To the editor:

We all have them - a favorite picnic table cloth of Mom's, a grandmother's basic metal spatula that she used with her "famous" dessert. These items bring back warm memories of those we have lost along the way.

Those items were stolen on Sunday, Sept. 8, on an ideal late summer afternoon, alongside the slow moving Ohio River with visitors and hometown residents lazily enjoying the day.

We set up a picnic to celebrate my dad's 79th birthday under the Firemen's Park Pavilion. Madison is a homecoming for me. I live in Louisville, Dad in Cincinnati but my Mom's family is from here. Generations of Armand's, Porter's, and Stories helped form this community.

We set up the picnic table with my Mom's red gingham frayed table cloth, a white cooler packed with a basic metal spatula, my Phi Mu beach towel nestled around the "out of the oven" Grandma's graham cracker pudding, a red cooler with two bottles of white wine, plastic flatware and cups, a roll of paper towel, box of napkins and favorite wine opener. My husband said "Let's get Dad and Pat their favorite blush from Thomas' Winery." Offering to stay at the table, we agreed that nothing would happen to our treasures, there were lots of people around and it was Sunday afternoon.

We were gone for 14 minutes and 99 percent of our items were gone. The thieves left six napkins and our plastic cups.

If you are in a resale shop and see a red gingham tablecloth with images of corn on the cob, fried chicken, apple pie, pay the $2 on the price tag and take home a piece of love.

Sherry Crose

Louisville, Ky.,