In the midst of political uproar, soaring gas prices, and disasters around the world, a heartwarming and down-to-earth event occurs every Wednesday morning. Seven to 10 ladies meet for breakfast at the Green Lantern on Broadway near downtown Toledo.
The restaurant has been around for more than half a century and is well known to many who work in the city and have tasted the good, wholesome food. The ladies are retired nurses from the Toledo Visiting Nurse Service, an agency that has provided home care to the community for about 110 years.
The nurses have been breakfasting together for at least 10 years and at the Green Lantern for five years. The owner, Moe, is most accommodating to our group. The gals who cook have become our friends, and at least every two months we celebrate a birthday complete with cake and presents.
We have rejoiced over weddings, births, Hens games, and grandkids; we have cried when loved ones and colleagues died, and we all travel through pictures when one of us takes a trip. We hash over the rigors of aging, share symptoms, and pass around advice on living with ailing spouses. One of us always knows the best way to plant a tree, refinish a floor, piece a quilt, or cook a turkey. We pray for each other, our families, and our friends. One gal regularly lights candles on our behalf at the outdoor shrine on Hill Avenue. There is nothing quite like long and deep friendships.
In this age of mass communication but "nobody knows your name," these two Toledo landmarks combine for a huge prescription of Midwest friendliness and caring.
Special day recalls the power of love
The history of "Loving Day" is this: Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving were arrested in Virginia in 1958 for the crime of being married. Mildred was black; Richard was white. They were given the choice of 1 to 3 years in prison or being banished from the state for 25 years. They chose exile over prison. Nine years later, on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court unanimously declared Virginia's law unconstitutional. On June 12, "Loving Day," we celebrate that people should not be criminalized for loving each other.
Wherever I go around Toledo, I always keep my eyes open to spot unconventional couples. I see them of all ages and races. Sometimes they have lovely children running around them. It makes me smile. My own marriage is interracial.
To all those couples whose love transcends traditional stereotypes, happy Loving Day.
The Rev. Ed Heilman
Obama offers proof of reincarnation
After living through the time when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was hawking "peace in our time" through negotiations with Nazi dictators, and then hearing how Sen. Barack Obama likes the negotiations tactic, it makes me wonder if "reincarnation" might have some validity to it.
Joseph V. Kubasek
Animals are victims of Wood Co. couple
The Blade's May 27 story about the Perrysburg Township couple's concern for animals that went too far turned my stomach. Barbara Heidtman took very little, if any, of the blame for what happened. She seemed to see herself as a powerless victim, and The Blade seemed to buy her story.
I know many animal lovers, and not one of them has over 100 pets. Beyond the sheer number of dogs in her home, let's consider that her dogs bred with each other on more than one occasion. Shockingly, she seemed surprised by this, and didn't have any of them spayed or neutered. Based on what I have read and witnessed, the dogs taken in were underfed, had mange, and many needed to see a vet. Ms. Heidtman's good intentions could only go so far, the dogs were left to suffer the consequences of her decisions.
Finally, The Blade failed to mention that the dog Dottie was in a foster home with a great family that was willing to adopt her permanently. Ms. Heidtman was given the chance to get one dog back as a part of her settlement, and she pulled Dottie out of a loving home while leaving five other dogs at the shelter. How selfish can one person be?
At the end of the day, Ms. Heidtman's actions were misguided and irresponsible. The Blade needs to remember who the victims are in this story.
Pet owner does not deserve sympathy
Great picture of Dottie, the dog returned to the family from whom she was rescued in February. Too bad The Blade didn't run a "before" picture showing how she looked the night she was brought to the Wood County Humane Society. None of the dogs looked anything like the picture when they came to the shelter.
I was at the shelter that night as a volunteer. The dogs were dirty, urine soaked, and incredibly matted. Many were emaciated, sick, and several had such severe cases of mange that they were practically hairless.
The cats were in equally bad shape. Almost all were extremely sick with respiratory and eye infections. One is permanently blind because his eye infection was never treated before he was brought to the shelter.
Ms. Heidtman's self-serving interview gave the impression that her only crime was to care too much for the animals. She lived with them, saw their suffering on a daily basis, and ignored it. The Humane Society was overwhelmed by the number of animals and the expense of feeding and medicating them, not to mention the man-hours to care for them. Fortunately, the public responded with money and volunteers, essentially doing for these pets what the Heidtmans refused to do.
The Blade's story paints a very sympathetic portrait of Ms. Heidtman. She talks at length about how hard this experience has been for her. At no point does she express regret for the suffering her dogs and cats endured while living with her. I hope readers will not waste sympathy on these people but, instead, direct it to the dogs and cats abused by them. The Heidtmans deserve nothing but contempt.
Where's our share of entitlement pie?
Recently, CBS Evening News reported that California received over $170 million dollars to help the salmon fishermen in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's district. Please tell me that the 9th District, represented by long-sitting Rep. Marcy Kaptur, is going to be getting the same amount to help the laid-off manufacturing workers, both union and nonunion, in northwest Ohio.
It seems wrong to me that both Nancy and Marcy have served about the same length of time in Congress, but the good people in northwest Ohio are once again shorted their fair share of the entitlement pie. But as we all know, northwest Ohio has been on the short end of entitlement money since Miss Kaptur has been in office. So, Marcy, when can the good residents of northwest Ohio begin looking for our fair share of the entitlement money?
TV ads disrupted by pesky auto race
I spent a recent Sunday afternoon watching television commercials and becoming very irritated by the continued breaks showing some auto race called the Indianapolis 500. I would think the television network would know better than to break into the commercials to show some sort of auto race.
As a Roman Catholic, I cannot think of anything more despicable than a Roman Catholic priest making a fool of himself in front of a congregation. Both the Rev. Michael Phlegar and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright have done more to undo the hopes of Sen. Barack Obama's campaign than any Republican could hope for.
While I do not agree with Senator Obama's overall view on the right to life, I am deeply troubled that people who call Senator Obama a friend would go to such lengths to undo his campaign.