Apologies, Pig Races, And A Blood Drive


One of the pitfalls of contacting so many people simultaneously is that there are times when one forgets why they called a certain someone, especially when some time has lapsed. That happened this week to us at Just Outside The Loop, and we owe Linda Rucker a formal apology.

A few weeks had gone by since we reached out to Linda, the wife of John “Tommy” Rucker Jr., to see if she would be interested in talking to us about the new protective netting that the town recently installed at the Harrisburg Elementary School baseball complex in her late husband’s memory www.justoutsidetheloop.com/2019/08/23/protective-netting-honors-coach-ruckers-memory.

She returned our call late last week and, well, she caught us by surprise. Apologies, Linda!

Linda wanted to thank all those who donated to the project, and also personally thank the Harrisburg Town Council for making Tommy’s vision a reality. “He wanted this for a long time,” said Ms. Rucker, who was married to Tommy for 26 years. “This is a wonderful gift for the community.”

Tommy, who passed away in March at the age of 54, was a longtime Harrisburg Community Youth Association coach, and often worried that a stray ball would injure a spectator or child. The town recently agreed to move forward with the net installation, and the project was supplemented by more than $2,400 in donations made in Tommy’s memory.

Thank you for the call, Linda.

A buddy ripped into us this week for not alerting readers that the Cabarrus County Fair kicked off this past Friday, September 6.

Well, we are sorry about that oversight, especially since Ray Christie also shared that the fair is a must-stop as it offers, and we quote, some of the “best pig racing around.”

Nope, didn’t know that was a thing but, again, we’ve never been to the Cabarrus County Fair! Our plan is to correct that at some point this week, and before the event wraps up on Saturday, September 14.

In addition to Robinson’s Racing Pigs, the county fair features a chainsaw artist, a petting zoo, a ninja obstacle course, a butterfly encounter, food vendors, and more than 40 rides and assorted carnival games.

General admission is $8 for those age 12 and older, $5 for children ages 6-11, and $5 for military personnel (ID required) and those 55 and older. Kids 5 and younger get in for free. There is no charge for parking.

Ride wristbands are $25 for one day, or $20 per sheet (22 tickets), or $5 for one sheet (4 tickets). Visit www.cabarruscountyfair.com/fair-info for additional information, and a schedule of performances.

The American Red Cross and Charlotte Motor Speedway are teaming up and encouraging others to roll up their sleeves and donate blood this Wednesday, September 11—the 18thanniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Eligible donors are encouraged to make their way over the Paddock Club, located on the infield of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Those who want to attend the opening ceremony should arrive before 9:30 a.m., and make their way to the Avenue of Flags by the speedway’s ticket office.

Retired U.S. Army chaplain Henry Haynes, who served as chaplain of The Pentagon on the day of the attacks, will deliver a speech, as will North Carolina native Randy Cash, a retired U.S. Navy chaplain. After many years of service in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, Mr. Cash was designed deputy chaplain of the Marine Corps on September 11, 2001. He served as national chaplain of the American Legion from 2014-16.

A moment of silence will be observed at 9:32 a.m. for all those who perished that day.

Several months of planning will be on full display this Saturday, September 14, during the inaugural Harrisburg Multicultural Festival at Harrisburg Park. The day’s festivities will include dancing, music, educational booths, and cuisine with an international flair.

Organizers have enlisted dozens of volunteers, including many middle and high school students, who will either be performing or manning the educational booths for 20 different countries.

Hosted by the Harrisburg Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee, the festival will run from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and there is no charge to attend.

All are welcome and encouraged to attend the festivities that are designed to celebrate diversity, knock down the walls of cultural misunderstanding, and bring the community together. We will see you there!

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