One of the benefits I get by being Bobby Warren’s wife is the opportunity to meet new people. Whenever we go anywhere in Wayne County, Bobby knows someone. He is always saying, “Have you met my wife, Wendi?” Because of Bobby’s connections we have been blessed to get an invitation to Long, Cook & Samsa’s Annual Christmas Open House. (Long, Cook & Samsa, Inc is a well established accounting firm in Wooster.) We joined what seemed like half the county this past Wednesday for the festivities.
It was at the event that I got to see a couple of Jim’s I had known previously because of Bobby and met a new Jim (who also knew Bobby). While Bobby was talking to Greg Long (one of the hosts) and others at the door, I had made my way further into the building. After grabbing a snack I stopped to talk with Jim Spire. We chatted a bit about his pottery business. He said that he had just pulled out of the kiln a beautiful rooster. Jim has been working with the clay medium for many years. We shared stories of our first exposure to the art form. His obviously was a better experience than mine, as he has made a living from it. While it was a brief interlude for us, the conversation was interesting and I was glad we had chatted.
After Jim moved on, I saw a good friend of mine, Donna Dale Davis. Donna Dale is this spitfire of a woman who loves Wayne County, especially her hometown of Orrville. Donna Dale is married to Jim Davis. Jim is the kind of person who has no problem letting his wife have the limelight. He exhibits all that is good about a faithful and loving husband. While Donna Dale flitted around the rooms, Jim sat down and enjoyed a relatively quiet spot at the party. Or at least it would have been if I wasn’t there. But being the gentleman that he was, he didn’t say anything.
I am glad for his patience, because it was there that I met the final Jim of the evening. Jim Stephenson. Jim Stephenson is a transplant to Wayne County. He’s only been in the area for 40 years. He, Jim and Donna Dale are a little older than my dad, so I felt right at home talking with them. I always enjoy listening to the stories of other people. Like Bobby says, “everyone has a story.”
I especially enjoyed them recounting their experiences in the military. The men shared how they came to enlist in the service (Jim Stephenson into the Coast Guard and Jim Davis into the Air National Guard). We also talked about working, starting your own business, Wayne County, retirement, downsizing, family and everything else under the sun, so it would seem.
By the time Bobby made his way to the room where we were, which was actually Greg’s office, we had spent a good bit of time together. What was going to be a “quick in-and-out visit,” turned into “staying past the scheduled time for the event to end” visit. Bobby and I agreed it was a great time and we’re looking forward to next year’s event, after all, right after the Wooster Area of Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner, the Long, Cook & Samsa Open House is the most anticipated night in Wooster.