JARDINE: Couple scrambles for another name as triplets arrive

jjardine@modbee.comJune 3, 2013 

From the emails and voice mails:

THREE'S COMPANY — Talk about a growing family …

Randy and Danielle Rickert, both 2010 Denair High grads, married in July 2012. In December, they learned she was pregnant. In January, they learned they would have twins. On May 20, they received yet another surprise: Triplets.

Two days later, they welcomed Maddox Kenneth Rickert (3 pounds), Liam Hunter Rickert (3 pounds, 4 ounces) and Kenneth Bradley Rickert (3 pounds, 2 ounces) into the world — and identical triplets at that.

Just one problem: They had only two names picked out (Liam and Kenneth). Maddox will have a great story to tell when he grows up.

"We had to scramble to get another name before the babies were born," said Randy, an Army specialist stationed in Fort Riley, Kan.

All three boys are doing well. The Army gave Randy 10 days to acclimate. His and Danielle's mothers will take turns going to Kansas to help out. And if they need expert advice on triplets, they can always call Randy's paternal grandmother, Denise Rickert, who had triplets in 1983.

"Hers were all girls," Randy said. "Ours are all boys."

The babies will remain in the neonatal intensive care unit in a hospital about an hour away from the Army base in Kansas, said Cindy Utz, Randy's mother.

HAPPY CAMPERS — When the local YMCA closed in 2009, it bequeathed its Babington and Bennett endowments to the Stanislaus Community Foundation.

YMCA management had raided the funds, along with the William Eakin endowment, for purposes other than intended by their benefactors. This happened as the YMCA embarked on an ambitious expansion that led to its downfall and closure. When the organization sold its building at McHenry and Floyd avenues, former YMCA board members Dennis Wilson, Greg Reed and Allen Layman backfilled the misused funds and put them under control of the Stanislaus Community Foundation.

This summer, those funds once again will send kids to Camp Jack Hazard — 40 from the Babington and Bennett funds and 10 more from the Jack and Buena Foundation.

"It's one of those rare win-wins for all involved," said Marian Kaanon, executive director of the Stanislaus Community Foundation. "We're happy to administer these funds and be part of this life-changing opportunity for these young kids. As a Community Foundation, our goal is to ensure these endowed funds live on forever."

THEY DO EXIST — There is a moment in time when a woman realizes she's left her purse, or a gent his wallet, and it feels like you blocked a punt with your stomach. Teresa Miller of Modesto endured one of those recently after emerging from Orchard Supply Hardware, loading her purchases into her car and then driving off with her purse still in the shopping cart.

Of course, she didn't realize this until she'd driven halfway across town. She immediately zoomed back to the store.

During that time, another woman saw the purse in the cart. She found Miller's address and tried to find her.

"But I'd moved the week before," Miller said. Then the woman tried to send a text, which Miller couldn't respond to because she was driving the car.

There are laws against talking or texting while driving, though you wouldn't know it by the number of drivers who ignore them.

Finally, Miller made it back to the store. She ran inside and, in an understandable panic, asked a store clerk if anyone had reported a found purse.

"She's on Aisle 7," the clerk told her.

"The woman had locked the purse in the trunk of her car," Miller said.

Safe and sound.

GARDEN VARIETY — An empty lot and an idea became the Modesto Neighborhood Garden Project. Situated along Encina Avenue, just east of La Loma Junior High, it soon will be a productive piece of land if members of La Loma Grace Brethren Church have their way. They've planted fruits and vegetables and laid irrigation lines. The produce is available to anyone in the neighborhood. They are looking for volunteers who will give up one week over the summer, visiting the site two or three times to pull weeds and pick produce. If interested, email modestogardenproject@gmail.com or phone (209) 204-1313, asking for Ryan.

AUTHOR! AUTHOR! — In December 2001, Bruce Klein wrote a piece that appeared in The Bee's Opinion Pages about a part-border collie, part-St. Bernard named Chewy, a homeless dog who captured the hearts and imagination of neighbors near Graceada Park.

Through the wonders of the Internet, a woman in the United Kingdom read the story, which had been linked by a pet-related website, and contacted the Kleins in Modesto. The woman in the United Kingdom, an editorial consultant, pitched the idea of writing a book about their dog rescue efforts. In May, the Kleins — Bruce and Lauren — signed a contract to write the book for Ebury and Ebury, a division of Random House. The Kleins are looking for College Avenue-Graceada Park neighbors who have stories to tell about Chewy. Email them at kleinfineart2@aol.com

And Paula Treick DeBoard's first suspense-family drama novel, "The Mourning Hours," comes out June 25, published by Harlequin MIRA, the literary wing of the company otherwise known for its romance novels. She's been interviewed by barnesandnoble.com for its fiction blog, and a book trailer video is in the works. She'll have a book launch party at Tresetti's on June 27 at 6 p.m. Visit www.paulatreickdeboard.com for more information.

Jeff Jardine's column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Local News. He can be reached at jjardine@modbee.com, @jeffjardine57 on Twitter or at (209) 578-2383.

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