Around and around and around we go
Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Merry-Go-Round at dusk, Alaska State Fair 2005.

Updates -

UPDATE -- Introducing Rick Anderson
by Rick Anderson
Charleston, IL

Hi! I'm Rick Anderson, nephew of the Matriarch. (Don and my dad, Dwight, are brothers.) I recently moved to Charleston, Illinois, after living in Portland, Oregon, for five years.

Charleston is south of Chicago, midway between St. Louis and Indianapolis. There are many reminders in the area that this is the "Land of Lincoln," including the site in Charleston where one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates was held, the home of Abe Lincoln's father and step-mother south of town, and the courthouse square where Lincoln once practiced law.

In August, I began my new position at Eastern Illinois University, a state university with about 12,000 students. I teach mathematics education courses for prospective teachers. I have been busy settling in but hope to visit some of the places nearby in the future. I have been to Chicago a couple times this summer and the picture of me is taken by the John Hancock Center.

Rick Anderson at the John Hancock Center in Chicago.

UPDATE -- still Minnesotans
by Wyatt Johnson
Moorhead, MN

It's been a while since I've sent an update, so I thought I'd send a quick one. We had our house on the market for about a month, and had made an offer on a new house on the south side of West Fargo, contingent on us selling our house. We decided to give up this past week, after having only five couples come look at the house in four weeks, three of them at three different open houses. The stress of keeping the house clean with a 3 year old, a 10 month old, a cat, and a dog just got to be too much, and we decided to stay where we are, for now.

Rylie's thoroughly enjoying having someone who will play with her, but still gets mad when Brooklynn gets into some of her stuff. Rylie has begun to come out of her shell, and is almost becoming TOO outgoing. When we go for walks, anyone, and I mean ANYONE, we see on the street, Rylie asks, "What's your name?" When they respond, she gives the rundown: "I'm Rylie; this is Brooklynn."

Brooklynn is a total maniac. Even though she isn't walking yet, she's an expert at the stairs now. In fact, she so enjoys her new talent, that she can entertain herself for quite some time going up ... and down ... and up ... and down ... and....

Time to go now; the girls and I are off to the zoo. Jolene's working night shifts this weekend, so I'm doing my best to keep the girls quiet. Since that's a futile effort, we try to stay out of the house!


Brooklynn (11 months) and Rylie (3-1/2 years).

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Caity, Meredith Turner, Jayce, Chris, Beaver & Donna Richards.

Chris celebrates a birthday

Caity, Jayce, Meredith, Donna, Beaver and I helped Chris celebrate his (belated) birthday last Saturday evening, at Bugaboo Bay restaurant in Alexandria. We all enjoyed the time together and the good meal, each of us choosing something different to savor. I'd had cheesecake for him at the farm, the night before as his "birthday cake" ... which was a good thing, as we didn't have room for any desserts after his birthday meal!

Playing "dress-up"

I got the pink and white dresses (on bigger girls) for a dollar each at a garage sale; they've been having a great time playing dress up!

Back: Caitlynn, Jackie Hoffman; front: Annissa Heinrich & Katie Hoffman.

The Matriarch Speaks W
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
Alexandria, MN

Who Is This?

Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.
(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn.)

How many can you identify? (Hint: Alaska State Fair 1999.)

Answers to last week's mystery pictures (click here to review them):

I know the mystery kids are Barbara Anderson and Rick Anderson, young children of Dwight and Janie Anderson of Dwight, North Dakota. Maybe they will give a more detailed article of themselves, but I will say Barb is in Oregon, has a degree in Architecture, and Rick is in Illinois, having earned his doctorate, and is teaching math in a university there. I remember babysitting them a number of years. As we get older, we often wonder how much we influenced younger children that each will remember from their childhoods.

Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Editor's Note: See "Updates" section, above, for recent news and photos of Rick Anderson.

