Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The local Presbyterian Church had aphorisms posted on its outdoor bulletin board weekly. The Reverend W. Darrell Holmes' name (the "W" was probably used to distinguish him from all the other Reverend Darrell Holmeses!) was also prominently posted. One Monday I noticed that one of my favorite quotes by Oscar Wilde was posted:

"A cynic is one who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

The quote was displayed on the bulletin board but with no credit. I called "The Reverend W. Darrell" and asked him why he hadn't attributed the quote to Wilde as I thought it was important to educate people. "The Reverend W. Darrell" told me that he didn't think it was important. I did not like his dismissive attitude and since I am an ornery cuss I said, "I thought it might be because he was gay and went to prison for sodomy."

"The Reverend W. Darrell" said archly, "Well, I didn't know that." I asked him, "Will you post the attribution before the week is out?" He said that he would. The quote was taken down the next day!

I sent "The Reverend W. Darrell" a note to let him know of my disappointment of his not keeping the Wilde quote on the bulletin board for the week and I ended my note with this quote from Wilde's "The Ballad of Reading Gaol":

"Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword."

For some reason "The Reverend W. Darrell" did not respond!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


When we were a young married couple, we would go to the Fish And Game Lodge for a monthly potluck dinner followed with 50/50 dancing.

Each month I would try to outdo myself with some showy dessert
for the dinner.

One month I had worked on Saturday, and when I got home I was longing to lie down and relax prior to the party. I asked Gerald, "Sweetheart, why don't you go to Kroger and pick up something from the Deli?" He had a crestfallen look on his face and asked, "Aren't you going to make something?"

My all-wise mother, sensing Gerald's desire, began singing the old song, "CAN SHE MAKE A CHERRY PIE?" I got the message immediately that he wanted me to make something "special"!

I spun into action and told Gerald to rush to the store to buy the ingredients I needed. After he left for the store my mother said, "You know he likes it when you show off your cooking!"

I didn't make a cherry pie that time because I didn't have enough time, but I did make Strawberry Trifle which is a very attractive dish.

In our family we have an acronym--P.I.E.--which means PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING. Growing up, if we were having company, and something my mother made didn't look "presentable" she would hide it! Of course we would eat it later, but it had to be pretty for company!


"Can she make a cherry pie,
Billy Boy, Billy Boy,
Can she make a cherry pie,
Charming Billy?
She can make a cherry pie,
Quick as a cat can wink an eye,
She's a young thing,
And cannot leave her mother."

Monday, March 29, 2010


I was eating a chocolate covered cherry from the bottom of the two layers in my box of Brach's Chocolate Covered Cherries. You know the expectation; how your salivary glands are awaiting the taste of the cordialing to flow onto your taste buds? As I popped the cherry into my mouth it was dry as the Sahara! The cherries on the top layer of the box had been divine! I broke the next cherry apart--DRY--each successive one on the bottom layer was dry.

I wrote a letter of complaint to Brach's and they graciously sent me coupons for FOUR boxes of Chocolate Covered Cherries. Talk about heaven!

In the letter, it stated that something had happened at "the warehouse" to cause the problem!

Years later, when it was part of my job to answer customer complaints, you can bet that I used that "warehouse" excuse to my full advantage!

One of my nephews was twelve years old and had a Tootsie Roll Pop without ANY Tootsie Roll inside. My brother told him that he should be like Aunt Sue and complain, which he did. The really smart Quality Control person who answered the letter wrote it in an appropriate style to a young person and sent him a box of Tootsie Roll Pops and encouraged him to share it with his friends.

A box of pitted Dole dates damaged my food chopper because one of the dates had a pit in it; I called the Dole 800 number and they told me to send the empty box; I received a check for $10.00.

Any aerosol cans that quit working and still have product in them, I return.

I COUNT everything! This is part of my OCD! I had a box of bobby pins and it had one hundred listed on the container; there were only 96; I took them back and the store manager asked, with great incredulity, "You counted them?" I said, "Of course I counted them." He handed me another box which I stood and counted in front of him and it had another shortage. He gave me my money back and told me to go ahead and keep the box!

We had gone to The Warehouse Club and one of the things I purchased was a box of 1,000 packets of Sweet'N Low. On the trip home, Gerald asked, with amusement, "Are you going to count those?" I said, "Of course not." He laughed and said, "Oh yes you will!" I protested that I didn't HAVE to count them. I waited for him to go to bed and later that evening, I was in the kitchen and I had the 1,000 packets on the table, and I had several piles of 100 each already counted, when I had an eerie feeling that someone was watching. I looked around and there was Gerald peeking around from the dining room. He said, "I KNEW that you were going to do that!"

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What Andy Rooney thinks about women over 40...

As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting.

Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate t o shoot you if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated. Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?", here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


My Department 815 had, without a doubt, the best
carry-in dinners in the plant.

A new Assembly Manager had been promoted shortly before Easter. Good Friday was a holiday; our carry-in dinner was scheduled for Thursday. One of my repairmen collected money to purchase the meat. Each person was to contribute $2.00 and bring a covered dish.

I told my boss, the new Assembly Manager, that he MUST join us for dinner. He said, "Oh, every department is having a carry-in." I said, "But none will be as good as ours." He said, a little sarcastically, "I suppose that's because you're here." He said that because I was the only woman in the department. I said, "Oh, Hell no, the guys do everything." As a matter of fact, I worked very hard organizing the event, but the guys did do all of the work!

The Carry-In Committee came to me on Wednesday and said that they'd gotten such a good deal on the ham and turkey that they had money left over and one of them said, "I'm thinking about having shrimp cocktail." I said, "Wow, I love shrimp cocktail."

Before lunch time on Thursday the forklift drivers had wire baskets lined up in the gangway with boards placed across them for makeshift tables. The Committee had brought tablecloths, pots of yellow tulips, and candles for the tables! I paged my boss to come join us. He and I led the line and he said, "I can't believe it; flowers, candles and SHRIMP COCKTAIL at a carry-in dinner!" The meal was splendid with all kinds of dishes that the men were proud to share.

Because of the great dinners, I decided that a "Carry-In Cookbook" would be a nice memento for the guys. I asked each one of the guys to submit a favorite recipe and to add a humorous anecdote if they wished. I did all of the typing, proofing, graphics, and assembling and the guys pitched in the money to pay for the binding. The day after I had distributed the cookbooks to MY guys, the Assembly Manager confronted me and told me that HIS other departments were upset because they had not received cookbooks. I said, "Tell them WAAAANNNNHHH!" I will admit that was unprofessional, but I could not believe that they were acting so silly! He gave a look of disgust and said, very dismissively, "You have the most pampered pieceworkers I've ever seen." I could not let that pass and answered, "That's probably why our quality and production are the best!" A few days later I received a call from Human Resources and I was told that it was not acceptable to make the cookbook for JUST my guys as it demonstrated favoritism. I asked how it could be construed as favoritism when each one of my guys had been FAVORED with a cookbook! The HR Manager did not like my flippancy but I told him to tell the other departments to do as I had done if they wanted a cookbook for their people and that all the work had been done on my own time at home except for gathering the recipes and that l had done that at break times. I added that I would be willing to give advice.

When the President and CEO came to visit, I gave him a copy of the cookbook to give to his wife and she sent me a lovely thank-you note. My boss sheepishly asked if he could have one for his wife!

Last year I was at Eastland Mall and one of the guys who had worked for me in Department 815 was there with his wife, and as he introduced me to her, he said, "This is the lady who made the cookbook!" His wife told me how much she loved the cookbook and especially because TWO of her recipes were in it!

