A SQUIRREL LOUNGES at Ripon College this past September.                          Emily Wammer photo
A SQUIRREL LOUNGES at Ripon College this past September. Emily Wammer photo

     ARE YOU READY FOR the big holiday coming up next week?

     I’ll go out on a limb and say you’re not.

     Monday, Jan. 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day.

     And if there’s any community that ought to appreciate its squirrels, it’s ours.

     Certainly, they’re everywhere, and they’re bold here in Ripon.

     For that reason, once upon a time they were renowned on the Ripon College campus in particular — so much so that, until about a year and a half ago they had their own Facebook page (look up “Squirrels of Ripon College” for more on this).

     The college even published a tongue-in-cheek April Fools article in 2015 proposing that “Ripon College to Phase Out Red Hawk Mascot in Favor of Squirrel.”

     That’s some squirrel love.

     But even with all that squirrel heritage, I’m not sure even we could pull off the article proposed to me in an email I received over the holidays.

     ON NEW YEAR’S Eve I got the interesting message.

     “Squirrel Appreciation Day is coming January 21st, 2019, and when you do any stories about squirrels ... here are some interesting things that might be very entertaining for stories for Squirrel Appreciation Day ...” read the email.

     It came from an advertising company sited just a few miles up the road from where I grew up — a company that blasts story and advertising ideas at me two, maybe three times a day. ...

     To read the entire column, see the Jan. 17, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.