I probably don't qualify to name the mystery photos this week, since they are two of our kids, Barb (who was known as Barbie at that time) and Rick [Anderson].

Barb's two missing teeth are not the result of kids normally losing their teeth at about that age! Our house is rather long, so there is plenty of room to get running at a pretty good clip. The rule, of course, was always "No running in the house."

Well, this particular evening, when Barb was about 4 and Tami was about 2, we were about ready to leave for Bible Study. One of them was running north and the other one was running south when they came to the "blind corner" by the fireplace (just a small jog in the path, but not enough to have to slow down). You can guess what happened! Barb's teeth connected with Tami's forehead, right at the hairline. The result? Tami had tooth marks on her forehead for days and Barb's two front teeth were pushed back.

So instead of going to Bible Study, we called our dentist who met us at his office. He worked for about an hour, trying to get her teeth back in place, hoping they'd grow back, but it didn't work, so she was toothless. Of course, these were her baby teeth, but her permanent teeth were slow to come in, because her gums became harder than normal due to a few years of "gumming it."

Janie Anderson
Dwight, ND

This week's mystery pictures are my sister, Barb Anderson, and my brother, Rick Anderson! I enjoy this part of The Bulletin (as well as all of the rest of it!)

Brenda (Anderson) Hill
Wahpeton, ND

LTD Storybrooke

"First" Experiences
By Larry Dake

One of the truly enjoyable aspects of starting a new job, or moving to a new area, is the opportunity to experience so many new things for the first time.

Friday evenings, Sherry and I sometimes took the kids over and left them with Jim and Edith for a few hours.

One of those evenings the two of us went to a makeshift little Cajun restaurant. The friendly proprietor -- a black man from the deep south -- served us delicious Cajun fare, including a wonderful black-eyed pea soup. One of the walls of the restaurant was made of discarded wooden pallets, and part of the roof was of canvas. It was a unique, cozy place; and it was just us, and the eccentric proprietor.

Another evening we went to a floating restaurant that catered to riverboats and a small community of moored houseboats. It was on the backwaters of the Colombia River just outside Scapoose. We each ordered our first ever bottle of seltzer water. A special treat! We watched the boats come and go, and we walked on the floating docks. Though many miles from the ocean, it was evident that the water level rose and fell with the tides. A mother duck and her yellow ducklings swam around the pilings in the swirling, black water.

On yet another Friday evening, we drove out into the mountains on a logging road, looking for a place to walk in the forest. I stopped our car next to two ruts of a trail that headed up the mountainside into dark, rugged timber. There was a For Sale sign there, so we decided we could take the liberty to scout out the property. If anyone came along, we might pass as prospective land buyers.

The wet forest was silent, except for the soft sound of water droplets dripping from the trees. The towering Douglas Fir were awesome, and the higher we climbed the more beautiful the occasional view through openings in the trees. Wispy fog enshrouded parts of the adjacent mountainside.

We had climbed about a half-mile up the steep trail when someone broke out into hysterical laughter. The insane laughter echoed off the mountainsides and through the timber, before rolling around in the valley below.

We turned quickly and began to retrace our steps to the car.

As we hastily descended, the demented laughter started again, this time from the dense forest to our left; and then another peal of insanity came from the rhododendron bushes on our right. Whoever they were, it sounded like there were a lot of them.

"They're following us!" I said.

Running and breathless -- with the crazy laughter reverberating all around us -- we arrived back at the car. We wasted no time jumping in and closing the doors. Once in the security of the massive Lincoln, we buzzed the electric windows part way down and listened. Except for the soft dripping from the wet trees, the eerie timber was silent. Darkness was settling in, and it was beginning to rain.

We turned the Lincoln around. The wipers slapped rhythmically as we made our way through the falling darkness, back to the safety of Jim and Edith's house.

Around their kitchen table, before we headed home to our apartment, we shared our adventure with them. They thought we may have crossed paths with a pack of coyotes.

