Sunday, November 16, 2008
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Update -- traveling Johnsons explore East Coast this time
The most recent job that Dad's company has started happened to be in Bangor, Maine, so we got the privilege of spending time on the East coast instead of the West coast recently. We headed out East in late August, visiting all the tourist traps along the way, including Shaker Village; Monticello; Washington, DC; New York City, and Boston.
We thoroughly enjoyed it all, but in Boston Dad's boss called him and told him the job was delayed in Maine and that they wouldn't need him for about a month, so we headed back here to Minnesota. We got to see what there was to see out there so it worked for us!
We got to Bar Harbor just after noon and headed for the restaurants strung out along the harbor. We tried both their clam chowder and lobster, each of which we enjoyed. After hearing that when the tide goes out in the afternoon it exposes a strip of land that links the mainland to a small island, we walked over to the island after lunch.
We got back from the island and scoped out their shops before heading back to Bangor. Though a bit touristy, making us very glad we weren't there during peak season, we entirely enjoyed ourselves.
UPDATE -- shopping at Red Chair Antiques
Here is one you can't miss. I could hardly wait to get to the keyboard to share this with you.
It was such a gray, dreary, icy, chilly, cold, misty, snow day, so Roy and I decided it was a wonderful opportunity to go to visit the Red Chair Antiques in Isanti, Minnesota. The brand new antique store that Donnie and Patty Anderson have created with every possible interesting display of -- what else? Antiques!
We found it with no trouble. Good signs and when we came to the driveway, here was this clever RED chair with the sign OPEN, which we were very thankful for, as it's probably about 25 miles from our home.
This was our first view, and then as we drove into the yard of a beautiful log home, there was this small building just outside their back door. It was featured in The Bulletin recently. Very inviting, and everything immaculate and orderly.
We walked up to the door and lifted a heavy metal acorn knocker. We stepped inside to find a pretty, brown-eyed, thin Patty (Patty lost 100 lbs, remember?) behind the counter. She offered us a cup of coffee from a real brewed coffee urn, and then the totally awesome pie-shaped pieces of scone-type sweets to go with it. So we drank coffee and ate scones and chatted a mile a minute while we looked at every nook and cranny of so many interesting things. They were sparkling clean. No dust or musty antique store atmosphere.
I told her, "My name is Betty," and she said, "Droel?" ... so The Bulletin gave us away.
We heard music and discovered Donnie was playing one of the guitars as we shopped. Naturally, I had to record all this for The Bulletin, so here he is.
I decided on what I would like to buy, and found out I had picked out some very valuable collector's items, so I had to re-shop a bit, but ended up with two unique platters Roy and I can use for a change for dinner plates. What fun! She gave me a 10% discount. I think it was for senior citizens, or maybe just being kind.
That was such a fun day, and then we wound our way back home, driving by the old home places where Roy lived and went to school as a boy. He knows that part of the country like the back of his hand.
UPDATE -- South Dakota deer hunt
Justin and I went out to look for some good bucks on opening morning, here at the ranch. The plan was for Justin to show me the groups of deer and while he went to work on the other side of the ranch I was to stalk the biggest deer I had spotted.
After spotting several deer just out the front door, we ventured around for about an hour and spotted these two bucks together -- and we had just one gun. I shot mine and the other buck starts trying to pick a fight with my dead deer lying on the ground!
Anyway, we head over to see what I had shot and there is the other one, still hanging around, so I hand the rifle to Justin and he shoots his. We had two big bucks and we were back home by about 9 a.m.
Not a bad day, for opening day.
Today was Veterans' Day. It was a holiday for me, but not for Nancy, so I drove to Yucaipa to meet Anne's husband, Julian, for a round of golf. They were treating me from my birthday.
To my surprise, the golf course allowed Aiden (5 years) and Austin (3 years) to ride in the golf carts. We had a great day! I asked the gentleman playing with us to take a picture. As hard as I tried, I couldn't convince him to come closer. (So we cropped it for you, Dan. --Photo Ed.)
UPDATE -- keeping everyone up to date on cat doings
Last week, we read in the Anchorage Daily News that a cat with spots like a leopard had been seen prowling around Anchorage. The news story suggested that it looked like a smaller African cat called a serval. Miss Jerrianne wasn't buying it. She thought someone's pet savannah cat might have gotten loose and was trying to make a living the hard way -- especially hard for a short-haired cat with Anchorage's recent below freezing temperatures round-the-clock.
