Brotherly harmony...
Let's sing the carol TOGETHER, Austin.
Austin (16 months) & Aiden (3-1/2 years) Montford, grandsons of Dan & Nancy Mellon; their parents are Julian & Anne Mellon Montford of Yucaipa, California.

Updates -

Editors' Note: The Johnson family arrived in Seattle-Tacoma in time for what news stories are calling the worst storm in more than a decade. They drove through flooded Seattle but got their 5th wheel trailer parked in Tacoma before the winds really started to blow. According to The Seattle Times, Friday and Saturday editions, trees toppled and more than 800,000 were left in the dark due to power outages. (Click on the Photo Gallery links to view storm damage.) The Johnsons said they didn't see snow -- just mudslides and huge pines toppled over. There were drifts of pine boughs along the roadsides, but they are OK.

Photo illustration © Kimberly Johnson
Kimberly Johnson & cousin Slade Crawford.

UPDATE -- a visit, a train ride and a rescue
by Kimberly Johnson
Tacoma, WA -- for now

I am back "home" now after spending 10 days with my aunt, uncle, and their six kids -- John, Sue, Caven, Chrissy, Dynna, Terra, Julia and Slade Crawford -- in Yreka, California. It's neat being able to travel on the west coast, because we are so close to all of the family that we rarely get to see. They are almost done remodeling their house, so I enjoyed watching that progress throughout the week.

Last night I was supposed to ride the train from Dunsmuir, California, to Tacoma, Washington, a 14-hour trip, to meet up with my family again. It went smoothly until just after we crossed the Washington border.

Up to 90-mile-an-hour wind gusts had blown a tree onto the tracks and a freight train almost hit it. As they were trying to clear that, they got a radio call saying there was a mudslide south of Tacoma that covered both sets of tracks.

Well, to say the least, Dad and Mom saved me from spending a fair amount of the night on the train. They drove down to the station that the train was going to stop at to wait for the tracks to be cleared!

We drove the rest of the way up to Tacoma in about an hour and a half, arriving about 11 p.m. Now we are a part of a ... umm ... fenced community, here at the trailer park. I'm not sure what makes something a gated community, but this sure isn't it!

Photo illustration © Kimberly Johnson
Kim's Cousins: Caven, Chrissy, Dynna, Terra, Julia & Slade Crawford.

Photo © Shari Larson
Jeni, Sami & Kurt Larson on a desert sightseeing excursion.

UPDATE -- Thanksgiving reunion in the desert
by Shari Miller Larson
Phoenix, AZ -- for now

Samantha Jo flew in from Minneapolis and Kurt and Jeni drove from San Diego for Thanksgiving weekend.

We had Thanksgiving at Rick and Tracy's (Jeni's Dad) home in Apache Junction, right in the foothills of the Superstition mountains. What a breathtaking location! And what an awesome "spread" ... yummmmm ... The only part that I was not particularly excited about was their pet snakes. Samantha had a great time holding the small one ... NOT ME ... I kept my distance!

We also were treated to wonderful home cooking at Jeni's grandparents' home for several meals. (They also live in Apache Junction.) Jeni's grandfather, Tony, took us on a guided tour of the mountains for a day. I still get a little unsettled when I look out the car window on the switchbacks. I hope that improves with time!

Additionally, Sami and I had several shopping outings. I think she definitely inherited the family "shopping gene." She is quite a good little bargain hunter!

Sunday we ate breakfast together and then Kurt and Jeni headed out on their six hour drive back to San Diego and I took Sami to the airport. It was sad to see them go, but fun to have had four special days together!

Samantha Jo & Grandma Shari Miller Larson.

UPDATE -- waiting expectantly
by Jeni Larson
San Diego, CA

Kurt was out-to-sea for our actual anniversary, November 29th, and then my mom was in town for five days once he did get home, so we celebrated with a nice brunch after church today. It's hard to believe that two years of marriage have come and gone already. It seems the months just fly by. I try to remember to cherish every single day, as life never seems to slow down any.

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little one, who is expected to make an appearance in the next six weeks or so. We've prepared as much as we can, getting the nursery all set up and ready. Now it's up to her when she decides she wants to arrive! How exciting to think that soon we will get to meet her. We will keep you posted!

