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Sunday, January 13, 2008
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Krista is 8
Photo illustration © Rich Weiland
For Krista Weiland, happiness is being 8 years old.

Updates -

Photo © Patty Henderson
Logan Benjamin Henderson

Update -- Logan Benjamin Henderson
by Patty Henderson
Minnetrista, MN

The newest Henderson has made his appearance. Logan Benjamin Henderson was born on January 7th at 3 p.m. He weighed in at an amazing 9 lbs., 4.1 oz. and was 21-1/2 inches long. His little brother Mason has already offered to share his blanket AND his goldfish! The blanket was welcomed but the gold fish ... mmm ... maybe not yet!

Mommy (Heather) had a little "blip" after the birth ... it seems that Logan was a tad big and Heather had to go to the O.R. to have some internal tears repaired. She lost a fair amount of blood and required a transfusion, but true to form, is back to herself the day after delivery! Daddy, (Ben) is wondering if he might have to quit his job to assist in this child rearing process. He's wondering how it goes with two of these little peanuts at home. Any advice from any of you who have accomplished this feat AND remained somewhat sane?

Congratulations to the little family!

Photo © Patty Henderson
Ben, Heather, Mason & Logan Henderson.

Photos © Marci Weiland
Krista's birthday breakfast, lighted candle in waffle; left; penguin light, right.

Update -- Krista Weiland celebrates 8th birthday
by Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

A penguin themed party was planned for Krista Weiland, Steve and Marci's daughter, Rich and Verlaine's granddaughter, who was turning eight years old. We arrived at their home at the given hour (5:30) for dinner, and to welcome us was a penguin that was all tiny, bright lights, standing outside, next to the door.

We saw a most beautiful table with a penguin table cloth, napkins, and candles. The dinner of a lasagna type dish was served with all the trimmings. It wasn't easy to wait for the mound of gifts waiting to be opened between dinner and birthday cake.

At the table were Jared Larson (in college in Fargo), Kari and Mike Matteson, Rich and Verlaine Weiland, Roy and Betty (Weiland) Droel, Barb and Larry Meyer, Judy and Bruce Larson. The children sat at their special table, Shalana and Krista Weiland, and Kyla and Logan Matteson. (Judy and Bruce and Jared are Hunter Holman's grandma and grandpa and cousin.) All the guests were family.

Finally, gift time came. Krista was all set with her American Girl Doll in her director's chair, just her size. She got some great gifts, and several things that had been on the wish list she had made up long ago.

Photos © Marci Weiland
Krista's new ski outfit for Kristina, left; Krista & Kristina match, right.

The cake was a penguin, of course. Marci does a beautiful job on their birthday cakes and each year the girls get to choose their theme. There were black and white balloons, and a wind-up penguin that entertained us all.

I'll send some pictures so you can enjoy our happy little great niece enjoying her birthday party.

Photos © Marci Weiland
Krista's birthday cake, a penguin with eight candles this year.

Photo © Leona Anderson
Eric with new car, a 2004 Hyundai Sonata. "Leona and I were going to send out holiday letters this year, but with the car accident and all, we just never got around to it. I did write a letter, though, so folks will know we're still out here and doing fine."

Update -- Eric and Leona recap 2007
by Eric Anderson
Maple Grove, MN

Warmest greetings from Maple Grove, Minnesota! We, here at the Anderson household, hope that this finds you and yours doing well. It's been quite an eventful year, with lots of changes, joyous occasions, and some sadness, too, as well as some challenges that took us by surprise.

The biggest news of the year comes from April, when we bought a house! This is why we're back in Maple Grove, where we both grew up. We're now living in a split-level townhouse in the very center of town. It's convenient and still in a nice, quiet neighborhood. When we bought the house, we tore down a wall and opened up the kitchen, and then we painted all the rooms different colors. This past summer, when she was off work, Leona did a lot of additional projects, including remodeling both bathrooms and replacing all the lights. It's a wonderful, comfortable home and we love living here.

Back in March our oldest cat, Casper, became ill and, unfortunately, we had to put him to sleep. It was very hard on both of us as he was our very first pet together and we loved him a lot. He will certainly be missed. Then, just a couple months ago, we made the big leap and got a dog. His name is Ozzie and he's an 8-year-old Boston terrier. He's a very good boy and gets along with everyone, including the cats, although it took them a while to get used to him. It's been so nice having a dog in the house again. With him and the cats, there's never a dull moment around here.

For most of the year, Leona has been working at Maple Grove Junior High School as an English teacher. She's become the go-to person over there whenever anyone has needed to take an extended leave, whether it's for surgery or a new baby. She's having a great time and getting a lot of important experience. We have our fingers crossed that one of the more senior teachers will finally decide to retire and they'll hire Leona on to replace her. She's also learned how to do everything from replacing faucets to wiring light fixtures while working on the house. She says she'll never remove wallpaper ever again, though!

