Sunday, November 7, 2004
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Jayce (Batman) and Caity (Tinkerbell) go trick or treating with Dave.
Tricks or Treats
By Donna Johnson
Caity went around the corner in the kitchen and let out a scream when she saw Dave. Jayce had known he was dressing up, but I guess it got past Caity! She had to laugh after she'd screamed.
Later, as we were heading to the Senior Center for the hotdogs, chips and apple cider, Jayce started saying, "I've got a CREEPY DAD!" over and over. Dave laughed and said he could get by with it, being he was in costume...
And, with Dave along this year, dressed so scary, Jayce wasn't scared of the older, bigger boys that were dressed up, as he has been other times...that's a first! :-)
by Melanie Lehtola
Howard Lake, MN
Brian returned home from his tour in Kosovo on September 1st. Currently, he is on a three month mandatory hiatus from his monthly drill. He is scheduled to return to his normal Weekend Warrior duties in January 2005. His unit's next scheduled deployment (that we are aware of) is for Iraq in 2006. At this time we do not know how many soldiers will be sent on that deployment.
Born on the 4th of July, Brian felt it was his destiny and duty to serve his country in the armed forces. He joined the service when he was 17 years old. He went through basic training the summer between his Junior and Senior years in high school. He has been in the Minnesota Army National Guard for 19 years, which includes three years of active duty with the regular Army. He served in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq during the Gulf War in '91. He was also stationed in Germany and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Brian was recently promoted to Staff Sergeant.
Brian holds Brianna & Brandon, left; Beau & Grandma Gert Pettit, right.
SSgt. Brian Lehtola, Melanie's husband, is in the Minnesota Army National Guard.
Cadet Beau Birkholz is the son of Melanie Lehtola and Brad Birkholz.
Beau, a 2002 high school graduate, joined the Minnesota Army National Guard in June 2004. He completed Basic Training in August 2004. He is assigned to the 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, in Stillwater, MN. He is currently a Cadet in the ROTC program. After two years of ROTC training, he will hold the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He has an interest in going to Airborne or Air Assault training in the near future.
Beau is in his third year of college at Augsburg in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has been dating Lorayne Pitchford, Dassel, Minnesota, for the past three years.
The Matriarch Speaks W
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
Starting with Bulletin 124, I plan to run biographical sketches of the members of our staff. When that has been done, I want to run sketches and pictures of each of the readers and subscribers who have not already done introductions. Please tell us about yourself. What is your work and what else do you do with your time? How are you related or what friend introduced you into the family? I am hoping that you can share family photos and background sketches. Send all manuscripts and pictures to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
An Introduction to the Editor
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
I am a woman with many titles: Consider: The Matriarch -- Just what does that mean?
Pronunciation: MAY'tree·ark n.
1: a female head of a family or tribe [syn: materfamilias]
2: a feisty older woman.....ENOUGH SAID
Mother -- Just read Donna's sketch in Bulletin #125 for the veracity of that statement!
Grandmother -- Now that is one job I have down to the nth degree! Practice makes perfect and I am a charter member of that club! With 15 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren to practice on, I have to be an expert! You just try to make trouble for any of my grandbabies and you will run into the feisty old woman, right enough.
Teacher -- After 30 years in the classroom I decided to retire ... only to find that teaching does not stop just because you are not in the classroom. I decided to make use of the piano sitting in my living room -- and my knowledge of its use -- by giving lessons. I did that for several of the last years. I haven't resumed that part of my life since returning to Minnesota -- YET. And I find myself busy using my teaching skills in performing most everything else I'm involved in.
Editor -- This part of my life you can check out in the web page by clicking Home. I love this one of my involvements. I really do the editor job with great joy!* And that I owe to you, our dear reader. *quoted from Frans's description of his job in Bulletin #125.
Other Titles of Mine -- Aunty, Aunt Dorothy, Dear Cousin, Miss Dorothy, Dear Sis, The Boss, Sweetie, and probably some not quite so complimentary!
And then one that needs a little explanation to the ones of you who haven't really gotten to know me very well:
Jazzy Driver Deluxe -- I run into this question quite often: DO YOU HAVE A LICENSE TO DRIVE THAT? :-)
About six years ago, it became evident that at the rate my PPS (post polio syndrome) was progressing, I was soon going to need a wheel chair. So Don began a Google search to find what was available. We settled on one called The Jazzy -- and on December 10 of the year 1999, we purchased my magic, motorized chariot to freedom. I get compliments on my driving now, after many months of bumped and bruised surfaces in the house, and run over feet -- and such! I am smooth now (most of the time!). In closing, I give you my EXACT feelings in the same situation from another woman.