Jeni & Kurt celebrate second wedding anniversary.

UPDATE -- ambiguous test results
by Diana Mellon Martin
Coon Rapids, MN

You all have been so good and kind to ask me about my situation, that I thought I'd pass on the latest results. I saw my oncologist, today, and the test results were not good ... the tumor marker study numbers are up, again, but to our amazement, the rest of my blood work was almost normal, or very normal in some cases. I've even gained weight, which says my appetite is good, and I have almost no symptoms of the cancer, nor many, if any, side effects

He's just not sure what is happening, so I'm scheduled for another round of blood tests, CAT scans and probably a different chemo when I'm done with this round, in about two weeks. This is really becoming a mystery. Hope the next round of tests show something more conclusive.

There are a couple more chemo options, but he's very concerned about the last option, as he says it is very hard on the body, and has many severe side effects, and he's just not ready to put me through that, yet. So, we may be looking at a time in the near future where we will have to discuss dropping chemo and just letting God and nature take its course.

I would like to wish one and all a very blessed holiday season. I hope everyone can be with their loved ones at this time of year. That is so important. Love to all......Diana

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

Rachel Henderson stopped by today on her way to Minnetrista. She is headed home for her "Winter Vacation." For this week, she is relaxing at home and getting caught up on some errands and making preparations for a family vacation planned for the second week of her break. (We will expect a Travelogue from some family member -- with breathtaking photos of New Mexico!)

Rachel is in her second year at North Dakota State. She is doing fine but has yet to make final decisions on her major. She continues with the same extra job ... well, with the same lab that does research on drugs. Her full duty is to draw blood at set times so that someone else on the team can check the concentration of medication found in the blood at any given time. That is part of their research process.

She rooms with her brother Dan and his wife, Gina. It is especially congenial, as Gina and Rachel have been good friends for all of their growing up years. Grandpa asked Rachel if they had mostly Campbell soup for their meals. She assured us that they can all cook, and do when they aren't too busy. She made homemade soup this week and Gina had a meat loaf fixed for their dinner yesterday. And both were good eating, too.

Grandpa and I surely appreciated having Rachel for a visit -- now we are waiting and hoping to see Dan and Gina this coming week.

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. Thanks to Ginny Dake McCorkell and Larry Dake for sending last week's mystery pictures.

How many can you identify?

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

The GUESS pictures are always a guess, but this time my guess would be Sarah, and her son, Levi. Not too many could be THAT far off, I suppose.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

My guess is Levi and his mother, Sarah Steinhauer!

LeRoy Dake
Blaine, MN

LTD Storybrooke

Editors' Note & Caveat: This week's explicit sheep ranching incident may be more than some of our subscribers can stomach, so we have posted it on a separate page with a link.

Veintiuno Colas de los Corderos
by Larry Dake
Click here to read this week's episode.

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell;

A New Wrinkle
By Beaver
This is a continuation of the series from my time at Keesler AFB at Biloxi, Mississippi.

After several weeks of rooming together, Rick, Rich, and I settled into a fairly dull routine. Rick liked to close up the Airmen's Club once in a while. It may be that Rich and I slightly resented this, since we didn't make enough money to spend much time at the Club. We also may have slightly resented the fact that Rick got a single bunk, while Rich and I got the stacked pair. Rich also didn't seem to much care if he woke us up when he came stumbling in after "lights out" at 2 a.m.

One evening when Rick was out, Rich and I got to contemplating the way his bunk was put together. We had about worn out the old short-sheet trick, even with the corn flakes and shaving cream variations. Like every single bunk in the barracks, Rick's had a metal frame with pegs at the corners that slid into slots in the head and foot rails. We wondered what would happen if we took the head and foot rails off, turned them upside down, and jammed the pegs into the slots, which were now open at the bottom?

It was quite a bit of work, what with having remake the bunk and move all the displayed boots from under the front edge, but soon all was ready for the return of our roommate. We turned off the lights and turned in. All was quiet, the room barely lit by a pale shaft of moonlight.

The door swung open and Rick clomped in, whistling a happy tune. He tossed his jacket on the table and sat down on his bunk to take off his shoes. The bunk crashed to the floor! The end rails fell in as Rick toppled backwards and bumped his head against the wall. There was a long moment of silence while Rich and I wondered if we had misjudged Rick's sense of humor, but before long we were all laughing.