Eric worked at Boston Scientific for the bulk of the year, but was unfortunately let go in the massive round of lay-offs the company announced in November. He's currently looking for work in the accounting field, well, sort of. He was given a very nice severance package and has thoroughly enjoyed some well-earned vacation time over the holidays. Eric will certainly miss working at BSC. It was a good job that just happened to be located less than two miles from our new house. Oh, well! We're sure he'll find something he likes just as much, even if the commute is longer than the five minutes he's used to.

When we haven't been working, we've been basking in the joy of having our own house for the first time. It's been so much fun having friends and family over for events like Easter and the Open House we hosted back in September. Besides that stuff, it's been a pretty normal year: bills were paid, dinner was eaten, exercise was gotten and floors were vacuumed, but hey, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that in our book. While we had our unfortunate accident back in December, we're both doing fine and just last week we replaced the Toyota with an '04 Hyundai Sonata. It's a nice car. Nothing too fancy, but it's a little bigger than the old one and we were kind of wanting that.

It is our sincerest hope that you are all well and that the coming year brings you resolution to any conflicts in your life. Know that we think of all of you fondly and wish you only the best.

With much love and good wishes,

Eric and Leona

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Susie Holman
Hunter Holman hopes his snowman isn't afraid of the dark.

Student Update -- Winter escape to Morocco
by Kjirsten Swenson
Houston, TX

I've just returned to Houston after a fantastic winter adventure abroad! When I realized that flying home [to Dickinson, North Dakota] for the holidays would cost nearly as much as a transatlantic ticket, I decided to spend my 16 precious days off exploring somewhere very different.

After a morning of sifting through airfares to dozens of far away places I've dreamed of visiting, I happened upon a reasonable fare to Morocco. Seduced by photos of colorful markets, camels, and dramatic deserts, I swiftly traded two weeks of winter in North Dakota for a trip of a lifetime to Northern Africa. What follows (in the Travelogue section below), are my memories of my travels.

I'm back in Houston now, recovering from jet lag. Part way through my third year of medical school at Baylor, the end of my life as a student is starting to seem less distant! I'm currently completing an Emergency Medicine rotation at the county hospital. I've been having a fantastic time, and will likely be applying for an Emergency Medicine residency next year.

Meanwhile, I have about eight months of required clinical rotations to complete in my remaining 18 months of medical school, so am planning more adventures in the months that come.

Happy New Year!


Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Frosty morning on deck.

Update -- Weston's on the go again -- in snow country
by Weston Johnson
Maple Grove, MN

Sorry I haven't checked in for awhile. I haven't had a chance to work on any stories lately, but I thought I'd take a few minutes to send an update to keep my subscription up to date.

I have mainly been keeping busy with work lately. In November and December, I made three project-related trips to Fargo, two to Sioux Falls and two to Keene, New Hampshire. I had a nice break from work and deadlines over Christmas and New Year's, but now I'm back at it. I'll be back in Fargo on Monday of next week and Keene on Friday and Saturday.

About the only news I have to report is that I bought a new car this past weekend, a 2008 Ford Fusion. The dealer had to have the car delivered from somewhere in Iowa so I don't actually have it in my possession yet. So, I'll have to wait impatiently for it to arrive later this week, and The Bulletin's readers will have to wait (whether patiently or impatiently) for a picture!

Although I haven't been writing lately, I've still been enjoying reading The Bulletin every week. Lately, I've especially enjoyed hearing from Richard and Mia. I was surprised a few weeks ago to learn that fence post-pounding had made its way onto YouTube. I suppose next you're going to tell me that videos demonstrating vaccinating cattle, replacing broken teeth on the hay cutter and other such exciting staples of my adolescence are posted there too!

And as if that wasn't enough, we now learn that those enterprising Oregonians have added lefse-making to the YouTube lineup, as well. I have seen the lefse production process completed many times, but always by my mom and her sisters, who I'm fairly certain lack the technological savvy to post their results online.

Speaking of Richard and Mia, I can't be the only reader who's been wondering what the story is behind the name "Disappointment Butte." I'm guessing there's more history behind it than just the disappointment of wasting an entire day repairing the track on a Caterpillar. Hopefully one of the Oregon clan will enlighten us -- that is, if they know the story!

Well, that's all for now. I'm off to search for rock-picking videos on YouTube.


Photo © Ken Carson
Cheerio strikes a pose for the "Carson Kittens 2008" calendar.

Update -- a year of grandkitten pictures from Kyra and Ken
by Miss Kitty
Anchorage, AK

B-r-r-r-r-r! It's cold ... and it's been snowing for days. The trees are carrying all the snow they can hold and there hasn't been a breath of wind. It's beautiful, though the light has been so dull and gray that Miss Jerrianne hasn't even tried to make pictures outdoors. We're just admiring Bitzi's and Rich's. And trying to stay warm, snuggling under a lap quilt while finishing up The Bulletin. (Mai Tai sneaks under the quilt and keeps her feet warm. I pounce on anything that moves.)