My New Set of Wheels
By Darlene Uggens
There you stand, and I see you stare
Thinking, poor dear, she's stuck in that chair.
But I'm not sad, I'm very happy because
I haven't forgotten the way it was.
You'd say, "How about a trip to the zoo?
A walk in the park would be good for you."
I was thinking tomorrow, I'll be a wreck,
From my aching feet, to the pain in my neck.
You'd want to go shopping, all over town,
I was thinking but there's no place to sit down.
For you it's a snap, just to go to the store,
But for me the ordeal was more of a chore.
Now I can go wherever I please
I can shop in the mall with newfound ease,
Do all the things that have to be done,
And even go out and have some fun.
So, do you want to know how it really feels,
To be sitting here between these wheels?
Can you remember back that far
When you got your very first car?
Well, that's how these wheels feel to me,
They don't hold me down, they set me free.
Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Caity & Jayce explore the beaver pond
Grandpa Beaver Leads A Hike To The Beaver Pond
Grandpa Beaver invited Caity and Jayce on a Sunday afternoon hike, extending the invitation to me, also. We all agreed that sounded like a fun thing to do, after having been stuck in the house quite a bit this week, due to rain. So everyone scurried to get socks, shoes, and coats on. (Sans socks, in Jayce's case, I later found out!) As we left the house, there were a few sprinkles, making us wonder about how wet we might end up on this little outing, but we lucked out; that was the end of it for that day.
We headed up over the hill, past our shed, with the kids trying their hand at "tree climbing" and continued on past the beehives (home of our good honey -- anyone need some?). Taking their hands, we crossed over to the north side of Highway 78 and started exploring through the newly cut paths that Beaver had made for cross country skiing this winter. It's amazing how many discoveries can be made, especially with those closer to the ground than we are.
Caity and Jayce spotted several forms of fungus -- mushrooms of varying shapes, sizes and textures. There were many little weeds still flowering, ranging from whites to purples; several woodpecker holes in various trees, some rather large. Caity found and held the smallest tree frog I've ever seen; she named it "Smalley" and let it go back to its home, much to Jayce's dismay. He thought we should get a "bucket" and bring Smalley home with us!
One of Grandpa Beaver's reasons for taking them on this hike was showing them the beaver lodge and the many trees they'd cut down. There were several little poplars and even bigger trees, such as an ash. They had worn down actual trails, all around the little pond, showing where they'd been dragging smaller ones into their home area. There was even a large tree that had its chewed portion high in the air, meaning they must have dropped it and it flipped up, lodging amongst other trees. It was all very interesting and proved to be quite an adventure!
On the way back, an enormous flock of blackbirds made their very noisy way over our heads, heading south. We could hear geese, but didn't get to see them. There were still bees buzzing around the hives when we walked back through that area. Caity refused to pull up one of the yellow tubes, after Grandpa's challenge, commenting that she "wasn't that stupid!" I think Jayce would have liked to check them out for a little longer, but we left them to their peaceful afternoon.
We skirted a little pond that Beaver told us Jerrianne and Kathy had felt competed with Walden Pond. They had spent many happy hours beside it. I assume he meant birdwatching and enjoying nature. We then headed up a rather steep hill, to overlook the farm and the lake. What a view! Anyone interested, please come and join us sometime ... it's worth the effort.
Jayce & Caity climb a suspended tree (left); and show off a couple of their "finds" -- an interesting fungus that Caity found and a perfectly smooth round rock that Jayce is holding. We kept the rock, but left the mushroom piece behind.
Lamb As Prey
By Larry Dake
The chill of the desert night shivered up and down my spine. I had just stumbled down the rocky slope and halted on the shore of an immense prehistoric lake. Somewhere -- out there -- a baby lamb with a broken leg was lost in the darkness. The crashing of waves on this ancient shoreline had been silenced countless centuries ago. Now, in 1988, the only sound was this crazy, hysterical yapping of a coyote.
