Left Justified: Summertime thoughts

By Stanley Campbell

Chocolat by Daniel has a new variety called Summer Thyme. It took me a while…I like taking my out-of-town friends there, as well as to Tinker Swiss Cottage, Octane, Irish Rose and anywhere west of the river.

This summer, many friends return, mainly to visit ailing parents. When the parents go, so go my friends, I guess.

By the way, last column I mentioned the local peace group will host a “Pastors for Peace Caravan” on its way to Cuba. They are coming through Rockford Saturday, July 10, and we will honor them with a 5:30 p.m. potluck supper and a 6 p.m. program. You are welcome, and you will not be harmed in any way.

The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, allows us to use their facilities to host the program. The church is at 4848 Turner St., four blocks north and east of Alpine and State, just before the back entrance to Rockford College.

The Unitarians have been very kind to us peaceniks. Many of them are of similar mind, and a few of the peace rallies originated from that building, if not from those parishioners. Unitarians believe in one God, but not the three “persons.” The “universalism” comes from the belief that God will really welcome us all into the fold, and we are universally saved.

But many of the UUs (as they are sometimes lovingly called) have many different beliefs, and I am sure I may have offended some of them with my definitions. Though I doubt UUs are offended very often by interpretations of their beliefs.

There are many jokes that give that impression: “Did you hear about the radical Unitarians? They burn question marks on people’s lawns.”

“What do you get when you cross a UU with a Jehovah’s Witness? Someone who knocks on your door, but doesn’t know why.”

I like their coffee. It is good, dark and fairly traded. Fair-trade coffee usually comes from poor farmers who own their own land, or are collectively engaged in growing organic, shade-grown (the richest kind) coffee beans. You can buy it at JustGoods, the fair-trade store at 201 Seventh St.. The fair-trade items are all “fairly traded” and can be traced to the village where they were made.

My office is in the basement of the fair-trade store. Come visit me. Please.

But these summer days keep me outside, and I’ll use any excuse to take a walk and talk politics and go have a cup of fair-trade coffee, maybe at Katie’s Cup, just down the street. Katie’s is becoming a destination spot in its own right.

JustGoods and Katie’s Cup are now considered the “anchors” of Seventh Street, along with the Friday Market, Lung Fung and the Vietnamese Restaurant, as well as other establishments. I live and work in this neighborhood, and I enjoy the summer here. I hope you do as well.

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

From the June 16-22, 2010 issue

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