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Sunday, May 4, 2008
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Photo © Virginia McCorkell
April fools us again.

Updates -

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell
Edith Anderson, June 26, 1908-April 28, 2008.

Update -- Edith Anderson laid to rest
by The Bulletin staff

Edith Anderson, Verlaine Weiland's mom, passed away at 2:40 a.m. Monday, April 28, 2008.

The funeral was held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 30th, with a reviewal from 1-2 p.m. in the Atwater Community Center. Immediately after the funeral, the burial was in the Cloverleaf Cemetery on Highway 12 just east of Willmar, Minnesota.

Atwater is where Edith had lived on the farm and then in the town until it was necessary for her to be in a nursing home near Rich and Verlaine Weiland in Coon Rapids. She was buried near Marjorie Olp and LeRoy Shaw. There are several other faithful old friends buried in that cemetery, too.

Edith was preceded in death by her husband, Carl "Gust" Anderson; brother Lester Carlson; sisters Louella and Lillian Carlson. She is survived by her daughter Verlaine (Richard) Weiland; grandchildren Sheralyn Shadle, Steve (Marci) Weiland; great grandchildren Danielle, Nicole, Casey, Shalana, Krista; sister-in-law Gladys Carlson; nephews Loren, Gary (Chris) Carlson.

Photo © Marilyn Wolter
"It got darker and darker and then began to snow for all it is worth."

Update -- April's last weekend: oof-dah for snow!
by The Bulletin contributors and staff

As we were wrapping up last week's Bulletin, reports of falling snow began coming in from all over. Dorothy reported that highways in Grant County (which includes Alexandria and Ashby) were closed. Elaine Wold sent this report from Wahpeton, North Dakota:

What a blizzard we had! Someone once said, "If you don't like North Dakota's weather, just stick around a few hours and it will change" ... and change it did! Everyone thought spring had sprung, and then this 18 inches dropped in one blow! Town has been busy today with snow removal equipment going all day. The rest will melt fast, though, so glad it won't be staying. Cindy was over for morning coffee, trudged over the snowbanks ... then Meryl came to clean the driveway so we had coffee. Muriel stopped over a bit this afternoon, too.

Colette Huseby sent pictures of snow piled high on her deck in Breezy Point, Minnesota, and Donna Johnson sent pictures of snow from the Ashby farm. Ginny McCorkell pictured pansies in the snow in Blaine. Betty Droel forwarded Marilyn Wolter's photo of flags in falling snow in Minneapolis. And Carol Printz sent a photo of a tornado, perhaps spawned by the same storm system, 40 miles from her home in Sidney, Nebraska (see Letters to the Editors below).

In Anchorage, Alaska, what was forecasted as rain and snow showers with "no accumulation" dropped up to 22 inches of snow in neighborhoods where Miss Kitty and Mai Tai live with Miss Jerrianne and Diego lives with Kathy and Argyle Anderson. The local newspaper said the storm broke all previous records for April snow. But it is melting fast now ... and while snow wasn't exactly in our plans, the cats didn't mind; the rest of us will opt for snow over tornadoes anytime! And by Thursday, yellow dandelions were blooming next to a south-facing post office wall!

Photo © Colette Huseby
Tim & Colette Huseby's deck decorations in Breezy Point, Minnesota.

Photos © Donna Johnson
Little woodpeckers trying to get something to eat at the Johnsons' Ashby farm, left; a couple of robins were outside the bedroom door in the leaves under the overhang of the roof. (Good thing I'd not gotten all neat and raked all the leaves in the fall, as that gave them somewhere to escape this snow!) I couldn't get the door open all the way, right, to take a picture of our deck -- had to just reach out and snap without sighting. Most of our windows were hard to see out of, with snow covering much of the area!

Photo © Donna Johnson
Our deck furniture is close to buried; yesterday morning there wasn't snow anywhere, so that makes it hard to believe what I am seeing out there!

Photo © Bridget Larson
Paige Larson, Mason Johnson, & Alex Lillemoen, all from Ashby, were recognized by different organizations throughout our little community of Ashby. Good to see!

Update -- Outstanding Youth Recognition Banquet
by Bridget Larson
Ashby, MN

The Outstanding Youth Recognition Banquet was held April 20th in Hoffman, Minnesota. My daughter Paige was picked to represent our church and community, along with two young gentlemen from Ashby. There were about 20 other youth recognized throughout the whole county.

