by Doug Anderson
Just thought I'd drop you a line to tell you what's up. My throat is still pretty sore today; this thing is really hanging in there! At least I am not feverish anymore.
Eric sent me a copy of the song they want me to sing at their wedding. It is a beautiful song, but I am a little worried it might lose some of it's impact when transposed for guitar. ( It was written on piano) Oh well, Just have to give it the old "college try," as they say.
I have been exchanging E-mail with Belinda this last week, catching up on the last twenty years of our lives. She won't talk much about her motorcycles, I think she has a very long modest streak, something I've never been afflicted with! It's frightening how fast time flies. It seems like just last week when we were working at Ted's Pizza together!
I have a new menu to compose soon, as spring is definitely upon us! I was thinking about putting "Shipwreck," on the menu; can you send me the recipe? It's really not that farfetched an idea, since it's really just a version of Casoulet, which is a French traditional dish. Maybe the name would have to go...
The Bulletin has been wonderful lately, isn't it fun to watch it grow up? When they start translating it into other languages, that's when we know we've hit the big time!
I should go, I have to clean the apartment today. Kind of let it slide in my illness, and Man, is it a mess!! Hope you are having a great day, Doug
Let's Ask Mom or Grandma
Several of the grandchildren have asked about Grandpa's military experiences so here is his memory of those times:
March 17, 2003, I have been asked to relate my military experiences. We will begin: On March 3, 1945 I registered for Selective Service. This was my 18th birthday. On May 11th 1945 I got my first deferment until October 11th. On December I was classified 1-A. Went to Fort Snelling for my preinduction physical. I passed and was scheduled for induction in February.
I pondered what I should do, I really didn't care to be in the Army. I talked it over with different people and on January 2, 1946 I, along with Jimmie Score rode the bus to Fargo with intentions of joining the Navy. About a block from the recruiting office, Jim got :"cold feet"and said he would wait for me. I enlisted that day and came back to Dwight on the bus.
In January I left for Minneapolis and was sworn in immediately upon walking into the induction center. Soon after that we boarded the Santa Fe for the three day ride to San Diego, CA.
As they were lining up the fellows, some to Great Lakes Ill. ,some to San Diego, my name come up number one to go to California. The fellow just ahead of me to Great Lakes Nav.Tra.Cen. We were bussed from the depot to the Navel Training Center, we got off the bus hearing the older recruits hollering "You'll be sorry"... This didn't help my outlook on the proceedings at all.
(My company was to be 28-46 meaning the 28th group and 46 was the year. San Diego Naval Training Center had 4 camps where men were trained. Mine was Camp Decatur Our company had about 110 men from all over the USA.)
Next we went through registration, were fitted for clothing and had a haircut; we were then assigned our barracks. Then we went to chow for the first time. The following day we got shots and lectures that scared the wits out of many a greenhorn boy, who had never been away from home before.
The next day we began our training. 5 AM all ready and in formation, roll call was done.After your name was announced you would respond. In boot camp as it was called we spent much time marching and listening to lectures regarding behavior in the Navy. We carried antiquated 1913 Springfield rifles.The barrels were plugged and the firing pins were removed. We learned the 16 count manual. and a physical drill with arms, this was with music. Could hear this music in my sleep.
Another thing we had to learn was swimming. Before graduation we had to qualify to know how to swim. There was a very large swimming pool. Those who said they couldn't swim were forced to prove it. If you refuse you would be "assisted" (pushed in).
We bunked two high. Our rifles were hung from our bunks with two "clothes stops." These were used as clothespins to secure our clothes to the drying rack to dry. After the lines were filled it was hoisted up about 30 feet in the air. After the clothing was dry it was lowered to enable us to get our clothing. We soon got used to looking for our names that were on all our clothes. We washed our own clothing. A newly washed out fit every day.
