First of all, Spring has finally hit, and the color purple looms large in the land. A friend gave me some swamp iris a few years ago, and although it doesn't last very long, when it's blooming it positively glows. John planted another lilac bush a couple of years ago and that, too, is a beautiful shade of - what else? - lilac, adding a wonderful aroma, which covers the odor of cat pee from a marauding gray stray who is marking the yard in an attempt to dethrone Dupree. The street is lined with crab apple trees which burst out with a sort of mauve blossom touched with a bit of magenta. All this color is short lived, but much admired, especially after such a gloomy and frigid March and early April.
Ever since the tragedy of May 4, 1970, in Kent, this lovely display is touched with sadness for me. The day it happened was just this kind of day, blue sky, green grass, flowering trees and shrubs. It was just so incongruous and the Spring in Kent is still tinged with sadness in spite of all the years that have gone by. There has really never been any resolution for either the university or the town. Today's students weren't even born when it happened; indeed, some of their parents were probably babies then. It's ancient history, but Spring will always remind me of a terrible time in this small town.
I have mentioned before that I belong to a spelling group and this year we were all encouraged to participate in the annual Portage County Senior Spelling Bee. I went along with it, figuring that I would probably flunk the written part which decided the top ten who would be in the oral part. I didn't flunk the written part. In the oral part, I kept spelling correctly until there were only three of us left and I was the only one from the spelling group who had made it that far. Then I was given the word "oppugn." I had never heard this word. I figured it was similar to "impugn." I gave it a shot and missed it by one "p." The person who came in first won an all-expense trip to, of all places, Cheyenne, Wyoming for the National Senior Spelling Bee!! Wow! Cheyenne!! I, on the other hand, won a gift basket of - wait for it - hair care products! Just what an 80 year old who gets a haircut every 2 months or so needs. I don't even know what most of the stuff is for, so I gave it to a younger friend who understands the intricacies of "product."