Y Happy Valentine's Day Y

Target in sight Contact happy now
Will You Be My Valentine?
Cecilia likes to play with Jayce's ears while she sucks her fingers.

by Larry Dake
Brooks-Oklee, MN

As the Royal Festivities came to a conclusion, it was evident that the Handsome Prince was so enamored with His Highness, that he had failed altogether to notice the beautiful princess standing in his shadow...

Princess Amy crowned at Ag-Arama
Amy Dake crowned princess at UM Crookston Ag-Arama

Princess Amy Dake, third from left, was so crowned, at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, 2005 Ag-arama on January 31. The Royalty were chosen 75% by the college professors and 25% by student vote. In addition, the candidates submitted an academic essay, a resume, and they were interviewed by a panel of judges. Amy's perfect 4.0 grade point average no doubt played into the equation. Amy also took home first place honors in Sheep Showmanship.

UPDATE -- an introduction to Lori Chap
(adapted from Lori's Powerpoint presentation)

Lori Chap with family and friends
Lori Chap, with family and friends.
Click here for an enlarged version of Lori's page.

UPDATE -- an introduction to Donna Richards
by Donna Richards
Eden Prairie, MN

Although I'm not a blood relative, your family has always made me feel welcome as the "other daughter, Donna."

I was born and raised in a small farming community, Buffalo Lake, Minnesota. Ashby reminds me much of my hometown, a small, close knit community. I lived on the farm with my parents, Derold and Erma, an older brother Steven, and a younger sister, Paula. My dad grew cash crops like soybeans, corn and wheat as well as hay to feed the livestock. We had about 30 milk cows, chickens, beef steers, and pigs. We had a few ducks and geese over the years, too. The farm also had its share of cats and dogs.

When my older brother graduated from high school and joined the Army, I became the barn assistant. I no longer had to help with the dishes after supper, which was fine with me. Hated housework even then (something that hasn't changed over the years!). Most days I got up before school to go out and feed the cows and help set up for milking. Evenings I helped my dad with the milking, tossed hay down from the mow, hauled bales of straw to bed down the cows, fed newborn calves their milk, and generally took care of the cows and their calves. In the summer, I was often the only one doing the evening milking as dad was in the field planting, plowing, cultivating, or harvesting into the night. I'm definitely the farmer's daughter.

By the time I graduated from high school, my dad had given up farming and milking, due to a bad heart. The two of us would drive to Hutchinson (about 20 miles away from home) each day where he would work for a manufacturer and I attended Hutchinson Vo-Tech. That's where I met Donna Anderson, now Johnson. Hutch Vo-Tech was a small school at that time, so everyone knew everyone and we all had a great time together. I remember cheering at broom ball games, attending slumber parties, and going to Waconia Ballroom to listen to the Jolly Brothers band. One of the members of the band attended Vo-Tech with us, so it was fun to follow the band. I'd be a lot slimmer today if I still danced to those polkas like I did back then!

Following that year of Vo-Tech, I found a job with an insurance agency in Bloomington, Minnesota. I lived with a cousin, initially. Donna (Anderson) Johnson was living with another Vo-Tech classmate, Lyla Dahl. We didn't live too far apart, and got together often. I have lots of stories about the early years with Donna and Lyla, but that's for another day.

Over the years, Donna and I stayed in touch even though we weren't always living in the same state. While Donna was dating Beaver, she moved in with me. By that time I had purchased a two-bedroom condo in Eden Prairie (where I still live today), so she "rented" my second bedroom. We really became close during those years together, and when my parents passed away, she and her family adopted the "poor orphan girl" into their family. Her home has become my second home. I always feel welcomed there, and get lonesome when I can't see her fairly often.

Today, I still work in the insurance industry. I started with RJ Ahmann Company in Eden Prairie about a year ago as a customer service representative. I spend most of my time on the phone answering questions on personal insurance.

