“Hi”, said the ladies voice on the phone early Friday morning. It was Karen Roberts. “I just said ‘Hi’ to you over on Ridgeway but I guess you didn’t recognize me cause I didn’t have my dog! You were talking to the Oakwood and Kettering firemen and policemen at the corner of Park Road.” “Yes, they said the fire was at ‘240 Park’ so I guess that’s the old Stan Smith house – or ‘The old nunnery’…What did you find out?”
“I’ll pick you up in ten minutes and take you down to my favorite coffee spot across from the old Patterson Homestead on Brown Street. It’s the Boston Stoker Night and Day Café… and I’ll tell you what I’ve found out!” So, over latte and biscotti at ten AM… Round Town learned “…it was a lightening strike that hit the roof, went down the walls from the third to the second floors and smoldered, and…but everyone got out and the fire and police will stay for a while to make sure nothing’s still smoldering…”
“So that’s what levitated me off the bed around three-thirty…even the dog barked…I thought we’d been hit! Who lives there now?” “I’ll find out.” said Karen. So, a lightening strike introduced an Oakwood-ite a terrific spot and you-all can go anytime and don’t have to wait for …’an act of God’.
The ‘39’ers had their annual wives-included picnic at Locust Wood Farm – the ‘…old Whalen farms where the Miami Valley Hunt Kennels where for at least thirty years and where Bill and Susan Whalen have lived for years. It’s on Penewit Road between Bellbrook and Spring Valley…and it’s one of the most beautiful near-by-far-away-places in the area.
Bill Ferneding is the current president – and he conducted the (mostly-monkey) business meeting after a great dinner of chicken-or-beef-or-both under the large tent on the ‘front-forty’. Rick Ohmer was there – but Cheri was at a horse show in KY with a daughter. Jim Deuser & Debbie, Wise Glossinger, Bill & Sonnie Kasch, Jean & Annabelle Cummings, and Tom & Nancy Gillaugh were all in the group gathered on the large brick patio before dinner.
Alan & Lois Baker, Blitz & Mary Creager, Brock & Margy Anderson, Chris & Tara Crowl, and Jack & Jean O’Connell all talked with Ginny Whalen and thanked her for the many years she and Herb had this same party at their home on Ridgeway Road.
Bud Welch, Hal Morrill, Lee & Betsy Whitney, Tad & Carolyn Kiefaber, and Marv Keller all enjoyed hors d’ouvres passed by Bill and Susan’s daughter, Colleen. Adam Schantz Whalen directed the parking – and later told an after-dinner-joke…”…it’s a clean one!” he assured his parents.
Pete & Marge Kuntz, Izzy Schaeffer, Libby Hornbeck, Sara Lytle and Bill & Sally Lincoln staked-out tables and lined-up for dinner when the gong rang. Warner Kiefaber and Rodney Boren were probably the only two ‘original’ members present! Jim Kavanaugh said Kathy had made the salad and….probably a lot of other things.
When Jim Whalen & Tami were spotted by an Oakwood neighbor of her parents, the Stan Smith’s, Tami was asked about ‘the fire!’ “Yes, I’ve heard about it…but don’t know any details!”
Tom Maher won the biggest-and-best-joke-teller award – he was even compared with the Thirty-Niners all-time-best-dialect-joke-teller – Bill Butt, Sr.!
Then on Sunday it was back to Locust Wood Farm where the 39’ers tent was waiting for another party – Ginny Whalen’s big-birthday blast with all of Ginny and Herb’s four children, all of their children, most of her cousins, second and third cousins, and a few special friends….all added up to over forty celebrants!
Again, as on Friday, Bill & Susan Whalen and their two children, Adam & Colleen – were the hosts. Herb’s brother, John Whalen and wife, Jane were there from Chicago. Elaine Mitchell, Herb’s sister, and her son Tom Mitchell were there. Ginny and Herb’s son Mike and wife Elizabeth and their three sons were up from Florida. Kathy Whalen Kavanaugh & Jim’s children – Ashley, John, Jim, Laura were home from all over! Hugh Whalen and two scuba-diving friends were there from Ft. Lauderdale.
John & Marilyn Ziehler, Bill & Carol Brennan, and Tom Ziehler are all on the ‘cousins list’. Then there were Don & Judy Buerhle, Joey Eilers, Ginny Panfile, and Molly & Jim Traynor. They’re either distant cousins or good friends.
Tom & Kathryn Young, Nancy Freking, Patty & Stan Sammons, Mary & Tom Scott and Janie Wilkins enjoyed the ‘golf course’, and the pitching games, and… Helen Jones, Gerry & Dick Kruse, Shawn Wooles, John Heckel, and Steve & Monica Wynn helped with the ‘clean-up’, the ‘toasting’, the ‘joke telling’, the birthday-cake eating, and…whatever.