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Remember the story I told you last August about how Naji Hobeika found the building burning down while he was making a pizza at the Amherst House of Pizza? His wife, Rosie, called 911, then he shut down the ovens, and evacuated the building. Then he delivered his last pizza because he knew that last customer (me) has diabetes and has to eat on a schedule. Well, he and Rosie did reopen, which shows more guts than I would have had, considering how many competitors have opened around here lately. They have joined with the founder of Ciao’s in Nashua to open Amherst Ciao’s Pizza, behind Frederick’s Pastries down the street. Rosie did a beautiful job decorating the new space. Why not stop in on your way home from our store. They have great french fries. Did you know that Thomas Jefferson brought french fries to America? He learned how to make them in France.

Stephanie and Kyle graduated from high school in June. Kyle has already joined the Marines and left for Paris Island, and Stephanie will be attending the New Hampshire Institute of Art in September. Mimi celebrated her tenth anniversary with us in May.

Have you met Mia yet? The former owner of one of our competitors, who buys his own pool supplies from us now, was helped by her in our Parts Department last month. He told me she was “outstanding”. He’s right. Mia has been in the swimming pool industry for years; most recently as the store manager of a pool supply store in Michigan. Since they were also builders and service people, she has also spent lots of time doing pool care in customers’ back yards. As you know from dealing with our other people who also worked in pool service (Tod, Trina, Pat, Joe, etc.), that’s great training for helping you. (Technically, I did it too, but it was over 30 years ago, and it was easier then, and I’ve forgotten much of it).

You have heard me say it before, so I’m repeating now, but I’ll put my female senior pool professionals (Mia, Trina, Maria)  up  against  even store managers of our competitors. My people are better.

Amanda is living on an Army base in Germany now, where her husband is stationed. She’s pregnant and will be delivering before they are transferred back to the United States.

Mimi’s daughter, Staci, came back on leave to visit for a week in June; then went back to Iraq. She and her husband Damian should finish their deployments in the fall. He’s an infantry medic, she’s a military police medic. They don’t get to live together in Iraq, but sometimes they can see each other. You might not think that medics are fighting, and that women are not in combat; however, snipers don’t care, and IED’s can’t tell the difference. The photograph here is amazing to those of us who have known her for ten years. I still think of her as a young girl – and that photograph is of a warrior.