A Stones Throw 5-26-16


Hi, Shadow here.

It has been almost a year since Mike has written ‘A Stones Throw’. I thought it was time for him to start writing again. I told him I would write the first one if he would agree to write more.

He agreed, so, here goes.

When you see the picture of Mike, Jade, and me, there are two things that are obvious. First, there must be something significant to show you a picture of Jade in her wedding dress and Mike in a Tuxedo. The significance is easy – they were married 50 years ago this Saturday.

The second thing that is obvious is that I have been photoshopped into the picture (thanks Wayne). I wasn’t there during the wedding in 1966, but if I was, I would have been in the picture – so now I am.

“It was meant to be.”

I have often thought this when I look back at the day Mike asked me to become a part of him and a part of his family. He was looking for a black German Shepherd puppy to replace his beloved Bodo who had passed away. When he came to Mom’s house, I was sure he would choose one of my brothers.

Instead, he chose me with my sable coat.

“It was meant to be.”

Mike and Jade have been part of my life for almost 12 years and I have been a part of theirs. But, they have been a part of each other’s life for over 50 years.

And for Mike and Jade, it really was “meant to be.”

It all started two years before Mike even knew Jade existed. As a senior in high school he was being recruited to play basketball. After a few visits, he liked the University of Tennessee the best, but they didn’t offer him a scholarship.

Iowa State did.

Mike decided to commit to Iowa State, signed the papers, and called the coach. When he got home that day there was a letter from the University of Tennessee offering him a full-ride scholarship – the scholarship he wanted.

But, he was committed to Iowa State.

A year later, Jade was planning on following her sister to the University of Iowa. Then, she attended a student council seminar at Iowa State.

In 1963, both Jade and Mike were students at Iowa State.

During the fall of 1963, as one of the fundraising events for the United Way, many of the different residences participated in an “ugly man on campus” contest. Mike says he volunteered – I think he was selected – to represent his “house.” To help get him ready, the President of the house had a girl named Jaye come and “apply make-up.”

Since she was going to a Men’s dorm, Jaye brought one of her roommates with her – a girl named Jade. A couple of weeks later, Mike decided to call Jaye and ask her to a movie.

Jaye wasn’t there when he called.

Jade was.

And – the rest is history.

Two and a half years later, on May 28th, 1966, Mike and Jade were married.

Even before they were married, Mike had learned one of the rules that would make their marriage a success. It was the “rule of three.”

The “rule of three” is simple. In a successful marriage there are three votes – she gets two – he gets one.

Mike learned that rule when he was deciding between accepting a job that required a lot of travel and a job that didn’t. Mike wanted the job with travel – Jade wanted him to accept the job without the travel.

Mike accepted the job without the travel.

The “rule of three” worked.

So did Jade and Mike.

Over the years, Jade was a medical laboratory technologist, and then, if the registration number sequence means anything – the 11th person in the U.S. to be certified as a Nuclear Medicine technician. She was elected Indiana state president of the American Association of University Women and was selected to the first Indiana Commission of Women by Governor Frank O’Bannon.

Once in Switzerland County, Jade co-founded and was President of Swiss Friends of Animals which helped lead to a modern County Animal Shelter. She also co-founded the Switzerland County Child Abuse Prevention Council and continues to support prevention and awareness through volunteering for the “think smart – stay safe” program presented to area fifth graders .She is also a rape crisis counselor.

And, if you sit on the bench dedicated to former Deputy Steven B. Adams located in front of the Sheriff’s office you will see, carved into the back, the image of Steve and a young boy – taken from a photograph that Jade took.

I would really like to tell you about Mike’s work, but it is difficult. I know he worked for General Motors for a long time, started and sold a business, worked in Canada, then back in the U.S., retired, unretired, taught classes for Ivy Tech, etc. I don’t know what he did on those jobs – I’m not sure anyone does.

Not even Kevin and Kelly. I have heard them ask Mike what his job was – I never heard an answer.

Speaking of Kevin and Kelly, they are as much a part of our family as I am. Kevin is older. I guess that makes Kelly younger. Between them, they have six kids and three dogs.

Actually, neither the kids nor the dogs are “between them.” Kevin and his wife Marianne have four children – Joseph, Jack, Erin, and Emma – and two dogs including their German Shepherd, Zacco. Kelly and her husband Todd have two children – Logan and Lexi – and one dog.

I could go on and on. I could tell you about all of the German Shepherds that were a part of the family before me. I could tell you about Kevin and Kelly. Todd and Marianne. I could tell you about all of the activities and the straight “As” of their children.

I could tell you about the nearly 500 ‘A Stones Throw’ columns Mike and I have written.

But I won’t.

I will tell you we are all a part of this family.

And, I will tell you that our leaders – Jade and Mike – will celebrate 50 years of marriage this weekend.

Obviously, “It was meant to be”.

– Shadow