Early spring? It's just a rumor!
Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell

Updates -

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell

UPDATE -- new family addition coming soon
by Wyatt Johnson
Moorhead, MN

Rylie and Brooklynn would like to report that they'll soon be getting a little brother or sister! The new baby will be due August 25th. With all the August birthdays already (Weston, Chris, and Becky), maybe it will share a birthday with an auntie or an uncle!

A big thank you to Auntie Lori and Uncle Shawn for producing a cousin that will be about the same age! It should be a fun holiday season next year at the farm.

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Jennie Horne

UPDATE -- 30th birthday for two
by Melody Printz
Edgemont, SD

Hello! Thank you so much for the birthday card and greetings! I had a great birthday, starting off a bit early with a spur of the moment trip to see Harold, Carol, and Cody (Printz) on Sunday -- enjoyable, as always!

On Monday night, Justin, the kids, and I had a little birthday party of brownies and Dr Pepper while I opened gifts the night before my birthday.

On Tuesday, I took the kids to school and then came home to enjoy phone calls and a virtual birthday party. A what? Well, a friend of ours had a birthday party for my twin sister and me on her blog; it was quite funny!

After we got the kids from school, we headed to Lingle, Wyoming, for a family dinner. On the way, we picked up my brother, great uncle and aunt, my dad, and Aunt Linda. Then, at Lingle, we met up with Uncle John, Aunt Vicki and Uncle Chuck. We all enjoyed some excellent Mexican food (complete with fried ice cream!). It was neat to all be together -- it's not often we get all of us at the same place at the same time!

My older sister had put the word out that it was our 30th birthday, so we enjoyed all of the cards that came our way!

Turning 30 wasn't traumatic at all; in fact it was quite enjoyable!

Photos © Loretta Soderberg
Melody turns 30, left; Justin on the end and going clockwise: Paul Soderberg (great uncle on Mom's side), Chuck & Vicki Mishler (my mom's sister and her husband), Amy, Melody, Wade, Callie, Linda Noe (Mom's other sister), John Douglas (close family friend whom we've always called Uncle John), Dave Wisseman (my dad) and Monte Wisseman (my brother). My Aunt Loretta Soderberg (Paul's wife, and also my dad's sister) was taking the picture.

Photos © Tom and Mavis Morgan
Mavis & Tom Morgan, Ron & Arlene Freesemann, left; a turtle, right.

UPDATE -- lots of visitors in sunny Florida
by Mavis Anderson Morgan
Estero, FL

Ron and Arlene Freesemann from Castlewood, South Dakota, visited us recently in Estero, Florida. They are the parents of our son-in-law, Troy Freesemann, who is married to our daughter Marlee.

We had an unexpected visitor Thursday when this turtle came into our carport. He didn't have a lot to say but showed his friendliness by not hurrying away.

Jim Miller from Bradenton, Florida, also visited here recently.

Photo © Tom and Mavis Morgan
Jim Miller, Mavis & Tom Morgan.

We also enjoyed visits with Margrete Overland Ramso and her husband, Anders, from Hope, North Dakota, and Rissa, Norway, who came with their friends, Joan and Arnold Skarsoune from Engelwood, Florida, and Rissa, Norway. We were joined by Les Pully and Don Barber from North Port, Florida.

Photo © Tom and Mavis Morgan
Pictured here by our home in Estero, Florida, left to right: Tom Morgan, Margrete Overland Ramso (a friend of 52 years), Anders Ramso, Les Pully, Don Barber, Joan & Arnold Skarsoune.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Ashby Farm Hosts Weekend Visitors

We had a quick visit from Shari, Sami and Shari's new friend Michael Pfeifer this last weekend. They had to wait for Sami, so they arrived here later Saturday evening.

Linda, Peggy, Eddie, Shari, Michael, Beaver and I went out to eat at Kraemer's, a local restaurant in Evansville. It was nice getting some visiting in, along with some good eating.

Beaver helped me make brunch the next morning. After everyone was finished, we played "Pigs," which proved to be a fun game. Jayce also played with us, and he really enjoyed that! The girls had more fun things on their agenda, I guess, as they opted out.

Linda, Amy and Becky have been helping out with my day care, in between a few of their own medical issues. It has worked out so I've had at least one or two to help, so we make do. I am very thankful for their help, too, as I would have had to close my daycare without them.

Photos © Donna Johnson
Shari, Michael & Sami, left; Linda Knutson, right.

