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June 22, 2003
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The Pudding Pack

A Short Story
By Doug and Dorothy

Editor's Note: The following is a story with two narrators. When the writing is in normal prose style, it is the Mother speaking. When it is written in journal entry form, it is the Son who is speaking.

The Andersons: Junior, Doris, Lisa and Steve, June of 1976.

Chapter Five
California Dreamin'

We have now reached the last day of this second week of our trip and now that I have time I will record briefly the space between doing our laundry at our cabin and the "here and now."

When we came back from doing the laundry at a laundromat just a few blocks away it was a pleasant surprise to find the last of the food from the ice box arranged on the table ready for a family lunch and the box itself emptied, scrubbed out, and dried so that some of the extras (mostly souvenirs) that we had acquired were now stored and could be put out of the way until we packed to go home.

After lunch the kids spent some time on the beach. When it was time to get some sleep, we settled into our cabin space.

I don't think anyone was very comfortable, but most of all I can imagine Doug's narrow cot wasn't exactly "down home" comfortable! We listened to the surf at first with interest and enjoyment and soon some found it soothing and went to sleep -- only to add some pretty wild snoring to the now annoying sound of the ocean. Some of us found the quarters a little too tight and a good deal too noisy for getting much sleep in. Oh, well!

Eventually we all did get some sleep; of course, no matter what, Dad always wakes up early and then really feels the rest of us should be up and not wasting our time laying in bed when there is so much to see and do -- so we were soon up, dressed, packed and on our way.

First we found a McDonald's and had pancakes and then everybody clambered back in without too much argument as to whose turn it was to ride in front. Patty won out (or lost, depending on where one preferred riding) and we got back on Freeway #5 and headed out for La Mirada.

We decided to dawdle a little, and after a little exploring we stopped at one of the many malls to be found in this area. I picked up a few items and the kids did some shopping until time to go to visit the California Anderson relatives.

We decided to stop at a hamburger place called Carl's, which is almost there. We were to arrive in the afternoon, so this would be a good place to spend the extra time we had gained by our earlier than planned take off.

We had no trouble finding our way -- and from then until now the kids have been getting acquainted, and we adults have been catching up on the latest in family news. We spent some time showing each other the latest family pictures -- so nice to find that they have such a nice one of their family that we get to keep. I think it will ride home with us in my Bible in the Bible bag for protection!

6/23/76: California, here we are! We pulled into Junior's (Finally!), and when I told Junior I was feeling "nostalgic" for California, he said, "Wait a minute while I go get my dictionary!" He is quite sarcastic; I know he knows what "nostalgic" means.

2nd Entry: Lisa and I took her skateboards to this really huge park and went down some pretty steep sidewalks. I told her I saw Alcatraz and she informed me that Alcatraz is in San Francisco and that I must have pretty good eyes if I could see it from a boat in San Diego.

3rd Entry: Junior made us some yummy hamburgers on the grill. This is real California living!

4th Entry: Lisa calls our sleeping arrangement "wall-to-wall cousins!" It is quite a sight to see so many sleeping bags packed end to end!

6/24/76: I took my first real swim in the Pacific Ocean! How weird it is that the people on the beach get a little more to the left each time I would go under and come up again. What a cool feeling to be in such a huge body of water. Lisa informs me that sharks don't usually come in close to shore, but I keep a close watch, just in case.

6/25/76: Went to a super creepy wax museum... Man, I guess anything goes in California! I think they should put some boxer shorts on some of 'em!

The next piece of news caused a chorus of -- Great! Good -- What fun! and like comments ... that was the news that Elaine and Melinda were flying in on Friday.

It was great to learn that Junior was taking off some of his vacation time to help us make the tourist tour of town! We have covered some of the bases already -- having tried to improve those tans by another visit to the beach, and then who could resist a quick visit to Madam T's Wax Museum? (Doug had me take pictures of him having a "conversation" with one of the very life- like members of the museum).

We have been faring sumptuously -- I have never had such wonderful salads -- and Junior does lovely hamburgers out on the grill. I do think the California patio garden in the back yard has been a cosy place to eat and lounge! And the weather has been so perfect!

We have a bedroom (I think it is Steven's); Elaine has the one next to the living room -- and being a bit hard of hearing is not a disadvantage in that case; it seems pretty hard to get all the sleeping bag occupants, who are scattered about, quieted down to sleep!

Tonight Don called home again and Donna says everything is going just fine -- but they have not heard any more on the impending closure.

After that call Don called the number that Junior had of the people who have a meeting here in La Mirada. (Junior had gotten it for Cleo when she was here.)

They are now aware they will have guests for meeting tomorrow forenoon. As we want to be sure to be able to find our way there, Don and I are now going to go look for the location of the Terpstra's home at Green Lantern Lane -- sounded like it would be quite easy to find -- but it is a good excuse to get away from the total chaos that is surrounding the latest activity of the younger Anderson clan!

6/26/76: Did some shopping today. I found an old Concentration game on clearance. It's kind of a baby game, but it might be some entertainment for our boring trip back. The big news is tomorrow: DISNEYLAND! It is the Mecca I seek. I will now join the proud ranks of people who have been somewhere and seen something. Hard to sleep. Craving vanilla pudding... I think I'm hooked!