Imagine our surprise when Miss Jerrianne stepped out on the porch to bring in the morning paper the other day and found a present from Kyra and Ken -- a calendar with a whole year of grandkitten pictures! We're looking forward to spending all of 2008 with them. Every day. Like Mai Tai, the grandkittens are growing up really fast now. Technically, they are all kittens until their first birthday, in the spring, but they are starting to look and act like real, grown up cats.

Mai Tai and I are doing pretty well. We've found that food tastes better out of the other guy's dish. We are happy to "trade lunches," though it bugs Miss Jerrianne, because she didn't intend it that way. We have boxing matches sometimes and don't hesitate to hiss and growl if the other one gets too familiar. We play regular games of race and chase and generally take naps where we can keep an eye on each other. We have birds to watch out the windows, along with cars and snowplows and people walking their dogs. And sometimes we get catnip. Mmmm, good!

Photos © Argyle Anderson
Diego spies a moose out the window at Argyle & Kathlyn's house. Was he helping the FedEx driver deliver packages or hoping to hitch a ride in the delivery truck?

Update -- Lou Miller's walking with a new hip
by Tom Miller
Madera, CA

We will give you a little update on Lou's hip replacement. It went well on Monday, December 31, so we spent New Year's Eve in the hospital!

She was in surgery only about 1-1/2 hours and in her room by 11 a.m., so with a spinal, it was not the usual difficulty to re-gain normalcy. She was up walking a little at 3 p.m., but very slow and not too far.

We were able to come home Thursday afternoon and Home Health will start therapy Monday. It was started in the hospital and we are continuing two times a day at home. No pain walking! Some pain in the surgery sites but Tylenol handles that very well.

Thanks for your kind thoughts and we can recommend MIS 2 for anyone who may need a "new" hip or knee.

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Sarah Steinhauer
Kira finds Levi's humor a bit obscure...
(Scroll down to the Chuckles section to see Levi's joke.)

Update -- weight melted away: where did it go?
by Steve Miller
Coral Springs, FL

In looking back over 2007, there is not a lot that stands out as outstanding achievements. I'm another year older with a little less hair and what's left is grayer! However, I did manage to lose 41 pounds. We had been up to Disney World in June and when we got home I decided that 219 pounds was too much luggage to be toting around. I weighed 178 yesterday.

To put that in perspective, I was 175 when I graduated from high school and 185 when Marian and I were married in 1970. Marian has lost 68 pounds.

So, how did we do it, you may ask. Sorry, that's a big secret ... but I'll tell all next week, so stay tuned, sports fans! Hint: I didn't go on a diet.

My goal for 2008: keep it off.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Scallops on deck.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Fun School

The individual who submitted this site described it as "being 'dangerously' educational while being joyfully fun," and fun, it certainly is! Click on the various "fun spots" to navigate the site and find the learning inside, well disguised as fun, of course. The games are exciting and changing constantly. Children, including those of us over 18, love the variety and colorfulness of the content. Here's everyone's chance to become a kid for the day as we play our way from kindergarten through 6th grade! See you at graduation!

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

Welcome to Logan Benjamin Henderson and all of the rest!

Don and I have this week acquired our 8th great grandbaby, to add to our 15 grandchildren. Now if my math does not fail me, that makes a total of 23 that are now a part of our grandparenthood ... so I speak with some authority on the subject...

One Sunday, back quite a bit ago, I was passing around the newest pictures of my then meager four or five grandchildren, being sure that everyone would want to observe the beauty, intelligence, and etc. of our lovely, talented progeny. They went from one to another of our friends, and amongst oohs and ahs, finally reached Jess Cloyd. He looked long and deep and then made this profound statement (or something like it):

"If it weren't for Louise's and my grandchildren, you might well have the nicest ones in the USA!"

You probably all know that The Bulletin was first written for (and by) our college grandkids. They have continued to keep us updated as they went on to graduation, marriage, jobs, travel, arrival of babies, house and car purchases, and etc. ... and the ones who were younger have since written to update us on the events of their lives. Nice to have one great grandchild join the ones who have "published." It looks like we have several more to join our staff someday. We do, indeed, like many of you, have GREAT grandkids.

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. Verlaine Anderson Weiland supplied last week's mystery picture; Virginia McCorkell enhanced it.

How many can you identify?

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

Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type.

I really enjoy the "mystery" photos, and like to see how many I can ID. This one is interesting.