I'm single and have two cats to keep me company, Beau and Tai. (Get it? Bow tie?? Too clever, huh?) I have always been an animal lover; I used to sneak barn kittens into the house so I could suck my thumb and rub their soft ears. I never had a security blanket; instead I used the kittens. As my mom didn't allow animals in the house, sneak was the word of the day.

I enjoy doing counted cross-stitch, and other crafty pursuits (knitting, crochet, even made some fleece blankets this winter), reading, and singing. I've sung with a contemporary music group in my church for over 10 years and enjoy it greatly. I've also sung at many weddings over the years. Most recently Anita Oliva and I sang for Shari and Ray Schweiger last March at their wedding on the beach in Florida.

I've enjoyed The Bulletin so much. Even though I don't have common ancestors with your family, the stories you tell remind me of my home and my family. My mom and dad were both raised on a farm and told stories of cold winter days, helping with farm work, and riding horses to country school. (My dad's school was close to their house. The horse he rode to school knew how to get home again on his own.) Even though we never had a horse on our farm, as a horse lover, I always enjoyed his stories. As I enjoy the stories provided by your subscribers.

Donna Richards
Donna Richards

UPDATE -- Letter from Iraq (Part 2 of 3)

Editor's Note: Jim Pachan is a friend of the family -- especially of his three buddies: Eric Anderson, Wyatt Johnson, and Weston Johnson. He is a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, 42nd Infantry Division. They moved from Kuwait to a new post, Forward Operations Base (Camp) Speicher, near Tikrit, Iraq, in a three-day overland convoy of 522 miles; this is Day 2.

January 20, 2005

Southern Iraq has been relatively safe, but over the past several weeks there have been small arms attacks just over the border and also children running up to the convoy begging; to get around that, we decided to go overnight while they were sleeping. We slept in our trucks and left at 0330 (3:30 a.m.) The passengers in the vehicles used Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) to watch out for any activity in the dark.

When sunrise hit, I could finally see what was out there in Southern Iraq -- a whole lot of nothing. There was a berm on either side of the road about 100 feet out and beyond that was sand, as far as the eye could see. The most noteworthy thing was the little mud huts everywhere; they were about 6 or 7 feet tall and perfectly square; you could see the little beds inside. The people tending the flocks of sheep apparently used them. There seemed to be a flock every few miles.

We got to Forward Operations Base (FOB) Cedar (134 miles) about 0800 (8:00 a.m.) This was just a small post. We refueled, rested and tied down loads that had come loose from the bouncing. We left Cedar around noon. The next leg of the trip brought us through the heart of Iraq.

Along with the many sheep, we were coming across goats and even a few camel herds and a few head of cattle. As we moved north, the terrain gradually changed from barren dirt and small sagebrush to some green fields of vegetation being cared for by farmers. Still further, some standing water that some homes, farms and mosques were built near. One thing that really stuck out was the people. Sometimes it looked like there was no civilization for miles, and all of the sudden there were some kids in the middle of nowhere, waving or begging, while adults nearby tended their chores.

As we got closer to some cities, there were more people, more cars, and more garbage was scattered along the road. Oddly, there were quite a few overpasses being built in areas that there did not appear to be crossroads for.

The threat level, thus far, was low. Just as we got near our next stop, there was a freeway sign for Baghdad, kind of a grim reminder that tomorrow's journey has a better chance of not being so relaxed. We pulled into FOB Scania (106 miles) around 1700 (5 p.m.) We refueled here and got to eat at the dining facility (DFAC) and get a hot meal. There was a little "café" that had free coffee, muffins and stuff, too; it was little tent set up for the people coming through there.

After that it was straight to "bed." We slept in sleeping bags on the back of the flatbed we were pulling, with semis and military trucks driving next to us all night long, but it was still better than sleeping in the cab of the truck, like I did last night. They moved our starting time up to 0130 (1:30 a.m.) with wakeup at 0045 (12:45 a.m.) (To be continued)

Roadside Iraq
Mud huts along the road in Iraq.

