We had dinner at Texas Roadhouse with my parents on Sunday night then went to Mass with them the following day at St. Joseph's Catholic church. Mom told me she kept telling everyone at church that she has four kids, but apparently no one in the parish really believed I existed. I was simply known as the "phantom child". Well, it had been 14 years since I'd been back to town, so that label is fairly appropriate. I took a few photographs of the church's interior then was called over to be introduced to the Monseigneur who led Mass that morning. Apparently Dad had said to him that I was his daughter and an avid pornographer. Yes, you read that right!! And no, I'm not involved in pornography!! Fortunately, I had my Canon digital SLR with me to prove I was really a photographer who practices photography (the landscape/wildlife kind). I took some more photos in the church's garden of a Mother Mary shrine my Dad made, my parents, John and me, then we headed to Dunkin Donuts for coffee with some of my parent's friends including Larry, Carol, Chris and Chuck.
We spent the rest of the day visiting some memorable places. Lilly Lane was where John’s dad lived and spent his teenage years, graduating from Alliance High School in 1957. We took a few photos at Glamorgan Castle, a large castle commissioned by Col. William Henry Morgan. Construction was complete in 1909 at a cost of $400,000 (or $10 million in today’s money). We also went to Highland Cemetery to visit my grandparents and aunt and uncle’s burial place. I should point out that we went to the wrong cemetery initially called Grandview. We even split up and spent about 20 minutes looking at head stones in various gardens. Oops! I’m sure my relatives up above were laughing the whole time. From there we spent some time at the Alliance Country Club which was closed, but we walked around part of the beautiful course. John’s dad Walt had caddied and played at this course in the 50‘s. As luck would have it, we were taking photos on one of the greens when the sprinklers went off out of the blue. I never saw John jump so high and so far, as the water jet hit him directly in his booty! I wonder if that was his dad playing with us. Afterwards, we cruised through Silver Park which brought back memories of 4th of July fireworks, kids summer day camps, Carnation Day festival activities and high school tennis. Finally, we ended the afternoon by driving through downtown which is mostly industrial factories and old brick buildings.
Later that same day, one of my childhood friends Kim was gracious enough to drive from Pittsburgh, PA to Alliance to visit with me. She brought along her friend Lance and her two boys Jaryd and Erych. What a car saga! After calling to say they would meet us at Silver Park around 4:30pm, we didn’t actually meet until 8pm. What was thought to be a bad battery was hours later discovered as a bad connector to the starter. And because of the car trouble, they had to keep the engine running like they were gangsta as Kim pointed out. We grabbed some ice cream at the local DQ then visited for about two hours. True to form, Kim and I and everyone else kept up our humor and had a wonderful time catching up on the past and present.