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Mon, Oct. 14

Column: More dictionary headings - and farewell to a friend

Some of you may remember a recent column - June 24, to be exact - in which I poked a little fun at some of those "entry-exit" dictionary headings that tend to ease the strain of looking up words. I just included a batch of the "dictionary duos" in the column and followed each with an inane explanatory reference. I have lots of leftovers from the exercise, though, so here's my final foray as I step into that mainly meaningless minefield of alphabetical alliances:

• ancestor - androgyny: Gender bender skeletons in the closet.

• automobility - avenging: Road rage.

• back-scratching - bad news: Actually, it sounds sort of soothing to me.

• bohunk - bombard: Ah, yes, a racist rant.

• bovine - box office: Well, "My Friend Flicka" did OK back in '43, but a flick starring Elsie probably wouldn't gross much.

• broadside - Bronx cheer: Flavor it with raspberries.

• catty - caveat: Thanks for the warning, but your incivility is unbecoming.

• disbursement - discomfort: Yeah, it's tough, but you have to pay the piper.

• flatfoot - flea-flicker: Ridiculous, as football isn't in any cop's job description.

• hysteric - iceboating: That's how I've always looked at it.

• matter - may: Or may not.

• meal - meat-and-potatoes: A march on starch, but irresistible.

• overcapacity - overlook: What do you expect, boss, from us minimum wage types?

• poker face - police court: The countenance is pretty well standard unless you're a happy Texan like Rick Perry or Tom DeLay.

***

Prescott lost a super citizen August 24 when Gary Mevis passed away at the too-young age of 72. Gary was a gentle giant in both stature - he stood at 6 feet 4 or so - and demeanor, as he went about positively influencing those around him with a resolute strength honed by an Army career that spanned 24 years of service. He retired from the military in 1988 as a lieutenant colonel after receiving a host of medals and awards including the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals. And his service included two tours of duty in Vietnam, the first "on the ground" and the second as a helicopter pilot.

Relocations spawned by military reassignments resulted in more than 30 moves that Gary and Fritzi, his wife of 51 years, made before settling in Prescott from Thousand Oaks, Calif. Preceding that binding final move to "God's country", though, was a 1994 trip when Fritzi recalled that "we took a mini-vacation and drove into Prescott New Year's night on the most frigid night of the year. We drove to the courthouse square and were so taken with the lights glistening and sparkling off of the snow," giving them "a feeling of home and community."

Fate had a hand in bringing them to our mile-high city five years later, she added, when "Gary got a call from an Army friend proposing that they open up a Lindal Cedar Homes dealership in Prescott, and that became a reality. It didn't take much convincing, since Gary was very weary of highway congestion and gridlock commuting to work each day."

Following their move to Prescott they immediately became active in volunteering their time and efforts in Prescott United Methodist Church activities, where that frisky Fritzi became executive director of the People Who Care organization that assists people with chronic illnesses, disabilities or aging challenges who are no longer able to drive while helping them to continue to live independently. The organization operates on the church campus in office space donated by the church.

The countless acts of kindness that Fritzi shared with Gary over the years came to an end with his untimely death, but all the fond memories associated with their union will remain vivid. And Fritzi? Well, she's not going anywhere, as she muses that eventually "I'll be archived into the walls" of People Who Care. Benevolence, you see, tends to run in the Mevis family.

Contact the columnist at editorial@prescottaz.com.

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