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

Starting with Bulletin 124, I planned to run biographical sketches of the members of our staff. Now that this has been done, I want to run sketches and pictures of the readers and subscribers who have not already done introductions. Please tell us about yourself. What is your work and what else do you do with your time? How are you related or what friend introduced you into the family? I am hoping that you can share family photos and background sketches. Send all manuscripts and pictures to me at dma49261@juno.com

Smith Lake School
Smith Lake School, circa 1930.

| Valentine's Day of 1938 Y
Dorothy Dake

I am a storyteller, not a historian -- the people in this story are real, but the events did not necessarily happen in the order, or at the time, I describe. I have taken liberties with some of the happenings -- but everything is based on my memories, whether they be 100% factual or artifacts.

I am going to tell you a story about a Smith Lake School happening. So that it is easier to tell it, I think I will tell you who we have in our school ... The Carlson kids go here; they came in the fall of this year for the first time. There are four of them: Elsworth, who is in the 7th grade; Carl, who is in the 6th grade with my Cousin Gilbert; Verona, who is in the 5th grade with me, and Genevive, who is in 3rd grade with my brother LeRoy ... besides, there is Gordon Mullen, who is in 4th grade. (He picks on my brother a lot -- but I try to keep him in his place!)

Our school is a really large white school. My Grandpa Mellon went here when he was a boy. He said it was made this large because there were about 50 to 60 children who went here then. Smith Lake was a good sized town at that time.

I especially like it that we have a steeple with a large bell in it with a rope hanging down through the upstairs where junior high used to be ... and down into the hall that is at the front of the room where we have our entry way and cloak hall. I love being allowed to pull the rope to ring the "recess" bell.

We all have our duties. It is fun helping Miss Johnson, as she is so nice (most of the time). We all like pulling the bell rope the best!

For the last two weeks we have not had to think of things to do with our free time ... we were making plans for our Valentine's Day party. First we discussed what kind of box we would make to put the valentines in! Gilbert came up with the idea of each having our own valentines box. Miss Johnson thought that was a splendid idea and offered to have a prize for the best one. I think we all knew who would win that. Gilbert was the one who always thought of such clever things to play, and projects to make, so it was "hands down" that he would win. But we didn't mind as he was such fun. He was good to all the little kids -- not like the "smarty" Gordon. We knew who would make his (his mother, of course!).

And besides our boxes, we would need to make lots of valentines. We were each given construction paper to use -- two sheets of each of three colors: red, white, and pink ... and we were allowed to use all we wanted from the big scrap box where the scraps from our year's art projects were kept ... it had almost any color you wanted. Every spare minute we had was spent in cutting, pasting, finding pictures from the seed catalogues we had brought from home, thinking up verses, and planning our boxes.

For doing the boxes we were allowed to use crepe paper from the packets that were with our art supplies, but the work really had to be done at home so they would be secret. It ended up that Bubsy (that is LeRoy's nick-name) and I worked on ours together; really, it didn't matter, as we were sure Gib was already the winner there. I used an empty oatmeal box and for his we used a box that crackers had been in. (Mom was nice and emptied them so we could have them to use.) I really think ours both turned out nice. We tried to be extra neat, but of course some paste did get smeared a bit.

So early this morning we got all our things together -- valentines, our boxes, our homework, and our lunch boxes -- and because Bubsy and I had so many things to carry, Daddy hitched up the horses to our sled and we got a ride. He and the horses would be busy for today! First we got a ride to school. Later they had to bring Mom and Gert to the party at two, as they were to be guests. Mom would bring some cookies and cocoa to heat up for our part of the party lunch. Then, at four, Daddy had to come back and pick us all up.

Miss Johnson had covered our reciting table with white paper and made a crepe paper streamer around the edge. The table was to set our boxes on. Ours were the first, as we had come the earliest. They looked nice! I wondered what the rest would bring.

Soon the front door blew open and I went out the left front door that goes into the girl's section and helped Verona and Genevive with their things. They had fixed one box, between the two of them, with a slot at each end. It was cute, with cupids by the slots with names, to tell us where to put their cards. The boys took their boxes in and put them way in the back and I will have to say I kind of knew why -- I don't really think either one them had put much thought into the project!

