The celebratory first cutting of the cheese?
That'll be a breeze, Viola Jess said. It's what comes after that has the unassuming 60-year-old a nervous Nellie ahead of this weekend's Arthur Amish Country Cheese Festival.
"If I'm required to talk, that might be a problem," she said. "I won't be giving a speech."
Notes from the newsroom
— On Sunday night, we unveiled our new-look website. Today's news-gazette.com allows us to A) emphasize our expanding video operation (right); B) spotlight more stories, blogs and photo galleries; and C) better pool our radio and newspaper talent.
To celebrate her 100th birthday, Virginia Lovingfoss threw a party.
For three consecutive days.
On Friday, a crowd of about 100 joined her at Philo Tavern. On Saturday, another 100 celebrated with her at Clark-Lindsey Village in Urbana. On Sunday, a Burr/Lovingfoss/Dilley family reunion packed a park in Philo.
He's got an apron, a spatula and a Facebook page.
The next step for Jake Holland, president of the Illini Barbecue and Grilling Club, is to find some company.
That's why the one-man gang will be camped out at Sunday's Quad Day at the University of Illinois, pitching memberships to his exclusive group.
How crazy is Move-In Day at Illinois?
"Happy chaos," is how Roy Myles describes it. "It's what we work all summer for. It's like opening night on Broadway. No more dress rehearsals, it's show time."
As general manager of Illini Tower, Myles is to Move-In Day what John Groce is to basketball: an expert. He took time out of his busy schedule to break it down for us via email.
Tim Beckman's football players aren't the only UI students working their tails off in hopes of a memorable season. The school's band members are enduring two-a-days, too, minus the tackling dummies, tubs full of ice water and interview requests from Loren Tate.
— Lou Henson, who shared the cover of Sunday's Answer Book, recently returned to Champaign after his annual checkup at MD Anderson Center in Houston.
"I feel good, and I'm cancer free," Henson said. "So that's good news."