“We’ve gotta be at the Cincinnati Zoo by six …that’s when Cathryn Hilker will be running her Cheetahs.” It was Monday afternoon and it was sunny and beautiful in Oakwood. Fifteen minutes south on route #75 the heavens (?) opened and did not close for five hours – or – until the return-trip reached ‘Exit 47’ off N. Route #75.
“Catching The Lure of an African Sundowner” read the invitation to this fundraiser for The Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, S.W. Africa. Cathryn and her husband Carl were the founders of this program sponsored by the Cincinnati Zoo. The Hilkers and the Zoo have bought thousands of acres to protect this cat which was near to extinction due to poachers in Namibia. “The Lure” is a mechanical device invented by Carl Hilker to demonstrate the speed of this beautiful cat. Carl’s ‘lure’ reaches 70 mph in a matter of seconds – and so the Cheetahs pursuing the ‘lure’. It’s a thrilling sight!
But, Monday night at the Zoo – the ‘sight’ was a huge dripping tent holding many hundreds of wet, dripping ‘safari-clad-guests’ – near an ankle-deep morass – sometimes the ‘Cheetah Run.’ So, the Cheetahs were brought onto the stage in the tent – just ‘led’ on a leash like your pet Labrador. Along with Cathryn and the Cheetah was a very large ‘Anatolian Sheep Dog’. “This Anatolian dog is our secret weapon for protecting Cheetahs,” explained Cathryn. We’ve given hundreds of Anatolian puppies to ranchers and herdsmen in Namibia and the results have been fantastic. The dogs run with the livestock and when a cat approaches they bark – and, for some reason their bark terrifies the cats and they run off!”
When Ann & Ron Shephard, Drs. Diane & John Babcock, Julie & Phil Meyer, and an ‘Oakwood-ite’ spotted Brenda & Morley Thompson, Jr. they all said: “Remember where we all were together this time last year?” And the ‘chorus’ answered: “Yep, we were all in Leesburg, Virginia watching Morley compete in the Masters Centennial Hunter Trials at the Westmoreland estate!” (and Morley’s got a big, beautiful trophy to prove it.)
Sally Riffle is a member-in-good-standing of the ‘World’s Greatest Bridge Club’. And she’s in even-better-standing after giving a beautiful ‘Baby Shower’ – no, not for any of the ‘real’ members, - it was for a granddaughter of member Shirley Wagner. Granddaughter Cathy Klasing has a two-week-old son – so ‘blue’ was the dominating color. Cathy’s sister, Donna Green, helped.
WGBC has been shuffling-n-dealing for about fifty years so the gift-givers couldn’t believe “…how baby wear, baby appliances, etc. “…have changed since our day?”
Sally Riffle was Chair of Oakwood’s “Centennial Club”. “We wanted to find everyone who’s age plus the number of years they’ve lived in Oakwood = 100. And, we’ve found over 550!” Have you all received your attractive blue-n-silver pins? And, wear ‘em everyplace you go all summer.
‘Classical WDPR 88.1 and WDPG 89.9 FM’ held their annual Patrons luncheon on Wednesday at ‘L’Auberge’. It was a beautiful party that ‘L’Auberge’ owner Joseph Reif and his Staff provided the members of ‘The Clark J. Haines Society’ for 2007-2008. Georgie Woessner, Dir. of the stations, was a gracious hostess and MC for the program following Joseph’s delicious lunch.
Dwight Woessner chatted with a guest about their mutual alma mater, DePauw. “My Mother & Dad were alums too..” Ben Schuster said he’s taking children and grandchildren on a trip to the Eastern Mediterranean, Balkans, Istanbul, etc…Burt Saidel said: “Alice couldn’t come today…she’s on duty at the Art Institute.” Marge & Ed Kuhns said they’re so pleased with their new ‘digs’ at the Performing Arts (Schuster condos). Dr. David Schuster was there.
Wednesday evening the ‘El Meson’ was the scene of a big birthday bash for Aldene Nash. The owners of ‘El Meson’ are from Ecuador – so the décor and menu are Latin American and some of the guests came looking mighty ‘Ecuadorian’. “Birthday Girl’ wore a hot-pink Spanish-y dress with a matching fringed shawl. And by the time she donned the birthday-gift hat (all flowers, white doves, and feathers)and pink stole made by Beth McAfee…Aldene could out-do Carmen Miranda!
Dr. Lynn & Sheila Crosby, Doris & Joe Williamson, Betty & John Henry, and Irene & Joe Dedaro were celebrants. Dennis & Pat Hanaghan, Dale’s brother Keith & LaVerne Nash, Marge Thomas and daughter Debbie Sherk, and Joan Halstead had fun mixing-it-up with fellow ‘Ecuadorians’. Danny O’Brien led the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ – applauded by Noel Jones.
Carrol & Karen Schindler, Joan Holstead, Peg Savage, and Shirley Barner found places at the five tables and loved the variety of ‘Latin’ dishes that kept arriving. It was a delicious presentation of everything from lamb-meat-balls to exotic shrimp. Armond Parisi & Caroline Schnader were a most interesting couple. Caroline is a Professor of French at Wright State. She and a table-mate spoke French the entire dinner hour and who knows what they were talking about! Don & Aileen Prinzler, and Elizabeth & Ronan Kisch were interesting couples to meet. Ginny Hess & Jim McCoy, along with Marty & Fred Ohmer – arrived late. “We’ve been to dinner at the Oakwood Club, but wanted to arrive in time to wish Aldene a big ‘happy….’