We pulled this trick on Rick on a fairly regular basis after that, just seldom enough so he wasn't expecting it. It might have gone on for a long time had we not screwed up. One night when we had been at the club, but left earlier than Rick, we forgot one important step. We left his boots under the edge of his bunk, and the angle iron of the bed frame landed on the toes of all four pairs where they were displayed for inspection under the edge of the bunk.

Rick had spent many hours spit shining those boots. The bed frame left a permanent little wrinkle in the toes that never did come out. Rich and I were given to understand that if we did it again, we just might have similar wrinkles in our foreheads, so we gave up that particular form of entertainment.

Travelogue t

Photos © Weston Johnson
Allen Street still looks a lot like historic Tombstone.

by Weston Johnson
Maple Grove, MN

By Wednesday morning of my week in Phoenix, I had grown to miss the cozy confines of my car. After all, a day and a half had passed since the end of my 1,800-mile drive from Minnesota and I still had to wait until Friday night to begin the drive back. So I formulated a plan that would allow me to spend another six hours in the car: a day trip to Tombstone.

The idea to take a day trip on Wednesday had actually been made prior to my leaving home when I noticed there were no sporting events taking place in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area that day. I figured I had two choices: drive a few hours northwest and see the Grand Canyon or drive a few hours southeast to Tombstone.

I guess a normal person would have chosen the Grand Canyon, but I think of the Grand Canyon as more of a family destination -- load the kids into the Family Truckster and force them to appreciate nature's beauty (at least until we get to Disneyland).

Conversely, there is little chance I will find a wife who would allow herself or her offspring to be dragged to Tombstone, of all places. This could be the only time in my life I would have the time and inclination to see Tombstone. So the decision was made.

Why did I want to go to Tombstone? Mainly because it provided the setting for the film that bears its name, which is one of my favorite (and most watched) movies. My buddies and I often find ourselves quoting lines from Tombstone, whether it's a tough-guy line uttered by Wyatt Earp ("Are you gonna do something or just stand there and bleed?") or a smart-aleck comment by Doc Holliday ("It seems poker's just not your game, Ike. I know: let's have a spelling contest!").

But Tombstone is more than just a movie set; it is a piece of uniquely American history -- a wild west boomtown where the shootout at the OK Corral elevated Wyatt Earp from a famous lawman to a legendary gunslinger. I imagined Tombstone would still retain the "anything goes" attitude of the Old West.

After almost three hours of driving through rugged desert land, reminiscent of the terrain I had crossed between Albuquerque and Flagstaff on Monday, I arrived in Tombstone. From Highway 80, it looked much like any other small town, with a couple of gas stations, hotels and 1970's-era houses lining the blacktop road.

I saw a sign marked "OK Corral Parking" and pulled into the lot, unsure where, exactly, I would have to go for the Wild West action I had come to see. I began walking toward what seemed to be the middle of town and soon found myself on Allen Street. Now this is how Tombstone should look! The dirt street was bordered by boardwalks and buildings with old fashioned false fronts. Several horses were tied to hitching posts outside of the storefronts, while others pulled stagecoaches that spit dust and rocks from beneath their wheels.

As I explored the town, I found that the buildings that once housed hotels, saloons, gambling halls and general stores had mostly been converted to shops selling various Tombstone souvenirs, Indian and western-themed art and other tourist trappings.

However, there were also some interesting museums and historical buildings, including a restored courthouse and the Bird Cage theater, which still retained much of its original 19th century décor (not to mention some authentic 19th century bullet holes, remnants of long past shootouts, or perhaps just a few drunken theater patrons).

Photo © Weston Johnson
The Bird Cage Theatre has authentic 19th century bullet holes.

A brochure at the Tourist Information Center informed me that a re-enactment of the shootout at the OK Corral would take place at 2 o'clock, so I bought a ticket, then spent some time perusing the historical displays at the Corral, which has been converted into a large indoor-outdoor museum.

As 2 o'clock neared, I was part of a small crowd of people ushered into the performance area, where we would watch an authentic western shootout from a large set of aluminum bleachers. The majority of the performance consisted of the actors setting up the history of the conflict between Wyatt Earp's lawmen and the cowboy gang, interspersed with several of the type of corny jokes one comes to expect from these tourist shows.

But, eventually, they got down to business, performing a more-or-less historically accurate re-enactment of the shootout. The real shootout had taken place on October 26, 1881, almost 125 years to the day of this particular performance. It was over quickly -- barely enough time for us spectators to snap a picture or two. Lost in the commotion of bad jokes, fake gunfire and camera snapshots was the fact that, in real life, three men had died in that short flash of gunfire, not more than 20 yards from where we sat.

Photo © Weston Johnson
Shootout at the OK Corral, a fairly realistic re-enactment.

After leaving the OK Corral, I continued to browse the shops along Allen Street and noticed that the number of tourists, which had been relatively sparse to begin with, was already dissipating even more. My original plan had been to stay overnight in the area, spending the evening in Tombstone, then maybe finding a campground in which I could pitch a tent for the night. This would allow me to spend as much time as possible in Tombstone, while splitting the driving between there and Phoenix over two days. But as the afternoon wound down and I realized that the town was half dead and still dying, I began to have second thoughts.

I stopped by a local establishment, an old time saloon that was now a restaurant, complete with live music. The place did not appear to have changed since the days when Mr. Earp himself may have sidled up to the bar. I asked a waitress decked out in 1880's barmaid garb if it would be worth hanging around for the evening. Would there be much night life? Was the town always this dead?

"I'd drive back to Phoenix if I were you," was her honest reply. "There is a big festival in town this weekend so it will be crazy around here by Friday. But on a Wednesday night? I'd drive back to Phoenix."

By the end of our conversation, the musician had gone on break and despite the unique, old-time décor, the place had all of the atmosphere of your local Denny's, as a few middle-aged couples dined quietly at the tables. I decided to take the waitress's advice, and soon I was back on the road to Phoenix.

I was glad I had made the trip to Tombstone, but I couldn't help but feel a little underwhelmed by the experience. I guess when I thought of Tombstone, I had visions of rowdy cowboys smoking cigars over a farrow table at a boisterous saloon. In reality, it is a small town clinging to its long-past identity. While a visitor can still get a sense of how things must have been in the boomtown days, 21st century Tombstone resembles so many other tourist trap towns.

It was getting late in the evening by the time I arrived back at the Downtown Phoenix Super 8. I crawled into my hotel room bed, although part of me longed to be sleeping in a tent under the desert stars.

To be continued...

By Don Anderson
Alexandria, MN

On Sunday, December 7th, 1941, I was 14 years old. Our family had just moved from Dwight to a farm just north of town. We didn't have a radio because there was no electricity on the farm in 1941. We heard about it the following day as Dad came home from town and told us, "The Japs bombed Pearl Harbor."

I had never heard of Pearl Harbor nor did I know where it was. Next trip to town, Dad purchased a battery radio and we glued our ears to it to hear of the tragic events in the Islands. We heard Roosevelt say, "This day will live in infamy.... We are at war with the Japanese Empire."

Dad said he was glad his boys were too young to be called for service. Our dad had to register for the draft but with little chance he would be called at age 44.

We experienced "blackouts" where everybody had to learn to keep all lights off. This was a test, of course. Also we learned much more we were required to do regarding the war effort.

The fighting continued in islands of the Pacific and at one time the Japs were almost ahead of us. In June of 1942 the U.S. forces beat them at Midway Islands, a turning point of the war.

Our Navy was at loss, as many of our battleships and planes were damaged or sunk, plus 1,100 men died. All of our fleet was side by side in the harbor, making it like sitting ducks for the Japanese planes.

A song which become popular:

History, in every century,
records an act that lives forevermore,
We'll recall, as into line we fall,
the things that happened on Hawaii's shore.

Let's remember Pearl Harbor --
As we go to meet the foe --
Let's remember Pearl Harbor
As we did the Alamo.

We will always remember --
how they died for liberty.
Let's remember Pearl Harbor
and go on to victory.

This and That
by Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Where I Was When Pearl Harbor Was Bombed

I often think of how we heard things years ago, compared to the instantaneous news of today. It is good to reflect on the ways we communicated. As a little girl, I often sat on the front porch of our little house in Dwight on summer evenings as neighbors visited one another and related news. I well remember them discussing Hitler, how he oppressed the Jews and others across the ocean, around 1939-40. Most people in Dwight had electricity for radios to relay the news at that time.

Then, in late November of 1941, we moved to the farm just north of Dwight where we had no electricity. We heard of the news of Pearl Harbor the next day in school, where I was in 6th grade. Walking home with the news to tell our parents, we learned that our dad had heard about the attack when he had gone into town that day.

He decided we had to get a battery radio then. It was a big battery, longer and narrower than a car battery, and since it was expensive, and later became rationed, we saved on the battery and only used it for news and markets most of the time. At this time my dad thought we should also get a newspaper, so he ordered the daily Fargo Forum to keep up on the war news.

The war changed our lives in many ways. It was not long before our local boys were drafted, and soon we got reports of casualties. One, who would have eventually become my brother-in-law, was only 19 years old. Unlike the war today, everyone on the home front was affected. Rationing of many items included sugar, rubber, nylon, metals, coffee, tea, gasoline and hundreds of other items. Tin cans of food, gasoline, and shoes, to name a few, were purchased with each person's ration stamps.

Children purchased ten cent savings stamps in schools; adults purchased $18.75 war bonds (redeemable for $25) to provide funds for the war. Everyone recycled tin cans and bottle caps, picked milkweed pods for parachutes, sat through blackouts, and just learned to get along with less and use substitutes. Without silk or nylon, ladies used leg paint to look like stockings.

A number of patriotic songs evolved from the war, one being Remember Pearl Harbor. Also popular were Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer, Say a Prayer for the Boys Over There and There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere. Patriotism was very much honored in those days.

Pearl Harbor Days
In Bulletin 234, Ruth told about her wedding in May of 1947 to Vernon Swanson, a sailor in the US Navy. He had to return to the Naval base in Pearl Harbor after the wedding but she could not accompany him to Honolulu until he was able to get housing for them on base. In this series, Ruth tells of her experiences as a 21-year-old bride in Hawaii just after World War II.

Seasick ... Stranded ... and Scared
By Ruth (Weiland Swanson) Kitto

Apache Junction, AZ

Right now I have forgotten the exact date of sailing from San Diego to Pearl Harbor on the USS President Hayes, a "converted" troop ship -- but the last days of October 1947 would be about right. Here is how it went: I got on board with all the papers, etc. and stood around looking at everything. I had a Coke before the ship left the shore -- and got SICK!

I was taken to the stateroom where I was supposed to be -- at the top. There I was shown my small room. It had two bunk beds on one wall and, a few feet across, two more bunk beds -- and a passageway to the door of a very small room -- not really a bathroom -- but sufficed for one.

Three other ladies were in the same cabin and one was pregnant. As you can imagine, we three were "sick" the most. The poor pregnant lady didn't have time to be sick, herself -- with a baby about a year old!

Photo © Ruth Swanson Kitto
Sun deck of USS President Hayes.
Ruth spent hours here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

We sailed -- ROCKED -- for four days! We had a neat little Filipino steward -- and he really tried to take care of us poor women! If one was in the bathroom, another was using the wastebasket -- and so it went. I'd walk up the stairs to the deck for air, and then walk by the galley and -- wafting out -- GREASY "aromas"! Not until the 5th day did I dare eat anything, besides sucking lemons!

After five or six days of rocking and rolling, the day to land arrived. All of us wives were dressed! On deck I think there were about 100 wives ... leaning over the railing to get a glimpse, even, of LAND! It was great!

Photo © Ruth Swanson Kitto
Ruth's cabin mates on landing day -- all the wives were dressed up -- ready to dock for re-uniting with their husbands, looking forward to a new life!

Jeeps and other vehicles were coming and going -- all the wives were getting picked up! And you would know, many hugs, leis, tears -- but here I was -- standing alone! Walking back and forth -- looking, looking for someone familiar. I couldn't stay on the ship much longer... Can you guess who was scared?

And then -- after probably half an hour -- my sailor came racing up in a jeep. Someone had given him the wrong time! He'd had to borrow his Chief's jeep -- so off we went -- after an explanation!

To be continued...

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Winter returns ... officially ... this Thursday. Are you ready?

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
December 21---First Day of Winter

This Week's Birthdays
December 17---Char Morgan Myron
December 17---Austin Printz
December 19---Barb Anderson
December 19---Lisa Boltz
December 20---Jay Pierre Miller
December 21---Melanie Anderson Shockey
December 21---Jonathan Glen Hill (2 years)
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
December 20---Eric and Melanie Anderson Shockey (4 years)
December 23---Harold and Carol Dake Printz (39 years)

More December Birthdays
December 3---Twila Aydelotte
December 4---Carol Dake Printz
December 4---Elaine Anderson Wold
December 4---Sonja Dake
December 7---Aunika Swenson
December 10---Ryan Henderson
December 11---Wyatt Wm. Meyer (7 years)
December 12---Sarah Lynn Dake Steinhauer
December 13---Larry Dake
December 13---Derek Swenson
December 14---Kathleen Dake Stahlecker

December 24---Ken Hellevang
December 24---Arbor Johnson
December 24---Beaver Johnson
December 25---Angela Stahlecker Roberson
December 26---Koen de Been
December 29---Mitzi Johnson Swenson
December 30---Travis Quick

More December Anniversaries
December 27---Earl and Kathleen Dake Stahlecker (32 years)

December Special Days
December 7---Pearl Harbor Day
December 21---First Day of Winter
December 25---Christmas

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

We are pretty excited. We have just become great grandparents. Our grandson Andy and his wife, Natalie, just had a tiny 4-1/2 pound baby girl: Alison Elizabeth Droel. She came five weeks early so is still in the hospital with a lot of tubes in, but is very well and doing just fine.

Andy and Natalie are both dentists, working together in an office in Circle Pines, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. Roy's son Rodger and his wife, Claudia, are the very proud grandparents.

These pictures were taken in the hospital just hours after Alison was born.

Just sharing our good news.

Roy and Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Andy & Natalie Droel with new daughter, Alison Elizabeth Droel.

We wanted to thank you for the 2nd Anniversary card you sent us (November 29). Here we are 10 days later, finally getting the chance to celebrate.

Happy Holidays,

Kurt & Jeni Larson
San Diego, CA

Jenny & Kurt Larson

This morning I had an appointment with Dr. Thomas W. Miller, my favorite Chiropractor.

Of course we talked Bulletin, and I told him I would send you a hello to keep him on the subscribers list.

As we chatted, his constant companion, Sophie, ambled out of the treatment room to where we were standing at the counter. She was sleeping so good, but she must have heard her name mentioned when I said I should bring my camera to take a picture of her now for The Bulletin.

The first time she was in The Bulletin, she was just a baby in Tom's arms, and now she is hip high, but a very beautiful, well mannered, "office dog."

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

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

Thanks for sharing the cartoon, Jack. That, and the funny Foto-funnies, gave me a good chuckle! I'm sure Ginny will continue to add some fun input! Thanks, Doug and Ginny ... enjoyed what you did with my picture.

I want to thank you, Betty, for your dedicated and very kind review each week. I enjoy reading your "take" on The Bulletin; you notice every little thing, which makes for a lovely recap.

Thanks, Weston, for sharing Coni's Christmas cactus ... very pretty. I also enjoyed your telling us more about your trip. I think you need to plan another vacation so we'll have more good reading to look forward to in the future!

Elaine, you certainly did a lovely job on sharing the changing of the "seasons" in a person's life. So accurate! Loved the prayer you sent in, too. I need to take that to heart, as I'm so apt to go on and on about my "pains." You are right; no one wants to hear that same old story.

Thanks to Ruth for sharing some on Pearl Harbor and about her early married life. I'd love to hear more about their time in Hawaii. I loved my one trip there, MANY years back.

And Mom and Mavis, it's so fun to hear more about extended relatives. I really enjoyed both of your accounts and the pictures shared.

Thanks, all! Wishing all of you a Happy Holiday Season!

Donna Johnson
Ashby, MN

THANK YOU, Dear Editors,

I had no idea Betty would send in a picture! It soon will be 60 years old. I could have gone on more on our days in Pearl Harbor -- but that was enough! We were almost a year there!

