After the winter weve had, every trip I

Chad Dryden Published:

After the winter weve had, every trip I hear someone has taken really sounds good but Dick and Nancy Leonards caught our attention right away.

They intentionally left here on Ash Wednesday and headed to New Orleans, arriving 23 hours after Mardi Gras was over (sounds like a good idea to me). The trip was 1,070 miles and they put an extra 650 miles on the car getting out of New Orleans and learning and seeing Southern and Western Louisiana.

They did do the French Quarter, Garden District, Audubon Park, explored an old cemetery, drove over the Ponchartrain Causeway, rode both streetcars (never call them trolleys!), had brunch at Brennans, had beignets at the Cafe DuMonde, listened to Dixieland jazz at Preservation Hall, and gambled a little one day.

Most of their time was spent outside going south to the Barataria Preserve, west to the Evangeline State Park and the Evangeline Oak in St. Martinville, to Lafayette, the home of the Acadians, to St. Francisville, explored some of the antebellum plantations/mansions, eating the local food everywhere. It was wonderful.

On the way home, they drove down the entire length of the Natchez Trace Parkway, which began as a footpath of the Indians and early farmers of Tennessee and Kentucky who would float their crops and livestock down the Mississippi River to sell in Natchez or New Orleans, then walk or ride, if they were successful enough to have money to buy a horse up the Trace from Natchez to Nashville. Not one traffic light, all two-lane road, and a wonderful historical and relaxing trip. According to Nancy, they saw fewer than 200 cars the entire 444-mile length. Most of those were around Jackson, Miss.

Todd and Ronda (Kraft) Richardson of Columbus send news of the latest addition to their family. Abigail Am was born March 8, weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces. Her older brother is Caleb and, not to be left out, grandparents are Jay and Susan Richardson and Bob and Ruth Kraft of Ravenna and great-grandfather Homer Kibler.

Retirement often means a different way of keeping in touch. Each morning after breakfast, we anxiously check our e-mail to see whats been happening to friends up town or somewhere around the world. Many times its a poem of encouragement, patriotism, silly stuff or sometimes a real message. Whatever its always fun to get. One of our favorite correspondents is Muzzy Mayor, also known as Dick Fischer. Whether hes in Florida or out at Muzzy Lake, you can always count on Dick.

As many of you may know, Dick and Sylvia came home early from Florida and Dick has had surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. So, needless to say, we didnt hear from him for a while but Sylvia was gracious in keeping us up to date on his condition. Well, Muzzy Mayor is back on-line and when they talk about the little things in life that really mean a lot to us its getting an e-mail from Dick.

This is a little tribute to Hugh Riddle who was one of the nicest, friendliest men you could ever know. We hadnt lived on Lawrence Street long when Trevor took a newly acquired motorcycle (I never said new) for a spin around the block. Wouldnt you know it stalled and died in front of Hugh and Mary Lees house. Being an avid bike collector, Hugh was there in a flash to check it out. Two hours later (and a lot more knowledgeable about his and Hughs bikes), Trevor came home richer in having made a new friend (around 1967).

To prove grandmothers arent what they use to be, take a cue from Mary Jo Hanna who along with daughters, Patti Horvath and Mary Beth Sibert, took granddaughters, Stephanie, 9, and Rachel, 7, to Chicago for the weekend. When they boarded the plane in Cleveland the little girls were such a hit they got to hand out the peanuts on the flight to Chicago.

Mary Jo said the weather was great on Friday but windy, windy on Saturday. The highlight was going to the American Girl Store. Its three stories high. They saw a play about American Girls, saw lots of dolls, lots of history and lots and lots of books.

They had dinner at the American Girl Restaurant where their dolls, which they got for Christmas, sat at the table with them and had their own tea cups. Grandma and Mary Beth did a little spoiling (a little?) by buying matching outfits for the girls and their dolls. Lunch was at the Chicago Rain Forest Restaurant. A really fun weekend that went too quickly. They flew back to Cleveland on Sunday.

After teaching school for 30 years, Karin Shipley wondered if shed really adjust to being retired. However, never having been able to travel during the school year, this year was special in that she was able to fly to Houston with husband, John, to visit their daughter, Kathy, and her husband, John Romain, grandchildren, Ainslie, 10, Elise, 8, and Ian, 5, who relocated there in January. Their son, Kraig of Streetsboro, just happened to be flying to Baton Rouge, La., on business and managed a four-hour layover in Houston and also got to see Kathys family and help celebrate Karins birthday.

An overnight trip to San Antonio was a highlight, walking the River Walk and taking the grandchildren to the caverns.

You know its spring when you see the snowbirds around town. Spotted at the Elks Club were Marguerite and Ner Wertenberger and George and Pat Hartle who just returned from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. They took a neat cruise on the Italian cruise ship Costa Victoria to St. Thomas, San Juan, Dominica and Cartagena in the Southern Caribbean.

Call Gerry Lewis at (330) 325-3119 with your Ravenna news.

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