This was the first of many encounters we would have with coyotes.

Going To Basic Training
By Beaver
Part 1

On the 6th of July in 1969, two farm boys left the green fields, beautiful weather, and good lookin' girls of Minnesota, heading for Air Force basic training in San Antonio, Texas. Neither of us had flown before, so I got a graphic demonstration of "green around the gills" when I looked over at Gaylan in the window seat as we banked into the first turn after leaving the ground at Fargo, North Dakota. We were on a commercial airline flight that would take us to Minneapolis. Had we known what was coming next, we might have skipped out and volunteered for the draft.

At Minneapolis we were herded into a very big and very old four-engined propeller job flown by the Air National Guard. We shuddered and roared into the air. The next time we rumbled to the ground, it was to pick up more recruits in one of those midwestern states that starts with a vowel. We then proceeded to stop in every hick town between there and Texas until we had a whole plane full of very nervous-looking recruits. Trying to tune out the roaring engines, the shaking airframe, and my popping, aching ears, I bought a paperback book to read. It helped pass the time, but I didn't have it long. At Lackland Air Force Base, it was promptly judged "not educational" and confiscated. I hope the training instructors learned as much from it as I did.

About the time we entered Texas airspace, we encountered a big thunderstorm, which didn't seem like a good place to be in an antique airplane. Sometimes the old bird would go up like a fast elevator, pinning us into our seats. Then we would hang in our seatbelts as she fell like a rock for what seemed like a very long time. The wings were flapping like a blue heron trying to get off the water. We were a mighty green bunch of recruits in every sense of the word.

Finally escaping from the clutches of the thunderstorm, we found clear sky and San Antonio at about the same time, shuddering and thumping onto the runway. We staggered off the airplane onto the flight line, where the air temperature was 110 degrees and the concrete was hot enough to fry your feet right through your shoes.

By this time I had figured out that life on the farm in the hills of Minnesota was probably not half as bad as I had thought, and in fact was a much better deal than I was going to get in Texas. It was a little late to back out, so I got on the bus with all my new buddies, hardly able to contain my curiosity about what would happen next.

To be continued...

Travelogue t

Greetings from the Netherlands
by Frans de Been
Oosterhout, The Netherlands

Click here for "bloemencorso zundert" photo web site in new window.
(Click on the British flag symbol there to read the pages in English.)

Zundert Stages Annual Flower Parade

Hello Dear Friends,

This Sunday we had a Flower Parade in our country -- just a 20 minute drive from where I live. This parade is every year in the town named ZUNDERT. All the slender wagons [floats] are made with thousands maybe or millions of what we name them DAHLIAS. This parade is every year and this year they have fantastic weather for more than 60,000 visitors.

The number 1 car [float] is the one with the GIRAFFE. I don't know the details about how many flowers each car [float] has but one thing I do know ... many!!!!!!!! Last detail: about 6.5 million flowers, in total -- all dahlias!!!!!!!!!!

Have some fun.
Greetings from a sunny Holland.

Frans de Been

Photo Editor's Note: Once again, Frans has opened a window onto a world I never dreamed of. He also sent lots of photos, but without the permission of the copyright owners we can't include them here, so we have found links to them on the web, along with more information. We can point you in the right direction, but you'll have to do some clicking to see the parade. Also, in trying to find the links, I uncovered more information you might like to read and explore further.

Zundert is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands.

Zundert is one of the most agricultural municipalities of the Netherlands. 10% of all boomkwekers (nursery-men) work in Zundert.

Zundert is the birthplace of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh in 1853.

Zundert also boasts the oldest and most technically advanced flower parade in Europe, held every first Sunday in September. There are 17 neighborhoods in Zundert that each provide a float in each parade, so there are 17 floats each year.

The parade floats are typically 20 metres (66 ft.) long, 4.5 metres (15 ft.) wide and 9 metres (30 ft.) high and decorated with freshly cut dahlias -- 400,000 to 500,000 per float.

