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Mike … shown here in a passport photo from Shirley’s collection. It was taken in 1952.
[We don’t have a yearbook photo of Mike because he received his diploma after returning from London and completing high school makeup work. See story below.]
Mike’s life-saving heart surgery…
In 1952 Mike’s parents flew him to London where he underwent radically new, life-saving heart surgery. Following the procedure his surgeon told his parents that the operation might extend his life by another 20 years or so. Ronnie and I are really pleased about that since in recent years we’ve been hosting Mike on his summer-long annual trek from home in Lake Placid, Florida to New England to see his kids. So that he won’t miss a day of fishing over the summer, he tows his boat along in his ancient Chevy wagon…! Some time next year Mike will be 74 years old. You’d have to agree that “Britain’s Got Talent”.
In reply to our annual holiday season card we send to friends and family (I try to get them out before the Xmas tree gets put away in April…), Mike wrote the following:
Cliff: Good to hear from you. I sold my home in Lake Placid a year ago November. I am now living in a rental home in Oak Hill, FL, just south of Daytona. I do not want to own anymore in the days I have left. Too many upkeep problems and ex-pence.
I did recently get a note from you about Mary J. Keehan. Sorry to hear that so many of our classmates keep expiring. I will turn 80 in March and find it hard to believe that Shirley is now gone 10 years this past December. Life is not too kind in the later years but the memories are still vivid and bring on the occasional smile.
Thank you for the thought at Christmas and hope you and Ronnie are doing well. My best to you both.
And in reply:
Hi Mike… Good to hear from you. Eighty years old…!? My God, what an old fart you’re getting to be… :-) Well, better than the alternative. Ronnie turned 77 this past fall and I, 78. Yep, hard to believe Shirley passed on ten years ago.
Understood about the expense and worry of owning…Are you making any more summer trips north…?
We’re planning to visit FL soon. My sister, Linda, bought a place in Nokomis (near Venice) on the west coast. She just couldn’t take the cold winters in CT anymore. We want to see her new home and maybe stop and see Deanna in Summerfield. About the same latitude as Oak Hill. Love to see your new digs, as well. Bet you’re happy with all those salt water inlets nearby…
Here’s a couple of memories that might bring on a smile, Mike…
All the best,
—Cliff & Ronnie