To those who do not know what goes on at this banquet, I will give a little synopsis: after the registration, we were ushered into the room filled with tables that were beautifully decorated and supplied with my favorite, chocolate Dove candies. After about 15 minutes of visiting, we were treated to a wonderful meal (catered by the local restaurant) of Chicken Kiev, baked potato, and corn. It was all so delicious and, considering I didn't have to make it, was even better.

After we ate, we were encouraged to participate in a game of "getting to know your neighbor," which allowed the kitchen staff to clear off the tables. We were supposed to be entertained with some music but the flu had hit a few of the boys and so, instead of the music, they went right into introducing everyone.

It is really neat to hear such wonderful stories and introductions of each and every youth that was represented. One by one, an adult who "sponsored" them was called up to introduce the youth they had nominated. It is quite humbling to hear some of what these youth are doing in our little Grant County. After each was introduced, it was time to take pictures and take off for home. It was an enjoyable evening for all those who attended.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
Eddie finishing up the birthday meal; Peggy & Kylie watching.

Peggy McNeill's Birthday Party

It was Peggy's birthday on Sunday, so Beaver, Becky, Jayce, Linda and I joined Eddie, Derrick, Darryl, Roddy, Alisha and Kylie in helping her celebrate her big day.

We loaded up the appetizers (horse divers, is what Beaver likes to call them), a huge fruit salad, a freshly baked pecan pie (one of her favorites!) and her card and headed over there in mid afternoon.

I told Linda, afterwards, we really should have had the guys build a snowperson out of the huge amounts of snow in the yard. Snow that was perfect for building would have made a great picture, of her by her snow friend! Not too many years she can do that on her birthday! (Or wants to, for that matter!)

We had a fun afternoon of playing "Apples to Apples"; even Jayce joined us. Beaver kept Eddie company as he cooked steaks, pork chops and chicken, along with grilled potatoes and baked beans. I must say, he did a very good job of preparing her birthday meal!

It proved to be a happy afternoon for Peggy, I'm sure she'd agree, and a good start for this next year older. (The number shocked Becky; she didn't think we were that old! :-) Guess it's a compliment, right, Peggy?

Peggy got a bonus surprise for her birthday, but I'll leave that for her to share, at some other time!

Photos © Donna Johnson
Mama Alisha & Daddy Roddy, left; Kylie McNeill, right.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Roddy, Darryl, Peggy & Becky -- part of the "Apples to Apples" group.

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. LeRoy Dake supplied last week's mystery picture.

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 ... generally in the order we receive them, so the first guess received is on top.

That's a picture of my mom, Kathleen (Dake) Stahlecker, and my Uncle James (Dake) ... what a cute picture! I always look forward to The Bulletin and the mystery picture. I love Uncle James's suspenders in this one!

Adriana Stahlecker Brown
Granbury, TX

Can that possibly be Muriel and Donnie? It certainly resembles them, although I have never seen that picture. I remember her having a dress like that one.

Elaine Anderson Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Editor's comment: The dress is similar to one that my girls had, too. The little girl is from the same generation, but she and her brother are from my side of the family, rather than Don's.

I haven't seen this picture before, but to me it looks like our Texas niece and nephew, Kathleen (Stahlecker) and James Dake.

Gert Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

The mystery/guess picture -- could that be the Printz girl? Looks like the same dress on the last picture of her in the mystery pictures. Probably her brother, too. It's fun to make a guess even if it's a wild one.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Editor's comment: Good sleuthing, Betty ... the girl is Carol Printz's younger sister, Kathleen Dake Stahlecker, and their younger brother, James Dake. Worth a partial credit, for sure. We don't know about the dress, but younger sisters often "inherit" dresses from their older sisters.

LTD Storybrooke

Jackson's Mother's Favorite Horse
by Larry Dake

I was sitting astride a galloping horse, trying to keep my balance on a saddle with a loose cinch strap. The sagebrush and cedar trees flew by in a blur; my flat-soled tennis shoes slid around in the stirrups. I'd given my horse free rein and she was working the unwilling flock -- galloping back and forth -- to force them into the temporary night corral.