Yes, I completed that Contract ahead of schedule and under budget, but what he remembered after 26 years was the cookbook! This is one of his wife's recipes which I have been making since 1983 and it is my family's favorite sheet cake:

Mrs. Richard Harmon's Hershey's Cocoa Cake

Grease and flour a 15" x 10" sheet cake pan (cookie sheet with sides)

Mix in saucepan and bring to a boil:

2 sticks margarine
1 cup water
4 rounded tablespoons sifted Hershey's Cocoa (do NOT use any other brand!)

Remove from heat.

Mix together dry ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix together and add to the dry ingredients mixture:

2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix well. Place in sheet cake pan.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let cool completely before icing.


1 stick margarine
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix well and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add:

1 pound powdered sugar

Mix well and pour over cooled cake.

Friday, March 26, 2010



1. The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.

2. Money will buy a fine dog but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

3. If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably don't have any sense at all.

4. Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.

5. A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.

6. How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to
become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

7. Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a
company can operate without.

8. Why is it that, at class reunions, you feel younger than everyone else looks?

9. Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job.

10. No one has more driving ambition than the boy who anxiously awaits his 16th

11. There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.

12. There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4A.M.: it could
be a right number.

13. No one ever says "It's only a game" when his team's winning.

14. I've reached the age where the happy hour is a nap.

15. Be careful reading the fine print. There's no way you're going to like it.

16. The trouble with bucket seats is not everybody has the same size bucket.

17. Do you realize in about 40 years we'll have millions of old ladies running
around with tattoos? (And rap music will be the Golden Oldies!)

18. Money can't buy happiness, but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a
Mercedes than in a Kia.

19. After 70, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably

Thursday, March 25, 2010


One doesn't have many moral dilemmas in life but I had one during the six-month strike at International Harvester. During the strike our Plant Manager was Bill Duvall, a former Marine officer. The day before the strike, Duvall notified the management/salary team members that they would be expected to cross the picket line and work during the strike, building parts for export, and if they did not work they would be sent home without pay and be ineligible for unemployment. EVERYBODY worked and that even included the Company doctor, nurses, accounting and staff members. Mr. Duvall also told us that we should all be able to reach production levels within three days as that was what was expected from the Union members. I was lucky because my section produced parts for export and I knew the work.

Of course the Teamsters would honor the UAW strikers and not cross the picket line so we were limited on our shipping methods. We could load the finished product on trains and have it shipped and we could receive raw materials by rail. Vandalism was rampant and was done mostly to our personal vehicles and to the train tracks but my boss had the picture window shot out at his house and there was an assault on a supervisor at a local bar. Each day we would watch the films which had been taken by Plant Security to identify the vandals to report them to the Sheriff's Department. One day, as the film was being shown, I recognized my brother Neil as he and others were upturning a burning dumpster onto the railroad track to keep the materials from being loaded and unloaded.

My MORAL DILEMMA: Should I speak up? Where was my loyalty--to the Company--or to my family? Fortunately, for me, within a few seconds, Jim Manor, Neil's boss, said, "Hey, there's that damned Shirkey!" What a relief for me--I didn't have to identify my own brother--but I decided that I did need to notify my boss Leon about the relationship. Leon asked me why I hadn't put that on my application and I told him I DID put it on my application but that nobody had ever asked about it and that Neil had warned me NEVER to tell anybody we were related. By the next day EVERYBODY in the plant knew that I was Neil Shirkey's sister. Neil was widely regarded by Management as a trouble-maker and one of the most radical Unionists!

During the strike, we worked in stations and I was building rear sills and Neil's boss Jim Manor was in the next station. Every day I would have Manor piled up with product because he was a lazy worker. Before the shift was over, I would help him get caught up to be able to make his daily quota. The day after he identified Neil, he returned late from break and said, "Well, you're nothing like your brother!" Immediately angry, I responded, "You'll find out I'm a whole helluva lot like my brother--and you know, he's like me--he comes to work every day and does his job--UNLIKE YOU!" He shrugged and said, "I thought you'd be complimented." I answered, "YOU should be more like my brother!" I never spoke to Manor again during the strike although we worked side by side for months. That day I didn't stop producing rear sills to assist Manor on his job and at 2:45 p.m., Duvall made his daily trip through the plant, gathering production sheets. Duvall, who always delegated one-on-one confrontations, looked at Manor's production figure, immediately went to Leon and Leon went to Manor and as the guys would say, "reamed him a new A-hole". Duvall never hesitated to humiliate management people in public, but it was always at a distance, never in one's face. At the meeting that day, Duvall, standing at a lectern, asked, "What's wrong with you, Manor, you can't even keep up with a woman!" Of course it didn't matter to Duvall that he had also just insulted ME! The following day Leon told me to help Manor get caught up and I answered, "I don't think I can; I'm ONLY a woman!" Leon scowled and told me to go ahead and do it and I asked Leon if he thought that was fair. Leon told me that nothing was fair in life so just do it. I then said, "You know, if Manor didn't spend all that time in the office playing cards, he could probably make production." I also told Leon that Manor had never once made production. Leon asked why I had not told him that before and I told him I thought it was his job to know what the people were doing and that I shouldn't have to be a tattle-tale. Leon stayed beside Manor every minute the rest of the day and amazingly, Manor made his quota by the end of the shift but I still had a great number of sills ahead of him as I overproduced that day.

When Leon left the area, Manor asked, "Well, you're Duvall's darling, aren't you?" I ignored the taunt and continued to overwhelm him with parts. Each day Duvall would march by and notice the mountain of rear sills and one day he said, "Since you're so far ahead, I'm going to send you a new man to train." When the guy came, I asked his name and he said, "Danny Duvall." I asked, "Are you.....?" I didn't get finished before he said, "Yeah, the SOB is my dad and he wants YOU to teach me a lesson." I asked, "What did you do wrong?" He laughed and said, "I was BORN and I didn't make production!" Manor said, "Well, I guess your bank will go down now!" I laughed and I made sure that we didn't lose our lead.

Each day at 3:00 p.m., Duvall would gather the team together to look at those damned films, discuss the productivity and "reconnoiter" to decide the "strategy" from which gate we would exit. It was like a military campaign to him and each day he was in his Scout leading his troops out the gate. There would be picketers at all the gates and when they would see us start to leave they would rush to that gate to try to tear off our antennas, spit on the cars, throw eggs on our cars, curse at us, etc. Although it wasn't funny, one day the strikers surrounded Duvall's vehicle and let out the air in all of his tires. All the rest of us were lined up behind him and had to wait for his tires to be inflated before we could leave the plant. After several days of those tactics, Duvall had us meet at a parking lot at a shopping center and he had rented vans to transport us to the plant because he didn't want to pay for damage to our vehicles. That was what caused the false rumor that the Company was bringing in "scabs". Each week his "military maneuver" would choose a new location for us to park our cars but the Union would always find them. After two weeks he told us we were going to work 4 ten-hour days!

One day, I came home from work, bedraggled and wearing my 3-sizes too big coveralls with primer smeared across the front and the legs rolled up three or four times, wearing gloves with the thumb and forefinger cut out for grasping nuts. Sitting around the kitchen table were my husband Gerald and my brother Neil (both on strike), my brother Norman (laid off from Chrysler) and Neil's son Andy. Mother was at the kitchen stove, frying pork chops. As I walked in, my brother Norman exclaimed, "Ask her, Mom, she'll tell you she's a SCAB!" [Norman recently told me that he thinks that's the only time Mother was upset with him] It seems as if the assembled Union members had been decrying the scabs crossing the picket lines. I answered, "Hell yes, I'm a scab and I made production on your job, Neil, and when you get back to work I'm going to get a new time study on it because I finished two hours early!" There was no greater threat than to have a job retimed when it had been "bought" by the Union. Hearing that threat, Neil continued his rant against the Company and started to say, "Those Mother-F", but he caught himself just in time, looked worriedly at my mother, and there was a pregnant pause. Mother either chose to ignore the remark or didn't hear it, and the only sound that could be heard was the pork chops sizzling in the skillet, as Andy said, quietly, "Close call, Dad!" Everyone erupted in laughter.

