Happy Hot Air Balloon Day! Today we celebrate a very brave pig, duck and rooster. These three creatures took the world’s very first hot-air balloon ride on this date in 1783. They all did just fine, health-wise, although many thought they would run out of oxygen going so high in the sky. Brothers Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier built the globe-shaped balloon out of sackcloth and paper, and they were the ones who put the animals in the hot air balloon’s basket.

The balloon weighed about 500 pounds. It had 1,800 buttons and a fish net cord. It rose over 6,000 feet in the air and stayed up for about 10 minutes. Today’s balloons are made of 1,200 to 1,500 square yards of nylon or polyester fabric treated with coatings to withstand ultraviolet light, 2,500 feet of tape and 6-8 miles of thread. The balloons weigh between 200 and 350 pounds. The basket and fuel tanks add about another 400 pounds.

Ever since then, tethered and untethered balloons have been used for a wide variety of purposes, beginning in the Civil War, when they were used for reconnaissance.

In the past, they have been used for travel, but mostly now they are limited to air shows and festivals, for hot air balloon rides from a hobby and entertainment perspective.

And then there is always the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with all those balloon shapes. I love watching the balloons in that parade, and my favorites are Charlie Brown and Snoopy.

If you feel the need to ride in a hot air balloon, Galt has its own hot air balloon festival. Like last year, this year’s Galt Balloon Festival will be held in August, on Aug. 10 and 11 to be exact. Tickets are already on sale; you can purchase tickets online at and search for Galt Balloon Festival.

Galt High School and Liberty Ranch High School’s graduations are tomorrow at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento. The Liberty Ranch graduation starts at 3 p.m., and Galt High’s is at 7 p.m. Let us wish all the graduates well and success on their future endeavors.

Father’s Day is two Sundays away. Have you made plans for those men in your life? No time like the present. Give them a little piece and quiet, food, full control of the TV remote, dessert, and what every man wants – a new tie! LOL! I crack myself up. No, they want a day of no nagging or refereeing. Can you imagine a whole day, from the time you get up until the time you go to bed, with no nagging or refereeing? Might be worth trying.

Our family celebrated my mother-in-law’s and my birthday this past weekend. Too warm to cook so we dined on Chinese take-out and homemade, from scratch, brownies for dessert. The Chinese takeout was so good on Mother’s Day we decided to have it again. The brownies were served by themselves or with ice cream, very tasty – a relaxing day with family, lots of stories and laughter. That’s my kind of birthday celebration.

And here is what you have been waiting for: just 1 day of school left; tomorrow school is out for the summer. And, of course, for those who do not have enough to do already and need to do a little shopping, there are 203 shopping days until Christmas. And I bet you, dollars for donuts, someone out there has most of their Christmas shopping done. Now, how can that be, how do they know what to get – unless their shopping is all gift cards. That’s just wrong! I am stepping down off the soapbox.

Dates to remember:

Tonight – Herald Community Club meeting is 7 p.m. at Hendrickson Training Center.

Thursday, June 6 – D-Day, 75 years ago, 156,000 allied troops invaded the beaches of Normandy.

Thursday, June 6 – High school graduations

Friday, June 14 – Flag Day

Sunday, June 16 – Father’s Day

Thursday, June 20 – Summer Solstice

Until next week – be strong, be courageous, make a memory.