I was herding 1100 ewes and their lambs on open range in the high desert of eastern Oregon. The sheep, my dog, and I, had crossed this gigantic dry lake bed in the heat of the day. We had arrived, at sundown, at a good spring where I would bed down the sheep for the night.
While the sheep were watering, I had noticed that the little lamb with the broken leg was missing. I left the sheep at the spring, and with my dog, Checker, began retracing our steps in the rapidly falling darkness.
Now another coyote took to yapping. This one closer than the first. Then a third. They laughed and howled, discussing the good fortune of the hunt. In the darkness I couldn't see the black hair on Checker's shoulders, but I knew it was standing straight up.
Wading into sagebrush, where water had once ebbed off the rocks from broken waves, the brush seemed to slosh at my trouser legs. I followed the clinking of Checker's collar chain across the lake, and soon the dim, rocky shoreline seemed very far behind us. I halted on the featureless seascape and the antediluvian waters closed around me.
Holding my breath, and closing my eyes, I wondered what course we had charted in the searing heat of the day. Where had the lamb with the broken leg, overcome with pain and thirst, given up hope?
What was that?
I exhaled and sucked my lungs full of air again. I listened. Nothing. Then -- yes, I'm sure it was! The far off bleating of a lamb.
The coyotes were as silent now as giant, prehistoric sharks, dorsal fins breaking the surface of the water, homing in on their prey.
I'm running. Crashing through the waves. Running, running -- Stop! Hold back the breath! Listen for the bleating lamb -- listen -- run! RUN! -- There she is! The lamb...
But, a dark figure's gliding in, predatory eyes fixed on its prey!
"Good dog!" I cry. The dark figure is Checker. He is making sure the lamb doesn't get away. I laugh and scoop the lamb up into my arms.
Somewhere -- out there -- a pack of coyotes is slinking off into the darkness that was the lake. The lamb is nuzzling my chin, and under the twinkling of the stars, we are navigating our way back to the flock at the spring.
The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson
Editor's Note: Kjirsten has returned to Bolivia for a second year of independent study in Morochata, prior to enrollment in medical school at Baylor University in Houston, in 2005. She spent several weeks trekking around Bolivia before returning to the hospital in Morochata.
Isla del Sol, Lake Titicaca, in distance; terraced fields in foreground.
Kjirsten Goes Backpacking
Saturday morning I bused from La Paz to Copacabana, and after lunch began a long but flat hike to a village close to the Isla del Sol. It was a lovely afternoon and Lake Titicaca was serene. I arrived to Yampupata with just enough daylight to hire a local to row me 40 minutes across the lake to Yumani on the Isla del Sol.
The next morning I left at dawn for a hike around the entire island. Sunrise on the island's highest ridge was spectacular! It was so peaceful and beautiful ... magic, really. Now I appreciate why the place is sacred to both Aymara and Quechua cultures.
I had expected to run into lots of tourists, but didn't see any until I returned to Yumani in the early afternoon for fresh trout and to catch the ferry back to Copacabana. That same afternoon I returned to La Paz and headed straight to the bus terminal to travel for Cochabamba overnight. And so I've made it in time to visit Cliza, hometown of Dentist Karina, on the day of its Aniversario. In an hour I'm meeting her to experience the festivities.
It seems that Sister Erika and I will go to Santa Cruz for their huge Feria Internacional and Aniversario this coming weekend! Erika's schedule doesn't allow her much time and new threats of blockades starting Thursday make air seem the way to go. We'll stay with her cousins in the city but probably spend most of our time at the fair and concerts.
Copacabana Street, left; steps lead to an excellent cafe, right.
More of Kjirsten's trekking photos may be seen in her Webshots Bolivia Trekking album here: http://community.webshots.com/user/kjswenson
Gophers Go To "The Big House"
by Weston Johnson
Maple Grove, MN
"How'd you like to go to the Big House to watch the Gophers this year?" The question was posed by my friend Isaac this past August. He didn't have to twist my arm. For those of you who don't follow college football, the Big House is Michigan Stadium, the 112,000-seat home of the University of Michigan Wolverines, one of the most famous college football stadiums in the country. Isaac and I, along with a couple of buddies, had ventured to a Gophers game in Iowa last season, but that was child's play compared to a trip to Michigan.
