Prolific poet Edgar Guest penned a poem that expresses my sentiment.
A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
Recently celebrating his 70th birthday, Jim Kandell, owner of Ohio Ceramic Supply, has certainly "lived and loved and labored here." His children, Eric and Lisa, both living in Utah, surprised Jim with a special family shindig where they presented him with a bound book of special memories from family members, business associates and friends.
Memories included the time Jim locked his childhood friend in a closet at his friend's house and then headed home as if nothing was wrong. Many remembered the numerous jokes that Jim has made about his asses, which he has raised for years.
Without fail, those who submitted memories fondly mentioned Jim's distinct and boisterous laugh. A favorite memory that I have of Jim is of a Boy Scout fundraising auction where he and I battled for handmade chimes.
I continued bidding, mostly to hear him laugh after each bid, but eventually decided that I should stop before I had to sell our home to pay for the chimes.
Later, the craftsman of the chimes offered to make another set, so the bidding began again. When it appeared that I might get the second set of chimes for a much lower amount, Jim laughed and began bidding again to make sure that I did not get off too easy. It was worth every penny to hear his endearing laugh.
Not only is Jim a wonderful husband to Sue and a great father to Eric and Lisa, he has been a father figure in the lives of others with whom he has shared his wisdom and advice, his home, and sometimes his means to help people get on their feet again. His compassion has made him a friend of many.
Best wishes to Jim for many more years of living, loving and laughter.
In the past two columns, I have written about Bill Jordan who has been recovering from a life-threatening illness. His doctor gave him a wonderful Christmas gift with the prognosis for a full recovery, albeit a slow one. Bill shared that "the Lord answers prayers and provides."
His host of angels continues to give of themselves to keep his business, B&D Deer Processing, going. Bill and his wife, Kay, recognize that "the giving has been from the heart, and for that, we are truly grateful." They have learned much about living and loving.
Often little boys ask Santa for a fire truck for Christmas, but not every boy gets a real fire truck. However, the big boys at the Brimfield Fire Department got their wish when Christmas came a little early with the delivery of a brand new rescue engine.
The new truck replaces two existing ones, a 1982 fire engine that was retired after 30 years of service and a 1994 rescue truck that became too small to carry the weight of necessary rescue equipment.
The new fire truck is a 2012 Pierce Saber pumper truck built on a rescue body with increased storage capacity. The truck carries 1,000 gallons of water and has a fire pump capable of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute.
A few unique features include a light tower that will be used for nighttime auto accidents, an automatic idle reduction system that allows the engine to shut down while continuing to operate emergency lights and other equipment with the onboard diesel generator, and a Class A foam system that is designed to make water more efficient on structure fires.
The fire truck was purchased with the combination of a low-interest U.S. Department of Agriculture loan and funds from the fire department budget. Total cost for the truck and equipment was $437,654.00. The loan will be repaid using tax proceeds from the Joint Economic Development District agreements the township has with the cities of Tallmadge and Kent.
Brimfield receives half of the income tax collected from businesses in the JEDD, and that money is divided between the township's fire, police and road departments. The truck will serve the Brimfield community for the next 25 years.
Once again, the Kelso House is hosting a Robbie Burns Night at 7 p.m. Jan. 19. The event is based on the mid-winter birthday celebration for the Scottish poet and will include music, storytelling, poetry and more. Participants are asked to bring a snack to share.
Are you up for a game of euchre, canasta, or gin rummy? Anyone interested in joining a card club at the town hall can contact Amy at 330-678-0739 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next month … Got news? Share it by contacting Shirley at 330-673-0241 or at email@example.com.
Santa, who looks a little like Lt. Craig Mullaly, with the new fire/rescue truck.