Jodie, her husband, Bill, who was an attorney, and their children, Billy, Susie and Jimmy, and our family quickly became friends. Bill was an attorney and had an office on the Southside. Even though I was several years older, I was sometimes invited by the boys to play basketball with them on their court.
Bill died in 1967. I was driving my school bus and was stopped at Madison and Edgewood avenues. Bill’s office was on Madison, and I saw him looking out his office window and we waved and smiled to each other. A few hours later we heard something had happened and that he had died en route to the hospital.
A few years later my mother, Jodie, Judy Ralston and maybe another gal or two had a late afternoon get-together, which was known as happy hour. I think it rotated from house to house.
Several weeks ago I visited Jodie at a nursing home. I told her that I remembered them celebrating happy hour, and she responded that they had lots of fun but never overdid it. After her children were grown, Jodie married Richard Marks in 1992. She and Richard continued to be our neighbors.
As I walked into the funeral home the first person I encountered was Jodie’s son Bill. I hadn’t seen any of the children for many years. It was so nice to visit with him. I had connected with his sister a couple of days earlier at Jodie’s house. Later at the visitation I caught up with Jim. Maybe we can plan a day to play basketball on their mom’s driveway. I chatted briefly with Richard too.
I also ran into Dr. Marvin Christie; he and his family were close neighbors for several years. He can always come up with some good memories and stories.
Another former neighborhood family that we reconnected with was Tom and Amy Haag. I hadn’t seen them in a long time, and they told me that Amy’s brother, Jim, was living in Avon. He worked with me and my dad at our Sunoco station on Madison. I plan on getting together with Jim soon.
I also came across Dr. Robert Kopecky and his wife, Milly. It had been a long time since seeing him. Dr. Kopecky removed my appendix when I was in the fourth grade.
A one point a fellow walked up to me and called me by name. He introduced himself as Scott Christie, Dr. Marvin Christie’s youngest son. Scott told me a couple of stories about going hunting with my dad many years ago.
The room was filled with so many people that I have known for such a long time. We all agreed that we would like to reconnect under different circumstances.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.