There will be three or four conversations going on at one time.
Music will be playing.
The TV will be on in the background.
And one child may be teasing another.
Mary Scott says she cannot wait.
She and her husband, Roger, will have their entire family home in a few weeks for Christmas: the quintuplets — Kathleen, Molly, Kirstan, Rory and William — their older brother, Thomas; three spouses; a grandchild; and the family’s pet dog.
“We always get together on the Fourth of July and over the Christmas break. I enjoy every minute when we’re back together again. It’s a crazy house, but a fun house,” Mary said.
It’s been almost 27 years since Lima’s most celebrated babies were born.
Roger Scott greeted the Dec. 12, 1994, birth of his growing family with the announcement, “We’ve got a basketball team and a coach” — the coach being older brother Thomas.
All of the Scott children, except for Thomas, today live within a few hours from Lima.
• Kathleen, the oldest of the five by minutes, is one of the friendly faces that greet you at Lima Memorial Health Systems. She’s a receptionist, drives the shuttle and fills in at any customer service job needed. She lives in Cridersville.
• Molly is a fitness trainer at the Allen County Senior Center. She currently is running a special program for people with Parkinson’s disease.
• Kirstan is married and working as a chemical engineer for Rolls Royce in Indianapolis.
• Rory also is married and the proud parent of a baby boy. He is a nurse and lives in Piqua.
• William lives in Ashland and works at Charles River Laboratories.
As for Thomas, he recently took a cross country coaching job at the University of North Dakota, a Division I program. He’s in the process of moving from Charlotte, N.C., where he coached at Queens University.
The birth of the quints was one of the biggest and most memorable stories in Lima during 1994. They arrived 11 weeks early on a Monday evening between 7:19 and 7:21 p.m. at the Ohio State Medical Center in Columbus, weighing in from 1 pound, 15¾ ounces to 2 pounds, 9 ounces.
There was no Facebook or social media at that time, so news of their birth wasn’t known by many in Lima until Tuesday morning. The story of their birth went nationwide, with a tired Mary and Roger Scott being interviewed by Katie Couric on the Today show.
The Lima News was delivered in the afternoon at that time, and four reporters were tasked with bringing the complete story to our readers — Darren Waggoner, Bart Mills, Michael Noe and Wynne Everett. The quints story dominated the front page on a day in which other news included Lima basketball star Greg Simpson announcing he was going to play for West Virginia and couldn’t wait to face Ohio State; Kalida native Julie Siefker and her five roommates at Case Western Reserve winning $1,000 for having the messiest dorm room in the nation, courtesy of the “College Pigsty Search”; and the FBI releasing a composite sketch of the man believed to be the “Unabomber.”
The Christmas shopping season also was in full swing with Elder-Beerman offering 25% to 50% on London Fog coats and Rex appliance advertising a VCR recorder for $549, while supplies lasted.
The years that followed the quints’ births would see the many milestones in their lives being covered by the media — their first birthdays, entering the first grade and graduating from high school.
“I wish I could be a fly on the wall and go back to those times,” said Mary, who was 33 when they were born. “There are things people tell me that I don’t remember. … We were so busy at the time. It was quite an adjustment when they went to college. This boisterous house turned to a quiet house. The chaos was gone, and I missed it so.”
Today, people will ask Mary and Roger how they were able to raise so many young children at one time. Roger points to his hair, noting “it was dark once, then gray and now white.”
Mary said they were fortunate to live in a community like Lima.
“So many people volunteered to help us. I’m forever thankful. As parents, you look back sometimes and say, ‘Wow, I shouldn’t have done that,’ or ‘I should have done this.’ They’re all good kids and successful adults, so I think we did a good job.”
The Scotts were relatively new to Lima when the quints were born, having lived here just several years. They moved to Lima from Denver when Roger, who is a chemical engineer, took a job at the chemical plant, owned at the time by BP. He continues to work there today.
Mary notes, “We moved here thinking it would be temporary, but it turned into forever. Once we had the quints, it was game over. The plans changed. No way could we move now, nor would we want to.”
ROSES AND THORNS: A trip to Lima brings sunshine to the rose garden.
Rose: What a day DeMeril Motter, of Harrod, recently experienced in Lima. She said she received the best care during a doctor’s appointment, went to a pharmacy without an appointment and still was able to get a booster shot, had someone pay for her lunch at the Kewpee, and when the wind kicked up and it started raining, a gentleman at a gas station told her to get in her car; he would pump the gas.
Rose: Robert Armentrout tells us “there still are some kind people with love in their heart” in this world. He said he experienced that when his truck broke down. Several motorists stopped to check on him.
Rose: To Mary Kay Verhoff, of Columbus Grove, who had her idea published Saturday in the nationally syndicated comic strip Pluggers.
Thorn: Michigan 42. Ohio State 27
PARTING SHOT: Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
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.