BC: The End
FC: August 16, 1981 August 6, 2011 | Rhonda & Skip 30th Anniversary
4: All things grow better with love.
14: "There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children, one is roots and the other is wings.”
31: We tried to remember a story or two and instead came up with a whole series of recollections and memories about Rhonda and Skip, including: Charlie standing up at Skip and Rhonda’s wedding. The vacation trip to Quechee, Vermont with the Newmans, the Andersens and the Phillipses. Shooting model rockets to entertain the kids. Skip visiting us in Greenville, NC; Skip, Rhonda and Pam visiting us in Irvine, CA when Pam was less than a year old—and seeing Pam and Eric getting acquainted; Skip, Rhonda, Pam and Debbie visiting us in Kalamazoo, MI. Watching Skip pay off the garage attendant at 6030 N. Sheridan (with beer) so that we could park for free. Skip treating a bunch of fellow Glee Clubbers to dinner at Rossof’s in NYC during one of our infamous tours. On the Glee Club bus trip to Ann Arbor, MI, Charlie telling Skip that he and Amy were going to get married, and Skip thinking Charlie was joking; later, on the Glee Club bus back to Ithaca from Ann Arbor, MI, Skip and Charlie composing a creative letter to Penthouse Forum. Skip bringing his bride-to-be by our apartment on Hull Street in Skokie for the first time. Going out to dinner at a Korean restaurant when Rhonda and Amy were both pregnant, and Amy having to go to the car to lie down because the cooking odors made her nauseous (hormones, you know.). Getting pointers from Skip on where to shop when we moved to Chicago for the first time: Chernin’s for shoes, Irv’s for suits, New York Bagels & Bialys for food. There’s a story behind each one of these memories, and our friendship lasting over thirty years is the best story of all. We both wish you a happy 30th anniversary and many more years of happiness together. Amy and Charlie Andersen
32: While there are many work-related stories and incidents shared with Skip over the years we spent together at Chicago Title, it’s a personal story involving our two families that we remember most – and that epitomizes our friendship. It was about 20 years ago, during Passover. Rhonda and Skip graciously invited Mary Ann and me, along with our then pre-teen daughter Kate, to join them and their family and friends at the Passover Seder. For the three of us who grew up Catholic, this was a rich experience. Skip and I had often shared stories about our faiths, often over lunch in the CT&T cafeteria. We both had grown up during a time when the world we each knew was pretty much limited to people just like us. So, we had great conversations about our beliefs, and the common stories that link our religions. We arrived that evening not knowing what to expect – and feeling a little bit like “a third wheel”. Any apprehensions we may have had were soon relieved when we were warmly greeted by all in attendance. Rhonda had prepared a fabulous meal, rich in the traditions of the feast. There were beautiful serving pieces and plates on the table with strange markings. She explained the significance of them to us, and we sat down to dinner. It was my first experience wearing a yarmulke; not something this former altar boy was accustomed to! Skip passed out prayer books (from Maxwell House Coffee if I remember correctly), and asked each of us at the table to take turns reading a part of the Passover story. The story is one that Jews and Christians share, so it was very familiar to us. We sat around the table and shared in its significance to us. Skip sat at the head of the table, with toddler Debbie in a high chair next to him. As the story reading wore on, Debbie grew impatient with all the distraction from the food that was waiting for us on the table. She decided it was time for “matzo balls”, and wasn’t about to wait. Without missing a single beat, and maintaining an appropriate reverence for the prayers he led, Skip kept shoveling matzo balls onto Debbie’s plate in response to her cries for more! Later, after we had our first bite of them, we realized she was right to demand more of them – now! After dinner, the children present went about in search of the afikoman. Kate wasn’t sure she was allowed to participate, but Pam assured her she should join in. After several minutes of frantic activity, the prize was found – by Kate! Our Gentile daughter stole a bit of thunder from the kids who actually understood the significance of the search. Her prize? A $2 bill. To this day, it sits in a drawer in our home as a reminder of that special evening and the beliefs and traditions that join our families in friendship. We have been fortunate to laugh and celebrate and even mourn with the Newmans for over two decades. We are proud to call you “friends”, and are honored to help you celebrate your 30th wedding anniversary. Mazel Tov! Thom and Mary Ann Oczkowski
