In 1976, we moved to Cape Girardeau, MO, which we think has been a great town to raise a family. Ern has been a pharmaceutical representative for almost 20 years with SmithKlein-Beecham now GlaxoSmithKlein. I stayed home for 10 years with the kids being a room mother and Brownie Leader and went to work when Todd went to school. Now I am an agent and office manager for an insurance agency.
Our kids have kept us very busy and Ern has had to learn to coach some sports that he knew nothing about. We had been involved with the swim team for 12 years and Ern coached little league baseball for 7 years along with soccer. We also had to learn the sport of wrestling, which was not easy. In that sport, Todd set some records at Central and was All-State. The girls were both cheerleaders and involved in almost every activity from sports to Homecoming Queen. Gretchen also received All-State honors in swimming and was named "Outstanding Female Athlete " her senior year. We prided ourselves in not missing a soccer game, swim meet or wrestling match whether in town or out during their high school years and we loved every minute of it.
In our spare time we like to play golf and we love taking the whole family to Florida every summer. Ern has a built in foursome for golf with Todd and his two son-in-laws. He gets a kick out of watching the three young ones try to out hit one another. We also enjoy the SEMO basketball games and have season tickets to them. Ern even roots against Murray State. I like going to craft fairs which Ern just says, "have at it".
. We have been very lucky that our children are now living close to us. Rachael married her high school sweetheart and after four years in San Diego, CA, they now live in St. Louis. She graduated from Southwest Missouri State, in Springfield, MO, and worked at Maritz before she had our first grandchild in August. Rachael decided to quit her job and be a stay at home mom. Gretchen, who also graduated for SMSU and her husband met at Southwest Missouri State and they live about 6 miles from Rachael and Joe in Kirkwood, MO. Gretchen is following in her father's footsteps and she is also a pill pusher. Todd graduated from Southeast Missouri State in August 1999. He is an account representative with Zimmer Broadcasting and doing quite well.
Our first granddaughter, Riley, was born August 23, 2000, three weeks before Gretchen got married September 16, 2000. So we have had a very busy 2000. Ern and I can't get enough of that little girl. We have been lucky enough to see her about every 2 weeks.
Unlike a lot of you, we still have our parents in Cairo and spend all our holidays there. It is hard to try and make our children believe that Cairo was a neat place to grow up in. They see what it looks like now and what their cousins have missed out on.
We look forward and hope to see everyone at the next class reunion since we missed the last one. Believe it or not, we were on a safari in Africa.