When I was last in Payne OH in April, I promised Dortha (Schaefer) I would come and visit again soon. We had originally planned to visit as a family over the July holiday long weekend. Unfortunately, Craig had to work on Friday, so I ended up going down on my own.
You may be wondering why I didn’t wait until we could all go down as a family at a later date. I chose to go visit on my own because; 1) Dortha will be 90 this year and is not in the best of health, plus 2) as one doesn’t what tomorrow will bring, I didn’t want to wait until it was too late.
During my visit, I didn’t take any notes or pictures. I was there as Carolyn, no the Contest Queen. It was a grand afternoon, full of food, laughter and friendship. We even managed to squeeze in a bit of contesting.
I am writing this post because on my way home I got to do something I have wanted to do since my first visit. Pay my respects to both Evelyn and Terry Ryan. They are both resting in Riverside Cemetery, in Defiance OH. It took me awhile, but I found them both. I sat at the foot of each grave, talked to them for awhile, cried a lot, and thanked them for gifting me with wonderful adventures that never would have occurred if it wasn’t for Terry’s book about her mother; The Prize Winner of Defiance OH.
Read the book, watch the movie, make sure you have a box of tissues and if you are ever in Defiance OH, stop by the Riverside Cemetery and pay your respects to two amazing women.
1996 – Evelyn with Tuff on the front stoop of 801 Washington Avenue, Defiance, Ohio.