Chester Chatter: Friends brighten Christmas after terrible loss

By Ruthie Douglas
© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Soon after Christmas one year our farmhouse burned down, mostly to the ground. We lost everything along with our new Christmas gifts. We decided to rebuild and slowly began to start work. Come spring and summer, we worked  hard and by fall began to replace belongings inside.

Before we knew it, a year had nearly gone by. We, as usual, bought our Christmas tree and that is when we realized our decorations were gone. We sat the tree up anyway thinking we could make our own decorations.

One afternoon when I got home from work and the girls from school, several cars pulled into the driveway. It was my girlfriends. In they came, ringing bells and singing Christmas carols and bearing boxes of tree decorations, many which they had made.

They spread out cookies, coffee and punch. They filled my kitchen with love. I did not need anything for Christmas. I got it with the act of kindness from my friends. It was a gift of love that remained for a long time.

Much loss, much sadness

A great cloud of sorrow has hung over our town for the last month. It is time for it to fade away and become a circle of love.

A huge turnout came to the American Legion on Monday Dec. 18 to celebrate the life of Sgt. Mark Phelps, who died the week before. Many people could not get in the doors. But it shows just how special he was.

My long time friend Billy Keith has died at his home in Orlando, Fla. Billy has also many times been my partner in cards. We served time on the school board. Billy was a wonderful person. My thoughts are with his family.

Everyone reaches out to Palmer and Laurie Goodrich on the loss of their son Ryan. It is a great sorrow to lose one’s child. Our love is sent out to you.

Word has been received on the death of Harold (Hal) Vincent, who taught at Springfield High School and was teacher and principal of Chester High School. He was 92.

Jean Bolaski celebrated her birthday with a family dinner. Sons Alex and Ben prepared the meal of prime rib and the fixings, while Ben’s new wife Sarah made the cake. Happy days Jean.

We are happy to learn that Chris Cook, a former neighbor now living in North Carolina, is recovering nicely after recent surgery.

Our Chester Village Green is simply beautiful I take a ride by.

  • This week’s trivia question: Where was the Belmont Drive Inn?
  • Answer to last week’s trivia question:  Gene Autry sang “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” on a 78 record. The other side was “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.”

Street Talk

What would you like to receive for Christmas?

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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