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.