What a Birthday Party
Merle turned 90 on the 2nd of August and her family had a celebration that day.
The next day, August 3rd, there was a public celebration at the community centre that Merle has supported so much. Jeanne VA3WX flew in from Ontario, visited her sister in Dartmouth and joined me, VA1YL in the more than 3 hour trip to Lochaber to take part. We had a wonderful drive on a lovely day, including lobster rolls at a picnic table by the seashore. We had a nice visit with Merle, even though there was a line up to see her most of the afternoon. We met Linda VE1QT and made sure we got a photograph of all of the four CLARA members together. At the hall, they served strawberries from Merle’s farm with ice cream, plus tea and coffee. The day was so nice that almost everything was out doors. We saw the very long canoe that is named after Merle because she has given so much support to the centre. It does not photograph well.
On the way home, we stopped at Merle’s house to take pictures of her house and antenna but of course she was at the party, not at the house. We also visited her daughter-in-law’s shop where they sell farm produce, preserves and gifts, as well as Merle’s comforters. But there were no comforters there – all had been sold.
Merle’s family’s gift to her was a book on her life called “Till the Cows Come Home – Memoirs of Merle Taylor”. It was for sale at the party for $25 and Jeanne, Linda and I each bought one. We also made donations to the food bank which is what Merle wanted for presents. There were cards for you to write a memory of Merle and leave it for Merle to read. She got about 30 cards with memories and she has read them all.
Jeanne had never met either Merle or Linda. Helen had never met Merle, except, or course on the air and on the phone. There is a photo of Merle in the book, at age one, and you could recognize Merle from that photo! The book is really fun, and the Merle in the book is very much the Merle you know from the radio waves. Her “boys” did a wonderful job, and the granddaughters did a good job of editing.
The Birthday Quilt
Back Row: Linda VE1QT, Helen VA1YL and Jeanne VA3WX
Sitting: Merle VE1VIC
Merle and her 5 boys
Jeanne VA3WX, Merle VE1VIC and Helen VA1YL
Merle's Life Story