Sunday, September 7, 2003

Good Things Happening

Man 'cuts rug' for 101st year

Terry Phillips is known as the "social butterfly" at the Residence of Park View Nursing Home, Finneytown.

And he lived up to the image as he prepared to celebrate his 101st birthday over the weekend.

"I am going to enjoy the birthday by dancing," said Phillips in an interview, smiling and speaking to other residents while walking down the hallway with a cane.

"My biggest joy in life was dancing, and boy, I used to cut a rug at the old Cotton Club," he said.

The club was in Cincinnati in the 1920s, '30s and '40s.

"I saw all the great black entertainers there: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, and on and on. I don't even pay any attention to this music today. I don't think you can dance by it," he said.

Phillips was born in Greenville, Ala., and came to Cincinnati in the 1920s.

"I worked for the Williams Heating Co. 45 years, doing just about everything," he said.

He was married 62 years to Mary Phillips, who died in April at age 95.

Phillips said he attended the Beulah Baptist Church, then in the West End, most of his life, but did not join and get baptized until he was 85 years old.

Phillips celebrated the birthday Saturday at the nursing home with friends and family.

"I try to keep up with him, hoping I can live that long," said Cherry Carson, a former neighbor. "I lived next door to him when he lived in Evanston."

Phillips said he quit smoking and drinking 40 years ago. David Johnson, 77, who considers himself Phillips' adopted son, said Phillips continued to catch a bus to shop for groceries until last year.

"Sometimes I would go with him, but he would do all his shopping," Johnson said.

Phillips said he doesn't know why he's lived so long. "I just enjoyed life as it came to me," he said.

Good Things Happening

Retired Maj. Tom Griffin, one of the few surviving members of the Doolittle Raiders, received an honorary membership in the Cheviot Purple Heart Chapter No. 3620 in August. The honor is usually reserved for soldiers wounded in action.

"It was very kind of them to do this," Griffin said. "If you are going to get a Purple Heart, this is the way to get it."

He said he managed to escape getting wounded in action.

"I kind of zigzagged around injuries," he said.

Griffin of Bridgetown does speaking engagements today, talking about the raid on Japan in 1942.

Out of 80 original members of the group, only 18 are alive.

Senior breakfast

All seniors are invited to a free breakfast in the King Activity Center on the Otterbein campus, Lebanon, at 9 a.m. Sept. 18.

To make reservations, call Alecia Loch Castanias, 933-5471.

Car seat classic

The Clinton Memorial Hospital (CMH) Auxiliary's Annual Golf Classic raised $20,000.

The money will be used to purchase car seats for every child born at CMH.

Academic all-stars

On deans' lists

These students were named to spring semester deans' lists:

Gretchen Krumdieck of Wheeling University, W.Va. She is the daughter of Chris and Dave Krumdieck of Springfield Township.

Laura Kay Railing, who attends the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is the daughter of Sandy and Thomas Railing of Milford.

Lindsey Schaaff, a sociology major at the College of Wooster, Ohio. The Mount Notre Dame High School graduate is the daughter of Peggy and Steve Schaaff of Loveland.

A hotel career

Brandon Bauer has received a bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff. A dean's list student who also received an Outstanding Senior Student of the Year Award, he has accepted a position with the Four Seasons Hotel Group in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The Purcell Marian High School graduate is the son of Debbie and Bob Schutte of Mount Washington and Carolle and Bruce Bauer of Clifton.

To submit an item, call 755-4165.

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