The corral had been erected from rolls of wooden snow fence prior to my arrival at the Skylight. Checker, the sheep, and I had arrived here on foot several days ago, to find the corral, sheep-camp, and commissary wagon waiting.

On account of the scarcity of grass, the sheep were constantly on the run -- their appetites unsatisfied. I'd been walking continuously from sunup to sundown to keep them together. In an act of mercy, Jackson brought me his mom's best horse and saddle, to help me keep up with the sheep.

This had been my first day herding sheep on horseback. We grazed them out, away from camp, for half a day, and then back to camp in the evening. Each day, we traveled out in a different direction, in a pattern like the spokes on a wagon wheel, with the camp being at the hub.

The horse and the sheep were incompatible. Moving slowly enough to allow the sheep to graze tested the horse's patience. Rather than fighting an ongoing battle of wills, I'd spent much of my day walking -- leading her by the reins.

But now I was back in the saddle and hanging on for dear life. We were hurtling across the rangeland at breakneck speed -- then suddenly galloping up a boulder-strewn wash! She's going to stumble! I thought.

In that moment, I pictured myself tumbling from my tipsy saddle -- my shoe slipping through the stirrup -- my head smacking on the ground -- the rocks -- the boulders -- runaway horse--

Fortunately, she was strong and well seasoned. To my amazement, she never faltered on the rocky terrain. She worked back and forth along the outer edges of the non-cooperative flock as though she were working a herd of cattle. With Checker's help, we soon had the sheep corralled -- cowboy style.

A bit shaky in the knees, I dismounted and shut the gate to the night corral. The adrenalin rush felt good, but after this, I would be sure to use a much gentler approach to corralling the sheep; I would do it on foot with Checker's help.

I doubt Jackson comprehended just how inadequately prepared I was to ride his mother's best horse. For them, riding a horse was as natural as driving a car. Growing up riding, and being immersed in horse-talk on nearly a daily basis, they just knew horses! Something like checking a cinch strap was as ordinary as buckling a seatbelt.

My experience with horses had been pretty limited; that morning was the first time I'd ever saddled up. I didn't know much about cinch straps, stirrups -- or horses.

However, if I had tumbled from the saddle, it would not have been my first time. My first riding experience took place at my Uncle Bill's ranch near Valley Mills, Texas, in 1965; I was 10 years old. My family had traveled there for a visit of a few weeks.

I wasn't very good at getting onto Old Doc without a humiliating boost. But my friend and cousin, James, taught me a neat trick. If I led Old Doc to some green grass on the lawn, he would put his head down to graze. Then, as James had demonstrated, I could quickly sit behind his ears. He would throw his head up and I'd land approximately on top of his back. If I didn't slide off, I'd have to scramble to get turned around before I found myself riding backwards.

Whereas Old Doc was a nice horse, Gracie, their retired cow pony, taught me that horses aren't all nice. She had a way of scraping me off her back on low-hanging tree branches, or of galloping home with me of her own free will (whether I wanted to go home or not).

A year or so later, my family visited friends on a ranch in southwestern Colorado. I was kindly invited to ride along while gathering some cattle. We were galloping across a mountain meadow when my horse stepped on the edge of a discarded tire hidden in the grass; it flipped up, hitting her in the leg. She shied and I found myself deposited in the grass next to the tire.

My most recent experience with horses, prior to herding sheep, had been while visiting some farmer friends on a Sunday afternoon several years before. They offered me an opportunity to ride their horse. It was an unspoken dare -- or a mean trick! I'm not sure which.

The horse was unruly from the start; I should never have climbed on. It tried to throw me, immediately. I kept its head up and managed to stay onboard -- it bolted, taking me on a wild, erratic ride. I fought it with the reins but its ruined mouth made it unstoppable. I reined it in circles to gain some control, but it ran sideways down through a big trench that had been dug to bury rubbish. There it got tangled in discarded barbed wire.

Terrified, the horse struggled to get free. Somehow I landed on my feet in the pile of barbed wire. I was not injured but the horse wasn't so lucky. A wire wrapped around a front leg, making a deep cut. Any confidence I may have had with horses was seriously dampened by the time we got the leg cut free.

This last experience left me more than a little apprehensive while riding Jackson's mother's favorite horse to herd sheep in the desert.

