Saturday, July 31, 2010


It has been my sad duty to shut down two different plants.

At Rockwell, we were told upfront that the Contract would be for just 5 years and we could not expect more than that, but of course, all of us believed that since "North American" had been there since 1950, it would be there forever.

My years at Rockwell were the happiest, most fulfilling years of my entire worklife and when I was chosen to be one of two Manufacturing Managers to remain while the company sought a new Contract, I was honored. When my boss, the best Manager that I had ever worked with, and for, told me that he was leaving and that I should get out as soon as I could, I should have listened. We completed the FIF ahead of schedule and then I returned to the Nacelles. After we completed the Nacelles, I was assigned to Logistics to wait for the announcement of the new Contract. When it was announced that Lockheed received the contract, I was heartbroken, but I was fortunate, because I was able to return to International Harvester.

Below is the last article I wrote as Publisher of the Farewell Issue of "Pass The Word":

"This article is dedicated to: Don Waddell, the late Bill Thompson, Robbie Robinson, Bill Wade, and Al Smith."

"One road diverged into two,
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost

"As the first and only woman Manufacturing Manager in the history of Rockwell International, NAA-Columbus, "I took the road less traveled by" in being a woman in a so-called "man's job" - but Rockwell and the Management Club "made all the difference" - Rockwell and the Club and especially the ones to whom this article is dedicated, gave me and many others opportunities that would never have been possible with other companies. Don Waddell, Bill Thompson, and Robbie Robinson gave me extraordinary opportunities in the Nacelle and FIF and Bill Wade and Al Smith gave me the opportunity to be a Manager; what I did with those opportunities was then my decision.

As a girl growing up on a farm in Central Ohio, I wanted to work at "North American" because of my fascination with aircraft and because my aunt had worked at Curtiss-Wright during World War II as one of the "Rosie the Riveters."

When Don Waddell hired me in 1982 as a Manufacturing Supervisor, I had already been the first woman Manufacturing Supervisor at two other corporations. At Rockwell, I expected to find, finally, other women in management positions. After a couple of days on the job, I asked Bill Thompson, "Where are the other women?" He laughed and said, "You're it!" I asked, incredulously, "What happened to Rosie the Riveter, wasn't she promoted?" Fortunately for me and many others, other women were promoted to supervisory positions.

Robbie Robinson inducted me into the Management Club by saying, 'You'll be glad to know there's a woman President." Although there was a lack of women in management positions, there were many women active in the Management Club. I immediately joined and soon got in contact with Helen Hartberger who was the first women president of Chapter 636. Helen's stewardship of the Club and her exemplary leadership were a measuring stick for all succeeding Presidents. Helen encouraged me to become a Booster. After being a Booster, Captain and Instructor, I became the Vice-President of Public Relations and Community Activities; I was then elected a Trustee. The Management Club has helped me both professionally and personally.

Whatever road we all decide to travel in the future, Rockwell and the Management Club have helped to pave the way."

Friday, July 30, 2010


When Mrs. Wead put our house on the market, we were not savvy enough to know that one could "make an offer" instead of just agreeing to the asking price. I would always refer to the Wead house as MY house! We toured MY house but I knew that we could not afford the asking price. It was a huge disappointment because I figured that it would never be on the market again; after all, who would leave MY house once they had it? We decided to buy a house more in our price range.

Gerald and I had both been working two jobs to save for a down payment on a house. He was working at IH and at my cousin's gas station. I was working at Mead and at Steele Data Processing. We bought our house on Albin Avenue and were very happy there for ten years.

I passed MY house daily and when I saw the "FOR SALE" sign I told Gerald that I "just wanted to see what had been done to it since we last saw it." I learned that the house had set empty for four years and had been part of a contentious divorce settlement. I told Gerald, "It wouldn't hurt to talk to the realtor." Gerald insisted, "You know we can't afford it!" When we heard the asking price, I said, "You know we can make an offer--we don't have to pay that much!"

I took an immediate dislike to the realtor because of his demeanor and selling approach. We hired a broker to represent us. I knew the realtor was upset because he would have to split the commission with the broker! As we toured the house, I asked the realtor why there were no drapes or curtains. He said he didn't know but they had been there when they took the listing. I asked the seller and he said, "My ex-wife stole them, but I can't prove it!

