Way back, way back is how far this week's guest and I go. Loved her the first time I saw her walk into Mrs. Hunt's sixth grade class at Waveland. We had so much in common, music, reading, board games and one of the nicest things was that she had a sister (Janet), something I'd always wanted. In fact, some of my best memories involve this week's subject, Linda Keys Chesterson.

Such a beautiful voice plus an amazing piano player, topped with an intellectual level close to genius made Linda a great friend. She was always doing something for someone and probably the biggest favor for me was when we were seniors and our choir director didn't get my music sent in with the others. My song finally arrived Friday morning with contest less than 24 hours away. Mr. Warnick practiced with me two or three times throughout that day, then much to my relief, Linda said, "Come on home with me after school and we'll work it out." We practiced for hours and I was one point off from a first, only because I didn't say the ends of my words (nigh vs. night). Not bad and all due to Ms. Linda.

Certainly, music has always been a big part of Linda's life. An amazing saxophone player, Linda married her high school sweetheart, Marty Chesterson, an equally fantastic musician and trombonist. For a few years, we were all in the Civic Band, conducted by the great Ernie Brown. Linda carried on musically with the Belles of Joy hand bell choir through First Baptist Church and playing for church, weddings, revivals, meetings and also directing music for many years. She and Pat Snow did two women retreats and did the Praise and Worship music for those.

Shortly after the Chesterson's marriage, Marty went to the Marine Corps and was in Vietnam from December 1968 to December 1969. Until May 1970 they lived in Virginia. Upon their return, they lived in Waveland, then Crawfordsville in early 1972. They lived on her family's farm northeast of Waveland for a few years but have lived most of their married life (since 1983) in the same house In Crawfordsville. Three boys rounded-out their family, Paul, Brian and Mark. Paul and Mark work for CSI, and Brian is a Lt. on the Crawfordsville Police Department. All three are married, Mark to Heather; then Paul and Mindi have two of the Chesterson grandchildren, Tim and Julia; plus Brian and Deonn have Meagan and Nicole.

Marty worked at Inland Container for 31 years, is retired and now employed as a maintenance supervisor at Rock Point Church. Linda worked in her own accounting practice for 22 years, and has also worked at CSI and Wabash College, plus for a long time, has done the books for three of Montgomery County's townships.

Linda was on the Planning and Zoning committee, but says that most of her civic-related activities are church and music minded (Baptist State women conference for example). Helping at the Friendship kitchen is a fun activity to do for Linda. Also, Linda has served as a Vita-Tax volunteer (free service). Basically she says, "I don't make a good chief, but am a great first Brave!"

For fun, Linda enjoys hanging around with her grandkids, loves reading (historical fiction especially and no gloom and doom, exactly my kind of reading), going to the movies with Marty, and she still loves music of all kinds (especially going to concerts or music programs). Being able to be accessible to Marty's mother and her mother is important to her. "And, since I'm old, now, too, I love to just sit in my recliner and watch TV," Linda told me with a big giggle. Jigsaw puzzles and word puzzles are other things she enjoys. Concluding that topic, she stated, "Whatever comes into my life that day is a wonderful thing. My hobbies are what God gives to me!"

Linda noted that she appreciates that they've lived in the same community almost all their life and no matter where she goes, she sees people she knows. "I'm excited that my kids have that connection to the same area, too."

Along that line, friends are extremely important to her. Linda and I discussed our friendship and ones she had made at CSI and I absolutely loved what she said, "Good friendships are like a charm bracelet. They hang on you and leave fingerprints upon your soul." Glad Linda has been one of my great buds for so many years and I thank her muches for being this week's ATC subject!