SIDNEY — After over a year of being closed to the public, Landings of Sidney opened its doors to visitors last week — just in time for Paul Magoto to reunite with his older sisters and celebrate his 90th birthday.
“We’ve always been a pretty close family. It’s good to renew old family ties. There’s always a few questions that you don’t have the answers to, and you say, ‘well the next time I’m there, I’m going to ask Ginny’. It’s good to do that,” Paul said.
Paul, who turned 90 on Aug. 15, was able to celebrate with over a hundred friends and family members at the Amelita Mirolo Barn in Columbus — the primary stipulation was that everyone who came had to be vaccinated, so that Paul’s great-grandchildren could attend despite not being old enough to be vaccinated.
“He gave us the guest list, and we went from there,” Paul’s daughter, Linda Magoto, said. “We were fortunate to have a nice venue here in Columbus, and everybody chipped in and did their part so it went off without a hitch.”
His sisters, Ruth Magoto and Virginia “Ginny” Daniel, were unable to attend at the time, but were able to see him in person early last week after Landings reopened to in-person visitation. Ruth said that it felt like nothing too out of the ordinary, thanks to the frequent FaceTime calls she and her sister share with their baby brother.
“It seemed like we always did see him. We got FaceTime on our cell phones, to me that’s just like seeing him in person,” Ruth said.
“I can understand him better in person, so it’s good to see him that way again,” Ginny said.
Paul grew up in Russia, and recalls his graduating class having 18 members, going to church every Sundays, and raising turkeys on a small farm. While he grew up during the Great Depression, he and his family were always happy.
“We were poor, but everybody else was poor. When you’re poor and everybody else is poor, you don’t know that you’re poor,” Paul said. “We didn’t look like a very prosperous family, but we were happy.”
When it comes to his sisters, Paul said that Ruth and Ginny always spoiled him and continue to do so today. He’s grateful that he is able to see them in person, without having to talk through a window or a phone, as he lived most of his life next door to Ginny and not far from Ruth.
“We never lived far apart. We were always in the same community and saw each other weekly, if not daily,” Paul said. “We never had a chance to miss each other, so it’s good to see them again.”
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