Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rita Fay Stapleton, who retired in 2011 after 42 years at the BJ, is enjoying the scenery and exercise of being on Madeira, which is 1.5 hours by commercial jet from Lisbon, Portugal.

She’s taking a break from helping with the USO in North Canton and playing tennis in Stark County.

Madeira temperatures have hit 101 degrees in September, so hopefully Rita has plenty of sunscreen. But she should have a rousing good time since Madeira is famous for its Madeira wine, made famous in a 1981 Limeliters song, “Have Some Madeira, M’Dear,” about an elderly rake seducing a teenage girl with Madeira wine.
I still remember when I first heard it at a dinner-theater in Dayton.

Glenn Yarbrough, Alex Hassilev, Louis Gottlieb, Red Grammer, Bill Zorn, Rick Dougherty, Mack Bailey, Andy Corwin, Gaylan Taylor, Ernie Sheldon, Don Marovich and John David all sat and played a spell as part of that group from 1959 through 2012.

Rita visited 25 Fontes ("25 Springs" in English), a group of waterfalls in the Madeira Islands. The waterfall is almost 100 feet high, consisting of a group of different water streams lubricating the mountainside.

avRita began as a typesetter at Ol’ Blue Walls in 1968. She went from job to job there for the rest of her career.

“It was a blessing to work for such a fine newspaper,” Rita wrote.

Madeira is in a Portuguese archipelago in the north Atlantic Ocean, southwest of Portugal, and 250 miles north of the Canary Islands.

Prince Henry the Navigator’s folks who shipwrecked in a storm found the archipelago in the 1400s. Well, really, it found them and saved their soggy butts.
The British occupied it from 1801-1814. The Germans attacked it during World War I.

In 1976, following the democratic revolution of 1974, Portugal granted political autonomy to Madeira.
Rita's email is and her phone number is 330-699-4407.

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