Sunday, May 31, 2009
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UPDATE -- Derek Swenson earns law degree
Derek Swenson received his law degree (Juris Doctor) from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor a couple of weeks ago. Derek's previous degrees include a Master of Arts in Sports Management from the University of Michigan. He is traveling in Europe for three weeks and will be studying for the bar exam, working as a research assistant for a kinesiology professor, and working at Eastern Michigan's NCAA compliance office this summer and fall.
We're off to Houston [for Kjirsten Swenson's graduation from Baylor College of Medicine].
UPDATE -- a visit from Brandon and Mikaela
This past weekend we got in on a visit because Rachel is living at home while she hunts for a job. Brandon Hellevang and his girlfriend, Mikaela Kleeb, made plans to visit Rachel and her boyfriend, Damon Olson. They all hung out here. They took in a Twins game, managed to squeeze in some paintball, sand volleyball, and then spent the day Sunday with our family. It was a fun weekend. We had plenty of laughs and it was fun to get to know Mikaela, too.
UPDATE -- Boise next stop for "Traveling Johnsons"
Well, it's been along time since I have done an update! So here's an update to catch up.
We are back in Minnesota for a week, moving out of the apartment. We're going to head back to Boise on Friday or Saturday. There is not too much new with me, really.
I have a girlfriend now! Her name is Kayla Smiley. She is from Boise. She is a very nice girl and her family is nice, too. Well, I only have a few weeks of school left. Then summer break!
I'm still not sure what I'm going to be doing this summer. I'm going to try to find a job somewhere. Parma convention is in a few weeks so were getting excited for that. It's located near Boise. I've heard it has a lot of kids, so that's cool, too.
I've taken up running, so that keeps me in shape. I run about a mile a day (or at least try to!).
Well, I got my license not too long ago, so that's new. I took the test in Dad's big red truck, which wasn't easy. :) It was like trying to parallel park a Mac truck with a trailer on it! The guy who tested me understood, though, so that was nice. He said he had about the same truck so he knew how it handled and how it turned and things like that, so that was nice. It was a good thing I didn't get a girl that drove a Toyota to give me my test! Luckily, I passed!
We enjoyed a few days with Kimberly here in her field before we head to Idaho. Last time we will see her for a few months so it was nice to be with her. We were at the Eagle Bend Grounds for a work project, so that was cool, too. Well that's about all that's new and exciting.
UPDATE -- a fun birthday weekend
Thanks for the birthday wishes!
I had a great birthday weekend! Sunday Ken and I drove to Fertile, Minnesota, and hiked around in the sand hills there.
Monday we went to Dad and Mom's for supper and birthday cake. Ernie and Carolyn [Dake], Chris and Jennifer [Horne] and their kids [Ethan and Carrie] were there also. After supper, Dad got out some big jars of springs and traded with Ethan, who collects springs.
UPDATE -- The Matriarch gets a lift, visits "Big Ole"
We took a little trial run with "Dorothy's Wheels" after meeting on Sunday. We went out for lunch and then down to take a picture by the statue of Big Ole at the Runestone Museum. They say it is a Norseman but who ever heard of a Norwegian named Ole? I think they used to have the Kensington Runestone where Ole now stands ... anyway we went there.
It all started with Don hearing his old friend Don Peterson telling about the van he had for sale. After he had the van in hand, he began the search for a wheelchair lift. Where?
Well, Craigslist, of course ... but first he researched on the Web for different lifts until he found what he wanted. Then to craigslist.org ... where he found someone who had the very type he was looking for ... and was able to make a good bargain with that young man.
He then enlisted his granddaughter, Becky Chap, to go with him to Apple Valley and they successfully toted all the parts home to Beaver's machine shop on the farm near Ashby.
For the last month Don has been measuring, planning, and collecting the steel pieces, the bolts, and engineering the way he thought it all should go. The plan was for son-in-law Beaver and son Donnie to do the actual work ... and last Saturday, May 23rd, it all went perfectly. Click here for a web gallery that shows how they fabricated the new chariot and our visit with Big Ole.