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

A New Leg Rest Eases Strain

I recently decided that spending hours with my legs at a 90 degree angle is getting too hard on the circulation. I was going to either have to spend more time with my feet propped up on the divan, the bed, the armchair or whatever -- or Don was going to have to get busy and craft me a leg rest that I could use to have my legs at a more comfortable angle whenever I was working at the computer, reading a paper, or visiting with company. So I broached the subject with my amateur engineer (inventor). This is about how our conversation ran:

"That doesn't sound too hard; just what do you need?"

"It needs to be portable, and to be a size to fit into the desk area, and it needs to be such that I can move it with ease while I am in my Jazzy."

"Do you want it straight out, or sloping? It might be a little hard to make it adjustable."

"Just make it slant -- and wide enough so I can move the position of my feet now and then."

Then Don sat and envisioned just what he had in his trove of collected treasures in the shop that is in our capacious garage.

I am sitting here, typing away -- my feet and legs covered with a lap robe (that will now stay in place). When I want to move, I take the strap he has attached in the middle of the platform and hold it with one hand as I back out. It is on two sets of wheels, with bars set at different heights to hold up the sloping leg rest, so I can turn and push it before me.

One question: "Why didn't we think of this before?" Well, maybe he wouldn't have had available the two sets of wheels that he found in a give away box at a rummage sale last year.

I have decided things do have to be made easier if I am to stay independent.

So we need to think about what is needed and then Don can put his gift of creativity into use in his lovely shop.

Photo © Don Anderson
Jazzy Leg Rest

Who Is This?

Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so, we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.

(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn. Thanks to Rich Weiland for sending last week's mystery picture.

How many can you identify? What was the occasion?

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

This is a no brainer -- it is our good friend Don Spangler, proudly sitting in his precious car! Right in front of our house -- Weilands'! I can't remember the year of the car, though. At that time I didn't care much about car ages (as the young guys did). There was a big gang there, if I remember rightly. I enjoy the OLD pictures I can relate to -- hmmmm...

Well, okay ... we had company -- two good auto men -- they agreed it was a 1948 Buick.

Ruth (Weiland) Kitto
Apache Junction, AZ

We don't have space or time enough to answer that GUESS picture this time. Taken in front of our house in Minneapolis, Don Spangler and his light blue Buick convertible.

Many times we piled in that car for a gay old time as teenagers, and it was full, making trips to Breckenridge and Wahpeton for a weekend. We would ride all night and go to work the next morning -- that was "youth." His passengers would fall asleep and he'd honk the horn and shout, scaring us half to death at times. Pretty happy memories, seeing that picture. I wonder if my brother, Rich, sent that in? Don and Doris Spangler live in south Minneapolis in ill health. I hope they get to see this Bulletin.

Betty (Weiland) Droel
MoundsView, MN

Photo © Wyatt Johnson
Hockey fans, left to right: Mitzi, Sheldon & Aunika Swenson, Jeff & Cara Lee Swenson, Weston & Wyatt Johnson at University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

Three Game Saturday
by Wyatt Johnson
Moorhead, MN

A couple of months ago, Mitzi and Sheldon invited Weston and me to meet them in Grand Forks on February 10th to see a UND Fighting Sioux hockey game. Since neither of us had ever been to the famous Ralph Engelstad Arena (a.k.a. "The Ralph"), we thought it sounded like a great idea! Weston came up to Moorhead Friday night. We decided to head to Grand Forks earlier on Saturday to watch the Sioux men's and women's basketball teams, too.

Since I attended NDSU, which was UND's mortal enemy while I was in school, and Weston attended the U of M, which is UND's mortal enemy in hockey, we entertained thoughts of wearing our Bison and Gophers gear. In the end, we decided it wasn't worth the abuse we'd surely endure.

Since NDSU and UND are no longer in the same league (literally now, as opposed to just figuratively in the past), I didn't feel too bad about helping cheer the Sioux to basketball victories, and NDSU doesn't even have hockey, so I felt fine cheering for them. For Weston, it was just the opposite. UND is not a Gopher basketball rival, and since the Sioux aren't competing this year with the mighty Gophers way out in the conference lead, he didn't feel bad half-heartedly cheering along with the fans.

We met Mitzi and Sheldon at Shangri-la, which is a Chinese restaurant. As we ate, we learned that this had been one of their favorite places to dine while they were in college. They used to go many Sunday evenings and fill up on the buffet, hoping to ward off starvation for the rest of the week. It was a very good buffet and I made my only bad play of the day, eating too much, which would later make it tough to enjoy all the usual stadium fare.