Soon we came up with a plan: Isaac would get tickets through his contacts at the University. (He works for their Athletic Department.) My friend Tyler would rent a van, using his Progressive Insurance employee discount. We would make the trek to Ann Arbor to watch the Gophers avenge their heartbreaking loss to the Wolverines the previous season. But our plan hit a snag. The tickets were sold out. All of them. Even Isaac's inside contacts couldn't find us tickets. I guess we'll have to wait until next year, we thought, unless any tickets open up at the last minute…
A week and a half before game day, Isaac called me: "Do you still want to go to Michigan?" Either this was his idea of a cruel joke or he had come through with tickets. Fortunately it was the latter. The next Friday, Isaac, his brother Ryan, Tyler, our friend Kyle and I piled into a rented Caravan and set out down I-94. It was a long drive, but through the marvels of modern technology, we were able to hook up a TV and Sony Playstation in the van. We played Isaac's college football video game while driving 600 miles to watch a college football game. Either we're really big fans or really big idiots. Probably a little of both.
We got as far as Jackson, Michigan, on Friday. The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed to the local truck stop for breakfast. We were quite a scene, all decked out in our yellow (oops, I mean Gold) Gophers gear, and we received some funny looks from the locals. After breakfast, we made the half hour drive to Ann Arbor. The scene there was incredible: acres and acres of RV's and other vehicles, with fans of both teams grilling, flying their team flags and enjoying what was shaping up into a perfect day for football.
We headed for the stadium, wondering if we'd be able to see the field from our seats in Row 92. "Maybe they're numbered from the back," I postulated. My friends didn't think that was likely. And they were right. But the view from Row 92 was not bad at all, as you can see in the picture. The stadium is enormous, (I guess it would have to be to hold 112,000 people), but we didn't feel like we were far away from the field, despite being about eight rows from the back of the stadium.
We saw a good game, a back-and-forth battle until the last three minutes, when the Gophers lost the lead for the last time. It was a disappointing ending, but we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day, and it was fun to see the stadium and visit with the mostly friendly Michigan fans.
After the game, we reluctantly climbed back into the van for the long ride home. We drove back as far as Chicago on Saturday, listening on the radio as the Twins lost a game (and the series) to the Yankees. Our teams really weren't cooperating in making this a memorable trip! By the time we got back to the Cities on Sunday we were tired of driving, tired of the van, tired of fast food and probably a little tired of each other. But we all agreed: we can't wait to do it again next year!
Beaver, Donna, Weston and Lori visited Washington, DC, in September and have provided a series of interesting reports. Arlington National Cemetery is the focus of our Veterans Day issue.
|Battleship Maine Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery
|A mast from the Maine marks the Battleship Maine Memorial. The Maine exploded and sank in the harbor at Havana in 1898, triggering the Spanish American War. Some 163 of the 264 men who died on the Maine are interred near the memorial.
||Lori, Weston, and Beaver look over a Spanish cannon at the Maine memorial. Someone made the mistake of asking Beaver how old cannons work. Now we know more than we ever wanted to know about cannons.
Arlington National Cemetery
by David (Beaver) Johnson
A sign just inside the iron entrance gate says: Welcome to Arlington National Cemetery, Our Nation’s Most Sacred Shrine. Please Remember: These are Hallowed Grounds.
The cemetery is 612 acres, almost a square mile, final resting place of some 285,000 veterans, dependents, spouses, and others who have served our country. Beautiful green lawns and trimmed trees grace the rolling hills. Row upon row of headstones remind one of troops standing at attention, so carefully aligned that they form perfect rows viewed from any angle.
The juxtaposition of tourism and mourning feels a bit strange, but I came away with deepened respect and appreciation for the sacrifices of those who lie beneath the rows of headstones of Arlington National Cemetery.
An average of 25 burials are done each weekday at Arlington. Tourists are asked to respect the privacy of mourners. There seemed to be always a burial being conducted within our sight, usually finalized by a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. Tour maps guided us to points of interest. We saw the grave of Audie Murphy, most decorated soldier of World War II, marked by a simple white headstone, as he wished. There is a special memorial marker for the astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia, some of whom are buried nearby.
A simple gravesite with marble paving stones and flat headstones memorializes John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Nearby are their infant daughter who was born and died on August 26, 1956, and an infant son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, who was born prematurely August 7, 1963, and died August 9, 1963, less than four months before his father was gunned down in Dallas, Texas. The eternal flame, requested by his widow to remind us that he gave his life for our country, burns near President Kennedy’s grave. A short distance away, a wooden cross marks the gravesite of Robert F. Kennedy.