Now we sat and looked at each other and waited. Then I saw Gilbert coming across the field. He was carrying a large sack, which he put on the floor while he took off his boots and then hung his wraps up on the peg. First he fished out a smaller sized, lumpy looking bag and set it on the floor. Next he took out his lunch and put it on the shelves where our lunches sit until lunch time. Then his homework, and finally he was ready to put his valentines box out on the table.

He took the rather lumpy sack into the room and removed his contribution. Gorgeous is the word that comes to mind. It looked like a large plant, just blooming, with the prettiest pink and red blossoms. When I looked at it closely, I saw it was a tin coffee can. He had cut it in strips down to near the bottom. Out of crepe paper he had made flowers which were attached to the rolled up metal strips ... and into the center of it he had fitted a box, covered and decorated with little hearts... The flowers went all around it at different heights.. Well that was a winner for sure! We all just sat there and enjoyed the excitement.

Still Gordon had not arrived ... but that wasn't strange. His mom usually walked him to school from the main street and it was a few blocks. (They generally came about five minutes before it was time to ring the bell.) Just then we saw them coming down the last block. His mom was carrying a rather large object that appeared to be the valentines box. Hmm, it was pretty big...

After they finished in the cloak hall, in they came with Gordon looking so proud ... and do you know what? He had a right to! I don't know who made it -- but it doesn't really matter -- it surely was a winner. They had made the cutest little old fashioned car that you ever saw. All the boys crowded around to look at it and got in the way as we girls wanted to see it, too. But the handbell on the teacher's desk soon sent us flying to our own desks.

We had our morning classes. It all went OK, but I am not sure how much I learned. After recess each of us got our own box and put it on our desk. Then Miss Johnson let us go around the room and put valentines in the other boxes. We were to either buy or make a valentine for each person in school and for our moms and the teacher. Most of us had made many more than that. We had a good time "mailing" our cards.

All the time we "mailed" our cards I wondered what I might be getting from the others. I rather hoped I might get a pretty one from Carl. He seemed really nice. I had made him a nice one. I knew Gilbert had a boughten card for everybody, as well as lots of really pretty ones he had made. But I knew with the Carlsons it would be homemade as their family didn't have money to spend on valentines. We had a nice one from the store for the teacher and a penny one for each of the others -- but I had made some really nice ones besides the ones from the store. When I got back and shook my box as I put it back on the table it seemed full!

Well , the party has come and gone and I am writing in my journal and I have to say that the day was filled with surprises, not all so much fun. I hardly know what to think of it all.

Gordon won first prize for his valentine box.

I did get a card from Carl, but what good is that? He made one exactly like it for everybody in school!

After the party was over and the women were visiting, I heard Mrs. Carlson tell my mother that they were going to have to move, March 1st, as her husband had finally found a job. I guess that is good, but I really hate to see them move. I wonder if I will ever see them again after they do move!

The biggest surprise of all was the very beautiful card -- from the store -- that was in my box. I still don't know why, but Gordon had given me the nicest card of all.

I guess I am glad he won first prize for his box. And I am glad that I told him it was nice before I opened my box!

I just know one thing ... I am going to have to get Gilbert to show me how to make some of those gorgeous flowers!

Valentine from Elaine Wold to Dorothy Valentine from Janie Anderson to Dorothy
Handmade valentines by Elaine Wold, left, & Janie Anderson.

LTD Storybrooke

Keep It Between The Lines
By Larry Dake

Before I could drive a semi-tractor-trailer, I needed to pass a written test and a driving test. To take the driving test it was required that I provide a tractor-trailer vehicle to take the test in -- and, of course, I had to know how to drive it.

I found an ad promising Class "A" Truck Driver's Training. The price was $100, including the use of the tractor-trailer for taking the test. What a deal!

I was to meet the driving instructor in the parking lot of the Minnesota Department of Transportation's testing facility, where I would later be taking my driver's test. I waited in my car for a semi-tractor trailer to pull up at the appointed time -- maybe a Freightliner, or a Kenworth. I expected the driver would go over the procedures used for connecting and checking the air brakes, he'd have me thump all 18 tires, check the taillights, and then I'd climb up behind the wheel and he'd teach me the finer points of driving the big rigs.

