Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2005

G'day from Mavis.

I'm delighted to announce that, for the next two weeks, I'll be writing as a guest columnist while Joyce is on vacation.

My first big announcement is about my daughter, Kelly, and wonderful son-in-law, Chuck. They made me a proud grandmother to a bouncing baby boy, Benjamin Reed Royce. He was born in Seattle.

He's quite cute and brilliant, although he seems to poop his pants quite a bit. Kelly and Chuck are doing fine but my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter, Lauren, apparently is a bit put out.

Kelly informed me that the first thing she said upon meeting Ben in the hospital wa,s "No way baby brother." She'll adjust.

I was sad to read Rita Botelho's last Kenai Golf Report in the Clarion a few weeks ago. Rita and I had been friends for about 39 years and I remember the many fun times we had together.

Rita excelled in all sports, but I know her true passion was golf. One weekend she insisted on teaching me the game. After about three hours or so on the golf course and many lost golf balls, Rita diplomatically suggested we try racquetball which, frankly, didn't go much better. Of course, I only figured this out after spending good money on the glove, balls, racquet, special shoes and the darn glasses.

I remember some 20 years back (pre-airline crackdown days) I found a bunch of ready-to-expire airline tickets all in different names. I invited Rita to fly to Hawaii with me under the condition that she use the four different aliases on the trip.

Her answer spoke wonders of her adventurous spirit, "When do we leave?" On each leg of the flight, she would have to ask "Mavis who am I suppose to be now?" The only trouble I remember getting was from one attendant who had a hard time believing Rita was my brother, George Hawkins.

When we arrived in Hawaii, I stayed a few days with Rita in her house she was building and I witnessed her doing as much of the actual construction as possible. The best part of the trip was that I discovered there was one sport I was better at than she — swimming.

Rita is gone from sight but will always be in my thoughts and I miss her. She was a wonderful, nice, fun lady and a one of a kind.

Dr. Sangster (Dr. Joe), I'm sad to announce, is retiring after 33 years of practice in Soldotna. As you may know, Dr. Joe was a surgeon in our community. He certainly will be missed by many.

Understandably, he is looking for warmer weather and he and his wife have decided to head south to Vienna, Ga., in late August.

Noah King recently graduated from Skyview High School. After graduation he will vacation in Mexico. This fall he plans to attend Northern Michigan University in Marquette where he plans to study exercise physiology and cross-country ski as much as possible. Noah was born and raised in Soldotna and says he is looking forward to his new adventures.

Soldotna Historic Post Office: The Soldotna Historical Society has been approved for a $22,800 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation contingent on receiving an additional $2,000 from the community toward the renovation of this historic building. If there is anyone out there who would like to donate to this project, call Barbara Jewell at 262-4157.

Incidentally, the Alaska Association of Historic Preservation recently included this building on the Alaska's 10 Most Endangered Properties for 2005.

Ike and Alicia Morgan celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary May 22. My gosh, where have the years gone? I remember celebrating with both of them.

Hook A Kid on Golf clinic will be held this week at the Birch Ridge Golf Course. All you parents out there who would like to get your children interested in the game, now is your chance.

This event is sponsored by Birch Ridge Golf Association.

Spenard Builders Supply quote is: "A clear conscience makes a soft pillow."

OK, that's it neighbors. Till next week, I hope you enjoy these lovely warm and sunny days.

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