Greece And California (Cont.)

I’ve posted before on the problems with Greece’s debt and its implications for the European Union and its member nations.  Today a deal with respect to Greece’s debt problems was announced; it involves pledges of support for a financing plan by EU countries and lending from the International Monetary Fund.

Looking at the deal that has been struck, it seems calculated simply to calm the markets for the moment and stop,  or at least slow, the headlong slide of the Euro against other currencies.  If the markets aren’t calmed, don’t be surprised if another European summit is needed.  The deal also does not address the political fissures exposed by the Greece debt crisis, with German citizensm, for example, feeling like the ant being asked to subsidize the grasshopper.

Two points in the linked article are of particular interest to those of us in the States.  The first is the notion that Greece is having to refinance its debt at a 6 percent interest rate because of investor concerns about its ability to repay the debt.  If investors were to be similarly insistent on higher interest rates for American debt, our budget deficit, and the amount of our spending consumed by debt payments, would skyrocket.  That is a sobering concern.  The second point of interest is the chart showing budget deficits as a percentage of GDP and overall debt as a percentage of GDP, in Great Britain and certain European countries.  The picture is not a pretty one, and suggests that Greece may just be the first of a series of European countries to face severe debt problems.

A Buck Back Update

We’re heading into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, and I’ve reached a crucial point in the Buck Back.  I’ve netted 7 bucks so far and have two teams left — third-round selection Xavier and sixth-round selection Washington.  They both play tonight, so by the time the sun rises tomorrow I could be out of the Buck Back altogether, before we even reach the weekend.  That would be embarrassing.

Washington has a tough test, against West Virginia.  The Mountaineers are a balanced, athletic team that beat the Buckeyes earlier this season.  Xavier takes on Kansas State, a team that has flown under the radar in the tournament.  Both West Virginia and Kansas State are number 2 seeds.

Let’s go, Huskies and Musketeers!  Keep me in the hunt!

Edited to add:  Well, it happened as I feared, and the Xavier double-overtime loss to K State was particularly brutal.  And so this year’s Buck Back comes to a close with me finishing ignominiously $1 underwater.

A Test Of Representative Democracy

I haven’t posted anything about the actual passage, and now the signature into law, of the “health care reform” legislation.  We are now learning about heretofore undiscussed provisions of the massive legislation — like the provision that requires disclosures of calories on the menus of restaurants, the provisions that exempt certain congressional staffers from certain aspects of the new law, and the special projects and funding agreements that secured some votes in the House of Representatives — and I have no doubt that we will learn more along those lines in the days to come. 

In any case, the “health care reform” bill is now a law, and Americans need to decide how to deal with it.  This country is a representative democracy.  The underlying concept of that form of government is that we are too big to have national plebiscites on every issue.  Instead, individual citizens elect representatives who then cast the determinative votes on legislation. Once they are in office, we must trust our elected representatives to exercise their best judgment, based on their knowledge of the issues and the interests of their constituents, in deciding how to vote.

In our system, therefore, the Members of Congress who voted in favor of the “health care reform” legislation had every right to do so.  They are not obligated to follow the currents of popular opinion or the findings of the latest poll.  Similarly, though, voters have every right to vote against a Member of Congress on the basis of their voting record.

The question now is how Americans will react come November, and whether they will vote out those Congressmen and Senators who voted for the “health care reform” legislation.  I know that many people are infuriated at what Congress has done.  Tonight, for example, as Kish and I were walking to the library we were stopped by a neighbor who vented for a good five minutes about the bill and the process by which it was enacted.  Will that neighbor have the same passion after months have passed?  Will she contribute to campaigns and canvas for candidates who vow to work to repeal the new law?  Only time will tell — but I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more about the “health care reform” legislation in the coming months, from the media and our friends and neighbors.

Big Lift For Big Ten Basketball

The Big Ten is feeling pretty good about basketball these days.  With three teams — Michigan State, Ohio State, and Purdue — in the Sweet 16, the Big Ten has more teams still in contention than any other conference.  For a moment, at least, the Big Ten has quieted critics who say that the league pales in comparison to the Big East or the ACC, that Big Ten teams play a boring, bruising style that is not attractive to fans or talented players, and that Big Ten teams underperform in big games.