(Trivia fact from The parade float got its name because the first floats were decorated barges that were towed along canals with ropes held by parade marchers on the shore. Today, parade floats are traditionally pulled by motor vehicles or powered themselves.)

In 2003, the 150th anniversary of Van Gogh's birth, the parade theme was Van Gogh and his paintings. Click HERE and scroll down to see one of the Van Gogh float details from the 2003 parade. Click HERE and scroll down to see another. Click HERE and scroll down for still another.

Click HERE to see two impressive floats from the 2004 parade, then click on the pictures to see the enlargements in a new browser window or tab.

To see all of the floats from this year's parade, go back to the picture at the top of Frans's story and click on it or click HERE. The official web site will open in a new browser window, so you can refer back here for further instructions on how to see all the pictures.

The web page can be seen in four languages: Dutch, French, German and English. It will probably open in Dutch, but you can change languages with the four tiny striped "flag" buttons on the upper left (white background). The top button is Dutch and the bottom button is English. Click on the bottom button to read the pages in English. Scroll down for more pictures on the general information page, then click through the menu on the orange stripe to get from page to page.

On the programme page you will see information about the parade route. On the parade page you should see 17 entries, one per float, with a "thumbnail" picture of each float on the right side of the page and information about the prizes won by each float. Click on a thumbnail photo and an enlargement will open in a new browser window. (You may want to close each extra browser window before clicking on the next thumbnail photo.) There is a link near the top that says >> Click here for more photos << which will open still another page of parade photos if you click it.

There are also five "thumbnail" pictures (buttons) on the right side of the outer frame that are links. The top and middle and bottom buttons lead to detail photos. The button that looks like a lollipop will take you to the children's parade pictures. The other one is a brief slide show with music. Don't be afraid to click around and explore the various links. Enjoy!

The Miss Kitty Letters*
By Miss Kitty

Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
Seth Dinkel's "Survivor" gets red; his cousin Brenna Dinkel takes blue.

Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off, Alaska State Fair

The Friday before Labor Day turned out bright and sunny -- as pretty a late summer day as you ever did see -- so I wasn't surprised that the day's plans centered around the 10th Annual Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. I don't know what the big attraction to big vegetables is, as I never eat them, myself, but I do find the rat races interesting ... the gerbils are more my style.

There's something about Alaska's long summer days that makes vegetables grow like crazy in the Matanuska Valley and 2005 sounded like a banner year. State records for oversize produce were falling like dominoes: a 32.45 pound table beet (not a sugar beet!), a 168.6 pound watermelon, a 569 pound winter squash and a 942 pound pumpkin, among them. But the cabbage growers put on the best show...

The cabbage competition started in 1941 when a conductor on the Alaska Railroad bet one of the original Matanuska Valley colonists that he could grow a bigger cabbage than the colonist could. The bet was on! The colonist, Max Sherrod, eked out a win with a 23 pound cabbage ... very small potatoes compared to current contenders. The state record stands at 105 pounds!

But the most irresistible competitors are kids growing cabbages bigger than they are. Miss Jerrianne's sentimental favorite in this contest is Seth Dinkel, who first won the competition in 2001 with a 92.5 pound cabbage when he was 8 years old. She put his picture, with his winning cabbage, on her web site that year -- click here to see Seth with his winning entry in 2001.

Seth, now 12 years old, was back this year -- and so was his 10-year-old cousin Brenna, another 4th generation member of this cabbage growing dynasty. Brenna beat Seth to first place in 2003, with a 77.5 pound cabbage when she was 8 years old. A few years back, their fathers (or was it grandfathers?) competed and one year their grandmother (or was it great-grandmother?) won the competition with a cabbage she tended in a flower bed at the Palmer Pioneer Home.

