God has a plan for me and He#8217;s given me the tools

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2006

I believe that God puts each and every one of us here on earth for a purpose. He is now putting people in my life to help me to do a successful part-time job.

When I retired on June 30, 2004, I thought that my life dealing with the public and this newspaper was over. Evidently, God had other plans for me, because on the day that Andy Prutsok, editor and publisher, was informing me of the different benefits that I could take advantage of after retirement, he also expressed a desire for me to continue writing “Off The Wall.”

A few months later he decided that he wanted to bring marriage license and land transfer news back because of


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popular demand. That meeting ended with me going to the Suffolk City Clerks Office once a week to gather marriage license and land transfer news for publication.

I actually wrote down every entry by hand since it was very difficult to hold the small onion skin papers on the roll where the transfers were printed while I typed them with a desktop computer. But I still accepted the challenge.

Now, thanks to a new computer system that was installed in the records room last week where I get this information, this part of gathering information will be less stressful.

There have been times when I have written more than 150 entries and I sometimes wondered how Deputy Clerks Sarah Knight and Jean Roberts were able to process them all in a day’s work, along with assisting the many lawyers with their reports and clients off the street who needed their assistance. When I asked Knight, she informed me at times they have been in that office long after it has closed and have arrived long before the office was opened for the day to complete their work. Whenever I have needed help in gathering information at the city clerk’s office, Knight and Roberts along with Deputy Clerks Sandra Jones and Eula Williams and Chief Deputy Clerk Cynthia Robertson, have assisted me.

Two days last week, Dan Mcgrath from the computer company trained me on one of those computers and I want to thank him for his patience.

Those deeds on the onion skin paper that showed the addresses from grantees and sometimes location of the property will be transferred to computers that will now show what most readers requested—all addresses where the property is located. Those are the ones that I will now include in the publication of land transfers and I want to also thank Randy Carter, Clerk of Court, for making my job lighter and the new system possible.

The Sunday, April 9 listing last week in the land transfer column wasn’t a mistake. Employees in the record room worked on last Sunday to record deeds in the new computer system.

Another issue of importance is published stories. Since I have been asked by some readers to continue human interest stories, I negotiated two months ago with Prutsok to publish two stories a month. I will do this on a first-come, first-serve basis. This explains why I have to turn some requests for stories over to reporters, but I have to maintain my part-time status. Most of the time I take my own photos and I want to thank graphic artists Freda Robertson and Hope Rose for processing them in our computers.

Speaking of stories, last Thursday I received an invitation to have lunch at Ed’s Place from The Suffolkian Club, one of the oldest social clubs in this city. I will be doing an anniversary story for them in the future. The youngest member is around my age, but the oldest one is 91.

These women fellowship frequently and I enjoyed being in their company. They will be my role models and I hope to live my life to the fullest — whenever I decide to retire on a full-time basis — in the church, in the gym, on the road and on the dance floor.

After all, life is a gift and you have a choice of how you want to spend it.

But it is important to remember that you only get the chance to spend it once.