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This past weekend was a trip down memory lane for me.

My sister Gerry and I met in Bridgeport on Friday evening for a busy weekend of renewing old memories.

We started out with a get-together of 12 former classmates and neighbors at Minard’s Spaghetti Inn on Friday evening. The restaurant has been in operation by the same family for over 70 years. When we were in high school, it was the place to go for club outings and special occasions in our lives. It is still a very special place, with an affordable, authentic Italian menu and a feeling of home hospitality. I was surprised at the interest in the Chronicle from people who have never been to Calhoun County. They like the Amie Sexton Silcott series and the front page news. Doris Witte Gherke, whose roots are here, had several questions about her family. Jan Gherke Whited is her great-niece.

Some classmates said, “No way, it is too early!” but Saturday morning started with another mini get-together for breakfast. After that, Gerry and I were on our way to Morgantown for the WVU Homecoming game with Syracuse. We sat with my son Joe and his family. Don’t ask me about the game, because I am a fair weather fan. It has to be just the right temperature, not too hot, not too cold and not too wet. It was very hot, so the highlight for me was the lemonade slushy and the WVU band. I do know that we won.

Dinner that night with Joe, Sandy, Drue, Aren and Drue’s friend Eric was full of laughter, teasing and stories. Gerry enjoyed the tale of our Spring visit to Luke in Chicago and visiting the Sears Tower during a blizzard, when visibility was zero!

We grew up in Bridgeport Methodist Church, where our family was very involved. We didn’t expect anyone to recognize us, but as we went to our seats, two ladies behind us gave us warm hugs of greeting. The message was given by Rev. Dale Waters, a former pastor. The church has survived for over a century and still has an active, vital program.

Gerry and I made a pact after our mother’s death that we would meet annually on this weekend. She left for Mansfield and I traveled on to Morgantown for a Cancer Survivors event. It was good to “go home again.”

My granddaughter, Drue, always accompanies me to the Cancer Survivors’ luncheon. We shared a table with a couple from Valley Bend that knew former Calhouner Voras Haynes and had gone to school with his children. There were also two ladies from Deep Creek, Md. One was undergoing extensive treatment for breast cancer. Her companion is also a survivor and nurse. This was good for Drue and me to hear their experiences and feel their optimism.

 The program featured three survivors who told of their experiences. The youngest one discovered cancer at age 27, soon after giving birth to her first child. Her trust in God and her health care professionals kept her fighting for her life. These strong ladies told of praying that “the chemo will work with no side effects,” “This cancer will not get me down,” and “Inner strength is necessary.”

We heard repeatedly that “If you have faith and believe, God will see you through it all.” All agreed on the kindness and compassion of Dr. Jaime Abraham and his team. He is very involved in cancer research, but still has time to put on a pink cancer hat and greet each of his patients with a big hug, warm smile, and twinkle in his eye.

This was a great weekend, full of memory-making events. The threads that kept weaving through it were: “Have faith and believe in God” and “Others do care about you.”

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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