I’m not sure that you can conclude that the Big Ten was the strongest conference this year based on its performance in the NCAA Tournament, any more than you can argue that the league has sucked in the past based on prior tournament disappointments.  The NCAA Tournament often boils down to individual team match-ups that don’t allow for sweeping conclusions about entire leagues.  Still, it is gratifying for the Big Ten teams to perform well in the spotlight, and particularly meaningful because Michigan State and Purdue overcame significant injuries in winning their games to advance.

The reality is that the Big Ten plays good, solid basketball and features a number of tough, hard-nosed players who don’t quit.  The fact that most Big Ten teams score in the 50s and 60s, and not in the 70s and 80s, does not detract from the high level of play and fine coaching.  Perhaps, with this NCAA Tournament, basketball fans outside the Midwest are starting to realize that.

That Pathetic Census Commercial

Throughout the NCAA tournament game broadcasts this past weekend, I kept seeing the same commercial for the 2010 federal Census.  You’ve probably seen it, too.  It begins with some unshaven, slovenly guy in a bathrobe going out to get his mail.  He gets the census form and suddenly the street is crowded with passersby.  He walks along, his bathrobe flapping in the breeze, coaches a pregnant woman being wheeled by on a gurney as she is ready to give birth, and eventually meets up with a throng that includes a marching band.  The message of the commercial — at one point specifically stated by the schmoe in the robe — is:  “Let’s all fill out the census to make sure that we get our fair share of federal funding!”

The commercial really bugged me when I saw it, and as I’ve thought about it since then I’ve slowly realized why.  First, the spokesman is a portly slob.  He comes out to get his mail in his bathrobe in broad daylight, so he apparently doesn’t have a regular job, and he’s got plenty of time to go waltzing around town.  (What is he, a blogger?  Hey, wait a minute!) More importantly, however, the whole point of the commercial seems to be that people should fill out the census so they and their neighbors can get more money from Uncle Sam.  What a destructive message!  The Census has now become all about communities sucking even more cash from the federal till.

I have no doubt that the Census Bureau did some careful testing and was told that this commercial was best calculated to convince people to fill out and return their census forms.  If I am right on that, it is pathetic indeed.  It is just another indication that we are increasingly becoming a dependency culture, where the first inclination of many people is to appeal to the federal government to take care of them and solve their problems.  Like the clod in the commercial, we sit at home in our bathrobes, insisting that getting help from the federal government is our birthright and focused primarily on doing whatever will help us to quickly get a bigger piece of the federal pie to consume.  Is this really what we have come to?

Rising On The Implausibility Meter

I’ve recently posted on the boring nature of this season of 24.  The producers and writers apparently have heard such complaints, because the show has taken an abrupt veer into the random violence, outright implausibiilty, and general weirdness to which the loyal viewers of the program have become accustomed.

Last night’s episode was a good example.  Consider:

*  Jack Bauer and three other CTU agents engaged in a machine-gun firefight with a group of terrorists at some deserted industrial facility on the shores of the East River, near Manhattan, at 4 a.m.  The din of gunfire continued for a good half hour, without any sign of police or, for that matter, concern by local residents whose sleep was interrupted by the local equivalent of World War III.  (Pitched gun battles apparently are so commonplace in the NYC area that they aren’t worth bothering about.)

*  Minutes after CTU’s computer systems were totally fried by the explosion of an electromagnetic pulse device, the redoubtable Chloe O’Brian pulled a gun on an NSA engineer in order to try her hastily developed plan to fix the systems by “tapping into the trunk line.”  Surprisingly, the NSA geek would not allow her to try her improvised approach after she scowled a few times and waved a piece of paper with a scrawled diagram at him.  After barricading herself in the room, only to have security break back in, she is permitted to try her plan, her jury-rigged fix works and gets the systems up in seconds, and by the end of the show she is back at her desk getting a pat on the back from her boss.

*  The first CTU mole — a 24 tradition — has been exposed to be agent Blondie.  After being a mere annoyance with her idiotic subplot about her ex-boyfriend and his criminal buddy, she strangles a hefty Arkansas probation officer who had been bugging her for information about the ex-boyfriend and rolls him into a man-sized ventilation duct conveniently located at floor level.  (With ventilation systems that sizable, CTU probably is not very “green.”)  She then makes a phone call to the lead terrorist to say that her cover has been blown.  No kidding!  Makes you wonder what the lead terrorist thought about Blondie’s lengthy absences during the first part of the terrorist operations, as she haplessly dealt with her ex-boyfriend before finally sinking the corpses of the ex-boyfriend and his buddy into a deserted pond.