Instead, a rusty old Ford pickup, pulling a rusty old horse trailer, pulled up beside me. The driver, wearing T-shirt and blue jeans, jumped out and introduced himself to me as my driver's training instructor. He collected my $100 dollars and took me through the D.O.T. road test, step-by step.

He then announced that I had completed my training and was now ready to take the test.

I went inside and made the arrangements. I was a little humiliated with my "truck," and doubtful it would even qualify as a testing vehicle. But the officer didn't bat an eye.

In a combined 40 minutes of behind the wheel training and testing, in a rusty old Ford pickup with no air brakes and an automatic transmission, I had completed my semi-tractor-trailer driver's training and passed the driving test. I was now licensed to drive an 18-wheeler anywhere in the United States of America.

When I handed the keys to the Ford pickup back to my driving instructor, he shared this valuable piece of truck driving advice with me.

He said, "Keep it between the lines."

Travelogue t

The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson

Editor's Note: Kjirsten has returned to Bolivia for a second year of independent study in Morochata, prior to enrollment in medical school at Baylor University in Houston, fall semester 2005. She went trekking in Argentina with her parents, Sheldon and Mitzi (Johnson) Swenson, the first week of January. Her mom is guest reporter this week.

MT Tronador, hut level
Mount Tronador, hut level, 12 hours later, 7,200 feet.
Base camp was just over 2,000 feet; Kjirsten (left), Mitzi (right) and Sheldon (behind the camera) had climbed almost a vertical mile in 15 trail miles.

Oatmeal On The Rocks

We planned another hike on Saturday, but the Refugio Tronador Veijo was full, so we had to wait a day. So we walked over 10 miles, round trip, to a dirty glacier, waterfall and tea house. Minor point: it started to rain shortly after we started and once again we were wet and cold. Also, Kjirsten's tummy was acting up, so her breakfast was Cipro and tea.

At the tea house, Sheldon and I ate the usual lunch, then had hot chocolate and chocolate cake while she had tea. The hike was along a road with a gentle incline but no one offered us, who looked like drowned rats, a ride. We laid around and read books the rest of the day, noticing we felt very lazy with only 10 miles and not much elevation under our belts, which were shrinking. Kjirsten promised the next day would be the most difficult trip of our lives, over 15 miles and over 5,000 feet elevation gain, so we enjoyed the rest.

When we got up at 5:30 a.m. to cook our usual oatmeal and hot chocolate, we found the floor of our hostel covered with teenagers in sleeping bags, so we cooked and ate in our room and crept out, only stepping a couple of times on the kid by the bathroom door.

The Argentina border guy said he'd meet us at 6:30 a.m. to stamp our passports, because we would be passing into Chile, but he wasn't up, so we pounded on the door until a different guy unhappily appeared and gave us the required stamp. We couldn't skip that step. Last year, Kjirsten was forced to day hike the trip (over 30 miles) because she didn't have the stupid stamp. This border is only accessible by backpacking, but I don't make the country's laws, so we complied.

We ascended, beginning in jungle like cane or bamboo that tried to trip us, whap us, scratch us, etc. A machete would have been useful. The bamboo tried to push us into the mud and there was a scream when it was successful.

The trail was hard to find, so once we went astray, crossing a river and wasting an hour. Our trail runners are light and wonderful, but a sieve in water, so then it was squooshy for a few steps until the wicking socks did their magic. We had wet feet all 15 miles, but no blisters.

The Chilean border boys met us on the trail and gave us permission to continue. We arrived at the refugio 11.5 hours after we started. We put on our dry, long john pajamas and cooked tomato soup, then pasta with tomato sauce. The light was beautiful on the mountain. Just wait until you see the photos!

