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Published: Saturday, 2/10/2001

Please, they want some real gruel

Had any gruel lately?

At Bedford High School, Sue Smith is preparing 80 students for the coming production of Oliver. Among her jobs is digging up props and facts about Victorian England.

“But I have a snag,” she says. “I've tried to explain to the kids what exactly is gruel!”

In the play, orphans are seen eating their daily bowl of gruel.

“If anyone has a recipe for gruel, call me (734-850-6131),” Sue says. “I can't guarantee we'll eat it onstage but the kids will get a lesson on the hardship of living in a workhouse and having only gruel to eat.”

Dorothy Swinghammer, 84, has a particular Toledo distinction.

In January, 1945, she entered Toledo Women's and Children's Hospital and delivered a baby boy, Charles, Jr.

A few days later, she was discharged from Riverside Hospital.

“While I was there, they changed the hospital's name,” Dorothy laughs.

“His birth certificate says Women's and Children's but by the time he was taken home there was no such hospital.”

“Put on your hats and cover your ears so the flu bug won't get you,” Shawna Good told children Samantha, 5, and Sabrina, 4, as they prepared for Blessed Sacrament School in Toledo.

Minutes later, the children were screaming from upstairs: “Mom, help! The flu bug is here!”

Mrs. Good rushed up to find a fly buzzing the bathroom.

Was a missing cat calling for help? Bernard Kroggel of Toledo locked a backyard shed for the night.

In the morning, a kitten was missing. Mewing led Bernard and his wife, Dora, to the shed where they found the cat, and a phone off the hook. ``Looks like she was trying to call us,'' Bernard said.

“Gossip is tasty.

How we love to swallow it.”

Sign outside St. James Lutheran Church in Toledo.

On Monday, John Watkins, a University of Toledo senior, will be seen on the TV show The Price is Right.

It was taped when John was in California, says mom Rita Watkins.

How did he do? The only clue we'll give is that John did not return to Toledo empty-handed.

Pinochle players will understand this: At a game at VFW Post 5530 in Toledo, Jack Smiczek, George Mezinko, and Stan Wojciechowski each held a straight and fourth player Rich Podgorski had 1,510 with 11 spades.

“The chances of that happening, where all players have straights and one a double straight is less likely to occur than winning the lottery,” noted Stan Swat.

“Will they bring back the gong?”

So asked Ivan Hite when fellow Wauseon councilman Jerry Dehnbostel announced that the INTV station would hold a community talent show to raise funds.

Mike Tressler is a Blade columnist. E-mail him at mtressler@theblade.com, call 1-419-724-6107, or mail an item at The Blade, Box 921, Toledo, O. 43660.mtressler@theblade.com

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