Photo © Larry T. Dake
Larry Dake, age 10, rides Old Doc on Uncle Bill's ranch, Valley Mills, Texas, 1965.

Travelogue t

Photos © Frans de Been
Brilliant orange tulips blaze in Frans's front garden.

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

Spring pictures taken in my front garden, with some dark flowers.

Photos © Frans de Been
Wine-red tulips add richness to Frans's spring flower garden.

Where In The World Is Weston? S

Discovering New England
(Again and Again)
by Weston Johnson
Maple Grove, MN

As I have described in past Bulletins, my line of work sometimes requires me to travel to various locations across the country. I have been dispatched to major cities like Portland, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Sometimes I am sent to smaller cities that are not as famous, but whose names are at least familiar: Evansville, Fort Wayne and Sioux Falls come to mind. And once in a while, I end up in a place I never even knew existed. This is the story of Keene, New Hampshire, one of those anonymous dots on the map.

My company was hired to conduct a feasibility study for the proposed Keene Expo Center, which would be a multi-purpose field house/ community recreation center/ concert hall/ conference center/ ice arena. Not a typical combination of building components, but when a town of 23,000 attempts to undertake a major facility project, it tends to want to kill a lot of birds with one big stone.

Another phenomenon associated with small towns undertaking large projects is the formation of committees to oversee said projects. Committees that meet monthly, and therefore, expect monthly progress reports. Keene was no exception, as the Keene Expo Center Exploratory Committee met once a month, and invited their consultants to attend each session (several of which were scheduled on Saturdays, I might add). So it came to pass that, within a four-month period, I visited Keene not once, not twice, not thrice, but whatever word indicates "four times." Quice? On second thought, let's just stick with "four times."

My first trip to Keene took place this past November, shortly before Thanksgiving. I flew from Minneapolis to Hartford, Connecticut, where I met up with Jay, my co-worker from our Dallas office. From the Hartford airport, we drove north across Massachusetts, through the southeastern corner of Vermont and then into southwestern New Hampshire, where Keene is located. Within a matter of a couple of hours, I was able to cross four entries off of my list of states I had yet to visit.

We arrived in Keene under cover of darkness, but the next morning's sun illuminated the surroundings, unveiling tree-covered mountains that still clung to the last hints of their autumn foliage. We had missed the peak colors, and we soon learned that we also just missed the Keene Pumpkin Festival, which had taken place a few weeks earlier. Each year in October, the Festival attempts to set a record for the most lighted Jack-O-Lanterns at a single festival. The 2007 count topped 25,000, which I understand still fell short of the all-time record. While this must have come as a great disappointment to the residents of Keene, at least they could fill their pain with thousands of delicious pies.

The purpose of this first visit to Keene was to conduct a series of kick-off meetings for our feasibility study. Jay and I spent three days meeting with the project architect and community stakeholders on the campus of Keene State College, the local branch of the University of New Hampshire system. The meetings went smoothly, and even finished earlier than expected on the day we were to depart. This meant that Jay and I had time for a stopover at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, on our way back to the Hartford airport. Being that it was a weekday morning, we pretty much had the place to ourselves and we enjoyed the displays of artifacts and memorabilia from basketball history.

About a month later, shortly before Christmas, Jay and I returned to Keene. This time, I flew to Boston on a Friday evening and made the two-hour drive to Keene from there. A major snowstorm had dumped over a foot of snow on the region the day before I arrived. I was glad the storm had passed and the roads had been cleared by the time I arrived.

It was my first time visiting Boston, but I only got to see it from the freeway as I headed north. While the drive across New Hampshire took place in the darkness of night, the faint outline of dark mountains against the moonlit sky indicated that I was missing some beautiful scenery. However, as luck would have it, the Vikings were playing the Bears on Monday Night Football, allowing me to stay entertained (and awake) by listening to the ESPN radio feed.

The following day was filled with more meetings on the snow-covered campus of Keene State College. As it turned out, the building in which our meetings were held was also set to host a political rally that evening. With less than a month remaining until the New Hampshire primaries, this was apparently a semi-regular occurrence in Keene. Tonight's event featured candidate John Edwards, with special musical guests Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne.

