Blueberry Soup

... at this time of the year, I get very nostalgic

by Betty Rossi

At our Stringer meeting last week, we
were once again speaking about Ann Talbot, a Stringer that
we had seemed to have lost contact with. Unbeknownst to
us, she had passed on in October. Ann was a contributer
who would pop into our meetings every now and then, but
would faithfully write her articles and submit them to us.
She will be missed.

Thinking of Ann brought to mind other Stringers, like Joan
Acala, such a beautiful person. She always looked so
wonderful, you never knew that she wasn't feeling well. She
is missed.

Tom. When Tom Dillon passed on, I
felt, and still feel, like I lost a family member. He was so
upbeat, and the sicker he got, the braver he became. He
was full of the Dickens and even after he lost his voice, he
would make me laugh until tears rolled down my face. He
had so many wonderful stories of when he was in the
service and his days as a cheese-man. I would tell him to
write down these memories, but I know that he never wrote
them all.

I will miss him and think about him forever.

Dorothy O'Connor. Dorothy loved coming to our meetings. She
would push her walker with the basket and always had a goodie
or two to share with us. Dorothy would bring us shortbreads
and cakes to taste. She spoke about Blueberry Soup, a cold,
old soup and how wonderful this "soup" was. She sent me the recipe. I will
probably never make her version, but will keep her letter

John Averell, God bless him. The brains of our outfit,
he wrote our publishing map and  bails
us out, month after month while he threatens us of his
retirement. Oh please John, don't abandon us!

And Joe Sullivan. Soft of voice, mighty
of pen. Joe would eat an apple at every meeting when we
were in the "Big" room. Now that we meet in the conference
room, he has no apple, drinks water, informs us of the
happenings at the Park Department meetings, and tells us
about the escapades of Joe Ratigan.

Deb Collar. writer extraordinaire! Our
newbie Stringer. Glad that she found us.

Don Norris, with the arm span of an
eagle and the eye of a tiger, keeps us going month after
month with his stories and pictures. He is such a dynamic
personality, who scares me when he speaks of his

Shirley Rabb, who took me with her on
her trip to Africa through her pictures, is a wonderful
photographer with an eye for the ordinary, which she
makes extraordinary by her articulate writing. Not only
does she write about her own adventures, she shares Casa,
the dog's viewpoint and escapades with us.

Kay, dear, dear Kay. She's got a
million stories in that wonderful head of hers. When I say,
"Kay, write it down", she'll tell me, "read my article on
Antarctica". She faithfully records our meeting notes, in
shorthand. No one questions her notes or can read them.

Florence, so quiet, but becoming quite
the writer, traveler and photographer. Busy girl, keep
writing our Trivia.

Louise Fennell, so talented as a writer
and now, as a television personality and hostess of her own
show. I miss you at our meetings, even if you are just
saying, "hmmm, interesting." You remind me of the swans
at Ell Pond, graceful and quiet on the outside, paddling like
heck inside. You can see those wheels turning, always

Steve Johnson, our Arizona Stringer,
writer of wonderful Melrose memories and my old
neighbor, remembers me from when we were young and
has even sent me the pictures to prove it! He pops in with a
story every now and then.

Talented Carol Nelson. Where are you?
Your poetry is deep and meaningful. You are missed. Are
you making another dress? Is your bird in hibernation?

Dr. Ed Boyd is our reviewer of books.
We don't get to see him much, but he's another great writer
who we always look forward to hearing from. We know that
he is watching and can't make it to all of our meetings in
person, but we enjoy his editorial critiques.

I know that the Jacks are out there.
Jack Driscoll, even though he is very quiet, watches over us
like an old mother hen. When all else fails, we go to Jack for
his opinion. Jack Beckley used to write for and to us every now and then.
Where are you, Jack?

We have "Thoughts While Shaving" by Jim Tierney every
month. He is like the Phantom. We never see him, but we
know that he is out there, thinking and writing every

I know that Russ Priestley and Carol Tate are still writing, as
I see them both tapping away at their respective computers.
We pass the time of day, but seem to be busy, doing our
own thing.

Dorothy O'Connor would say how wonderful her Blueberry Soup
was and I will keep her recipe and letter forever.

Me, I'm old and wheezy. I have so many stories rolling
around in my head and I always say, "Oh, I don't have to
write that down, I'll remember it." Well, guess what? If it
wasn't for the Stringers, I probably would never have known
these wonderful people.

They are my Blueberry Soup.

May 1, 2015

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