Far back row: Victor Carlson, Dick Miller, Henry Pfingsten, Bert Kvelstad, Gust Anderson, George Enblem; next row standing: Dale Pratt, Lois Pratt held by Esther Pratt, Jim Miller, Blanche Miller holding Duane, Lester Carlson, Julia Christenson, Mrs. Bert Kvelstad, Florence Miller holding Carolyn, Geneva Skifter, ??, Christine Carlson, Chris Christenson, Marjorie Olp; seated: Verlaine Anderson, Diane Tiemens, Anita and Arlin Pfingsten, ??, Emma Berg, Lenore Pfingsten holding Alvin, Clay Enblem and Gladys Carlson; hard to ID all the little boys in front, but I know that included have to be Walter and Robert Pfingsten, Joe Miller, Steve Miller, Dennis Pratt and, likely, Loren Carlson.

I'm guessing that Edith [Carlson] Anderson is the photographer, as she loved to do that when a group was gathered ... this one at a lake somewhere. Thanks for running it.

Glenda (Huisman) Baker
Pingree, ND

Thanks for The Bulletin again this a.m. I have so much to do today, a Saturday, but can't resist sending in some guesses on the mystery picture, since I am sure about a few of them.

Of the children in front, the only one I recognize is Walt Pfingsten, seated on his knees so he is the tallest, with big smile and squinting from the bright sun. Pratts had a boy, Glen, and Joe Miller (older brother of Carolyn Dake), Loren Carlson (son of Lester and Gladys) may be three possibilities amongst the boys sitting in front.

From left in seated row: Verlaine Anderson [Weiland], Diane Tiemans (a guess), Anita Pfingsten [Weiland], Arlin Pfingsten, ?, ?, Aunt Lenore Pfingsten holding Rob or Al, Clay Wickstrom, Gladys Carlson;

1st Standing Row from left: Esther Pratt holding her daughter, then no guesses on the next three-???, Aunt Florence Miller, likely holding Carolyn Dake, Geneva Skifter, ?, then Verlaine's grandma, or is that her mom, Edith?, then some man and Marjorie Olp on the very right side;

The last row of men standing, which starts on the ground, is: Dale Pratt, then probably the spouse of the lady in front of him, although it's a resemblence to Uncle Dick Miller, then Lester Carlson. On the risers or chairs is ?, maybe Uncle Dick Miller, Uncle Henry Pfingsten, ?, Gus Anderson and ?.

Some of those named are also guesses, but I always say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I wonder in front of what lake was the picture taken?

I remember many summer picnics when I was a girl and there were lots of other relatives and friends in that area from Dassel to Litchfield to Willmar with other points south and north.

Judy Riesenberg
Great Falls, MT

Another Great Edition! Love the mystery picture and I'll try to name some of the many folks that I should know very well! Start on the left end: Dale and Esther Pratt, Jim and Blanche Miller, Billy Dake (I'm afraid that is wrong but it looks like Billy), Victor Carlson, Dick Miller with Florence standing just in front; next is Henry Pfingsten and I think Wilma Nabor is just in front of him, Mr. and Mrs. George Emblem, and our dear Marjorie Olp. Down in front is all young folks but I recognize Arlin Pfingsten and my sister Lenore holding Alvin, then Clay Emblem, with another Pfingsten boy in front; I think it is Walter.

I may have a few right!

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

Verlaine was thinking it was not fair that she enter in the GUESS picture, as it was taken in their front yard. Verlaine herself was one of the little children. I had been in that area seven years later so also knew several on it. There aren't many left that could put names on those faces, but that would be very valuable. Thanks for making it possible to enlarge it, Photo Editor.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Yes, I said today, it wasn't fair for me to guess as my mom (Edith) [Carlson Anderson] took that picture at our home place. (Actually, we all lived with Grandpa [Victor] and Grandma [Christine] Carlson ... my dad [Gust Anderson] and mother [Edith] ... and me.) This picture was taken Sunday afternoon on August 30, 1953. (If only names had been jotted down at the time the photo was made!) Because the rows aren't perfect, it gets a little complicated to identify. Each person has a story to tell!

Back: Grandpa Victor Carlson, Dick Miller, Henry Pfingsten, Dad Gust Anderson, George Enblom.

Standing on left: Dale and Esther Pratt (holding their daughter; I think her name was Lois), Jim and Blanche Miller (holding Sharon) Lester Carlson, Julia Christianson, Martha Kvelstad, Florence Miller, holding Carolyn; Geneva Skifter, Clara Magnuson, Grandma Christine Carlson, Chris Christianson and Marjorie Olp.

Sitting: Verlaine [Anderson Weiland], Diane Tiemens, Anita Pfingsten [Weiland], Arlin Pfingsten, Charles Torgerson, Emma Berg, Lenore [Miller] Pfingsten holding Alvin, Clay Enblom Wickstrom and Gladys Carlson.

Children in Front: (Unidentified); Dennis Pratt, Joe Miller, Duane or Steve Miller ?, Walter Pfingsten, Duane or Steve Miller ? and maybe Rob Pfingsten?

