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The rites of spring include:
That first morning coffee on the patio when no robe is needed to stay warm and the cats join in without needing a warm lap.
The blooming of the peach, plum and nectarine trees. (I have just about given up on the lonely Japanese plum tree. The freeze gets it every time it sets fruit.)
Hundreds of children and animals from throughout the region heading to the Suwannee River Youth Fair pavilion in Fanning Springs.
And, for the last couple of years, it has included Chandler Beach of Trenton donating the proceeds of his hog to charitable causes.
But this year, it was not Chandler doing the hustling to help others. It was two other young folks who have taken up the mantle of donating what the community bids for their animals.
This year it was Alain Brown donating the $21,649.50 her hog No. 144 fetched in bidding. Pretty nice price for the bacon at $84.90 per pound. Lane Langford will be the recipient of the largesse.
Cheyanne Hall also donated the $21,915 her hog, No. 197, attracted in bids. That's about $84.95 per pound for the bacon. The beneficiary will be Heather Land.
What makes this notable is that an effort by one of our youth has bloomed into two youth. Will it be three or more next year?
Actually, it was three youths donating as Alain Brown's sister THS student Taylor Dean, 14, first pledged all of the money from her hog, Louise, to her friend Lane Langford. But Taylor's hog did not make weight and Brown stepped in.
It's humbling to see what these young people do for another in need.
Lane Langford was injured in a one-vehicle crash on Dec. 23. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time and was ejected from the vehicle. The Trenton High School football player, a member of the state championship team, has vowed to make a comeback and to walk again.
Heather Land of Old Town is battling colon cancer and has had to travel as far as Philadelphia for medical care.
The sacrifice of the two youths was best expressed by Cale McCall on FB
“These two young people decided to donate something that took many hours of hard work, sweat, dedication, and tears. These two young people decide to help some that is (in) need! And we also saw how close knit and how much our Tri-County Area supports each other! I would like to just say thank you .... It goes without saying that this is a tradition we can all endorse.
Lou Elliott Jones is editor of the Chiefland Citizen and Cedar Key Beacon. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.