Those of you who frequent my blog, for which I thank you!, have likely stopped reading the very top because I never seem to get around to changing it. For a long time I had an announcement that Mickey Marietta (Michael F. Marietta) had suffered a stroke and listed his contact information in case anyone wanted to reach out to him. I was in contact with the nursing home, in Cuba, MO, for some time but as time went on I failed to follow up. My apologies to you all and especially to Mickey because my good friend, who always has my back, Jim Day, advises that Mick died from effects of that long ago stroke on 22 Feb 2018. I should have checked a long time ago, but like you all, I don't often read the top part because I just don't. Guess I need to !!! I need to update it period!!! I have just now tried finding an obituary for Mick but no luck so far. But I did do some looking around and find him in our KHS yearbooks online, called Francis M; Mickie, Michael and even Francis M., Jr. According to the Kirkwood School District records he was Michael F. Marietta, born July, 1947. I am sorry I don't remember when I posted that he'd suffered the stroke, but for now, we know he is gone too early and let us hope resting in peace after his struggle at the end of his life.
And speaking of our fellow KHS65 classmates, I have some interesting insight into the coincidence that J D shared with me the other day. First of all Jim's bride, Linda Girard, and I started out together in 2nd grade. I think she was in my Brownie troop too. They now live on the same street where she did growing up, not far from my earliest Kirkwood home. They have been married for ages, I forget how long, and have a wonderful family, I think one of the boys lives right down the street from them, lucky folks all 'round if you ask me! Anyway, Jim and Linda have a family farm in Owensville. Their great next door farm neighbors are a family named Jahnson. Mrs. Jahnson, Dottie, is the aunt of our late classmate Mary Jane Fuchs Walters. Dottie has another niece, the wife, Pat, of the recently deceased Dale Andrews! So we have Linda, Jim, Dale and Mary Jane, four KHS65 classmates, half a century or so later connected by geography, family ties and childhood. As Jim asks, "...what are the chances that four KHS65 classmates would end up in the country as 'almost neighbors'?."
We have some other fun stories like that, what rich lives those of us have who have "bloomed where we are planted" as a famous St. Louis writer, illustrator and personality, Mary Engelbreit, says.AND I ADD a DAY LATER: I heard from classmate Joy Bortle on Facebook that Mickey's sister Betsy is a neighbor of hers in Defiance! They belong to the same book club, and of course Betsy is also a KHS graduate...the coincidences keep piling up!
I harp on this "blooming" subject often because I personally feel so privileged to have done that and learned, after some years of doubting the wisdom of it, that staying in one place all of one's life is a gift, not a burden! I have so many life-long friends, so many memories that are constantly reinforced because I go to or near the places of my life often enough to remember them, and lately more and more how they USED to be! My life is very rich for having those connections and memories. While I wish I had been able to figure a way to spend some of my life in the east, it is fine that I'm still here. I have been privileged to travel quite a bit, and still always love to come home. I will be spending eternity in Massachusetts though, so in the end I'll get to be where I want with relatives and hopefully close enough to my daughter and grandson that she'll actually visit my grave sometimes, and my St. Louisan son will meet her there once in awhile! So blooming where I was planted has been just the right thing for me, and someday, but not soon, I'm too busy to die just now, I'll be able to be with ancestors who have shaped my life in so many ways, even though we never met.
Let's all rejoice in our connections and wonderful life stories and be in touch with our good friends. And we should also rejoice in the memories of our friends who have left us - all way too early, we are young yet! Well, relatively anyway! We all share so much - a subject we have discussed in letters, notes in reunion books, emails, and in person oh so many times over the last 56 years since that sweltering day in our robes on the football field!! We have a rich heritage and are all the children of privilege for having been able to live where we have, even if only in childhood, and shared so much. Come home to Kirkwood when you can folks, it's changing so very fast, come see it before it disappears and swallows up some of your precious memories.