Beware the Ides of March! That’s today.
“Ides” is a Latin word, mean-ing the day of the month when the full moon falls.
If you’re like me, the only rea-son you know any-thing about the ides of any month is because of Julius Caesar.
He was killed on March 15 by Brutus, Cassius, and the good old boys of the Roman senate about 2050 years ago.
Leastways, that’s how Shake-speare reported it in the play he wrote about the event.
I was too busy shooting spitballs to pay attention when we read the play in our high school English class, but if you remember the storyline, Caesar was warned by a soothsayer to “be-ware the ides of March.”
But Caesar ig-nored the guy, thinking him to be one of those crackpots and pa-parazzi that fol-lowed in the wakes of hot-shot gener-als, gladiators, and other celebri-ties.
The rest, as they say, is his-tory.
But what the history books don’t tell you is that the Ides of March was actually the deadline for contesting real estate tax reas-sessments in an-cient Rome.
Sort of like the dreaded Ides of April deadline for filing income taxes in the U.S.
The media was also asleep at the wheel in failing to report what it should have known about the assas-sins.
In addition to being senators, Brutus and Cassius were the first of the government double dippers, working as real estate developers when not busy promising bread and circuses to the unwashed masses.
They were angry with Caesar be-cause his most recent round of reassessments had sent property val-ues through the roof and screwed up one of their money making schemes to develop high rise condos around the Coli-seum, the hottest location in an-cient Rome.
So when they en-countered Caesar, on that fateful Ides of March, true to their calling, they knifed him in the back.
Of course you can dismiss all this as “blarney” and that would be fine with me.
With St. Pat-rick’s Day coming up on Friday, this is the one time of year, when I can write the way a politician talks and make up what-ever I want.
Operating under the influence of a full moon also makes me type strange things into my word proc-essor.
Having years ago dangled from the highest parapets of Blarney Castle in order to buss the Stone of Elo-quence, I recom-mend the ritual as a truth tonic.
Hanging by the ankles from sev-eral stories above the ground part will loosen your tongue so easily that you’ll admit to anything, whether it hap-pened or not.
A few years back, the Blarney Stone appeared in North Wildwood. It was a fake, cre-ated by clever and enterprising folk from the city’s public works de-partment as a con-versation piece for the city’s annual Irish Fes-tival.
Perhaps, with local residents reeling from the latest round of property tax reas-sessments, the city had better trot out its Blar-ney Stone and do a lot of smooching because it’s going to take a lot of blarney (defined as pleasant talk intended to de-ceive without of-fending) to make the numbers palat-able.
Whether or not you heed the soothsayer, and stay indoors to-day, there’s an-cient tradition in history, involving treachery and money.
And history has the habit of re-peating itselfâ€¦ like your tradi-tional corner sa-loon St. Paddy’s Day ham and cab-bage dinner.
Wildwood Crest Fire Company Aux-iliary is serving turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Saturday from 4:30-7 p.m. at the firehouse, Pacific and Rambler Ave-nues.
Tickets cost $8 for adults, $5 for children.
The dinner bene-fits the Wildwood Crest Fire Company Auxiliary.
Wildwood Crest Borough Commission meets tonight at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall, 6101 Pacific Ave.
Crest zoners meet Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at the same loca-tion.
North Wildwood City Council meets Tuesday, at 7 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall, 901 Atlantic Ave.
Wildwood Crest Board of Education holds its regular monthly meeting Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Media Center at Crest Memorial School, 9100 Pacific Ave.
Wildwood Plan-ning Board meets Monday, March 20 at 7 p.m. on the second floor at City Hall, 4400 New Jersey Ave.
Greater Wild-woods Tourism Im-provement and De-velopment Author-ity meets tomorrow at 6 p.m. in meet-ing room 4 at the convention center, Burk Avenue and the boardwalk.
A Soup and Study Lenten session will be held to-night at 5:30 at 1st United Method-ist Church, 6700 Atlantic Ave. in Wildwood Crest.
The program com-bines homemade food with Bible study and will examine a number of topics each Wednesday until April 5.
Call 729-4265 for more informa-tion.
Story time for preschool age youngsters contin-ues tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at the Wildwood Crest branch of the Cape May County Li-brary, 6301 Ocean Ave.
For more infor-mation, call 522-0564.
The library now has online Kids’ Reviews. book re-views by children, for children.
The program was created to encour-age young people to read and it gives kids a chance to share their reactions to books they’re reading with other kids.
Access the li-brary web page at www.cape-may.county.lib.nj.us
Tai Chi classes have resumed at 1st United Method-ist Church.
Instructor Mike Curley offers tai chi every Saturday at 10 a.m. Cost per session is $3.
Call 729-4265 for more informa-tion.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Margaret Mace Home and School Asso-ciation will be distributing cook-ies and Irish trivia at lunch periods on Friday.
Congratulations to Margaret Mace School Students of the Month for Feb-ruary.
Selected by their teachers for exemplary behavior are:
Matthew Ruther-ford, Maddie McCracken, Sarah Bielawski, Andrew DiPadova (pre-school), Hailei Markee, Keniel Perez (kindergar-ten), Patrice Cafiero, Kassandra Ramos (first grade).
Also Corrina Powers, Emily Pfeil, Jeffrey Chester (second grade); Alexandra Helm, Nicole Fox (third grade), Summer Sorbello, Mariah Kennedy (fourth grade).
Selected from the upper grades: Aubrey New, Mi-chael Lalla, Nicole Narciso (fifth grade),
Elizabeth Morinelli, Saman-tha Rusden, Dawn Kennedy, Katherine Youschak (sixth grade), Kyle Morinelli, Zachary Madle, Natyoshka Perez (seventh grade).
Also Christine Feather, Tara Tolomeo, John Mat-teo, Brandi Seip, Christopher Gon-zalez (eight grade).
The Legal Secre-taries of Cape May County hold their monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 21 at Mulligan’s in Wildwood.
Guest speaker is Judge John Rauh. Tickets cost $23.
Reserve a place by Friday by call-ing 846-0969.
There was a huge turnout for the Margaret Mace School Mentor Buddy annual spa-ghetti dinner last week.
More than 150 staff members and their student bud-dies were joined by parents and members of the community to par-take of the pasta.
Carol Bahniuk, moderator of the programs asked me to thank all the people whose vol-unteer efforts helped make the event a success.
Thanks go out to: George and the Elks, Denise McGee, Edward DiSantis, Jim Lin-nington and Chart-well, Dolce’s Res-taurant, Wawa (North Wildwood), Shop Rite, Super Fresh, Ron Golden, Kristen Andre, Aimee Miller, and the Margaret Mace Home and School Association.
A special thanks also goes to teacher Debbie Martinelli who went above and beyond the call of duty in lending a hand in the kitchen.
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