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Archive for the ‘Town events’ Category

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May 1, 2015 •
…And no, she isn’t “all of us” or some similar sentiment. She was real, and she lived in Deepwell, and I know almost all of the story. Grab a cup of tea or some popcorn, and settle in; it’s storytime.

Honestly, I had given up. Padma and I hit a brick wall in our database inquiries a few years ago, and with all the other things going on in town and my PODCare commitments, I just didn’t have the time or the energy to push further. I knew Ruby must be an alias, or a nom de plume, but I wasn’t getting any hits on that name. Then Nora went to France with her French class for their new Study and Care Abroad program. She came back with a charming accent and an iPod full of French music, among other things. The evening she returned home, she hung out in the kitchen with Brian and me, chattering away about the Louvre, and volunteering at l’hôpital, and plugged her iPod into the dock so she could set the mood. While we made supper (bouillabaisse, in Nora’s honor) we listened to Charles Aznavour, and Edith Piaf, and even some Maurice Chevalier. Then the song, “Puits profond de mon coeur,” poured into the room, with a smoky, sad voice. It’s been a long time since my one year of high school French, but even I could recognize the words “deep” and “well.” Oh yeah, Nora exclaimed, I thought that was cool, a French song with “deep well” in the title. It’s by an old singer named Rubi du Bois. I dropped my ladle in shock. It couldn’t be a coincidence!

So now I had a name and a place. Rubi du Bois in Paris, circa 1970, the year the song came out.  Was this really our Ruby?  I learned everything I could about her, depending on Nora and Google to translate as most of the material I found was in French.  The best I could piece together was that Rubi had moved to Paris in the 60s, and, most important, there was a mention of a sister named Evelyn who lived in Chicago.  I knew I was on the right track.  Evelyn must have lived in Deepwell at some point.

There haven’t been that many Evelyns in Deepwell over the years, which helped.  If you’ve lived in Deepwell for as long as MeelieSue and Brian’s parents and a few others have, you may have heard the sad story of Richard and Evelyn Broward.  That family was in the newspaper quite a few times over the years, none of it good.  Out of respect for the family, I’ll not repeat the stories here, but the curious can come down to the library and read the microfiche just like I did.  Just keep in mind that this is someone’s personal history, and there is still a lot of pain out there.

So things being what they are, I have put faces to those long-ago names and I know something that Etta doesn’t, for probably the first time since we both moved to Deepwell, heh. Ruby was originally Rosemary, and she is Etta’s aunt.

Rosemary Alice Carr, aka Rubi du Bois, aka Ruby Wood, died September 12, 2009 in Paris, and was cremated and interred there, the only place she truly felt at home.  Her gift to Deepwell was her attempt to reconcile with her past, and give hope for the future.  There is one other person who plays a part in this story, but I think she needs to tell her side of things for herself.  And no, it’s not Etta.  Although I’m sure Etta has a few questions of her own.

R, if you’re out there and you’re reading this, please speak up.

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Oct 20, 2014 • Let me start by saying I don’t really understand what’s happening. I’m not alone – I’m not sure any one person understands it all. After years pushing pushing pushing to get things to happen, now things are beginning to happen on their own?

Best maybe if I use an actual example, and YOU tell ME what this all means.

The circle starts with Hap

The circle starts with Hap

So this example starts with Hap Drupa, who lives three blocks from me. Hap is 70ish, widowed, and a bit lonely I guess. His son Tad, who lives in Atlanta, bought him a smart home setup and calls Hap quite often, but still. Hap wants “real people.” So Tad posts a request on PODCare, saying “will someone come take my dad for a walk once a week? Get him out of his bathrobe?” (LOL, Hap is not the lounge-in-bathrobe type)

So Andrea responds and says yeah, she’ll do it. Andrea’s in a wheelchair, which is kinda perfect, because shifted into low she and Hap cruise at the same relaxed pace. Tad wants to pay Andrea but she says “nuts” to that. BUT in an inspired moment Andrea gets on Silvercare and pokes around in Atlanta, and sure enough she finds Trish who’s looking for some casual help once a week with her grown daughter, Meg, who has cerebral palsy. So Andrea asks Tad if he will pay Andrea back by looking in on Trish and Meg instead?

Well this suits Tad fine because his daughter Kylie (you keeping this all straight? cuz there will be a quiz later) has community service goals in her school. So Tad and Kylie visit Trish and Meg there in Atlanta, and often Tad will call Hap from there, so it gets to be like a happy family.

So now Kylie meets Andrea, and they pal or friend or bf or (more…)

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Oct 20, 2014 • I know a bunch of people are angry about the bleak outlook portrayed in “Citizen Kid”, but that’s Hollywood for ya. They need to put a spin on things to get people into the theater, especially in this economy. I’m not saying that what they showed wasn’t the truth. They just chose to highlight the massive amount of work ahead of us, rather than the small successes we’ve had so far (and in such a short time!).

I must say, Kids Kare has succeeded in ways I never thought possible. We started out with adding caring issues to the curriculum at the schools, added a few after school activities and the next thing you know, we’re working with Americorps on the summer volunteer program and Columbia University sets up a research station here. Even some of Obama’s people stopped by to check us out. Pretty amazing, huh?

Now that Kids Kare, PODcare and Silvercare are joining forces, you can bet your rubies that we’ll be unstoppable!

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Jun 27, 2014 • It hardly seems like four months since we lost Ida May. Valentine’s Day was always a bittersweet day for me at best, but will be doubly so now.