33: Thirty years since the wedding and I do not have any noteworthy pictures to share because Skip was always the one with camera. The pre-wedding pictures I have, since I go back that far with Rhonda and Skip, were taken with primitive cameras and the look amateurish by today’s standards, although they show how young we were. Where has the time gone? I don’t know. Knowing Rhonda and Skip for 30 years makes it impossible for me to pick the best Rhonda and Skip story. Which tale of a long-driving vacation? Watching the parents of Pam and Debbie calmly watch as the girls twirled and raced in thin blades along hard ice in skating competitions? (They calmed my nerves.) How to pull off a dinner for a large, uncertain number of guests with ease? (I will get the fabulous brisket recipe someday.) What I remember most, and always will, about Rhonda and Skip are their open hearts. They remember me at the important times, and are so receptive when I reach out to them. Months may go by without communication between us, and when we connect again, it seems to me no time has passed. I value Skip’s resourcefulness – whether it is help with a tech issue, or even a “fix it” problem, and he usually has the part in stock. Rhonda has calmed me down on many occasions when I’ve engaged in excessive worrying. I have so much to learn from Rhonda. I hope to be tapping into Rhonda’s wealth of knowledge when the time comes for me to open up the creative part of my brain. In summary, Rhonda and Skip are all about synergies. Each one is a gem on their own. Together they are an invaluable jewel. In investment terms, each one is a quality stock, but together this union carries an even higher valuation. Wishing you many more years together, Ellen Baras
35: Rhonda is my beautiful, wonderful and talented sister! I am so very proud of her and all her accomplishments. Including being married to Skip for 30 years. It seems like yesterday that we were at Rhonda & Skip's wedding and all the fun we had sharing those magic moments as sisters. Then, came Pam & Debbie into our lives. It seems like yesterday when we all shared these happy family occasions. Rhonda and Skip did an amazing job raising their children. I couldn't ask for a better sister and brother-in-law, in the whole wide world. I love you both... Congratulations, happy anniversary and many more... Love, kisses and hugs, Cheryl | Rhonda and Skip- You always had our family over for the holidays or other gatherings. We were always being sent home with plenty of food or something special that we could all use. Whenever we had you over to our house, the two of you were always so generous with bringing something over. We enjoyed shopping at your mini “Costco” in your basement. The best part of our shopping, included walking through the dry food section, the tool department, and the aged beer section. You were both so great with helping Liz at Indiana. That means the world to us that you were there to see her when we were not able to. She loved being able to spend time with you and get away from the dorm food. We appreciate all of your love, generosity, and welcoming arms throughout the years. We all love you and are excited to be able to celebrate your 30th anniversary with you both. We hope your next thirty years of your marriage, turn out as great as the first thirty. Thanks for being our sister, brother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, aunt, and uncle. Love, Bob, Emilie, Liz and Eric
36: Ours is a family of nicknames. (Right, Margapargabenarga?) Skip came by his “formal” nickname honestly. What would you call yourself if your uncle Seymour died shortly before you were born and your parents just had to honor him? There was Muffin Face back when he was cute. There was Tippy, but wasn’t that mostly used by Lloyd? I’m sure there were others. But the informal nickname that seems to have stuck, at least among the sibs, is Geebe. This may seem a stretch, especially in print, but there is an explanation. We each spent some time learning the value of a dollar by working at Rosoff’s as kids. There was one Hispanic employee who took a real shine to Skip. Who was it, Juan, the busboy? If it was Juan, he would have said Skip’s name while laughing, because Juan laughed no matter what he was doing or saying. (I’m pretty sure it was Juan who stopped the crazy guy who stabbed Dad.) Whoever it was, “Skippy” came out as “GEE-bee”. And it stuck but good. The wedding was, oh, let’s say, about thirty years ago, and memory fades. I think the weather was notably hot. Steve Rosoff couldn’t get his head around the fact that the hotel would actually register a man named Chuck Newman and a woman named Libby Mark in one room. The thing I remember most is that it was fun. The bride’s and groom’s families didn’t know each other well, yet we all got along famously and just plain had fun for the whole weekend. Skip and Rhonda were married in the same Summer as Chuck and Di’s wedding. We made note of that fact in Chicago. I doubt they made note of it in London. One marriage was a fairy tale, unfortunately. In the other, they lived happily ever after. Keep it up, Skip, Rhonda, Pam and Debbie.