When all the guesses come in I'm sure we'll get the front row correctly identified.

THANK YOU! -- for this precious opportunity to get this down straight while a few of us are still alive! I think 20 out of that group has passed. In other words: aspire to inspire before you expire.

Emma Berg, in center, lost her left arm below the elbow when she was just a few years old. Her brothers didn't know she was following them on their outing. She got tired and lay down on the railroad tracks to nap. Emma carried a big bump on her forehead from then on and the loss of that arm. This didn't stop her! One day her dad found her on top of their windmill. She grew up to become the Postmistress at Atwater. The only thing she couldn't do was fold her hands.

Her sister, Almeda, was married to George Enblom. They had adopted Clay as a little girl. Shortly after that, Almeda passed away. Emma, who was living with them, never moved away. Together, she and George raised Clay. These are all in the photo.

Verlaine Anderson Weiland
Coon Rapids, MN

Such a fabulous picture needs a guess response! My pleasure to try name a few. So many dearly loved faces on that picture.

Far left is Dale and Esther Pratt holding Lois. Next in would be Uncle Jim and Aunty Blanche (Miller) holding Duane. Lester Carlson is tucked in back of Julia Christianson. In far back is Victor Carlson, my Dad (Dick Miller) Uncle Henry Pfingsten, Bert Kwelstead, Gus Anderson and George Emblom.

In middle is Martha Kwelstead, my Mom (Florence Miller) holding me (Carolyn Miller Dake). Skip a couple ladies I don't know. Toward the center right is Christine (Grandma) Carlson and Marjorie Olp, with Chis Christianson tucked in back of Marjorie.

Front row is Verlaine Anderson Weiland, Unknown, my cousin Anita Pfingsten [Weiland], my cousin Arlin Pfingsten, Unknown, Emma Berg, Aunty Lenore Miller Pfingsten holding Alvin, Clay Emblom Wickstrom, and Gladys Carlson. The first little guy in front is too fuzzy to see. Next is Dennis Pratt, my big brother Joe Miller, probably Steve Miller, Walt Pfingsten, probably Rob Pfingsten and Loren Carlson.

Quite the bunch!

When we moved to New London in 1957, we went to Bert and Martha's for meeting for several years. As a result, we got to know them very, very well. Their little house looks much like it did 45 years ago, next to the cemetery in New London. It always brings back warm, loving memories of some kind, loving folks that helped shape our lives.

Dale and Esther Pratt lived on a farm about nine miles from us for many years. When Dennis got sick, they left the farm and moved to southern Minnesota for his school and care. So we knew them quite well, too.

Thanks for sharing this picture with all of us.

Carolyn Miller Dake
Duluth, GA

Editor's Note: ID's and spellings of some of the names include several variations; below is the list of tentative ID's that we received with the photo. Verlaine Weiland made some phone calls and confirmed the spelling of Kvelstad and Enblom. Other spelling variants have been left mostly as we received them to help the search engine find anyone we may try to look up later by using any of the alternate spellings.

Verlaine Anderson Weiland and Carolyn Miller Dake had originally listed these people in the 1953 group picture:

Back Row: Victor Carlson (home place) Dick Miller, Henry Pfingsten, Bert Kvelstad, Gust Anderson, George Enblom.

Next Row: Dale and Esther Pratt holding Lois, Jim and Blanche Miller holding Duane, Lester Carlson, Julia Christianson, Mrs. Martha Kvelstad, Florence Miller holding Carolyn, Geneva Skifter, Clara Magnuson, Christine Carlson, Christ Christianson, Marjorie Olp.

Next Row: Verlaine Anderson, Diane Tiemens, Anita Pfingsten, Arlin Pfingsten, Charles Torgerson, Emma Berg, Lenore [Miller] Pfingsten holding Alvin, Clay Enblom, Gladys Carlson.

Front row of boys: ???, Dennis Pratt, Joe Miller, Steve Miller, Walter Pfingsten, Rob Pfingsten? Loren Carlson.

LTD Storybrooke

Editor's Note: Larry Dake is taking a break to organize the next section of his story series about sheep herding. Find all the LTD stories via the Stories link.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Frosty farm scene.

By Beaver

Part 2 of 2

Scrap had several kids, and the boys all helped with the junkyard from the time they were old enough to walk. On one memorable trip, when I was still a teenager, Pa sent me to look for a differential carrier for a '52 Dodge 2-ton dump truck. I wasn't happy about the errand, as I had a date that evening. Pa reminded me that I was the one who had gotten stuck with the dump truck and wrecked the differential. Pa also owned the car I was driving and I was burning his gas, so he had the last word.

When I picked up Kathy for our date, I asked if she would mind a slight change in our plans for the evening. It would just be a little side trip, we would get to see some scenery, wouldn't take long at all.

