Timing is everything! Our niece is being married in Boston on the same weekend as the class reunion, so we will not be attending.
My mother, Flora MacLaren, passed away in Oct. 2004, Jim's mother Florence, in March 2005, and my father, James MacLaren in July 2007. However, Jim's dad remarried at age 89 and is still going strong, living in his own home at 92! The truly bright spot in our lives is our 3 year old great-granddaughter, who is absolutely adorable. Who says were not prejudiced.
We are blessed to have all of our children and their families live about 15 minutes away. Our oldest, Shirley and her husband Rick live in Johnsonburg, and have just bought an additional 8 acres around their property which will assure them even more privacy. Shirley is a diet tech at the Batavia Nursing Home and loves working with older people. Their son Kyle and daughter Allison are in middle school in the Attica school system.
Dave is our real estate tycoon. He and his wife Amy are restoring the "Blum" house, a Victorian mansion on Market St. in Attica across from the American Legion. Dave is a machinist at Cooper Compression in Buffalo, and he uses his machinist talents to make hundreds of brackets and window trim, copper roofing and gutters. He is in the process of doing a complete remodel on the interior and becoming an expert "drywaller". In addition he owns 5 rental homes in Attica and Warsaw. They are proud grandparents of a 3 year old, daughter of their son Greg and his wife Christine. Greg, a diesel mechanic, is following in his father's footsteps, as he recently bought the house next door to their home in Warsaw for rental property. Their daughter Holly graduates from Buffalo State next semester.
Jeff is the computer coordinator and assistant wrestling coach for Letchworth school and lives in Perry Center. He and his wife Kim are proud parents of 2 boys. Mike, an avid football player and wrestler in high school is now on the Cornell wrestling team Chris will be a senior next year. This will be his final year as running back on a great team that lost a tough game at the state qualifying last fall to Fredonia. His brother Mike set wrestling records at Letchworth including 2 state championships. Chris is well on his way to besting his records with 2 state championships, a perfect 50-0 record last season,and has won 94 straight matches with no losses. We will surely miss the sporting events the boys have been involved in since they were about 5 years old. We tried to make almost all the games and matches to cheer them on. At this point in our lives we realize that good health, family and friends and a place to live that brings us peace, are real priorities.
For the last 3 years most of our energy and focus has been our rural preservation group, Clear Skies Over Orangeville. Our local Town Board and all the local officials seem hell bent on having 59 450 ft. industrial wind turbines installed within 1320 ft. of our homes. Tax relief is promised, and the lease holders will benefit significantly, however we strongly believe the trade off is not worth the money. The vibrating thumping sound of the turbines is of particular concern for us. Studies have shown that this can cause sleep disturbances and negative health effects, especially in people over the age of 50, If this project goes through we will have 3 turbines behind our once quiet home (1/4 mile off the road next to a 1 1/2 acre pond with no other houses in sight - only trees) in direct line with the prevailing south west winds. We feel our place will never be the same.
Who knew that at age 68 we would become activists and public speakers, write articles for newspapers and government agencies, run yard sales, bake sales, organize dinners, sell raffle tickets, and any other fund raiser we could think of to raise money to pay our environmental lawyer. We have met a lot of wonderful like minded neighbors and become fast friends over the years. But the saddest thing of all is that the wind project has pitted neighbor against neighbor, the pro-wind who seemingly can only see the money to be made, against the people who feel that these turbines are wrong for Orangeville on so many levels - from environmental issues, to reduced property values, health issues, sleepless nights due to noise levels - just plain too close to peoples homes. Hopefully, this will be resolved soon, but the damage to the community, I fear will be long lasting.
Greetings to all, and maybe we'll see you at the next reunion.
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Send information for your Class of '61 page to Charlie@Plesums.com