There’s just 15 days left before the decade known as the 2010s closes out. It certainly had its characters. They’ve loved their margaritas, jumped on pogo sticks and went by the name of the “gingerbread man.”
Some were roses, others thorns. For better or worse, these things actually happened.
… Not bad for 100-plus: Lelia Moore, of Kenton, celebrated her 106th birthday with her family in March 2010 by drinking a margarita. It was one of her favorite drinks, that and beer, she said. In 2014, Lucy Mathers of Lima, at age 103, threw out the ceremonial first pitch of a Lima Locos game. That same year, Jay Sain of Lima, at age 100, was still taking her walks every day, as well as volunteering two days a week at St. Charles School in Lima.
… Mighty neighborly: Bob and Sue Lutz couldn’t believe it. Neither could their daughter and son-in-law, Julie and Farzin Fotouhi. When they learned in 2010 their 85-year-old neighbor, Naomi Clark, was about to lose her home of 40 years in a sheriff’s sale, they purchased the dwelling so Naomi could stay.
… It’s all relative: In a span of five days in 2012, Pat Joseph saw her home in Kossuth burn down and then had her insurance money snatched by a bank robber as she stood in line to make a deposit. Her reaction — “meh.” She explained she’s been through worse things, including a kidney transplant and the loss of her hearing.
… Howard, you did it! In making a case for a railroad overpass or underpass near Lima Memorial Health System in 2013, Lima Public Works Director Howard Elstro finally got the attention of Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray when he showed Wray a Lima News photograph of President Barack Obama’s motorcade being stopped by a train. It took seven more years, and the project is not yet completely done, but traffic is now using the underpass.
… Super Bowl of pogo: The “Pogo Stick Kid” of Wapakoneta, 16-year-old Michael Brookhart, was invited to compete in the Extreme Pogo World Championship Series, or Pogopalooza, held during the summer of 2014 in Pittsburgh.
… School pride: A large Lima Senior banner flew proudly at a military outpost in Afghanistan in 2015 thanks to five Lima Senior graduates stationed there: Sgt. Jared Vezina (Class of 2002), Staff Sgt. David Neal (2005), Spc. Ricky Martin (2009), Spc. David Duran (2011) and Pvt. Taylor Bennett (2011).
… Move over, chief: Terry Watson, aka “the Little Caesar’s Pizza dancer with the thousand-watt smile,” passed Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin as the most famous dancer in Lima when he was chosen out of hundreds of applicants in 2016 to dance in a Little Caesar’s competition in Las Vegas. He ended up placing second.
… Two winners here: In 2017, Wapakoneta swimmer Michael Johnston gave his first-place Western Buckeye League medal to Ottawa-Glandorf’s Benjamin Sealts, who finished ahead of Johnston with a record time in the 200-yard medley but was disqualified on a technicality. “You broke the record, it should be yours,” Johnston explained to Sealts when handing him the medal.
… Sign of the times: A sign spotted in Ann Arbor this year after the Ohio State football team beat Michigan for the eighth straight year: “Even Donald Trump couldn’t make Michigan great again.”
… Words from the heart: “I was born here, lived here most of my life, and I just have a feeling for this city. Every street, every building, means something to me.” — Harrison Shutt, owner of Kewpee, after being honored by the Baton Rouge Health Services Foundation in 2011.
… The “gingerbread man:” Donald “Chip” Pugh, 45, of Lima — was a folk hero for part of 2016, making folks snicker when he taunted police officers to “catch me if you can,” even going as far as sending them a better picture of himself than police officials had in their files. The Lima Police Department got the last laugh when the gingerbread man was caught in Florida.
… The nerve of him: A Lima woman who likes to walk around naked with her window blinds open complained to police officers in August 2012 that she received a handwritten note from a teenage neighbor boy saying he enjoyed the view.
… Make a night of it: In what may have been the longest school board meeting of the decade, the Waynesfield-Goshen school board called its meeting to order at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, and didn’t conclude until 2:51 a.m. the next day, nearly eight hours later.
… Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest: In 2013, Douglas Wjolaver, 40, of Sidney, accidentally bumped his cellphone and called 911 while breaking into a home. Wjolaver then hid in a closet, only to be found when his phone started beeping because of a low battery. In 2016, Arthur Banks, 69, slipped up when trying to hide his identity while robbing Planet Health. Banks put on his mask after he entered the store then drove off in a green Lexus with a bungee cord holding the trunk shut. Not to be outdone, a Lima man in 2017 was arrested for possession of marijuana after he parked in a “police only” spot in front of the Lima Police Department.
… For gates sake: U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan found himself the subject of “Jacketgate” during this year’s impeachment hearings. The Washington Post and a slew of national columnists and cartoonists have been chiding him for not wearing a suit jacket during the hearings. When a Wall Street Journal reporter asked Jordan why he doesn’t wear a jacket, Allen County’s congressman admitted he never gave it much thought. “I’m not even sure,” he said. “I don’t know why.”
… Taken for a ride: Mary Music, 49, of Wapakoneta tried to cross a railroad track in 2011 by climbing between two train cars. When the train started to move, she couldn’t get off. Police said she ended up “quite a ways out of town” before the train was able to make an emergency stop.
PARTING SHOT: Dear Santa: This year please give me a big fat bank account and a slim body. And please, don’t mix these two up like you did last year.
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.