Being young, dumb, and optimistic to a fault, I just sort of assumed that I would drive into the place, tell Scrap what I needed, and he would put the parts in my trunk. I would fill out the signed check Pa had sent with me, and my date and I would be off to the movies.

We arrived at the junkyard about supper time. We drove up the driveway, lined with trees and junk cars, and squeezed the '65 Chevy into a short space in the queue of junkers. The Chevy was pretty nice, with fancy mag wheels, and shined until you could see your reflection in the dark green paint. Kathy thought she should stay with the car and protect it from being salvaged, while staying out of the grease and oil that covered the ground.

I wandered around for a bit, saw no one, and finally knocked on the door at the house. Scrap came to the door, saying he was just finishing supper. He invited me in, but I told him I had someone waiting in the car. I told him what I was looking for. He said there was a truck with just what I needed up in the north forty.

He came out onto the front step and hollered, "Hey boys, com'ere." Two boys materialized from among the confusion of cars in the yard. They were skinny little fellows, about four feet tall, and looked to be about eight or ten years old. Both of them looked like they had been rolling in grease and oil all day. He told them to take me out to look at the old state hospital truck in the north forty, and disappeared back into the house.

The boys looked at each other. Out of the barrage of foul language they exchanged, I gathered that they were discussing what to drive. I thought about offering to drive my car, but the idea of those greasy urchins sitting on my nice clean seats, and the thought of exposing Kathy to their language, discouraged that idea.

After a bit of discussion, they selected a rusty pink Nash Rambler with a caved in fender that was waiting to be hauled away, but had been driven to the junkyard under its own power. It wouldn't start. After a few fruitless tries at starting some other vehicles, they concluded that they would need to borrow a battery out of something else.

One of them climbed into the engine compartment of the Rambler with a pliers and pulled the battery cables loose. He sat down on the air cleaner with his feet below the battery and tried to lift the battery out. It was pretty heavy for him to lift, so I stepped closer to help. Big mistake. More bad language. I gathered that he didn't need any idiots in clean clothes getting in his way or trying to help. Retreating to the middle of the driveway, I waited to see what would happen.

He got a good grip on the battery and rolled it out over the grill. It slammed into the bumper and landed upside down on the ground, acid pouring from the vents. He crawled down and rolled it out of the way with his foot.

Meanwhile, the other kid had used a similar procedure to get a good battery out of another car. Between them, they managed to lift the battery over the grill of the Rambler and drop it into the battery tray. Standing on the bumper, they pounded the clamps onto the posts with a crescent wrench. One of them got behind the wheel and the Rambler came to life in a cloud of blue oil smoke, ready for its last trip.

I stepped over to my car to see how Kathy was doing and invite her along, but she wisely said that she was enjoying listening to the radio and would stay right where she was, thank you.

The boys got into the front seat of the Rambler and told me to crawl in the back seat. We slammed the doors, and less than half a minute later, we were flying across the grassy pasture on our way to the north forty.

The driver was having a little trouble seeing over the steering wheel and running the accelerator pedal. His solution was to hold the accelerator all the way down, while holding himself up to see by hugging the steering wheel. Dew was descending, and the grass was pretty wet and slippery. We hit a couple of big rocks that stuck out of the ground, one of them while in a long sideways slide when we missed a turn to get around the end of a row of cars. The Rambler grated horribly, rocking on its tired springs, but kept going.

Luckily, there were a couple of electric fence gates that we had to stop to open, or I have no idea what our top speed might have been. I had the fleeting thought that it was good that the little six-cylinder Rambler was the one that still ran, not the big V-8 Oldsmobile that the battery came out of.

We skidded to a stop near the state hospital truck, and I crawled out of the back seat, glad to be there. We did a little measuring and concluded that the carrier was the one I needed.

I thought about walking back, but there were several problems with that plan. I wasn't entirely sure I wouldn't get lost in the sea of junkers. The mosquitoes were coming out. It was getting dark. Kathy was still waiting. And worst of all, I was going to look like a chicken to the junkyard kids.

There was a short discussion between the boys about who would drive back. The one who had driven on the way out thought he should always be the driver, as the other one didn't know how. The other said that he did too know how, and they should take turns.

I thought about offering to drive, but didn't really want to get my ears burned another time.

The one who favored taking turns won the argument. The ride back was even wilder that the ride out. We went through one electric fence gate without opening it. We hit more rocks, some bigger. The entire exhaust system fell off on the last one. The tortured engine roared. I wondered how long my date would sit in the car waiting if we rolled over and I didn't make it back.

But we did make it back, and one of the boys disappeared into the house to get his dad. Scrap wanted $50 for the carrier. He would have the boys take it out of the truck, and I could pick it up tomorrow. It was a fair price. The thrill ride was free, and better than anything at the county fair. My heart was still racing, my eyes as big as saucers. It was a deal.