37: We just wanted to say how wonderful both of you are, and how thankful we are to have you in our lives. When we moved to Chicago for graduate school in 2005, we couldn't have been luckier to have our "surrogate parents" so close by. Whenever we felt homesick, wanted to vent about school, were looking for a shopping buddy, wanted to discuss economic policy or the auto industry (or just about ANY industry!), or simply needed a hug, you always made us feel like we were right at home with you. We feel so lucky that we became even closer with your whole family over those two years, and to this day we cannot imagine not having our "Chicago Newmans" in our lives. Our wedding wouldn't have been the same without Pam and Debbie as bridesmaids, and now, our little Max gets to be the next lucky Newman to know you. Thank you for always being so thoughtful, so considerate, so fun, so giving. You truly are family in every sense of the word to both of us, and we love you. Wishing you the happiest of anniversaries. Love, Shira, Dave and Max
38: It’s been a joy sharing the decades with you... watching your family grow – and your girls become women. You can be so proud of all you’ve accomplished in your first 30 years together. Imagine all you’ll do in the next 30! We wish you love and laughter, happiness and health, and someday... grandchildren. Dancing at your wedding. How young we were. Rhonda was the most beautiful bride and Skip, the handsomest groom. Love, Donna and Lloyd I am told, back years ago, my Uncle added an Aunt. Of that day, it is quite true, my memory is scant. And in those early growing years, I did not see them much, as they were so quite far away, ‘twas hard to stay in touch. With so much family so close, they often seemed exotic, as we saw them on a schedule infrequent and chaotic. And yet again, history repeats, as not too long ago, Along comes Max, and lo, it’s me — the uncle in Chicago! But now I know how to do it well, as well as well can do, For Skip & Rhonda led the way so clearly, I can do it too.
39: 1981 was a good summer! Skip and Rhonda were married and then two weeks later so were John and I! But Skip and I go waaayyyy back. I remember. * Spending spare time (as a boy) emptying and reorganizing his desk drawers--not a big leap to what he does nowadays! * Waterskiing in Westhampton, taking a fall, and being the only one able to find the way home in the sudden, dense fog * Monday nights at Ray’s in Little Neck * Getting TV channel-control by being the first one to enter the TV room, and not waiting to leave * White Castle, eating celery and carrot sticks on the way there Skip and Rhonda have done a masterful job of raising two fantastic young ladies, Pam and Debbie. Rhonda spent umpteen hours getting them to, and then sitting through, their beloved skating practices. And that’s just scratching the surface of all that these two have done for their lovely daughters. Rhonda and Skip do a very important job for our whole family: they keep in touch with all of us, and, like the stitches in Rhonda’s handiwork, they help to keep us woven together. Often it’s Skip who’s on center stage, but it’s Rhonda who’s the stage manager. It’s the two together that make the scene such a success.
43: With every intention to pick up Pam for what would be our third date, I was instructed to come inside and meet her parents. There would be no discussion, it was happening right then and there, like it or not. It was completely unexpected. As I walked the 15 feet to the door, so many thoughts were running through my mind. I hadn’t the time to develop any expectations, what I might say. But almost immediately I knew that you were two uniquely genuine, kind and caring people that I would grow to love and appreciate for many years to come.
45: We have created a lot of memories together and every time we do a basement purge we’re reminded of the life built for Debbie and me. You have also opened up to Kevin and included him in our lives as if he was always there. The memories are about our road trips, ice shows, dance shows, school projects, and simchas. And as we grow up there are more memories made during our time at Indiana, my annual triathlons, house projects, and even more family get togethers. One set of memories that isn’t stored in the basement is of our long dinner conversations, life lessons, economics discussions, delicious meals, and family histories. None of these memories can be bought, sold or reproduced. Fortunately they’ll stick with me forever.
46: My fondest memories growing up were of all the family vacations we have been on. You set no limit on how far we could go or see, even if it meant driving 7,000 miles in 3 weeks. When I was in fifth grade I traveled to London with you for the first time. You let me be the Magellan (or Jeeves) and plan the entire trip. Many of my friends can’t even read a map, let alone plan a trip to Europe. When you came to visit me abroad in 2010, I can’t even describe how excited I was to see you at the Victoria bus station. That was my 7th trip to London and I really felt like I was coming home.
48: What happened in 1981? (MCMLXXXI) President - Jimmy Carter until January 20, Ronald Reagan Vice President - Walter Mondale until January 20, George H W Bush January 25 – Super Bowl XV: The Oakland Raiders defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 27–10 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. March 6 – After 19 years hosting the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite signs off for the last time. March 31 – The 53rd Academy Awards, hosted by Johnny Carson, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Robert Redford's directorial debut in Ordinary People wins Best Picture and Best Director. June 12 – Major League Baseball goes on strike, forcing the cancellation of 38 percent of the schedule. July 7 – President Ronald Reagan nominates the first woman, Sandra Day O'Connor, to the Supreme Court of the United States.
49: August 1 – MTV (Music Television) is launched on cable television in the United States August 7 – The Washington Star ceases publication after 128 years. August 9 – Major League Baseball resumes from the strike with the All-Star Game in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. November 12 – STS-2: Space Shuttle Columbia (Joe Engle, Richard Truly) lifts off for its second mission. November 16 – Luke and Laura marry on the U.S. soap opera General Hospital; it is the highest-rated hour in daytime television history. December 11 – Boxing: Muhammad Ali loses to Trevor Berbick; this proved to be Ali's last-ever fight. December 28 – The first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia.