The Bulletin
July 27, 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.

A herd of Midwestern vacationers in their natural habitat;
clockwise from the right: Dad, Doug, Marlene, Patty (The Andersons).

Chapter Ten
Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig

We had a nice stay with Bob and Eloise. It was interesting watching the big, noisy machines press boards together at the factory where Bob works; they make plywood.

Had a tasty breakfast the next morning (homemade blueberry muffins -- ummm!) and got on our way early. It seems a little sad, but now that we were so close to home all the beautiful scenery had turned into boring space to cover -- beautiful mountains, trees, and even a pretty waterfall didn't seem to get much of our attention.

We had our first travel trouble yesterday. We hadn't gone very far into Montana and the car got a weave to it -- oh, no, a flat tire. I just stayed right in the front seat but everybody else piled out. They all pitched in and helped Dad fix the tire! That is a big deal when the trunk is so loaded down.

After we got going again, we drove until late in the afternoon without further event. We made a short stop at Manhattan, to get in a quick visit with a friend from our "youth." As a matter of fact, I was introduced to Don by our friend Lorraine. We drove on from there and stayed at Bozeman. Tonight we are here at Mavis and Tom's. The supper she is fixing for this crowd smells wonderful! Maybe Don will find time now to call home.

What WONDERFUL NEWS. Last night Don made a call home and talked to Donna. She told us they are ready to close on our house. She has called Irene Oliver to get our date set up with her to finish our purchase of hers.

Strange to think that on Thursday of next week we will become residents of Howard Lake, Minnesota. Our plans for the finish of our trip are finalized: we will stay here until after breakfast -- the girls want to introduce their new ponies to our kids. Then we will head down those last 300 or so miles that separate us from HOME!

7/6/76: Our historic journey is coming to an end. Now we drive. And drive. and drive.... More later.

2nd Entry: Flat tire! All of us in the back seat helped out unpacking stuff, surprised that it really wasn't a big deal at all. At least we got a peek at Montana from outside of the car!

7/8/76: We have reached Mavis and Tom's. Nice to be somewhere, as we ran out of pudding packs a long time ago. This place is like an oasis after wandering in the desert!

2nd Entry: The girls rode horses, but I don't trust horses. They bite! More later.

7/9/76: We passed a Stuckey's and didn't even stop. No one protested, and I didn't even care! I just would like to be home, now...

7/10/76: Left Grandma Cleo's after meeting... Tonight we will be home!

2nd Entry: We just crossed the state line into Minnesota! California was great, but it's still good to be home. I have learned a lot and seen many amazing things and feel that I could write a long book about my experiences... Later. Right now, I just want to sleep in my own bed! Signing off, 10-4, over and out. End Transmission.


Updates -

by Gert

Hello Dear Sister,

It is time for bed, but I had to take time to read the Bulletin first. Glad I did; had a good laugh out of Don's Chuckle Column. Also enjoyed reading about memories. You know my kids are trying to get something going too, to keep the family closer together, even when miles apart.

I wonder if my fear on the bridge (see Gert's early memory in Donna's column) is why I am not very much in love with flying, but sometimes it's necessary when you want to go on a visit. Don and I and Betty Melquist are leaving Aug. 6 and coming back Aug. 16 -- for San Francisco to Don's daughter, Judy's. We are going to the city of Dublin, which is about 1 hour east of San Francisco. Enough for this time.

Would ship a few mosquitoes to you if you would like some. (very thoughtful of you??)

Love, Gert

by Merna

It's been a long time since I have written. The days go by quickly and now it is time that I get this update written and sent.

My project this summer has been redoing Brandon's room and I now have it painted and a wallpaper border hung at the ceiling level. I will sew window valances in the near future and then it will be done.

Ken replaced the entire floor in Lindsay's playhouse, as it had rotted from water in the 2000 rain disaster. She wants to put in some chairs and fix it up with a few accessories for a hang-out for friends, as she is too old for playing "house," but still enjoys using it. She and I are going to paint the exterior trim and shutters today.

Brandon has been on the go all summer. He spent 10 days at Heart Butte in western North Dakota as a teacher of leadership skills to 13- and 14-year-old scouts. He is working on his Eagle Scout project, which involves enhancing the mini-golf course at Yunker Farm Children's Museum here in north Fargo. And he is a baseball umpire for Babe Ruth games several evening a week, when he is in Fargo.

