Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hoop Dee Doo Jim

Hoop Dee Doo Jim!

For the second time in less than 2 weeks I said farewell to an old friend this morning. I have known Jim Banark since the early 1980’s. He started his nursing home career at Continental Care where I was the Director of Nutrition. During the ensuing years, I worked as a Consultant Dietitian in many facilities where Jim was the Administrator. 

Jim left the nursing home industry and started a van service in Omaha serving the elderly.  He sold his half of the established business to his brother and finished his career at Mutual of Omaha.

It was at Aksarben (that’s Nebraska spelled backwards) Manor that Gloria Smith, Dietary Manager, Joan Ladehoff, Nurse, Jim and I formed a strong friendship that resulted in our continuing to meet for lunch throughout the coming years in February and June. Though all of us moved on to other positions, we continued to love getting together.

At our last meeting, June 25, 2011, we learned that Jim had been very sick during the time since our last get together. We scolded him severely for not having let us know. He assured us he was on the mend. We had our usual Bloody Mary’s and great laughs. Jim also suggested that we change the place for our meeting next time and that we should shorten the time span between our get togethers. We had such a great time that day and all agreed.

Jim was one of the funniest people on earth. He had that knack of taking a rather mundane set of circumstances and spinning it into a yarn that would have you rolling in the floor. His humor was often irreverent but always good spirited. He never forgot an event and would remind us of our many fun experiences together.

At Jim’s funeral mass this morning, Jim’s brother related a story about their Grandmother’s funeral mass. . Jim’s Grandmother had lived in the other portion of the family duplex. Since she was so close in proximity, she was also very close to her grandchildren. Grandmother loved to polka and loved polka music.

The young Banark boys were asked to say something at their beloved Grandmother’s funeral. Jim’s younger brother went first. He told how he had carefully written his speech and how as he delivered it, the tears flowed, running into the ink and making it difficult to read. He was wracked with pain at the loss of his Grandmother and could not hold back his emotions. He told of his great difficulty in delivering the eulogy and was relieved to have made it through.

Jim, the older of the two lads, then stood up and took the podium.

Jim squarely faced those gathered and loudly said, “Hoop Dee Doo

This got everyone’s full attention.

Jim then recited the words to this well known polka tune.

Hoop-dee-doo (Hoop-dee-doo!)
Hoop-dee-doo (Hoop-dee-doo!)
I hear a polka and my troubles are through!

Hoop-dee-doo (Hoop-dee-doo!)
Hoop dee dee (Hoop dee dee!)
This kind of music is like heaven to me!

Hoop-dee-doo (Hoop-dee-doo!)
Hoop-dee-doo (Hoop-dee-doo!)
It's got me higher than a kite.
Hand me down my soup and fish
I am gonna get my wish, hoop-dee-doin' it tonight!

Jim’s tribute to his Grandmother’s heritage and her love for life was just what they needed.  And Jim knew it!

Following the mass today, Gloria, Joan, and I returned to the spot where the four of us last gathered.
Coincidentally, we had the same waiter who remembered our last visit down to the point that Joan had requested extra olives in her Bloody Mary. When the four of us were together, we probably did catch the attention of others with our boisterous and never ending laughter.

We gave a toast to our Dear Jim…..

Hoop Dee Doo Jim!
Here’s to your soup and fish!
And we hope you are hoop-dee-doin' it tonight!

Jim, we will miss you so much….thanks for the memories and know that we will remember you always.


PussDaddy said...

I'm so sorry that you have lost your friends recently. You sure did him justice here though. If only every one was so lucky to have friends who care so much about them.


(Karen) Lisa Daley said...

Joni - I think you did Jim proud!