It was a wear everything you have along and put your head under the sleeping bag sort of night, but we were pretty comfy and had the little tin and rock refugio to ourselves. We agreed at night it would be too cold to cook there in the morning, so we got up at 6 a.m. and headed down a couple of miles and a couple of thousand feet to cook the regular hot chocolate and oatmeal.

Going down on snowfields was fun, and entertaining when Kjirsten lost her balance and went on her bottom, stuff flying out of her pack. We had to pick it up during our more controlled descent. We were in a hurry, too, because we were getting hungry. We stopped on a ridge as soon as it warmed up, to cook breakfast.

The oatmeal was nearly ready, a big kettle with dried fruit, milk, and sugar and I tasted it, put on the lid and something happened. A new recipe, Oatmeal On The Rocks, was instantly created. My companions thought I was joking when I yelled to bring their spoons because it had spilled.

They yelled, howled actually, about how hungry they were and how on earth could I do such a thing ... while I dissolved in giggles. Sheldon pontificated a moment about how we'd get diseases if we ate it, but since there was nothing else but a bit of lunch, we assured him that's what antibiotics are for and ate until it got too crunchy. He decided he'd better get a bit of breakfast after he finished taking photos, which will be posted on our web site after we get home.

Kjirsten observed it was a good thing Shane, Derek and Tyler weren't present, as they probably wouldn't have found it funny ... and they've been known to be territorial regarding food under such conditions.

We found the Chileans again, just as their helicopter arrived, bringing them a solar panel and some other equipment, so we ate part of our lunch of cheese and apples. The next step was crossing a muddy bog. The girls had sandals, but Sheldon had to do it barefoot, in freezing mud up to his knees. He was a sorry sight.

Mitzi Swenson
(Kjirsten's Mom)

oatmeal on the rocks We climbed this rock for Tyler
Oatmeal on the rocks, left; we climbed this rock for Tyler, right.

Time for breakfast. The mother will cook us some oatmeal -- energy to finish the hike. Alas, our oatmeal provider (Mitzi, left) seems to have dumped the pot of oatmeal -- on the rocks. This was not the pleasant, refreshing breakfast we had been looking forward to... about 12 miles to go and not much other food left. The rock at right looked climbable, so we did it. We knew our mothers wouldn't approve, but Kjirsten gave us permission, even encouragement! There are many more photos here: http://community.webshots.com/album/254685122CpCruQ

White House capitol Berlin Wall
Beaver, Weston, Donna & Lori, Washington, D.C.

To get the most fun out of this story, go to this website:


Click on audio, get a cup of coffee while the song downloads, and let it play while you read.

Riding on the Metro
By Beaver

We had decided not to rent a car while in Washington, D.C. We were going to figure out how to use public transportation, with expensive taxis being the last resort. Shortly after paying an airport shuttle an outrageous price to take us to our hotel, we decided to walk to the nearest "Metro" station, just a few blocks from our hotel. As we walked, I considered my tendency toward claustrophobia and wondered how I was going to like riding on an underground train. A popular song from my teen years popped into my head:

Let me tell you the story of a man named Charley
On a tragic and fateful day
He put ten cents in his pocket,
Kissed his wife and family,
Went to ride on the MTA.

Would this be a great adventure, or a nightmare? We rode the longest escalator I had ever seen, down, down, down, into the concrete bowels of the earth. At the end, we found ourselves near a group of vending machines. Weston and Lori soon figured out how to feed money to the machines to get tickets to ride the Metro, and off we went, through the turnstiles and down another escalator to the boarding area. Weston and Lori looked at a map and figured out which way we should be going to reach our destination. Blue train, orange train, green train, yellow train, I was baffled.

In a couple of minutes, the train whined out of the tunnel and stopped in front of us. We got aboard a nearly full car, standing where we could find places. I kept an eagle eye on Weston, who had found a spot near a door, wondering what would happen if he, Lori, and D got off the train and I didn't. No claustrophobia yet, but I sure felt lost! And the song was back:

Did he ever return?
No he never returned
And his fate is still unlearned.

At one stop, Weston flinched toward the door and almost lost me, but I made it back in before the train left.

