When I moved here 13 years ago, two women made it a point to tell me about Bradenton.
One was Rona Livingston.
Along with best friend and fellow MHS Drill Teamer Helen Eason, Rona continued to educate me about their hometown’s culture and character -- its characters, too -- and caring nature as a community.
Just days after celebrating her 76th birthday, Rona passed July 10 and I feel her family’s loss.
I am indebted to Rona Livingston.
n Speaking of Team Eason, Dewey Eason is 73.
May he stay forever young.
n Big ups to sisters Lindsay and Ashley Lane.
Lindsay graduated from Alabama-Birmingham with a masters in public health. Ashley graduated with a bachelors in design and management from Parsons New School of Design in New York.
Their folks, Vicki and Pat Cunningham and Bob Lane are proud -- and happy to finally have them both out of school!
n Uh, oh! City of Bradenton Fire Chief Chuck Edwards is one year shy of the Big 5-0!
n Well done to the East Manatee River Dawgs 10-and-under AAU ballclub who reached the quarterfinals of the Cal Ripken tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C., before bowing out Thursday.
The Dawgs are Rob Arkel, Hunter Bogumill, Jared Dole, Matt Gelorme, Charlie George, Colin Goda, James Heyworth, Mason Kolbe, Conor Landers, Landon Morrison, Tyler Reed and Harrison Thiel.
n Del Couch, our town’s Music Man, is 62 going on 32.
n Lt. John Flinn, who served with the Westside and West Manatee Fire Districts, is retiring after 27 years.
n Gillian Palino will have some great stories to share with classmates when school resumes for the Southeast IB sophomore.
She spent 20 days this summer as a student ambassador with the People to People in Europe program. Among the places she visited were the Roman Coliseum, Vatican City and Venice, the Konzerhaus Concert Hall in Vienna, as well as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Julie and George are envious.
n Monica Stuhr DeLesline is 29. Again.
n Heat wave be hanged, Charlie Hunsicker, Manatee County’s natural resources director, is off to his 40th class reunion at Merrill (Wis.) High School.
n Amanda Edge is 44.
n Speaking of Southeast IB students, seniors Madison Hubbard and Melyssa Godfrey attended the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America national leadership conference in Anaheim, Calif.
Their gold medal presentation of the school’s FCCLA chapter showcase manual in April’s state competition earned them the trip.
Their proud parents, respectively, are Susan and Richard Hubbard and Marilyn and Tad Godfrey.
n County Commissioner and former F-4 Phantom fighter pilot Larry Bustle is 76.
n Ben Jones’ grandson did Grandpa a good turn. Zak Krug arranged for the Springfield, Ill., native to join its Honor Flight to visit the veterans memorials in Washington.
On his return, Ben, a Navy and Army vet, was greeted in Springfield at a surprise reception of family members.
n Danny Whitley is 62.
n Mike and Janine Parrott give heartfelt thanks to their DeSoto Historical Society cohorts and friends, as well as Shake Pit’s Debbie Crowe, among the folks who rallied ‘round the family after Mike’s heart attack and subsequent triple-bypass procedure April 19.
n David Bailey is 52.
n Northwest Baptist Church hosts Christmas in July for 16 homeless children from Bradenton’s Salvation Army family shelter at 11 a.m. July 31. Clothing, school supplies and toiletries are needed.
Call Sylvia Hafling at 761-2832.
Vin’s People, is by local columnist Vin Mannix. He can be reached at 745-7055, or firstname.lastname@example.org.