Thank you so very much for the article -- it was very special for me.

It is ALWAYS such an interest -- THE BULLETIN! The cartoon is a winner!

Till next time -- love to you and your crew!

Ruth Weiland Swanson Kitto
Apache Junction, AZ

I liked how Doug and Ginny have "signed" their Foto-funnies -- McDouglas. Cute! Or maybe I should say Clever!

Marlene Johnson
Burlington, WA (right now)

The Bulletin was nicely done again today. I am always so anxious to to see it so we can catch up on the relatives.

Mavis and Tom
Estero, FL

Wow, what a great Bulletin! I loved Capt. Jack's cartoon! It would have been hilarious except it is Mid-December and there is not one flake on the ground...

Douglas Anderson
St. Cloud, MN

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell
Little Cinderella -- Carrie Horne

Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
by Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

I just turned over the last page of the printed Bulletin #234. I should wait awhile before writing a letter to the editor, but I can't wait. I really enjoyed every single page, and I have to tell you so. A little bird told me that into the middle of the night Jerrianne was still doing what needed to be done to ready The Bulletin for sending. We appreciate all the background work that goes into every page. The precise spacing, wording, enhancing of photos, and decisions are all things we just take for granted as it arrives in our e-mail.

As far as Global Warming is concerned, I am looking out onto a perfectly bare lawn and enjoying nearly 40 degrees right now. However; last week it was nearly zero -- so Minnesota weather is unpredictable. Finally, Capt'n Jack appears again on the page.

Very interesting hearing where the Johnsons are. I spent a year in Tacoma, Washington, and a year in Bellingham with time also in Seattle, as well as most of Washington state. I was picturing their travels and hope Washington will become a part of their fond memories as it did mine.

Tom and Mavis, we were glad you took time to share your experiences as you traveled to the west coast. What a spry lady for 93 years old! She is remarkable, and you have those same genes, Mavis.

By the looks of the picture of Dwight and Janie, "Happiness is grandchildren."

Thanks to another Johnson scribe, Wyatt, who shared an interesting weekend. To get your own beef would certainly take worry out of having to eat processed beef.

Max has it made, wouldn't you say? Made in the shade of the warm lamp!

LTD Storybrooke, please know that we are sitting here, patiently tuned!

Another chapter in the Travelogue of Weston. Probably none of us were as excited about that story as my sister, Ruth, living in Apache Junction out of Phoenix, after having watched the stadium being built and never seeing the inside. To get that detailed story would be pretty interesting to Kenny and Ruth. Once again it's "To be Continued," so we are glad that wasn't the end of the story.

Elaine, Happy Birthday! I was not one of the thoughtful people who sent you birthday greetings, but I did think about it. I was so touched by your lifetime seasons comments. I made a copy of that to read often. I guess we have to admit we are in the winter season of our own life here at the Droel's, and at present there are no storms. We do enjoy beautiful days with a measure of good health, which we are very thankful for.

Some young person said they felt sorry for the old people that can't relate to the young. If they only knew we had been there and done that and understand very well all the previous seasons of life, they would feel differently. Some day, in their winter, they will say, "Now I know."

I thought it was so timely that Don would have just mentioned folks who may have memories of Pearl Harbor Day, and moments later Ruth sent exactly that. What a most interesting, heartwarming story of her life. Of course I remember some of it, but as a little sister you don't pay attention to the details she described. So I, for one, did value that story, and the one thing I do remember is how in love they were.

Glad you did decide to use the photos of Carol Printz's Update, even if they did arrive late. The photos are such a vital part of The Bulletin, and of course our Photo Editor does amazing work on getting them to fit just right in the story. They are big enough for our "winter" eyes to see very well, and yet not too big.

I hope Weston's Christmas cactus will survive for a few years so he can enjoy the memory of Coni associated with it. Many blossoms like on that one are rare.

The Foto-funnies by Douglas, assisted by Ginny, didn't need a caption. We can all understand dreaming of our favorite thing. I recognize the couch and pillow being Donna's.

For the anxious anticipation there is for Saturday morning, we say thanks again to the ever on duty Editor, the Photo Editor and their staff.

Roy and Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell & Douglas Anderson; photo by Lori Ostendorf

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