Unfortunately, Jay and I had to miss out on the festivities, as we were slated to make another presentation of the findings of our study that evening. Thanks in part to my long-windedness, the meeting ran long, finally adjourning at about 9 p.m. I had to high-tail it back to Boston that night, as I had an early flight home the next day, so I missed the New Hampshire scenery again. By the time I arrived in Boston, dropped off the rental car, rode a shuttle to the hotel and got checked in, I was still left with a good four hours to sleep before I had to get up to get ready for my flight home.

January meant another return to Keene. Again, I caught a Friday evening flight to Boston and made a nighttime drive to Keene. When I arrived back at the College for another Saturday morning meeting, the huge piles of snow that had covered most of the campus in December were mostly gone, as were the students, who had not yet returned from Winter Break. That morning, I made yet another presentation of findings-to-date before turning around and driving right back to Boston.

This time, I made the drive during the daylight hours, which meant I finally got to see New Hampshire in the daylight. The scenery did not disappoint. Shortly after leaving Keene, I noticed a small river running parallel to the highway. What had looked to be only a dark ditch by night was actually a scene from a nature documentary: a mountain stream rushing through a bed of snow-covered stones. The rest of the drive offered views of snow- and tree-covered mountains, with an occasional lake or river included for good measure.

Eventually, I made it back to Boston and flew back to Minneapolis that night, before driving straight up to Ashby to join my family's late Christmas celebration, already in progress.

But I wasn't through with Keene just yet. I made one last return trip in February. This time there was no snowstorm, no political rally, no new scenery unveiled. Just a morning flight to Boston, an afternoon drive to Keene, an early evening meeting and a nighttime drive back to Boston. By the time I arrived at Boston, I was struggling to stay awake. Fortunately, by that point, I could have made the drive from Boston to Keene and back in my sleep.

The next morning, I caught another early morning flight out of Boston, ending my series of New England travels. Someday I hope to return to Boston with time to actually spend in the city. And who knows, maybe one day I'll make another trip to Keene, just for old time's sake!

$  A Long Time Ago   !

Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
Tent camping in tumbled down shed, left; Kyra's opinion, right.

Appalachian Trail Trek: Week Six, April-May 1973
by Jerrianne Lowther
Anchorage, AK

Week Six was a roller-coaster ... in more ways than one. We shivered at night, camped out on snow-covered Roan Mountain, and then walked down, down, down into Spring. At the Trivett House, we slept in warm beds, took hot showers, were introduced to grits -- southern breakfast fare -- and ate hot biscuits that tasted like heaven. "It's the biscuits brings the boys in," said 77-year-old "Granny" Trivett, who ran the bed and breakfast with her 83-year-old husband, Sam.

And on May 1st -- MAY DAY! MAY DAY! -- we walked straight into problems...

Kyra, hiking behind because she liked pretending she was hiking alone and feeling independent, missed a turn in the trail, or thought she did, and gave us all a brief scare. Surrounded by flowers I'd previously seen only in field guides, I wanted to stop and look and photograph them all. Mic, concerned about reaching Mt. Katahdin at the end of the trail in Maine, before weather ended the hiking season there, wanted us to hike faster and farther each day and get there sooner.

In the rain and snow, it was obvious what we had to do. Hiking in the spring was another story.

"I couldn't believe it: an inch of snow blanketed the ground in supposedly sunny Tennessee on April 28, the thirty-ninth day of spring. I thought perhaps I'd dreamed it, or that sunlight played tricks in heavy morning dew. Frozen boots and dull gray sky told me no. I clumped around outside the tent a while to make sure.

"We'd pitched the tent in a collapsing shed a quarter-mile off the trail on the Tennessee side. Three walls of the structure remained and its roof sagged to touch the ground on the open side. It had offered the only protection from wind and rain the night before.

"We'd turned off the trail to find a cabin mentioned in the guide, but that had burned down long before. Clearing the shed of trash and leveling its lumpy dirt floor, we'd moved in. Tent walls drooped to fit the confining interior. Guy lines ran through cracks in walls to pegs driven into the ground outside. Everything seemed fine from inside our bags, however. Jerri even made popcorn, immediately alerting the mice.

"But not snow, I complained to a soundless white morning. When would this end?

"Kyra, up early and also tramping about, left her opinion written in snow on the shed roof: 'Kyra was miserable here!'

