We get many people calling The Lima News in search of help. We listen to what they have to say, but the truth is, sometimes there is only so much we can do.
We don’t have a squadron of investigative reporters we can sic on the bad guys. We’re not lawyers, or should I say, only one of us can claim the title of esquire. And while we like to snoop, we only have so much time to devote to snoopin’.
Then along comes a person like Frances Strayer on a busy Friday morning.
She is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, a grandmother figure seeking help, not for herself, but for someone else.
For 25 years, Frances taught at Apollo Career Center, working with people who locate in this area from outside the country. Her mission was to help them learn how to speak the English language. She’s been retired for 17 years, but her students never forget her — especially one family. She’s helped the family with many things over the years, including starting a business, as they still struggle with the language.
“I’ve traveled in foreign countries and I know how scary and frustrating it can be when you don’t have command of the language,” Frances said.
What she is trying to help the family with this time is a utility pole, of all things. It is rotting at its base and is no longer in use, but for who knows why, it was tied to its replacement pole instead of being removed. It’s an accident waiting to happen. At any time a good wind could send it tumbling into the family’s home.
“They’re fearful of being injured,” Frances said of the family. “I thought The Lima News could help. I’ve tried to call AEP, but I can’t navigate their phone system.”
Ah, our friend, modern technology.
I assured her the folks at AEP would probably want to know about the dangling pole and made a call. We’re still waiting to hear back.
“It’s a Friday. I’m sure they’ll call back the first of the week,” Frances said. “Thank you so much for your time.”
She never spoke a cross word the entire time. Never demanded a thing.
How do you not help a person like Frances Strayer? The fluent English she speaks is one of kindness.
That’s a lesson for all of us.
ROSES AND THORNS: We’re not sure if that’s a dog or a man who just joined us in the rose garden.
Rose: To Brian Mason, of Lima, who won a contest for being the person who looks the most like his or her dog.
Rose: To Zachary Gable, of Delphos. He was recognized as an outstanding student at the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute’s 28th annual student recognition banquet. Following his graduation on Saturday, Gable plans to start his own custom harvest and trucking company.
Rose: To Don Wade. He came out of retirement to take over as superintendent of Shawnee schools following the tragic death of Mike Lamb. It was only to be for a few months. Now, a year later, he’s able to return to retirement as the Shawnee school board filled the position.
Thorn: Neil Armstrong went to the moon and back quicker than the U.S. Postal Service’s delivery of the birthday card sent by Myrna Myers to her granddaughter. Myers, of Harrod, sent the card in August and it arrived seven months later to her granddaughter’s home just outside of Harrod.
Thorn: The “Cheech & Chong Award” for dumb crooks goes to two local men wanted on felony charges. They parked their vehicle outside of the Lima Police Department in a spot marked as parking for LPD officers only. An officer that confronted them found marijuana in their vehicle. The driver, who did not have an operator’s license, said they were just trying to find a parking spot so they could pay a court fine.
Thorn: Not a good week for the Allentown Road Wal-Mart store. First, a man who police dubbed the “Bad Hat Bandit,” swiped an estimated $500 worth of toys. Later, another thief stole one of the store’s security cameras.
PARTING SHOT: A fairy appeared before a Cleveland Browns fan and told him she would grant him one wish. “I want to live forever,” said the Browns fan. The fairy smiled, saying, “Sorry, my union card doesn’t allow me to grant such a request.” The Browns fan pondered the situation for a few seconds, then said, “OK, I don’t want to die until the Browns win the Super Bowl.” Replied the fairy, “Oh my, You’re a clever one!”
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.