One of the women in the middle of the crisis involving former CIA chief, David Petraeus, was a “friend” of MacDill  Air Force Base in Florida. While I love for government and private sites to have “friends,” they run the risk of a rogue friend bringing agony to the rest of the group. Because government employees cannot lobby, they sometime lean on a “friend” to do it for them. That is fine, unless the request is out of bounds or the “friend” goes too far.

Surely this case in Florida is unusual. We have many friends groups in this area and I am part of three of these groups. None of them, as far as I know, are anything but real standup citizens trying to help. In my case, two of the “friends” group I belong to are government and one is private. Each of them make me proud and they, as a group, are doing good works.

So, I hope this does not affect your feelings about friends group. They serve a good purpose and welcome close scrutiny. They are doing things that would not get done or would require tax dollars to do.

I read a wonderful story last week about some artwork that turned up 68 years after it was done. The story was in a Minnesota newspaper that Russell reads each day.

A lady, now 84, took an art class at Mankato Teachers College in 1944-45 and produced 18 works of art. She took them home, put them away and then forgot about them. One of the lady’s daughters still lives in the old family farmhouse and discovered the paintings in the back of a closet. Even though mice had nibble at other papers in the closet, the paintings were untouched.

The daughter who found the paintings mentioned their existences to the social services director at the nursing home where the artist now lives. The nursing home’s activity director worked with the staff at the nursing home to organized a luncheon and an art show. It was quite a community event in the little town.

A picture of one painting was in the newspaper and it shows bright, vivid colors and is titled “Fairy Tales.”

The artist said the paintings were an assignment in a freshmen art class. The lady went on through college and taught English in country schools, but never thought any more about her paintings.
One thing she did remember was that she got an A in the art class.

Something I found interesting was that the lady also had nine children—all of whom have names that start with P.

Because of this naming, one of her daughter said that prayers were “kind of interesting at our house.”

Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.