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“Come into My Beedle Beat”

By Jan Beedle

My heart, transplanted from Middletown, Ohio to Oahu, Hawaii in 1964 for a few years of paradise, remains in the Greater Miami Valley. It started with a strong beat at Middletown Hospital, which is now beginning a new beat as the Atrium Medical Center. It was recently transplanted and even acquired a name change, whereas my name changed from Thomas to Beedle. Mr. Beedle, whom I will refer to as Hubby throughout my ramblings, was as industrious as my Dad. Hubby joined the Air Force, serving at several bases before his last base on Oahu, Hawaii. Of course, I had to consent to marriage when I heard I could go with him to this paradise. In order to keep me in milk shakes, Hubby worked nights at Fort Derussey, which was an R&R facility for returning officers from Vietnam. He later attended the University of Hawaii. Eldest daughter, Dierdre, was born at Tripler Army Hospital, so the milk shakes stopped. The Wounded were beginning to arrive daily from Vietnam and the Twenty-fifth Division shipped out before we departed for the mainland. I met many and experienced much throughout this period to share with my readers.

After returning to Middletown, we settled in Franklin, which was midway between our families and Hubby’s job in inventory control at NCR in Dayton. I stayed home to enjoy and interact with our two daughters, until Dee was fourteen and Ericha, the baby, was seven. Children (my own and everyone else’s), PTO, Brownies, Girl Scouts, pets (my own and everyone else’s – still do. I’ll share their antics from time to time), sports, arts/crafts, Kool Aid and cookies confiscated my time in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Community Service, school, church, politics, and music filled my spare time. What spare time? I never regretted those years of involvement. The whole family became involved in each times.

I learned through each phase of my full life that there is always something interesting to write about. Jobs of my youth included Olan Mills, babysitting and my favorite was at the Gillen-Crow Drugstore on the corner of Fourth and Yankee in Middletown. I worked full time as a secretary for George Bender at Pacific Finance before I was married, and later in various capacities in the retail world-sales, inventory control, interior decorating, accounting, customer service and other various capacities, afforded me the opportunity to observe people in many lifestyles, and absorb their stories...wonderful people from many walks of life. Some were overwhelmingly sad, while others were joyful. Through correspondence, books, the computer, relationships, and interesting trips, I amassed a wealth of information, concerning the rich heritage of Southwestern Ohio, as well as other areas of the country. As a poet and writer, I try to share those tidbits in an interestingly colorful manner. Mabel Eldridge (Eldridge Publishing, children’s author, and MHS Creative Writing Teacher and Dean of Women), Professor George Dell (Middletown Dell Family, Capital University English professor, and published author of a TV mini-series), and Professor Kay Berg (Sinclair Community College-English) have been a few of my mentors. Many other influenced my writing, yet, they probably had no clue as to how much I allowed them into my heart.

It is time for me to let you into mine. You are welcome to come into my heart and join the Beedle Beat.

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