I have been thinking of ending the year of 2016 by writing something to do with the articles I have written these past 5 months. If I go in order of publication, I would have to start with the story of the Strand Theater. When I think of the Strand, I certainly would enjoy going back in time and sitting through another double feature again. It’s good to read about all the improvements being made there now.

I just hope that there will still be some parts left that remind the older crowd of that wonderful place we enjoyed back in the day when we went to the show.

Going on to the second article about missing the Brown Jug Restaurant, I will definitely add here that I still miss “The Jug” and I guess I always will. As I am writing this, I am aware that if the Jug was still open, today would be the very day we would be ordering the red and green pizza for our Christmas lunch. (Red tomatoes and green peppers) And wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas on our way back to work.

And those two little ladies who often came in for a drink as we were leaving, would be coming in the door with their walker decked out for Christmas.

Moving on to the story about my first day of school at Ohio Wesleyan University. One of my best days was when I walked out of Gray Chapel having finished my foreign language requirement for graduation. No more memorizing Spanish!! “No Hablo Espanol.” In case your Spanish is a little rusty, those three Spanish words mean, “I do not speak Spanish.”

I jumped to writing about having claustrophobia while waiting for the Washer Repairman. When I wrote that article, if you didn’t notice, I used a lot of words that are used in the criminal justice system, such as: locked, come clean, be free, hear the verdict, hard labor, pre-sentence investigation, culprit, abusing, confined, and free to walk. You can blame my choice of words on just thinking about having claustrophobia..

I’m glad I wrote about the history of the Rec Center having been at the old North school. One comment was that they never knew the Delaware City School Administration building used to

be a Rec center. Another was that they wished there had been a place exactly like that when they were in high school. It sounded wonderful to them. My next article was about our first racehorse, Tango Tag. It came out as one on the best stories I have written. A lady, who has encouraged me all through this experience, chose my horse stories as her favorite of them all.

As for the article about Worrying or Sleeping, I’m still doing both. But, want to remind you that you have a lot to think about, but nothing to worry about.

The fact that I wrote about the Delaware County fair, even after the fair was over, was a little weird. The weird part, if you didn’t notice, was that I ended the story with the words, “my little piggy went to market.”

And speaking about weird experiences, I wrote about the one I had over a weekend at a baseball game in Cleveland. Others have told me that hearing voices is more common than you might think.

“Thank you Dr. Judy Held.” I have said it before and I will say it again, “Thank you Dr. Held for insisting on that X-ray that made all the difference in my health for the rest of my life.” And it’s all good.

I had a chance to explain how I got started writing these articles when I wrote about my husband losing his billfold at the Orlando airport and was helped by the TSA Agent Diaz.

The article about working 16 hours for $5.00 was all true and I really did feel rich when I made that much money for one day’s babysitting. I should have explained then, that my reason is that all 4 of their children were great kids. I didn’t consider it work. Work is only called work if you are doing something you don’t want to do. (I must have read that sentence somewhere.)

I can’t close this without telling you that I have been in touch with James, of “James and his pretend horse.” He is very happy to read about himself back in the days of staying with us. I have to add something that he emembers he said, those 30 years ago. When I had asked him, when he was 10, what he thought about going home with a stranger, he said

“You were stranger than I thought you would be.” He put that quote in his Christmas card I received the other day. He also sent us a picture of George and me that he has had for a very long time.

And, he added on the Christmas card to “please send it back”. (Meaning the picture, not the Christmas card.)

Being a landlord got easier as time went on and a lot of necessary work on the house got taken care of. My story about the answers being in the back of the book and how great a teacher Mr. Felts was, comes in as one of the better articles I wrote. I got to see a copy of my article on the wall of the vice principal’s office at Buckeye Valley High School.

He told me he copied it and sent it out to all the teachers to let them know they will still be appreciated long after classes are over. I have started the process of trying to get in contact with Mr. Felts’ grandson to tell him of the great response I received about his grandfather. This is mostly because Mr. Felts’ grandson was in college, studying to be a high school math teacher when Mr. Felts died.

Writing about the Cabin in the woods was a great thing to do, because it got tied in with my writing about talking to Santa Claus and the fact that he said he was at our cabin retreat for junior high kids. Can you imagine what Santa Claus would have been like as a kid in junior high school?

I also wrote about our church bringing a family out of Cuba to live in the United States back in the day when no one was allowed to leave Cuba. A little lady named Litta, engineered the whole thing. That article is on its way to Florida in the next couple of days for Litta’s son, Rob, and her granddaughter, Rustye, to read. For all who knew Rob, he was the basketball coach for Elm Valley High school (nka Buckeye Valley) when George was on his team.

For a Christmas story, I wanted something special. So, I saved the story of Madelyn getting her big black horse as a gift while at our barn on Christmas day of 2014. Now, this year, she will find a copy of my article in her Christmas stocking that was about her adoption of the horse named Jazz.

So, this is my last article for the year of 2016. It’s been a great experience for me. A lot of appreciation goes to my husband for helping me when I wrote the articles about the farm, horses, and building the cabin in the woods. And last, but not least, I want to add my appreciation to all who have been encouraging me to keep writing.

So, here’s to a very Happy New Year to everyone.

Kay Conklin

Contributing Columnist

Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.

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