Greetings from sunny Southern California,
Hope everyone is well and finding gratitude each day, and is proud to be a member of the outstanding Bexley School community that was established more than 100 years ago. Whether high school was a terrific experience or one in which you felt left out, we can all agree that the education we received by dedicated and caring teachers was among the best in the country and certainly in Ohio. As an octogenarian, sometimes it takes a perspective looking back to realize that some of our parents sacrificed so we could have this Bexley experience. I did not realize until decades later when a classmate reminded me of the Quill and Scroll International Honor Society for High School Journalists that I had received. One of my teachers had recognized that even through my German syntax negatively impacted my writing, the teacher recognized that my ideas, perspective, and ability to combine seemingly different thoughts to create a new connection were unique.
My husband Lee and I hope to make one more visit to the Columbus area, hopefully next Memorial day. A reunion plan is in the works for Lee’s side of the family, consisting of seven children and a total of 19 grandchildren. And Columbus is our common root.
Lee and I also hope to return to our home in Nevis, West Indies next spring. We were scheduled to visit there just as COVID was breaking in early February 2020. With lots on our plate, we canceled the trip four day prior to leaving, only to learn that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis had imposed a lock down the next day, including closing all schools.
Though our tiny Nevis-isle’s population is only around 12,000, we boast a 98% literacy rate. For those of you who have read the “Author’s Journey” chapter in previous editions of Soul to Soul Connection and Communication, you get how involved we are in local life living in a local village. Similar to Bexley, youth who come from somewhat disadvantage homes often rise to great heights. One of the youth whom we knew as a toddler struggled with severe dyslexia and was often ridiculed. But with deep belief in God and unwavering support from his Caribbean grandparents, and his Jewish grandparents, Papa Lee and Nana Ruth, he developed and personalized strategics to overcome. After many hours of voluntary work, he received an opportunity and job with the Department of Youth within the Nevis Island of Administration where he inspired youth who also had dyslexia. Since then, he earned several degrees and certificates.
Then, this year at only twenty-four-years old, he was honored to participate in the annual UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Topic: Addressing Gender Disparities and Promoting Gender Equality in Education. He received a standing ovation and honorable mention for his presentation, which brought him to tears. Soon after, he was invited to become an Ambassador of the International Literacy Foundation.
Another Nevis-island granddaughter who sacrificed much went to England to earn a law degree. She furthered her studies remotely and is now a Barrister and Attorney at Law. She is also a victim of gun violence. Perhaps in response to that, she recently created a program named “Boys in Ties.”She chose youth from disadvantaged homes in their late teens and taught them manners, table etiquette, body language, and eye contact to express confidence and believe in themselves. To celebrate their graduation, the Four Seasons Resort hosted a lovely luncheon for the boys. Local businesses provided shoes, pants, shirts, and ties that the boys chose, as they ventured out to seek jobs. It is these types of stories that I most enjoy when reading the Class Notes in the Bexley Alumni Magazine.
Since the tradition of prioritizing education began with Lee’s and my parents, and continued with our children, let me share that our oldest grandchild graduated from Reed College, the next oldest granddaughter is in her junior year at St. Andrews in Scotland, and our only grandson is a junior at Gonzaga University, majoring in engineering. Another granddaughter is off to attend Erasmus University in Rottingham, Holland to enter the Applied Sciences department. Another granddaughter is taking a gap year from Brandies University to travel in Europe. Later, she joins a group to volunteer in Thailand teaching students to speak English. Our youngest granddaughter is beginning a unique academy in Manhattan that prepares all of our students for success in college and in life by treating them as individuals with specific strengths and needs. The curriculum offers a broad-experienced type curriculum and only 373 students attend. I would note more about my grandchildren, but I respect their wishes for privacy.
Here in California, Lee is completing his eight weeks of radiation for prostate cancer. With his positive attitude, he has done remarkably well. I continue to remain active at California State University, Northridge and in politics. I swim 35 laps in our resurfaced fiberglass, upgraded equipment thirty-seven year-old lap pool, with decorative tiles to remind us of sea creatures in Nevis. Last year, I suffered a severe tendon tear and a PRP treatment resolved the problem. I do continue to trip and so am focusing on that issue as well, so that Lee and I can continue our shorter and less strenuous hikes, and travel. Other than that, I constantly thank the Universe that our family, and Lee and I are all okay.
Let me close by noting that my book Soul to Soul Connection and Communication is in the final phase before Page Publishing production. The book will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google play, and Apple in the fall. In addition, AUDIOBOOKNETWORK is narrating the book. In my book, I note that my family moved to Bexley, one of the most upscale suburbs in Ohio, which had a large Jewish population. Fifty years later, the Bexley City School District remains among the most outstanding school systems in the country and ranks exceedingly high in the state. I am quite pleased that improving diversity, equity, and, and inclusion is being addressed within the Bexley City School System. You have to be aware to care, and if you care you are aware is the tagline of Soul to Soul Connection and Communication. The entire message isto enhance, inspire, and uplift to promote well-being, civility, and inclusion. The most significant section of the more than 500 page is the twenty-page section titled Prejudice and Racism.
Journey in peace, joy, health, connections, and safety, and enjoy life along the way.
Greetings from sunny Southern California,