We continued on to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center ("The Betty"), which is where the Sioux play their basketball games. Betty and Ralph Engelstad were UND alumni who gave over $100 million to build "The Betty" and "The Ralph."

The Betty is a nice, simple, basketball venue. It has comfortable, padded leather seats in the stands on both sides of the court, and benches on the smaller bleachers at the ends of the court. The Saturday attendance of 2,900 left it just a few hundred short of being a sellout. We were joined by quite a crew of our own, as Warren and Arleen Larson; Brent Larson; Brian, Amber and Brady Larson; Tim and Tytus Myron, and Jeff and Cara Lee Swenson were all there with us!

At 2 o'clock, the women's game began, and it was a very entertaining game, close for most of it, with the Sioux eventually beating the University of Minnesota - Duluth 76-60.

At 4 o'clock, the men's game started, though oddly enough, the crowd had dwindled to closer to 2,000 by this time. As the game progressed, I realized that the 900 who left knew what we didn't: that these guys weren't much fun to watch, because they weren't very good. Late in the game, the Sioux made an incredible run, coming from 14 behind at one point, to make the end very exciting before UM - Duluth finally won, 73-68.

We left "The Betty" around 6:15 to head to "The Ralph," where the hockey game would start at 7:05. Before taking our seats, we took a couple of laps around the concourse with Sheldon and Jeff, soaking in the incredible hockey stadium $100 million can build for a college team. The marble floors had huge Sioux logos worked into the patterns. The walls were lined with pictures of past UND players who've made it to the NHL. Every kind of concessions you could imagine were present. It truly is a work of art.

We settled into our seats next to Sheldon and Jeff, after everyone found some stadium supper. The extreme nachos were my choice. The best way I can describe them is think of a taco salad, but with chips where the lettuce would be, and lettuce where the chips would be. Even though I still have heartburn, it was worth it.

Mitzi, Aunika, and Cara Lee came shortly after we sat down. Since Weston and I had tickets near the back of the upper deck, Aunika and Cara Lee generously swapped tickets with Weston and me so we could sit in the front row in the corner in the upper deck. They were very good seats, although there isn't really a bad seat in the house. No expense was spared in "The Ralph"; it was by far the most comfortable I've ever been while watching a live sport.

I had never been to a live hockey game, so to have seen my first game in arguably the best hockey venue in the U.S. was quite a treat. Before the game had even started, the ambiance created by the stadium and fans had me hooked. As the game started, the fast paced action had me immediately. The Sioux scored about a minute in, and had scored two more times in the first period.

The nice thing about hockey is there really aren't stoppages of play for things like kickoffs or between innings. The stoppages for face-offs are short, and don't give you time to lose interest. There are three periods, with an intermission between each that gives you a chance to hit the bathroom or grab some more food.

Of course, the occasional fight works the crowd into an occasional frenzy, polarizing the fans for each team even further. We were lucky enough to be seated in the front of nearly a whole section of MSU-Mankato Mustangs fans, one of whom was a particularly loud woman. As she screamed, I felt myself slouching in my seat, hoping nobody noticed I wasn't wearing Sioux colors, which would surely make me a Mustangs fan in their eyes!

After scoring a fourth goal late in the game, to take a 4-2 lead, a few Sioux fans left, thinking they had the win. Hockey karma slapped them in the face as the Mustangs scored two goals with their goalie pulled in the final minute and 15 seconds, which is an incredible comeback in hockey. The short overtime produced no goals, giving us a final 4-4 tie. We had a great time, and it was a lot of fun to spend some time with the Swensons (and the Larsons and Myrons, too)!

Photo © Wyatt Johnson
"The Ralph," University of North Dakota, home of the Fighting Sioux.

Photo © "Capt." Jack Adair
Capt. Jack plays "Cayman" guitar.

The guitar is an Epiphone acoustic-electric, nylon-string, classical guitar. This picture really doesn't do it justice for looks, and I wish you could hear the sound.

The item next time is a guitar I bought that I hardly use, but my wife won't let me sell it, as I've wanted one like it since before we were married. That's 45 years this July.

Last week we mentioned "embarrassing incidents," in reference to some of my guitars. This is only because it entails spending chunks of money, and I always find that embarrassing.

So long ago that I don't remember the details, nor find them necessary to the story, we took several vacations to Grand Cayman Island, in the Caribbean. One of our friends down there was also a guitar player. He owned a successful furniture store, and to enable him to purchase his guitars at a nice price, he became a dealer for several top and near-top brands -- Martin, Gibson and Epiphone, a branch of Gibson.

