Late Friday afternoons tend to bring some of the more unusual phone calls in the newsroom. That’s why I couldn’t help but cringe when Miriam Hanks told me she really had nothing important to say, but she just had to vent a little.
“It’s about men and women. Why do we do this to ourselves,” she asked, going into a long pause.
Something told me not to go there, but there was a grandmotherly kindness in her voice that made me ask.
“Well, take those people in the police calls,” she said, “How can a woman say a man is her boyfriend after she tells police he put a hole in not one, but two of her televisions. Then throws a lamp at her … and she still calls him her boyfriend. I don’t know which one is nuttier. Then you have that guy on South Woodlawn Avenue who is sitting on his couch with his live-in girlfriend … not just a girlfriend, but a ‘live-in’ girlfriend. Well, he got it. Somebody bashed him in the head from behind. When he woke up, she’s gone and so is his car. I guess she’s not ‘living-in’ anymore.”
Miriam laughed, then apologized.
“I should probably talk to you about politics, I got some thoughts there, but I’m getting tired of it. That’s why I’m so glad you put some of that other stuff in The Lima News.”
Now she had me. It was getting late and I had somewhere to be, but I had to ask.
“What other stuff you talking about, Miriam?”
“Well, those white cars. I liked that story that told me the most popular color for a new car is white. My car is blue, a light blue, but I like white, too. I can see white being the most popular color car.
“Oh, that story about the guy who died after eating a roach … why would you eat a roach? The story said he did it because he wanted to win an exotic snake. I’m sorry, I don’t understand why people do what they do. Just buy the snake if you really want it. Who would want a snake though?”
Miriam was on a roll.
“Then here in Lima, we have a jeweler offering people a free gun if they buy some jewelry. I hope someone uses that gun to rob them. That would teach them for doing such a dumb publicity stunt.
“I also found it interesting that the Wendy’s hamburger girl is finally getting something done with her pigtails … she needed a new look for her hair. That other story about Wendy’s having the fastest drive-thru, well, all I can say is the person who determined that has never visited Kewpee in Lima. They know how to give you good food quickly.
“Well, thanks Mr. Krumel for listening. I have to go now. 'Wheel of Fortune' is on. And say, why aren’t you at home with Mrs. Krumel. You get going. I always told my Charles to get on home.”
I’ll do that, Miriam.
ROSES AND THORNS: A few this week.
Rose: To Sister Susan Morris (formerly Sister Francis Therese), of Lima, who recently marked her 50th anniversary as a nun with a Golden Jubilee celebration at St. Gerard Catholic Church. Her career has seen her teach elementary school at St. John’s and St. Rose in Lima as well as schools in West Virgina, Tennessee and Kentucky. She’s also a former school administrator and currently is working at a homeless shelter.
Rose: To Therese Wantuch, a native of Kalida now living in Cincinnati. She has developed a computer application that helps people with autism learn about emotions.
Rose: To Christina Bryan, a Lima elementary school teacher who was honored last week for using the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge food from a choking student.
Rose: To Deborah Birkemeier, Judy Wieging and others on their committee that produced the “Bicentennial History of Fort Jennings.” The book received an outreach award from the Ohio Local History Alliance for coverage of the evolution of Jennings from Indian activity and as a military outposts in the early 1800s.
Rose: The newly opened Economic Development Center of Ohio Northern University on the Ada campus is offering one-on-one consultations, workshops and classes for businesses that have 50 employees or fewer.
Rose: To Greg Wannemacher, Alberta Lee and John Snyder, who each were honored by the Allen County Visionaries. Wannemacher was named Visionary of the Year while Lee was honored as Citizen of the Year. Snyder was honored for community service.
Thorn: Well on their way to advancing to the National League Championship Series, the Cincinnati Reds lost three straight games at home to be eliminated from the baseball playoffs.
Thorn: A Prospect Avenue man told Lima police he was sharing a couple of cigarettes with two men when he dropped his cellphone, wallet and prescription medications. The men quickly grabbed the items and ran off.
PARTING SHOT: Money talks but all mine ever says is goodbye.