In 1943, four women who were live-in maids in Ottawa Hills homes became acquainted when they rode a city bus downtown.
''We all had the same day off,'' remembers Evangeline Pentz.
They became friends. Evangeline had come to Toledo from North Dakota. Frieda Rechnagle was from Yugoslavia. Lorene Roy was from Pemberville. Agnes Ejhinger had come from Clyde.
Each married a serviceman returning from World War II.
After the women no longer were maids, they remained close friends. Their families grew together, they picnicked together, traveled together, went to their children's weddings and to funerals of three of the husbands.
Now, 57 years later, the women get together every month.
''We children called them Aunt Frieda, Aunt Lorene, and Aunt Agnes,'' says Ruth Zarembski, Evangeline's daughter.
The tree climber
Seeing a feature story written by Christine Brennan on the front page of yesterday's edition of USA Today reminded Jim Murtagh of when Chris was growing up in Toledo.
Christine, once an intern at The Blade, is an author, national columnist, television panelist, and former sportswriter for the Washington Post.
''Chris is a real success story,'' Jim said. ''But I remember when she was just one of the kids. She fell out of our tree and broke her arm, but that didn't stop her any more than anything else ever did.''
In Genoa, today, Jerry Keller turned 52. His wife, Rosemarie was born in 1952.
Later this month, Rosemarie will be 48. Jerry was born in 1948.
Former Toledoan Rosetta Miller, now living in Roswell, Ga., returned to tour the remade Valentine Theatre.
She recalled the original Valentine and a day in the 1920s when Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton appeared onstage.
''She said Toledoans Melvin and Sheldon Miller, twin brothers, went on the stage and they all danced together,'' said Erv Mixer of Toledo.
From Cloverdale, in Putnam County, Ruth Heitzman of the historical society wrote to scold us for adding an ''h'' to an item about the former Crawfis College.
A marker on State Rt. 15 notes where the college stood 1888-1940.
''I grew up on the bank of the Auglaize River, where crawfish pinched our toes,'' Ruth said, adding that the children of the Crawfis family often ''had to endure an 'h' added to their name.
''Otho Crawfis had many descendants, so they probably were used to it.''
Retired teacher Mitch Pappas (30 years at Start High) held granddaughter Maria Pappas, born in 1997, in a playful hug while she gleefully tried to get away.
Letting her go, Milt said, ''OK, now you're free.''
''No, I'm not, Grandpa,'' Maria said with a frown, ''I'm 2!''
The Last Word
''One of the hardest things about business is minding your own,'' Chuck Campbell reminded fellow Perrysburg Rotarians.
Got a funny or unusual story? Call Mike Tressler, 724-6107, or send to The Blade, Box 921, Toledo, O. 43660, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.