A special point of interest is Arlington House, the beautiful mansion of General Robert E. Lee and his wife, Martha Custis Lee, granddaughter of George Washington. General Lee left in 1861 to command the Rebel Army. In 1864, the Union needed cemetery space. As a snub to the Lees, they began burying Union soldiers in Mrs. Lee’s rose garden. After the war, hundreds of former slaves formed a village and lived on the grounds of Arlington. The Lees never lived in Arlington House again.
A granite sarcophagus near Arlington House marks the grave of 2,111 unknown soldiers from the Civil War.
Some graves near Arlington House have huge monuments, placed by families of officers who could afford splendor and wished to outdo others. This practice was later prohibited. Officers and enlisted men are now buried side by side, recognizing that rank is not an indicator of the contributions and sacrifices made by those who rest at Arlington.
We visited Arlington because it is one of the "things you do" on a trip to Washington, D.C. I didn’t expect the profound gratitude and peace that the visit would evoke -- gratitude to those who were willing to give so much for us, and peace because they are laid to rest in the gracious beauty of Arlington, with as much respect as we know how to give them.
Good websites about Arlington:
Changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Tomb of the Unknowns is guarded 24 hours a day, no matter what the weather may be. The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns is a particularly solemn event. The ceremony is carried out with exaggerated precision and ceremony. One thinks of the soldiers, ordinary people, who fought for our freedom and died an anonymous death. It seems such a lonely thing, to be listed as missing in action, and to be interred with no one knowing who you were. It is comforting to know that these soldiers, who died alone, are watched over with dedication and respect. Hopefully, the respect shown by the guarding of the Unknowns gives some comfort and closure to the families of those who have died in war, and whose remains have never been identified.
It must take a special kind of person, to be a guard
at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?
21 steps. It alludes to the twenty one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.
2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?
21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1.
3. Why are his gloves wet?
His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.
4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time, and if not, why not?
He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.
5. How often are the guards changed?
Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.
6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?
For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30."
Other requirements of the Guard:
They must commit two years of their life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform (fighting) or the tomb in any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.
The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.
The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis (the boxer) and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy (the most decorated soldier of WWII), of Hollywood fame.
A Visit to Margraten
by Frans deBeen
Oosterhout, The Netherlands
I was thinking this day about the question of a story that would have the interest of you people of the USA and we Dutch Europeans, also. Yes, we have, and to show you what that is, here is a story about a visit to the US War Cemetery in the Netherlands in the village of Margraten.
We visited this cemetery two years ago and I have passed by many times at work. Margraten is in the south of our country, in a triangle point of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. From my town it is about 100 miles. In that area are two great cemeteries: one in Margraten and another one in Belgium, just 20 miles from the other, in Holland. The official web site for Margraten is here:
The American Battle Monuments Commission site with more information and photos is here:
I know that the town and the children put flowers every year at the Memorial Day at every grave. A family in the Margraten area has "adopted" one of the graves, that of Robert A. Mestjian from Illinois. He died on 29 November, 1944. He was in the 335 Infantry, 84th Division. Their web site link with photos is here:
On a holiday in that region, I say to my children, we go to a great cemetery for US solders who were killed in action in World War II. This was for me a first visit, and a long one, because we stayed there for almost two hours. It was for me and my family a great and impressive place.
Sgt. Raymond Elmer Wold
Born March 27, 1925
Entered Service Nov. 18, 1943
Killed in action March 3, 1945
Plane downed over Ruhland, Germany
Buried Lot B, Row 44
Grave 43, Ardennes, Belgium
Don & Dorothy at "Bud" Wold's Grave
Ary Ommert Jr. took Don & Dorothy to visit the grave of Sgt. Raymond "Bud" Wold, a friend of Don's and brother-in-law of Elaine Wold, when the Andersons traveled to Holland in 1985.
Information from director of Ardennes Cemetery in Belgium
to Don Anderson, June 1985
Ray's body was buried at the site of the crash, right inside Belgium. In December of 1944, the American 1st Army captured the area from the Germans (Battle of the Bulge) and this part of the land on which the cemetery is located. In 1946, the bodies were exhumed and transfered to their final resting place, where Ray is interred. His body could have been shipped to his home; home folks said he should be buried there.