Television Channels 2 and 7 carried news of the strike nearly every night. My mother would see the angry picketers screaming and cursing at us and even though the sound was blocked she could read their lips and she asked, "Are they allowed to talk like that?" I said, "It's O.K.; I rolled down my window and told them that I had never done THAT with my own mother!"

After the strike, Duvall was marching through Neil's department and Neil started singing cadence. Duvall went to the first supervisor he saw, Dick Sprinkles, and told him to fire Neil. Poor Dick. Dick went to get the Steward and they both went to Neil and Dick said that Duvall told him he had to fire him. Neil told him that was good because he had National Guard training that weekend and he'd get an early start and he'd still get paid for it. Neil disabled his welder and jumped off the line and headed for the gate. Sprinkles had not expected that and his lack of action caused two trucks to go down the line without the header being welded, which meant that the roof couldn't be installed, which resulted in the trucks going off line for a major repair. Of course, no Union member would jump in to help! Sprinkles should have gotten somebody to replace Neil on the line, but instead, he and the Steward were following Neil and the Steward told him he couldn't leave because that was against the process. Ten trucks were lost to repair that day. The Committeeman was able to stop Neil at the gate and they headed to Human Resources for the hearing. In the hearing, the Superintendant asked Neil what he had done and Neil said that he was just a happy worker and was singing cadence because he was looking forward to his National Guard weekend! Neil and the Union were experts ("Philadelphia lawyers") at prolonging the meeting which they knew would also wreak havoc in the department because both Sprinkles and the General Foreman had to be at the hearing, leaving the department to the devices of the Union members! Neil returned to the department in time to clock out for the day.

Dick Sprinkles was fired because of his poor handling of the situation and losing the trucks to major repair. Neil had no regrets and justified it by saying that Sprinkles was stupid for abandoning the line and that he should have gotten on the line and started welding. I told him that the Union members wouldn't have allowed that and Neil shrugged and said that having a grievance for working was better than getting fired. Poor hapless Dick was rehired later.

True story: an ATT technician was in the plant working on some phones. He was sitting down taking a break and Duvall saw a supervisor and told him to fire the guy. The supervisor, my friend John Steinhauer, walked over to the ATT guy and told him, "You see that guy back there with the cigar? He told me to come over and fire you so I want you to get up with me and yell that you want your Steward and I'll start walking you out." The ATT guy laughed and said, "I wondered why he was looking at me." John walked to the door with the ATT guy, circled back around the plant so that the ATT guy could finish his job. Now that's the way to handle Bill Duvall!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Bev and Barb both worked in "the buck" which meant that they had to get up close to the truck to "buck" the rivets. Fortunately, both of the gals were small-bosomed which aided in their ability to get close to the surface to add force with the rivet gun, thus "bucking the rivets".

I called them my "DYNAMIC DUO"! They had an irresistible rhythm and I would be bouncing along in the department to that sound.

One night Barb wore a t-shirt with two fried eggs on the front. I admired the shirt and they said they'd get one for me, but they bet I would never wear it. For Christmas they gave me a t-shirt with fried eggs on the front, and in their card they wrote that they dared me to wear it! At lunch time, I went to the locker room and put on the shirt.

On the shirt was embroidered.:



As I walked out on the floor after lunch, they screamed with laughter and Bev handed Barb a $10.00 bill (as they had a bet whether I would wear it). All that I can say is that those fried eggs were really protruding over my DYNAMIC DUO!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I always say that although I wasn't born during the Great Depression, I feel that I lived through it because not one day passed that my mother failed to remind us of it!

Last night, I served baked ziti for dinner. When I was telling a friend about all the different pastas in my cupboard (3 kinds of spaghetti; macaroni, farfalle, penne rigate, rigatoni, mostaccioli, fettuccine, canneloni, rotini, rainbow rotini, trucioli, ditalini, orzo, pasta rings and stars) I realized that I had all those pastas because I could remember my mother telling the story of how, during the Depression, she had gotten some macaroni and she had to pick out the "weevils" to be able to cook it for my brother Bode and herself and that's all they had to eat that day!

I do tend to go overboard and my brother Les will make a list of what NOT to buy until we have room for it. I use all of the different pastas because I make a pasta dish once a week since cooked tomatoes are heart-healthy products! When I brought home the stars (with "authentic Italian soup pasta" written right on the package!) Les wailed, "ENOUGH ALREADY; we have enough pasta for ten years!"

In e-mailing my friend Patty, what did she write in return? About ORECCHIETTE! I had never heard of orecchiette; how could I not have known about oriecchiette? I asked Les and he said, "Oh, yeah, I saw it on the Food Network; it means "little ears" in Italian!" I must have orecchiette! I haven't been able to find any locally, but my sister-in-law Jean and niece Norma have accepted the mission to find it!

Monday, March 22, 2010


From my friend Charlene Dalton:

A professor at CCNY told his class that the expression "going bananas" stems from the effects of bananas on the brain.

Bananas contain three natural sugars: sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. Energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

For example:

DEPRESSION: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND: among people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. Bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein which the body converts into serotonin, which is known known to relax, improve mood and generally make one feel happier.

PMS: The vitamin B6 it contained in bananas helps regulate blood glucose levels, which can affect one's mood.

ANEMIA: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and helps in cases of anemia.

BLOOD PRESSURE: This unique tropical fruit is very high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to help blood pressure. The US Food and Drug Administration has allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

BRAIN POWER: 200 students at a Twickenham, Middlesex, school in England were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, lunch, and break in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

CONSTIPATION: Because bananas are high in fiber, including them in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

HANGOVERS: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates the system.

HEARTBURN: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body; ones suffering from heartburn should try eating a banana for soothing relief.

MORNING SICKNESS: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugarlevels up and to avoid morning sickness.

MOSQUITO BITES: By rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin, many people find it successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

NERVES: Bananas are high in the B vitamin Complex, which help calm the nervous system.

OVERWEIGHT AND AT WORK: Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food such as chocolate and chips. Analyzing 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, they needed to control their blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

ULCERS: Because of its soft texture and smoothness, the banana is used as a dietary food to aid intestinal disorders. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

TEMPERATURE CONTROL: Other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

SMOKING AND TOBACCO USE: Bananas can help people trying to give up smoking. The B6 and B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

STRESS: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body's water balance. When stressed, the metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

STROKES: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

WARTS: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. Perhaps it's time to change that well-known phrase to: "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe, then polish with dry cloth.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


One of my employees was named Mike Scott; everybody called him "Great Scott" and he was known to be very strange. One evening he came up to me and he had a Thermos cup in his hand and he said "Suzy, would you like to have some Kool-Aid?" This was the week of the Jonestown massacre. I always treated his shenanigans with humor so I answered, "I'll massacre you!"