This washing was done in a long rack about 50 feet long, men on both sides of it water was free flowing across the racks and you scrubbed with a brush. The drain water would run out on the street into a storm basin. We could tell when a new company came in because the drains ran blue with the chambray dye from the new dungarees and shirts being washed. This operation was out on the street in front of our barracks. We had no irons to get the wrinkles out and after the shirts were "broken in" they did not show the wrinkles.
Our name and serial number was stenciled on all of our clothing. on the back of mine was. ANDERSON 28328-89-89 Personnel inspection, bag inspection was the order for most days. We had to remove our white caps upon request and show the cap was clean. We learned rolling our clothing and folding some pieces. The Navy rolled clothing for easy packing. All our clothing had to fit into a seabag so you had to get it rolled as tight as possible.
Sick call; This was announced once a day; if someone had to get medical attention you would "break line" and a medic would march the men to the "sick bay"
I pulled KP (kitchen police) duty. I was stirring scrambled eggs in a large vat. I noticed some egg shells in the eggs. I didn't eat scrambled eggs for a long time after that!!!
We were given a test climbing rope ladders; it was here I fell about 30 feet and broke my arches down. I could barely walk and the pain was unbearable, I didn't mention it until my close buddy told the officer in charge and I was sent to the "sick bay." I had much pain and was put on light duty and after a week or so I was called in and a medical discharge was being made up. In about a week I got my orders to report at the front gate with all my clothing and personal belongings and was handed the discharge certificate and train fare to Minneapolis, MN plus over a 100 bucks mustering out pay. I was along with some others were driven to the depot.
I arrived home just after a big snowstorm had hit North Dakota. I got off in Breckenridge and got a ride to Dwight. In Dwight I saw Pat Sparrow and she gave me a ride to the mail box and I walked across the field to home. There was no phone and they were very surprised to see me walking toward home. My siblings come to meet me upon seeing it was me. Dwight has just learned to walk and he was glad to see me too.
I became a farmer. I was to report for another physical in January of 1951(due to the Korean crisis ).I was found acceptable for induction and reported for duty in February of 1951. I was inducted to Ft. Lewis, WN.
After the induction procedure I and 50 others were put on a plane for Ft. Jackson, S.C. We were assigned to HQS & HQS (Headquarters Co) 155th Inf. Reg. 31st Div. My serial number now was US 55-109-889 . I trained with the unit until my feet begin to bother. I had several trip to the medics. I was not doing too well with the marching with a full pack of 50 pounds. I requested light duty which I was given.
News in April of 1952 "TRUMAN FIRES McARTHUR" , a General of World War two fame. Soon word came that World War Two Veterans would be discharged effective immediately. Good news for me and on June 15th I walked out of Ft. Jackson and rode a bus to Breckenridge. This ending my military career PFC Don Anderson was going home !!!!
A question from Donna:
I've got a question, With five children, how many times did any of us need to be in the hospital?
We were very fortunate to manage to raise you five without any major medical problems. It is a wonderful blessing to have healthy children. First of all you were all born in a hospital- you in Breckenridge Community Hospital (that was in the old hospital) with delivery by Dr. Wassemiller ; Donny, Marlene, and Doug in Litchfield Community Hospital (with delivery by Dr. Houts); and Patty was born at the Winsted Public Hospital and Dr. Carrol delivered her.
The first time one of our children was hospitalized was when you were a toddler and a cold turned to pneumonia. Your doctor put you in the hospital -- just newly opened in Breckenridge. You were there, taking penicillin and under a oxygen tent for a day or so -- (who knows why you later developed an allergy to penicillin and no longer can use it.) It certainly did a quick cure that time!!
When we lived west of Howard Lake you kids had lots of colds, and sore throat was a common complaint,too, so Dr. Houts decided that your tonsils needed to come out!!--We thought we might as well get them out for both you and Donny, so he took them out and you both spent a night in the Litchfield hospital. Do you remember how sore your throat was ?--and Donny could eat all kinds of stuff within two days. I don't think you ate anything for a week ; and drank very little!!
