Summer is here, at least according to the calendar, but some folks who have come from the coast to our vaunted sunshine have found as much rain and cloudiness as from whence they came.

Likewise, for local hay ranchers the weather has not been especially kind. No pun, but the trickle-down effect on small gardeners leaves lots to be desired as well.

Still, there is hope and knowledge that it is going to get sunny and hot ere long. Local institutions up here are preparing for the warmth and the waning hours of daylight ahead. On July 10 the Mazama Market at the community hall will resume. And concurrent with this, the traditional Mazama Store Pizza Night will likewise commence on that Wednesday date.

Prior to that, a new factor will be added to the store’s growing repertoire of events. Proprietors Rick and Missy LeDuc will institute a beer garden, currently set for the weekend of July 5, after 6 p.m. There will be draft beer from the kegs of the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, and possibly then or at a later date, suds from microbreweries elsewhere. If you need to slake your thirst and be driving any appreciable distance, best to call first to confirm the time and date. The number is 996-2855.

About three years ago rancher Doug Devin was baling hay and at some point noticed that his wallet was missing. Fearing the worst, he backtracked, seeking the fallen item to no avail.

Now fearing the even worse worst, he set about tearing apart the bales that had been made, looking for the wallet.  Among lots of other important stuff there was a $50 bill in the wallet. All this was to no avail and he had to go about replacing the goodies.

Last week, another rancher, name not given, was raking the hayfield and spotted a dark object among the cut greenery. It was the wallet its own self and this morning, June 24, Doug had it on display at the daily SLIME convocation. There indeed was his Safeway card, his Starbucks coffee card and other notable objects. But the $50 bill was missing.

On opening the currency compartment, he saw what was left of the bill, which had apparently rotted over the years, leaving its imprint on the interior surface.

And now, a “Brush With Stardom:” Mary Sharman’s dad double-dated with Elizabeth Taylor and her date. Asked when this was, Mary replied it was some time between National Velvet and Richard Burton. For those too young to remember, National Velvet was Taylor’s first big hit, and Burton was a British actor and one of Taylor’s many husbands.

But wait – there’s more. Another “Brush” – Mary’s stepbrother played the guitar backstage with Frank Zappa at a concert. Who is Frank Zappa, you may ask. Google away – he was a rising star when Liz Taylor’s star was in decline.

We’ve gotta close with a huge thanks to the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for a splendid job of grading the Dripping Springs Road access to the Big Valley Trail.