Another time Scott came to me and said, "I need a PA card signed; I'm leaving at lunch time." [PA--paid absence--employees had five PA days a year] I said, "I can't give you PA; I don't have anybody to take your place!" He came close to me, put his hands around my neck and said, "Do you want me to make it two Sues in one day?" I pushed his hands away--he wasn't choking me--but I didn't want his hands on my neck, either! I said, "I'm going to see Leon." My boss Leon told me he that he would have somebody there after lunch to take Scott's place. I was P-O'd and asked, "Why did you let him have PA?" Leon asked, "You haven't read today's paper?" I told him that I hadn't and, as he handed the Springfield Sun to me, he told me that the Sheriff was waiting at the gate to arrest Scott. I read the paper: Scott's wife SUE had been choked into unconsciousness. I said, "Leon, Scott had his hands around my neck and asked if I wanted to make it two SUES in one day!" Leon asked, "What did you do?" I said, "I nonchalantly brushed his hands aside." Leon said, "Well, I'll NONCHALANTLY call the Committeeman and Plant Security." All four of us escorted Scott to the gate to meet the Sheriff.

Fortunately, as part of Scott's plea bargaining at his trial for choking his wife, he was committed to a psychiatric unit. Later that same year I went for Company training and one of the topics to be discussed was "Violence in The Workplace". The instructor commented that none of us probably had ever experienced violence in the workplace. It was as if the floodgates were opened: supervisors began telling of knowing people who carried guns, enduring threats, and other fearful incidents. I stood up and told my "Great Scott" story and three other supervisors chimed in with tales of Mike Scott's craziness as he had also worked for them. Mike Scott eventually returned to work but I never saw him again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


The famous quotation about jury duty: "Would you want to be judged by people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty?"

I was called for jury duty this week. Judge Beathard asked the assembled twenty-four potential jurors if anyone had an emergency which would cause them not to be able to serve. Fulton Terry told the Judge that he had an appoinment in Chillicothe and that he was supposed to meet with the Council. The Judge told him he could stay for the time being. The first twelve prospective jurors were seated and I was juror number six. The Judge explained voir dire and he explained reasons that we could be excused, among which were: if we had religious objections, could not stand in judgment of people, had been convicted of a felony, were related to the defendant, attorneys, witnesses, etc., or if we had served on the grand jury which had brought the indictment. During his presentation the Judge also stated that if any of the questions posed by the Defense, Prosecution or himself made us uncomfortable, then we would go to a back room to discuss it in private.

The Judge then asked if any of the seated twelve had any problem. I raised my hand and stated, "Your Honor, I did not take the oath." He asked, "Were you late?" I said, "No, I was here early; I did not take the oath." He said, "Can you take an affirmation?" I said, "Yes." He said, "The oath that was given states swear and/or affirm." I responded, "I know that; I have no problem swearing or affirming, I just won't take the oath as stated." I then told the Judge that I was uncomfortable, thinking that he would speak to me privately as he had said. He looked at the Prosecutor and asked, "Do you want to excuse for cause?" The Prosecutor nodded and I was gone! There was no "back room" discussion for me!

I believe that it our duty to serve and previously I have served on Municipal, Petit and Grand Juries. In the past I did not have the "courage of my convictions" to refuse to take the oath as stated which I believe violates the separation of church and state.

Friday, March 19, 2010


That was a bumper sticker I had on my cars for many years. Most people did not understand it; in fact, one person commented how bad my math was! It means the twenty-six counties in the Republic of Ireland should be joined with the six counties of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Will the countries ever be re-united? Probably not. I always wear ORANGE and GREEN on St. Patrick's Day as a political statement. Only die-hard Orangemen get it!

My Great-Great-Great-Grandfather George Givens (it was "Givinn" in Ireland) was born in 1743 in Ballygawley, County Tyrone, which is now in Northern Ireland. While in Ireland he married, lost that wife to death, and married another and by those two women had five sons. In 1794, George decided to emigrate to the New World. He was 51years old! One son died and was buried at sea; another died shortly before landing but they were allowed to wait to bury him on land. George's wife and another son died shortly after landing. He placed the two remaining sons with families in Pennsylvania. In 1798, he married Miss Nancy Morgan, aged 20--talk about a dirty old man--and with her and his son Robert, went to Massieville, OH, where they remained until 1807 when George secured a patent for a new tract of land located in what is now the eastern part of Pike County in Seal Township. He lived there until 1846 when he died at the age of 103! On his grave is a 4-feet marble tombstone with the inscription:



A Native of Ireland


SEPT. 29, 1846.


103' y'r of his


I don't know what the first "A" means. I have a tombstone rubbing of the tombstone hanging on the wall of my library.

George and Nancy Morgan Givens had eight children.

Their son James (1810-1878) married Frances Graham (1808-1887).

James and Frances' daughter Nancy Givens (1829-1910) married Angus Langum Parrill (1827-1887) on Christmas Day, 1848.

Nancy and Angus' daughter Margaret Nancy Parrill (1868-1956) married Sherman Tecumseh Shirkey (1866-1944) on August 14, 1895.

Margaret and Sherman's son Kenneth Velorus Shirkey (1902-1973) is my father.

Every generation of my family has had a girl named Nancy EXCEPT mine! My mother refused to name me that but I always said that if I had a daughter I would name her Nancy Morgan, in honor of that young woman who came to the wilds of Ohio and survived!

I have a copy of George Givens' Last Will and Testament which is on file in Pike County. It begins:

"I, George Givens of the County of Pike and State of Ohio, being weak in body but of sound and disposing mind and memory do make and publish my Last Will and Testament."

He was 101 when he made the will, and I love the part about being "weak in body, but of sound and disposing mind and memory", but what I find far more interesting is this section: "I give to my beloved wife Nancy all my household furniture, one cow and one riding horse and that she shall have her support and live with my son Thomas Givens during her natural life and be by him supported." In those days, women could not inherit and were no more than the property of a man! Even the household furniture belonged to George, not Nancy, and she was ordered to live with their son!

When I first read Walt Whitman's "Pioneers! O Pioneers" in the 11th grade, I thought of Grandma Nancy and how brave she had to be! Here are my favorite verses of the poem:

"For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!"

"All the past we leave behind,
We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!"

"O you daughters of the West!
O you young and elder daughters! O you mothers and you wives!
Never must you be divided, in our ranks you move united,
Pioneers O pioneers!"

Thursday, March 18, 2010



One of my employees, a young black man, came to me and said, "I want you to go into the men's restroom with me because I need you to see something." I assumed it was a safety issue and I responded, "Check to see if it's empty and put the sign up that it's closed." When we went into the restroom, he pointed out graffiti which was anti-black, anti-female, anti-Hispanic, anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and there were Aryan Nation signatures proudly accepting responsibility. I was as upset as he was and I told him that I would have it painted as soon as I could. He said, "You know they'll just do it again!" I told him I would try to think of a deterrent. I was talking about the graffiti to one of my Team Leaders, Dave, and he said, "I hear that BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL--maybe you should paint it black!" I told Dave that I wished that I had thought of it. At that time, the employees worked four 10-hour days and I arranged for the painting to be done on Friday. The walls were painted glossy black up to six feet of the wall and then off-white the remainder of the wall.

On Monday, several men approached me about the restroom being dark because of the walls being black; I responded that I would add more wattage to the lights. Someone complained to my boss, and he came to look at the restroom and asked me why I'd done it and I told him about the graffiti and then I said, "BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL". At that moment, the man who had complained, approached us and he said, "Thank you, Sue and thank you Mr. Wood for bringing Sue here." I told him that it had been Dave's great idea about the black paint.

It took a long time for the walls to be defaced but someone came up with white markers and knives scratching into the paint. Each time I would just add more black paint. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!


