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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Happy New Year
Friday, January 4 2002


The start of a new year is an appropriate time to reflect on recent passings, and the death of Waneva McDermott Kupchella on Christmas eve has been much on my mind. She was a few months younger than I, and such a death at our age always gives one pause, and in her later years I'm told she was diabetic as I am, though she was depending on insulin shots, which aren't required in my case.

I got to know Waneva when a good friend was dating her for several months, when we were about 18 (1960). She struck me as the very definition of "loveliness," that exact word, with a character, personality, and sense of humor befitting her physical beauty, a rare combination. (In trying to describe her to my son, I found myself comparing her in appearance to Brook Shields, though I think Waneva was even prettier.) I hadn't seen her since then but some mutual acquaintances lead me to think that if we had met there would have seemed no gap in the friendship, which seems fitting.

Another probable reason I find her passing a shock is that I had mentioned her to our correspondent, Judy Rose, as a possible subject for a future profile here.

This isn't intended as a eulogy of an individual long-ago acquaintance, but rather as a reflection on people we once knew who, still inside somewhere, we go on knowing, and miss, even though the years since seeing them have piled up and we may never see them again, but still "see" internally. There's something about the unexpected passing of peers that fascinates us, drawing us to take a longer look. Sometimes the feeling is along the lines, "I expected to get to know that person better, but never did."

Two other passings from the valley this past year keep coming to mind, though I hardly knew either of the "boys" I'm referring to. Perhaps because both were a little younger than I, there was an unexpected shock to get the news. Ron McDonald of Nanty Glo and Larry Stiles of Belsano are gone "already." I don't remember ever having a conversation with either of them, but knew them both at sight; truly "nodding acquaintances," but with the feeling that under other circumstances we would have had things to talk about, though in fact we probably had little in common.

It seems strange that in a sense I miss my late father more than my mother, as Mom probably has been the biggest influence in my life. I have to guess it's because, despite living in the same house and riding the same car for years, I never knew my dad very well. And, for whatever reason, that's regrettable.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

More rimshots

If we are what we eat, then I'm easy, fast, and cheap.

My next house will have no kitchen—just vending machines.

The only thing wrong with a perfect drive to work is that you end up at work.

Americans are getting stronger. Twenty years ago, it took two people to carry ten dollars' worth of groceries. Today, a five year old can do it.

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for the day

I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity and God gave me brain and brawn to work.
I asked for courage and God gave me danger to overcome.
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I asked for. I received everything I needed.

—Author Unknown
Sent by Trudy Myers
Click here for an animation using today's thought


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