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Not the party I had in mind | News, Sports, Jobs

Once upon a time, in what seems like a very long time ago, two people met and a year later, along with two little girls, began a marital/family affair that spanned 43 years and hopefully ended. will continue for a long time.

Our parents then gave us a bedroom set for a wedding gift. This same set, although worn by time, still serves us today (a few new mattresses and a new spring, however). After we got married, we bought a new five-piece living room set (sling sofa, sling loveseat, two end tables, and a coffee table), believe it or not, for $200. The end tables and coffee table still grace our living room to this day, although I made a few tweaks to fit the sports museum theme of our living room. The dresser and sideboard from our dining room set, purchased from relatives shortly after our wedding, still stand in our dining room, solid as rocks, made right here in Jamestown at Maddox Furniture.

We’re still using devices that have held up for many years, I’m driving a car that’ll turn 21 as part of our family in less than a year, I haven’t seen my upper lip since I got grew mustache back in my freshman year of high school (1970), all saying, we lived the philosophy, “If it is not broke, do not fix it” and or “If it works, keep doing it.” We believe in people and things that last, just like our marriage.

It also seems to have trickled down to our jobs in the last 43 years we’ve known each other. I have spent the last 45 years in education which includes pre-class replacement teaching, 31 years in Jamestown classrooms, summer tutoring, post-retirement replacement and adding coaching and/or officiating for 50 years before, during and after my years of employment, as they also involved working with children and in some cases communicating with parents. For three years after we got married, Sally had more than one job, sometimes three at a time, to help us stay solvent and keep that 39-cent-a-pound chicken on our table, often five to six times a week. After these three years, however, she decided to change careers and chose to keep the children in our house. Her decision also allowed her to be home when our children were out of school, sick or had a day off from school. Her decision meant a non-pay sacrifice when her kids didn’t come for whatever reason, no paid sick days when she was sick, no paid snow/vacation/summer days at school, no benefits benefits (life and/or health insurance, or a retirement plan, unless we contributed to those things ourselves) and for having to pay social security tax, because she claimed her income from the IRS every year.

For the past 40 years, Miss Sally has served young people (and I can’t remember how many because there have been so many), as a surrogate (not a replacement), and later a grandmother of the many children she helped raise.

Her business has seen some of the children she has seen grow up, marry and have children of their own, a former “headquarters” had children that Sally looked after when they were also in their preschool years, earning it multi-generational business status.

I was impressed with how Sally organized and planned her days with her children, balancing recreational, educational, indoor and outdoor activities, arts and crafts (including holiday gifts for parents), quiet time, song and dance time, naps, and TV time, while emphasizing table behavior responsibilities, manners, picking up/putting toys in their place, sharing, and playing nicely together. She even helped the parents of her children “P” train many of the children she has watched over. She had a place of time out and created routines that she instilled in the minds of the children she watched. I’ve seen so much more about how organized she is in her business since I retired and being home more often than when I was teaching full time. In these far too few words to paint a full picture of Sally’s career, she was and is incredibly brilliant.

Flashback to last Friday, June 24 at 5 p.m., when Miss Sally officially retired from service to children and their parents as the surrogate mother and grandmother she has been to so many over the of the past 40 years. I wanted to throw a retirement party in honor of Sally for the remarkable influence she has had on so many children over the years she has babysat. She certainly deserved recognition for her career, but in typical Sally fashion, she told me she didn’t want a huge party. She conceded to let me take her out to dinner, where we met a few friends and at least got to toast her incredible accomplishments over the past 40+ years.

Not exactly the party I wanted to throw for you Miss Sally, but a big party or a quiet dinner, I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, be more proud of the job you’ve done and the person you you are. Congratulations on a fantastic career!

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