Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kenton Ridge

This is the name of a High School maybe 3 or 4 miles from us at The Grand Court, out in the County.

I have three events involving Kenton Ridge that I want to write about.

The first is the nearly 150 strong Kenton Ridge Marching Band.

As they have done at least one time before (the last month Jean and I were here in 2007, actually), the Band Director mentioned that they come “every other year”.

Three School Buses drove onto Vester Avenue from Villa Road, and parked along the street that had been blocked off by the City.

They were scheduled to appear at 4:45 PM, so at 4:30, my BlackBerry alarm went off, reminding me that I’d better get out the front door if I wanted to see the Band arrive.

I joined maybe 40 residents, plus some neighbor friends, in front of our facility, in chairs provided by the Staff.

Before long, we could hear noise, counting, and a whistle from down the street on Vester, and pretty soon, the drums announced the beginning of their march into our parking lot. 150 marchers FILLED our lot. Just their marching, chanting and drum action was thrilling. They marched just as they do on the Football Field, entered our lot, and paused.

The Director then announced the next several songs they were to play, and then they did so, one by one, as they entertained us.

The drums, trumpets, clarinets and other instruments thrilled us, as well as the way they shifted while marching in step, before us as they played.

Of course, our Intrepid Activity Director, Timi Neff, had to get on the roof of our facility to take pictures.

One of the results:

This visit by the band was part of their planned trip to Greenon High School, to play at the Football Game between their team, and the Kenton Ridge Varsity.

Applause, whistles and yells of support were given by those of us watching.

After their playing, the Dirctor announced that they would march back to their buses to stow their instruments, then return for the Hot Dogs and Pepsis that the Grand Court staff had prepared.

The band members “parked” on the front lawn, mostly sitting on the ground and talking while waiting for, and eating their supper.

They must have been relaxing there for over an hour, and our “family” interacted with them, expressing our appreciation and praise for their coming, and then entertaining us.

Right after they marched to their buses to deposit their instrtuments, I retired to the Dining Room for our evening meal, consisting of French Onion Soup, and Sirloin Beef Tips.

I didn’t tarry there long, though, since I wanted to interact with the young people, to tell them of our appreciation for their coming, and commending them for their “terrific” playing (I used that word.)

While doing that, Judy Falloon, the Marketing Director of The Grand Court, began taking pictures of the young people on the lawn after they had eaten. I was mingling with them expressing my feeling about what they had done, and Judy asked me if I couldn’t just pose with some of them for a picture.

At first, someone mentioned “tumbling”, and a “human pyramid” with me on the top, but wiser heads suggested one of the Band members try to lift and carry me, instead. Look!

After that, Judy asked some of those close to her (there were nearly 150 of them there, after all), if they would congregate around the outdoor sign of The Grand Court. Some of them started over there, along with me, and I gave one of my LOUD whistles - getting their attention - and asking them to assemble there “and smile” when I gave the cue.

They did, and Judy got the picture.

When this was completed, I walked with Judy back toward the front of the building, along with one of the “bus drivers”, I discovered. Judy said that the driver had suggested that she take a picture of me, pretending to drive one of the buses. (I’m so open to suggestion like this, that I immediately agreed to permit it. Some day, I might be sorry I was so willing. Remember? The pic of me on the ground wearing a sack in the Easter Sack race? No injury, thankfully.)

We walked over to the bus, and here’s the result of that:

When I got back to where the Hot Dogs and Pepsis were, there were only 6 or 7 “dogs” left, but I was too full to take any.

Timi, her husband Steve (whom I had just met for the first time), Pam, Jeff, and Karl started “cleaning up”, and returning chairs, tables, ice chests etc. to their proper places.

The Band was still present, but just talking and relaxing.

Since I had to get some things from Kmart, as well as cash for “tomorrow”, I went back inside to my room, then to my car. By the time I got out to the parking lot and my car, the buses had been loaded, and driven away.