The last time one of you spent a night in the hospital was when Marlene was a toddler. One night she woke me with a scream and I went in and found her crying , and crying ( very unusual for her --as she was not a cryer) The next morning she was fine but I noticed she had a large tumor-like mass under her arm . Vonnie, the nurse advisor of our family felt she should be taken to the doctor--even though she was acting normal -happy and content. I took her to the Winsted Clinic. They thought it might be a huge blood blister but thought it should be removed --as the body wouldn't be apt to absorb so big a lump. So they had us bring her in to the Winsted Hospital . They removed the mass , and found that indeed it was a blood blister--it was only then that we went home and looked at her cut down crib and found the place where she had pinched herself in a corner!!
I will take a bit of time now to tell you of emergency treatment that you had that didn't require hospitalization. There was of course the time when you broke your leg. You were learning to skate and Dad had flooded a skating rink in the back yard at the little pink house in Howard Lake. You were on the rink with a Lang girl and she came in to tell me you had broken your leg--what was I to do ? Dad was at work and even then I could not "do" ice or snow--I really didn't see how she could be sure you had broken the leg and so I asked her if she could help you in. Well somehow or another you crawled in --I saw you were right it certainly appeared broken,I called Dr Houts at his home and he said to bring you to the clinic. So after calling Dad home (he had our only car with him at the gas station where he worked) we made the trip, and Dr. Houts, growling a little, as he always did, about the senselessness of winter sports -- set the leg, gave you pain pills and sent us home.
One other episode happened somewhat later in time and probably made Dr. Houts growl about young mothers not watching their kids close enough, (though truthfully I don't remember him saying anything of the kind!!)
The Miller cousins came for a daytime stay with us while their Mom and Dad went somewhere (I can't seem to remember those details) We lived in the gray house next to the highway -west of town -where your Dad had his business. I was busy in the kitchen and here came Duane to tattle on the ones upstairs (now I didn't usually listen to tattling-but I am glad I did that time) he came up to me and I can see his hurt feelings yet, "Aunty Dorothy, Why did you give Donny and Sharon candy --and not us?"
"What do you mean candy? I didn't give them candy." "Well Sharon has orange in her mouth -- I can see it !!!"
Oh ,no, I understood now. The little kids were going to play going on a trip--pulled our suitcase out of the storage, and in exploring in it found a bottle of children's aspirin that I had forgotten in the pocket after our trip to convention. They polished off the bottle -- and being rather selfish didn't share!!! At least there was a car that time -- the big kids stayed with the babies with Don, I think, and I made a quick trip to the clinic again and Sharon and Donny found out what it was like to have your stomach pumped.
I can think of only one more emergency run (when you were kids) and that was when Patty fell and got a gash on her forehead -- I never did quite get the straight story on how that happened -- but it was the stairs to the lower level at our Anderson Equipment location WHERE it happened. Again it was Dr. Houts who did the repair work.
I guess Doug had too many people always on his case to be allowed to have any broken bones, or such -- anyway I don't remember any repair that he had to have.
February 2nd dawned sunny and mild, with lots of birds singing. We stopped at a gas station outside of Cameron to fill the gas tank and my coffee cup, as the coffee from the motel tasted like kerosene filtered through mothballs. The stuff from the gas station wasn't much better. We asked the gal at the gas station what there was to see along the way to New Orleans, she said, "Nothing much." When she noticed we were from Minnesota, she said, "Why Louisiana?"
The temperature was 61 degrees. We passed two country churches, where police officers were directing traffic to let the churchgoers onto the highway. The road was lined with big oak trees draped with moss. A trailer house along the road stood on stilts so high you could easily walk under it. All houses were on stilts, often with cars parked underneath. We passed a herd of hump-backed Brahman cattle. A narrow road with water on both sides led us to a drawbridge with lights at each end. We passed a large drill rig on a barge, then more homes on stilts. We were driving with the gulf on our right and bayous on our left. There were several T-shaped fishing piers extending out into the bayous. We saw rows of floats on both sides of the road; we guessed they might be holding fish traps of some sort? We passed over more drawbridges, and more steep, high bridges. Donkeys often accompanied the cattle along the road. I speculated that they might be to keep predators away from the calves or to eat noxious weeds that cattle won't eat?
