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In the Hood: the hardest day of the year

By Linda Waggener

Good friends and the sunshine of early fall made today bearable, this anniversary of the start of widowhood. It was this morning, three years ago, that Ed Waggener drew his last quiet breath at TJ Samson Hospital.

Life in the Hood is extreme. Family and friends help ease the pain of it.

At the Post Office, good friends Curt and Doug and Bernie and Robert and Pam shared news and smiles.

Bernie mentioned he was about to retire so he could get his back fixed. He said to Doug, "then I'll get on the bush hog and come out and mow those fields of yours."

That prompted the question if Doug and Jane still live in the same place off Greensburg Road? He said they absolutely do, since 1977. He recalled they moved into their new home on the same day that Columbia Mayor Coy Downey was inaugurated with a festival at which Columbia, going for its place in the Guinness Book of World Records, served up the World's Biggest Chili Bowl... "and gave half the town diarrhea."

The late Mayor Downey and the late Editor Waggener and Judge James Brock, along with many others, organized such a good program and a good time seemed to have been had by all... except for the aforementioned intestinal complaints. Mother Nature provided a rare warm and sunny January day for the event. Doug remembered that immediately after they got moved into their newly built home, the weather reversed itself with a huge snow and kept it up until March.

Curt shared the good news that his daughter Carla has received a second award for excellence in education and was heading to Washington to receive it. We talked about how to get details for a local news story.

Robert said he wanted Columbia Magazine to fix a bounce that happens when he clicks a certain place low on the page and it takes him back to the top of the page where he didn't mean to go. Since that's over my head I promised to give that message to Pen.

Good friends Mary and Jane both checked in and shared family and gardening news, and hope, and smiles.

Good friend Mike shared memories of his friend and fellow writer Ed at the Genealogy Department of the Library.

The hardest day was made easier by all of these people and came to a close with smiles over food (not including chili) in the company of good friends Ellen and JD and Lucy.

It occurs that this was exactly the kind of day Ed loved, filled with family and friends and smiles and good news and hope; the humid hazy oppressive heat of Dog Days having ended with crystal clear blue skies and clean brisk air taking over. We met in September at the Edmonton Herald News. We were parted in September in a hospital room labeled 'comfort care'. In the Hood, September has become the hardest month and this 24th the hardest day.

This story was posted on 2021-09-25 00:38:31
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