Mondays with Melitas – January 25, 2016

SEVEN YEARS LATER                                             JANUARY 25, 2016


Today is Saturday, January 23, 2016. The Warden and I had a couple of visitors. I had to scramble around and dress hurriedly and there is no such word in my brain’s dictionary as “hurriedly” anymore — “slow as molasses” is more like it.

Jennifer and Mike arrived, and after much hugging, we planted ourselves on the sofa, where a non-stop gab fest began. We had not seen each other since 2009. Now then, Jennifer is a granddaughter of one of my oldest and dearest pals since 1938. Gram was none other than Bertha Petinack Ragan Tickey. She was, and remains a star of stars in Women’s Softball. She accomplished records (stats) which probably will never be broken. Just one is that she won 762 games and lost only 88 with 161 no hit, no run games. She holds the all-time record for single game strikeouts in a National Tournament with 20 in 7 innings in 1953 and then named to the National Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 1972, [Google her to finish the list.] Sadly, she went on her “big vacation” in 2014.

Naturally, the conversation was about Bertha and my closeness to her. I was invited to Dinuba because I had been Bertha’s first catcher in high level Women’s Softball League which played from Phoenix, to Orange to Long Beach, to Santa Ana, Fresno, and Portland, OR. That isn’t all of the teams but it gives you some idea.

On January 23, 2009, Alba and I were invited to attend a momentous occasion in Dinuba, CA, where Bertha was living. Dinuba High School was dedicating a brand new softball field in honor of her.

Sitting there, we went on to remember March 2009. That was my fifteen minutes of fame. I had been honored to be the Grand Marshal of the San Juan Capistrano Annual Swallows Day Parade, and it was fitting that Bertha attend, along with daughter and two granddaughters. So that conversation went on for awhile. Those were days never to be forgotten, and here is what we didn’t realize until later: January 23, 2009, we were all at Bertha’s dedication, and here we were today, the exact day seven years later!

Jennifer’s mom (Janice) is quite the Entrepreneur. She has a Candy business up in Sonoma area: Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia, CA,; Columbia Candy in Sonora; and Nelson’s Candies in Murphy, CA.

I now have a beautiful heart-shaped box of Valentine candy sent from Janice via Jennifer and Mike. Thank you one and all.



Sweet Memories.


MELITAS FORSTSER                                     MONDAYS WITH MELITASberthabig

17 Comments to “Mondays with Melitas – January 25, 2016”

  1. So glad you’re back Melitas!

    I loved your trip down memory lane about women’s softball – those were the days, huh? It sounds like you had so much fun.

    Take care of yourself and don’t overdo it on those Valentine chocolates – you too Alba!


  2. Hi Melitas,

    Every Monday morning, I check my email, for word from Alba, that the author has written another story. At that time, I know my Monday morning will be a good for a smile or two.

    Thank you for the positive start of my week! ♡♡♡♡♡

  3. Loved the blog today, you are an inspiration

  4. Melitas, it’s always a treat to read your writings. Keep it up! Love you!


    SO I W

  6. Dear Mena,

    What a great story with ever better memories.


  7. Dear Mena,

    What a great story with ever better memories.


  8. Holy buckets! 762 winning games? That’s a sh*tload! (Pardon the french, I’m just a little jealous you’ve already got your valentines candy!) Bertha sounds like she was an amazing athlete and friend. Isn’t it wonderful when we cross paths with people who bring us such joy both in living, and in past remembrances? Thanks for sharing. xxx from Alaska

  9. Whoa… mean the One and Only Bertha Ragan???? Even us mid-western corn balls heard of her. I did hear that you actually were her catcher at one time. Kinda sounded like a fantasy to me, but I guess I gotta believe it now. Keep those tall tails coming ole timer. I love ya dearly.

  10. Well it was nice to check my mail and see you are writing again!! It’s always interesting to read about your past experiences. Keep it up! Have a great week. Both of you.


  11. What joy to read about your visit with Jenny and Mike, she called to tell me what an absolute delight it was… . your recollections are amazing, and making new memories is what life is all about…….. thanks for the joy you spread…….you, and the Warden are lots of peoples valentine…… love janice

  12. Melitas – You are loved because of your own love of life. An inspiration
    for all women! I guess I could be “cousin bat”??? Since old bat and little
    bat are already taken. Gerri Johnson the redhead!

  13. Melitas,
    Read your blog every time you write. I find it interesting to have a small window into your very interesting life.
    A golfer friend – Michele

  14. Hi Melitas! I’m so happy you are back writing again! I remember meeting Jennifer, her mom Janice and Bertha at the Swallows Day Parade when you were the Grand Marshal. I enjoyed them all very much; such nice people.

  15. I so enjoy your posts. Monday’s are always better hearing your life tales.

    What a life…softball with a legend to Grand Marshall in the SJ Capistrano parade!
    What haven’t you done?

    You are a fantastic woman n of course the Warden (Alba) is right up there with you.


  16. Glad to hear you are back with the pen and pencil or is it the computer.
    What a wonderful visit you had with your friends. Visits like that are so important and we often just take them for granted. God Bless you, my friend.

  17. Read your blog every time you write. I find it interesting to have a small window into your very interesting life.

Leave a Reply

"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

Read More: Writing Teacher Reviews

Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

writing retreats for women

International Directory of Writing Workshops