Bud graduated from Wahpeton High School in 1942 and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943, going overseas in December of 1944. He made 36 missions over enemy territory.
Bud was was killed March 3, 1945; word was received by his parents on March 17, 1945.
This and That
by Elaine Wold
Reprinted from Bulletin 70, November 12, 2003
November brings a holiday ... some get off work, some businesses are closed, no mail, schools closed for a day of hunting (quarter break). Some places will have speeches by Veterans' groups, lay wreaths on Veterans' graves and monuments ... all in all, it's a day to remember those who served our country.
Armistice Day, later changed to Veterans Day, was commemorated the 11th minute of the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, when World War I ended with the signing of the Armistice. This war was called the "War to end all wars" -- however this did not prove true.
On a more somber note, I think of those who are serving our country in faraway places today. We welcome those who can get breaks and come home. However, we think of those, too, who made the sacrifice and will not be coming home to their loved ones.
In respect of this day, I am sharing a poem which I wrote years back, after my brother-in-law (Sgt. Raymond "Bud" Wold), was killed in Germany in World War II.
They called him "Bud." The young farm lad
Said a fond goodbye to his mom and dad,
To enlist, as his country called for men,
In the Air Force, training time was spent.
Then based on England's foreign soil.
B-17s bombed -- 'twas war's turmoil;
Twenty five missions were to be flown,
Then furlough time to rest at home.
But the 24th mission the bomber flew
Was the fatal mission to that valiant crew;
From above, a plane, dropped by Nazi flak,
Severed Bud's Fortress, ripped it in half.
Only one survived to tell that sad story.
All others died, they went down in glory.
War's strifes and woes? WE cannot forget
The day the message came... "WE REGRET."
The brave young lad just in his prime.
Why should he be given so little time??
He rests in Ardennes, under Belgian sod,
Forgotten by many, remembered by God.
His name's designated on Legion Post,
Preserving our freedom, he gave his most.
The Service Cross, the Purple Heart,
The Medal of Honor -- he did his part.
Nearly 60 years have now passed by.
They say time heals, but yet we cry...
And loved ones wait for a reply,
To that unanswered question.
In Bulletin 17, published January 30, 2003, the following question was asked by Heidi Johnson of Long Lake, MN:
Question: After reading the book on Iwo Jima, I began wondering if Uncle Jim was in the battle at Normandy? How about Uncle Bill? What were their duties?
Answer: Interview of Jim Miller
by Dorothy M Anderson
At daylight of June 6, 1944, the troops were waiting off Normandy beaches. The large crafts that had crossed the English Channel now must unload the men and equipment onto floating docks. This was to avoid the hedgehogs planted along the shore. The hedgehog was a huge, triangular piece of metal -- 6 to 7 feet tall, with sharp points that could pierce the bottom of the ships and sink them. At the area the army referred to as Omaha Beach (and the troops named Old Bloody), the Quartermaster Transportation Company waited.
Uncle Jim was one of those waiting men. In the afternoon, their trucks (with the men in them) were unloaded from the carrier unto a floating dock. They were arranged in rows of three trucks across. The trucks were waterproofed to drive in water up to five feet deep. They would unload from the right, then left, and then center. The dock was driven as close to shore as possible. Their dock hit a sandbar and the first truck off drove into water several feet deeper than the safe five feet. The men in the truck were wearing flotation devices, so they were picked up.
The dock was repositioned and then the rest drove off into the water and then onto the beach. They approached a cliff where the troops were still under fire from the Germans, who were lobbing down grenades. Soon, though, the glider troops landed, encircled, and took prisoners of the remaining nests of Germans.
The First Army, to which both Uncle Jim and Uncle Bill belonged, was under the command of General Omar Bradley. Various companies had different duties. I will give you a little background on the duties of the companies your uncles were attached to.
The Quartermaster Transportation Company that your Uncle Jim was in had the job of moving troops, ammunition, and food to the Front -- and prisoners back. They often traveled at night. The convoys closest to the Front (the ones Jim was in) traveled in groups of 5-7 trucks. The headlights were painted black. There were tiny, diamond shaped, steady glowing lights that Jim refers to as "cat eyes" on the back corners of each truck -- so they wouldn't run into the truck in front of them. (If they saw the lights go rolling, they stopped in a hurry, to avoid whatever had caused the upset!)
