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Libbey-Owens-Ford retirees are everywhere you turn

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POSTED April 23, 2009 2:03 a.m.

We ran into a lot of friends this week at various events like Millie Bolding past employee at Libbey Owens Ford and Sharp Depot with her husband Graham (PG&E). They were their usual smiling happy people.

That was only the start of ex-LOF people on the loose. Jim Woehrle, my former right hand at the plant, informed me he and his wife were likely to move to Gibsonburg, Ohio. The only thing I know about that tiny village is that there is a former family that makes delicious jams and jellies.

Would you believe the very next person I ran into was Joel Fehlhaber, who also came from Gibsonburg. What are the odds of that happening? Jim Laberdee, former Mantecan and “mayor to East Manteca,” is still alive and kicking in Haynes City, Florida. Joe Freitas, former grocer and a director for Delta Bank, is still active in the Boys & Girls Club. He must be a zillion years old by now, even older than Ken Hafer - if that’s possible.

Wendell Pienchliek is another hard-working ex-LOF employee still living in Manteca. Judy Vasquez retired from Manteca Doctors Hospital and long member of the Soroptimists is also her usual outgoing self and still with the Manteca Prayer Breakfast coming up in May. Arnie Dunbar used to live next to Dick Durham, retired East Union High principal on Austin Road. We also saw his wife. They are still active locally.

Reuben Thissen (his grandmother lives on California Avenue) announced his engagement and shortly thereafter the wedding date in October in San Antonio, Texas. His father John lives here in Manteca and his mother at Comanche Lake. Ruben, my grandson, actually asked me to officiate. Apparently he can make that happen in the state of Texas. Ruben served six years in the Navy on a nuclear sub.

The Crossroads Street Fair was a smashing success with a big crowd thanks to an excellent committee working very hard. Those were also work on Easter egg hunts in the city deserve credit for efforts in bringing smiles to a lot of young people as well as the older folks that are still young at heart.

Rodney Sevedge (Badge No. 2101 at LOF) and Ralph Cleghorn are two members of the local VFW Post who give a lot of their time to participating in local funeral services for ex-servicemen. My hat is off to you and the rest of your squad.

We often complain about poor service and employees that are less than pleasant, but this week, due to personal contacts I have to thank the crew at Orchard Hardware and Vern’s Towing Service. Manteca is getting a new ladies apparel store in the Stadium Retail Center which will make a big hit with all our wives.

Like strawberries? They were picking them Easter Sunday just this side of Escalon on Highway 120. Reminded me of how sweet their berries were last year. We bought our Christmas ham at Fagundes this year and it was scrumptious...of course, the rib-eyes at Costco are excellent and the ribs at Chili’s are rated a 10 by my wife and her daughter Debra.

Some say spaghetti is spaghetti but you need to try the spaghetti feed at the Senior Center in May. The sauce is excellent and this past week the turnout was great. It is also a good place to meet new friends.
 
Sorry to hear former Manteca Unified School District board member Jack Kelley (husband of the late Trena Kelley who was Manteca’s first woman mayor and first directly elected mayor) fell. We wish you a quick recovery. Also ran into Ralph Kelley and his buddy Bill Miller having a cup of coffee and a doughnut at the shop in the Longs Drugs Store Center.

John Gaynor (old LOF badge No. 1092) looks sharp and chipper these days. Ask him what 1092 means.

Just a closing thought: What good deed did you do yesterday? How about today?

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