Updates -

by Ben, Rachel, Heidi, and Kim

This is to let everyone know that we have arrived safely at Grandpa and Grandma's place. Grandpa has his famous chili ready for our supper. We made great time. We all stayed over at the Johnsons last night and were up and on our way by 7 o'clock this morning.

We came in Ben's new car: a red, 1996 Grand Am -- which runs like a "charm." We made great time and arrived here at 4:30, just in time for Grandma to get this in The Bulletin for this week.

We were very conservative with expenses -- made only two stops (for gas and to use their facilities). Ate lunch in the car (prepared in the car), trusting that Grandpa would feed us when we got here.

To keep from killing Ben (or each other) we did the following: Ben, because of his own dumb fault (buying a stick shift), drove every inch of the way.

We (the girls) video-taped weird people during rush hour, or else taped each other. (Does that count as weird people?) We used Kim's camera -- hope it still works.

We also listened to a book on CD; it was about the FBI.

Memory Lane

I will start with the excerpts from the book given to Grandma Dake by Duane.

Thanks again, Duane, for sharing this with all of us!

About Your Family....

From what country did your family ancestors emigrate? Where did they settle?

My father's family came from Ireland. They settled on a farm near Smith Lake. They came from Ireland to Canada. Settled at South Mountain and when my Dad was two years old they came to Minnesota.

What are your parents' names? Where were they born?

My dad's name was Alonzo Shaeffer Mellon. My mother's name was Angline Jane Doyle. My father was born in Canada. My mother in Watertown, Minnesota.

What do you remember most about your mother and father from your childhood?

Her kindness and her love of us and our home -- and her jolly nature.

I was always proud of my Dad because of his kindness -- his red hair and green eyes -- his dignity -- and his manliness. And I loved him because he was a great Dad.

What work did your parents do?

Until after I was married, they farmed. At that time, he became manager of The Farmers Union store in Waverly. He later owned that store. Mother worked in the store. Later he was elected to the Minnesota legislature -- served two terms as representative and one term as Senator.

Question for Mom:

So, how did her parents meet? And, how did she and Grandpa Dake meet? Was the farm theirs to start, or her parents' or? I remember you saying you lived in another house, on nearby land, when you were young and then moved to the farm, as we know it now? Did they build, or was it there? Lots of things I don't know ... or I've forgotten.

I do not know how Grandpa and Grandma met. I would suppose that all the various families that had lived near to one another would have been friends when they came from Canada to Minnesota. They were all of Irish origin and Presbyterian denomination. People of that day ordinarily found mates from their group. It sounds from what my mother said that they would have both been considered "a good catch."

The home place that I was brought up in originally had a log house where the Mellons first lived. After Grandpa was left as the owner of that place, and soon after he married, he remodeled the home. The cabin is still a part of the home. Along with enlarging it and enclosing it with siding, he put in running water (powered by a windmill and pump), a bathroom, and a coal furnace with a jacket that heated water for a steam heating system with radiators.

My dad lived in the homesite to the north of the Mellons. I imagine that my folks met at some social affair of the community.

When they married, they moved a little house onto the back yard of the Dake homesite. After my Dad and Mom were married, they lived there and helped Grandpa Dake farm.

When I was two years old, Grandpa Mellon offered Dad a share crop arrangement that included the stipulation that we would live in the home on the Mellon farm. We moved and the Dakes sold our little home, that was then moved to another farm. (It was just south of Pillsbury's farm, where we had our business when the Beeps were born.)

by Author Unknown

The six most important words
"I admit that I was wrong!"

The five most important words
"You did a great job."

The four most important words
"What do you think?"

The three most important words
"May I help?"

The two most important words
"Thank You!"

The most important word

The least important word

Autos from the Forties
by Don Anderson

During World War II, autos were not available to the general public. You had to obtain a priority certificate to order one. The wait could be long, as the cars were produced for military usage.

If a new car appeared at a local dealership, it was whisked away to a storage building, awaiting the eligible holder of a certificate. This car had wood bumpers to conserve steel for the war effort. Later on, as new bumpers became available, the dealer would replace them.

My first car was a 1927 Oldsmobile 2 door, green and black, a straight six cylinder. I drove it home on November 11, 1944, from Dwight. It had been owned by a barber, Mr. Spicer. I paid $75 for it. It was in beautiful condition. It ran like a sewing machine.

This car, if I had it, would be worth many times the price I paid. I think we all can relate to that, as we all have once had that chance to save items that appreciated in value.

When I entered the Navy, I sold it to my brother Elwood. He drove it and made some alterations to its performance that were not conducive to an old car's welfare.

One I can think of: he cut out two spokes from the steering wheel, to keep in time with the new cars. (two spoke steering wheels). The old wood laminated wheel could not function and it fell apart.

The rear window got busted and the window shade flew like a flag as he drove. However, it gave him good use.

Cars were hard to obtain, even in 1946. I bought a 1937 Plymouth and it was not in top condition. I gave $750 for it. It was a hard starter when cold weather came. A joke then: "if it clouded over a Plymouth would not start"!