All of the contestants named their entries and they were asked about calamities and growing tips. Some of them wrote limericks and the announcer read them, too. They bewailed marauding moose, voracious slugs, pounding hailstones and pecking chickens ... and the splitting headache that sometimes occurs when a cabbage head grows so fast that it splits wide open and explodes. There was even a sad story about applying wa-a-y-y-y too much Miracle-Gro ... but the cabbage presumably died happy.

Seth named his cabbage "Survivor" after a moose munched on it. "Survivor" recovered and grew to 81.4 pounds ... not as big as his 2001 entry, but still bigger than any of the rest ... until the very last ... when petite 60 pound Brenna's cabbage, "Thidwick," tipped the scales at 85 pounds ... and took the blue ribbon. Seth gamely and graciously claimed the red ribbon for second place ... just wait until next year! And I do hope he munched on a mooseburger for supper that night.

For more Miss Kitty adventures visit my web log:

Miss Kitty
Anchorage, AK

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Giant vegetables set new records at Alaska's State Fairs.

This and That
by Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Autograph Books

Do kids nowadays have autograph books? I haven't seen or heard of them for years, so I have been wondering about that.

During my school days, most kids had one. They were various colors and shapes, mostly rectangular with a ribbon to hold them together. The kids with the most autographs collected were considered the most popular! We would pass it around to our friends and teacher and they would write little verses or sentiments in it. Usually the teacher wrote one about making goals in life, while friends wrote lighter styled verses. These verses varied by the age and grade of students. The little first graders didn't take long to learn...




There was always a clown in your class who wrote humorous ones or at least wanted to be different.


Sometimes one would draw some lopsided flowers to decorate his or her page too. The last page was one that always included this verse...


At the age of teasing about boyfriends and girlfriends, marriage ones often were written about.


Another marriage one went like this...


I don't think that one would go over very well today, since no one would know what a stove poker is, and more likely one would be sent to marriage counseling!

One popular one I remember is:


In today's world, one would rather drive or fly to see old friends often ... and if that wasn't convenient I am sure they would just e-mail. Who uses pen and pencil anymore? It's a lost art!

Oh, the memories in those old autograph books!

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays:
September 12---Lindsay Hellevang
September 15---Shari Schweiger
September 15---Carolyn Miller Dake
Happy Birthday!

More September Birthdays:
September 2---Patty Anderson
September 2---Brianna Jordet
September 2---Vicki Anderson
September 2--Stanley Wm. Dake
September 3---Jacob Mendoza Dake
September 3--Eric Printz
September 3---Charlie Quick
September 4--Wiley Nelson
September 5---Lori Chap
September 5---Genelle Mogck
September 7---Brendan Aydelotte (6 years)

September 19--Nathanial "Nathan" Seaman
September 21---Jessica Aydelotte (13 years)
September 24---Wyatt Johnson
September 28---Donald L. "Donnie" Anderson
September 30---Sheldon Swenson

September Anniversaries
September 1---Doug and Brianna Anderson-Jordet (1 year)
September 4---Ernie and Carolyn Miller Dake (34 years)
September 7 ---Tim and Colette Anderson Huseby (9 years)
September Special Days
September 5---Labor Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

THANK YOU, thank you for the birthday wishes!

I had a very nice and relaxing day. I was fortunate to receive some wonderful birthday calls ... including a birthday serenade from my cute little niece Rylie! :-) It was nice to have the day off from work and to enjoy beautiful weather! I received some very nice gifts, cards and phone calls from friends and family. I'd like to officially thank them all... THANK YOU!

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures from the day -- sorry!

Lori Chap
Maple Grove, MN

I don't know if this is a Miss Hetty item or not, but thought I would just comment on all the expertise and time it must take to create the links in The Bulletin. Being a more recent subscriber, I hadn't realized the value of the links throughout the pages of The Bulletin. One day when I had some time, I decided to just click on all those blue words in italics or links or whatever they are called to see what happened.

