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Remembering Leon this Memorial Day

A little over a year ago on Friday, May 13, The Madera Tribune lost an important member of its family. We still miss our friend and colleague Leon Emo. His passing left a large hole in both our newspaper and in our hearts. He thoroughly enjoyed being a part of his hometown newspaper.

Everyone has a story to tell, and Leon used his distinctive view to bring those stories to the pages of this publication. His wit and unique insight of the human condition brought those narratives to life enriching every publication.

In the past year many people in Madera have discovered the voids in their lives that were once filled by the community service of the “Humble Scribe,” as he referred to himself. His devotion to the Madera Elks Lodge, Relay for Life and the Madera Breakfast Lions Club and others were just the tip of his public service iceberg.

He enjoyed calling me the Friday the 13th Queen because of my fascination with superstitions. I teased him back about affinity for wearing short pants even in winter. We had a frequent reader who often chastised him for his shorts and for kissing his “Gal,” his wife Viola in public. Her barbs were submitted anonymously and I never did learn her identity although he may have had his suspicions. He and I shared a point of view on how to handle people who like to criticize us and the columns we wrote.

As long as these people keep buying and reading The Madera Tribune they can say anything they want about us. The day he died was a very unlucky Friday, May 13th.

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Madera celebrates this Memorial Day weekend with several public services on Monday. Beginning at 9 a.m. at Arbor Vitae Cemetery, 1301 Roberts Ave., the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1981 and the Military Order of the Purple Heart will present the Avenue of Flags, comprised of veterans’ burial flags. A wreath-laying ceremony at the veterans’ memorial will follow an introduction by Madera County Veterans Service Officer Leonard Williams.

At 10 a.m. at Calvary Cemetery, 28447 Avenue 14, American Legion Post 11 will present its Avenue of Flags as well.

At 11 a.m. at the Madera Courthouse Park the VFW and the American Legion will hold services honoring the men and women of Madera who gave their lives in service of America. That ceremony will include speeches and music.

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While the Summer Solstice isn’t until June 21, many acknowledge the Memorial Day holiday as signifying the first weekend of summer. Another benchmark for the season is the end of the school year. According to its web site the last day of school for the Madera Unified School District this year is June 2.

Madera has already had its first a triple digit day with last Tuesday hitting 101 degrees. This weekend the temperatures are supposed to be in the high 80s and mid-90s, with the next 100-degree day next Tuesday.

To increase the efficiency of your air conditioner change the filter or replace the pads on the evaporative cooler if that is your mode of home cooling. Dirty filters and old cooler pads make the units more expensive to operate.

Enjoy the holiday weekend and please don’t drink and drive.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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