*  Chloe’s 4 a.m. call is fielded by a wide-awake, fully clothed former FBI agent Renee (Freckles) Walker.  Walker is told that Jack Bauer is in some vaguely described area, immediately heads there, and arrives in time to use a handgun, from a distance of about 200 yards, to plug two terrorists who are getting ready to splatter Jack’s brains across a parking lot.

Sure, it’s implausible, but I’ll take implausible over boring any day.

A Sweet Week

Dr. Science came over to watch the game yesterday, and while munching on Hills pizza and other goodies we watched the Ohio State men’s team beat Georgia Tech, 75-66, to advance to the Sweet 16.  The Buckeyes were led by Evan Turner, who bounced back from a subpar first-round game to lead the Buckeyes in scoring, Jon Diebler, who repeatedly hit three-pointers in the second half to build the Buckeyes’ lead, and David Lighty, whose fearless drives to the bucket and tough defense helped to keep the Yellow Jackets at bay as the game drew to a close.  Dallas Lauderdale was a stalwart force in the middle and William Buford contributed 9 points and 8 rebounds.  The win was a true team effort.

Jon Diebler

The Buckeyes next will play Tennessee on Friday night.  In the meantime, they get to enjoy a week of extra basketball, of recognition that this has been a season of great accomplishment for the team and its players, and of intense focus on the next match-up that could prove to be the gateway to even greater achievement.  For fans like me, this week is like a surprise present.  No one takes advancing to the Sweet 16 for granted, so when it happens you just enjoy basking in the glow of the team’s success and participating in a bonus week of happy basketball chatter with other fans.

Of all the fine basketball teams in the nation, only 16 are still alive and competing for the NCAA championship.   When your team is one of those 16 teams, it is a sweet week indeed.  Go Buckeyes!

Happy 80th Birthday, Mom!

The birthday girl and Uncle Gilbert

Mom’s 80th birthday party yesterday was a great success.  Mom’s brother, Uncle Gilbert, came in from Florida for the festivities, and other members of the Neal clan also traveled from far and wide to attend, including cousin Beth from Florida, cousin Gib from Chicago, Dave and Stacy from Akron, and Peg and Dave from here in New Albany.  A host of Mom’s fun-loving friends, from her neighborhood, her bridge club, and her Poker Queens group, also came for enjoy the food and the camaraderie and to extend their birthday best wishes.

Some of Mom's bridge club friends

Kudos to Jim, Cath, Margaret, Kish, Chris, Joe, Richard, Amy and Brittany for their hard work on organizing and decorating the room, moving cars to open up parking spaces, preparing the food, schlepping card tables and chairs, TVs, and flowers, preparing and presenting food, and generally making sure that the guests had a great time.  The food was excellent, the set-up was perfect for a birthday gala, and the party house at Jim’s condo association looked great.

Mom's friends and neighbors

Getting to your 80th birthday is no mean feat, and it deserves to be celebrated in style.  Having so many close friends and family members gather is a fitting way to mark a significant lifetime milestone, and also showed how many people Mom has touched during her 80 years.

More friends and partygoers

The party ran from 4:30 to 7:30, followed by the traditional hard-nosed games of euchre, tall tale-telling, and good-natured ribbing that inevitably occur whenever the Webner and Neal families get together.

Incidentally, the room was crowded and raucous from start to finish, so I’m not sure that the “Mom Mix” added much to the fun — but it did give cousin Peg and cousin Dave the opportunity to sing along to some of the selections from The Sound of Music.  Those incidents alone made the preparation of the Mom Mix worthwhile.

Shooting For The Sweet Sixteen

The goal for the OSU men’s basketball team is simple:  win today’s game and advance to the Sweet 16.  They will be facing a difficult test in Georgia Tech, a tough, athletic, ACC-hardened team, so there should be no question of overconfidence or looking past a small-conference opponent.  Having seen Kansas shocked by Northern Iowa (a result which, incidentally, dealt a death blow to my Buck Back hopes) and Villanova shocked by St. Mary’s, the Buckeyes — and every higher seed — should be mentally focused and ready for the challenge.

