The end of the school year is crazy busy in Sleepy Eye!

The end of the school year is a crazy time, and not just for me, (I know, it’s not all about me) I suppose it is crazy at the schools, too. My May calendar has a variety of entries almost every day—I write them all down, but can’t get to everything.

The schools have been great about sending pictures. See the back page for a collection of nice color pictures, some that were meant to be in last week’s paper, but got squeezed out. I imagine next week will be the same. Even with school ending at Public School this week, you can expect to see more pictures of their activities in next week’s paper—including, of course, graduation pictures for the Class of 2018 who will receive their diplomas this Friday night. Congratulations to the SEHS graduates.

While they may be at the end of their academic year, many will continue with school sports as the playoff seasons begin. And, I won’t be there! I welcomed AJ Rusch to the office Tuesday morning and gave him a crash course in our software and the camera. He did a wonderful job, under a bit of pressure to get it done now. Next week we’ll add Jim St. Peter and the two guys will put in part-time hours covering spring and summer sports and other news stories. We’ll give them a real introduction in next week’s paper. No more sports pictures in the rain for me—they will handle it all splendidly.

With our long-lasting winter weather and abrupt switch to spring, I entirely missed the ice going out on the lake. Ron Zinniel has become the “keeper of the ice-out records” following in the footsteps of his dad who started keeping rack in 1988. So our records don’t go way back in history, but that is a 30-year span.

I saw Ron shortly before the ice went out and reminded him to let me know the date. Then I didn’t think about it again. I didn’t drive by the lake again either, so I don’t have photographic evidence of the first day the ice was gone. Ron had been in Alexandria for the Fire Convention the weekend the ice finally let go. Luckily he was back in town on Sunday, April 29 to record it as the ice-out date—the latest in his record, with the runner-up being April 21 in 2013.

I’m hoping next year we see a record for the earliest ice-out date!