My boss, Mr. Schubert, was walking through the Department with me at the beginning of the shift and he said, "Suzy, I must tell you something, because I know you will hear about it eventually, but I don't want you to be upset." He proceeded to tell me that there was some graffiti in the men's restroom about me. I laughed and asked, "Did they say I do it well?" He looked astounded and said, "I thought you would be upset." I asked, "Then WHY didn't you have it painted over?" He said, "I just thought you would want to know." I was angry with him and I answered, "What I WANT is to see it!" He said, "I don't think that's a good idea." I told him that I was going to the restroom and yell that I was going in or he could go over and clear out the restroom. Everyone left the restroom and I went in and walked up to the graffiti, took out my pen and wrote, "Just remember--I DO IT WELL! xxxooo Sue R."

As my friend John said, "You're not doing your job unless you make the bathroom walls!"


I was a Junior Achievement advisor and we held our meetings at a manufacturing facility. Several of the girls in the group were together outside the women's restroom and they were giggling. I asked what was funny and they told me about something written in one of the stalls. I went in and on the wall was written "For an ADEQUATE time, call Bill" and a phone number was written below it. When I went outside, one of the girls said, "Mrs. Raypole, I think we need to leave right away." When I asked why, she said that she and the other girls thought it would be fun to call Bill. I asked what happened and she said, "I told him I saw his name in the restroom and that I heard he could show a girl an adequate time and this number showed on his caller ID and he said he was coming over here right away and he's really mad!" I told the girls to leave and go home. I waited for the man to arrive. He was very irate and I apologized for the girls' behavior and he said that he was going in the restroom to see it. He went into the restroom and marked over the message.

The following day, I was advised that I needed to find another facility as our meeting place.


My colleague Jim told me that there was a wonderful drawing of me in the men's restroom. We waited until the shift was over and he and I went in to view the "artwork". The drawing was of me and another female in an amorous depiction. It had my name written under one of the females and Margie's name under the other. I said, "Oh, Margie has to see this!" I was upset because my name was misspelled. I wrote under it, "I don't care what you do, just spell my name right and say I do it well!" The next day, I told Margie about it by saying, "You've ARRIVED--you made the bathroom wall!" She wanted to see the drawing also. She wasn't as amused as I was. She asked, "You actually wrote that?" I said, "Yes, and I'm going to leave it up there for a few days and then I'll have it painted." She said, "Well, you know my Dad works here and I wouldn't want him to see it." I put in a work order to have the wall painted immediately. The next day Margie said, "I told my Dad about the drawing and you know what he said?" I asked, "Was he upset?" She said, "No, he laughed and said that he knew I was doing my job if I made the bathroom wall!"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world's most popular saints. Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him. Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."

He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message. Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.

Why a shamrock?
Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


One of my most difficult tasks is to create the weekly menu planner. I prepare the menus and my brother Les compiles the shopping list.

This week, my friend Lori's birthday is the 16th and St. Patrick's Day is the 17th; two of the meals were set as Lori had requested Chimichangas for her birthday meal and I always fix corned beef brisket and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day.

To be cute I left this menu on the counter:


I have never fixed a Scandanavian OR Portuguese meal. Les glanced at the menu and said, "I guess I better get out the recipes for Lutefisk and Dormidos." I had heard of Lutefisk, but not Dormidos. I asked, "How the Hell do you know those?" He answered, "What can I say, I'm addicted to the Food Network!"


Lutefisk (lutfisk) (pronounced [lʉːtəfɪsk] in Southern Norway, [lʉːtfesk] in Central and Northern Norway, Sweden and the Swedish-speaking areas in Finland (Finnish: lipeäkala)) is a traditional dish of the Nordic countries and parts of the Midwest United States. It is made from stockfish (air-dried whitefish) or dried/salted whitefish (klippfisk) and lye (lut). Its name literally means "lye fish."

Lutefisk does not need any additional water for the cooking; it is sufficient to place it in a pan, salt it, seal the lid tightly, and let it steam cook under a very low heat for 20–25 minutes. It is also possible to do this in an oven. There, the fish is put in an ovenproof dish, covered with aluminium foil, and baked at 225 °C (435 °F) for 40–50 minutes.

Lutefisk is usually served with a variety of side dishes, including, but not limited to, bacon, green peas, green pea stew, potatoes, lefse, gravy, mashed rutabaga, white sauce, melted or clarified butter, syrup, geitost (goat cheese), or "old" cheese (gammelost). In the United States in particular it is sometimes eaten together with meatballs.


Dormidos, meaning sleeping - most likely named for the time the dough "sleeps" overnight before baking.

3 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

6 eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup sugar

40 gr baker’s yeast

Aguadente (try anise if you prefer)

1. Dump the flour in a large bowl. Slightly beat the eggs separately. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the eggs. Add the sugar and butter along with the yeast.

Using your hands, mix the ingredients together to form a dough. Cover and let rise until double. Shape into individual balls. Place on lightly floured baking linens and cover. Let rise again overnight - hence the name Dormidos (Sleepers).

2. The next day, turn them over so the bottom is on the top. Brush with beaten egg-wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Careful not to overbake.


Monday, March 15, 2010


One of the most difficult lessons to learn in management is that one cannot be friends with one's subordinates. One can be FRIENDLY but never FRIENDS!

In 1979, I thought that my favorite employee, Jim, was my friend. He gave me 100% production and excellent quality every night. In return, I helped him with his classes after work; I made sure that he had everything to make his job easier; I even gave him costly gold welding shields although he wasn't eligible for them as they were designated for people with vision problems; I allowed him to have a "bank" which was in violation of the Contract, and my husband and I attended his wedding and gave him an expensive wedding present. We did not socialize outside of work because that was certainly frowned on by higher management, which I learned was for good reason. However, my husband and I would oftentimes be at the same functions as Jim and his wife and we would spend time together.

One night, as usual, I was hurrying, making sure that everyone was settled on their jobs. As I passed Jim's station he yelled, "Hey, Suzy, the crib didn't have any long welding gloves." I said, "I'll find some." During the fast-paced first half-hour of the shift, I had made sure that everyone had been taken care of and I had also gone to other welding stations to see if anyone had an extra pair of long welding gloves. As I passed Jim's station, he lifted his welding hood and gestured toward his short gloves and I said, "I'm still looking." I went to the adjacent department and asked the Department Head there for the long gloves, but to no avail. The next time I passed Jim's station he yelled, with some irritation, "Hey, I'm still waiting." I said, "I went to Department 22, I'll check the other departments." I radioed other departments, called the Main Crib; I did everything that I could think of to do to locate long welding gloves for Jim. None of the other welders asked me for the long welding gloves, although they all favored them.

The next time I saw Jim he took off his welding helmet and threw it down on the floor, breaking the expensive, gold welding glass. He screamed, "Get my Steward NOW!" I naively asked, "What's wrong?" He was livid, his face was red, and he shouted, "Listen, Lady, the sooner you learn that my safety is the most important thing in this world then the better off we'll both be!" I was hurt and shocked and I responded by throwing my clipboard on the floor and screaming back at him, "I have been everywhere in this damned plant looking for long gloves for you and you act like this!" I reminded him of all the favors I'd done for him and then I told him "I even got that gold welding shield for you and you weren't eligible for it." He said, "Just get my Steward!" He resumed welding and I went to check out the Steward (whose nickname was "Seaweed"). "Seaweed" asked, "You two having a lovers' quarrel?" I asked, "What's that supposed to mean?" He responded, "Well, you'll have to admit that Jimmy is your favorite." I answered with a great deal of hauteur, "I don't have any favorites--I treat you all the same!" He laughed and said, "Suzy, you're a fair person, but everyone knows that Jimmy is your favorite." "Seaweed" went to talk to Jim and he returned to my office and said, "Just get your son some long welding gloves and everybody will be happy." I said, "I've looked for the gloves everywhere--nobody else is complaining." "Seaweed" said, "Everybody else knows you've been looking for the gloves, but you wouldn't be running around like a chicken with it's head cut off if it wasn't for Jimmy, but your Jimmy is special, doncha know?" I had a very "harmonious" relationship with the Steward and had never had a grievance, but I was humiliated by his perceptiveness. When he left he said, "I'll bet you've learned a lesson tonight."