I was unable to understand the mechanical voice that announces the stations, and had no idea what station we were looking for anyway. I was very relieved when the rest of the herd got off and I was still with them. This trip set the tone of our stay in D.C. Every time we rode the Metro, Weston and Lori looked at the map and figured out where we needed to go. They knew our destination before I could find the little You Are Here sign. And the song kept going around in my head:

He may ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston
He's the man who never returned.

To get on a train, you feed your ticket into a slot by a turnstile. When you get off, same thing, but at the exit, your ticket is charged according to how far you have ridden, and the remaining value of your ticket is printed on it. I wondered what would happen if I got on without enough money on my ticket to pay for my trip. And the song was still there:

When he got there the conductor told him,
"One more nickel."
Charley couldn't get off that train.

Eventually, I discovered that the turnstile wouldn't let you get on the train unless you had a certain minimum left on your ticket. The day I learned that, Weston, Lori and D were kind enough to not get on the train without me while I went back and coaxed another ticket out of a vending machine. I had to buy $20 worth because that's the smallest bill I had and I couldn't figure out how to get the machine to give me change. And there it was again:

Well, I'm sore and disgusted,
And I'm absolutely busted
I guess this is my last long ride.

Once during our trip, as we were huffing and puffing to try to keep up to Weston and Lori on our way to catch a train, I said to D, "You know, this is an absolutely wonderful trip, and having Lori and Weston as guides makes it much more fun. We have to try not to be too much of a pain in the butt for them to drag along, and maybe they'll take us along again." I hope we weren't, and they do.

By the time we left, I was getting familiar enough with the maps and stations to be able to devote a little time to looking around. As a kid, I thought the ultimate career would be that of a railroad engineer, driving trains. Big, noisy, and you didn't even have to steer! I was envious of the engineers on the Metro, until I got home and did a little research. A computer starts, stops, and sets the speed of the train. The engineer's job is to close the doors. What a letdown!

I also did a little research about that dumb song that kept playing in my head every time we got on a train. I thought it was just a fun little song. The introduction and "Vote for George O'Brien" must have never quite sunk in. Political campaigns were a lot more fun in 1949! The story of the song's origin is on the web site, after the lyrics.

This and That
by Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Daily Valentines
By Cleo King.

How sweet to get a valentine
Of plain or fancy art,
A rose so pink and violets, too,
Or satin-covered heart.
But more than beauty of design
We prize the words they say,
The sender's love comes with the gift,
In quite the warmest way.

We like to know that someone cares,
That someone wants to do,
The kindly deed that makes us feel
Well loved and happy too,
So why not give expression then
To love for friends so dear,
Not only on one certain day
But many times a year!

Our valentines can be a smile
A cheerful word or two,
A helping hand, a tender glance
That signals "I love you!"
And if we often take the time
To give these friendly signs
The world will soon be brightened by
Our daily valentines.

valentine from Ardis Quick to Dorothy
Handmade valentine sent to her Aunt Dorothy by Ardis Quick.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days:
February 8-14---National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans
February 14---Valentine's Day

February Birthdays:
February 1---Kathlyn (Johnson) Anderson
February 4---Cameron Birkholz
February 6---Melody Printz
February 6---Kelli Jo Mellon (6 years old)
February 7---Rylie Johnson (3 years old)

February 28---Eric Anderson

February Anniversaries
February 26---Tim and Char (Morgan) Myron (22 years)
February 28---Junior and Doris Anderson (43 years)

February Special Days
February 2---Groundhog Day
February 12---Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

February 21---Presidents' Day
February 22---George Washington's Birthday

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Rylie Johnson
Rylie & Birthday Bicycle

Rylie had a pretty good time last night at Chuck E Cheese. There were eight adults and six kids, and plenty of pizza and games. It amazingly wasn't very busy, so we pretty much had control of the place. I attached a picture of Rylie and her birthday present.