"The sun burned through fog by the time we started back to the trail and revealed perfect blue sky. We walked again in winter post-card scenes, over Little Rock Knob and up Roan Mountain. Jerri pointed out details of the spectacular, off-season show dazzling us from every side -- sunlit tree branches finely traced with white, snow-heaped small plants with frost-edged leaves, snow reaching down from white-capped peaks to meet leafy green coming up from below.

"Snow deepened as we climbed Roan Mountain. We plowed steeply and steadily on, occasionally through knee-deep drifts. Jerri stopped often for photographs. I wrote messages to Kyra in the snow with my walking stick -- 'Hi, Kyra,' 'C'mon, pokey bug' -- so she'd find them as she followed along. She caught us at the summit and charged ahead to where wind had blown snow cover thin in a grassy clearing. She planted her walking stick with flapping red bandana attached to claim the 6,150-foot peak." --from Walking North, by Mic Lowther.

Photos © Jerrianne Lowther
Triumphant, 10-year-old Kyra plants her flag atop Roan Mountain.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
May 8---VE Day (Victory in Europe, World War II)

This Week's Birthdays
May 4---Beau Birkholz
May 7---Ben Johnson
May 7---Kim Mellon (Tim's wife)
May 8---Kira Lynn Steinhauer (1 year old)
May 10---Curt Henderson
Happy Birthday!

More May Birthdays
May 1---Frans de Been

May 12--James Dake
May 14---Ernie Dake
May 14---Bridget Larson
May 14---Tyler James Indermark (3 years old)
May 16---Angelique Freesemann (9 years old)
May 17---Dwight Anderson
May 19---Ryan Hellevang
May 22---Dan Henderson
May 23---Don Pettit
May 25---Amy Ellen Dake Harrison
May 26---Rick Anderson
May 27---Tracer Scott Roberson (10 years old)
May 28---Jazmine Jane Hill (5 years old)
May 28---Jason Hunt
May 29---Kristi Kay Larson Indermark
May 30---Mckenna Blanche Miller (4 years old)
May 31---Mavis Anderson Morgan

May Anniversaries
May 12---Chris and Jessy Chap (1 year)
May 14---Roddy and Alisha McNeill (3 years)
May16---Nathan and Brenda Anderson Hill (12 years)
May 27---Dwight and Janie Anderson (37 years)
May 31---Tom and Mavis Anderson Morgan (51 years)

May Special Days
May 1---May Day (hanging May baskets day)
May 8---VE Day (Victory in Europe, World War II)
May 11---Mothers Day
May 17---Armed Forces Day
May 26---Memorial Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Thank you for your kind words of comfort to the family of Edith V. Anderson. Extended hands and hearts in times like these bring joy to sweeten our sorrow. Again, a special thanks to the entire dear staff for all your kindness.

Rich and Verlaine Weiland
Sheralyn, Steve and Marci
Danielle, Nicole, Casey, Shalana and Krista

Thank you for the birthday greetings. We are having Chuck and Tami over for lunch then we are headed to Flagstaff, Arizona, to stay a couple of days. After that we'll drive down to Casa Grande for convention. I'll send you some pictures after we get back from our wandering!

Heidi Johnson Henderson
Albuquerque, NM

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

In last week's Bulletin, Betty wondered if I really remembered details from so long ago. Our dad said it better than I can, in his book, Donald B. Johnson: An Ample Life.

Everything in this book is true, as far as my memory is true. There is nothing made-up that didn't actually happen or get said, except possibly for details that my memory has slightly mixed up, like dates, etc. I might even be off a couple of years on some things, but all the quotations are things I actually heard and are word for word, exactly the way I remember them.

Eventually, I'll run out of events that I remember so clearly and have to start using my imagination. When that happens, I promise to tell you.

Beaver Johnson
Ashby, MN

We're not getting snow ... but this tornado was only about 40 miles north of us (by Bridgeport). One of our friends sent us the picture.

Carol Printz
Sidney, NE

While surfing on the Internet last evening, my son came upon your site. He had put in Jim Blackstone's name and the photo came up of the Gert and Foy Blackstone family.

