19th Vogel REUNION Diary

July 2001

By Grant Vogel

I got up at 4 a.m., took a shower, got dressed and finished packing. At five a.m. Bill, Helen and I took off in my car for the Orange County airport. We picked up David on the way. Bill and Helen and I were both scheduled to leave at about 7 a.m. but on different airlines. After letting us off David went home and will keep my car and pick us up when we get back a week later.

I had to change planes in Chicago, and because of bad weather in Chicago we had to wait about an hour before they would let us take off. So we got to Chicago about half an hour late. But I still had plenty of time to catch my plane to Grand Rapids. It was cold on the plane to Chicago and I did not have a jacket. But I had my pajamas in my carry-on soI used my pajama top for a jacket.

When I got to Grand Rapids Bill and Helen were already there, so I rented a car, got my luggage and we drove to Lefty and Betty’s. We got there about 6:30 p.m. and soon went out for dinner. Harry and Betty joined us. After dinner we all went to Lefty’s, visited and played cards. Betty of Harry sure has bad eyes. At the restaurant in order to read the menu she had a magnifying glass and held the menu about three inches from her eyes. The light there was not real bright.

Every morning we went out for breakfast and for dinner every evening. We went bowling twice while we were there. Thursday morning Betty of Lefty had cataract surgery on her second eye. She had the first one done a month before.

Friday evening we went to Bill Knapp’s restaurant for dinner. Walt and Emma joined us He is still going strong, only about a week from being 100 years old.

Every morning and evening we had several of the nephews and nieces join us. Most times we had at least twenty people. Sharon and Judy surprised everyone including Bill and Helen when they came. the day after we got there. Bonnie joined the group for the first time in about 18 years I think.

One evening we went to Steve and Carol’s for hamburgers, etc. They sure have a nice home. They have two young daughters. I understand that Amy is studying to be a doctor. I don’t know what Kelly’s plans are. Sunday afternoon the whole group went to Harry and Betty’s. They now live in a nice condo.

Monday Bonnie, Sharon and Judy will be leaving for home. Tuesday will be the party for Walt’s hundredth birthday, that is a week before he hits one hundred. The party will be started about five p.m. in the church basement in north Grand Rapids where Fred and Esther go. I went to the church about 4:30 to look it over and get set up as I was going to take a video of the party. When I got there they were getting ready, fixing food, etc.

About 5 p.m. the people started arriving. They had a big cake that said "HAPPY BIRTHDAY 100 YEARS." I took some video as the people were arriving and soon Lee Baas helped me. I have a mike on my camera so Lee interviewed Walt and most of the relatives so I got a nice thirty-minute video of the party. This is also the last full day as we leave for home tomorrow.

Wednesday morning, breakfast as usual and lots of goodbyes Our plane leaves about 1:30 p.m. so we had plenty of time. We went to the airport, returned the rented car, and had a good flight home. David picked me up at the airport. We went back to his place and I went home. Bill’s plane was about an hour and a half late, so Judy got him from the airport.