At The Table With Bonnie O’Toole August
After her parents divorced, Bonnie O’Toole and her sister, Pat, went to live with their grandparents, the Janciks. These two small children moved to Whitehorse Road and enjoyed the love that only grandparents can give.
When Bonnie was 4 years old, her mom remarried, and the two girls moved to Valley Dell Boulevard. Bill Gormley became their father. The family grew with the addition of four more Gormley children. This gave Bonnie another sister and three brothers. All the kids grew up in a warm and loving family.
In the second grade at East Pikeland School, she met Carol Rees, and they became fast friends. It all started when Carol came up to Bonnie an ask her if she wanted to play. They still remain close friends and are involved in each other’s lives.
In 1961, she and Frank “Butchie” August were married and settled on High Street in Phoenixville. They lived on the “northside” for 46 years. About 12 years ago, they moved to Main Street to an apartment between Fourth and Fifth avenues.
The apartment is located in a vintage house owned by Tammy Klotzbach. Bonnie loves to collect antiques and decorates with many items throughout her home.
Butchie started out working for the Pennsylvania Highway Department. He then joined the Phoenixville Police Department, remaining on the force for 20 years.
Today, he moves a little slower as he has developed Parkinson’s. He is handling this disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement and may include tremors as best he can. Parkinson’s cannot be cured but can be controlled with medication, as well as lifestyle changes, such as diet. A person with Parkinson’s does not have a lesser life expectancy then if he did not have it.
Bonnie and Butchie have no children. Bonnie has become everyone’s favorite aunt. She has a bounty of love which she shares abundantly.
Beginning in the back 1980s, she served her first term on Phoenixville Borough Council. She served three additional terms, leaving council in 1995. In the mid-1980s, Bonnie was the first women to become council president. Actually, according to her knowledge ,she holds the record of being the only woman who was president of council.
During that time, she ran for mayor. She lost to Chuck Ash. For many years, she was active as a committee person for the Democratic party.
For 28 years, she has worked for COAD. The last eight years, Bonnie has worked as an administrative assistant part time for Health Advocate. She loves her job and thinks it helps keep her going.
Bonnie loves to cook and bake and loves to share her goodies with others.
Easy Peasey Cookies
2 cups raisins
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 cups shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Mix all the ingredients together, making sure everything is combined evenly. Drop by the teaspoonful onto parchmentlined baking sheets. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Keep a watchful eye on them as you don’t want them to burn. Cool on wire racks. Bite into these delicious cookies.
Enjoy! Let Bette hear from you: ban[email protected]izon.net. Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well phoenixvillenews.com (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.
Bonnie O’Toole August