Many of the German prisoners taken were very glad to be out of the war. Jim said that only five per cent of the Germans were Nazis -- the Storm Troopers and police were the fanatics.
Bill was a sergeant of one of the Motor Pools of the Medical Corps. His job was to have the ambulances always ready for use. Their company landed on the third day of the invasion. I have heard him tell that in the midst of battle he rode in an ambulance and helped with the wounded. They had just been made more effective in treatment of the wounded by the newly discovered sulfa, and in the use of plasma (to prevent shock). But even so, the trauma of seeing so many of their buddies dead or dying gave nightmares to the men for years to come!
At the end of the war, Jim was given the European Theater of Operation Medal with five bronze stars, representing the five major campaigns in which he participated.
I asked him his opinion of the war. He said, "WAR IS STUPID: it is the rich man's folly, paid for with the poor man's blood!"
The November 11th Storm
As I Recall
by Don Anderson
I was 13 years old and have a good remembrance of the day. This day is now in history books, as it turned out to be life threatening -- even life taking.
Sunday, November 10, 1940, was bright and sunny and Dad decided to give us something that happened very seldom in our family -- a trip. A few days earlier, Dad had come home from Fargo with a newly purchased 1931 Chevrolet two-door, for $140. (Yes, it was a cash deal!) Now we got to try it out.
So Mom, Dad, and we six kids left Dwight for Borup, Minnesota, to visit at the Wrights. We had an enjoyable day, had a tour of the cattle farm from the back of a truck. Mr. Wright pointed out some interesting operations regarding farming methods of the time. Back to the farm, where we were to sit down to a wonderful supper at about 5 p.m. Before we went in, Dad noticed some black clouds in the northwest that made him very uneasy. (I wonder if he enjoyed his meal). When the meal was over, he said to Mom, "Better get the kids rounded up and let's head for home."
Our hosts didn't like to have us go so early, but didn't discourage us from leaving.
I remember Dad saying, "Just got this car and hate to be on the road after dark." However, it was getting dark as we thanked them for the day.
As I mentioned before, I was 13 then, Elwood 12, Elaine 11, DeLoris almost 10, Mavis 5, Junior 11 months. Dwight was not in the picture yet.
Not so far out, we encountered light rain. Dad was driving faster than usual, but after driving our old car, a Model "T" Ford, any speed felt faster. As we came closer to Moorhead, the rain turned to snow. Dad mentioned the headlights on our "new" Chevy were so much better than the "T."
Getting over to Fargo was rather slow going; the wipers could hardly keep the wet snow off the windshield. Furthermore, the steam from seven people caused a frost to form on the inside of the windows (no defrosters, ya know). Mom used part of a blanket to clear in front so Dad could see to drive. Snow was building up and we could see the cars we met had lots of snow on them. We trudged on, but slowly.
It was getting colder by the minute, but the Chevy had a good hot water heater and it kept us warm. Mom put Junior in the back seat so she could open her side window to direct Dad as he wanted. Around the curve by Flaas, we got behind some stalled cars, but Dad made some daring moves to get by them. More cars were in the ditches all the way to Dwight.
A sigh of relief was heard as we turned the trusty old Chevy into the driveway. It was Mom who got out to open the garage door, as I was under a pile of siblings and was trying to keep Junior warm; also, it being a two-door model, it was not handy for me to get out.
The storm was getting worse by the minute. We had about five milk cows in a little barn to milk yet, and we could not find our young stock. After we all were safely in the house, Dad and I went looking tor the six or so head of young stock. No avail. We then did the milking and fed the hogs. Dad said to Elwood and me that we should help him try to find the lost young stock. So we started out.
There was a bee apiary annexed to our pasture and we thought there was a possibility they might be there. Sure enough, when we shined a flashlight into the bee cellars, we saw the eyes light up. Reflection, of course. Dad said, "That's it, let them stay until morning."
Many inches of snow had already fallen, and we hadn't bothered to find our overshoes, so we were wet through. And it was good to get back into our house, where Mom made pancakes for us.
The storm raged all night and when morning came, "the sun didn't come up." Why? Because the wind had packed dirt into the complete windows (still had the summer screens on). They called it "snirt."
Everything was at a standstill. No cars moving, no snowplows. There were very few radios, and no TV, to get any news. We had a telephone (hoot and holler kind), but as usual, all phone lines were down. No school, either. (That was sweet music to our ears.)
