Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

April 3, 2014

Saying goodbye to a new friend

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — Did you know that St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, was born in Britain? At age 16 he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and spent six years as a slave in Ireland. He escaped and went back to Britain where he became a priest. He returned to Ireland where it is said that he converted thousands of pagans to Christianity before he died on March 17, sometime in the fourth century.

More St. Patrick’s Day trivia. The reason that the shamrock is associated with this day is because it is believed that St. Patrick used it to teach the Holy Trinity, the three leaves representing the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The color green has been associated with Ireland since the 1640’s and with St. Patrick’s Day throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. “Wearing of the Green” comes from a song of the same name which laments Irishmen being persecuted for wearing green. From this somber beginning, St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the most joyously celebrated holidays, with parades and exuberant events. How many of you have not had green beer?

There were many staff and residents “wearing the green” here at Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home on March 17. We had corned beef and cabbage for dinner, a meal long associated with St. Patrick’s Day, although I don’t know why.

“Marie and Me” entertained us on March 18. The duo consisted of a pretty young lady and her father-in-law. He played guitar and they both sang. They said they had something for everyone and they did, Blue Grass, inspirational hymns, contemporary and country. They promised to come back.

The monthly Thanksgiving Circle was held on March 21. The topic of the day was the upcoming annual Casino Night when the house is transformed into a casino and games of chance such as roulette, blackjack, the shell game, etc. are played with chips. The theme this year will be Mardi Gras. We invite our families and friends and it is always a gala and enjoyable event.

The “Quirky Country Twins” Velma and Thelma, aka Kathy Lindberg and John Santello, paid us a visit on March 27 and regaled us with a commentary on their red-neck southern kin, along with projected photos. It was very funny. Part of what made us laugh was seeing John in drag.

The saddest event that I have to report is that Janet Gorman passed away. Janet and I met occasionally in the super market and exchanged pleasantries. But I didn’t get to know her until I moved into The Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home. Before I moved in I asked her how she liked living here and she said, “What’s not to like?” That was her attitude. Janet was 97 and she lived her life with determination, kindness and joy. The average life span for a woman is 81.1 years, so Janet beat the odds when she died March 30, here in her home surrounded by her loving family. The custom here is when someone moves in, one of the established residents is asked to show the new person around and help her/him become familiar with everything and everybody. Janet was my “assigned buddy” and we became fast friends. We played “Kings in the Corner” most mornings after breakfast. That’s an old card game that I taught her. But she really liked to play bridge and played every Tuesday at the Clark Sport Center right up to a few weeks before she died. She liked to talk about her children and grandchildren, of whom she was very proud. She told me how she met her beloved husband, Flash. Janet was in the military as was Flash and one day she saw this handsome man swimming in the ocean, surrounded by a bevy of beauties, and Janet said, “That’s for me” and Flash never had a chance. She said everyone loved Flash. Well, everyone loved Janet and her passing leaves a great void here and in my life.