In the picture below, Don, the project's mastermind, has the controls in hand. (I could do it but I prefer Don to ... so I can keep my mind on operating my Jazzy!) Don opens the doors by hand; then he does all of the rest of the steps with the controls.
First, lower the lift to the ground, with the back panel raised so I cannot go off the platform, then close the back panel, too ... and raise the platform even with the floor. (Each operation is completed by the controller so Don does not choose how high it goes ... that is programmed.) Then the back section of the platform goes down, sits firmly in place, and I drive in. Then Don closes the platform, which raises up and forms a mesh lining out of the lift ... neat as a pin.
I wait until he has that in place and then I turn my Jazzy around and pull up next to the seat. Don still needs to make some type of attachment to hold the wheelchair firmly in place. He has several things he wishes to do yet, but it is fully operable as is.
I thank Don, Becky, Beaver, and Donnie for providing me with a chariot with a smooth ride and treatment nice enough for a queen (and Don Peterson and Chad Knupp, who had the van and the lift that we needed and sold them to us at a sensible price!).
So now we ride safe from the weather -- my Jazzy and me!
Day to Day R
Rylie, Brooklynn & Camryn Visit Their Grandparents
An Invitation to the June 2009 Bulletin Pot Luck
The Bulletin Family and Friends Pot Luck Get Together begins at noon on June 28th at the Beaver Johnson farm near Ashby, Minnesota. Click here for details, what to bring, etc. and to let the hosts know that you're planning to come. (No RSVP required for regrets.)
The Matriarch Speaks W
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.
How many can you identify? What's going on?
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.
I’m really not sure of the one on the left, but I'd guess that the baby is Caity Chap?
Editor's comment: I found that "so cute" picture of her in an album search and thought it was so sweet that I sent it for a "guess." I don't know whose quilt she is lying on but I thought it was pretty, too.
I recognized the bed and quilt from our Maple Grove house (unless someone has the same one!) but we couldn't decide which baby it might be -- maybe one of Wyatt's -- possibly Rylie? Caity? She looks less than 6 months old! That would have been very shortly after Don and I met and I couldn't recall them coming to my house that soon ... but they must have!
The editor again: So that is the blanket ... and now I remember the time. It was earlier than Rylie -- but I do think it was at your place for sure. I remember when we all came and do remember your flourishing tomato crop! You even canned tomato catsup and tomato sauce!
I would like to submit my guess for the "Who Is This?" pictures from the latest Bulletin. Usually, I submit a guess only when I know for sure who is in the picture(s), so it is not really a "guess," just a statement of fact. This week is a little trickier, as I don't think I recognize the gal on the left, and identifying babies is always a challenge as they tend to share the same attributes: bald heads, stubby appendages, toothless gums, and general cuteness. However, I am going to go out on a limb and give it a shot...
First, the picture on the left. Unless the unusual license plate is a red herring, it seems to provide a dead give-away that this picture was not taken in the U.S. While The Bulletin's reach is certainly broad, I believe the international subscriber base is limited to a couple of our friends from the Netherlands. So I'm going to guess that the young lady modeling the shiny new truck is Marloes de Been.
As for the baby on the right, I can't say for sure, but I think she may be Kierra Ostendorf. I hope I'm right -- I would hate to mis-identify my own niece!
Editor's comment: Your writing skills have to be begged out of hiding. What a neat guess! Your detective skill in getting the overseas gal is impeccable ... but rather than your youngest niece, that is the oldest one ... though consider this ... you got the relationship ... and hence the correct family tree. MY great-granddaughter Caity, if you please.
The GUESS picture was Marloes with that special vehicle she got for her dad to have a ride in. But the sleeping baby leaves me still guessing. That's no fair; we can't see any features in the face.
