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Sun., Sep. 21
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Over Coffee

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OUTSTANDING – How marvelous it is to learn of the outstanding achievements of Leane Blais on her college gymnastics team. I have known Leane her entire life, I believe. There is a picture I have in my files of a much younger Leane competing in the North Carolina Junior Olympics – the date at the top is 2002.

Leane is now attending college at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. The Wisconsin Titan’s gymnastic team took third place at the Ozone Invite meet in Tennessee. Leanne took first on bars with a score of 9.525. Excellent.

Leane Blais is the daughter of Chris and Cindy Truax Blais of North Carolina and is the granddaughter of Ruth Truax of Massena. Congratulations to Leane on her amazing accomplishments. How proud your parents and grandmother must be.

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FACE TO FACE - This morning as so many of you read this column I hope to be enjoying coffee with a woman I met initially through this column. Although I treasure the “visits” we have each week through this column, I truly hope that someday I will be able to visit each of you face to face with a coffee cup in hand.

As I sit at the computer and work on this column, the inaugural parade of our President Barack Obama is being televised. NBC reporter Tamron Hall was part of that network’s team of reporters covering the event. Tamron positioned on a media truck leading the motorcade as she covered the parade route the President would be taking.

The television reporter told her NBC colleagues the input she had gathered from the crowd. She said she had contacted parade goers seeking their thoughts on the inauguration not through Twitter feeds and other electronic devices, but “the way we used to communicate face to face.”

I was actually stunned by her comment. To me the only way to hear the details of a story is by looking into someone’s eyes or hearing their voice as they explain an event excitedly or with great emotion.

I would hope we would never lose visiting “face to face.” My thoughts turned to visits in downtown Massena just before Christmas – how touching it was to receive a hug from Jackie Sheehan before I left their shop and another hug from Marcia Curran as I entered Season’s. And what a joy to see Tom Sullivan with his Christmas tie (the lamp from the movie A Christmas Story complete with the capabilities to light). If we had only met through a computer or a text or Twitter the warmth of a hug or the smile of a friend would have been missed. How sad that would be.

I am so grateful for the invitation to Lucia’s home for coffee and for the pre-Christmas hugs in downtown Massena. Isn’t Massena a wonderful place to enjoy visiting face to face? I certainly think so.

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WITH THANKS – My heartfelt thanks this week to Joe White. Joe was pouring coffee Sunday morning as I stepped in line near him. I am sure he wanted a cup of coffee as much as this columnist, but he shared on Sunday morning – giving me the cup he had just poured. How thoughtful.

And on Wednesday morning when I saw Joe in Massena, he obviously had read my column and he remembered asking me about the coffee sleeves. My thanks Joe for reading and for sharing over coffee this week. What a terrific gentleman.

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THANKS FOR DONUTS – My thanks, too, this week for a gift of donuts – donuts to go with my coffee. The donuts are special, making their way to our Bombay home from Vermont (via a column reader from Massena).

Each donut is individually wrapped with the brand name printed on the side. What a perfect name for a donut, “Koffee Kup.” I love the name – and the donut was delicious, absolutely perfect with my after dinner coffee.

Although we have never met face to face, your thought of me meant a great deal. Hopefully we, too, can meet for coffee and donuts. I cannot provide specialty donuts from across the miles – will Dunkin’ Donuts or Tim Horton’s do? I certainly hope so.

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – Find the good and praise it. Alex Haley, author of “Roots” as quoted during the formal inauguration ceremony on Monday.

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