I remember the first time I went to Oxford, Ohio.
I was a freshman in high school and my good friend, Linda, who lived next door, was going to Oxford to visit her uncle who was a pharmacist there. Linda asked me if I wanted to go along for the ride. I remember driving into the village on a brick paved street, and seeing the beautiful campus. I knew at that moment that I wanted to go to Miami University. A few years later, I started there, and by some strange coincidence, my boyfriend started there as well. Mike and I were married after our sophomore year at Miami. At the end of our junior year, Pat was born, and right before graduation, Jill was born.
This weekend is a very special weekend for us with Miami University’s graduation. Many, many months ago, President Crawford asked Mike to be the graduation speaker for the commencement in May. Mike was so excited — three of our grandsons were to graduate. But like so many things in all of our lives at this moment, this is not exactly what any of us expected. It will be a virtual graduation. Mike’s commencement speech was to be pre-recorded.
But Mike just couldn’t imagine giving that address and not being in Oxford. So last Sunday we drove to Oxford to tape the address. Mike stood in the middle of campus, right next to the seal of the university in the sidewalk, not far from Upham Arch, and gave his address. Our three masked grandsons came from their different homes to be there. It was a very windy day. A few other students stopped by out of curiosity and watched the address. Our grandsons ended up holding up a big blanket to block the wind from the camera. It certainly was a moment to remember.
This month, young men and women from all over the state will be graduating from high school and college in virtual, drive-by, or socially distanced graduations. Great thought has been put into them to make them special for these kids. They will be very creative, safe, and something these kids will remember all their lives. And all of us parents and grandparents and special friends will have a special place in our hearts for them.
Even though I don’t get to go to graduation, I’m still going to make one of my favorite treats and send it to each of the boys. Our daughter Jill, who also went to Miami (and married Pat’s Miami roommate), gave me a Miami cookbook years ago. There was a recipe in it for Babe Ruth Bars, and it has been one of my favorites over the years. It is sort of a peanut butter-Rice Krispie treat, covered with a butterscotch-chocolate topping. They are delicious and they pack very well so I have frequently sent them to my kids in college. I am making a big batch today and sending some to all my graduates.
Babe Ruth Bars
1 cup light Karo syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
5 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1 cup (6 oz. package) chocolate chips
1 cup (6 oz. package) butterscotch chips
Bring sugar and syrup to full boil. Remove immediately from heat. Mix in peanut butter. Add cereal. Press into buttered 9 x 13” pan. Melt chips over hot water. Spread over first layer. Cool. Cut into bars.
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.