We have awesome news! As Dianne Cage said last week in her column, all great things have connections to Monroe and today, we say, "The Twin Cities."

The West Monroe High School Choir of 82 and two alumnae were invited to present at Carnegie Hall on Friday, May 27, at 7 p.m. What made this so extra special is that Choir Director Greg Oden, along with his wife, Kristen Anderson Oden, and Assistant Choir Director Vickie Freeman have been invited four times to be in concert at Carnegie, but with visiting choir members from other institutions. The entire WMHS Rebel concert choir presented, "The Triumph of Hope," with Katie Files Counts and Ali Owens, both of whom are former choir members, singing with them. The six-piece performance was magnificent! Kristen and others said, when the group sang the Star Spangled Banner at St. Paul's Chapel, adjacent to Ground Zero, the tears flowed. The amazing leadership of the Odens, the administration, faculty, and families at WMHS, made certain the students attended Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and select members visited the campus at Julliard plus a boat tour of the Hudson River.”

Congratulations to WMHS and the leadership of our communities for funding and thus exposing students to the best cultural and educational opportunities available. Congratulations to all and know that we are better place to live because of you!

One cannot say that I've gone very far in life for I have just moved up the street on North Third in Monroe. This spring, however, two amazing things have originated in our own Georgia Tucker-Neville School District backyard. Dianne Cage talked of C. Allen Foster, Princeton and Oxford graduate and an outstanding NYC attorney, was perhaps the last friend to talk to Justice Scalia prior to his death on an exclusive hunting trip in west Texas. Growing up in the same neighborhood at Georgia Tucker were two fine athletes, Terry Reeves on Roselawn at Sixth and Jim Altick from Glenmar and North Fifth streets. We girls would ride our bikes first to the Reeves and then over to the Alticks who had a ping pong table on the front porch. That is where the cute boys hung out... And Jim and Terry played on that first Neville State Football Championship team in 1955 — now 56 years ago. Both played college baseball. This spring, the late Louise and Jim Altick's granddaughter, Frances, has been named a Duke All-American tennis player. Her play has led the Dores to head to the national tennis championship.

John Clay Reeves, was named a Rice All-American catcher, and is Terry and Linda's grandson. These athletic genes have continued through three generations and have excited all... two All-Americans and both from the same neighborhood, just blocks apart! How rare is that?

Nobody entertains with the ease of close friend, Dianne Cage. As president of the Potpourri Book Club, Dianne planned our annual spring luncheon at BDCC with an old fashion tri-salad plate surrounded with fresh strawberries, pineapple, melons and great CC toasted cheese rolls. We began with Bloody Marys, tea and water on the round tables. Dessert was whipped cream served with pecan crunch squares that were fabulous. Rod Allen Payne provided the background music that was just perfect for that special occasion. I forgot to look at my club handbook and was supposed to help hostess. Dianne did it all with treasurer, Jane Conrad. We could not do without Dianne's fun style of leadership! It is rare that Dianne eats out for she cooks better than most all at home.

Every Wednesday, she cooks four balanced meals and delivers to Grace Episcopal School... like sliced chicken breast, cabbage, fresh fruit and whole wheat bun... amazing! Sallie Snellings delivered the commencement address, Katherine Godfrey made straight A's for both semesters, and Georgia Dianne Snellings received the Dr. H. Perry Jones Award, tops at Grace!

Always cooking healthy for her grands who are smart, and I do mean really smart!

This original poem was written by a Rebel choir member and read by her as the choir walked around Ground Zero.


Walking through the construction of the World Trade Center Memorial with a sickly sad feeling in my stomach. All I can think is wow and how much this sucks. People died here and we're walking on their graves. My heart calls and cries out to those lost and the ones who feel that pain of the crumbling towers. Every year I pray for peace and restoration for a moment in time that left a scar on every Americans heart. Our anthem may not heal wounds, yet it puts salve on the rips and tears of a once firm foundation —— Comfort and Love —— My heart cries for memories never forgotten. My heart cries for cascading waters for the fallen. My heart cries for so much better and more. My heart cries for God; give us safety for all that is to come I pray, Amen

Evelyn Todd,

WMHS Choir Member...05/27/16

Sending God's love to all this week of Memorial Day,

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