Later I got a 1940 Chevrolet coupe and liked it. I had my heart set for buying a new 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster Sport Coupe. I pondered this purchase over and over. Price $1,402 -- delivered by Lillegard Chevrolet in Wahpeton. I liked the Lake Como blue color. It had radio, heater, white sidewall rims. back up lights and seatcovers.

I had an idea my Dad would not think I ought go in debt for about $800, which I needed. I gave up on that. I drove the '40 Chev. Had it when I got married and several years after. Dorothy drove it to her teaching job and we made trips to Howard Lake to visit her family there.

I sold the 40 to Pete Lund, as he always wanted it. I got a used 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline 4 door and drove it quite a while.

Sometimes when us old fellows get together, someone brings up the fun times we had with the 1927 Oldsmobile. WHAT A CAR!

The Family Cookbook
Culinary Heirlooms
by Doug Anderson

      Greetings food fans, welcome to another peek into our family's collective subconscious. If we truly "are what We eat," then we certainly are a tasty bunch, as this week's recipe will prove. I promised a recipe from a proud new Grandma and I am here to deliver, because there is no prouder than this week's contributor, and with good reason! (See last Edition's attachment.)

      If you live in Rhubarb Country, as Janie calls it, you are in for a huge treat! If not, go make yourself a sandwich or something. The rest of you should prepare yourself for the sheer magnitude of:

Janie's Radiant Rhubarb Crunch
Janie writes: "This is a recipe easy enough even for ME!" (Such modesty!)

6 cups rhubarb, cut into chunks
2 cups sugar
6 Tablespoons tapioca

Combine above ingredients and place
in a greased 9x13" pan.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup quick oats
1-1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup liquid shortening

Combine above ingredients
and top with the rhubarb mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Serve warm or cold,
top with Ice cream or Cool Whip.

      The only culinary term I can think of to accurately describe that is "Nummy!" Another feather in our cap, looks like to me! Thanks for the delicious recipe, Janie; this is one I know I will make myself, or at least attempt it. Bon Appetit and keep those recipes rolling in!

      Next week: A variation on a standard theme; Yep, you guessed it! More rhubarb crisp!

by Donna

I have a new question, to any of you that feel like sharing ... (if you receive this bulletin, you are an eligible contributor; please don't feel like you are just a wallflower or onlooker!)

I so enjoyed Doug's Father's day writing, it made me wonder:

What is the earliest memory you have?

Or answer one of the other two: Describe the most wonderful vacation you've ever taken. Why was it so great?--

What single accomplishment in your life have you been proudest of?

May I please hear from you?:-) Donna J


Hi there everybody -- hope you enjoy this feature -- and feel free to contribute your favorite smile maker!

From Donna

Caity got to visit with Barb and Russ at his brother's cabin this last weekend. She helped entertain the little granddaughter there, who is four. They got to swim in the lake and had a great time. Russ reported to Beaver that when someone asked Caity her age she told them she was seven. Asked about her brother's age she replied, "He's a very YOUNG four." They got a kick out of that. (Being he is very immature for his age group, she was very accurate in her description. :-)

How about some odd "news"?
Lobster was once fed to inmates in prison. However, not as a treat; it was considered cruel and unusual punishment! Lobsters are bottom feeders, not to mention the closest relative to the cockroach. Mmmmm... YUMMY! Someone pass the butter!


I tried sending the Bulletin as an attachment and this is from Linda ... thought it was fun that she says she looks forward to the Bulletin! I just started sending to her lately,

To: "Donna & Beaver Johnson"
Subject: Re: Bulletin # 47- Sunday, June 15, 2003
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 17:13:00 -0500

Hey!! I look forward to this!! But when I open there is nothing there!!~!!

Editor's Comment: I am very sorry that the Bulletin slid down away from the attached file. Perhaps most of you discovered you could retrieve it by scrolling up. I hope I have the method for attaching today's photo mastered and that you get a perfect copy!

Absolutely marvelous bulletin! Loved each and every piece. Surely am enjoying reading about your trip from the Mother/Son point of view, really brings it alive. Now I see Doug's little "warning" produced responses for him ... good for him and us. Too bad, the Memory Lane and Personal Questions don't get the same results. Hmmm, I am just NOT as good with words, that is very evident! Please people, take pity on the poorly versed old woman, begging for input for her "columns" too. Smiles and hugs to those that respond, nose out of joint to those that continue to ignore me :-) Donna Mae

Dorothy, you did a great job on the bulletin again ... So nice when various ones help contribute news to it, too.


from Elaine

For a handy hint ... The other day I was called to bring some serving utensils and trays for the adoption party at the park. My large serving spoon was tarnished black. My silver polish was all dried up, so I used toothpaste on the spoon, and it shined up quickly and nice!

Big Deal
Classifieds (

For Sale: Little Red Ridinghood and Little Miss Muffit. These porcelain dolls are from The Ashton Drake collection. Also a 1976 Chev c-60 truck, box, hoist, tarp. 37,300 miles. Grain Vacuum. Email me at

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Only two groups of people fall for flattery -- men and women.