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Bonnie Gresham

Bonnie Jeanne Gresham

Neptune High School.  The year was 1977.  Her name was Bonnie Jeanne Gresham.  Bonnie was one of a few Christian friends I had.  She was one of the smartest people I knew and about the most personable.  As if that wasn’t enough, Bonnie was attractive as well.  She came up in a conversation this past weekend for some reason—I really don’t remember why.

Bonnie died in October 1980 in a skydiving accident.  She would have been a junior at college.  Seems I remember something about her being in training to join the Army and was on a jump when both chutes failed to open.  I was 20 at the time and was pretty shaken over her death.  At the time, I was in the Air Force and there were some who were trying to convince me to take up jumping.  It wasn’t a requirement, just optional.  I opted not to, especially after hearing about Bonnie.  She may be why I’m alive today as I was seriously interested in jumping.

I guess the sad thing is that Bonnie died before the advent of the Internet.  Otherwise, there would be Facebook pages in her honor, news widely spread, sentiments flowing in from all over—the normal stuff that happens today.  But being gone almost 30 years, I have to wonder how many people remember her.  How many people remember those who we lost as friends so long ago.

And there were others like Tyrone Floyd, who was my best friend until he drowned between our fifth and sixth grade years, and Una Cho, who was killed by a drunk driver during her freshman year at college.

How are their families doing?   What would their lives and the world be like if they were still with us?

MORE:  Bonnie Gresham

http://tech.mit.edu/V100/PDF/N43.pdf (Page 4, “Different Endings”)

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

I was curious about the writer of the article in The Tech #43, Gordon Hunter.  I tracked him down and shared an email and my post with him.   Here is a portion of his response back to me:

“…Yes, that was my column.  It was one of my favorites at The Tech, and allowed me to vent some very strong emotions in a constructive way.  It is very difficult to write about death without sounding morbid.  I remember EIC Steve Solnick taking a personal interest in helping me to get the tone correct.  I also remember getting lots of comments on that column, so I guess it struck a chord with others.  You are correct that I never knew Bonnie personally, and I don’t remember having any friends in common.  I had read about the incident in the Wellesley student paper while I was trying to write about my friend Ken.  I thought her story nicely balanced with Ken’s.  After reading your tribute, I regret even more that she and I never met.  You have done a nice job, and I am sure her spirit is smiling upon you.”

Gordon:  Thanks for sharing then, and thanks for sharing now.

It’s funny how a death so long ago can bring the living together today across time, miles, and culture.

Bonnie Gresham

OTHER:

http://www.neptune77.com/scrapbook/NHS-graduation-program.pdf

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Cow Milking in Amish Barn - Conner Prairie

Here’s another photo from my latest visit to Conner Prairie.  Benjamin is excitedly watching a Jersey cow as the maiden on the stool explains about the milking process.  I had to get him to move a few seconds after taking this as the cow wasn’t too happy about the process.  She kicked at the floor just in front of him and it  was then that I realized he was about to learn more about cows—the wrong way.  He moved and the milking resolved.

What you may not see in this photo is the barn cat.  It’s up on the wall behind and headed towards the first bucket of milk.  Once I had Benjamin safely out of the way, I also warned the guy with the suspenders about the milk.  The cat was shooed away and the milk was saved.

If you haven’t already done so, take a few minutes to check out Conner Prairie’s web site.  There are several period sections to the grounds and many special events throughout the year.  I’ll post more if I find some nice shots.  Otherwise, if you’re looking for a nice day out and some family time, head up to Fishers, IN and check it out.

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Displaced and Displeased

By the way, the cat didn’t appreciate being ratted out and continued to look for some way to get back up on the wall.  Here’s a shot of the cat.  All of this took place in the lower section of an Amish barn so the lighting was tricky.  This is the best I could do with the photo given the camera and lighting limitations.

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I decided to do something different beginning today.  Every once in a while, I am going to share a photo of a person or place and tell you a little about the photo.  The series is appropriately titled “People and Places” and I am ambitiously starting with #0001.  Only 9,998 more to go to reach the potential extent of the series so let’s get started.

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At the Potter's House

This photo is nothing special.  It just seemed like a nice place to start.  It was taken at Conner Prairie, a living history museum in Fishers, Indiana.  We’ve been members off and on over the years and this year is no different.  It’s a nice place to walk around almost any day of the year once the outdoor areas open.  On this particular day, as we wound down our 2-hour visit, I found myself in the potter’s house.  The potter had just begun making a crock and this one, once finished, would look much like the one in the foreground.  Over  the next few minutes, he deftly shaped the crock and removed it from its base.  In all, it could not have taken more than 10 minutes or so.

Because this is a working museum as well, finished pieces are used in exhibits as well as sold in the museum store.  Pieces are stamped with the name “Conner Prairie” and the year the piece was made.  We’ve often admired the work but have not bought any pieces though.  Perhaps this year we’ll start.

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