That’s not the last I want to say about Kenton Ridge.

The Kenton Ridge Reserve football game with the Reserve team from Greenon is.

On Saturday, 7 of us plus Timi assembled on the bus to go to the Kenton Ridge/Greenon Reserve Football Game - at KR.

It’s only 3 or 4 miles north of us.

Though our family was living in Northridge when the Kenton Ridge School was built, John and Martha attended, and were graduated from Northeastern before that. Jim had been graduated from Lane Tech High School in Chicago, just before we moved here.

So, I had never been “back” behind the school to the Athletic Fields before. What a nice group of sports fields there.

Timi had taken along some of the “folded-up, portable” chairs so we could sit on the field level.

Timi’s son Caleb played on both offense and defense, so we were quite interested in watching him - and the whole game, of course.

Look at this “old codger”, intent on the game (we hope), oblivious of anyone else around.

The game began at 10AM, and we were back at the Grand Court for lunch at about 12:30. Sloppy Joes were waiting for us when we returned.

KR won the game 42-6, and it was especially exciting when Caleb intercepted a pass on his own 10 yard line, then sprinted the length of the field for a touchdown.

However, there was a penalty call against KR, and the score was negated.

One more event from Kenton Ridge - but two or three weeks later.

The daughter of our Grand Court Office Manager Lisa plays Volley Ball at KR, so Timi suggested to our residents that we might want to go see her play.

I think maybe 7 of us gathered together on the bus and went to the game.

Volley Ball is certainly different from when WE played - or even our kids played. Nearly all the rules have changed.

When the “referee” called one foul, I turned around and asked my neighbor behind me if he knew what was the call, and lo and behold, it was a friend of maybe 30 to 40 years named Paul. We greeted each other kindly.

Timi said, “I knew you’d find someone you knew!”

Our team won two out of three games.

Seems no more than right that I print the ONLY recognizable picture of Katie (daughter of Lisa) that I have. When Lisa saw it, she said it was “awesome”, since Katie’s best friend was behind her in the photo.

Another surprise was when I saw Ernie and Irene coming into the stands. Ernie used to be on the WEEC Board when I was President. I greeted them and Timi just stared at me. They went up to a higher level in the stands.

Between games, I went up the steps to greet Ernie and Irene. They were there to watch their granddaughter play.

I got more than a kind stare, though, when I came back down the bleachers after going up to greet Ernie and Irene.

When I started up, Timi, said,

“Go to the aisle”.

I didn’t, but just climbed over the benches.

That was OK then, but coming back down, I got careless stepping over the seats, and little by little, I slipped down on my hands and knees. I heard gasps from the spectators. I turned around and waved at everybody.

Timi was too far down the bleachers to see the fall, but she said she heard it. I got a scowl when I returned to her row.

A couple of weeks ago, not in Timi’s presence, one of our lady residents said to me, after mentioning something Timi did, said,

“I dearly love that girl.”

I said, “We all do!”

In fact I sincerely believe that Timi is “called” to take care of us old people. I told her that, and she said,

“I say that all the time!”

We old timers really appreciate the love and concern of our family members as well as our “care providers”. That’s why we’re at The Grand Court. We NEED to be “cared for” - careless as we are.

When we left the game, I went to the aisle, and walked down - carefully.

(Didn’t want another scowl from Timi, our “Mother”!)


I guess that covers Kenton Ridge.

Only thing missing was a photo of my fall. I’ll bet you would have enjoyed it - since I wasn’t hurt. It was SOOO graceful!

Oh well, “Ya can’t win ‘em all!”


I guess I COULD re-create it, and ask Timi to photograph it.



Ryan Neff said...

You are just to funny. Thank you so much for all your kind remarks.

Grandpa Mike said...

Just tellin' it like it is, Ma'am!

Glad you appreciate my "hummer", or is it "hoomer", or hyou-murr?

Grandpa Mike