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       The Diamond Rio's London Ontario, Canada-Temple, PA connection

The connection started last year on July 28 when Diamond Rio had scheduled a live chat at Country.com.    As I have always claimed, that my husband and I were Diamond Rio's #1 and #2 Fans in Temple, PA,  I wanted to be able to participate in the chat.   After making sure that I downloaded the proper programs so I could so, I was there reading all of the chat.  The one question that I was so glad that was answered was,  Who was the lady on Jimmy's guitar.  After lots of speculations, I finally knew and enjoyed the whole chat and wanted Diamond Rio to know.

So I went to the Diamond Rio web site to their guest book.  I posted a letter saying how much I enjoyed the chat and I finally got an answer to a question that I've wanted to know for quite sometime.  They would be appearing on Prime Time Country to promote the new album, "Unbelievable", after the chat.

The London Ontario,Canada-Temple, PA begins

The following Day I received an email from a lady by the name of Harumi Asano-Matchett.  It was a nice letter telling me all about her and her husband, Rick.  Of all their interests, which were so similar to my hubby's and mine. Now when I look back on, this connection was meant to be.   In Harumi's email she also wanted to know the answer to who the woman was on the guitar.
I replied back to her, telling her the answer to the question that was on both of our minds.  I also told her a little about my family.

We continued emailing back and forth.  Find out with each email a little more about each family.  From the Matchett family, Harumi favorite Rio is Marty, Rick is a member of a country band in Canada named The Ozarks.  His twin brother and father are members of the same band.  But I was hooked on Rick because of him playing the Mandolin.  I love hearing that instrument.  In fact
The Ozarks, have a tape called "Moonshine". Also,  that they have two chihuahuas, Buddy and Stubby.  At some point Harmui and Rick adopted us as their American family and started referring to us as Mom and Dad.  More importantly we adopted them as our Canadian children.  Who we are waiting on making us Grandparents.  As well as Rick's parents are waiting the same.

At the same time Ham (as I call her) and Rick found out that they had a sister who was 33 who lives in State College, PA.  Which by the way is directly under London if you look at a map of USA and Canada.  A 29 year old body building, electrical engineer brother.  Both who are single and we are waiting on them to find their spouses, so that we can torment them just like we are tormenting Ham and Rick on making two sets of parents happy and give us grandchildren.  They also found out that they had Grandparents Mem & Pap, and an Aunt Sallie.  That Buddy and Stubby had a cocker spaniel playmate, BO.  They also found out the my Favorite Rio member was Jimmy and that Dad's is Dana.  We shared with each other our Diamond Rio stories and photos.  I made for Ham several of the things that I made for Dad and myself out of the hankerchief-scarves.  My favorite is the denim vest.  I also made and sent one to Scarlet.  Had to share all my little goodies with my daughter who is Canada's #1 Rio fan.

We kept our email servers and the post office busy.  I must tell you that Ham is much better at send cards than I am.  I have every card and email that was sent to us from them.

Well, after months of corresponding with each other, we started to make plans for them to visit us in April.  But due to health problems of Mem's, I asked if it could be postponed for a while.  It was decided that it would take place July 30.

Well, after months of anticipating the visit and corresponding about the forthcoming visit, the day was finally coming.

Like I said, I have all the emails and cards that were sent by Ham and I was going through them and discovered that it was going to be our 1st anniversary of emailing each other.  The date was July 29, 1998.  They would be in my home July 30.   Little did we both know, that after the first email sent to me that this day would happen and we would be celebrating the occasion.

It was going to be a three day weekend visit.  So little time to do so much visiting, eating, talking, eating, just taking in all the things we all wanted.  I wanted the visit to be perfect.  Trying to make it like Rio's latest cd, "Unbelievable."

Having the heritage of being Pennsylvania Dutch, I thought that it would be a great idea to show them the Dutch country side and traditions.  I then got the idea to make a Pennsylvania Dutch goodie basket for them to take along back to Canada.  Which had lots of foods from our area.  It became a family thing.
After getting suggestions from my family members on things to put in the basket, several family members suggested and contribute to the basket too.
Gave them the food items along with the recipes.  I was even planning a potato chip taste testing.  Since my favorite is one kind and Dave's is another.
A little fact for you. Did you know that Pennsylvania grown potatoes make the best potato chip.  But the best potato chips are sold locally only.
Made two more Rio things for Ham as well as other little goodies.  Got Rick the Austin Powers movie and the computer program for his new computer.

At the same time that I am planning lots of surprises for Ham and Rick, they are planning surprises for all of us.

Well, what was thought to be about an eight hour trip to our home, turned out to be almost 12 hours.  Instead of them arriving Friday night, they had to spend a night at a hotel.   Continuing the trip Saturday morning.

Receiving a phone call from them that they were just going through Pottsville, PA, we told them that they were about 45 minutes from us.  I am now getting so anxious for this meeting.  It is so close.  As Aunt Sallie, and I sat watching the clock, Dave was pacing to and from the window watching for a car.  But we had no idea what kind of car.  All of a sudden, Dave said they are here.  We all went out equipped with cameras to record the moment.  I should say, that the only one snapping was Aunt Sallie.   I was totally into hugging and greeting them.

It was decided that we would just relax and get to know each other better that day.  Introduce them to Mem and Pap and do alot of eating to nourish us for all the talking we would be doing.  Then instead of taking them to see the Dutch country side, because most to the things were closed because of it being Sunday, we would go to Atlantic City to the casinos.  Have lunch at the Hooters restrauant where Rich could have his photo taken with one of the Hooter's girl.
Which we did all of it.  Came home and relaxed while we watch the Titanic movie, which Ham and Rick hadn't seen.

The three of us, Dad went to bed because he had to start working early Monday morning, talked and exchange gifts.  I already told you what we had gotten them, but what we got them is nothing in comparison to what they got us.

This was taken from an email that Ham had sent me.
Did you get the latest Rio newsletter?  Did you see the picture on page 2, I
think.  The one that says Japan 1997 on it?  Well, I have a color 5x7 of
that exact photo!  The girl I have been emailing to in Japan sent that photo
to me a few months ago ( a friend of her's took it when they were in Japan).
She sent it to the Rio fan club, but never imagined it would be used in the
newsletter.  Let me know if you like the photo, and I will get a copy of it
for you in color.  Maybe an 8x10!

Well, they got us this photo mounted on a piece of wood.  It is absolutely gorgeous.  It is hung on the wall in the room where the computer is.  I get to look at it every time I enter the room.  Like Ham having a limited Rio item (the denim vest) I have a limited Rio item too.  This photo is a prized pocession.  I can not forget to mention that they also got me lots of Attic Treasures Beanies which I collect.  Dad also got a fishing T-shirt, which is one of his favorite pastimes.

Monday morning when it was time for them to leave, I know that it was a difficult for all of us to say our good bye's, knowing that this perfect visit had come to an end.  But leaving us all with fantastic memories of the visit.   Thankful very much that Diamond Rio had made the London Ontario, Canada-Temple, PA connection possible.