Our broker told us that he knew the seller was having financial difficulty and surely wanted to "unload the white elephant". The broker said that we'd offer a really low price to begin with; I said, "I can't believe you have the chutzpah to offer that; he won't accept it!" The broker said, "We'll keep on nudging the price up and end up with the price you want to pay!"

When the broker made the offer, the realtor laughed at him; the following day the realtor told our broker that the seller had refused the offer. Our broker was suspicious and called the seller. The broker learned that the realtor had not given our offer to the seller, which was an illegal act. Imagine our shock and pleasure when the seller accepted our first offer! The broker had told him we would have the money quickly and the closing could happen right away. I had to do some mighty scrambling to make that happen!

However, the most disgusting part happened as we did our final walk-through with the realtor, and he actually spoke these words: "Well, you won't have to worry about colored people being in this neighborhood." Gerald responded immediately, "Well, we'll change that!" I saw the color drain from the realtor's face as he attempted to smooth over his racist comment.

I reported him to the State Board for both the racist comment and not giving our offer to the seller.

After we closed on the house, the former occupant who had NOT gotten the house in the divorce settlement, called me and asked if I wanted to buy the custom-made draperies and curtains which had been in the house. I told her that I didn't want to receive stolen merchandise. For some reason, she became very upset with me. I told her that her ex-husband wondered who had stolen the drapes!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Stargazer lilies, white roses, pink carnations, magenta daisies, pink snapdragons, heather and greenery; such a beautiful arrangement.

I'll bet you're thinking: "What a nice husband to give her flowers for her birthday." Oh, no, these are from my friend Bobbi! My husband does not believe in--doesn't understand--why people buy cut flowers. He thinks it is a waste. He will buy plants for the house and plant anything I want in the yard, but I have known him since 1968, and there have been no cut flowers for me.

I've written before about the only time I was in the hospital, after my accident in 1995, and I thought surely he would bring me flowers--and he did--two rose BUSHES.

He likes to remind me that those two rose bushes are still alive and producing lovely pink and yellow roses!

When Barbra sings, "You don't bring me flowers anymore", I chime in with "You don't bring me flowers--EVER!"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


While working at North American Rockwell, I was an active member of the National Management Association. We had more than 500 members in our Club. When I became Vice-President, under my umbrella were the responsibilities of Public Relations and Community Activities. Included in those were the Reading Rehabilitation Program at Alvis House, being the publisher of the Club newsletter, "Pass The Word", and the Rockwell Clown Unit.

The Rockwell Clown Unit served the Columbus community for more than twenty-five years. In July, 1961, Ed Ryan donned clown makeup to entertain the children at the North American Management Club picnic. This act was the impetus for starting an amateur Clown Unit to entertain children who needed help, sympathy and cheering-up. The ages and sizes of the children did not matter; the Clown Unit would entertain infants as well as retirees. In December, 1962, an Administrator from Children's Hospital asked the Clown Unit to consider making monthly visits to the hospital. After that, the Clown Unit never missed a single month. Members of the Clown Unit came from many different backgrounds, but their common trait was that they were volunteers who had the ability to share fun and happiness with others.

I became "Klutzy The Clown" which was apt for me, because I am naturally KLUTZY and I learned many valuable things such as how to fall without hurting oneself and that clowning is healthful because it lowers blood pressure. My costume is pink and purple and my makeup is pink with purple freckles.

One day, after a performance, I was very tired and I decided just to drive home while in costume. I stopped to get a Coke at a gas station and I heard a voice ring out, "Look, Mommy, a clown!" It didn't matter how tired I was, I immediately was on stage AGAIN, because clowns take an oath that if they are in costume, they must keep the persona.

After the shutdown of North American Rockwell in 1988, the Clown Unit wanted to stay intact and sought a new sponsor. After Rockwell, I worked in Springfield and could no longer participate in "clowning around" with the Unit although I have donned the outfit a few times since for special occasions.


When writing the Paul Tibbets article, I was reminded of a priceless quip from my brother Les.

When Luci Baines Johnson planned her wedding, she chose August 6 as the date. The Japanese government protested because that was the date of the bombing of Hiroshima.

Les quipped, "Maybe she can change it to December 7!"

