembrance of those who have died to protect our freedom to barbecue and celebrate the beginning of summer.

In most years, Memorial Day can pass with most Americans giving nary a passing thought to our war dead. But this year is different -the number of war dead is increasing almost daily as our country tries to establish law and order in Iraq, even if “major combat operations” have been declared over.

So take some time today, even if you don’t attend an official memorial observance, to give some thanks and respect to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and to those who are currently in harm’s way.

Plus, before we go celebrating the beginning of summer, let’s not forget that IT SNOWED THIS WEEKEND!

Is this nature’s little way of saying, “Slow down, you Memorial Day partiers, you’re not off work today so you can eat and drink yourselves into slothhood. No, this time has been given to you to remember those who have died protecting your freedom. By the way, have some freshies”? We think so.


A special shout out goes out to Mike Peters, aka Mr. Pork Chop!

Rumor has it M.P. just wrapped up a six-year stint behind the line at the Hearthstone restaurant. After all that time making steaks and seafood for many satisfied diners, we think he deserves a little thanks.

So, M.P., here’s pie in your eye (the traditional whipped-cream pie goodbye, of course). Good luck!


Fret not, summer will come soon enough – planetarilly speaking, it begins June 21. That’s the day we should all get off work to barbecue and celebrate the start of summer.

Oh well, holidays are funny and powerful things. It’s like summer is from Memorial Day to Labor Day, fall from Labor Day to Christmas, winter from Christmas to Easter and spring from Easter to Memorial Day.

Tell us your calendar at

We’re out observing …

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