Andersson’s words ring true 25 years later


If you have lost something and cannot find it, try cleaning out your desk.

I did the cleaning and found something I had been saving that I had cut out of the Gazette back on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 1995. The subtitle was, “Delaware offers many things for which to be thankful.” It was sent to the editor of the Gazette from a lady named Helen Andersson.

I will be using every word of what she sent on that day, because I think everyone would enjoy reading it for the first or even the second or third time. Thanks to Helen Andersson for her description of Delaware from 25 years ago.

“I’m thankful for:

Small-town life.

Junior high school kids.

Margo Barlett’s column — she needs to do a book!

Churches with small but powerful congregations.

A system of inexpensive, accessible to all, public education.

Energetic, creative, courageous teachers.

Dogs and cats.

Delaware’s summer and early fall blue skies — an azure that makes your heart ache with gratitude for that color.

My husband, and all men who make the effort to be good people and fathers.

The gift of children in my life and the life of our community.

Mingo Pool — Jim Garges, Jack Florence and others brought a jewel of a facility to our town.

Ohio Wesleyan — Students, faculty, staff, and facilities. What an enhancement to our community.

Freedom — to voice our opinions, to disagree and still co-exist peacefully, to vote, to make changes, to make choices.

God’s sense of humor, creativity, forgiveness, and generosity.

The chickadees that adorn my feeder.

St. Peter’s, the church community that helped me and my family to grow.

Any fifth-grader’s jokes.

Di Huston’s leadership of the Junior High Ecumenical Youth Group and her many other ministries in this community.

Downtown Delaware — as it changes, may it also thrive.

The vigorous and courageous African-American voices in our community that keep us aware.

The All-Horse Parade and fair week, French fries with vinegar and Dumbo ears!

Farm fields and animal farms and the folks who provide us with inexpensive and safe food.

Friends’ laughter.

A good and well-told story.

Selfless giving, the kind that doesn’t expect a thank you.

Nancy Frankenberg — her tolerance, sense of humor, compassion, and energy can teach us all how to move through this life.

Millers’ Country Market — fun hayrides, wonderful produce, and pies to die for!

Billy Rietz and his wonderful guidance of our young people on the swim teams and at the high school.

The color of fall leaves.

The Fourth of July COSO Concert — quintessential small-town gathering at its best.

The blue herons that visit the Olentangy River.

Compassionate, creative neurosurgeons, doctors, and nurses.

The stars in a clear, cold night, and Tom Burns and Perkins Observatory.

The Flahives — all of them.

Our public library — beautiful, and a haven for many people.

The many other people and places that make this such a warm community in which to grow up.”

— Helen Andersson

By 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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