Monday, July 26, 2010


When I was four years old, a tornado destroyed our home in Bloomingburg. All of our lives we heard about "the cyclone". I was in the ninth grade when Mrs. Biddle told us it was actually a tornado and explained the difference between a cyclone and a tornado. Despite that knowledge, it was always "the cyclone" in our family.

The birth of my younger brother, the tornado and its aftermath are my earliest memories. The day of the tornado, March 19, my brother Norman was home from school and he was playing on the kitchen floor and I was sitting at the counter as Mother was making blackberry cobbler. I can remember the big bowl of purple liquid and I saw white things falling into it. Suddenly my mother grabbed me and she was on top of me and my brother Norman on the kitchen floor.

Our home, an old store building beside the post office, was destroyed. What followed was the defining moment of my life. My father and the four older boys went to live with his mother in Bloomingburg while Mother, Norman, the baby Roger and I were, as my mother would always say, "bandied about from pillar to post". We were homeless. We went to stay with her mother and that was short-lived, because her mother wanted to whip us. My mother, herself an abused child, never struck any of us; she didn't believe in hitting a child. I never had a lick, a spanking, any physical punishment in my life except scraps with the brothers! [My husband says THAT is what is wrong with me!]

I can vividly remember the day when we left my grandmother's house. I was in the back yard of my grandmother's house and there were some other kids by the fence. I wanted to play with them, but I had been warned to stay in the yard. Suddenly, my grandmother grabbed my arm saying that she had told me not to be there and she said she was going to get a switch to whip me. My mother ran out of the house, rescued me, and her mother said that if she couldn't discipline the "heathens" then we could "hit the road!". There we were, Norman and I, with Mother carrying the baby, trudging along the street to my aunt's house, carrying our belongings in paper bags. We couldn't stay there long either; my aunt had, at that time, six children of her own. We stayed with other friends until my mother finally was able to arrange for us to return to Bloomingburg and we lived in one large room at the Dave Tway house on Main Street. Dave had an apartment and the rest of the house was made into apartments. I can remember our happy reunion with my brothers who had been living with our other grandmother. By that time, we had been "bandied about" for more than a year. After that, we lived in a succession of rentals: a small house in Bloomingburg, in a house on Myers Road during the blizzard, then on Lewis Road and finally on Yatesville-Wissler Road.

I know that the ordeal was what made me want to have my own home and also the reason I have rental properties. I always think that if something "happens" to this house, that I can always live in one of the others! My mother had a life-long enmity toward the American Red Cross, because when she asked for help they refused. She was told we could stay with relatives. The names of the Red Cross officials: "Ole" Rell Allen, Arch Reiber, Arthur Maddux, Emmitt Passmore were anathemas in our family.

One day, probably thirty years after the tornado, Mother mentioned the "cyclone" and I asked, "Mother, Norman and I were in the kitchen with you; where was the baby?" In all those intervening years, I had never thought about where my younger brother was during the tornado. In my whole life, I saw my mother cry just twice. I saw tears well up in her eyes as she said that he was in the bedroom. She said that she knew she couldn't get to him and she just got on top of Norman and me. I said, "Well, he didn't get hurt." She said, "No, he never even woke up!" I put my arms around her and sensing the depth of that emotion and the split-second decision she had to make, I was so grateful that I had never had to make a "Sophie's Choice" in my own life!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


My brother makes fun of me--and others--for naming inanimate objects. My cars have always had names. My current one is named "Jay" for Jay Sebring; the Corvette is named "Louis" for Louis Chevrolet (Gerald said I should have named it Billy Durant). One of my trees is a birch and I named it "Robert Frost" in honor of the poem "Birches". Another birch tree died and Les said, "You shouldn't have named it "John Birch". Of course, one of the roses this year was "The Rose of Tralee"; one of the lilies was "Lili Marlene".

Norman was visiting and I asked him to look at a problem I was having with "Amelia"; I saw him wince as he said, "Tell me you didn't name your computer!"

However, when discussing the weather, he will also chime in with "What does ARTHUR say?" as do the rest of us in our family. I thought that everyone used that phrase, but when I said recently, "ARTHUR said it was 90 degrees!" a person asked, "What channel is he on?" I said, "ARTHUR is OUR THERMOMETER!"

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Every room bedecked with flowers!