In the 1960's we lived in Roselle, Illinois. My son Randy Piper and Jim Blackstone were best buddies. I'm sure this is the same boy from the photo. Randy has mentioned Jim on several occasions, wondering what happened to him. I remember they moved back to Howard Lake, Minnesota. Several of the children came to our home and played, on occasion. I remember Dennis, Jim, Peggy, Wes and Genelle. We enjoyed looking at your site as I am into genealogy, myself. You sure have some neat photos of your family.

We now live in Southern Ilinois, near where my husband, Bob, and I were raised. If you would, please pass on a big HELLO from the Piper family to all the Blackstone kids, if they remember us.

Glena Piper
Benton, IL

Editor's Note: Here is a note from Gert about the lady who wrote:

Sis, that is really interesting, and fun to receive. Yes we knew the family; Jim and Randy were friends. They lived right across the street from our house in Roselle. Peggy knows Jim's address, so she will relay it to him. I will have to e-mail the Pipers. Your Bulletin has gotten to a lot of people from our pasts.

Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

Like Betty and Ginny, I have about zero interest in organized sports ... though I read and enjoy every word of Weston's sports stories. Friday, I read a story of sportsmanship that almost brought tears to my eyes. (No, it wasn't the Special Olympics -- it was college baseball!)

A player slugged her first ever home run but tore a ligament in her knee before she could finish her trot around the bases. She couldn't walk. Two players from the opposing team volunteered to carry her around the bases, stopping so she could touch each one. I thought you might enjoy reading this inspiring story, too ... if you haven't already. It was written by George Vecsey for The New York Times and reprinted in The Anchorage Daily News. Here's a link to the story.

Jerrianne Johnson Lowther
Anchorage, AK

What fun to see my two kitties pictured in The Bulletin. Thanks for including them.

Did you get much snow from the recent storm? My stepfather tells me that some places got a foot or more. Interestingly, we have even had some late April snow here in Salt Spring. This is very rare, since during the winter and spring the weather here is much like Seattle. Fortunately, that has passed and I am now able to get a lot done in my garden.

Thanks again for putting Lily and Hastings in The Bulletin!

Judy McCalla
Salt Spring Island off British Columbia, Canada

Photo © Judy McCalla
Hastings, Judy's beautiful silver-shaded Persian kitty.

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

Now if anyone thinks tulips aren't beautiful, just take a look at that first picture. It is such an unusual color, and double tulips ... plus with a snow background. We have had some pretty exotic tulip and snow pictures. I especially remember this one that was called "Alaska bouquet." That doesn't compare at all with the beautiful mauve birthday tulips for Miss Kitty and Mai Tai. I hope they appreciated them.

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Tulips & pussywillows in snowstorm 2005.
(Full size photo appeared in Bulletin 146.)

The Update from Shari was interesting, with the links to learn more than The Bulletin had room for. The beach looked so cold and forsaken. But that would be better than snow in the last of April. Looks like two pictures of Shari. Kelly is a carbon copy.

Oh no! Bitzi and Larry couldn't be outdone by Jerrianne and Weston. Even to the man coming to their door to report the mailbox. That was interesting, and a small price for having the paper delivered right up to the door in the dark. Bitzi is a good storyteller, too. I think we have much more talent than we realize. I know she needs inspiration to write, and what could be more than your mailbox knocked down?

WOW, that Sourdough bread looked so delicious. How I wish it were real, rather than just a picture of that perfect loaf. Jerrianne said she loves to make homemade bread. I remember I used to determine how great my girlfriends were by whether they could bake bread or not when I was in my teens. Lorraine Slotten Jacobson could and I looked at her awesomely. I could not bake bread. Good thing, as I know I would not have shared it. I want to slowly click on all the links in that Update, and being it's a no-knead, I just may even attempt it myself, if it proves simple, like Jerrianne said.

What next will they think of to entertain the children? The Saturday FUN Festival and Expo would have been pretty exciting for the town of Ashby. Great that Jayce won that $25 certificate. Think of all the candy that could buy, eh, Jayce? Even a free helmet. That was a good day for the children, and gave Mom a break.

The dog, cat and rat video was truly amazing. The grin on the homeless man was worth a prize. He really loved his animals. I hope everyone took time to look at that. How could those three different animals be compatible? That is what amazes me. It is so unusual for a rat to be slow and trusting like that, isn't it?