Betty Weiland Droel
A series of recollections, of the five years when Bill and Lois Dake and their family lived in Minnesota, began with the episode in Bulletin 343. It's too soon to tell just how many parts there will be in this series, just after World War II. In Bulletin 349, I told more about polio (once called Infantile Paralysis) via two links, Polio and Sister Kenny, to minimize disruption of the narrative flow about Lois and Bill Dake. Both documents are posted as a series of scanned images. We can't edit them or correct typos and they will not respond to font changes or printer settings as regular Bulletin pages do.
So This Is Bemidji!
Louella and I were just finishing the job of hanging up our clothes and settling in. We even had a few home pictures setting about. We were just thinking about whether we should go out to eat, or should make a little something for ourselves here at the nurses' home. I am invited to stay with her until I get "located." We do need to go exploring so I can get a better look at this pretty little city. Everything so far has piqued my interest -- but I need to look a little more closely to see if I am going to feel at home!
Today we had each gone out on our own business. Louella to check in for her first day as an employee of the hospital where she had just completed her training. (She doesn't wear a uniform -- just a colored smock to cover her own clothing -- she likes it better that way, no whites to keep sharp.) But she really does look sharp, for all that! And I to start my search for some special places.
I had dressed like I was going to a teachers' meeting and headed out to check on some employment possibilities. I had even had two interviews for jobs that we had found advertised in ads in the Sunday paper of The Bemidji Press.
I mentioned to Louella that I wasn't too hopeful of the office job, but maybe there might be a chance for the receptionist's at Photo North ... but then, again, I had met a pretty girl who had just had an interview and she seemed like good material to me. The man who interviewed me said I was the 14th applicant. I wonder if this looking for a job in this area is going to work for me?
And then the phone rang and someone hollered, "Dorothy, it's for you -- someone called Harold." Oh, that was exciting... No, not a boyfriend, but a possible employer. So I took the phone and tried to sound very businesslike (to counteract the boisterous holler from Junie girl!).
"My brother and I have had a meeting and we have decided we would like you to check in with us again. We will take you through the directions to cover what your job entails and then, if you are still interested, you have the job. We wonder if you could check in with us tomorrow -- would 1 o'clock, after lunch, work out for you? We believe that you would make a good employee for us." So said Mr. Harold Foley ... the portrait and air photographer ... to this newly unemployed teacher.
"That would certainly be fine. I do think I would enjoy the work. Just when would you want me to start working for you?"
"Well, Miss Dake, if you can be ready, Kendall and I would like you to start a week from today, on Monday, June 14th. As I mentioned today, we pay $35 a week and we pay twice a month. So our second pay period would be starting at that time. Would that be convenient?"
Well, it sounded just fine to me (except for the wages ... that takes some thinking about ... but he had said that I could look for a raise after six months.) So tomorrow I will meet Harold and Kendall Foley again. They have a small shop connected to another business known as The Sport Shop. There is a connecting arch between the two shops and another door out of each business to the sidewalk.
Photo North, where I will be working, has a reception room in the front and I understand that is where I will have my desk. I believe the three of us are the only employees of the photo shop -- but the sport shop had a couple men and a woman that I saw when I had my interview. I am very excited.
Louella and I decided to go catch the bus and go downtown to a mom and pop restaurant that I understand serves very nice homemade meals at a sensible price. I will meet the bosses tomorrow!
Larry McCorkell sent us a manuscript he transcribed from his father's tape recorded memories and made it available to The Bulletin for a series of excerpts. These stories were originally tape recorded by Bruce McCorkell of his growing up days on the homestead near Effie in northern Minnesota. They were recorded from a period of the mid 1980's until the early 2000's. These are Bruce's words of happy, sad, funny, good, and hard times.
