I’ve often thought about those people in my life that had the most positive influence on me. There are the obvious folks…spouse, parents, teachers, clergy and occasionally my close friends. One of those friends graduated from MHS with us, Ann Richardson.
During our last two years at MHS, Ann and I were best friends. During that time we laughed a lot, we learned together and we experimented with life. She encouraged me to set goals and plan confidently for the future. Ann was witty, had a keen sense of humor and a strong mischievous streak. Her school studies came very easy for her, and her favorite class was band.
Ann was an only child, and she was raised by her widowed mother, an elementary school teacher who never remarried. Ann’s father died when she was quite young. Ann and her mother had a complicated relationship. She loved her mother, but during the time that I knew them she was rebelling against a great deal of what her mother had intended for her. My parents were rather liberal in their parenting with me; the result of me being male and the fourth of six siblings I presume. Ann compared my relationship with my parents to her relationship with her mother, and she believed that her mother wanted to control her life too much. Ann went along with her mother’s wishes in most instances, and I held her hand many times while she verbally expressed her frustration through tears. But there were occasions when she followed the old adage that says it’s sometimes easier to ask for forgiveness than to receive permission. An incident that comes to mind involves Ann’s mother having the Ohio State Highway Patrol looking for us in the wee hours of the morning. I had informed my parents of where we were and what we were doing, but Ann hadn’t, because she knew her mother would not approve.
Ann was the deciding factor in where I went to college. She was enrolled at Ohio University, and she persuaded my parents and me that I should also attend OU. Interestingly enough, the evening before we were to drive to Athens to start our great adventure, Ann’s mother informed her that she could not attend OU, and she had enrolled Ann at Marietta College. Because Ann and I were going to different schools, we agreed that we would date other people. In retrospect, that’s probably what Ann’s mother had in mind.
Ann did eventually transfer to OU and completed her bachelor’s degree in three years. She then earned her master’s degree. We corresponded during the time I was in the military until her death. She was working on her doctorate degree and teaching school when she was killed in that awful auto/coal truck collision in 1965. I’ve always regretted that my wife and Ann never met. I’m sure they would have been great friends. Ann loved life, and she died much too young. I’ve missed her through the years.
Vivian Blair (Hammat)
Kathy Friedlander (Kahsar)
My mother Toby Friedlander and Ann were very close friends. She always told me that my middle name (Ann) was for her " dear dear friend Ann Richardson." Although I do not remember Ann, (she may have passed away before I was born or shortly after), I am proud to bear her name. I hope heaven is a happier place now that my mother, Ann and Linda (Engle) can have fun together once again!
Ann was a close and good friend duing my years attending Marietta College. She is a part of my life and will never be forgotten.