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Had the nicest telephone visit with Jo Leo Swanson, Palatine, Ill., the other day. Jo was a childhood friend and her late mother, Emelia, was my Godmother. We graduated the same year, she from Sacred Heart, and I, Oelwein High. We had a great time going down memory lane, remembering people, places, and things. Jo dated her late husband, Ken, who worked in Chicago and would come to Oelwein weekends. Husband Jim, who was with the railroad, also worked in Chicago, and would be home for the weekend. Funny, I can’t recall if they came to Oelwein by car or train, but I do recall driving them to Independence to catch the train back to Chicago on Sunday nights. My late Uncle Joe Pirillo or the late Jim (J.B. Jabe) Aversa would ride along … for “safety.” But neither one had a driver’s license, but they would be there in case of a flat tire or accident. Ah, sweet memories.

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By the way, if you haven’t driven your vehicle for several days, do go out and start it. Had to call in the troops because mine didn’t start last week. Luckily, I didn’t need a new battery.

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Golden wedding anniversary wishes to Chuck and Barb Geilenfeld who will mark the event Jan. 16.

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Happy birthday Jan. 17 to Nancy Miller, happy 80th to Norman “Butch” Robinson on the 18th, and birthday wishes Jan. 23 to daughter-in-law Jeannie Frazer and to Ed Meyer.

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Monday, Jan. 18, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, many banks and government offices will be closed. Winnie the Pooh Day is Jan. 18; National Popcorn Day, Jan. 19; Inauguration Day, Jan. 20; National Hug Day, Jan. 21, and National Pie Day, Jan. 23.

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And, before I forget, thanks for the editor’s note in last week’s column about Gene Raffensperger.

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And to those who have asked, yes, according to information shared by daughter, Jan, St. Jude’s does collect greeting cards.

The statement reads, “Yes, we are still accepting the fronts of your recycled cards (except for Hallmark, American Greetings and Disney, which we are unable to accept due to copyright laws) as we continue to revamp our recycled card program in our effort to provide teens with life and work skills.

Please send to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, 100 St. Jude’s St., Boulder City, NV 89005.

We also accept new cards (any occasion) with or without the envelopes. Please do not send cards promoting other charitable organizations. We do not have any cards available to purchase at this time. If you have any questions, please call 702-294-7100.

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And are there any local groups collecting cards, cardboard tubes from wax paper, foil, toilet tissue or six ounce yogurt containers? Let me know, and I will pass the information to the right parties.

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Keep the sick, the shut-ins and the bereaved in your thoughts and prayers. Sympathy to the families of Brigid Campbell, Marcia Moritz, Joyce Cashen, Lyle Recker and all who have lost loved ones.

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Keep our nation in your prayers as we go forward after the horrific events of Jan. 6, 2021. Pray for the new administration. Stay safe. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Sanitize.

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Have a beautiful week!

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P.S. Jesse and Pam Ledesma have changed their Christmas decorations into a pretty lighted red heart for Valentine’s Day.

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