Friday, July 23, 2010


At the National Management Association dinners, we usually had very interesting speakers. Brigadier General Paul Tibbets (retired) was one of our speakers and he gave a very exciting recitation of dropping the bomb on Hiroshima. Tibbets was very short and had piercing blue eyes and wore large hearing aids. The historian Stephen Ambrose had written that Tibbets was, "By reputation, the best flier in the Army Air Force." Dwight Eisenhower had Tibbets as his personal pilot at times during WWII.

Tibbets said that when he was selected to command the project that became the 509th Composite Group in connection with the Manhattan Project, he knew very little of the concept of an atomic bomb: "I will go only as far as to say that I knew what an atom was!" He also told several amusing anecdotes, one of which was that he had to lie to his wife for security reasons, and when she wondered about all of the civilians on the base, Tibbets told her that the engineers were "sanitary workers"; during one of Tibbets' trips to Los Alamos, his wife called one of the "sanitary engineers" to fix a clogged drain! Tibbets said he and the Master's Degree holding physicist later laughed about his inability to unstop the drain! He named his B-29 the "Enola Gay" after his mother. The bomb was known as "Little Boy". When Tibbets re-enacted the bombing in a restored B-29 at a Texas air show in the 1970s, complete with a mushroom cloud, the Japanese government was outraged and the United States government apologized. Tibbets said that he never meant for the reenactment to be an insult to the Japanese people. He finished his speech by saying, "I am proud that I was able to start with nothing, plan it, and have it work as perfectly as it did and I sleep soundly every night and if I had the same situation, I'd do it again!"

When he completed his prepared remarks, he said that he would gladly take questions and I stood up to ask a question. My boss, who was sitting beside me, tugged at my elbow and said, "Just don't embarrass the department!" I asked, "General Tibbets, what is your opinion of how our country treated Robert Oppenheimer?" Tibbets didn't hesitate and said, "It was a GODDAMNED shame!" He then said he was glad I asked the question and he expounded on the Manhattan Project and his relationship with Dr. Oppenheimer. I wish that I had had a tape recorder, but I was feverishly taking notes.

When Paul Tibbets died in 2007, it was noted that he had specified in his will that there could be no funeral service and that there could be no tombstone, because anti-nuclear activists would make his grave a protest pilgrimage to deface it. He was cremated and his ashes spread into the English Channel.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


You hear people say this all the time: "I don't take a good picture".

I always think, "No, they just don't WANT to look like the picture they see!" (Gerald's favorite picture of me--1971)

(At work 1981) Since 1995, I have been Cleopatra ("The Queen Of Denial"); I haven't wanted to have my picture taken because I already know how bad I look and I haven't wanted to confront the problem! Seeing the picture of myself at the Governor's Mansion made me realize that I have people in my life who have never seen what I consider to be the REAL me! After I had my life-altering accident, I gained the weight and have never lost it. I was going through pictures to find my picture taken with Yvette McGhee Brown in the 1980s and when I saw the pictures from my Rockwell days I slammed the album shut!

When I went to the doctor about the vomiting, he told me I had a "stomach virus" and that I should "lay off" the Coca Cola. I actually responded, "But it's been my best friend!" I also told him that I thought that since I gave up caffeine that I should never have to do anything else difficult in my life! He and I laughed together but he told me that when I was "well" WE needed to discuss THE real problem!

Last week, on Oprah, there was an expert who has written the book "Women, God and Food"; Oprah proclaimed this would be a life-altering program. I was planning to buy the book and I listened attentively but I still can't think of any trauma in my life which causes me to eat too much! Oprah had asked, "If any of these diets worked, don't you think I would have been successful?" OK, Oprah knows what trauma causes her to react to food the way she does, but I don't. But I do know that the ONLY thing that works is less calories and more movement.

I knew that I could NOT start a "diet" before my BIRTHDAY WEEK dinners and the FAIR!

During Gerald's birthday week, we serve his five favorite meals and we eat out the other two days. He deserves that week of "sinful" foods because he is so GOOD the rest of the year. I am so tired of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts although I have found creative dishes to disguise them, but I eat out at lunch often with friends. Gerald doesn't SIN although he does eat TOO much of the low-fat, low-sugar meals.

I knew that I could not start a "diet" before my BIRTHDAY WEEK and the FAIR! My birthday week dinners include:

1. FAIR FOOD: Italian sausage, those swirly potato things, fish from St. Colman's booth, Lemon Shakeups with EXTRA sugar.

