This was the Fountain Central table at the Friendship Circle Center in Covington Friday. With Brian and me, are, standing, Barb Clark, and seated, from left, Lynette Rusk, Lynnette McMahan, and Ron Colson. It was great to see everyone and feel as though, if only for a few hours, I was in my 20s again!
On the day that Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married in what was known as the wedding of the century, and their not-so-storybook life together began, Brian and I began a new life journey of our own.
On that July day in 1989, we moved to Fountain County.
We were excited, and nervous, and looked forward to many things. With what we felt at the time, by 1981 standards, was Brian’s whopping new administrative income of $22,500 a year, (and the 14-hour work days that routinely came with it), we could afford to rent our huge, country farmhouse for $200 a month and I could afford to go to college full time in pursuit of a journalism degree. Anything felt possible!
We had no clue as to the real joys that would unfold over the next nine years. Those joys, of course, were in the people we met, grew to love, and still love today. The joys were in the birth of our first child, the making of best friends, the support, and the memories.
The stories of our journey through Fountain County, in the towns of Veedersburg, Mellott, Newtown, Attica, Hillsboro, Wallace, Stone Bluff and Covington, include incredible memories, bigger, to us anyway, than the small towns on the map would indicate. Each one of the memories we made is worthy of a blog entry in itself, but for today, I’m only going to talk about Friday.
I’ll save for a later date how my first journalism job came from meeting up with a childhood friend in Attica; how that small-newspaper job took me into such places as inside Gov. Robert Orr’s private office inside the Indiana Statehouse or to a murder trial in neighboring Williamsport. Or how our precious firstborn son, Sam, began his life as a Fountain County resident, and how the community loved us through his open-heart surgery at 11 months of age. Or how so many people became as dear to us as family, and still are (Rick and Gay Kirkton, Barb Clark, John and Debby Williams, Sue Anderson, Linda Spear, to name only a few of the many I could include).
Or how when I think of Fountain County, I feel nothing but love.
So Friday my one-time co-worker at the paper, the sweet Jane Bowers, had me over to Covington to the Friendship Circle Center for a book program and luncheon. Everyone was so incredibly nice and welcoming.
Did I expect less from my onetime home county? Jane now directs the center where seniors gather daily for meals and activities. It’s such a great place. Several friends from Fountain Central days attended, as did some friends from my Attica newspapering era.
They don’t come any better than the gals I worked with at the paper. Of those there Friday, Nancy Wolfe is salt of the earth, common sense, loyalty, humor and sweetness personified. Carol Galloway is upbeat, funny, a great co-worker and friend. Jane is a true lady and has the gift of hospitality that shines in her center and among her coworkers.
A couple of others came from Williamsport. There was Carol Winegardner, who discovered my first book through her sister, and to my surprise, showed up with her friend, Donna Lyon, who I remember well from the newspapering days when Donna wrote for the Williamsport paper. We sat next to each other while covering a murder trial in the Warren County courthouse.
It was great to catch-up with everyone. The morning went by too quickly.
It was back to the 1980s.
If only for a few hours, I felt as though I was 25 again. At the time I really was that age, I had no idea how young that truly was.