There were lots of people [looking for work in the harvest fields]. We went into Breckenridge and in the whole area of those city parks of the larger cities, people were just all over, laying and sitting there, waiting. Men would sleep right there overnight and just wait for a farmer that needed a hand. He'd just come and walk across the street and walk around the park and somebody would look at him. If he didn't like the looks of him, the farmer would walk to the next one. He'd pick one or two or three or four and take them with him. If they didn't turn out, he'd just bring them back to town and get a couple more, that's all there was too it.
We never did that. We had a car, so we're driving down this road. I can't remember if we just quit working at this place or if we got done shocking that field or if there was going to be a break or what. We were driving on this road, not very far away from where we had worked, and here was a guy going down the road. He had a Case threshing machine. It was a pretty good-sized threshing machine, 28-inch, whatever that means. That's one of the bigger ones. It wasn't new, but it was good. This prosperous guy was at a corner. He was going to make a left turn, I can remember that. We came along there and he waited for us.
My dad stopped and got out and went and talked to him. Yes, he could use men. He wanted to know who.
"Well, that's my son and all that."
"Okay, you can work."
He was paying two dollars a day for a little better help. We went over there and went to work for him. We slept in a garage. He had single beds. He had that cleaned out and that's where we stayed. It had a man door on it. There were crickets like you wouldn't believe. There were crickets in the fall all over in that part of the country. Crickets in bed and crickets chirping all over the place, but boy, we were tired. We could sleep and the crickets didn't hurt anything.
My dad used to be afraid of them. They bit him a few times, just because they felt he needed it. I don't think they ever bit me. I tell you, him and bugs never got along. First of all we cleaned up the granary and did a few odd jobs around there. He didn't have room for a bushel of anything in his granaries. That's the kind of a guy he was. He had a son that was going to school. He was young enough, but he could drive the truck and I remember that kid had a truck with a grain box on it. He hauled grain to the elevator there for two or three days before there was room enough for oats and barley.
Then he had alsike clover. We threshed alsike clover for two days for him, if I remember right. They bagged that stuff. That must have been like gold, but that was heavy, and just sack after sack of that alsike clover seed.
There were four, he and his brother-in-law and two other guys on the threshing run. We threshed for Barney Freeze and Herman and those two other fellows. We didn't do too much shocking there, as I recall. It seems to me that shocking was pretty well done on his farm by that time. We started right in on the threshing. All that had to be shocked.
Then we went on barley and oats and I don't know if we had any wheat. So Barney had two bundle teams, my dad and I and his brother-in-law had two bundle teams, and each one of the other two fellows each had two bundle teams, so there were eight bundle teams altogether. I had a bundle team eventually. We threshed and we threshed and we threshed.
But they fed good. It was a good place. They had some good cooks. We got two dollars a day and board. They were German people and were really strong, strict Catholics. That's the extent of my threshing.
Photo Editor's Note: And this is the extent of Bruce McCorkell's memoir. We've used nearly every bit of it. We hope you've enjoyed it ... and that subscribers will write more memoirs....
At Tofo, I was delighted to discover a perfect beach. It is of the long, wide, arching variety, with clean, squeaky fine sand and clear, topaz blue waters. The beach stretches for miles and is backed by rugged sand dunes. I camped in a simple reed bungalow behind them, at a lovely diving camp about a mile down the beach from the main town.
Each morning I'd rise with the sun for a run on the beach at dawn. Later I'd gather my sarong, a book, and a collection of fruit for breakfast on the beach. Usually I was alone and could savour my sweet mangos in perfect peace, listening only to the sound of rhythmic crashing waves and the rustle of a morning breeze in the palm trees.
Most days I'd hike in either direction along the beach, watching locals fish or gather shellfish, and stopping to wander into the warm Indian Ocean to refresh my feet. Sultry afternoons were perfect for swinging in a hammock with a good book, waiting for the cool of evening to make the walk back to town for dinner.
Meals here were always quite anticipated and never disappointing. Tofo has become a popular beach destination for South African travelers, and there's now quite a dining scene that caters to them. I enjoyed several memorable meals here, easily the best during my travels in Africa. Fresh grilled fish and prawns featured prominently, but who'd expect to find fine French cuisine, with exquisite bread, and decadent desserts featuring island fruits and rich chocolate? I found it, and I hope it's still there when I return. Which I most certainly will.