Ryan has been home all summer and finding it hard to get seasonal work as most places that hire are looking at long-term expectations. He went with some folks from Willmar to Emo convention and had a wonderful time. Curt and Patty and family were there and many others he knew from Fargo and from the cities.

Ken will be leaving Saturday for Las Vegas, Nevada, for their national Ag Engineering Society meeting. He returns on the 31st. It has been a busy summer --Merna

by Earl

Trenton Laredo Roberson
Born July 8, 2003 at 3:47 p.m.

His brothers' names and birthdates are as follows:

Tracer Scott is 5 years old. Birthday is May 27, 1996
Trevor Jayce is 2 years old. Birthday is January 19, 2001

The Family Cookbook
Culinary Heirlooms
number seventeen
by Doug Anderson

      Welcome foodies, to another edition of The Family Cookbook, where you, the reader, are also the chef. This week I am thrilled to bring you a recipe from my sister, Marlene. It was like pulling teeth, but alas, I finally prevailed and it was well worth the effort. This one may not test well with the more fragile readers, but if you like your food with a little voltage, it's right up your alley. Don your sombrero and get ready for:

Marlene Kaygen's Summery Salsa Tortillas

1 small yellow onion chopped
6-8 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup diced Jalapeno peppers
salt and pepper to taste

fry fresh corn tortillas,
melt cheese on them while they are in the pan
so that they are crispy
remove and top with browned and seasoned hamburger
and "loads" of salsa.

Sounds scrumptious! Marlene doesn't specify whether she uses fresh or canned jalapenos, but I strongly suggest fresh, although canned would be better for the timid. Thanks for the recipe, Marlene; that didn't hurt so much, did it?

      Speaking of that, it's time for me to get up on my salt box again. The cupboard is very near bare! Since it seems there are some people who just can't be reached, I am appealing to those of you who have submitted once to send something else! Let's keep it going, Bulletin readers!
      See you next week, I hope!

Memory Lane

A Trip to Grandpa Mellon's Store
by Dorothy

I worked hard all day; we had come to help Grandma get settled in a new house. I helped with the unpacking and Mom helped choose where to put the rest of the belongings. My Dad was a lot of help with the heavy things. Now it was about time for an afternoon break.

I decided now was the right time to ask for the special privilege of going to the store to see Grandpa, and fat, jolly, John Johnson, the butcher in the Meat Market at the back of the store. (He was always quick to offer a wiener to a hungry visitor.)

Then there was Gladys, who didn't mind if I tried on the hats found in the ladies section at the front of the store. It was a treat to check out the two display windows at the front -- enough thinking about all the interesting things; first I needed to have permission. Being that none of the other kids had come along, I would be making this little jaunt by myself, IF the grownups would let me.

Great GOOD LUCK -- Grandma needed a loaf of bread and something for dessert for supper, so it was decided a ten year old who was such a good help certainly must be trustworthy enough to make the six block trip to the store and back safely ... and two hours later I arrived back to join my busy parents and Grandma with the things I was sent for. Nobody ever really asked how it went -- so I never told.

I did fine crossing the highway -- looked both ways and then hurried across. Then I went one block north; I passed this really big, spooky looking place, so I began to think about what it would be like to live there instead of the dinky place Grandma lived in.

I hurried down the sidewalk, planning to look really hungry when Grandpa was around. I walked lazily across the two tracks, got to the other side and felt a strong wind on my back -- and heard for the first time an ear splitting train whistle. I ran and cleared the next 10 feet in a couple leaps, only then to look back and see the train go flying by. I really do not know how close it was, but I do know that I acquired a great respect for railroad crossings that afternoon!

By Jim O'Leary
An e-mail newsletter for and about Waverly people

Don came upon this by-line while reading the Howard Lake memory section. He did some search and found a wealth of material about Waverly, in the days when Grandpa was living there. I have enjoyed reading these so very much, and think you will, too. --DMA Who better to tell us about our Irish ancestors than another Irishman? Thanks, Mr. O'Leary.

