Around Ravenna

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Not only was it a joyous Christmas Eve Service but the Methodists got to help Earl and Inge Armstrong of Ravenna celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary. They met in Heidelberg, Germany, at the 130th Station American Hospital during World War II. Inge worked in the hospital as an interpreter and Earl was recuperating from injuries sustained in Bastogne.

After Earl received special permission from Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, they married in 1947, making Inge a German war bride. Home for the holidays and to help them celebrate were their daughter, Becky Armstrong-Treat and family of Evergreen, Colo.

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This is lesson 101 on how not to get scammed. It's a true story and the name of the person is referred to as "my friend." It all started with a phone call supposedly from her grandson.

This is your grandson. I'm in Mexico. I've had a little accident with my car. No one's hurt but I need $1,180 to get out of jail. Grandma said, "it doesn't sound like you." He said they wouldn't let him use his own phone.

Then, he said there was a guy there with him who could explain everything. The guy described the accident and that her grandson had been tested for alcohol and he hadn't been drinking. Could she get the cash for him? How long would it take?

She said an hour or more. She would have to go to the bank. He asked if she could send it by Western Union.

When she said she didn't know where there was one he asked for her zip code and said, "Oh, you can go to the Giant Eagle in Ravenna and send it" -- then proceeded to give her the phone number to send the cash to.

He said if she sent it by regular mail it would take a long time to get there to get him out of jail.

Grandma, imagining her grandson in an orange jumpsuit -- promptly went to the bank and proceeded to withdraw $1,200. It would cost $20 to send it.

Because she knew the teller at First Merit (Janet) she confided that her grandson had had an accident in Mexico and he needed the money to get out of jail.

That raised the flag. Janet said, "You know -- this might be a scam. My son's good friend's mother was scammed like this."

My friend went home, called her son -- then called her grandson who said, "Hi Grandma! What's up?"

My friend showed up at the bank the day after with a beautiful yellow rose for Janet, who, of course, said she certainly didn't need to do that. My friend said she just saved her $1,200.

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Paul Kunar hosted 43 members of the Kunar family with the traditional Christmas family gathering this year on Dec. 22 and to help bring to mind the families' past traditions, his brother, Fred, put together a video of some special Christmases.

Paul's father and mother, Louie and Helen, would go to each Kunar home on Christmas morning to watch the grandchildren open their gifts. He videoed every family every year with his 8 mm camera. No one was allowed to open the gifts before "grandpa" got there with his camera.

Children and grandchildren of sister Dorothy, brothers Larry, Eddie and Fred thoroughly enjoyed the show! What a walk down memory lane.

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On a recent Sunday morning after church, we went to Guido's in Ravenna for their great Sunday Brunch. What we got besides good food was a chance to wish Joey Cipriano a very happy 47th birthday, along with 16 family members. Here's to many, many more, Joey!

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Katie Lentz is going to school in London, so her parents, Ravenna Attorney Bill and Sally Lentz, visited their daughter and had a wonderful 10 days over Christmas and New Year's. Their hotel in Trafalgar Square was in the middle of all the action and they got to spend New Year's Eve watching the fireworks across the Thames River.

It was fantastic. Bill and Sally also got to experience a ride on the Eye and not being shy, Bill asked about senior rates (and got it) at $15 each.

He especially enjoyed the Churchill Bunker Museum exploring Cabinet War Rooms of the secret British underground bunker often used by top British officials as a headquarters during World War II.

On New Year's Eve, the partiers came out on the streets from their fancy parties, ladies in their long gowns, etc., to watch the fireworks.

The girls got to do a little shopping in the high rent district. When Bill saw the price tags he decided to take a walk.

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For Ravenna news, call Gerry Lewis at 330-325-3119.

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