Sure enough, the next day we learned the savannah cat's name was Simon. According to a second news story, he had escaped on Mother's Day, but now his prowling days were done. An enterprising Alaskan had approached the freezing feline, who was stalking mice in the grass, with a helper and a dip net. Pretty soon, Simon was back in custody, returned to his original owner, and devouring chicken wings indoors.
Mostly, Alaskans use dip nets to catch fish for food, but we recently had a story about a neighbor using a dip net to catch a porcupine and now another neighbor has bagged a very cold, hungry cat!
We also got a letter with grandkitties news from Kyra this week and more pictures from Ken.
It started a few weeks ago when someone mentioned that Oreo is the fourth most popular cat name these days. Ken checked it out on-line and found a different source. Oreo wasn't #4 on that list, but still scored quite high, while Cheerio and Tabasco were nowhere to be found.
Oreo was adjusting to this news tolerably well when another cat started hanging around the house. I'd seen him in the neighborhood a few times before and he always gave me a start because he looks a lot like Oreo. Apparently the two of them did not find the similarities comforting either. There was a lot of staring and growling and even a bit of hissing. Cheerio and Tabasco watched, looking more than a bit puzzled.
Faux Oreo comes by fairly regularly now, mostly in the morning. One day Oreo was rattled enough not to notice that I'd laid out breakfast. This was going too far! They only get one chance to eat in the morning, because Cheerio is all about breakfast! I chased away the double so things could get back to normal. (It occurred to me later that Oreo may think the newcomer's name is Foe Oreo.)
I haven't told him about Krista's Oreo yet, but I expect he will take it just fine. She seems to adore her Oreo and looks like she'll take great care of him (or is it her?). As long as they don't stop by unexpectedly at breakfast, all is well.
I took a couple of pictures of Faux Oreo (or is it Hydrox?) on my cell phone. These were definitely not up to Ken's standards and needed a lot of work. I cleaned the window yesterday, but the nose prints accumulate very quickly. Ken got a much better picture of the cat in question after I cleaned the window. Yay! - kyra
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?
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.
My guess for The Bulletin is Grandma Mellon and Dorothy Dake. Taken in 1926.
Editor's comment: A great guess. I really think it is Grandma Mellon holding Blanche Dake. We moved to the home farm (that is the house in the picture) when I was about 3 years old. I think our Mellon grandparents were living there at the time that picture was taken. (I do believe Grandma had her apron on ... and if she had a visitor, she wouldn't have had it on.) Also, though I had not seen this photo before, I have seen baby pictures for all of us and that one does look like Blanche ... so the time would probably have been in the early summer of 1922. Just remember, as to the baby, that is just a guess for me, but that is indeed my Grandma Mellon and it is the house on our home farm. --DMA
I know I wasn't even thought about yet when this picture of our Grandma Angie Mellon was taken. As for the baby, I know it is one of my siblings, more than likely our older brother Billy but I am not 100% sure.
Is the picture my daddy [Billie Dake] with his grandma [Angie Mellon]?
I think I have that picture in some photos I had put together of Daddy (back when I was in high school). I think at that time Mom told me who it was, just couldn't remember which Grandma was holding him. It is fun to see the old pictures... I have most all of Mom and Daddy's pictures, since she lived with us for that year; I had her label most of them when she first moved in with us. Glad I did that as we would be unsure of some of them. Look forward to the day that I can sit down and really look at them and enjoy them.
Patricia Dake Meyer
Editor's comment: This note from Patricia makes it pretty certain that the infant was my brother Billie. --DMA
I am guessing that the grand lady in the photo is none other than my great-grandmother Angie Mellon. As to the identity of the child, while I was hoping it was my brother Tom (for the purpose of forever ridiculing him), I am sorry to say I don't know who it is.
I keep looking and staring and examining the GUESS picture, but I still don't even have a clue. I think I will guess it is Amy and Dorothy. OK, go ahead and laugh at me. It was just a wild guess.
Betty Weiland Droel
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.
