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Summer is in full swing in Kent. Unlike years past, it doesn't feel like a ghost town either! Despite the normal heat and humidity of July, people are out and about. They are enjoying all that Kent has to offer.
I don't want to be mean to the naysayers who grumbled that no one would go downtown after the students left for the summer. However, I will say that it doesn't seem to have slowed down at all. Downtown is still bustling, and that makes me pretty happy.
The Heritage Festival this year was fantastic! Downtown was filled with open stores, vendors, and happy people! Businesses that stayed open that day welcomed lots of residents and out-of-towners who had not been through town in years. Record sales were reported by many managers. That is a very good thing. I am especially thankful that the temperatures were more reasonable this year. Last year's event fell on the hottest day in recent memory. It was definitely "hot enough for ya'." This year, the temperature was just right for a mid-summer fest.
Speaking of downtown, my husband and I enjoyed a nice breakfast at the new Rise & Shine Cafe in Acorn Alley on East Erie Street. I don't claim to be a restaurant critic, but I can tell you the coffee is great, the food is delicious, and the service is wonderful! Please stop by and enjoy a great breakfast there. Welcome this new business to town … and help bring some more positive energy to that space.
Oh, and Stanton and Roosevelt students, one of your favorite teachers, Karli Martin, is helping out there during her summer break. She will be serving there through the first week in August. After that, it will be time for her to get her room at Stanton Middle School ready for the new school year. (I know. I hate to think about school starting up again so soon, too.)
Speaking of school years, Carol Kotun, a former teacher in Ravenna and graduate of St. Patrick School in Kent let me know about this upcoming event. The St. Patrick School eighth-grade class of 1962 is having a reunion on Aug. 18. They will begin with an 11:30 a.m. Mass at St. Patrick Church in Kent. That will be followed by a tour of the school.
After the tour, the graduates and their guests will have lunch at The Pufferbelly on Franklin Avenue at 1:30 p.m. The only cost is for lunch. The contact person is Karen (Bauer) Nemeth at email@example.com. In an update conversation, Carol wrote, "It's also exciting that one of our teachers, Mr. Lenzo, is definitely coming." It sounds like this will be a really nice get-together.
The reunion committee hopes that readers will pass this information along to friends or family who attended St. Pat's and may live out-of-town now.
When we talk about downtown Kent, it is very easy to focus on the all the new construction, restaurants, and stores. To correct that, I wanted to take a moment to focus on an established business that has powered through the slower and tougher times in Kent.
The Works at 130 E. Main St. is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year. Owner Jenny Arthur, along with Nancy Arthur, have created a shop that is a treasure in town. It is filled with beautiful decorative items, unique gifts, cool fashion accessories, and even Ugg boots. Trendy and whimsical is one way to describe the merchandise at The Works. If you are taking your friends and family downtown, make sure to stop by. Shopping there is a treat!
Don't forget to wish them a "Happy Anniversary." Maybe adding an "Atta Girl" would be good, too. Running a small business, and running it for 25 years, is a pretty big deal.
Terry and Joy Washburn of Kent recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. They were married July 3, 1963, in Adrian, Mich. This was the first time in six years that all of the Washburns' children were together. On July 2, their children, Sandi, 49, Todd, 47, and Bill, 44, took their parents to Gus' Chalet in Akron for dinner.
Their son, Bill, decorated their house with lots of balloons and banners and bought their favorite cake and cream sticks from Deluxe Pastry.
"It was a very happy anniversary with a lot of happy memories to last a lifetime," said Joy.
Sandi surprised her mom and dad with a small gathering of friends at her home in Randolph. Her husband, Dennis, and son, Eric, cooked walleye and perch he caught at Lake Erie and Kameron Kukasky cut and cooked fresh french fries.
They spent an evening of talking of old times and catching up on the latest news.
Terry graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent in 1961. Joy graduated from Ravenna High School in 1960. They are lifelong residents of Portage County. Before moving to Kent, the Washburns were residents of Rootstown and all three of their children graduated from Rootstown High School.
Terry retired from Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna and Joy retired from Kent State University. They are members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Kent.
Contact Ann Kardos at 330-931-9420 or firstname.lastname@example.org with your Kent news.