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June 19, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

Memories Of Jenny McShnooddles

Today's song is Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers, released in 1971.

Yesterday was Father's Day and in the evening I received a nice call from my daughter, Jenny. As I fell asleep last night, my thoughts drifted off to someone I haven't seen in a long time, Jenny McShnooddles.

I first met Jenny McShnooddles around 1981 or 82. I was working in my home office in Berkeley, Illinois when I heard a knock on my office door. I turned and saw her, she introduced herself very politely. She said she was walking through the neighborhood and wanted to stop by and say hello. She bore a strong resemblance to my young daughter, except Jenny McShnooddles was wearing a hat and carrying a purse. It was the first of many visits over the next four or five years.

I never knew when Jenny McShnooddles was going to show up at my office door. The visits never lasted very long, but she used her time in a friendly and inquisitive manner. She was never at a loss for words or ideas, no matter how different they might be.

One time Jenny McShnooddles came to my office door with an idea that took me by surprise. She told me she had a baby recently and she showed me a "baby" that looked a lot like my daughter's favorite doll. I was a bit nervous for a few seconds so I asked when she had gotten "married". She told me, "I'm not married! I just wanted to have a baby!"

It's a good thing I was sitting down. After I recovered my composure I asked the baby's name. Jenny McShnooddles answered that she hadn't named the baby yet, she was wondering if I could give her a name. For some reason I couldn't think of one as the relapse of a few moments earlier returned. Jenny McShnooddles left soon after, apparently looking for someone else that could help. She wasn't the only one looking for relief.

About twenty years ago, Jenny McShnooddles stopped showing up at my office door. She never said goodbye, she just went away--somewhere. It took a while for me to accept that I was never going to see her again. But, I just recently realized that my soon to be born granddaughter may run into Jenny McShnooddles, in about five or six years from now. So I'll just bide my time until then.

I've missed the talks with Jenny McShnooddles. I've had a lot of time to think about what I want to say to her next time.


My Twin Oaks Toastmasters club again achieved the Presidents Distinguished Club award for this Toastmaster year. This is the third year in-a-row for us and the first time we, as a club achieved all ten goals to reach that award. We have a very strong club with people at all levels of skill. We know how to help each other succeed by improving our speaking and leadership skills.


Friday night, Sherry and I watched the DVD movie, An Unfinished Life. It was a believable story of how people react with grief and then after a period of time come face-to-face with who they have been and then, who they want to become after emerging from their grief.


Here's an interesting article on how the DMCA is eliminating consumer choice. Hollywood wants to run your life by dictating how you can use products you purchase for entertainment. They really need to catch the wave! If you own older video playing and recording devices, you may just want to keep them in good operating condition, so that they can continue to give you the freedom you once had.


Larry Dalke recently emailed me and told me his son just graduated from high school. He wrote that the ceremony caused him to reflect on our high school graduation, held June 19, 1968 at Medinah Temple in Chicago.

It was a very hot and humid night and the facility had no air-conditioning. The place was pretty much filled to capacity so you can imagine how uncomfortable it was in there. We graduates also were wearing gowns making the sitting there unbearable.

I remember my Mom, brother Rusty, and my girlfriend sitting in the balcony above me, smiling down at me. It was a proud night for all involved. The high school friends I am in touch with remember the night with the same enthusiasm that I do. We were true to ourselves then and we are still proud of it thirty-eight years later.


I found an article that helps explain why men change when they become fathers. I believe it happens to expectant Grandfather's too!


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