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Happy Birthday Wishes And Presents Showered Upon Bernice Arnold July 5, 1997

This article first appeared in issue 15, and was written by Linda Waggener.


An 80th birthday celebration was held for Bernice Waggener Arnold July 5 at the home of her daughter.

A crowd of 70 or more visited throughout the afternoon showering the birthday girl with presents, enjoying cake and punch with family and friends.

Those who signed the guest register included: Carolyn Taylor, Nell Rogers, Jean McLean, Jean and Donald McCubbin, Ruth Bryant Mardis, Virginia G. Shively, Sara Jean Thomas, McEva Mayse, Irene Reece, Wilma Marshall, Zona and James Royce and Taylor, Dr. and Mrs. Jim Chaffin, Randy and Alfred Flowers, Stacy Keltner, Margaret Sandusky, June B. White, Maxine Walker, Dr. B. J. Murad, Ann Melton and Katie, Paul and Sara Coop, Dan and Peggy Waggener, Lorene Vance, Mary Evelyn Walker, Mary H. Paxton, Edna Blaydes, Bec Atkins, Jane and Carl Hutchison, Louise Brock, Joyce Humkey, Allie Breeding Shelton, Asa M. Shelton, Emily Sargent, Mary Frances May, James and Lucy Montgomery, Jennifer Beckman, Myrtle Jessee, Effie Heskamp, Carl and Yvonne Arnold, Ruby Keltner, Mary Welch Pickett, Pat Humphress, Sis and Richard Guerrant, Billy and Bessie Willis, Ben and Margaret Arnold, Norm and Joann Miller.

Family hosting the event included her daughter, Sara, and grandchildren Benji and Alea Gold; son, John, daughter-in-law Missy, and grandson Chris Arnold, and Bernice's husband Russell.

It was good to catch up

It was good to catch up on where all Bernice and Russell Arnold's grandchildren are now. Benji, Alea and Chris are all grown and in various stages of furthering education.

I couldn't help picturing them as children playing with neighborhood friends, seems like only yesterday.

The children regularly in and out around our house were like stair steps - Edith's son Peter Stewart Walker, and her grandson Russ Walker, were the biggest kids, the ones all the younger ones looked up to. Russ's friend Chris Rowe was also a regular among the more grown up role models; next was our oldest, Pen Waggener; then Sandy and Ken's son, Doug Janes; Nell Roger's grandson, Shawn Goodpaster; and our youngest, Tom Waggener. John's son, Chris Arnold, and Benji and Alea Gold, Sara's children, were the youngest in the neighborhood.

Seeing them together took me back to early 80's

Remembering fun adventures when they were all little brought one special time to mind. Pen and Tom had two sweet girl kittens we'd adopted from Maxine Humble-a furry one named Kentucky, and a short haired one named Luvinia.

Both girl kittens grew past puberty faster than we expected, slept with a sleazy male cat from the gutter, and gave birth to a colorful mixture of irresistible babies.

Alea and Benji visited the kittens often while their mom worked in her greenhouse just up the hill. They were very good with the babies. Four-year-old Alea wanted badly to adopt one or two, but Sara thought not, so the kittens remained here until they grew old enough to find homes for them.

One afternoon a next door neighbor of Sara's called and said we'd better come get the kitten that one of the kids had left on her porch step. Tom went up and got the kitten and explained that he had no idea how it could have gotten there but would see to it that it would not happen again.

Next day at kitten count, two were missing. Tom went to Benji to get help for the search. Benji thought first to ask Alea and they soon uncovered her hiding place, a cardboard box containing some Cat Chow and the two furry kittens. Benji explained to Tom that he suspected his sister because she had told him earlier that he could help her tie all of us up to keep us from coming to get the kittens.

When Sara learned of the event she assured me, "I've had a long heart-to-heart with my daughter, and Alea has assured me that she will n-e-e-v-e-r, e-e-v-e-r again take any of the kittens away from home."

The next time the boys checked them, three kittens were missing.

In their extensive search, they heard meowing from the area of the mailbox. All three kittens were discovered safely tucked in there. Mothers and kittens were reunited and all was well.

Benji and Tom speculated it might have been the work of Alea again, but never said anything because the promise had been kept, they really hadn't been taken away from home. Besides, the boys seemed to have had an important meeting to convene in the branches of the old Catalpa tree.

I'm sure Bernice Arnold's birthday was made very special because she and Russell were surrounded by friends and family - especially those beautiful grandchildren and their parents, all doing well.

This story was posted on 1997-07-30 12:01:01
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1997-07-30 - Photo Staff. Happy birthday wishes and presents showered upon Bernice Arnold July 5This item first appeared in Issue 15 of the print edition of Columbia! Magazine.
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