At Esther, the temperature was 66 degrees, and the terrain changed to tall trees on either side of the road, mostly palmetto and pines. At New Iberia, the backcountry feeling vanished in an instant, when a Wal-Mart Superstore appeared on the horizon. Nevertheless, we were still in scenic country. Many long bridges later, we found our way into New Orleans.
We found a motel on Canal Street within walking distance of downtown, checked in, and walked 7 blocks to the St. Charles Street Trolley. The trolley's windows were all down, temperature in the 70's. We rode the whole route past all the beautiful mansions, built in the 1800's by sugar and shipping tycoons. At the end of the line, I learned something new. The motorman simply walked the length of the trolley reversing the seats, slapping each seat back to the opposite side of the bench, and then sat down at a set of controls at the opposite end of the trolley. As the trolley started back up the line, we crossed a switch that moved us onto the opposite track. I had never noticed the dual controls, one at each end. I guess I thought they turned them around to go back. Haven't spent much time off the farm, I guess.
After riding the trolley back to the starting point, we walked to Riverwalk, checked out the shops, and ate great seafood in the food court. After dark, we took the ferry across the river to see the city from the other side, very pretty with all the lights.
We walked back to the French Quarter and spent some time walking Bourbon Street. D bought the shirt (remember, been there, done that, got the shirt?), and we walked the 7 blocks back to the hotel.
Feb 3rd, we got up late and drove to Riverwalk. We deftly eluded a sales pitch offering free tickets to everything ! I'm still not sure what they were selling, time shares most likely? Luckily, when our dormant sales resistance reawakened, we only had to walk 3 blocks to get back to where they picked us up! We ate breakfast, and then D shopped while I had coffee on the deck overlooking the river. Good coffee, great view, could have stayed there all day; I'll spare you the shopping details!
On the way out of New Orleans, we happened upon one of their famous cemeteries, where all the burials are in above ground tombs because of the high water table. Some of the tombs date back into the 1700's, and some have been recently used.
Leaving New Orleans in the early afternoon, we headed out on Highway 90 for Biloxi, Mississippi, 90 miles away. Biloxi was one of the focal points of our trip, because I had been stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi while on active duty in the Air National Guard in1969-1970. When we rolled into Biloxi on buses in August of 1969, the white sand beaches were filled with people. We had just spent July and half of August in basic training at San Antonio, Texas, and Biloxi looked like a mighty fine resort to us. That night, we were herded into storm shelters, and by morning, Hurricane Camille, said to be the worst hurricane ever to hit the mainland U.S., had wreaked havoc with everything. Most of the buildings along the beach were reduced to rubble or completely gone, ships, small boats, and debris were piled on the beach, and the bridge to Ocean Springs looked like a jigsaw puzzle. I had always wanted to go back and see what it looked like after the mess was cleaned up and the oceanfront rebuilt.
Much of the trip from New Orleans to Biloxi reminded us of northern Minnesota, with tall pine trees lining the road. I tried to drive past a flea market junk place that D noticed. We turned around and went back. The guy had a whole front yard full of kids' stuff. D bought a grocery store stand for the day care kids; we crammed it on top of all the other stuff in the van, and were on our way again, until D saw the antique mall in Pass Christian with 32 - yes 32 booths!
This was a very pretty stretch, with white sand beaches on our right, and fabulous old homes surrounded by huge trees on our left. At Gulfport, we left the highway for a frontage road, creeping along to have a better look at the beautiful homes and huge trees. One home for sale was priced at $995,000.