Wyatt Johnson
Moorhead, MN

Miss Hetty Says
Miss Kitty
Happy Valentine's Day
from Miss Hetty & Miss Kitty

Archives update: The February 2003, March 2003 and part of April 2003 issues are now on line and readable. The February 2003 and January 2005 issues are now fully searchable. The March 2003, April 2003 and February 2005 issues are NOT searchable yet. That is because Miss Jerrianne can only dispatch the free search spider to index them once a month and we're not ready to do that for this month yet. But like they say, "Keep tuned in and we will let you in on the latest!"

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


Another "Great" Bulletin! I look forward to them popping up in my mail every Saturday. I really appreciate you doing this for all of us.

I especially have enjoyed the Grandma Mellon stories. When I saw the picture of the Miller and Dake kids a couple weeks ago, I spotted my Dad immediately. First I got teary eyed and then I grabbed the phone to tell Jennie about the picture with both her grandpas as boys, that she just had to see right away. Not surprisingly, she had already seen it.

I, of course, never knew Grandma Mellon, but when Grandma Dake spent time with us in Texas and Ohio she would tell me stories about her mom. That has made reading about Grandma Mellon even more enjoyable.

Carolyn (Miller) Dake
Duluth, GA

I've been enjoying your accounts about Grandpa and Grandma Mellon! Since I'm the oldest of the Bill and Amy Dake grandchildren, I'm fortunate to be able to remember my great-grandparents, too. I remember being at Grandpa and Grandma Mellon's home watching what must have been one of the first televisions in town! (I think I remember being at Grandpa Mellon's wedding, when he married again after Grandma Mellon died ... could that be?) Anyway, it's interesting to learn more about them.

I also remember Grandma (Dake) Greer. When we visited in Minnesota from Texas I enjoyed going out to her little green trailer home behind Grandpa and Grandma Dake's house and she would tell me stories of her childhood and show me old pictures. Wish I could remember some of those stories! Maybe sometime you could tell us some of your memories of your grandparents on the Dake side of the family too?

Carol (Dake) Printz
Sidney, NE

Carol, I have lots of good memories of Grandma Greer. I was only five or six when Grandpa Dake died but I do have loving memories and impressions of him, too. Do you remember Aunt Minnie and Uncle Isom? (He was Grandma's brother.) They were very dear to all of us. I shall try to pass some of those memories on in future issues. And Grandpa Ed was such a kind man. I do have good memories of him, too.

Don and I did not get to Grandpa and Lulu's wedding -- but certainly you could have been (and probably were) there. We lived in North Dakota at the time and did not get home for the festivities. -- Dorothy

Thank you for all the work you've put into The Bulletin. I've enjoyed the articles, family inputs, recipes and pictures.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Ardis Quick
Roseville, MN

You've asked for profiles from the readers of your Bulletin. As an avid reader from the beginning, I thought I'd send my info and you can use it when/if you wish. Use as much or as little as you need and have room for. Feel free to edit as needed. Hope you can use at least some of it.

Thanks for letting me into your family, and for the wonderful Bulletin.

Donna Richards
Eden Prairie, MN

Hi! I am a friend of Lori's (and her family). I have been reading The Bulletin pretty regularly and wanted to finally admit my addiction. :-) You do such a great job on it and I find it so fun to catch up with Lori's great family!


Kristin Nordling
Prior Lake, MN



~ If you've got melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.

~ Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

~ The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car. The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.

~ Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It'll take the edge off your appetite and you'll eat less.

~ A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Isn't that handy?

~ If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer.

~ But if you can't eat all your chocolate, what's wrong with you?

~ If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.

~ If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet? Don't they actually counteract each other?

~ Money talks. Chocolate sings.

~ Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.

~ Q. Why is there no such organization as Chocoholics Anonymous?
A. Because no one wants to quit.

~ If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated.

~ Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.

Soooooo.......have you had your Chocolate today?????

Click here to find out Who's Who in The Bulletin 1

Click here to find out Who's Where in The Bulletin l

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.

Click here for past editions of The Bulletin in the web archive

Home About Archive Recipes Stories Galleries Who's Who Where



QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: There is nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate. --anonymous

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 dma49261@juno.com

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.