Around Mantua by Virginia Goodell

By Virginia Goodell Published:

The last week of January and the first week of February are excellent times to spend in the sunny South. On Jan. 27, I flew from Cleveland to Houston and on to El Salvador to participate in a Rotary water-related program. Rotary has been responsible for many water projects in several countries in Africa as well as in El Salvador in Central America. Salvador is bounded on the west by Honduras and on the east by Nicaragua, the most densely populated Central American country.

Companion Community Development Alternatives (CoCoDA) is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization based in Indianapolis, Ind., whose mission is to cooperate in projects for democratic, community-based economic and social development in Central America, and to promote awareness and social responsibility in the United States for more just relations with Latin America.

During the past 12 years, CoCoDA has taken more than 60 delegations of people from diverse communities in the United States to visit El Salvador.

In order to avoid gastro-intestinal problems, we were strongly advised to eat only thoroughly cooked foods. Of course, that meant no fresh salads. Plumbing was very elementary. A container was provided at every toilet for the soiled toilet tissue. Special clean and purified water was available for us to drink, to shower, even just to wash hands. Of course, the shower was cold only. Our hostel facilities were adequate but certainly would not have won any awards for cleanliness.

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I promise to tell you more about El Salvador in succeeding columns but I must have room for some other information in this one. However, I will take the space to tell you about one encounter in the Houston Airport. As I was standing in line to board the plane for El Salvador, I struck up a conversation with the couple standing in front of me.

When asked, I told them I was from Northeastern Ohio, about 30 miles southeast of Cleveland (my stock answer when I'm that far from home). They were from Houston but said they had someone who worked for them from Northeastern Ohio.

After a little "thinking" time, they finally remembered she was from "Shalersville." Yes, I know where Shalersville is; in fact, that's where I live, too." The person to whom they were referring is a granddaughter of Roy and Loretta Brugmann. Small world!

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While in Florida on my way back home, Brother Gordon and I went to the Fort Myers beautiful library to hear Damaris Peters-Pike of Hiram give her "Let George Do It" program about the sister of George Gershwin, which included a story of the Gershwin family and some of the wonderful music Mr. Gershwin produced.

Damaris' programs are both verbal and vocal -- and very delightful. She was a bit surprised to see us but in our conversation I asked her to send me information about what her children (all Crestwood graduates -- two of them my students) are doing. David, the oldest, graduated in 1975, and is an AP history teacher and tennis coach at Bay High School and lives in Avon Lake. On Feb. 18, he was married in Germany to a longtime German acquaintance. (That's today, isn't it? ) David's love for Germany began with an exchange John Carl Bauman directed.

Jan Peters Daum, '77, lives in Katy, Texas, with her 18-year-old twins, Freddy and Rachel. Rachel, an elite gymnast, will attend Stanford University on full scholarship next year. Freddy, a tennis player, is still trying to decide among schools which are recruiting him.

Carrie Peters Icard, '79, is professor of English at the College of Eastern Utah, affiliated with Utah State University. Damaris continued, "All got a great start at Crestwood. They are all modest and would probably say, "Oh Mom! Why were you bragging like that?" Thanks, Damaris.

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The Rotary Club of Mantua invites you to attend a Soup Supper which will feature guest speaker Marc DeWerth, president of the Ohio Bigfoot Organization. Marc has investigated more than 150 reports of sightings in several counties in Ohio during the past 20 years.

He is involved in several Bigfoot research groups that participate in efforts to locate and record evidence of the existence of Bigfoot creatures in Ohio. The event will be held on Tuesday at Hilltop Christian Church, 4572 Prospect St., Mantua, and begins at 6 p.m. If Soup Supper tickets are already sold out, guests may attend the lecture in the sanctuary of Hilltop at 7 p.m. at a cost of $5. Tickets may be purchased at Jake's, Advanced Rehab, or from any Rotarian.

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Advanced Rehabilitation and Health Specialists will host its fifth annual Twilight Chili Bowl at 6 p.m. March 1 at 4707 Mill St., Mantua. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. for the three-mile trail run/walk. The Chili Cook-Off will be held following the run/walk. Those attending should bring a crockpot of their favorite chili. The top two pots win a prize. The cost is a $10 entry fee, with post-race chili included. To enter the chili cook-off, call 330-274-2747.

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Coming up on April 7 at 3 p.m. at the Shalersville Town Hall is "An Afternoon With Elvis by Kelvis." Elvis impersonator is Kevin Hupka. Tickets are $10 and the event is sponsored by the Shalersville Historical Society. For more information or tickets, call June at 330-274-0547 or Carol 330-626-3636.

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And last but not least, Goodell Family Farm will be serving its famous pancake breakfasts on March 10, 17 and 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shalersville Town Hall, at S.R. 303 and S.R. 44. We'll seat you and serve you all-you-can-eat pancakes (plain or buckwheat), plus fresh maple syrup, butter, sausage, and orange juice, coffee, tea, or milk. Hope to see you there.

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That's all for now, More about El Salvador next time.

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For Mantua news, contact Virginia Goodell at 330-274-2376

or vgoodell@aol.com.

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