I remember my dad telling a story about deer hunting. It was before he was married and the old gang from the Brainerd area was there plus his Uncle Jim. They were hunting north, just before the county line on what they called the firebreak, and that was about three-quarters of a mile north of our place. It was in Itasca County and about three-quarters of a mile north to the Koochiching County line, which ran east and west right there.
Some years before that, when he first came to that country, my dad helped cut out what they called the firebreak. They just cut a strip as wide as a logging road probably. It went several miles east from Craigville back of our place. Well anyway, they were down in there somewhere hunting. They were breast hunting, walking one beside the other pretty close together, because somebody was sure there were some bucks in there. They were going to be close enough together so that the deer couldn't pass them by. They would have to chase them in front of them.
Somebody was standing on the other end a ways somewhere down there. I remember him saying that he kind of partly turned around and was looking sideways and back just a little bit, and here he saw this buck with a large rack of horns. It was just like he was on his knees going through the brush. It was kind of open there and the brush wasn't very high and he had to get down low to sneak. And he said that that deer looked to him like he was just crawling. They're very limber so he probably was just crouching. Naturally he wouldn't crawl on his knees, but it was just amazing how he could get down.
He had his head way down and going quite fast. He could just see him once in a while. I don't believe he even shot at him. But you know, I've heard him tell that story many times and it just amazed him that that deer could get down so low. He could just imagine crawling in that brush like that.
DEER JUMPING FUNNY
Here's another deer story. We were going up there to Effie after I was married for deer hunting. I think Evelyn and Harlan were along. This was towards evening. About four miles from home there was an alfalfa field on the left side of the road. A nice big buck with a good size rack jumped across the road and ran across this alfalfa field. The alfalfa field wasn't so wide right there, but it was kind of long, alongside the road.
He'd take a high jump, and he'd take a low jump, he'd jump sideways one way, sideways the other way, and then he'd jump almost straight ahead, and then he'd jump way high, way up in the air, down he'd come again, all the way across that field. That's the only time I've ever seen that in my life. I remember my dad and all those old time hunters tell about how smart these bucks were and I just couldn't see how a buck would be so much smarter than a doe. I don't know if they're any smarter, but the doe has a different nature or something.
That buck was just doing that just like he'd been taught. I never saw anything like it. Certainly he hadn't been shot at enough times so that he'd learned to try to dodge the bullets. I don't know why he was doing that.
Climbing Mount Meru
We have oatmeal and tea at 1:30 a.m. and shortly after that we are on the trail to the top, with headlamps lighting the way before us. The guide continues to walk very slowly, which allows us to have energy as we get higher up.
After a few hours, a glow appears over Mount Kilimanjaro from the approaching sunrise, with the mountain rising majestically above that. I see what appears to be a summit not too far ahead. I am hoping the end of the climb is near. My energy level isn't what it was five hours ago. However, this turns out to be one of about three false summits.
Finally, about an hour later, we reach a summit with no further summits beyond it and a flag on top. We have reached the top of Mount Meru, elevation about 15,000 feet! There are wonderful views back toward Mount Kilimanjaro as the sun rises alongside of it. The top is once again well above the scattered clouds. There are good views of the surrounding countryside about 11,000 feet below us. The early morning sun casts a giant shadow of Mount Meru off to the north. There is quite a view down into the crater of Meru and also a cone inside the crater, which is quite large.
Our descent over the next 1-1/2 days is uneventful and we head back to Arusha to rest up for the next part of our adventure. We have enjoyed the hike and the scenery but have especially enjoyed this opportunity to get to know some of these local African people. They have been extremely kind, polite, and respectful at all times. We realize this is not just for us but is part of their nature and culture and we really admire that.
To be continued...
$ A Long Time Ago !
Appalachian Trail Trek: Aftermath 1973
After our stay at the Ashby farm, we headed for Colorado Springs to visit Mic's father (Kyra's other grandfather) and Pikes Peak. Then it was back to Phoenix to see the orthodontist about braces and shop for the promised 10-speed bicycle that was Kyra's 11th birthday present. We couldn't find a purple bike, her heart's desire, but she decided a shiny yellow 10-speed would do just fine.
