The swallows have fledged. Some number of the fledglings — two, maybe three — are sharing Patrick Hannigan’s Nice Nest with their parents. As one bird after another enters through the birdhouse hole, I’m reminded of the phone booth-stuffing fad of the 1960s. How do they all fit?
Wayne Mendro was roasted and toasted by friends and family at his 75th birthday party at the Grange last Thursday (June 25). Before the testimonials began, guests made quick work of a potluck that included leftovers from a Second Mile Ranch graduation party and a wedding.
The comment I heard expressed most often at the party and after is “What a nice family [the Mendros are].” Wayne and Linda Mendros’ two children —Jennifer and Ben and their spouses Bill Duguay and Shelley Mendro — and five grandchildren were on hand to poke some fun at Wayne, who evidently has as many foibles as we ordinary folk.
Wayne’s five talented grandchildren — Johnnie and Willy and Nicholas, Luke and Hannah — provided some good-natured ribbing of their grandfather in several short skits. Carolyn Sullivan’s “Ode to Wayne” calls Wayne “the master of oodles of odes,” the poems he writes for friends’ birthdays and other special events. For this special occasion, Wayne merited three poems, two odes and “The Ballad of Little Wayne.”
Two long-time friends, Bob Boyd and Al Gebhard, recalled amusing anecdotes from their youth: One told of Wayne’s running (and winning) a gambling pool in the back of a Religions of World course in college. Alice Glandon told how Wayne, working as the assistant school custodian, ate the entire supply of malt ball candies intended for her students.
Other speakers included the Mendros’ neighbor of 35 years, Gene Westlund, and Don Wallis, the friend who played a big part in bringing the Mendros from California to Twisp. Jorn Seppelin, who spent a year with the Mendros as a foreign exchange student, addressed Wayne (jokingly) in Finnish. He and his wife, Monica, traveled furthest to attend the party.
After the roast, Wayne joined Laura Love and Family Dog to play dance music for his guests.
I know I was not the only one who thought of Marty Mendro, Wayne’s father, the other night. (Marty lived to be close to 97 years old until his passing in March 2010). His spirit was surely there at the grange on Thursday. So happy birthday, Wayne, and many, many more. If you missed the party, check out the public Facebook group, “Waynie Hits the 3/4 Mark” for photos.
Small world, isn’t it? Karen Dahl was placing an order by phone the other day when she got into a conversation with the guy on the other end of the line. When she gave him her address, the man said, “I know someone who lives in Twisp. Danbert Nobacon.” It seems this Wisconsin order-taker named David doesn’t know Danbert personally, but followed his band back in the 1970s. Actually, if he knows where Danbert lives, maybe he’s still following him.
Friends of the Pool will host an ice cream and games party at Wagner Memorial Pool on Friday, July 10, from 6:30-8 p.m. Admission is free.