Kathy was still waiting in the car, not too impressed with being left parked in the middle of a junkyard instead of enjoying the romantic evening she had expected. I told her she should be glad I made it back. And we still had time to make the late show. After hearing the whole story she seemed to forgive me. Eventually.

Travelogue t

Our longtime Bolivia Travelogue correspondent is back with a new adventure -- in North Africa!

Kjirsten Jets To Morocco For Winter Break
by Kjirsten Swenson
Houston, TX

Just getting to Morocco was an epic journey, all in itself! The flight to Paris might have been pleasant, if the French toddler in the seat in front of me didn't howl every hour or two. I've rarely heard a child so angry, and persistently so, and I had just finished my pediatrics rotation! So I was exhausted and no longer fond of children by the time my flight touched down in Paris, but my mood lifted when I realized there was enough time to spend most of the layover in the city.

I took the commuter rail into the heart of the city and spent a few hours exploring the Marais neighborhood, stretching my legs and admiring window displays with hordes of Christmas shoppers for company. After savoring a warm crêpe oozing with Nutella, I bid Paris au revoir and returned to the airport for my evening flight to Casablanca.

At midnight in Casablanca's airport, and facing a 5 a.m. departure on the train to Marrakech, I opted to spend the night in the airport rather than splurge for just a few hours of sleep. After sipping café au lait and attempting (fruitlessly) to learn a few French phrases from a children's book to pass the time, I took a taxi to the train station at dawn.

My first glimpses of Morocco appeared out of the train window as we trundled away from the coast. The rising sun illuminated the beautiful landscapes, intensely colored in shades of red and orange. The rich hues were stunning in the early morning light.

To be continued ... (with photos, when they arrive)

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays
January 15---Shea Ashley Birkholz
January 19---Trevor Jayce Roberson (7 years old)
Happy Birthday!

More January Birthdays
January 3---Brandon Hellevang
January 3---Virginia (Dake) McCorkell
January 4---Harry "Junior" Anderson
January 4---Nathan Hill
January 5---Jayce Michael Chap (9 years old)
January 5---Krista Rae Weiland (8 years old)
January 8---Rosanna Miller Dahlinger
January 11---Brandon Harvey Lehtola (5 years old)

January 20---Lois Dake
January 22---Timothy Thomas Mellon
January 24---Marloes de Been
January 30---Whitney Anne Johnson
January 30---Madilyn Mae Larson (1 year old)
January 31---Larry McCorkell

January Anniversaries
January 24---David "Beaver" and Donna Anderson Johnson (14 years)

January Special Days
January 1---New Year's Day
January 21---Martin Luther King Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Photo © Marci Weiland
Krista Weiland reviews album with Great Uncle Roy & "Aunt Betts" Droel.

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

Welcome to the art staff at The Bulletin, Rich Weiland! Now that we know what you can do, we will be expecting to see more of it!

I am amazed at how soon kittens become cats! Tabasco, Cheerio and Oreo certainly are photogenic kitty cats.

Great scrap story, Beaver. The farm in the photo certainly fit ... though it was scrappy on a smaller scale and seemed to be unoccupied.

I just KNEW IT ... there HAD to be more to the Capt. than those gee-tars! Glad you finally shared another one of your "yarns" with us ... we have heard a few over supper at the Old Country Buffet ... and yes, there are more yarns waiting to be told. A surgeon with hiccups? Now that is a scary thought!

Ginny McCorkell
Blaine, MN

We haven't been able to relate to the snow pictures as we haven't had any snow to stay on the ground since December 11th, and that was melted long before I returned on the 18th from Arizona. We got a light skiff earlier this week but it didn't even stay on the ground but a few hours. We had two days in the 50's this week and 40's today. Next week it is to cool to the 30's. Maybe we'll get snow. We need the moisture, of course!

Judy Riesenberg
Great Falls, MT

I've been needing to write. I'm thinking in terms of starting my next LTD Storybrooke series in April. That will coincide with when we turned the sheep out onto open range -- also in April.

You continue to come up with diverse and interesting articles and illustrations. Betty is my "unsung hero!" She's right in there every week with her critique -- and only Betty could have such a genuine good word for everyone. She thinks she's not read, but even if I don't read anything else, I find time to read Last Week's Bulletin Review.

We writerly types (secretly) need to know somebody noticed -- and we're sure to see confirmation of just that in Betty's column! She's our regular paycheck. And as a bonus, I often learn about things in last week's Bulletin that I've totally missed on my first reading.

(Larry T. Dake)
Brooks-Oklee, MN

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

Did you ever think you would be sending out a Bulletin #290 when you started sending a family letter way back then? I am so glad to have gotten in on them when I did, and it sounds like they are only getting better and bigger.

