Featured Column
Week of 1.9.2006
So long, Jenny
           Jenny had an English accent. After all, she was born in London, England. She would say things like, “How ya doing, love?” She was the most dependable person I’ve ever known. When things were messed up Jenny would step in and everyone knew she would fix the situation. We just knew that if Jenny was responsible for something getting done – it would get done – on time and correctly.
            A few years ago Jenny was my secretary. After a couple of years she left that position for a better one – as a Sales Administrator for a weekly business newspaper in Honolulu. Jenny and I remained friends and stayed in contact throughout the years.
           When my dearest friend, my dog “Biff” needed a foster parent Jenny took “Biff” in her home and cared for him. I would pick up “Biff” on the weekends and have him spend those hours with me. As the months rolled by “Biff” became deaf and blind, but Jenny continued caring for him.
           On returning “Biff” to Jenny’s home on Sunday night, Jenny would take one look at my little pal and admonish me, “Love, you’ve been feeding him cheeseburgers again, that’s no good for him, please, love, don’t do that.” Jenny caught me spoiling my friend every time. Jenny was a stickler for knowing the difference between right and wrong and then doing the right thing.
          Jenny was a professional at whatever she attempted. She was a caring wife, a loving and dependable mother, a devoted friend and a smart, responsible employee. 
          Jenny wasn’t flashy, she didn’t want to be. She was slender and always well-dressed. Everyone leaned on Jenny. That was her life. People leaned on her. I leaned on her. Looking back at the years   Jenny worked for me I now realize she probably could have done my job better than me.
          Jenny went about her duties at home and at the office and made those around her better. The others got the credit. Jenny did the work – and she didn’t mind things going that way.
          Four years ago Jenny found out that she had breast cancer. She told me, but her voice was steady and strong. Cancer had found a determined enemy in Jenny. She was determined to go about her life. Nothing was going to get in the way of Jenny completing her duties – at home, at work.
          When the doctors told Jenny she should stay home because of the debilitating effects of her treatments, she looked them in the eye and said, “I have to go to work, I don’t want things to fall apart there.” And to work she went. Nothing was going to fall apart on her watch.
          The months rolled by and they turned to years.
          Last month the doctors determined that Jenny was strong enough to endure the rigors of an operation to remove a tumor. Jenny phoned me and told me how excited she was to get the operation and have it over with. It had been four years of battling the cancer and now maybe she could be declared the winner. Everyone could feel her toughness, her determination.
          The operation was completed, but the doctors had seen the menacing spread of the cancer in her body. They told her of her condition. The doctors were prepared to care for her in the hospital, but Jenny decided that she wanted to be in her own home. Jenny took charge of the situation – once more.
Jenny left the hospital and went home.
          On January 4, 2006 Jenny died – at home. She was 63 years old.
          Her daughter Amy and her son Rhett will miss her.
          Everyone will miss her
          I’ll miss her.
          There’ll never be another Jenny.
          Damn, I’ll miss her.
          So long, Jenny.
A wonderful woman leaves us
      Ron was born in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Southern California and lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for three decades. He attended Inglewood High School and U.C.L.A.. His youthful goal was to become a major league baseball player. In Hawaii Ron played on a series of championship softball teams. He is an active tennis player.
      Ron’s career began at the Inglewood Daily News where as a youngster was enrolled in a publisher training program. He served as an advertising salesman, circulation manager, writer and layout and design staffer. He has been a newspaper publisher at the Oregon City Oregon Enterprise Courier, the Beloit Wisconsin Daily News, the Elizabeth, New Jersey Daily Journal and This Week Magazines (Hawaii).
      Ron lives with his wife, Marilyn, in San Diego, California. His two children, Douglas and Diane also live in the San Diego area. Ron’s interests range far and wide and are reflected in his columns diverse topics.
Ron Cruger