Carol Loomis first met Sheila Krippner when they would read books on the deck of the old Memorial Pool in Geneva while their kids were swimming.
"Sheila came up to me and said she noticed I was always reading books, and she said we should start a book club," Loomis recalled.
That chance meeting took place in the early 1970s. Since then, those two ladies have read a lot of books, and they have had a few other ladies join them.
Krippner and Loomis were among a handful of ladies who created the Geneva Book Club in 1972. Five ladies -- Loomis, Krippner, Suzy Peters, Martha Ryan and JoAnn Cregier -- have been with the club since it started.
When the club -- which currently has 17 members -- gets together on Sept. 6 for its monthly critiques and discussions, it will mark its 40th anniversary.
Club meetings generally result in lively discussions, especially when some members don't particularly care for a certain book, Loomis said.
"The best discussions take place when we have about nine of the club members present, it seems, because everyone can have their say," Loomis explains.
"Sometimes, it gets pretty noisy and one of us will have to say, 'OK, let's calm down,'" she added.
At least part of the fuel for that noise, Loomis admits, could be that it is common for the ladies to drink a bit of wine during meetings.
"When we all had little children back when the club first started that wine really tasted good," Loomis said.
But it's mostly the books that have inspired the women to commit to a monthly habit for 40 years.
Members recall the first book reviewed in 1972 was Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Loomis said.
But how about some of the club's favorite books through the years?
Loomis said those include, "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand, "Crossing to Safety" by Wallace Stegner, "Straight Man" by Richard Russo, and "The Warmth of Other Suns" by Isabel Wilkerson.
Idea worth exploring: This proves that most any idea is worth at least looking into.
St. Charles Park District board treasurer Bob Carne said he liked an idea I outlined in this column two weeks ago about cities and park districts working together to establish their own nurseries to replace all of the diseased ash trees being removed.
He presented it to the park board, which determined it was worth investigating. That due diligence resulted in Laura Rudow, the superintendent of parks and planning, reporting that other park districts, such as Naperville and Fox Valley, had previously established their own nurseries and were just now starting to get out of that business because of the cost of wholesale trees.
I was thinking more along the lines of starting with small seedlings, but the message was fairly clear that it is a costly operation to keep trees alive during a hot summer like this. I appreciate Carne keeping me informed of how the idea moved through the pipeline.
The Schiller watch: The Schiller family of Geneva makes sure local football fans don't forget a former Geneva Viking is trying for a spot on the Atlanta Falcons. That player just happens to be Pat Schiller, who played outside linebacker for the Vikings and middle linebacker for the Northern Illinois University Huskies.
He's overcome some injuries to get his shot at the NFL, and his father, also named Pat Schiller, has been sending emails to friends and Viking supporters about which websites and TV stations are likely to telecast Falcons preseason games.
Schiller has been getting playing time on special teams and at middle linebacker.
He got time in the national TV spotlight on Fox during a recent preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Let's hope we'll see this excellent local athlete on CBS, NBC or Fox at other points during the regular NFL season.
Switching blocks: What's a block party without a block on which to hold it?
Planners of the annual Batavia Block Party and the Taste of Batavia likely won't miss a beat in moving the event from River Street, currently under construction for the streetscape project, over to the Riverwalk.
The party, with popular new restaurant Aliano's Ristorante as a sponsor, will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, on the Riverwalk.
This event, which includes food, live music and games, drew big crowds to River Street last year. It helped city planners and Batavia MainStreet downtown supporters realize the potential for Batavia's future rested on visions like the streetscape project.
The Riverwalk obviously provides an excellent backup location, considering it's the centerpiece of most everything that happens in Batavia.
A pizza keeper: It seems the revolving door of restaurants at the 31 N. River St. location in Batavia will finally settle down with Pal Joey's opening.
The city was wise to provide incentives to the restaurant to come here and get this key location locked down with a solid tenant.
It's a good sign that, even with River Street torn up for the Batavia Streetscape project, the restaurant is enjoying a consistent flow of patrons. It was quite busy when we visited and it should remain that way, because the pizza and other food choices are quite good. The outdoor seating along the Fox River has been popular in this summer of few rainy days.
Finally some movement: Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse ... at the empty Golden Corral site in Batavia for the longest time. But lo and behold, on Thursday morning some workers were spotted on the scene, working on the parking lot lights. That could be a telltale sign that this place might open in late September, as we were last told.