Even before we found a place to settle in, Kyra returned to school after a four-month absence. She had worked ahead and finished 6th grade the previous winter, before we embarked on the trip. Now she enrolled in 7th grade, a couple of months late. After eight months of living with adults and doing grown up things, she didn't necessarily relish going back to being a kid.
Our return to Phoenix only lasted a year, and then we moved to Alaska. (My brother Richard wrote about that in a 5-part Bulletin series, North to Alaska, a few years ago.) Kyra attended five different schools that year but weathered her middle school disruptions without negative long-term academic consequences. Mic wrote the story of our trek in Walking North.
"We returned to Phoenix as planned but left there a year later for Alaska. Jerri and I have traveled the whole state since then, as part of and vacation from our respective trades of photo-journalism and computer systems analysis. We've added the Arctic, the parks and forests, the outlying islands and villages, and every mile of every road to our record of places seen, along with such exotic finds as snowy owls, lynx, arctic fox, and pink-spotted lady slippers. While some of that might make good reading, the real story is Kyra's.
"Kyra finished grade school and high school in Alaska, then attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the Architecture school there, then received a two-year research assistantship to M.I.T. She earned a Master's degree in Visual Studies (computer graphics) there in 1985....
"Kyra grew more confident and comfortable in the woods on her AT hike, she says, and more self-reliant, but she tells of her most lasting lesson this way:
"'I remember watching you and mom make decisions, working with available data, considering options, deciding what to do on the fly. Children don't often see their parents making family decisions; I did and even got to take part. The most valuable lesson for me was learning the willingness to go on when you don't have all the information -- learning to look at a situation, take your best guess, and go for it.
"'The outcome of our hike was committed to those decisions. You made them and stuck with them. You were ready for opportunity when it came along and took it, saying 'Let's see what happens.'" --from the Epilogue of Walking North, by Mic Lowther.
This and That
What is Veterans Day? Is it a holiday to get off from work, or to get out of school, or to go hunting?
In Wahpeton, North Dakota, more than 1,250 students, grades 5 through 12, observed the real meaning of the day as they filled the bleachers for a special program at the high school gymnasium. The public was also invited and special invitations were sent to family members of Wahpeton High School servicemen killed in war. Chairs on the gym floor were filled with veterans, families, and friends of the community who came to the special program of long time planning. Several TV channels from Fargo filmed the historic program.
After the pledge to the flag and the national anthem, Superintendent of Schools Mike Connell introduced the reason for today's observance. He has planned several years for this memorial for the students to to be aware of the cost of freedom given by our service people and to learn how many of those servicemen who gave their lives graduated from Wahpeton High School.
He gave examples of other countries and some of the freedoms they don't have that we take for granted. He stressed to the students that these freedoms are not cheap; they cannot be bought with cash, credit cards, found on sale, or available at Wal-Mart, but are paid for in blood, sweat and sacrifice. A number of servicemen were present and Superintendent Connell called for those to stand who served in each branch of service and again for those to stand who served in each war.
A special skit, "From The Other Side," was given by the Ashby American Legion Post. Behind a wall of names of co-servicemen (depicting the Vietnam Wall) stood a serviceman, who watches and listens as people come walking by ... fellow servicemen, family members, and friends looking for their loved one's name on the wall. Some stay a short time, some stay for hours. Soon, he sees his wife, then his mother and also his son, now grown and in uniform. He tells them to not forget, to carry on with their lives, but continue to remember. The highest honor is remembering.
A roll of those who graduated from Wahpeton High School and died in war was then read by student council members, along with a short biography, while a picture of each one was displayed on a large screen.
The permanent Veterans Memorial Wall was then unveiled. Various organizations donated for this display, placed in the Wahpeton High School hall. The Choir concluded with singing "Proud To Be An American." Coffee and cookies followed in the cafeteria.
I was so impressed by the quietness and respect shown by this number of students and it was touching to see many people with tears. It was a day of remembrance and a time for reflecting on the good things we have in life, thanks to our Veterans.
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More November Birthdays
More November Anniversaries
November Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
We have been bemoaning the fact that Hunter Holman must be growing up without us keeping track. He hasn't been in The Bulletin for a long time.
I was going through an album of Steve and Marci Weiland's and ran across this quite recent picture. I just knew this was one that could merit a place in The Bulletin.
