Sunday, May 4, 2003

Good News


Nothing can beat experience

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At 89, there is still a lot of fight left in Bill Thornton, a resident of Arden Courts of Kenwood Alzheimer's Assisted Living Facility.

He shows it every day as he sings the Norwood High School fight song. He graduated from the school in 1931.

Friday, Thornton received his wish from the Heart's Desire Program, granting him his chance to sing the fight song at his alma mater.

At a pep rally in the school's auditorium with students and staff gathered, Thornton led the Norwood High School Silhouette Choir and Marching Band in singing the fight song.

A big smile covered his face as he bellowed out: "Love and honor to old Norwood ..."

The enthusiastic spirit of Thornton offers a window into his real personality: a man who went from peddling fruit on the streets to become a major distributor of fruits and flowers.

Thornton tells the story that after he graduated from high school, he borrowed $50 and his uncle's car. He went to a wholesale produce market downtown, filled the car with fruits and vegetables, and headed for Silverton and Deer Park.

"I've got tomatoes. I've got potatoes. How about some green beans?" he chanted up and down the streets.

In 1937, he started Zimmer & Thornton, a wholesale produce house in downtown Cincinnati.

He opened the Montgomery Nursery & Greenhouses in 1946. By 1960, the nursery had become a major distributor of Christmas trees, known as T-K Gardens and later changed to Thornton Gardens. Thornton retired at age 84.

He has been active in the Ohio General Synod of the United Church of Christ and a board of trustees member of Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio.

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A grand opening celebrating the Princeton Back Door Recording Studio will be 5-8 p.m. Monday at the school. A recognition program will begin at 7 p.m., honoring four students for their contributions to the music program at the school, and for designing and setting up the studio. They are: Ken Yingling, Mark Heitz, Drew Altman and Kevin Heitz.

During the program, a platinum album, donated by the Oak Ridge Boys, will be on display. Information, 552-8200.

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The Power Trading Group, the energy marketing business unit at Cinergy, has raised $1,705 for the children of Cincinnati firefighter Oscar Armstrong III.

Armstrong was fatally injured while fighting a fire in Bond Hill March 21.

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The Loneliest Walk, a play based on Yavneh Day School student interviews of senior adult volunteers, many of whom are Holocaust survivors, was performed Tuesday on the Mayerson Stage in Eden Hall.

The performance was in observation of Holocaust Awareness Week.

Allen Howard's "Some Good News'' column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahoward@enquirer.com or by fax at 768-8340.




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