2. Thanksgiving Dinner with turkey, stuffing, noodles, sweet potatoes, corn casserole and pumpkin pie. (WHY just have Thanksgiving once a year?)

3. My ALL-TIME favorite meal: homemade vegetable soup with bread for dipping; a cheese tray with my favorite cheeses and my favorite cake: Italian cream pound cake with fresh strawberries on top.

4. Pork chops, mashed potatoes, brown gravy made from the drippings, corn on the cob, tomatoes and cucumbers sliced together and I'll probably have leftover pound cake--if not--cheesecake! (I have pork chops ONCE a year!)

5. "Banquet In A Basket"--my mother always made these--also called "Hobo dinners": put 2 pieces of aluminum foil together, add sliced potatoes, onions, green beans, corn, peas and a pork chop slathered in BBQ sauce and bake! (Depending whether we have leftover cake from the previous day; if gone, I buy a cake from Community Market because Les and I LOVE them!)

6. Mexican: chimichangas, enchiladas, taquitos, salsa (if we have "real" tomatoes!); we LOVE Mexican!

7. Jean gave me a gift certificate to Olive Garden!

My brothers and friends decide WHICH meals they want to attend to celebrate with me! Good food, good times and the highest calorie-count of the entire year!

Our friends Bob and Connie treated us to a meal on Friday at Oscar's and on Thursday my Red Hat Ladies luncheon will be at Oscar's!

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? Diet to begin July 25. Wish me well.

Wedding picture 1971.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


# 1

I admit that I am a female chauvinist--I like for my money to go to other women, whenever possible--I want a female doctor, dentist, attorney, accountant and commissioned saleswomen!

There was only one female gynecologist in town, thus I felt obligated to go to her. She was a native of India. One day I was there for my annual misery. My feet were in the stirrups when I had a Charley horse. I let out a yelp and she asked what was wrong. I said, "Charley horse, Charley horse!" I got off the examination table and I had the paper sheet stuck to my backside! I expected her to do something and when she didn't, I began pounding the back of my calf with my fist--that's what the coach always did in track--and all the while she stood and just looked at me, while I was bouncing around with a paper sheet trailing from my butt!

Finally, the Charley horse was relieved and I pulled the new paper sheet down on the table, got back on the table, tried to regain my composure and some dignity, and I said, "I've had Charley horses at embarrassing times, but none quite as embarrassing as this!"

Perhaps it was a cultural difference between us and she didn't understand the term "Charley horse", but when she didn't laugh, I knew I needed to have a different gynecologist!


Fortunately, I found Dr. Bullock and we were fine until she became pregnant and left to have the baby, but she recommended Dr. Ayers. I had Dr. Ayers for several years. During one visit, Dr. Ayers informed me that I needed to have a procedure performed and that she wasn't trained to perform it, but she would set up an appointment with her partner Dr. Olson. I gasped, "But he's a man!" She looked at me as if I were crazy. I asked her to schedule me with another woman and she told me that if she herself needed to have the procedure that she would have Dr. Olson do it. I told her I would still rather have another woman. She told me that she wanted the procedure done right away and that she could get me in quickly with Dr. Olson, but she didn't know how soon she could schedule me with another female doctor. She called the desk and asked them to check on the availability of other female doctors. None could accept me for a long time.

I relented and agreed to meet with Dr. Olson. Dr. Olson explained the procedure to me and told me that it would take approximately 45 minutes. In the stirrups, I had my knees tightly together and Dr. Olson told me that I had to relax. I tried to relax but couldn't. He told me to think of something that would relax me. I said, "I could tell some jokes." I heard the nurse groan and say, "Oh, no!" I wondered what that meant, but I was much too nervous to give it much thought. I began telling jokes: I made it through my "Bob jokes" (e.g.: what do you call a guy with no arms and legs who likes to go swimming? BOB!), my "Helen Keller jokes" (e.g.: how did Helen Keller's parents punish her when she was a child? THEY MOVED THE FURNITURE); my "AIDS jokes" (e.g.: what's the most difficult part of having the disease? CONVINCING YOUR PARENTS YOU'RE HAITIAN!), my "Mae West impressions" (e.g.: "OOOH, I USED TO BE SNOW WHITE, BUT I DRIFTED!). O.K, O.K., I know I have sick humor!

