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People Out Loud: Memories – And memories in the making

Dixon Bledsoe

I secretly wished that Olivia Newton-John was singing her mega-hit, I Honestly Love You to me when it was released in 1974. Stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas, I found her breathy rendition of that song made me even more enamored with her. Certainly at least 50 million young and old men had the same fervent dream, and it hit a feverish pitch when Grease was released in 1978, as she morphed from the prim and proper, totally adorable “Sandy” into the black leather pants-clad temptress singing, You’re the One That I Want to John Travolta’s “Danny.” 

She was sweetness personified, with an angelic face and saccharine pipes. She once said to The Detroit Press, “I was just a performer the audience found pleasant.” Like Tim McGraw sang, “Always Be Humble and Kind.” That was Olivia Newton-John. Humble. Kind. Pleasant. Winner of four Grammys with five Number 1 singles, and Australia’s all-time most successful singer. She passed this week at age 73, and it made me sad. Way too young. Way too cute.

On another note, I took over as Rotary Club of Silverton President July 1, for the second time. This is quite an organization. Along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary has successfully led the charge to eradicate polio in the world. With 350,000 cases in 1988, to six cases in 2021, that represents a 99% drop. And that is only ONE project. Our local club is cleaning up Silver Creek on Aug. 27, and we could use some extra hands and feet (those rocks are slippery). We have a fund-raiser, “Hops and Vines” coming on the 20th of this month. We are beginning to create two new projects – cleaning and charming up the area around Salamander Island (ably led by Garron Lamoreau of Rotary) and five historically charming benches representing each branch of the service. We are always looking for new members, as benevolence and community service must never take a holiday. Have your people call my people. The coffee’s on and I will make the time! 

Another Homer Days Community Festival is in the books. It was a good one. Our home-grown event celebrating our favorite native son, Homer Davenport (again, Rotary was there), was fun, although we did hit 100 degrees once or twice, and the parade was spectacular. Our inimitable Mayor, Kyle Palmer, and Richard Carlson, and so many others put time, energy, sweat, and heart into pulling this off, and deserve our thanks and the countless accolades they receive. People were ready to party, after the chaos of COVID and social distancing, and Homer delivered. 

One other cool thing happened this weekend – we went to a wonderful wedding reception, where Austin Kraemer and Destinee Sandlin tied the knot. Gallon House Farms, as always, was a spectacular venue, because owners Tim and Becky Paulson Roth know what they are doing – making it special and creating memories. Even more fun? Attending 54,913 weddings in the last few years, my lovely bride of 40 years this month, Lisa and I FINALLY were the last ones on the dance floor for the anniversary dance. Veritable newlyweds Dave and Janet Kraemer Kirk were a close second, at just over 37 years. When the DJ asked to what we attribute our nuptial longevity, my answer was simple. “Just say yes, Dear” to anything and everything she wants or asks. Easy peasy. Her reply, “A happy wife is a happy life.” Ain’t it the truth?

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