The Main Crib called me and told me they had located the long welding gloves. I brought them to the department and handed a pair to each of the other welders, but I didn't hand a pair to Jim. At break time I surreptitiously placed a pair on Jim's fixture. When he returned from break, he looked around to see if anyone were watching, and sheepishly put on his long gloves.

Our relationship was never the same. Jim continued to provide me with the same high-quality, 100% performance, but the camaraderie was gone. Jim continued to work for me for another year and then I was transferred to another Department. My brother had transferred into my Department and I had to go to another Department as the Company did not allow family to work together.

Twenty years later, in 1999, I was the Department Head on Second Shift and Jim came to work for me again. One night, after work, he came in and asked me if I would write him a Letter Of Recommendation as he and his wife were trying to start a home for troubled teens and they needed to be certified and Letters of Recommendation would help. I told him I would be glad to help and I mentioned that I was surprised that he had remained in manufacturing after he'd received his degree. He told me he was never able to locate anything that paid as well with the same benefits. Jim said, "I'm sorry that I was never man enough to apologize for being such an A-hole back in Department 28." I said, "But, Jim, I learned a valuable lesson--YOUR safety should be the most important thing in the world!"

I told him that I had used that incident as a role-play in a Supervisory Training Program I'd helped develop in the 1980's for another company, especially for use in union manufacturing situations. I dug in the file cabinet and got out the manual and showed him the role-play which was entitled, "FRIEND/FRIENDLY--WHEN THE SUPERVISOR LOSES HIS/HER TEMPER". I asked him to read it and then I asked, "Is it as you remember it?" He said, "After that happened, I got razzed a lot about being your pet, but I knew we couldn't be friends any more, but I missed you when you left." I told him that the whole situation was my fault and that I had learned a valuable lesson as "Seaweed" had predicted. Jim said, "Maybe when we retire, we can be friends."

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I have a guilty pleasure: tuning in to "The View" to watch the train-wreck which is Sherri Shepherd. One should feel guilty watching a wreck, but one just can't help oneself and that's the same feeling with watching Shepherd! How could Barbara Walters, a seemingly sensible person, have hired such an ignorant nincompoop? Shepherd is an embarrassment to women. I love Whoopi and Joy and I feel sorry for Whoopi, who oftentimes intercedes to correct Shepherd.

This week Shepherd said that she hoped that Tiger and his wife could RECONCILIATE!

Other howlers:

She thinks that nothing predates Christianity; not even when she was told that the Greeks and Jews did!
Sherri had never voted before 2008 because she "never knew the dates or anything."
She said she thinks the earth is flat!
She said that she's "had more abortions than I would like to count" and yet, she is anti-choice for other women!
Said that Palin was qualified to be Vice-President because Palin had five children!
She said that Barbara Walters should be "saved". Barbara is Jewish!

My favorite:

Shepherd was telling about going to a gospel concert and she showed a picture of herself with Shirley Caesar and said that Shirley Caesar was "like the BLACK Patti LaBelle." Whoopi had to, as usual, correct her by telling her that Patti LaBelle IS black!

Friday, March 12, 2010


I always knew that I was NOT a "token", because I knew that I was qualified for any job or promotion I received, but I was often "paraded out" to show visitors just how "progressive" the companies were. When it happened, I would mutter under my breath, "TOKEN TIME". My mother always told me that I needed to work like a HORSE, act like a LADY and then they would treat me as a WOMAN. I spent my work-life in non-traditional, so-called "men's jobs", but my mother told me I would always have to work twice as hard just to be considered equal. For nearly all of my work-life I was the ONLY female; my proudest accomplishment was that late in my career, I was able to promote other qualified women.

When I became the FIRST female manufacturing supervisor, the Company newspaper featured an article and I felt like the story about Dr. Johnson's talking dog: it wasn't that people were surprised that the dog could talk, but that he could do it well! [ Now you know where the "I do it well" comes from!]

One time we had a group of potential buyers from China tour the plant and they were brought over to meet me in my department. It took me a few seconds to realize that I was being introduced to THEIR "token" woman because all of them in the delegation were small in stature and dressed exactly the same, wearing the green Mao uniform. I know that my Company and the Chinese delegation didn't expect what transpired between the Chinese woman and me. Fortunately, her English was very good. She asked "Are you the only woman?" I laughed and said, "Yes". She bowed to me and I bowed to her and then we reached out and hugged each other and we both squealed with laughter. I told her about "Token Time" and she said that she felt the same way. I could see the discomfort on the face of the President and CEO of my Company! I wouldn't want to use a stereotype, but the Chinese men WERE inscrutable!

I often wondered what she said to her comrades.

When I went to interview at Rockwell, it was June 5; I had lost my job at International Harvester on April 15. I thought I didn't have a chance in Hell of getting the job; I had already been interviewed by the Personnel Department and I was told that the final and determining interview would be done by Don Waddell, who had returned to the company after retirement to launch the Nacelle program. I was warned that he was a very critical interviewer and that I probably wouldn't get the job! I thought, "Why the Hell did they bring me in to interview if they knew I wouldn't be hired? Oh, yeah, a government contract!" Meeting Don Waddell was a defining moment in my life. There I was, in my perfect blue suit, white blouse, navy blue heels and matching briefcase. He met me at the Personnel Department and we traipsed across the building to his office in the Nacelles. Everything in the plant was covered with tarpaulins. Needless to say, I thought that my chances were nil because I had no aircraft background. We sat down and I saw my resume on his desk and something was circled in red. When he started to talk, I could tell he was from southern Ohio! He started by telling me that he had to hire so many "minorities" but he wasn't going to hire anybody he didn't want. I swallowed hard at that remark and of course I was uncomfortable about his telling me that, but I just sat and behaved myself! He also told me that Personnel was trying to force people from other Rockwell plants on him, but that he was going to pick his own team. He said, "I see that you must know something about these Gemcors". I answered that I did. He said, "That's good, cause I don't know nuthin' about them." He said, "They hired this German guy as an Engineer over them for the whole plant and I don't care much for him, so I need somebody I can trust in my Department." I was swallowing frantically because it sounded as if he were interested in ME. Dare I hope? He said, "I figured you had to have a lot on the ball to get where you got." Then he asked, "You wanna go down and see where you'll be working?" I answered, "Yes, sir.", as if it were the most normal thing in the world to be going to see my workplace after the strangest interview in my life. [ Boy, I was glad I hadn't corrected him on those ILLEGAL things he'd said.] As we returned to his office, he told me that he would "get me in" but it might take awhile because he had to "go through the motions with Personnel". He asked if I would be O.K. and I told him that I still had two weeks of my salary continuation from IH and that I had received a job offer from another company yesterday and I would accept it and wait until he called me. When he told me it might be as late as the "end of the year", my heart sank, but I maintained a brave exterior. When I returned to Personnel after the interview, I was asked how the interview had gone and I said, "Very well." I knew better than to divulge that he'd told me that I was going to have a job!

Each week after the interview, Mr. Waddell's Secretary Jonda Trace would call me to tell me that Mr. Waddell wanted to talk to me. Each week, he assured me that I was going to be on his Team. I received the job offer from Personnel on November 1 and I began work on November 15. Six months of being on tenterhooks!