Since then, I have been lost. I spent so much time caring for her that I have not known what to do with myself. I’ve been rattling around in this big old house all by myself like a lone pea in a can. The loss of Ida May on top of all my cats to the double-cursed “pinkeye” or “zoo flu” or whatever the news wants to call it these days nearly killed me as well. I admit that I hoped I would get sick and die, too. A dark time for MeelieSue, ducks.

Several weeks ago I sat down with Ida May’s estate lawyer and it was no surprise to me that I was named sole beneficiary to her estate. What was a surprise was the absolute enormity of the estate itself. She had been very canny about her investments over the years. Very, very canny. I’m talking about nearly nine digits canny. I had no idea.

What’s an old woman (or a Cool Old Bat) like me going to do with all that money? I’m perfectly happy just the way I am – or the way I was, before Ida May got sick. And there’s the rub. I bet there are a lot of people out there in the world right now who are perfectly happy just the way they are right before they are struck with Alzheimer’s.

So here’s my little contribution: I have been speaking with none other than Ashleye Blackbourne and I am going to use all of Ida May’s money to set up a foundation to assist people who need Tauremopravil to stave off symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, but can’t afford to pay for this incredibly expensive drug themselves. Mental clarity should not be reserved only for the rich.

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December 1, 2011 • As you probably already know, I’ve been trying to get some of the young kids in Deepwell more involved. I figure, us adults can change all we want, but if we don’t involve our children in all of this, we’ll be back to a DCI of 0 once the next generation grows up.

First off, I’m happy to say that we’ve successfully restarted the schools’ food drives! Restarted, you say? Yep. It turns out that the elementary schools here used to do a food drive, but somehow it fell by the wayside. As best as the Mrs. Blakely can remember (she’s been at the school the longest), the food drive was cancelled fifteen or so years back when the big elementary school was closed after the kitchen fire. For one reason or another, it never got started back up again the next year.

Mrs. Blakely and a bunch of the other teachers got together to remember, as best they could, all of the past activities like the food drive that had been abandoned or forgotten about over the years. For a couple years, they had a penny collection drive every September. Once enough money was collected, the kids voted on a charity to donate it to. The drive got delayed and then cancelled after 9/11. It was never started up again.

So this has gotten us thinking about a couple of things. Is Deepwell really the town that doesn’t care right? And has it always been? Or have we just forgotten how to care right? Has the hustle and bustle of modern life gotten in the way of our caring? Well, we intend to jog everyone’s memories!

Many of the teachers are dedicated to getting school children involved in caring projects that will improve our DCI. So we are officially announcing our Deepwell Kids Care program, which was inspired by klinds1! The schools and the newspaper are joining forces to make the program a reality. We’re going to start with a few simple projects like the food drive I mentioned above. Once the kids get into the caring groove, we’re planning some more challenging tasks for them to accomplish that will require more work outside of the classroom. Each project will have a feature article written about it in the newspaper.

So what we really need right now are some fantastic ideas for caring projects for the kids. If you have any, please post them here or over at the Ruby’s Bequest site.

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Caring Sundae: dig in

Caring Sundae: dig in

May 8, 2011 • Well, something extraordinary has happened. Two remarkable things. And I feel we have Jorge to thank for it. Here’s the story:

As you may know, some people in Deepwell formed PODcare and we have been discussing what to do to stop our plunging DCI (Deepwell Caring Index). And I think it’s fair to say that there was a lot of talk but relatively little consensus on what to do.

Enter Jorge, who is one of those guys who doesn’t talk much, preferring to listen for a while and then do something. What he heard was some of us talking about holding a day when everyone who gives or (especially) receives care all come together for an ice cream social or something.

A bunch of people planted the seed for this in their stories – like this one from Tresbien and this one from H2Ohexagon and this one from Andrhia and this one from ptotah and especially this one from Jennifer and this one from Charles W. and this one from coma and so on. But we weren’t sure how exactly to put it together, how to find people, how to pay for it, etc.

Jorge wasn’t sure either, but that didn’t stop him or even slow him down. Hannah and some of Jorge’s other friends helped out. So the Caring Sundae took place on a Saturday actually, May 7, 2011, in the Elks Lodge.

Now from one point of view it didn’t go off so well. Not that many people came and in particular not that many non-disabled, non-caregiving people came. So there was kind of a “preaching to the choir” feel to it. And it was kind of awkward at times, I guess you would say. Some people just flitted in and out.

But here are the two remarkable things:

1) Everyone wants us to hold another one. And I do mean everybody. People I scarcely know have come up to me to make sure they get invited next time. (As if I had anything to do with it!) They press their phone numbers into my hand. This is not normal Deepwell behavior, folks!

2) Jorge had his checks returned. The hall rental, the ice cream, both musical groups, everything. All the bills were preemptively paid – by the estate of Ruby Wood.

Photo by hikikomorix via Flickr.

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May 17, 2010 • Got a phone call today from Mr. Porter about Kerrek. Seems he fell down while crossing 3rd earlier today; Mr. Porter said he was having some sort of fit. 911 was called, the paramedics came and Kerrek went to the hospital.

For those of you who don’t know Kerrek, I guess you would call him a homeless guy, the one with the ‘sailor’s walk’ and halting speech. He’s been doing odd jobs around Deepwell for about 3 years now. You may have noticed his posts here on the blog (he uses the computer at the library). And I’ll just say this: he’s my no. 1 candidate for the link to Ruby Wood. Anybody know anything about him, who his family is, where he comes from? I sure dont.

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