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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Class of '65

Two of my favorite people graduated in 1965 and this summer marks the 50th class reunion for the the Class of '65. Born in 1946, they  are considered the first of the baby boom generation.

Above, Paulette demonstrates that life is good fifty years after graduation from Sandusky High School, Sandusky, Ohio!  Look at that smile!!!

A common Friday night in Sandusky in 1965 included "buzzing the Ave" and the tradition was recreated for the reunion.   American Graffiti scenes came to mind!

Here's my very own Class of '65 graduate! Ron, graduating from Port Clinton High School, headed to Tulsa after graduation to the Spartan School of Aeronautics to obtain a commercial pilot's license.

As this car rounded the Ave, I asked Ron what it was and he quickly identified it as a 1957 Bel Aire. Way to go, Ron!

Listed below are events that all happened during their senior year:

* Race riots of Watt, Ca. left 34 dead.
*The 1965 Voters Rights Act was enacted, making it law to allow African Americans the right to vote.
* Martin Luther King, Jr. lead the first march in Selma, Alabama and the march to Montgomery and gave his famous speech, How Long, Not Long.
* Lyndon Johnson increased U.S. troops in Viet Nam from 75,000 to 125,000 and 35,000 protested with a march on Washington. Operation Rolling Thunder was launched in Viet Nam.
*U. of Ca. Berkley hosted the largest anti-VietNam teach-in at that time.
* Malcom X was shot in NYC.
* Blackouts in the North East took place and 1965 was the fist year of mandated health warnings on cigarette packages.

As a point of reference, here are some more interesting facts from 1965:

Gas was 31 cents per gallon. A new VW Bug was $1,769. The Beatles released four new albums, including Help. Mary Quant introduced the mini skirt and the skate board became a craze. The Grateful Dead played its first concert and the Sound of Music was a movie hit. The optical disk and the respirator (replacing the iron lung) were invented.

I'm celebrating the Class of '65-they are  fun loving, bright, survivors of cultural tumult, and cruising into their retirement years with a sense of adventure and curiosity. Kudos and many happy reunions ahead.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Marilyn, Kate, and a wedding, oh my!

 Proper Garden gift shop in Delaware, Ohio

Actually, unlike the quote above, our Marilyn Monroe is quite a rule follower. She had a job to do as a seeing eye dog for 11 years and she did it well. For the past four years, she's been enjoying  retirement with us.  Last Friday night, she suffered three grand mal seizures-each lasting more than 5 minutes. This is a true emergency and so,  Ron drove while I held MM and off we went to  Lorain Animal Emergency Clinic where Marilyn was admitted and anti seizure meds were started. Little did we know that she had a brain tumor, pancreatitis, and liver cancer. And that all three illnesses were recent and unrelated. All of that was  ascertained the next day at MedVet, a animal specialty clinic in Columbus.  We  planned to be in Columbus area for a wedding on Saturday and we took Marilyn straight to MedVet from Lorain. Marilyn was well cared for by round the clock shifts of vet techs in ICU  and by Doctors Dudley and Lovett during her 7 day stay.  Delaware, Ohio

Planned months in advance, we were excited to be invited to Ivona and Ben's wedding at their home in Delaware and had selected the Welcome Home Inn for our accommodations after the wedding.

Ivona Nikolet
Married August 29, 2015 to Ben Dunnavant

 Timing was tight and we missed the ceremony while admitting Marilyn into MedVet, but, we arrived in time to enjoy the reception.

Ivona and Ben relax during the reception

Ivona and Ben met and fell in love when working at Cedar Point last summer. Ben flew to Serbia to ask Ivona's dad for Ivona's hand in January and she and her family arrived at Ben's home in Delaware a few days before the wedding. (I met Ivona last summer and helped her in various situations while she and her friend, Jovanna, worked at the Point from June through August.) As her "Sandusky Mom," I was excited to be invited to the wedding and was so glad we were there to share her special day.   Her dad, a chef and restaurant owner in Belgrade, Serbia, prepared the wedding feast.

Ivona pauses to give her dad a big hug at the reception

It was one of the best meals we've ever had!

Both moms pose with the newlyweds

The weather was perfect and Ben's mom was a gracious hostess. Ivona's mom will miss her daughter very much! Even with a green card and marriage visa, Ivona cannot return to Serbia for 3 or more years.