To be continued...
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More June Birthdays
More June Anniversaries
June Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
I noticed in your May birthdays, I haven’t gotten the last two members of our family on your list. Mitch and Kim’s last is Braden Mitchell Miller born on May 31, 2007, and Sandy and Jay’s last is Nathan Alexander Smith born May 15, 2008.
Thank you! Such a BEAUTIFUL Anniversary card! Dwight is at work today, I'm working on setting up our garage sale for next week, and there's Bible Study tonight, so I guess it's a pretty "normal" day!
I still can't believe it. I know I must have had a great dream of some kind. Jim and Lyn Sorenson are on their way from their home in Arkansas to visit friends and family, being Jim has finally retired, as of last December.
We got a call that they could stop by here on their way to see IdaMae Peterson a little this afternoon. We had so much to talk about, and to see the pictures of their five children and hear where they all are now.
Knowing Jim from my days with Lydia Zimmerli up in Bemidji and Bagley, when he was just a little boy, and then seeing them in the '70's with their growing family and the last glimpse of them was all of 20 years ago. What a very special hour we had catching up!
After taking this picture as they were getting in the car, Lyn commented that they really enjoyed The Bulletin. OH, THE BULLETIN, I said, and then we had more to talk about. So, I learned that you were related, Dorothy. Lyn said she hasn't sent their introduction as she doesn't know how to put pictures in e-mails yet.
Just had to tell you this wonderful story of our special guests this afternoon.
Roy and Betty 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?
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITORS?
I've been busy at work (where I read The Bulletin each week) and suddenly realized I hadn't read The Bulletin for several weeks. I immediately caught up on several back issues and made sure I read this week's issue.
Had to write CONGRATULATIONS to Patty and Rachel for getting their degrees. Patty's 26-year plan worked well, and is a better plan than my plan, which is a still no degree after 35+ years plan. I'll have to be like Don and wait for an honorary degree! I admire your stick-to-it-ive-ness, Patty. Not an easy thing to do once you are past the usual "college" age.
As usual, your Bulletin has great photos and interesting articles. Keep up the good work. I'm getting to know so many families, I feel like I'm one of them. Thanks so much for all your hard work.
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
For some reason I was anxious for our Bulletin to arrive today. I just knew there would be some Memorial Day references, and I was not disappointed. In fact, the very first picture, in its colorful, fragile beauty with the color coordinated words "Memorial Day," brought a respectful, reverent feeling words do not describe.
I think it would be quite a decision to choose one out of so many very appropriate pictures to use for observances like Memorial Day, but our photo editor always comes up with the colors and design for the occasion. I love the way she can place the right color just where it is the most eye catching.
Just the simple caption, "Lest We Forget," was meaningful in itself. So, thank you again for this beautiful beginning to our much anticipated Bulletin for May 24, 2009.
Talk about an occasion, just scroll down a bit and there is one that will be hard to repeat very soon. Grandpa Don, Mother Patty and Rachel Henderson -- all with their well-earned caps and gowns and diplomas. We sincerely and heartily do congratulate you for your perseverance to earn degrees at NDSU. As far as Grandpa Don, he deserves a standing ovation for keeping our Editor well cared for, and likely it is vice versa at times.
The names of the other graduates are all familiar, but from a former generation.
The Update that Wyatt submitted was well worth the wait. I took a good look at that picture of the foundation of their new home. I despaired at all the work and planning and patience it will take before they can start daily living there. Just to choose colors is a major process, let alone furnishings and being compatible about it. We hope you can keep us updated on its progress, Wyatt, and that you won't have too many details to re-decide about. It's amazing how you happened onto that perfect location.
