Our children and grandchildren's lives seem to bit more fluid than ours at this stage so I will update their activities first. Our son, daughter-in-law and grandson, Chris, Chiara and Luca, are now living in Maryland just outside Washington D.C. where he is employed with The Department of Health and Human Services. He manages an eight state area in concerns with mental health. Chiara teaches language in an area two-year school while Luca attends his first year in public school. They are all happy after having grown accustomed to the more sever winters and milder summers. We miss seeing them as often as we would like but thanks to the marvels of technology we visit often by cell and PC Camera.
Our daughter and grandson, Heather and Austin, have recently moved from Fort Smith all the way to Barling. We're just pleased to still have them close. Heather no longer works with the Fort Smith Schools but now is employed with Bost, Inc. an organization offering care, supervision and learning to the mentally and physically disabled. She is very involved with Special Olympics and led the state delegation to the first International event held in the U.S. in 2006. Arkansas did OK and the athlete that she worked with brought home five gold and two silver medals in gymnastics. Made a lot of noise in the airport, of course it was hard to get them from around his neck. Austin, now eighteen and a senior at Southside High School, also helps with the special needs clients and played goalie on a mixed team in the 06' International event. They have a lot of fun and certainly provide real service. We were proud of Austin in having been selected that year as the Student Volunteer for the state. Some 1500 students were considered. He is also attending UAFS while finishing high school and will have 30 hours college credit toward a degree in Engineering upon graduation.
Patty and I continue in our semi-retirement mode. She works two days a week at John Mays Jewelry and I am again back in Little Rock with the Arkansas Hospitality Association. I retired in December of ‘06 remaining connected as a consultant through ‘07. When the person that I had trained to replace me decided to move to a position with the State Parks Department I was called to fill in and train a new person. I was originally invited to spend six months in accomplishing this but I'm still there. I just give my final notice once again that I would be re-retiring at the end of this year. Fingers crossed. I was responsible for the development of the statewide hospitality education program in our high schools and I do want to see it continue to prosper. There will be time to sit and rock if that's want I do but probably something will be found to keep me busy. For instance, Patty told many during the off year in 2007 that I used to carry one business card but then had three. Pieces of things kept me occupied and just thankful for the opportunity. We have added to our flotilla with a fishing boat and a ski boat. I probably will be spending more time at the lake.
I am looking forward to seeing everybody at the reunion.
Dee Carroll - 2008