Letter Box

Friday July 19, 2013

A community of family, friends

Editor of the Reformer:

It has been extremely difficult since the fire to come to terms with the knowledge that we have lost everything we have worked for over the past 42 years. My wife lost memorable items she brought with her from Okinawa, Japan, including her wedding kimono, and I watched the furniture and buildings I built on my own and in some cases with the help of our family and friends, burn to ashes.

And as difficult as all of this is, we have been extremely grateful for our family and friends. Just as they came to our aid all those years ago when we were first building our home in Athens, they have come to our aid again. My wife and I have always looked on Athens as being a tight-knit community with neighbors and friends that are like family and the way everyone has come together to show their support since the fire is both humbling and heartwarming.

We would like to thank everyone for the wonderful community dinner that felt like a grand reunion. We would also like to thank everyone from near and far for all the cards, visits, phone calls, and offers of assistance. We look forward to the day that we are living back in our wonderful home town, because while things can be replaced, family and friends cannot.

Jim and Emiko Waryas,

Athens, July 10

The need is great

Editor of the Reformer:

As I was reading the Reformer dated Saturday-Sunday, July 13-14, I came across an article in the New England Briefs that touched me personally for many reasons.

First: I’ve been with the American Red Cross Blood Drives in Bellows Falls for more than 30 years. I took over as blood drive chairman when my dear friend, Jan Robinson, passed away.

The article is about The American Red Cross seeking an emergency request for platelet’s and blood donor’s of all types in Manchester, N.H.

I know personally how important blood is as my husband and I have been recipients of several blood transfusions. My sister who was a blood donor for over 50 years is now receiving blood transfusions and platelet’s.

It is my hope that when you see a blood drive in your area that you will take the time to give blood and save a life.

My next blood drive will be Aug. 29, and as always I look forward to seeing all my faithful donors and to meet new donors.

Marlene O’Connor,


Red Cross Blood Drive,

Bellows Falls, July 15


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