And now, an update on a few favorite female friends.
Eliza Cooper ended up not racing in that Brooklyn Bridge Swim after the NYC Swims director decided that athletes with disabilities would have to pay an extra fee to participate. A few weeks later, Eliza and her volunteer guide from Achilles International swam 1.2 miles in the ocean, rode a tandem for 56 miles and ran 13.1 miles – they completed a Half Ironman Triathlon, and they finished one hour earlier than they’d anticipated. But wait. There’s more! This past week Eliza started her first day of graduate school –at Columbia University.
Our sensational sister Cheryl was there to visit Flo every single day for the past couple years, whether Flo was still living alone in her condo, or in the hospital, or in a rehab facility. Cheryl went with Flo to doctor visits, she helped Flo with paperwork, and she was there with her kids and grandchildren at Flo’s side the day she died.
Cheryl flew to the Pacific Northwest last month for some well-deserved quiet time on her own, but before she left she went through Flo’s things and divided them into boxes for the siblings. She returns next week, and before then I’m heading to Blind Service Association (BSA) in downtown Chicago with a bag full of papers from my Flo box. Many of the papers are letters I wrote that Flo saved, and the generous readers at BSA have volunteered to read everything out loud to me. I’ll supply the Kleenex.
Nancy Faust just signed a contract to play for the Kane County Cougars again next season. The Cougars are a minor league team in Geneva, Ill., and when I say Nancy is playing for them, I of course mean she’s doing that on her Hammond B3!
I’ve been a fan of the Kane County Cougars ever since they hired me to work in their ticket office in 1994, and now that they’ve rehired Nancy to play every Sunday home game between May and September next year, I’m up for season tickets. All they need to do is come up with a “Nancy Package”: Sunday games only.
This season The Cougars have the most wins of any major or minor league baseball team in the country — the last time they had a championship season like this was back in 2001, when the team was led by Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Gonzalez. The first game of that series was on September 10, 2001. The Cougars won that game, but everything was cancelled after that.
Myrna Knepler is a writer in my memoir class. In a guest post here called when your birthday falls on September 11 she describes the reaction she gets when people at banks, at airports, or at doctor’s offices ask her for her date of birth. “They always comment,” she says. “And sometimes, they commiserate.”
Myrna has learned to refer to the date as “the eleventh of September,” but says figuring out how to commemorate it is still a conundrum. She’ll be 80 years old this year. I say we celebrate the entire month.
Hanni is still going strong, and her human companion Nancy Bollero reports that The 14-year-old star of Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound is getting creative in her old age: she taught herself to turn the quilt she sleeps on inside-out so she can shape it into a giant ball. “She rolls the ball to a new spot every day,” Nancy told me, describing the artful way Hanni arranges her favorite toys and bones once the ball reaches its new destination. ”And she still wags her tail like mad, thwomping it against the hardwood floor to let everyone know she’s proudof her work.”