The first was lunch with a few of my former Indiana National Guardsmen. We were members of E Company 738th Maintenance Battalion. Five of us met at Shapiro’s Delicatessen. I had not seen a couple of these guys for about 45 years.
Joe Dillon, Jack Hickson, cousins John Dell and Ross Kinman and I were members of the motor pool for our unit. E Company was the maintenance company for the aircraft assigned to the guard. Joe Dillon, our leader for several years, was a helicopter pilot assigned to our unit. One of his additional duties was to oversee the motor pool. He was also the helicopter pilot for WTHR Channel 13 for many years.
Ross graduated from Southport High School. He and his family owned Kinman Wrecker Service.
Jack and I became friends when his family moved into our neighborhood when we were young boys. We graduated from high school together, and he worked for my father at our Sunoco station. We joined the Guard at the same time and attended basic training together.
I had not seen Joe and John for more than 45 years. I have crossed paths with Ross and Jack several times over the years. We spent a couple of hours telling stories and laughing.
Directly after lunch I had an appointment to meet the new principal at Beech Grove High. I had the pleasure to sit down with Elizabeth “Lizz” Walters, and we shared some stories from our experiences at Southport High – mine was as a student, hers as a teacher, dean of girls and assistant principal.
When I tossed out the name Blanch Penrod, I noticed a slight shiver. Miss Penrod was dean of girls during my time at Southport. There are many stories. I’m fairly sure that Lizz has heard some of them.
On Saturday, Stuart, my therapy dog, and I had the honor of riding with Kelly Sawyers and her grandson, AJ, in the Miracle Mile Parade. Barbie Overbeck and her son, Matt Holden, also rode with us. Kelly is the publisher of The Southsider Voice and Barbie is the paper’s newest account executive. We had a great time and saw lots of friends.
The Indiana Pacemates, Boomer, the Pacers’ mascot; and Freddy Fever, the Indiana Fever’s mascot; preformed a bit behind us. I know Freddy Fever because he sometimes messes with me at Fever games. I was hoping that he would ride his bike up close to us so I could wave hello to him. (Hey, this is Stuart, I got my picture taken with Ronald McDonald. He was happy to hang out with me for a while.)
For several weeks my wife, Lyn, has been converting a storage shed to a more secure, permanent house for our three chickens, which have been watching the progress with much anticipation. I have a feeling they are expecting a flat screen television and Wi-Fi, of course.
Labor Day was Stuart’s 11th birthday. After adopting him from the Southside Animal Shelter, we chose Sept. 7 as the day to celebrate his birth. Sept. 7 was my father’s birthday, and that seemed like a perfect time to honor them. We celebrated with Shelly Meadlo Condon and her family and met at Ritter’s Frozen Custard before heading to our house so Shelly’s children, Ava, Oli and Ian, could meet our hens.
Last thing, 48 years ago I competed in the U.S. Nationals at Raceway Park. Tom Click, Steve Lovellette were a couple of the crew men on my team. I was the owner/driver. (Hey, this is Stuart again. Fred drives 25 mph these days.)