WELL, I was so amazed and thrilled at the wealth of information and interesting things that developed from just that simple "click." Stories and pictures that led to endless interesting items (can't spell articles).

In mentioning it to the photo editor, her reply was: "The Bulletin is the front door, but the links lead to all manner of places we could never fit into the newsletter, itself. And not all the links will appeal to everyone, but some of them will really ring the chimes of one reader or a few."

I hope I will take advantage of all this time consuming work it must be to add the links here and there, and in the meantime, I want to send a special thank you to our consistently outstanding Bulletin staff responsible for putting all this together. I have a lot to learn, and it's fun finding all the new links and searches added for our enjoyment every week.

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Oh, yes! Those two editors run me ragged keeping track of all those links for our readers! Let me tell you the links for Frans's story this week will keep you clicking for quite some time! It kept US clicking for quite some time as the web site was being updated and it kept changing.

Miss Hetty

Miss Hetty Says
Kids of all ages get a kick out of the fair -- and that's not only human kids, you know!

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Pygmy goat kids at play on Goat Mountain, Alaska State Fair.

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
But what's a body to do with a 942 lb. pumpkin?

Keep Us Posted!

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?

'Many Thankse

Miss Hetty


Click here to review last week's Bulletin

I love that picture of "mutton bustin' Wade." Thanks for sharing, Carol. I am with you ... I don't think I could get very "enthused" about family members being part of the action. I am pretty certain I wouldn't have very good "form" in the "grin and bear it" department, either.

Tyler had the Winning Expression...

It seems to me that Adrianna looks a lot like Lori Chap...

Ginny McCorkell
Blaine, MN

Just turned over page 26 of 26 pages. Another Bulletin devoured and enjoyed. How do you ever create such interesting productions every single time? Maybe people just send in interesting things to publish -- that must be it.

The planted boots were touching, knowing they belonged to a loved one, and planted in memory. Quaint idea, and nice selection of flowers that will endure a season. I wonder if I have ever seen Russell Martin before? He is hauntingly familiar looking, but I don't remember Diana.

Was so glad to know Millers missed Katrina. That was TOO close for comfort, for sure. Good thing our friends were wise enough to evacuate when they were instructed to do so.

I agree -- no way I could watch a loved one riding a bronc like that. It is exciting to see when you don't know the riders. Knowing Wade was only a kindergartener makes that picture really a prize, with him hanging on to that sheep.

Mr. and Mrs. Shane Swenson look like a very happy couple, for sure. A new chapter for Sheldon and Mitzi! We still need an update from Kjirsten about her classes and her new condo.

Thanks for the state fair recap. We don't go anymore, for so many reasons, but we love hearing about others being there. Old age and handicap has changed a lot of things.

I was especially happy to "meet" Sully's family. I can see Sully's eyes look like his mother's -- at least from what I could see behind the glasses glare. Now that they are subscribers, we should be seeing a lot of those Texas Bluebonnets eyes.

The GUESSING GAME was interesting as the little girl is so familiar, but I don't know if it's from the Dick Miller family or from a Quick/Wahlin family. The eyes could be Carolyn, but I may be waaaaay off.

LTD Storybrooke, -- I can just imagine you did relate to that poem as you were sitting out there in Oregon, after your harrowing experiences trying to leave Minnesota. But, your burning desire for bettering your situation has nothing to do with Gypsy blood. You, like so many others, have heard of that green, green grass on the other side of the fence that turns out to be weeds, but no place like the green, green grass of HOME. So, write on -- and please get on with the story! You haven't even got to Montana yet, let alone back to Minnesota.

For sure I wouldn't want to be within claws' distance of Jerrianne's van!

Once again, we are at a loss as to how to thank you for The Bulletin. I love being able to go back into the Archives to read other Bulletins when it gets to be too long between Saturdays.

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN


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QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Don't put off till tomorrow what can be enjoyed today. --Josh Billings (1818-1885), Humorist

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.