GAVEL GAMUT By Jim RedwineWeek of February 5, 2018SPANN(ING) THE GLOBEIt may not be the “Constant variety of sports” or the “Human drama of athletic competition” as promised by ABC’s Wide World of Sports, but Jim and Stephanie Spann’s New Harmony Soap Company provides a fun learning experience and great smells. Peg and I now know how to make soap and we have the aromatic masterpieces to prove it.When Peg told me she had signed us up for a three hour soap-making class for this past Saturday my first thought, which I prudently kept to myself was, “Well, there goes my day off”. It was held at the New Harmony Soap Company on Main Street and was taught by the Doctor of Saponification, Jim Spann.Saponification is not a misspelling of the great Italian sausage, soppressata, which is what I secretly hoped when Professor Spann started his lecture with the term. Turns out it is an ancient Latin term for soap-making. According to Jim we humans have been trying to remove the grit and maliferous substances from our bodies with homemade soaps since, at least, Babylonian days about 5,000 years ago, probably about the time that human population began to increase.My first memories of soap-making involve our Pawhuska, Oklahoma neighbor lady, Mrs. Caldwell. I do not know her first name as when I was a child adults did not have first names. Today, complete strangers address everybody by first names and even the President of the United States is “The Donald”. But the demise of polite society is stuff for another column. For now, we are addressing the wonderful world of soap-making.Whereas Mrs. Caldwell brewed her lye soap in a galvanized tub over an open fire in her yard next door to my family home, Peg and I were carefully and skillfully instructed in the use of electric hot plates and stainless steel pots.Instead of hours of stirring her concoction of sodium hydroxide, water and lard as Mrs. Caldwell did, Peg and I had the use of electric mixers. And our lard was supplanted with coconut oil, palm oil, sunflower oil and shea butter mixed with distilled water and a cornucopia of interesting scented oils, such as clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, etc., etc., etc.Once I accepted my fate of a Saturday without football or simply vegetating on the couch, my next fear was of falling into the remedial group of soap makers. No problem. The process was so easy even a judge could follow it. Although Peg was always at least one step ahead of me, no one else seemed interested in my progress. It was truly a lot of fun.If you are looking for something different to do right here in Posey County, I highly recommend the Spann College of Saponification in New Harmony. The New Harmony Soap Company has 4 more soap-making classes coming up; 2 in February and 2 in March. And while I am in no way intimating you might have a need for it, you might smell better too.For more Gavel Gamut articles go towww.jamesmredwine.com FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
THE sixteen teams in this year’s Petra-organised Limacol Round-Robin Knockout football tournament received their respective group stage prizes on Wednesday evening at the Spice Garden Restaurant.Winners Connection, Western Tigers, Den Amstel and Mahaica Determinators all received $100 000 dollars for topping their respective A through D groups when the round-robin stage ended last Sunday.Along with the group toppers, the second-placed teams namely Milerock (Group A), Eagles (Group B), Santos (Group C) and Police (Group D) each got $50 000 and a spot in the quarterfinals this Sunday.Grove Hi-Tech, Uitvlugt, Ann’s Grove and Camptown each walked away with $30 000 while Northern Rangers, New Amsterdam United, Pouderoyen and Riddim Squad each collected $20 000.Speaking during the presentation ceremony, Petra co-Director Troy Mendonca stated, “I would like to assure all the sponsors who’re on board that the support you’ve given is money well spent and we in the Petra Organisation are optimistic that the tournament is here to stay.To the teams, the director adumbrated, “We are generally satisfied with the support from the clubs and fans, notwithstanding that the tournament in the initial stage was being run concurrently with another tournament. but the clubs and their representativesOn Sunday, the four quarter-final games will be played at two venues simultaneously.At the MSC ground, Milerock host Western Tigers, while Winners Connection take on compatriots Eagles United.At Victoria ground, Police square off against Den Amstel, while Mahaica Determinators entertain Santos.