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By Dr. Melanie Schaafsma
Pam Childers provided piano music as guests arrived at the first Evergreen Outreach of 2011 on Monday. Beulah Brown led the singing of the "Welcome" and "Evergreen Outreach" songs. The first song is sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. I hadn’t thought of this before, but now that it’s a new year, I was happy that the man who was sitting next to me, Dave Rochkes, began to sing "Auld Lange Syne" to the tune.
One of the things I love about Evergreen Outreach is finding out about our guests. Hearing about experiences they have had is so fascinating! For instance, Dave, who was a first-time guest, told me he is originally from Pana, and now lives at Sweetbriar. He came down to Ramsey to work on his brother Jim’s farm. Then, only two years later, his brother died. Dave talked about still owning some land in the Ramsey area. He said he worked in Chicago for a time, but didn’t like it, and after he served in World War II (in the Air Force), he moved to California.
He reminisced, “I was in charge of the crew in Seattle, training pilots from England to fly B-16s. I had to go and get a seat belt for one of the planes and missed the plane. That plane crashed into Mount Rainier and all aboard died. I will never forget that.”
Dave remembers serving Mass “for the sisters” and ringing the bell every morning at 6 a.m. until he was 14 years old. “The Lord has been with me ever since I was 7 or 8 years old," he said. "Three other guys were with me in the war, and they all died; I was only wounded.”
Dave told me that he was on a ship headed for Hawaii when they heard the news that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. The ship turned around and went back to the United States. He also told me that he worked at AeroJet Engineering, making missiles. Dave said that he can’t hear or see as well as he once did, but said, “I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad I got on that bus.” He’s talking about the Operation Outing bus that carries people from all over Vandalia to the First United Methodist Church for Evergreen Outreach each Monday at 1 p.m.
Beulah Brown reported that there were no birthdays Monday, but listed other January birthdays: Virginia Dotray (Jan. 4), Lisa Dulaney (Jan. 4), Helen Hawthorne (Jan. 4), Donna Smitten (Jan. 4). Pauline Tedrick (Jan. 4), Dawn Ainsworth (Jan. 6) and Sharon Maxwell (Jan. 9).
Our scripture message was given by the Rev. Joe Lawson. He read Psalm 23:1 (“The Lord is My Shepherd”) and John 10:11 (“I am the good shepherd”). Lawson talked about the good shepherd leading and guiding his sheep (that would be us!). Sometimes, we, as sheep, don’t always want to be shepherded. We have our own ideas. Joe said that God shepherds us and leads us beside the still waters. He mentioned that some of us sheep are calmed by the still waters, but others are a bit cranky and cantankerous, and just won’t be guided calmly.
He encouraged us all to be like the calm sheep that follow where the good shepherd leads us.
Wayne Hale, a magician since he was 12 years old, said that magic is fun! He was a lot of fun! He made a Coke bottle disappear. Then, Marie Seaton assisted him with a trick. Wayne showed Marie a tumbler, and proved that, “It’s as empty as the magician’s head.” He tied two silks – one red and one blue – together, and put them into the tumbler. He had a bag in which he placed a yellow scarf and asked Marie to pull on a cord at the bottom of the bag and say the magic words, “Cluck. Cluck.” Wayne pulled two eggs out of the “empty” bag. The yellow scarf was gone! He found it tied in between the red and blue scarves in the tumbler! He gave Marie “big money,” a huge, printed $1 bill, for helping.
Next, Wayne asked for another assistant, and Erna Wasmuth stepped up. Wayne showed Erna an insurance policy that was supposed to guarantee that he could find the card she had picked out of a deck of cards. He didn’t guess her card and cited that the insurance policy stated that if the assistant weighed less than 400 pounds and wasn’t wearing snowshoes, then he gets another chance to find the card. Erna weighs a lot less than 400 pounds and was not wearing snowshoes, so Wayne got another chance…which he blew! He failed again, and noted that the insurance policy gave him one more chance. Then he shook the insurance policy out to unfold it, and it had her card printed on the back in large print! Erna got “big money,” too.
The last assistant was Debbie, who works at Vandalia Rehab. He asked for a handkerchief from someone in the crowd, and got one. Then, he set the end of it on fire! But later, when he shook out the handkerchief, it was unharmed! He also did a trick with tubes and soda bottles in which his bottle was always the same as Debbie’s, no matter how he turned it upside down or right side up. Debbie was clearly puzzled at how he accomplished this feat. Wayne also did another card trick in which all of his cards were blank, and then, magically, he was holding a straight. Then they all turned back blank again! Wayne’s last trick was pulling several silks out of an “empty” Chinese box. What fun!
In the pinochle corner, Richard Krunegel and John Hunsley had no wins to Rosamund Hobler and Flo Lange's three wins. At the other table, Joyce Mueller and Kim Zimmer had one win to Shirley Locke and Mary Woolsey's two wins.
Eleanor McNutt played the piano as the guests were helped onto the Operation Outing bus.