Dr. Olson said, "Well, we're finished, that wasn't too bad, was it?" I said that I couldn't believe the forty-five minutes was up. He said, "Now, I'll tell you a joke." The nurse groaned again and said, "See what you've started; now he'll never stop!" Here's his joke:
"What do a healthy puppy and a near-sighted gynecologist have in common?"

When Dr. Ayers retired, Dr. Olson became my doctor. Each time I go to see him, he'll open the door and demand a joke! I have an upcoming visit, so I'm desperate for a joke, ALLEN!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


A friend recently wrote to me to complain about people using the transitive verb "invite" instead of the noun "invitation". I answered, "I know Miss Digman would turn over in her grave if she heard it!" I know that I would never use it, but in checking several sources, I learned that it is, unbelievably, in common usage. There again, I thought it was JUST Fayette County usage.

Thank goodness that my SACRED book, The Oxford Dictionary Of The English Language, lists the usage of "invite" as a noun "colloquial".

Monday, July 19, 2010


Recently, my husband pointed out that I was "too full of myself". My family derives great delight in reminding me of my many errors and gaffes. They write on the calendar when I make an error. My pronunciations of "POE-tassium", "real-A-tor" were duly noted as well as the last time I said "pray-shush" instead of precious. Yes, you can take the girl out of Fayette County, but you can't take Fayette County out of the girl, no matter how hard she tries!

Some of my family's favorite gaffes of mine:

1. Les tapes nearly everything I watch on television because I love to fast forward through the commercials and parts I don't want to see. Last year during tornado season, I was watching one of the tapes and it had a tornado warning to "take cover immediately"; I ran upstairs and banged on Les' door and woke up Gerald to tell them that we needed to go to the basement! They looked out the windows and turned on their televisions while I was busy shrieking that we needed to get to the basement! THE TAPE WAS A WEEK OLD!

2. I was watching a French movie with subtitles and I asked Les to turn up the volume! AS IF I UNDERSTOOD FRENCH. DUH!

3. My "directionally challenged" escapades are legendary. I was in Columbus and I needed to find a place on Route 3; I stopped at a gas station and the guy working there told me I was on Route 3. I said I thought I was on Route 62. He pointed to a sign: I was at the convergence of Routes 62, 3, and Westerville Road! He was an old guy and he said, "This is the 3-C Highway!" I hadn't heard that since my father used to say it when I was a kid.

4. I thought Route 62 was North and South. Let me see, how many years have I traveled on that road and seen the signs? TOO many, but when Gerald corrected me, I jumped in the car and drove to Route 62 to prove him wrong! OOPS!

5. Norman corrected me today about my pronunciation of "oligarchy" by sending an e-mail from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary; although my pronunciation IS acceptable it is number 2! Norman couldn't possibly accept my number 2 pronunciation as truly legitimate. That's my FORTE, Norman!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I had finished my grocery shopping at one store and I pulled into the parking lot of another, just in time to see a woman leave a shopping cart adjacent to her car and right in the parking space I wanted although she could have pushed the cart the few feet to the cart corral. She got into her vehicle and started using a cell phone. I inched my car toward the shopping cart and touching it with my bumper--TRIUMPH--I was able to push the shopping cart slightly BEHIND her car! I was gleeful, because I knew she saw what I did. There was no way she could get out of the parking space without hitting the cart or alighting from her car and moving it.

I sat in my car for a few minutes, waiting for her reaction. I thought, "If I get out of the car, she will probably slam her car door against mine." I decided to out-wait her! My glee was short-lived as another person moved the cart. As I got out of the car, she gestured toward me with the "universal second-finger salute"--yes, she flipped me the bird!

Headed to the store, I saw a group of people around another car and I asked if something were wrong. I was told that a woman needed jumper cables. I volunteered that I had jumper cables. However, my jumper cables are in the trunk of the car in the the spare tire compartment which was covered by groceries. I put all of the groceries in the rear of the car. I took the jumper cables and we hooked them up. A truck driver came to assist. After a half an hour of "jumping", the car still would not start. The woman, Jacquie, said she had a small battery charger in her Jeep at home. I took her home.

During our trip to her house, I told her how mean-spirited I had been in trying to teach a lesson to the woman with the shopping cart. Jacquie decided that I had "redeemed" myself by helping her.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Gerald's lilies have been especially beautiful this year. No story, they speak for themselves.