Modern cake topper

Welcome Home Inn

Knowing that Marilyn was in good hands, Ron and I settled into our room  at the Welcome Inn as planned after the wedding reception.  Actually, we extended our stay by 5 extra nights! Our hosts, Forrest and Brenda Williams, were very flexible and we could not have asked for a more restful place.

Fabulous screened in porch at Welcome Home Inn

We were the only guests for several of our  nights there and every morning we raced out to spend private time on the  porch. After a few hours, we would then drive into Columbus to confer with Marilyn's team.

We caught up on reading while waiting for news of Marilyn's surgery

You can see by the smile on Ron's face that we had good new regarding Marilyn's prognosis. Her brain tumor could be managed via medication, her liver cancer could be removed, and her pancreatitis abated! It was about this time that Paulette called with bad news regarding Kate.

Jack and Kate are best buddies
Paulette reported that Kate had been sick all night and wondered if she was experiencing another pancreatitis attack. Paulie and Bob offered to drive her to us in  Columbus and a few hours later we met with Dr. Martinez, Kate's internal medicine doctor. Kate's kidney stone, which we had discovered in June, needed to be removed!  Dr. Dudley (Marilyn's surgeon) offered to be  Kate's surgeon as well.  The stone was the size of the kidney, but during surgery, it was discovered that her kidney was still healthy and could be spared. Back to our sanctuary we went to await Kate's recovery and monitor Marilyn's progress as well.

Just a hint about the meticulousness of our host, Forrest Williams

Our host, Forrest, is a bit of a perfectionist, as you can see by his woodpile! We were properly impressed.
The inn was filled with oak antiques, quilts, pottery, all beautifully arranged

I loved the collections and displays that Brenda had created inside the house. She was the gardener as well! And the piano teacher, and the baker. Forrest, a Methodist minister, is a wedding officiant and building the home as a b&b keeps them busy in their "retirement".

Garden sculpture on the Welcome Home 6 acre property
Kate's surgery was scheduled for Thursday. The Welcome Home Inn had some interesting activity that day as well.

Ron hopes for his chance to be an extra in the TLC film 

A film crew from L.A. arrived to tape a TLC network episode. They had scouted locations and determined that the Welcome Home Inn was a perfect as background for an emotional film episode of parents meeting their child given up for adoptions 20 years earlier. (to be aired in January 2016)

No dice, the film is a closeup of just two people

Filming started at 10:30, broke for lunch, and filmed  again from 2-7! We headed to MedVet to await news of Kate's operation. I thought we would make a pretty good episode for TLC, and tried to pitch the idea to the camera man. No dice. So, we stopped to buy a lottery ticket at a small deli on our way into town, realizing that our MedVet bill would be a whopper.  In fact, just a sec, I have to check to see if we won..........nope, just got one number. Darn.

Marilyn perks up in ICU when I entered the room and tries to rise

Marilyn was coming along fine and we spent some time with her each day. Since Kate was in the same ICU area, we stopped to check in our her following her surgery as well. Spending ( a great choice of words, by the way) time at MedVet, we discovered an outdoor memorial garden on the property.

Memorial garden at MedVet, Worthington, Ohio

Grateful not to be adding a brick this time around, I took some photos of the sculptures there.

MedVet metal sculptures around the entrance of the Clinic

You might have noticed that I don't have any photos of the visitors and their pets. Most  were just too worried to pose, as they awaited news of their pets. Ron and I were there enough hours of the day and night to witness emergency admissions, talk to owners about their pets, and  offer a hug when tears began to flow.

 It was inspiring to be among people who love their dogs and cats as much as we love ours and it was a privilege to meet the techs, the vets, and the general admissions staff. On the day of our last appointment, we arrived late. The staff  called to be sure we were alright! Actually, we were delayed by a Ohio State Trooper who politely issued me a ticket for speeding (60 in a 45, as they say) He didn't seem to think rushing to pick up our beloved dogs was reason enough to be speeding,  I guess.

Family and friends offered  encouragement and cheers with progress report and we are thrilled to announce that our pet family is doing great -it is wonderful to be  back on our own porch again. Paulette, thank you for extending your stellar pet sitting from one night to six, and managing all of the ongoing household chores for us. And Bob, for making the drive to Columbus with our precious cargo, Kate.

Convalescing on our back porch