It's not Exactly the Land of Oz
by Paul Saulnier 12/4/12
Jenny McGee is headed back to the wide open plains. Oklahoma isn't Kansas, but it might as well be for most Hollistonians.
December 3, 2012. Friends gathered at The Fairview to say Goodbye to one of Holliston's most dedicated citizens. Above, Ann Talbot, Donna Maiocca, Town Administrator Paul LeBeau and Sam Tyler share a moment with Jenny.
Marty Perlman, above left, cohosted Holliston Happenings with Jenny for 13 years while Roger Gandini worked with Jenny on the same show. Mary Greendale served with Jenny on the Board of Selectmen (Selectwomen, Selectpeople).
Mark and Linda Ahronian share stories with Mary about Jenny as Joe Banish heads for the bar.
Sam Tyler and Barbara Gardener discuss the sad occasion of Jenny's departure, as Bev McCloskey and Representative Carolyn Dykema listen in.
Don Cronin and Lisa Hedrick worked with Jenny on HCAT.
The Fairview served great hors d'ouvres throughout the evening.
HCAT's chief cook and bottle washer, Dennis Bergeron, and Audrey Gandini share a few memories on working with Jenny.
Mary Greendale began the open comment period by reviewing her years of working with Jenny and even sharing a roof with Jenny for several years.
Sheila Adams recalled her days with Jenny working on the project that almost tripled the size of the Library.
Sam Tyler said he had nothing to add and then spoke for several minutes about the 1987 government spending committee, the so called charter commission, and the committee that created the Town Administrator position. He recalled how Jenny stood out on the street with signs to get elected as Selectman. Sam recalled that Jenny started the News and Views program on HCAT.
Dennis Bergeron spoke of the initial HCAT setup in 1976, transmitting on an antenna rather than being connected to cable. Jenny went to the very first training class with Herb Krauss and Dennis. Then Jenny moved to Washingtion, DC, then to California, and eventually back to Holliston, jumping right back into volunteering and starting Holliston Happenings with Marty Perlman.
Marty credited Jenny with the success of Holliston Happenings. He said Jenny solicited the guests and wrote the scripts. He just showed up and said "Hi. I'm Marty Perlman and this is Jenny McGee" and she took it from there. Marty said many residents thought they were married until one show when Marty's wife sustituted for Jenny. "This is the real Mrs Perlman," Marty announced.
Every year HCAT invites volunteers to an appreciation dinner. This year Jenny was away so HCAT's Lisa Hedrick presented the award to Jenny: the coveted "Donny Award", a High-Five salute trophy.
Barbara said that she only knew two people from Oklahoma, Jenny and a girl she met at a weddng. Both had hearty laughs, Barbara said. (Maybe it's to scare off the bulls). She said that they have walked most mornings over the last 10 years, talking about friends, family, and town politics. They are both members of a book club. According to Barbara, Jenny comes to the meetings but doesn't bother reading the books.
Carolyn told Jenny that she was Carolyn's inspiration as a woman who has been in a leadership role in Holliston, and has given so much to the town.
Jenny told everyone that she is moving back to Velma, OK, population 664 people, countless cows, pigs and chickens, trees as tall as a healthy bush, and mountains as high as a three story building. She said most of her graduating class of 34 still live in Velma and she is looking forward to reuniting with them.
Jenny said that she has been so lucky to have so many good friends here in Holliston. She recalled laughing at a card in CVS when the lady next to her exclaimed, "I know who you are. You're from Holliston Happenings."
Jenny is going back to Velma to take care of her mother who sure took good care of her. Jenny explained that when she was very young her mother took her from one doctor to another until one was found that could fix her medical problems by removing her spleen.
Pig farming is a possibly in Jenny's future as she heard that a stud pig recently sold for $100,000 (My advice: don't go in his pen, Jenny).
Returning to Holliston is not out of the question for Jenny. But in the meantime, we are all welcome to visit her in beautiful Velma, Oklahoma, not too far from Oz.
Posted in Comings/Goings.