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More on readers’ bucket lists

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Readers offer more responses to our question “What’s on your bucket list?”


I really have two things on my bucket list.

First, I would like to attain 20 gallons of blood donations (presently at 17 gallons, 3 pints).

Also, I’m a hospital volunteer and would like to achieve 20,000 volunteer hours. I’m at 18,700 hours (Summa/St. Thomas).

Vincent Zampelli


Blimp over Akron

I was 80 years old in August and have always wanted to ride in the blimp over Akron. My daughters have tried to buy one at some of the auctions, but have never succeeded.

I have flown in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam, but would also like to go in one over Akron.

When I was a young girl I climbed the big tree in our yard and pretended that I was a pilot — flying all over the world.

Norma Shaffer


Baby talk

I’m 3 months old. I have been hearing about this stupid Mayan calendar my whole life. I’m about sick of it. But since you asked, I’ll tell you about my most desirous wish to do before I kick the bucket.

I want to fill as many diapers as I possibly can. As you can imagine, I’m a busy boy. Hardly have time to write this letter.

Filling diapers is hard work. It’s like 24/7. It seems like just when you change one — POW! You fill another. This is so fun. Maybe not for Mommie, sometimes Daddy, but I could just do it forever. Eating, sleeping, crapping. Who wouldn’t love this job?

I was hoping I might get a chance to sink a tooth into something, but with only a month left, the chances aren’t bright. I won’t start teething for at least another two months. Ah, were it to be — a nice, juicy steak. I can only dream. I’ll wind up gumming stewed prunes, I just know it (cruel world).

It was mostly fun. I have no regrets. Except I was hoping to meet that sexy little bald girl across the street. She has a cute, little curl in front, right in the middle. I just love her gummy smile. Alas, it’s not to be.

Ta-ta for now… I feel a cramp coming on.

Tay Tay Lambert


Dedicated to a finding a cure

Top item on my bucket list: Raise funds and awareness for the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation.

Why: On Sept. 16, 2006, my sister died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare disease. I called the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation and Florence Kranitz, the president of the foundation, came immediately to hospice and assisted me in arranging for the autopsy needed to document the disease and aid in research.

The disease is 100 percent fatal and there is nothing that can be done to help the patient. The foundation gives support to families of CJD patients and is active in research and educating the medical profession about CJD.

How I am working toward fulfilling my goal: I decided I could use my talents in music, photography, arts and crafts to raise funds for the CJD Foundation and raise awareness of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. I am a fundraiser of one, but I make a difference! I am getting close to meeting my goal of raising $5,000 for the foundation.

My music/photo story Hope … was shown at the National CJD Conference in Washington, D.C., July 2012. I did the photography, wrote the music and I play it on my hammered dulcimer. It is just one of many things I offer for donations to the CJD Foundation.

Mary Lou Jubin


Seeking a peak

It all started in October 2011, with a vacation to California with my wife. We drove thru Lone Pine, California to see the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. It was there that we parked the car at the base just 8 miles away and stared at the huge piece of snow-covered granite. The curiosity started. Has anyone climbed that? How would you do that, how long does it take?

When we arrived home I read everything I could on Mount Whitney. Two months later at the age of 60, I had made up my mind. I was going to climb that mountain to leave a legacy for my grandson, Camden, who was born in June 2011.

I mentioned this to a few of my friends and finally my friend Joe Bird, age 68, decided to go with me with the same enthusiasm and dedication.

The training started with biking the Canal Towpath trail 50-plus miles a week. On weekends and during our spare time Joe and I would put on a 15-pound pack and hike 8 miles over the steep hills of Sand Run and also walk up and down the 96 steps at the McKinley Monument in Canton.

We had never climbed a mountain before.

We had an opportunity to go to Colorado near Denver to climb a mountain. At the age of 61 and Joe, 68, we decided to go. August 1, 2012, we climbed Mount Yale, 14,200 feet. It took us 11 hours. We climbed with two experienced friends, Bob and Jackie of Green, to show us the safest way to reach our goal.

On Aug. 3, we climbed Mount Elbert, 14,433 feet, the second highest mountain in the contiguous United States. It took us 8.5 hours.

Joe and I will drive out and stop first in Colorado to climb Mount Torrey, 14,278 feet, and Mount Gray, 14,267, and then Mount Elbert, 14,433, for us to get acclimated for the altitude for Mount Whitney.

To climb Mount Whitney, we will have to have an overnight permit and camp seven miles from the parking lot at 12,000 feet at Trail Crest, which is above the tree line and have 4 miles to go to the summit the next day, and walk all the way down to the truck.

Upon descending Mount Whitney, we will attempt to also climb Mount Muir, 14,018. Mount Muir is about a mile and a half south of Mount Whitney. We will visit the highest point and we can sign our name to the registers at the summit of all peaks. We will also visit Badwater in Death Valley — 282 feet below sea level. This is the lowest point in North America. From the summit of Mount Whitney you can see Telescope Peak in Death Valley approximately 100 miles to the southeast.

Clarence Bechter


Something fast and shiny

The top thing on my bucket list is to drive a really expensive car. Something in the Ferrari family would be amazing!

For the past couple of years, I have been really interested in all things car and I love to drive. Right now, all I can do to get closer to my goal is to get older and make more money. I’m currently a freshman in college. I might just have to buy a car to fulfill my wish. Unless I could just take one for a test drive.

Sarah Fountain


Need for speed

Another birthday is approaching and I’m still working on my list. Oh, I’ve scratched off and added a few items, but the item at the top has not changed in over fifty years. I grew up in Akron during the Art Arfons era of muscle cars, land speed racing and the Bonneville Salt Flats. I raced at Dragway 42 with dreams of going 200 mph on the salt flats in Utah and joining the 200 mph club. That dream still sits atop my bucket list.

With the full support of my wife, I’ve been pursuing that dream. Five years ago we purchased a Mustang GT and started racing again. At Dragway 42, it starts with the 100 mph club, then the 120 mph club. The 130 mph club and 150 mph club, along with unlimited speeds, are at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. We made the 100 mph and should make the 120 mph club this spring. At that point the Mustang will be sold. With the proceeds, another car will be purchased and modified. We’ve discussed the requirements with Summit Racing and everything is within budget.

In September of 2011 we spent three days in Utah at the Salt Flats as observers and talking to drivers who were experienced at speeds over 200 mph. Unlike drag racing, this is land speed racing. Drivers have two miles to reach speed for the 130 mph and 150 mph club. Speed is measured for the next quarter mile with three miles to stop. For the 200 mph club, you have the entire five miles to reach speed with two miles to stop. God willing, our first attempt will be September of 2014.

Even though we’re both approaching retirement, we feel there is still time. You see, life is not too short, people just wait too long to start living it.

Ralph Carl Cannon


Reliving the past

At my age, I sit in my rocking chair stitching beautiful floral designs on Aida cloth, reading a good book and dreaming. But if I won the lottery I could buy the beachfront home on Wrightsville Beach, N.C., and go to Switzerland and enjoy the beautiful countryside, or go back to England and spend a lot of time enjoying the gentle land and its people.

During World War II we lived on Wrightsville Beach for almost two years and those memories are like they happened yesterday. I was 9 or 10 years old. That was 1944 or ’45.

My father, the late Dr. Earl W. Burgner, was head of the Army hospital at Blumenthal Field in Wilmington and he loved to fish, so we ended up on Wrightsville Beach. I went back in the early ’90s and found many changes both good and bad, and in 2008 my daughter and I spent a week on the beach and it was great. My heart remains on Wrightsville Beach. And we did live through hurricanes then too.

Life was very different in those days and we saw segregation at its worst. We Yankees could never understand the whys down there, and I’m sure they never got over the Civil War either. Different time, different place.

I’d like to try rollerblading, help build a Habitat for Humanity home and maybe learn to play the cello or tour the beautiful cathedrals around the world and hear an organ recital or two. I would love to visit J.S. Bach’s home and see where all his brilliant music was composed. I’d like to meet J.S. Bach!

I loved the movie The Bucket List. I think it gives us all the time to reflect on our dreams.

Judy Samuelson


Not so fast

My father once told me he never could die because he was too busy. Busy seeking new fishing holes.

I became a reader, not a fisherman, during the depression in Indiana. There was no such thing as preschool or kindergarten, but my mother taught me to read. And I read everything.

Today, 2012, I am still reading and giving oral book reports at the Northwest Akron library.

For the past 12 years, I have read, researched and presented over 140 book talks …

The pattern became clear. We called the monthly talks “Food for Thought.” I chose books and authors who have made a difference; many shaped world history.

Like my father, I can’t die yet. There are still so many authors out there …

Marvin Phillips


Name in print

Simply put, as an old geezer, it would be cool to witness my name in print before I have one foot in my grave. Or, perhaps more appropriate to share: New author, new book, new unique topic.

Off and on over past 10 years, I’ve sent query letters to approximately 200 publishers. No book as yet, just lots of polite rejections. …

I may have my manuscript accompany me to the Hammelman grave. I plan on still being here after that Dec. 21 date, so perhaps all is not lost.

George Hammelman


Bring on the music

The one thing I want to do before I kick the bucket is see Hugo sing 99 Problems and Bread & Butter live at the Akron Civic Theater. Because he is an awesome singer with a big heart and he puts on great concerts…

Terra Albright


Living well

I would like to live 10 more years to see all of my grandchildren graduate from high school and maybe a few of them marry.

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I was told without treatment — one to two years. With treatment — five to 10. So I took the treatment with the goal of 10 years.

Barbara Halliwell


The Voice

I was born with a beautiful singing voice and also had a congenital eye disease. As a result, I have been wearing very thick glasses all my life.

I was overlooked and also held myself back in my singing career. In high school, I sang in the Glee Club. When I was younger, I sang in church and community choirs.

I always felt I was not using the talent I was blessed with. So several years ago, I entered a karaoke competition and I have been singing karaoke for the past three years. Last year, I was chosen to audition to be a contestant for (television show) The Voice.

I want to share the gift of my beautiful voice with the world. I no longer want to be in a choir. I AM THE CHOIR. I don’t want to die with a song in my heart.

Doris Wolfe


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