The "Billy Goats Gruff" were pretty unusual. I never saw any that looked like that, and being so docile would be opposite the nature of a billy goat, wouldn't it? That was an entirely different story than Richard Johnson has submitted before. He didn't tell us how his projects were coming.

Thanks, Larry, for the next chapter of "By Trial ... and Error" for the ewes and lambs. A five-strand, barbed wire fence didn't stump you for long. I cringed thinking of trying to urge that animal through that barbed wire. You mentioned she was scratched, which put it mildly perhaps.

I think we all were glad Weston gave us an up-to-date picture of the Memorial in Oklahoma City. It is very respectful that those innocent people who were killed are remembered so well, and one would almost feel like whispering in that block.

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be hiking in the rain and fog? A little 10-year-old girl walking, walking, walking -- cold, possibly hungry, and yet full of adventure in that once in a lifetime experience of the family trek from Georgia to Maine. To me, it is far beyond my imagination. In reading the book, Walking North, it mentioned all the flower photo stops Jerrianne took, so it was extremely interesting to see one of those pictures. I would like to see a picture of the red somethings that were so rare. I can't recall that name just now, but it said you had taken many pictures of it.

I had to laugh at big brother Don giving Mavis his diagnosis of her shoulder problem. She will be planning a retaliation on that one, I'm sure. Maybe she already had it when she said he had been in second grade for the second time. That was so funny. Probably Shuffleboard did use muscles that didn't get used much otherwise. Anyway, The Bulletin has all sides of all people. That's what makes it so down-homey, close-to-home, and loved by all.

Thanks, Miss Hetty, for sharing the letter about the birthday party at the Lowthers. Looks like it took some doing to get both Miss Kitty and Mai Tai to sit in the chairs at the same time long enough to click the camera shutter. At least they got their fill of whipped cream, even if it only happens once a year. You must have been very good kitties to have so many presents and such a grand party. Thanks for letting us see the pictures. Good thing Miss Kathlyn came to help blow out your candles and eat the gingerbread with lemon curd after you cleaned off the whipped cream.

(Miss Betty, you made us laugh -- we didn't lick any whipped cream off the cake. We showed our good manners and only ate the whipped cream that Miss Jerrianne put in our food dishes. --Miss Kitty and Mai Tai)

I was so glad to see Ginny Dake McCorkell wrote such a detailed and interesting LTTE. It is just so true; where do you start? There is so much to enjoy in each Bulletin, and you never feel you do justice to any comments, no matter how lengthy. I agree; I am not into sports, either, but somehow Weston keeps us interested. Also, I have never had an animal or cats and yet really enjoy all the cat stories. I wondered what others thought about that incredible Appalachian Trail Trek, and I see Ginny was just as impressed as we were about it.

Then we got Donna Mae's side with her LTTE, which touched on so many things. Evidently most people knew Gilbert in the Guess section, but I didn't. I loved the comments about the china doll, and the black dress that turned a shade of red.

Well, I got this far and learned that Verlaine Weiland's mother has died. She would have been 100 years old in June. She had been very low in the nursing home for quite a while, so her passing is a sweet release. So many remember Edith Anderson with precious, warm memories. I surely do. Verlaine was her only child.

I wanted to be sure to let Wally Slotten know that I read and really appreciated seeing the letter from him to Don about digital photos. I have many happy memories of our days as young folks together with folks from Minneapolis and St. Paul and North and South Dakota. For sure, they were "The Good Old Days," and now we are all on the other end of life. So, how are you, Wally and Ruth?

That was pretty interesting about Lily and Hastings, clear from British Columbia, Canada, and Minnesota. Not quite as far as Alaska, but I'm sure Miss Kitty and Mai Tai and the grandkitties were thrilled to find out about their "cousins." This cat family is increasing with every Bulletin.

Bitzi did a great job of making an ocean out of the background on Carrie's picture. Looks like she's about to fall in. That is so cute. Very artistic -- again.

Very good Quotation of the day: Fears being tissue paper thin. That is quite an expression! Doesn't make them seem too serious, does it?

I have left out some comments I had thought of, just because time has run out.

Thank you again for a record-breaking Bulletin #306, and be assured we will be looking at those beautiful tulips for a long time. (Can't see any tulips out the window yet here in Minnesota.)

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell
Untimely snow dismays a potful of Ginny's "joker" pansies.

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