Every team but one ends their season with a disappointing loss, and therefore college basketball fans have to define success in a reasonable way.  Everyone wants to win the Tournament, but only one team can.  I don’t think that means that every other team should be viewed as a failure.

In Ohio State’s case, it has been a very successful season to this point.  The Buckeyes overcame the adversity of the injury to Evan Turner and a resulting slow start in the Big Ten, recovered to reel off a series of wins and tie for the Big Ten regular season championship, won the Big Ten Tournament, and garnered enough national respect to receive a number two seed in the NCAA Tournament.  At this point, you just hope that the team continues the high quality of play that has characterized the team’s effort over the past few weeks, and achieves the positive results that should come from doing so.  Winning today and making it to the Sweet Sixteen would go a long way toward making that hope a reality.

Mom Mix (Cont.)

Today we celebrate Mom’s 80th birthday with a party.  As I’ve mentioned before, my primary responsibility for the party was to prepare a mix of songs that Mom and her guests would enjoy.  We expect to have about 80 people there of all ages, but the primary musical audience will be Mom and her contemporaries, who like Big Band music and show tunes.

I’ve tried to put together a bit of a musical journey to track Mom’s life, from Over The Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz, released when she was only nine years old, through the Big Band music and crooners of the War Years and the ’40s, past the movie musicals and solo artists of the ’50s and early ’60s, and ending with the rock ‘n roll music of the late ’60s and early ’70s, when all of us kids were growing up and insisting on watching The Monkees TV show and listening to rock ‘n roll music on family drives.  (I put one song in particular, Windy by the Association, in the mix because I have a very strong recollection of listening to that song while being ferried in the Ford Country Squire station wagon to a family dinner at a restaurant/pub called The Other Place near Bath, Ohio.)

I’ve posted the songs in the Mom Mix below.  In all, the mix should take about three and a half hours.  I’ll try to post some photos of Mom’s party, and perhaps some reactions to the mix, later.


Over The Rainbow Judy Garland
In the Mood Glenn Miller
Swinging On A Star (Single Version) Bing Crosby
Let’s Dance Benny Goodman
It Might As Well Be Spring Rosemary Clooney
In a Sentimental Mood Duke Ellington
Little Brown Jug Glen Gray
Up An Atom Gene Krupa & His Orchestra
If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight) Kay Starr
String Of Pearls Benny Goodman And His Orchestra


Fly Me To The Moon Frank Sinatra
Just In Time Dean Martin
I Could Have Danced All Night Rosemary Clooney
The Shadow Of Your Smile Tony Bennett
Selections from South Pacific (There Is Nothin’ Like A Dame, Bali Ha’i, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, I’m In Love With A Wonderful Guy, Younger Than Springtime,
The Lady Is A Tramp Frank Sinatra
Unforgettable Nat King Cole
A Bushel and a Peck Vivian Blaine & The Hot Box Girls
Alley Cat
Selections from The King and I (I Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting To Know You, I Have Dreamed, Something Wonderful, Shall We Dance?)

Who’s Sorry Now Connie Francis
Selections from Oklahoma! (Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’, The Surrey With The Fringe On Top, Oklahoma)
Soldier Boy The Shirelles
Hello Mary Lou Ricky Nelson
Selections from West Side Story (Maria, Tonight, Gee, Officer Krupke, I Feel Pretty, Somewhere)

’60s/The Sound of Music

Mack The Knife Bobby Darin
16 Candles The Crests
Selections from The Sound of Music (Maria, I Have Confidence, My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Edelweiss, So Long, Farewell, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Processional And Maria)
Sherry Four Seasons
Do You Want To Know A Secret The Beatles
King Of The Road (Single Version) Roger Miller
People Barbra Streisand

Late ’60s/’70s

Downtown Petula Clark
Last Train To Clarksville The Monkees
Sugar Sugar The Archies
Windy The Association
This Guy’s In Love With You Herb Alpert
Love (Can Make You Happy) Mercy
Stoney End Barbra Streisand
I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song Jim Croce
Joy To The World Three Dog Night


My Way Frank Sinatra
Brazil Rosemary Clooney
When You Wish Upon A Star Linda Ronstadt

Five Bucks (And Counting — I Hope)

First round play in the NCAA Tournament ended last night, and I’ve got five bucks to show for it.  My first, second, and third round picks (Kansas, Texas A&M, and Xavier, respectively) all won, my fourth and fifth round picks (Texas and Florida) lost in heartbreak fashion in overtime, and I got pleasant surprise wins from the sixth and seventh round picks (Washington and Murray State).  Four of my teams were involved in “buzzer beater”-type games, and two won and two lost — which seems like a fair result.