At Biloxi, we saw what replaced the mess that I had seen in 1970 - hotels and casinos! The casinos were all on barges, looking like buildings but floating on the water. We drove through Biloxi and over the bridge to Ocean Springs, turned around there and drove back into Biloxi where we found a bargain rate at a nice motel.
The gal at the motel told us to take the shuttle to the Boomtown Casino for their buffet. We took her advice and found an unbelievable buffet - they had about everything you could think of, great seafood, great everything. Overstuffed, we waddled out of Boomtown, caught the shuttle back to the motel, and called it a day.
In this issue of The Bulletin you will find a new column known as Memory Lane. Donna is the person to send all manuscripts to. You must not expect to see your entry immediately, but we will run them as we find room for them. Donna has sent you the criteria (if you missed getting a letter and you want to be in on this assignment drop her a letter).
We are attempting to keep our family paper balanced. I started The Bulletin as a way to know what was happening in the student world (why don't you let me know your summer plans -- students?) It was then expanded to include the family events. (it is time for more updates). It is nice to have talented people (and it seems to me we have lots of good writers in our family) running columns for information, entertainment, and fun -- but your subscription is paid for by helping with the data base!!! May I please hear from you!!
Dear Readers, I've put in a request to grandchildren and children to take a journey down memory lane. To give tidbits from their memories, so we all may share and remember too. I have asked to hear about the grandparents and parents. Any other memories from the rest of you would be welcomed. Our memories are our history, let's keep those memories fresh. Thanks for your helpful contributions! Donna
You could always count on Grandpa's seemingly never ending coin "pocket." This little plastic pocket that he would squeeze open by pushing in the sides would reveal quarters, nickels and dimes every time. He was always good for a candy bar or an RC cola from the car wash next to their house in Howard Lake. A trip to Tom Thumb always proved fruitful for some sugary substance! I think I can rightly blame him for my sweet/sour candy addiction to Skittles. ;-)
I loved the fact that Grandma was a teacher because there were always text books or classroom materials floating around for us to play with. I'll never forget when Howard Lake schools went on strike and they held classes in the basement of Grandpa and Grandma's house. I know now that it was probably a tough time for the teachers and parents (and town in general) but for me it was great! I got to play school whenever we would visit because I now had all the necessary materials to be what I considered a fabulous but strict teacher to Becky and Chris... which meant innumerable homework assignments and red ink on all their papers. I'm sure I drove them both nuts with my bossiness.
It's amazing how a kid can see fun and play in an event which has the complete opposite meaning to an adult. This also reminds me of Caity making a visit to the cities one weekend. I had to stop in at work for an hour or so to clean up some work issues, so I took her with me. To me it was work and to her it was the greatest play day ever ... which she still talks about and remembers to this day. Sometimes I still wish I had this viewpoint on life.
A Memory of Mom and Dad
by Gert Pettit
One little (real) story I remember Grandma telling, and laughing about, when Grandpa needed someone on the opposite end of the crosscut saw, and Grandma went to help him. Needless to say that job together didn't go too well. For some reason when Grandpa pushed Grandma pushed and when Grandpa pulled Grandma pulled. Grandma never said exactly what Grandpa told her, but she said she told Grandpa to run his own saw and she would run her sewing machine!
Have a good day---Aunty Gert
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR?
I have some letter excerpts that I enjoyed!! Hope you will, too:
Your Mom started something, because my girls want to get a news letter started for us. Hope we can have as much fun as yours seems to be. I enjoy reading it.
Elaine also mentioned what a good report, well rounded out, Beaver was doing. Also said Doug is such a good writer, with such a "grasp of the English language, great vocabulary." She really was enthused about the whole thing.
Our Present Staff:
EDITORS: Mom, Grandma, Dorothy, etc.
Doug -------St. Cloud Correspondent
Rich---------Mr. In-A-Jam(b) &
Kim------and his assistant
Research by Donna------MEMORY LANE