Stargazer lilies:

Gerald thinks they look better OUTSIDE; I think they look better INSIDE!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Oscar's, the new and exciting downtown restaurant, will be having its Grand Opening on Monday, July 19, 2010. The name of the restaurant is an homage to Oscar Tschirky, the legendary "maitre d'hotel" (not chef) of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. He became known as "Oscar of the Waldorf", where he created a famous cookbook and many recipes including Waldorf Salad and Veal Oscar. He popularized the use of 1,000 Island Dressing and it is rumored that he also helped create Eggs Benedict. Oscar was most renowned for introducing "tipping" in the United States; although tipping was commonplace in Europe, it was largely unknown in the United States at that time.

Jason Gilmore and Nathan Zukowitz have converted a former cafe into a wonderful dining experience. Imagine--chandeliers, white linen tablecloths, classical music, good food and al fresco dining--in downtown Washington Court House! Seating capacity is 45 inside the restaurant but "al fresco" dining is available during agreeable weather. Oscar's has three permanent employees, one a graduate of The Cincinnati Culinary Institute.

The menu is a buffet which changes daily. One patron told me that he had been to the restaurant five times to savor the different menus.

The hours of operation are:

Monday through Friday: 11:00 a.m.--2:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: open for dinner: 6:00 p.m.--9:00 pm.

Sunday: open for Brunch 11:00 a.m.--2:00 p.m.

Oscar's will also be available for private, evening dinner parties during the week.

Lunch is $9.95 which is very reasonable considering the amount of food served. Take-out is also available at $8.95.

Not only have Jason and Nathan begun this new endeavor, but they also operate The Pinkerton House, Parkinson House Catering, and The Mercantile Antiques and Collectibles shop, all located in Washington Court House.

These two are definitely YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I have been volunteering at a local organization for several years and one of the people we served was a favorite of mine as well as a favorite of the Leader of the program. The young woman had done everything she was supposed to do and was an example to all others because she had triumphed over adversity and was our shining example of what could happen with proper education and guidance. The Leader and I called her our "STAR" and we would always say to each other, in a self-congratulatory tone, "If SHE can do it, then anybody can!"

One day I went to volunteer at the the organization and the "STAR" answered the door. She greeted me warmly but I found it difficult to respond, because I had immediately assumed that the "STAR" was back there because she had failed in her independence after WE had worked so hard to achieve it!

I went immediately to see the Leader and I asked, "What is SHE doing back here AGAIN?" The Leader looked at me and said, "Oh, Sue, you do not know what an influence you had on her--she's back here--VOLUNTEERING!" I shrank back in embarrassment as the Leader continued, "She said she wanted to be just like Mrs. Raypole and PAY IT FORWARD!"

It's a good thing when we have our own stereotypes and judgmental behavior exposed to ourselves! First of all, WHO am I to judge, especially with no information? Second, WHY should I have judged her if she had indeed "failed"? I thought that I had "worked so hard" to help her and she was a disappointment to ME because I thought she had "failed". My inner voice lectured, "My, oh, my, Sue, get off your self-aggrandizing horse!" JUDGE NOT!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This week marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of "To Kill A Mockingbird". I love the book and also the movie. As a teenager, I read the book and I re-read it Sunday night and Monday. Despite Malcolm Gladwell's recent criticism of the book in "The New Yorker", it still holds up.

Harper Lee and Truman Capote were lifelong friends and the character Dill in "To Kill a Mockingbird" was based on him.

I highly recommend the movie "Capote"; if you've seen it, you know that Harper Lee helped Capote with the book "In Cold Blood"; she was working on "To Kill A Mockingbird" at the same time. The movie stars the marvelous Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Capote and the wonderful Catherine Keener as Harper Lee.

CBS' "Sunday Morning" featured a tribute to the book and a visit to Monroeville, Alabama, Harper Lee's hometown. The cutest thing: the drink of choice is "Tequila Mockingbird"!

As my brother and I watched the tribute, Les mused, "Capote was supposed to be the great writer; in 50 more years, WHICH books will still be being read--Capote's or Harper Lee's?" When someone asked Harper Lee why she had never written another book, it was reported that she said, "When you have a hit like that, you can't go anywhere but down."

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing except sing out their hearts for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." --Harper lee