Isaiah Thomas of the Washington Huskies

One interesting thing about the Buck Back is that it can turn on a dime.  You can be sitting pretty with lots of teams still in play and, a day later, be out of the competition totally.  This year, after the first round, the leader has seven bucks with six teams still playing (the lowest-selected team to win a game, in this case the Ohio University Bobcats, nets you two bucks), two players have five bucks, two have four bucks, two have three bucks, and the Purple Raider is bringing up the rear with two bucks.

Of my remaining teams, the one that was the biggest surprise to me was Washington, which seems to have a lot of quick, rangy, capable players and a good point guard.  I’m hoping that they can add another buck to my total when they face off against New Mexico today.

Paying Attention And Participating

Richard’s post below reminded me of a point that I wanted to make before the whole health care debate effectively ends, supposedly with a vote on Sunday in the House of Representatives.  Whether you support or oppose the “health care reform” legislation — and even a casual reader of the blog knows that Richard, UJ and I are on opposite sides of the fence on that point — I think we can all be proud of how politically engaged many Americans have been on the issues.  Although the media approach may be superficial, I think people are paying close attention to both the substance of the bill and to the process.  During the torturous path of the “health care reform” legislation, people have become knowledgeable about issues related to “the public option,” about certain insurance industry practices, about the role the CBO plays in estimating the budget and deficit impact of bills, about deals that have been cut to secure votes, about the Senate filibuster rules, the reconciliation procedure, and the role of the House Rules Committee, and about a number of other topics.

All of this is a good thing — a kind of civics refresher course that should make our body politic more attentive to important political issues and to the need for people to participate in the process.  We are already seeing this, through the various protests and the estimated 100,000 calls per hour that currently are overloading the congressional phone system capabilities.  I would guess that many of the people who are calling and advocating, pro and con, for the “health care reform” legislation didn’t vote in recent elections, or perhaps voted without a sufficient understanding of their candidate’s positions on issues like “health care reform.”

I expect that all of that will now change.  Although some pundits are predicting that the public interest in politics will wane, because some voters supposedly are disillusioned with President Obama, I think the opposite will be true.  If the “health care reform” legislation is enacted, the resulting law will have real consequences for people’s lives, their health care options, and their pocketbooks.  The impact of those real consequences will cause people to realize that, if they just sit on the sidelines, they have only themselves to blame if the consequences are not to their liking. 

American voters obviously disagree on “health care reform,” but I think we can all agree on one point — it is better to have our citizens  paying careful attention to what our elected representatives are doing and giving them an earful on what their constituents are thinking about the important issues of the day.  Democracy works best when voters are actively engaged in the process.

Channel 6 = Fox News?

I was taking a walk in Goodale Park during my lunch break today when a woman carrying a large stack of papers approached me, accompanied by a cameraman. She said she was from Channel 6 news and asked if she could talk to me about healthcare reform.

Predictably, the stack of papers was the healthcare bill itself. She asked me how long I thought the bill was, and I said, “it’s about two thousand pages, right?” “Yeah!” she replied.

She asked what my stand was on healthcare reform. I said I strongly supported it and gave my reasons. “Have you read any of the bill?” she asked. “Um, no,” I said.

After asking a few more questions, she thanked me for my time. Before walking away she smiled and said, “I’m glad the interview is over so I can put this down!”

I’ll be honest – when the interview ended, all I could think about was how excited I was at the possibility of being on TV, especially voicing my opinion on something I care a lot about. I went over everything I said and decided that I was satisfied with my answers.

Then the excitement wore off, and the more I thought about it, the more I was annoyed with the way she approached the subject. Mostly, it was her act of carrying the stack of papers. The papers weren’t held together with anything, so they looked especially messy. The reporter was a short, skinny woman, so the bill seemed about to topple her over.