Dad told us not to go outside until the wind stopped blowing, which happened late in the day. The temperature was hovering around zero that night and we kids stayed around the parlor heater in the living room.
Seems to me the Richland County plow made a circle around Dwight, one pass. Soon a few cars came, but had difficulty, as the plow did not get down to the road and more snow was falling. Cars were getting stuck and off the shoulder in front of our house. The highway was ice covered before the snow hit.
We had a couple of neighbors who never turned down a drink of booze. They were "Johnnie on the spot" to assist the stuck motorists and get the cars free. Armed with shovels, they got 50 cents apiece for their efforts. And while waiting for another car to get stuck, they found comfort at Orton's (a beer hall). This worked out fine till the drinking got the best of them, and they could hardly walk, let alone push a car out of an icy spot.
The storm took a lot of lives. Duck hunters froze in their boats; people lost their lives trying to walk to safety. It was very dangerous.
I wonder how many left remember the storm of 11/11/40, and also the one of the following March (of 41). That March one hit hard, but was short lasting. It also took many lives in North Dakota.
North Dakota can be a wonderful place, but when it gets bad ... IT'S BAD!
Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of 5
November Holidays & Observances
November 11---Veterans Day
(Remembrance Day in Canada)
November 25---Thanksgiving Day
November 26---Heather Overby & Ben Henderson's Wedding
This Week's Birthdays:
November 7---Tom Mellon
November 10---Argyle Anderson
November 11---Allison Aydelotte (7 years old)
November 12---Patty (Anderson) Henderson
More November Birthdays:
November 2---Gert (Dake) Pettit
November 2---Brianna Susan Lehtola (3 years old)
November 17---Zach Myron
November 17---Mark Johnson (12 years old)
November 19---Tyler Swenson
November 26---DeLoris Anderson
November 30---Aaron Stahlecker
November 16---Argyle and Kathlyn (Johnson) Anderson (41 years)
November 26---Ben Henderson and Heather Overby (next year!)
Miss Hetty Says
The archives passed the half way mark this week, and Bulletins 68-73 are now on line. The newest additions will be searchable in a week or two, but they are available for reading at any time. There were a few editions to the LTD Storybrooke collection and The Family Cookbook recipes pages, as well.
Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITORS?
It's been raining for something like two weeks here, so I had some time to finally peruse the archives. The links that you have set up are awesome! The Bulletin has sure come a long way from that first text e-mail. It's so much fun to read the full-scale production you send us every week. We appreciate it every time!
Wyatt, Jolene, Rylie, and Brooklynn Johnson
You do such a wonderful job, and what a wonderful way to keep the family informed. I know more about the comings and goings of your family and friends than I ever knew about my own family. Isn't Internet and e-mail a wonderful thing? So wonderful you take the time and have the dedication to put it together each week.
Keep it coming!
Eden Prairie, MN
A good suggestion from the editors to change the header of my column. Now when I see it, I realize it can be used as a header for an article. Sounds OK to me. Sure, I'll be able to write an article about myself for the November 20 Bulletin. My camera will be ready this coming week.
All fine here, my cold is over and we have fog at the moment.
Greetings from the Netherlands,
Ary Ommert Jr.
Maaseluis, The Netherlands
Even the most advanced programs from Norton or McAfee cannot take care of this one.
1. Causes you to send the same e-mail twice.
2. Causes you to send a blank e-mail.
3. Causes you to send e-mail to the wrong person.
4. Causes you to send it back to the person who sent it to you.
5. Causes you to forget to attach the attachment.
6. Causes you to hit "SEND" before you've finished.
7. Causes you to hit "DELETE" instead of "SEND."
8. Causes you to hit "SEND" when you should "DELETE."
IT'S CALLED THE "C-NILE" VIRUS.
To search a name in Who's Who or Who's Where: click on the link to open the page, then use CONTROL F on a PC or COMMAND F on a Mac. To search for a second occurrence of the name, use CONTROL G on a PC or COMMAND G on a Mac. (This works on ANY web page with text, unless the text is converted to an image. Chances are, it works in your e-mail, too.) HINT: Search by first name only, as most entries list the family name once but do not repeat the last name for each family member. In Who's Where you can search on state or city names, too.
THE STAFF OF THE BULLETIN
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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.