What a most beautiful first picture, and come to find out it truly set the tone for the whole Bulletin, which had such fantastic pictures of the frost. I sat and looked at that for quite a while. The simplicity of the "WINTER BEAUTY" title in red against the white, puffy branches and then the bright red berries. It was totally breathtaking, and I was thinking that Bitzi had captured a most beautiful scene with that picture. Then -- another shock -- I see the photo illustration was by my brother, Rich Weiland! It is so unlike him to ever wish to draw one bit of attention, like I'm giving him. He deserves it, and if I remember right, I have seen that bush, but never that magical.

One thing about The Bulletin, we respect and appreciate each one's struggle. Lucinda's admission of desiring help and striving to get back on her feet touched my heart. We truly wish her the best, and in this Bulletin family, I think we have a true empathy, especially when a person opens their heart. That bright picture of Santa Claus with the gleeful, smiling Alexis is priceless.

Larry and Virginia were in the right place at the right time to get such prize pictures of the frost in Luverne, and many comments at our table were made about how beautiful the pictures were. Marci grew up in that area, so she appreciated them even more than the rest of us. She especially commented on the farm scene.

I wish you could have been at our dinner table today. We had Jim and Jan Smith, Steve and Marci, Shalana and Krista Weiland, Rich and Verlaine Weiland, and Roy and I, eating at Olive Garden. Rich was sharing a big gift certificate he had. The subject was -- are you ready for this? -- The Bulletin!

Verlaine was thinking it was not fair that she enter in the GUESS picture, as it was taken in their front yard. Jim Smith grew up in that area and was so thrilled to have seen that picture. They (from memory) named off several old, old timers, long gone, that were pictured, and Verlaine herself was one of the little children. It was like a sacred treasure to them to have examined that picture closely, which brought back many memories.

Oh yes, and we even talked "cats." Jim was thinking, just like we were, that they are growing so big, and we had to laugh at Oreo looking cross-eyed at Mr. Squid. So keep us posted on the cats, as we are all interested in their progress.

And then Donna Mae entered her "Winter Wonderland" picture, which also was a beautiful frost picture. I was amazed at how The Bulletin blended, from the first page right on through. That lone swan is getting cold feet, that is for sure.

Sounds like quite an adventure to have gone to Duane and Ingrid Miller's home, and yes, Beaver, it looks risky for you to be sitting underneath that mount. Fun to see how the children have grown -- it doesn't seem many issues ago that they were much younger looking. Also, that beautiful white bird performing for the camera.

"Scrap" by Beaver -- now that was a story that was retrieved from the deep recesses of the memory. But, it was so vividly written that it sounded like it took place only months ago, rather than years. But then, who could forget a place and person like that? I thought that was a very lucky find to have ever actually unearthed the very power steering pump that was needed in that maze of cars and farm. Roy's brother, Bob, had a junkyard in Denver, and was very successful, so we decided to revere those scrap iron junkyard dealers.

Oh yes, we also thoroughly covered Capt. Jack's cartoons at our table talk. Several thought the one on the right looked like Jack, himself. Excellent cartooning. Usually musical people are artists in other ways, which is true with Jack. Looks like that target is the same fellow that's standing there. We should have a "next chapter" of what happened. KP?

What an interesting account of your cartooning career, Capt. Jack! Another hearty laugh at our table was about the cartoon you had to click to get of the patient and the fish in the IV bottle. Someone, I think it was Marci, pretended they were calling "nurse!" -- and just to assure you, Jack -- Roy and I are quite well again, and hope the others are, too.

If there is a limit to an LTTE I'm sure I have exceeded it, but I can't help but ramble on as this Bulletin was so full of special things to comment on.

I doubt anyone could excel in Lefse making over Marci Weiland. She had made some at holiday time, and it was so light and tender and delicious. She gets elected to make the Lefse every year, I hear. She had two big platters, one with white sugar and one with brown. They were g-o-n-e.

Oh, Elaine, your heartwarming story of going skating with the village kids reminded me of youth, and of my two little brothers that could really skate. I couldn't, as I had weak ankles, but I tried, feebly. Yes, those were much gentler times back then. As long as we have memory, there will be these scenes of childhood to enjoy as we rock back and forth as senior citizens.

That picture of Hunter Holman was too good to be true, and the caption is typical of that expression. Thanks, Marci, for sharing that picture, and thanks, Bitzi, for another creative illustration. Hope it lands in his baby book.

What a thought provoking Quotation for the day. To look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Very searching!

I am going to quit right here, but not before we say thank you so much again, Editors, for another Bulletin that you can't lay down until the last word has been read. I suppose you already have a start on #291. We have no doubt it will be totally different and totally worth waiting another six days for.

Roy and Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell & Douglas Anderson; photo by Sarah Steinhauer
If you turn your back to Levi Steinhauer, you might find a kitten in the fish tank, which is home to a snapping turtle.

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