This is not only a cliche, but a cliche usually used by ideological opponents of government expansion – not by local TV news stations. It reminded me of the Republican congressman who, in 1994, presented a chart of tangled bubbles and lines representing Bill Clinton’s healthcare bill to show how bloated and chaotic it was. And then there was the conservative guest on the Daily Show last year who carried the bill with her in a big, thick binder (even she was respectful enough to have it bound).

Anyway, so what if the bill is long? Do they expect a bill reforming the healthcare system for a country of 300 million people to be on a pamphlet? I would hope that a bill that is supposed to accomplish so much would be well thought out. Conciseness isn’t the number one goal in drafting a bill, effectiveness is.

I imagine that if they show my footage, they’ll present me as a liberal who supports the bill even though he hasn’t read a word of it. True, I haven’t read a word of it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a good idea of what’s in it, as the reporter would know if she asked me more substantive questions. Like most Americans, I don’t have time to read through every bill my congressman votes on. In fact, I think it’s the duty of the press to keep the people well-informed about such things while they carry on their lives.

This is a duty that Channel 6 failed on with this segment. Instead of filming a frail woman struggling to carry the bill, with the obvious message that the bill is dangerously expansive, why not identify what in the bill is actually dangerous and ask me questions about that? If there’s something nasty hiding in those two thousand pages, tell me what it is. That might not provide such a memorable image, but at least it would be good journalism.

80 Years Young

Well today is mom’s big day, 80 years young so I decided to check with some of our family historians and piece together her life story.

Mom was a depression era baby born in 1930, to her parents Gilbert and Maude, along with one brother Gil. Their childhood seemed to be pretty much a normal one and they were well provided for. From what I understand the family took annual trips to Ocean City, New Jersey and that during those trips mom was not always the little angel she is today, punching, poking and teasing her younger brother. 

Her parents were quite protective of her so they sent her to private school at Old Trail near Akron, then off to Mount Vernon School, a private school for women in Washington D.C. where she graduated in 1950. She then returned home to get her teaching certificate at the University of Akron and embarked on a brief teaching career starting out as a teachers aide working half days at both Seiberling and Schumacher Elementary School where she taught kindergarten and first grade before becoming a full-time teacher. 

While at Akron U mom met the love of her life on a blind date and after seven years of dating they decided to get married and would end up being together for forty two happy and contented years. She continued to teach up until eleven months into their marriage when everything changed and she had the first of five children in a stretch of seven years. Over the next thirty years she would spend most all of her time loving, encouraging and managing the lives of each of her five children, always giving of herself and asking for nothing in return.

From what I remember of our younger years if you would have asked any of us kids what we were going to have for dinner we would have said “I don’t know, but it’s gonna be on toast”. Yes, early on the toaster got quite a workout at our house, chipped beef on toast, creamed eggs on toast and tuna fish on toast, but mom persevered and later became a fantastic cook. Her mouth watering fried chicken was to die for.

We didn’t have lot of money in those early years, but some how mom made due and was able to keep us clothed and fed. Then in 1962 after a series of odd jobs dad hooked up with a college fraternity buddy and began working at Graham Ford where he would work for the next twenty six years. Dad’s working at Graham Ford afforded them a stable income with the opportunity to travel to the likes of Mexico, London, Paris, Bali, Singapore and the Caribbean to name a few.

In 1970 dad was given the chance to manage one of Mr. Graham’s dealerships so they packed up the family and moved us all to Columbus. Over the next fifteen years or so mom spent her time making our Buckley Road house into her dream home, redecorating,  renovating and finally wearing dad down convincing him to put in the backyard pool and jacuzzi sun room she always wanted.

In 1988 when dad retired and the last of us five children had left the nest they decided to purchase a condo in Hayden Falls and another in Stuart spending half of their time in Ohio and half of their time in Florida enjoying their friends and each others company until dad passed in 1997.  After dad’s passing mom showed her resiliency and continued to do some traveling taking a cruise each of the next three years to Scandinavia, Panama and Alaska.

Mom finally tired of the condo in Florida and wanted to spend more time with us children and her grandchildren all of whom still surprising lived in Columbus. For the past few years she has been spending her time hobnobbing with her Hayden Falls friends, playing bridge, playing poker, watching her vast collection of dvd’s, dining out with us kids, enjoying her ten grandchildren and just plain relaxing.

I think if you ask mom she would tell you she has had a rich, full and wonderful life.