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REPORTERS' NOTEBOOK

OLAF FUB SEZ: It was American poet and author Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978) who observed: "Time is the thief you cannot banish." . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 1775, a Continental naval fleet was organized in the rebellious American colonies under the command of Ezel Hopkins. . . . In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman sent a message to President Abraham Lincoln from Georgia, saying, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah." . . . In 1944, during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, when the Germans demanded the surrender of American troops at Bastogne, Brigadier Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe replied, "Nuts!" . . . In 1990, Lech Walesa took the oath of office as Poland's first popularly elected president. . . .

A Christmas Card
Snow-covered rooftops,

Carols in full attire,

Horse-drawn sleigh and holly wreaths

Or sharing yule tales beside the fire.

Children all excited

Each with "special presents" in their eyes

The birthday of a Baby,

A bright star of promise in the skies.

Angels on gift wrap,

Ornaments on every tree display,

Here's the card I send to you,

"May Christmas be your happiest day!"

-- Sean O'Leary

CHRISTMAS STORY -- Tykie was just a pup 14 years ago and hanging around with some tough kids along a canal in North Miami when Kathryn Radeff spotted him as she jogged through the area. They became friends. She was afraid the kids he was hanging with would throw him into the canal for the alligators. So she took him home with her.

Later, he became buddies with another dog. His pal, named Dance, died of a heart condition in June at the age of 12, which is the equivalent of a human age of 84. A few days after his pal died, Tykie had a mild stroke that left him unable to use his rear legs.

Ms. Radeff, a teacher and writer, was told by Dr. Gayle M. Weirich of Clarence Animal Hospital that the K-9 Cart Company has new doggie carts available at a cost of about $250. The K-9 Cart people were kind enough to help locate a used cart with Tykie's measurements. A pet shop operator named Beverly Hill had been given the cart by a man whose dog had died. She gave it to Ms. Radeff. The only expense was shipping.

The cart enables Tykie to get around. The harness keeps his rear feet from touching or dragging. His two front legs are OK. He likes to get into harness and exercise three times a day.

In addition to losing the use of his rear legs, the grief-stricken terrier mix also lost his bark. But he's slowly getting it back. Ms. Radeff believes he might quit moping if he had a new companion, maybe a Labrador mix. She doesn't think Tykie will ever get the use of his rear legs again, but she does think he might appreciate a new live buddy. Anyone with an idea or spare Lab can call Ms. Radeff at 542-5596 and leave a message. . . .

NOTHING'S SACRED -- One home on Currier Street in Sloan used to have a nice Christmas wreath on the front of the house, but if you looked there Saturday you wouldn't have seen it.

It seems someone not exactly filled with the spirit of giving decided to steal the wreath. The disgusted homeowner put up a sign where the wreath used to be, offering a $25 reward for its return.

The victim? Sloan Mayor Ken Pokorski. . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Mary Ann Catalano, Carol Hoffman, Kaitlin Hoffman, Thomas Marrone, Ellen Allen, Dick Ganci, Carol Wannemacher, Jeremiah Cain, Kristen Stefanick, Bob Smering, Jennifer Jacobbi, Grace Jacobbi, Donny Sierer, Tommy Stison, Mary Ann McElroy, Tommy Burns, Margie Schlegel, MariClaire Lafferty, Douglas Dougherty, Dick Lubi, Matt Tytka, Bob Tytka, Zeno Kondziela, Donna Recktenwalt, Russ Paul, Susan Zlotek, Craig Zlotek, John Manning, Shirley Gabel.

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