There was a Bible study in his home each week, and when he found I played guitar he was quite happy and we became good friends. He, unfortunately, had no one there to play with, so after Bible study we would retire to his music room and play for a couple of hours.

On about our fourth or fifth visit to Cayman, after we had played, we went out for a late snack. We were leaving the next day. He said that I should come to his office, as he had just gotten in some new guitars. Well, our wives wandered through the store looking at all the stuff you'd find in a furniture store, and we retired to his office, where he invited me to play any of the guitars hanging on the wall.

He mentioned that he was a dealer for the afore-mentioned brands, and told me if I ever found a model of any of those brands that I really liked, he could get me a really good deal. I told him I liked one like the one I was playing.

Later, as we were saying our goodbyes to his wife, we asked where Charlie was. She said he was looking for something. Then he came out to our car, handed me that guitar, along with a case, and said, "Got room for a gift?"

Capt. Jack
Coon Rapids, MN

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days

February 19---Presidents' Day
February 22---George Washington's Birthday

This Week's Anniversaries
February 18---Roy and Betty Weiland Droel (14 years)
February 24---Jess and Louise Cloyd (62 years)

February Birthdays
February 1---Kathlyn (Johnson) Anderson
February 4---Cameron Birkholz
February 6---Melody Printz
February 6---Kelli Nicole Mellon (8 years old)
February 7---Rylie Johnson (4 years old)

February 28---Eric Anderson

More February Anniversaries
February 26---Tim and Char Morgan Myron (24 years)
February 28---Junior and Doris Anderson (45 years)

February Special Days
February 2---Groundhog Day
February 12---Abraham Lincoln's Birthday
February 14---Valentine's Day
February 19---Presidents' Day
February 22---George Washington's Birthday

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

{Note to Ms. Hetty: Capt. Jack's Birthday is 23d of March, Ginny's is 13th of July, their anniversary is 21st of July. Don't let on I'm the one who told you! --Rufus}

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell

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

Loved seeing the pictures of our little puppies in Bulletin 242. They have stolen the hearts of everyone in the family. Just one correction ... Julie's husband's name is Greg. Wasn't the picture of him and "Emily" the cutest thing! He's so big and she's so small. (Thanks for the correction -- we fixed it in the archived copy. --Photo Ed.)

Now an update on my situation. First, it looks like I might have a very serious buyer for the cabin. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed! The actual buyer is a young fellow serving in Iraq, but his family is doing all the paperwork, etc. for him. I should know something by this time next week.

My health news isn't as good or hopeful, I'm afraid. It appears as though the cancer is spreading aggressively throughout the liver, causing the liver to enlarge and press against other organs, which in turn has caused a bulge to develop on the abdomen.

So, I'm now on a new chemo, five hours at a time, one day a week. I had a nasty reaction to the first treatment, so I am hoping that was just a one time thing. Can't imagine putting up with that every time for two months! Ugh! If this chemo doesn't slow things down, I don't think there are many options left. I am prepared to stop treatment if it gets to that point.

Sure wish spring would get here soon! I'd love to be able to sit out in the yard with the puppies and just enjoy the beauty of spring.

As always, I have enjoyed The Bulletin so much, and all of the stories from Weston, Beaver and everyone else that write so well. It's like reading a wonderful book! Keep up the great work. We all enjoy The Bulletin so much!

Don is really clever and talented! What an idea to put those "handles" on the wheelchair! He should patent that idea!

I hope this finds you and yours well.

Diana Mellon Martin
Coon Rapids, MN

I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of the Wheeler and Jacobson girls in the February 4th edition, Bulletin 242. Also it was wonderful to see Wally and Ruth Slotten's photo there, too.

Those pictures brought back a lot of memories to me as I am the same age as Marilyn Wheeler. Those "Teddy Bear" coats were the "in" thing. I had one, too, and wore it my first three years to high school. I remember Marilyn and Joann Wheeler had lots of "Peter Pan" collars to wear under their sweaters.

Mavis Anderson Morgan
Estero, FL

I thought that Doug's and Ginny's Foto-funnie this week was great. Two creative minds working together ... can't get much better than that. Thanks, you two.

Marlene Johnson
Long Lake, MN

We continue to love what you produce each week!

Melody Printz
Edgemont, SD

Photo © Betty Weiland Droel
Henry Weiland's sheet metal shop on Nicollet Island.