Excerpts from several newspaper columns follow:

Easter Eggs

The Waverly Community Store, A.S. Mellon, prop., was advertising Easter specials in this issue. Mr. Mellon was not above a little sermonizing in order to lure customers to his corner grocery: "What a joyous time is Easter!" he wrote. "The world is getting green again and young again. Every moment of life should be enjoyed. Your meals should be enjoyed! They will be, by you and your whole family, if you make it a habit to shop at the Waverly Community Store, where good foods are always procurable and where moderate prices are always maintained."

Some of the prices posted in different ads were: raisins seven cents a pound and canned Tomah salmon (pink) were at 10 cents. Eggs were seven cents a dozen, Folger's coffee, vacuum packed, 29 cents a pound, and a 10-pound sack of sugar sold for 48 cents. Even at those prices, many people could not afford to buy groceries.

Mr. Mellon was Waverly's Mayor in 1933 and, later was elected and re-elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. He also served one term in the Senate of Minnesota.

Although he ran the "Protestant" grocery store in town, he seemed to hire many Catholics to work for him, including Betty Gritz, and the gorgeous Eleanor Diers.

Even though Mr. Mellon was a highly regarded leading citizen and very popular, Mr. Francis ("Marks") McDonnell, "Ye Olde Editor" of "Ye Towne Gossip" seemed to have it in for him. Marks never failed to give a weekly negative health report on Mr. Mellon, who did, in fact, live to a ripe old age, despite the gloomy prognosis Marks gave him week after week. In the Easter issue was this alarming item: "Word was received in Waverly this week stating that Mr. A.S. Mellon, who is a patient at the Mayo Hospital at Rochester, was just holding his own. It will be at least a month before he will be able to return home, if at all. He went to Rochester last week."


Would you be willing to write about the story that you and DeLoris told me, about Grandpa Anderson's few times away from the farm? Where and when and why he never went again. How hard he worked, etc. Thanks, Donna

Travel, Years Ago
by Elaine

Travel during Harry and Cleo's life was rare, as it was with most other families. Some relatives who worked on the railroad section lines got PASSES so they could go places on the train. One wonders WHY they did not travel more?

To begin with, Harry was drafted in 1918 and took the train. He got as far as New Rockford, North Dakota, when the armistice was signed and the soldiers were returned home. That is as far as he got from home before he got married.

After marriage, the babies came (No Pampers, either!) and that was a hard thing to travel with little ones, often two in diapers at the same time. One time they did take a trip to Jamestown, North Dakota, to see an old aunt there. On the way home, Elwood opened the door on the old Model T and fell out -- the car wheel ran over him. As I remember, a police car escorted them to Fargo to a doctor. This happened around Casselton; I am sure that put a damper on traveling with three little ones!

These were the days of the Model T and later came the Model A, and many roads were dirt, or in some places graveled. We did not have the blacktopped roads and road maintenance that we have nowadays. Then came the dirty thirties. And one was just thankful to have a HOME to be in, and no one thought of traveling -- as who had the few cents for a gallon of gas?

However Harry did get a trip to Sioux City, Iowa, with the Dwight beekeeper, who was trucking some honey (or bees) to that area. We kids stayed home with Mom and we enjoyed hearing about that BIG TRIP!

In 1941, we moved to the farm. Here we had a barn full of animals that needed a lot of daily attention. These were the years the folks really had to work hard to pay for the farm. I remember Dad telling that pig prices were good for a few years, and that's what paid for the home farm. One did not go far, as they were home to tend the animals, do the haying and to take care of all the winter chores that go with animals.

In 1947 Harry got his FIRST AND ONLY NEW car; it was a maroon colored DODGE. The drawback ... it was a two door!!! Can you imagine a couple with seven growing children and Grandpa trying to navigate into a two door? And with egg crates and cream cans to take to town to exchange for groceries? And so it seemed only one or two persons went to town each time!

In the 1950's, Mavis was working in Fargo, and she had a vacation, so she took Harry and Cleo to Swift Current, Canada, in the big old Chrysler to see Harry's brother Maurice, and his family. Harry was impressed with the large wheat farms, etc. and seemed to enjoy this trip.

