Our yard is not the only place that has changed, for when I trekked down the woodland path recently I found the yellow goldenrod, berry bushes and other wild growth had completely covered the valley, and the creek was almost dry. I had thought the recent rains would have had it gurgling its merry way across the valley, but apparently there hasn’t been enough of it. I was thankful that Bill had kept the path open by going up and down it during the summer.
Speaking of Bill, we celebrated his “young” 84th birthday last week on Tuesday. I have made him his favorite cake for almost every year since 1948. His choice has changed three times over those years. This year it was a white cake with boiled frosting and coconut. The earlier years it was yellow cake with fudge frosting or yellow with maple syrup.
As usual on his special day, all our kids came down or called him and almost every day he found birthday cards in the mailbox, some humorous and others more serious. One interesting card gave some interesting facts about things that happened on his special day, Aug. 16, 1927. For instance, did you know on that day the following well known, important people were also born?
Captain Kangaroo, Richard Crenna, Peter Falk, Althea Gibson, Coretta Scott King, Eartha Kitt, Patti Page, Janet Leigh, Leontyne Price, Rosalynn Carter, Clint Walker, Roger Moore and Estelle Parson.
Also on that day, the first Gerber Baby Foods, Hostess Cakes, Armored car hold-up, Pittsburgh car radios, wall-mounted can openers, automatic record changer, LaSalle with its flying wing fenders by GM, octane rating system in gasoline, iron lung, video tape recorder and Model A Ford first appeared on the market. Bill once told about how in their youth, he and his other North Clymer buddies piled into a Model A, driving to the Findley Lake Skating Rink. You can get other details from one of those guys.
Several other facts were mentioned concerning one born on Aug. 16, 1927: your heart has beat 3,05 billion times; you have blinked 515.0 million times; you have slept 232.4 thousand hours; you have been alive 43.6 million minutes; you have taken 654.4 million breaths; and you have drank 1,826 gallons of milk. I don’t know who found all of those statistics or if they are true, but it is rather fun to contemplate.
Some fun facts listed were: About 150,000 gallons of water flow over Niagara Falls every second; the first Eagle Scout was Arthur R. Eldred from Troop 1 in Oceanside (May 1912); Oneida is home to the world’s smallest church - its dimensions are 3.5’ by 6’.
I think one can purchase a variety of cards that give similar information about other birthday dates. The writer or writers that design them must be “history buffs.”
I doubt Bill would be into history that much, but he reads a lot of western books which often include such material and various autobiography’s and biography books, often about various sports people, former leaders or other topics he’s interested. Nevertheless, he remains quite active although he’s given up playing sports, except golf.
Bill is a good, honest, faithful husband and a wonderful father and grandfather. From the birth of our first child, he has held them and helped care for them, making my motherhood tasks easier. He still enjoys holding, teasing and playing with children all ages. He also continues working though not as many hours as in yesteryear. This summer he has been cutting wood for our winter heat and is still at it. He saws the logs, transports the wood to the yard and piles it. Therefore, our kids and grandkids won’t have to cut as much when they all come for that task. Some of them will also help splitting it with a splitter.
We have both grown in our faith over the years and have been richly blest by God. We thank Him for all that He has done in our lives and I thank Him that I have the best husband and I believe he is the most important man ever born on Aug. 16, 1927.
Hopefully he will still be my sweetheart if he reads this column.
Photo by Elaine G. Cole
Bill Cole recently celebrated his 84th birthday, though he still cuts and prepares wood for winter heat.