Ruth wrote about returning from Hawaii in her After Pearl Harbor story, and moving into the hotel above this shop. There were two floors of hotel, above the shop my dad owned, which were rented to mostly single men. A caretaker kept it very presentable.

My dad worked for a sheet metal shop on Nicollet Island in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In time, he bought the business, which was a great benefit during the Depression. He started out with just the 31 section, but as the years passed, he bought 27 and 29, making it three store widths wide. After I graduated from high school, I worked in the office, which was the center section of the building, until my dad died, at 51.

My dad decided to remodel the front unit so it would be in readiness for Vern and Ruth to move into. I went shopping with him to find everything you could ever want for their home, starting from bare walls, and becoming a completely furnished home. They were able to watch the Nicollet-East Hennepin Avenue streetcars and traffic out the front window. It was pretty exciting to finally see them arrive and move in.

I just thought this extra little bit of the story might be interesting.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

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

First of all, a great big THANK YOU for so generously putting in the story that I had sent about the Weilands. It was thrilling, to say the least, to see how you included it in The Bulletin the way you did, and I only hope you know how much fun it is to contribute to keep our subscription current.

Then, from the Duluth story, the next Update was from the southernmost subscriber, my sister, Ruth -- telling of their visitors to the land of the sun, which was then cold and gray but is finally back to a balmy 80 degrees right now. Now the lemons can thaw out. Kenny's family gets lonesome for him, as he was always right with them in Montana before he married Ruth and moved to Apache Junction permanently. He has five boys with families, so as Kenny and Ruth age they have a lot of support.

Then, the very next Update was from Kristi, about her trip to Phoenix and then on to San Diego to visit that brand new baby, Madilyn. Wasn't that a spectacular picture of the mountains and the cactus? Her update was short and sweet, but full of highlights, to give us a word picture of her trip. Pretty proud Gramma there, Shari. Madi looks just like Kurt. Just compare her little facial features to the GUESS picture of Kurt as a youngster in Bulletin 242.

We missed seeing pictures of Rylie turning 5 years old, but the story by Wyatt described it pretty well. That was at only 5 years old. Wyatt, can you imagine what the 15-year birthday will be? I laughed and re-read Wyatt's story, especially about the apology to her future husband. That was so funny. It is great to have storytellers like we have for The Bulletin. Just so they continue to send them in for us.

Any picture of Carrie Horne is always so cute, and this one is a prize. Her mom must have the camera handy all the time, and then Bitzi knows just how to caption them.

I pass on the Doodlebugging until I can learn a little more about that art project and Earl.

Was so nice to have Capt. Jack's pictures, then and now. His dear little girls were like proper little ladies to all who saw them in public. Now they have children of their own, but Jack and Virginia are still carrying on like a young couple. I have yet to actually hear Capt. Jack play his guitar much, but I would only have to go to Culver's restaurant, as he plays there on a schedule.

We were at a funeral this afternoon that had the Bird of Paradise flowers in a bouquet. It was yellow, and looked just exactly like that picture. Again, I don't want to take space or time to tell about when Ruth and Vern returned home to Minneapolis from Hawaii. I will take another time to tell more of that story that Ruth didn't tell in this After Pearl Harbor episode. I have loved reading her account. So much I hadn't even known before. I'm glad to have Ruth's complete "Pearl Harbor Days" series in the "About" archives.

I thought it was so totally amazing, after Ruth's story about the Milwaukee Road, to scroll down to the next picture in The Bulletin to find little Engineer Hunter (just like Great Uncle Larry) with that proud, happy, positive, expression promising that there WILL always be trains! That picture is rare. He is a natural in that hat.

It took me a bit to get the connection between the Foto Funnies fishing picture and the little car in the first panel. But, I see that's what they hooked! Did you see the eyes in the windshield? The photo was by Rachel Henderson, so it must be her brothers who are the fishermen, right? The picture said it all.

Last, but not least, the Quotation for the day: "We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released." Will have to think that one through.

What a special Bulletin this time (also). I am saving a printed copy to read often, and will send a copy to Diana. She must have been too busy feeding her animals to write this week. I know Donna Mae is recuperating from her back problem, but she and others will have a lot to tell us one of these weeks. Thanks again, Editor and Photo Editor. We know you work hard and long to produce each issue for us.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell & Douglas Anderson; photo by Gina Henderson
Mason Henderson disovers a new taste sensation.

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Quotation for the day: When life hands you lemons, make Lemon Meringue Pie. --Anonymous (Click here for bonus story and a recipe.)

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

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