It seems much of the traveling was to local friends and family, and to this day I am thankful that they both enjoyed their HOME and appreciated that. I find there was not the money for travel; the family's needs came first, which is hard to understand in this age of modern cars and roads, and salaries that people have nowadays. When you pick chickens for 2 cents each ... or do hard manual labor at the Dwight Farm for 25 cents an hour -- as Harry did -- one does not have much time for travel. I find it rewarding to see how they progressed from these jobs, to buying farmland to leave something for each one of us kids today. May we ever appreciate the value of hard work and contentedness in the little things each day.


by Donna

I have a 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!)

What is the earliest memory you have?

An Early Memory
by Gert
(Gert is my "little" sister)

Donna's question is an interesting one and the earliest memory was something I thought about, too. I truly believe that a vivid memory will be something of trauma or fear when you are just a little one, because love and warmth are wrapped around you and make you feel safe and protected. Maybe that is not right, but that's how I feel.

The earliest memory that I have (and a feeling I carry with me yet in life) is walking on the bridge over the Mississippi in Monticello. The bridge then had steel gratings on it and the horrid fear of falling took over. Why we were there, I don't know, unless after meeting at Grandma Olson's we went to see Moldenhauers. To this day, I do not like being up high, and if I am, I have a fear of falling. I was about 3 years old at that time.

(No, we weren't going there that time, Gert; we were on our way to Rush City to visit Dad's cousin, Rolly Haines and family; also to see Aunt Jane and Uncle John Haines. We made an overnight stay at their place -- and I was scared on the bridge, too!)

Here is another question. I would still enjoy having your answer!

1.Describe a wonderful vacation you have taken. What made it great?--

To Ireland
by Char
(Mavis and Tom's daughter)

Hi! Just a little addition to the bulletin about our trip to Ireland. It truly is as green and lush as the pictures you see. It rains often to maintain this, but we were very lucky, and only got in on a couple showers.

We attended a church convention, which ran from Sat.-Tues. We met a lot of new people and even some old acquaintances (Heidi Hites, for those who know her, and her fiance).

We traveled with another couple from Minnesota, so there were 11 in our group. We were quite amazed how our husbands turned into real gentlemen, coming around and opening the car door very often for us. Although, it could be that they forgot that the steering wheel was on the other side of the car!!! We did enjoy it while it lasted, though!

We toured the east coast after convention, stopping to wade in the Irish Sea, and observe the jellyfish. Then we traveled into Northern Ireland. It is a beautiful coast -- rugged and picturesque in places and sandy in others. Hiking around Giants Causeway was great. It's a huge rock formation made from the lava cooling from a volcano. Went to Londonderry, the "walled" city. It was built for protection in the 17th century.

The kids were sooo impressed with all the castles. Some in ruins, and some restored. We stayed in a "haunted" one one night!

My relatives live in Cork, which is in the southern part. We stayed with them for four days, and saw the sights in that area, including the places where the Morgan ancestors had lived. Waterford is a town in the southern part where crystal is manufactured, so of course we had to bring back some souvenirs.

Lastly we toured the west side; again, breathtaking views along the coast. There is a place called Cliffs of Moher, where you can hike along the edge of the ocean. It is gorgeous, but has a 700 foot drop down, extending about five miles along the coast. Ideal for anyone into photography!

Driving was interesting, to say the least! The steering wheel was on the opposite side of the car, the stick shift had to operated with the left hand, and you had to drive on the left side of the road! A lot of the roads are unbelievably narrow. Built for carriages, with stone walls on either side, it would be a major task to widen them. We were told that they don't make cars with cruise controls on them, and I can understand why. There is not a straight stretch of road anywhere, not to mention stopping for sheep or cattle!

We had a busy two weeks, and enjoyed every minute. I would definitely recommend it for a great place to visit.

Char Myron


I really appreciate "The Bulletin" and all the news and information. I wish to continue to be a subscriber. Hopefully, I can find something to contribute, also.



Thanks again for the Bulletin! It was fun to hear from Carol.
Take care
Love Marlene

Again, you have an interesting column. so many good writers in the family! fun to hear. Take care. Keep up your good work... Elaine.

Excellent! As always, enjoyed it immensely. You've gotten some fun, new additions and will miss your trip story when it's done, really enjoyed that!

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: There are two theories about arguing with a woman ... neither works. --Will Rogers

EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is

This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.