Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New "Request for Memories"

*Look for a new posting every Tuesday and Friday*

Amanda and Jimmy discussing next blog posting
In July of 2009 a “Request for Memories” was placed in the Lake County Banner.  As mentioned in Tuesday’s posting Amanda and I thought we should give our readers a chance to revisit that “Request” just in case some of our new readers had not seen it the first time around.

After looking it over I realized that so much of it is a repeat of information we have been sharing lately that I am providing here a greatly “edited” version.  The intent is unchanged as we would very much like to add any additional memories to our impressive pile we have already received.  Even if you have already responded, don’t be shy about adding new “Memories” that you would like to share. 
July 9, 2009


A Request for Memories,

For Too Soon She Too Will Not Be With Us

          In truth she has already begun to leave.  Oh, her physical health is surprisingly strong for a person of 93 years.  But regrettably her memory is fading.  She doesn’t always know which of her two sons she is talking to.  Sometimes she doesn’t remember that she has two sons.  This is not a real problem for either Richard or me because for all of our lives she has called me Richard and Richard, Jimmy.  At least she has never called either of us Cathie. She does surprise us sometimes, however, when she comes out with a detailed story about something or someone; a story none of us had previously heard.  It could be related to her childhood, her early life with James Neville, or fond memories about a former student.

Jimmy and Mom at reunion 2009
          This coming September a first annual “All class reunion” has been planned and Mother and Daddy will be honored as co-recipients of the Virginia Hayes Outstanding Faculty Award.  Richard, Cathie, and I plan to accompany Mother to accept that award on the evening of September 26, 2009.  It would make that evening even more special if I could hear from as many of her former students as possible prior to that evening.  I want to put together a special piece to show her once again the impact her teaching career and her life in general has had on so many people.

          To this end I am asking that the word be spread to all who were touched by Catherine Patty LeDuke or James Neville LeDuke to share with me your thoughts, stories, letters, pictures, and memories.  Please include any ripple effect that you are aware of; stories of people she touched who then touched others.  Please send to:  Jimmy LeDuke, 3769 Mars Hill Road, Cumming, Ga. 30040, or e-mail me direct at: jimmyleduke@gmail.com.  Also, please communicate this request at your next individual class reunion. 

Jimmy LeDuke 

You know I just thought of a touching memory that only the Class of '61 would have been privy to.  About two years ago our High School Class celebrated its 50th year reunion.  The event was held in the new downtown Tiptonville Event Center.

Catherine LeDuke has been invited to most all class reunions for the last 50 years or more.  In the last several years she has simply not been strong enough to attend many of them, but often Sue Hurst will try to bring her around for a short visit if it is practical to do so.  For my class's 50th Sue and I had agreed that she would bring Mother for just such a short appearance.

Bunch of "Old People" from 1961
It just so happened that the planners of our reunion had booked a "Doo Wop" group from somewhere across the river that really had our group singing and dancing like it was the late 50's.  About the middle of their performance the group was doing their rendition of "My Girl" when purely by coincidence Mother was brought through the front door.  As the group continued their number the leader of the singing group realized that everyone had risen to their feet and were applauding Mother's arrival.

Mother being sung to by Doo Woper
I lead Mother to a chair near the door and the Class of 1961, her favorite class by the way, stayed on their feet and joined the "Doo Wops" in singing a few extra choruses of "My Girl." I guess you really had to be there to feel the "goose bumps" rising.  It was a very special "accidental" memory for everyone there; and especially for me as I'm sure I was shedding a tear or two in shameful pride for the love and respect being shown to our very special teacher, Catherine LeDuke. 

Please put on your thinking caps and send me your "Memories".  A special note here is directed to all my family members to share some of your memories that not everyone in the LeDuke Clan may have heard. 

As a "memory sparker" I bet this happy looking Roman couple brings back a memory or two.

Next week Amanda and I will be getting back to 1946 and providing our readers with a few more "crumbs" of the WWII stories.  I think we will be telling about how Amanda found a couple of James Neville's soldier buddies.  There's a Chicago story about cookie baking that ties 1946 to the present day.  You will enjoy the story as much as Amanda and I loved the Windy City cookies we received this past Christmas.   

Jimmy LeDuke (I'd love to hear from you...feel free to comment below, or click HERE to send me an e-mail.)

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