Now we see the next phase in Tom Miller's life. Possibly moving to Oregon. I am sure with the vacancy in his heart he will crave to be nearer his family. Coming back to Minnesota for the Miller cousins' reunion will be something to look forward to. Am sure the years will tell on those cousins, and that makes it all the more important to be there. Will Jim entice Tom to Florida or will Tom entice Jim to Oregon? "Roots" are valuable, so both would want to be near their own. Hoping it will all fall into place for you, Tom.
I felt a bit of nostalgia to see the family picture for the bug birthday party. The family gathered at Thanksgiving time had Vonnie and LeRoy on. It doesn't take long for major changes to occur. There is my friend, Bergit. Also, Earl, and their cute little sweet daughter Sherry that I remember from so many years ago. NOW it is her grandchildren pictured. Very hard to accept how many years have passed. Last week's LTTE said I was hoping to see a picture of the Ladybug cake, and there it is.
Then Tyler Indermark also turned 4. We can hardly keep up with all these Bulletin children. Thanks to the moms and dads for sending in updates. Birthdays follow a pattern whether E, W, N, or S -- fun and pretty cakes, candles and packages.
I've gotten acquainted with so many through The Bulletin, but JoAnne, Lexie and Wes were new friends. I do remember Sigmans, though. Again, a past generation.
How did you ever get all those together for that picture at the Mother's Day Brunch, Donna Mae? I was able to recognize most of them. Finally, we see Weston again. We need an update from him, too.
Then Memory Lane with its chapter on finishing the schoolmarm phase. I was so glad to see the picture of Louella Smith Williams. I recognized her immediately. I also knew her at that time as I would have been 17. She was an X-ray tech, and now her daughter, Peggy, also has followed that line.
Fun to think of that song, I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover as being a new one at that time. It seems like a pretty old one now. Reminds me of the one that says "I Overlooked an Orchid While Searching for a Rose." I have thought of that on several occasions.
All the details and descriptions given were so vivid as though they happened recently, but I am sure the more you recall incidents the more that appear in your minds eye clearly.
It was very touching to me to think of those months being like a turning point in your life, Dorothy. Decisions needing to be made that would have life-long effects. It's fun to see a picture of you standing straight and tall with no cane.
Bruce McCorkell's Homesteading Days was another heart-rending story of the hard work and times in their young lives. The hot, stuffy upstairs to sleep in was almost cruel, and they worked so hard for so little. I am sure they didn't waste a penny in those days. Can you imagine those hard-working young men having measly sandwiches for the lunch or the rabbit meatballs he could hardly eat? Like Roy says, everyone was doing the same thing so it didn't seem so shocking at the time (no pun intended).
Then, in the next article, we flash over to Mozambique with Kjirsten and her great pictures and picturesque illustrative accounts. So glad it is to be continued.
The CHUCKLES was there again, and that Kira is one cute little girl. No matter how smart she is, though, she is too young to drive, Mother! Unless she sits on your lap. I remember when my dad used to let me steer ... I thought, but that thumb of his was doing the driving I thought I was doing. I was too young to realize that. Just one more of the thoughts on Memorial Day of home.
The quotation for the day is almost lost in this generation of hard, bold, insensitive feelings, but we are glad for a few heroes with that gem of innocence inside yet.
Thank you for another one-of-a-kind Bulletins, and hope this feeble attempt to give you the Droel reaction to it will be acceptable.
To search a name in Who's Who or Who's Where: click on the link to open the page, then use CONTROL F on a PC or COMMAND F on a Mac. To search for a second occurrence of the name, use CONTROL G on a PC or COMMAND G on a Mac. (This works on ANY web page with text, unless the text is converted to an image. Chances are, it works in your e-mail, too.) HINT: Search by first name only, as most entries list the family name once but do not repeat the last name for each family member. In Who's Where you can search on state or city names, too.
Quotation for the day: When we say "War is over if you want it," we mean that if everyone demanded peace instead of another TV set, we'd have peace. --John Lennon
EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.