Amazing Grace

Evelyn and David Sympson had their annual Christmas party at their home off Blankenbaker Lane on December 5, a memorable day for them.

On December 5, 1966, Captain James D. Sympson was in his office at the 125th Transportation Command, Vietnam Commercial Port, Saigon River. He had just stepped away from his desk when a large section of the 2-inch concrete ceiling fell on his desk. It has been loosened by the earth tremors from heavy bombing on the other side of the Saigon River.

Forty years later to the day, Evelyn began having chills. Her doctor, Sven Jonnson gave her a pneumonia shot and the next day placed her in the hospital where her right lung collapsed, and Dr. Barry Stoler, a pulmonary physician, diagnosed the cause as a carcinoid located in the upper bronchial tube. An operation was scheduled as soon as her fever subsided. Dr. Stoler, who was on vacation, returned to the hospital after receiving an emergency call and encouraged the surgeon, Dr. Mikos, to remove the top lobe only, in what was then a groundbreaking procedure, to save the rest of the lung. Dr. Stolen remained with the family during the five-hour operation. It was a success!

The Sympsons celebrate life and Christmas every year with a party on this date. Attending this year were General Carl Black and wife Sue; Lindsey and Billie Block of Jacksonville, Florida; Kay and Walter Crutcher; Jeff and Bridget Handley of Pleasant Garden, North Carolina; Jim and Carolyn Sympson; Catherine and Jim Joy; Cissy Musselman; Dr. Sam Powell of  Burlington, North Carolina; Ted Steinbock; Jan, Julie, and Jonathan Sympson; Steve and Connie Tipton; Kay and Steve Vest of Frankfort; Mary Jo and Paul Whitty;  Bobbie and Don Windhorst, among others.


For many years, the Woman’s Club of Louisville has had a Christmas tea to raise funds for various reasons and to have a good time. It was held last week at the Club House on South Fourth Street. More than 250 members attended. This year, the funds raised will be divided between the Woman’s Club Charity Fund and Heuser Hearing & Language Academy.

The ladies who did yeoman duty to put the event together were, along with Club President Jo Anne Patterson, the club’s president-elect Linda Steder, her sister Robbie Steder, Delanor Manson, Mary Beth Ellis and Anne Miller. The second floor dining room was filled to capacity as were two first-floor rooms. It was a pretty day, and the club looked beautiful. The committee is to be congratulated.


When the design for nice people was being crafted, Mary Jean Weyland Gandolfo and her husband Joe surely were considered as models for all future nice people. If you are their friends, nice little notes are always turning up in the mail when you don’t expect them. Or a thoughtful gift is on the doorstep just because. So it is no surprise when they give their annual Christmas party that your cheeks ache from smiling when you have had a delicious dinner, exchanged presents and settled down in the car to go home. And it must be contagious because their children and grandchildren are just as nice.

So the lucky ones at their party last week were Judy and Peter Wayne, who are back in their house in Mockingbird Gardens after a tragic fire from a lightning strike. Other guests were Nancy Welter, Jeanne and David Ferguson, Paul and Kathy Resch, Steve and Kaaren Weyland, Beth and Gary Criscillis, Father Mark Spalding and  Father Wayne Jenkins from Holy Trinity, and Father B. J. Breen from St. Leonard’s. With three priests in attendance, the meal was 100-percent blessed. VT