Another family that we loved in Bloomington, Illinois, was Steve and Cindy Tandy and their young son Brandon. They had moved there from Kansas and we all went to the same church, as did the Olberdings and Dick Wright.
We started what we called our “Gourmet Club” with Olberdings and Tandys. I think there was another couple, too. Each month, one of us would choose a menu of foods we’d never cooked. We would assign a dish or two to each person coming and the host couple would prepare the main course.
I remember two of those dinners. The first was our first meeting. I’d made paella and deep-fried tostadas and the others had brought guacamole (a new dish for all of us in 1969) and other Hispanic dishes. I’d gotten the recipes from Redbook magazine. We had folders in which we kept the recipes and I still have some of mine.
A most memorable dinner at our house was one in which Cindy and Steve were in charge. We had Chinese food and we ended with ice cream and fortune cookies furnished by Steve and Cindy. They insisted we wait to break open all our cookies at once. When we did, the note inside said they were expecting a baby! We were all so excited for them. That baby turned out to be Ryan, but by the time he was born we were living in Kentucky. (Cindy had carefully extracted the fortunes from the cookies and replaced the paper with their announcement. She crushed many cookies in the process, but it was a great success!)
When they lived in Iowa, they invited Steve Boyd to come speak for a weekend event at their church. We loved getting together again and catching up. Josh and Ryan were still toddlers, I think. I remember getting to know some of their good friends there and having dinner at their home.
The Tandys came to visit us in Fort Thomas when Ryan and Josh were teenagers. Kelsey was about eight or nine. Ryan was playing in a basketball tournament of some sort at Northern Kentucky University. We met them there and then they came home with us.
Kelsey was quite taken with Steve Tandy and jumped at the chance to ride to our house with them and give directions. Steve kept pretending to misunderstand or misinterpret what she said and she was laughing hysterically when they got home.
Cindy gave me wonderful sayings to go on my family room wall that featured the children’s pictures. One was “Build me a son, O Lord,” by General Douglas MacArthur. One of my favorite lines is “Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge, here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.” I did pray this prayer for our son at times, and I see the fruition of those prayers today as he works as a professor, preacher, and elder.
The other was “Build me a daughter, O Lord,” which was clearly modeled after the MacArthur prayer. My favorite lines that I now see in our daughter: “Build me a daughter whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a daughter who will master herself before she seeks to master others; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.” Her efforts to bring racial reconciliation are a reflection of this prayer.
After they returned to Kansas, Steve took over the pulpit and Bible quiz television show his dad had held for years. Cindy became a force in teaching women to follow Jesus. We were all very busy with our children and grandchildren. And Kentucky and western Kansas are very far apart, so we only kept in touch through Christmas cards.
I can’t help but smile when I see these pictures from long ago. You may be able to tell they were Polaroids, so it’s amazing that they’ve held up as well as they have. They certainly prompt lovely memories of our dear friends, Steve and Cindy Tandy. And this picture from Facebook shows they’ve changed very little over the years!