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My own hamburger indicator

Gold is approaching $1,300 this morning and silver has passed the $20 mark, according to the Kitco website.

Even though I am starting my day in the usual way now that I have reached my desk, for the next four days it is anything but usual in the Village of Iola, population 1,302, in central Wisconsin.

Usually I look out to the world to determine what is going on that might be newsworthy.

For four days the world comes to me in the form of our annual old car show. Something on the order of 125,000 or 130,000 people are expected to come into town to view cars and shop for car parts at the swap area.

It is really something to see. If you are nearby, come visit.

This is the 36th one that I have witnessed or participated in to some degree.

I have been grilling hamburgers for the Iola Lions Club for nearly 20 years now. In prior years I did other things from hauling trash to marking out swap meet spots.

It is a great opportunity to people watch and to gauge their mood. Sometimes it is a good indicator of the state of the economy.

As you might have guessed, when the recession hit sharply several years back, I cooked fewer hamburgers. It is not rocket science to see that there were fewer people and they were being more careful with their cash as far as eating show food was concerned.

Some years the event is so strong that people pull up near the food area in their vehicles and fill up bags with hamburgers to eat on their journey home. Money is easier to come by in those years.

If I cook more hamburgers this year, I expect it will confirm that times are getting better.

Another thing that cooking hamburgers does for me during the car show is confirm in my own mind that having a desk job for the rest year is a smart decision.

Buzz Blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."