And I'm getting' weary

How far is heaven

And I know I need to change

My ways of livin'

How far is heaven

Lord can you tell me"

"Heaven"

~ Los Lonely Boys ~

By Write Hard by Dennis J. Wright

Saints and sinners, I knew this week was going to be a busy one, but let's get real here. We got the illustrious Dogwood Festival going on, and it's the talk of the town (except for that damm race horse). So, without a further adieu, here comes a sunshine day, london broil sandwiched, funnel caked version of Write-Offs, just for you:

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Write-Off: It was an honor being one of the 1,200 people jam packed into the Main Chapel at Valley Forge Christian College last Friday for their 65th Annual Baccalaureate and Commencement. A mid-afternoon thunderstorm didn't damper the enthusiasm of the 122 graduates and their friends and families from sharing in the special day. I've come to know several of these students while covering events in conjunction with the college, and I'd like to wish Dominic LaMont, Jon D.M. Whiteway and Eufemio Pagan the best in their future endeavors.

Also, a special congratulations to Samantha Fry, who'll be graduating from Villanova next weekend. Her star is only going to get brighter as time goes on.

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Write-Off: If you've ever wondered what Pilates is all about, then get yourselves over to 119 South Main Street on Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m. for National Pilates Day. Sponsored by Inspiration to Movement, Inc., the day will consist of several different free classes, lectures and some awesome prizes. I'd only heard of Pilates from the movie "Joe Somebody," so when I heard of this event coming up, I figured I'd investigate. I met Rachel Nace, president of Inspiration to Movement, and she offered to give me a Pilates lesson. With an open mind and inadequate workout clothes, she taught me several breathing exercises, as well as other aspects of Pilates that I still practice at home. If you pre-judge and think that Pilates isn't a workout, then put it to the test and see for yourselves. Let Rachel put you through a workout, and let me know what you think.

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Write-Off: May days for those who were born this month include Phoenix employees Sherry Sweeney and Emily Bindschusz, gambler extraordinaire Terry Himes, and the wedding anniversary of my Number One sister. If I've missed anyone, please e-mail me and I'll add it before month's end.

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Write-Off: Saints and sinners, when you're cruising around the Dogwood Festival this coming Saturday, please take the time to stop by and visit Phoenix sports editor Jason Feather and your favorite sinnah at the Phoenix booth from 12 noon to 4 p.m. We'll be playing some music and having a good time while hanging out at the festival. Also, check out the Phoenix employees during the Dogwood Festival parade earlier that day. We'll be handing out free issues of The Phoenix, and maybe chucking some candy out to those with a sweet tooth. I'll be participating in my first Dogwood parade, so I'm looking forward to it.

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Write-Off: Awesome violinist Caryn Lin will take the stage at the Steel City Coffee House this coming Saturday night. She'll be performing songs from her recent release "No One To Blame." Tickets are $10 and are still available at the door. Also, brace yourselves because everyone's favorite National Anthem singer, Lauren Hart, will be coming back to Steel City next Friday night, May 21. Get your tickets while you can for that one because she sells out quickly.

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Write-Off: What costs close to $2 and doesn't get you very far? It's a gallon of gas, and I'm thinking of purchasing either roller blades or a skateboard to do my best to fight these increases. Considering the car I own now, I'm sure someone will miss me putting in my weekly $25 to keep my vehicle moving. Let's see, gas prices going up, milk prices going up, so what's next? Someone's not doing their job somewhere, and the rest of us have to suffer for that.

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Until then, some final words of wisdom to "write-off" to - my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Nick Berg, who was killed in Iraq earlier this week. Question: how many more lives have to be lost before something is done about this daily madness overseas?

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Dennis J. Wright can be reached at dwright@phoenixvillenews.com.

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