1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Best Wishes for Peace and Good Health in 2014

Mary Morgan - January 1-14-2014

Dear Friends and Family,

More pictures and fewer words are indicative of my lessened pace of life.  I have had astonishingly good health in 2013. I spend an inordinate amount of time in the Y pool, at chair volleyball, and 5 miles of walking a week believing that keeps me up and able.  My life friend Jan does most of the vegetable gardening during her frequent weekend visits.  I do the tomatoes and the flowers but leave the down-on-your-knees work to her.

For the second summer we journeyed to my birthplace, Alderson, West Virginia, to attend my 71st high school class reunion. (The 70th was derechoed out!) A special feature was a video history of the band.  I was one of about 4 in the 250 attending the Homecoming Banquet, (all classes), who had been in the very first year of a band.  I had supplied much of the narrative of how we began with our hand copied music, our various white shirts, navy blue skirts and pants, all 24 of us mostly in step and bursting with pride at being the FIRST ALDERSON HIGH SCHOOL BAND. (1937).

We repeated Jan’s discovery last summer of the new, amazing blueberry farms that have been developed in the Greenbrier Valley so we now have our own cache of frozen blueberries not picked by exploited farm workers.

I have made the decision to return to Athens County to live out my final years.  My ten years in Yellow Springs, pop.3800, has been delightful.  I think of it as my Yellow Springs Cruise.  But a 10 year cruise is more than anyone really deserves and I’m ready to live nearer to Jan as I become more and more dependent on her loving care.  But we’re not having any Pity Party for Mary’s leaving.  After all Athens County is the bluest county in the state of Ohio with good restaurants, state parks, real hills and Jan lives about10 miles from my apartment which is 1 block from the Athens public library.  The downsizing of “stuff” will be difficult for this “Great Depression” kid but it will be done.

I gave myself a birthday party thinking 88 was a good year to do that.  With generous friends who directed gifts to Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Health Fund of Y.S. it was quite a festive fund raiser.  Jan had commissioned a local videographer this summer to film my life story.  I had a captive audience but there were lighting and editing problems and it just didn’t win any Oscars.  But, as you can see, the cake was beautiful.

Our Saturday Peace vigil goes on and on and on, just as the war does.  My sign still reads WAR IS AMERICA’S ECONOMIC ENGINE.  Nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the largest employer now in the state of Ohio.  I am losing hope.

I helped start a discussion/ issues group at the Senior Center.  Its name is Older and Bolder—The Joys and Challenges of Growing Old.  We strengthen our resolve to resist the ageist messages so prevalent in birthday cards and merchandise and voice aloud all the wonderful aspects of being retired, being freed of so many duties and obligations and more and more doing only what we damn well want to do.  Many are not so privileged.

With love and best wishes to you all,

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