Several months after I was hired, I was talking to Jonda and told her how I had been so worried all those months. She said, "You never had to worry; you passed the FLOOZY TEST." I was floored and asked what she meant. She said, "They kept sending all those women from Tulsa Rockwell and Mr. Waddell would say he wasn't going to hire any of those floozies!" Then she said, "After he met you, he told me he'd found the gal he was going to hire because he knew you'd had to work hard to get where you'd gotten and every week he would say, "Get hold of that little girl from down in the sticks!" and I'd call you!"

Mr. Waddell had told the Company that he would stay only to see Aircraft One launched which was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. At his retirement party, Mr. Waddell leaned over and whispered to me, "You'll be the first woman Manager in the history of Rockwell!" I have said he's the only man who could make me feel like I was twelve years old! I squealed with delight and said, "Oh, Mr. Waddell!" I swear I sounded like Mary Tyler Moore's Mary Richards with Lou Grant!

Thank you, Don Waddell for giving me the opportunity and for the happiest years of my entire work life.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


About two weeks after my accident, I had cabin fever and I just had to go somewhere other than to work, but I forgot JUST how bad I looked. Gerald took me to K-Mart because I wanted to buy bras which opened in front and slacks with elastic in the waist to make dressing and undressing easier.

I was on crutches, my face was still badly bruised and scarred. A little boy kept looking at me and I could tell that his mother was trying to keep him from saying something to me. Finally, he could not contain himself and he asked, "What happened to you?" I answered, "I was in the war!" The kid said, "Mommy, she was in the war." I said, "No, I wasn't in a war, I had an automobile accident." The kid said, "Why did you say you were in the war?' I said, "I find if you're funny--then it helps--I was being funny." He said, "But war isn't funny." Touche!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


In my family, I'm the only one remaining who is always willing to try unusual and different foods. As I recall, my brother Kenny and I were the only adventuresome ones who would try any new foods. My mother always planted something unusual in her garden each year; how well I remember kohl rabi, rutabagas, salsify, and spaghetti squash. My brother Norman is considered "The Master Gardener" in the family who carries on Mother's manteau and he said yesterday, "I never thought about it before but that's probably why I always plant something different every year because Mom did." As kids we used to eat paw paws and persimmons from Grandpa's farm, but that was because it was Grandpa's; otherwise, the boys probably wouldn't have touched them!

My mother cooked all kinds of wild game including pheasant, rabbit, turtle, ground hog and muskrat (Mother used the euphemism "marsh rabbit"). At Thanksgiving, I still make our family favorite: squash pie made from the lovely Kushaw squash! I admit that I have inflicted arugula, pummelos, Meyer lemons, cherimoyas, shayote squash, tomatillos, ugli fruit, star fruit, carambola, and clementines on my family. [P.T. Barnum was right!] Before he met me, my husband's idea of vegetables was green beans and corn. He had never tasted broccoli and cauliflower before he met me. He doesn't like asparagus, peas or hominy, but I can serve nearly anything else and he will at least try it.

Swai has become a favorite of mine. When I saw swai at Kroger, I asked the meat manger about it, but he didn't have any information. I fixed it and as I was eating it, I exclaimed, "This tastes like catfish!" As I love catfish, this was a wonderful find. I jumped to check on the internet and I learned that swai IS catfish from Southeast Asia! "A rose by any other name...."?

Yesterday at the grocery, I saw edamame in the frozen food section. Never having seen it previously, I thought "How bad could a vegetable be?" I brought it home and I fixed half of the bag right away for lunch. Something looked vaguely familiar to me but I thought the edamame must be in the pea family. I fixed it with butter, salt and pepper as instructed. As I tasted them, I said, "These are SOYBEANS!" I decided to look it up on the internet--I didn't know how to pronounce it and it wasn't in any of my several dictionaries--but I learned that edamame is unripened SOYBEANS! My mother used to shell them and fix them when we were kids and that's why they looked familiar! [I was just now reflecting on the lowly soybean: bean sprouts, tofu, soy milk and all of those Morningstar Farm products come from soybeans.]

I remember when my sister-in-law came from Korea in 1968 and after she'd been with us awhile, one day I opened the door to the up ground cellar to be hit in the face with an overwhelming smell--she was growing bean sprouts in the cellar--and through the years she influenced us with other items such as bok choy, gai lan, mung beans and sweet potato vines! I can recall how excited she was when she learned that she could pick mustard greens in the field beside our house. She gathered several trash bags full and put them in the freezer. My mother always picked dandelions, watercress, shepherd sprouts, lambs quarter, mustard, and a little bit of dock for our "mess of greens".

Would I have bought the edamame if I'd realized it was JUST the common soybean? Of course not! Would I have spent $4.99 on a box of clementines if I'd known they were JUST mandarin oranges? Of course not! Would I have bought swai if I'd known it was JUST catfish? Of course, it was $1.00 cheaper on the pound, folks!

On Wednesday this week, I'll have company join us for dinner. I want to fix a different kind of salad, so I bought "green butter lettuce and red butter lettuce" instead of romaine, spinach, escarole, endive, iceberg, Bibb or ARUGULA! (Oh, I can't be having arugula or people might think I've joined some "elite" group, because I recall a certain politician who was ridiculed for discussing arugula!) Well, I've eaten arugula and it tasted awful! I'm going to shell the edamame, cook and then chill them and add them to the salad. I don't know how to say "bon appetit" in Asian!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Employees know their supervisors better than the supervisors know themselves.


One of my favorite employees was attending college and his major was Psychology. He and I would oftentimes discuss his classes and I was able to help him on occasion. One time he called me to his work station and he told me that he was reading an article about Marilyn Monroe. I asked if that had anything to do with his Psych classes and he responded that it did because they were comparing traits of famous people with people they knew. I asked who had traits like Marilyn Monroe and he answered, "You do." I was stunned. I asked, "What trait could I possibly have in common with Marilyn Monroe?" He said, "You are always stroking yourself." I said, "Oh, I do not!" He said, "O.K., the next time I see you stroking yourself, I'll yell out Marilyn." Within fifteen minutes I heard him yell "Marilyn" and I caught myself stroking my thigh. A few minutes later, I heard him yell out "Marilyn" again; I was stroking my arm. After the third time of his yelling "Marilyn" I went to him and admitted that I had not realized that I had that habit. I asked, "What does Psychology show that means?" He laughed and said, "Ah, I was just putting you on--it had nothing to do with my classes--although the article does tell about Marilyn stroking herself!" He would oftentimes call me "Marilyn" after that.

When I went home that evening I told my husband that I couldn't believe that I hadn't known this about myself and Gerald said, "Yeah, you do it all the time." I asked, "Why didn't you ever tell me?" He said, "I been kinda enjoying it all these years!"


Another time, I was walking through the department and one of the guys asked, "Hey, do you wear those Underalls?" I said, with great indignation, "Well, that's none of your business!" He said, "Well, we never see any panty lines!" Underalls had just been introduced and the advertising campaign was centered around seeing "no panty lines". At lunch time, I said, to my boss and the other supervisors, "You won't believe what one of the guys asked me--whether I was wearing Underalls!" My boss said, "Well, do you--we don't see any panty lines." My fellow supervisors chimed in and made the little noises associated with the Underalls commercial. I let out a shriek and answered, "You don't see any panty lines because I don't wear tight pants!"


One of my employees said, "Hey, it looks like your boss just got kicked out of his house." I asked, "Why do you say that?" He answered, "Well, his clothes were always perfect before--now look at the shlump--his pants have no creases and he wore that same shirt yesterday!" I thought, "How am I going to bring up this delicate subject to my boss?" At lunch time I told him what one of my guys said to me and he answered, "They see everything, don't they?"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Actual 1955 Good Housekeeping Article

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives.

Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.

During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

Be happy to see him.

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity.

Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

A good wife always knows her place.

Okay, when you stop laughing long enough to pick yourselves up off the floor, forward this to all the women you know so they can have a good laugh!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


4) Do you see gray areas in between the squares? Where did they come from?

5) You should see a man's face and a word. (Tilt your head to the right)

6) If you take a look at the picture, let me tell you, it is not animated. Your eyes are making it move. To test this, stare at one spot for several seconds and everything will stop moving or look at the black center of each circle and it will stop moving but move your eyes to the next black center and the previous one will move after you take your eyes away from it.


1) Is this possible?


3) the purple lines straight or bent?

Friday, March 5, 2010


"I, too, dislike it.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in
it after all, a place for the genuine."--Marianne Moore


My friend Bobbi, the Queen of Auctions, oftentimes purchases items that she thinks I will enjoy. Several times, she has purchased boxes of books, sometimes for as little as $1.00 per box, and I've always found at least one treasure in each box. One time she brought a box of old hats for me to see. These hats were probably from the 1940's and 1950's and had labels from stores such as Montaldo's, Lazarus and The Union, all well-known stores in Columbus. One hat in particular, a black tri-corner hat, reminded me of the one worn by the poet Marianne Moore. I wore the hat quite often, thinking I looked quite spiffy. One winter day, I went to Revco, wearing a black coat and black slacks along with my Marianne hat (yes, I name the hats!). A little boy looked at me and said, "Look, Mommy, it's a witch." I answered, with a cackle, "But I'm a good witch, like Glinda in the Wizard of Oz."


Because of Bobbi's and my own purchases, I have accumulated a large number of hats. Each day, I would wear a different one to work. I was working second shift and I would go through the door at Department 22, and a voice would ring out, "I LIKE your hat." Each day, I would look around but I couldn't see anyone. I would just go to my own Department 28. After about a month of daily hearing my secret hat admirer, I was disappointed that the voice did not ring out one day. That evening a young man came into my department and handed me a green transfer paper. I said, "Oh, you're coming from Department 22." He laughed and said, "Turn around." Of course I asked him why and he said, "Just turn around." I turned around and his voice rang out, "I LIKE your hat!" I exclaimed, "Oh, it's you; why couldn't I ever see you?" He answered, "Every day, you'd waltz through that door at the exact same time, wearing one of those DUMB hats and every day I would yell out, "I LIKE your hat" and every time I would jump down behind the fixture and you would turn around to look to see who said it." I whined, "But I thought you LIKED my hats!" He said, "Well, I wouldn't hurt your feelings and say I HATE your hats!" I shook my head in bewilderment and he continued, "I decided I wanted to work for the most predictable person I've ever seen; I told my wife that I'd know what to expect from you at all times unlike those emotional men!" I told him that I loved his destroying the stereotype about emotional women. He said, "Well, I actually have an ulterior motive; Jim Rodgers told me that you would help me with my college classes." I asked his major. He laughed and said, "Can't you guess--psychology?"

Thursday, March 4, 2010


The only time I ever skipped school was in 1960, to go to London, Ohio, as Senator John F. Kennedy was supposed to be in a motorcade on his way to Columbus.

When we got there the motorcade had already passed. Whoever heard of a political event being ahead of schedule? When I returned to school, all was forgiven because Mr. Kelley was a Democrat and he excused me!

Watching the results of the election, President Kennedy was quoted as saying, "Ohio--where I get the warmest welcome--and the fewest votes." I was passionate about the election and spent every moment I could "campaigning" for JFK. There is no way to ever capture the passion felt of young love--or young politics! One of the saddest realizations--and a defining moment in my life--was discovering all of the anti-Catholic sentiment in my county. My best friend and I would go around the county with her mother, gathering up all of the anti-Catholic literature we could find and destroying it. At that time, there were phone booths on nearly every corner in Washington C.H. and there were always pamphlets left there. They were also all around at Downtown Drug and Pensyl's and all other businesses of the John Birch Society followers. I was so naive that I asked Mr. Pensyl if he knew who had left those disgraceful pamphlets! He told me to leave the store. My friend's mother quit going to Dr. Binzel when she saw those flyers there. In the remainder of the time that Pensyl's and Downtown Drug were there, I never again entered the buildings. That is the main reason that we started shopping out of town. My friend has kept one of those vicious pamphlets framed on her wall with the note, "Lest we forget."

At a class reunion, two of my classmates and I were discussing JFK and how important he was in our lives. Then something peculiar occurred--everybody there said how they had been for Senator Kennedy--but I knew better because Mr. Kelley had conducted a mock election in our Government class. I spoke up and said, "I remember the mock election and there were only FOUR votes for Kennedy and the rest were for Nixon." Mike Coil laughed and told them that it was true. I then proceeded to tell WHO in our class had voted for Kennedy: Mike Coil, Bob Hammond, Don Grim and myself! I took out my collection of senior photos and inscribed on the back of the pictures of Mike, Bob and Don were references to our being Democrats. As my brother Norman says, "I can never find anybody NOW who admits he/she voted for Nixon!"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


In 2004, at the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama gave the Keynote Address. My brother Norman called me and asked, "Are you watching? I just saw the first black President." We discussed it at length and I told Norman that although Mr. Obama was inspiring and very impressive, I thought that Harold Ford, Jr. would be our first African American President. Later when I called my brother Roger he also said that Obama would be our first black President. Both of these guys love to gloat to me about their prescience.

In 2006, my husband and I attended the Ohio State Democratic Party Dinner and Senator Joe Biden was to be the Keynote speaker and Senator Barack Obama was also scheduled to speak. As we were waiting to go to our seats, my husband whispered, "There's Barack Obama." I was in a long dress and high heels, but I took off trailing after him like a rock 'n' roll groupie! When I caught up with him, I asked if I could have his picture. My husband was standing there with his camera and Senator Obama said, "Here, let's get him in the picture too--we'll have my aide take the picture." Ever since, I have said, "That told me everything I ever needed to know about Barack Obama--that he would take the time to be thoughtful and kind--to include my husband in the picture also." I was immediately smitten! Senator Obama is so slender that I could feel his bones beneath his suit jacket. When I told Norman about the incident, Norman answered, "I told you he's going to be President one day." We both agreed that it couldn't happen until probably 2016. I worried aloud that I doubted that our country would elect a person of color and Norman said that Obama "transcended race".

When Senator Obama announced his bid for the Democratic nomination for President, my brothers Norman, Roger and Les and my husband Gerald were his supporters immediately, but my heart was still with Hillary. I believe that the only time my husband and I ever disagreed on a vote was that one! When Obama received the nomination, I also became his enthusiastic supporter.

After he received the nomination, my husband and I went to Dayton, Ohio, to see Senator Obama in a rally. I had my photograph and books with me in the hope of having them autographed. We were fortunate to be at the "rope line" and I was frantically waving the picture and my husband was holding the books. Senator Obama came over, put his arm around me and asked where the picture had been taken and he autographed the picture and the books.

Later, my husband had the photograph put on t-shirts and buttons. During the campaign Gerald bought a Badge-A-Minute machine and produced more than 1,500 Obama buttons (25 different designs) to give away at our Headquarters. We received a Christmas card from President and Mrs. Obama and it became part of the "Obama shrine" in our library. A friend told me I should put the original photograph in a safe deposit box. Yesterday, Gerald excitedly told me that the Christmas card was selling for $100.00 on eBay. I said, "As if I would ever sell it!"