Family lured Jerrianne and her husband to South Milwaukee in 2002 from Southern California where she worked as, first, a journalist, then, as a court information officer. She now stays busy with media-relations consulting, playing with her three grandchildren (part of the lure), writing, discovering her new environs, and hoping her garden will produce before the first fall frost.
First it was Iran and last month's disputed election. Protests erupted on same streets as 30+ years ago when I lived there in the prelude and outbreak of the Islamic Revolution.
Then Michael Jackson's death. Images came back of media melee at Santa Monica courthouse hearing in 1993 that led to $20 million settlement in child molestation lawsuit when I worked as media liaison for the L.A. courts, and at Santa Maria court complex during preliminary hearing and 2005 child molestation trial where I assisted as a consultant.
Next was the hotel bombings in Jakarta, Indonesia where I worked in recent years on a court improvement project. I lived at the Hyatt during my stays there, not the Marriott or Ritz-Carlton, which were bombed last week. But I still identified with the city and my friends there.
Then came the voice mail message on my telephone. Her name was Jackie and she lives in the house we owned in California. She and her husband had bought it after the man who had bought it from us died. They were relandscaping the yard and there in a tangle of ivy she was having ripped out and replaced with grass was my husband's wedding band. I had had the inside of it inscribed with his name and our wedding date. So she asked a neighbor if he knew the name. He did and told her we had lived there at one time.
My husband and our younger son remembered when he lost it. They were playing basketball in the driveway (hoop mounted on the front of the garage) when son's fingernail snagged the ring on my husband's finger and it flew off, landing in the ivy. My husband searched and searched. Even rented a metal detector and searched with that. To no avail.
I returned Jackie's call. We had a great chat and she asked for our address so she could mail us the ring. It arrived with a note from her that endede with "Let's stay in touch."
So, old neighbors, new neighbors, good friends.