Can you imagine how humiliated (or overjoyed) he must have been to walk the baby, who was probably crying and needing attention? His dark glasses don't disguise him, though. Anyone can tell that is Hunter Holman.
Betty and Roy 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?
Thanks to The Bulletin for another great read! Nice to see that the McCorkells got to be together.
Someone once wrote a letter..."Please forgive my long delay in writing. It's just that nothing big has happened to make me write, and so many little things keep happening to prevent it."
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
That first picture made me draw in my breath in a gasp! I have been in beautiful Coeur D'Alene, and have seen that most magnificent sight. The Fall trees in all their array of golds and greens and reds. It was a vision you felt so sacred you couldn't even speak as you observed that view of the river. And so, the migrating ducks on the Coeur D'Alene river was very meaningful to me. Thank you for somehow choosing that as a first picture. Tim caught it at just the right time, with the Fall colors peeking out here and there. A perfect, silent water made the reflection; if the ducks hadn't been there, you'd wonder if it was upside down or right side up.
Oh my! Lady Liberty. What a picture! I will have to show that to one of my best friends, who checks in airline passengers at the airport. Too bad it's only like at Hallowe'en that a person shows such loyalty to our Lady Liberty.
I saw Bitzi, but she didn't mention about the problems with getting off on their trip. Like catching her skirt in the door. What a dilemma! I had to read it in The Bulletin! I had to laugh at Larry preferring a book to the running around the girls were doing. What a beautiful view! Such kind friends to share their home for Suzanne's visitors, but then being the mom and dad was special.
Fun that Lori took that good picture of the pumpkin balloon. Makes you smile back at it. I don't blame them for not riding, just looking. How did you ever get just right to hold up that huge balloon, you two?
How darling! Little Bunny Foo-Foo. She was much cuter than anyone who rang our doorbell that night. Our neighbors seem to be growing out of the tricks or treats stage so we had lots of Hershey bars left over. Roy didn't mind, and even yet we have some left if you come by someday.
Krista Weiland adores that Oreo cat. Orange eyes and all. It really belongs to a friend, but any animal Krista sees she claims at the time. I hope she does follow her vet line of work. She just loves animals.
It was actually touching to see Amy Printz with her "hay doll." It doesn't take much to trigger the mother instinct when there is a doll involved.
WOW, Donna Mae and Beaver must have about cleaned out the Red Chair Antiques, by the looks of what was delivered to their home from there. We couldn't resist visiting there ourselves, but it was full so they must have restocked. I fell in love with some collectables, but did resist.
The hunters in the HUNTING story by Bruce McCorkell would have been hunting for food rather than for sport. Can you imagine all those men together for 14 days? The food, the stories, the fun. By the looks of the snow and the water pump outside, it wasn't like these days of a hunting trip in a warm cabin and grilled steaks and adventure.
The Travelogue with the account of climbing Mt. Meru left me feeling very much like a pansy compared to those two hardy hikers. What a heartwarming experience to have been with dad and with daughter for that priority time. I don't even want to THINK about 5,000 steps.
I almost gave an audible announcement, "That's Donald Johnson," as I read on into the Appalachian Trail trek final chapters of the Aftermath. But then Roy wouldn't have even known who I was talking about. He had never heard the gruff voice exclaiming about Twila's wonderfully delicious "grout." Some sort of thickened milk you put butter and jam or jelly on. It became our favorite, even when you counted the calories. Quite a contrast for Mic to end up in the cranberry bog after all the trail he had just finished. He was a good sport.
It would have taken a lot of trust to follow the orders to "go check out the cranberry marsh." I can't imagine you ever going against the warnings you had ingrained. Glad it all turned out OK for you all. In that photo of the cranberries in the moss, what kind of patience would you need to pick one berry here and one berry there? I see Mic had a cup, whereas Donald has a bucket.
The Miss Hetty letters are always a highlight of The Bulletin. So many things "from soup to nuts," condensed down to a couple of paragraphs. BUT, Argyle and Kathlyn did not divulge their e-mail or snail mail address, and I was hoping to let them know we welcome them to Minnesota. I sent an e-mail to the Alaska address and it was returned. Of course it would not be wise to put all that information onto the Internet. [Anyone who wants the contact information can get it from Dorothy or Jerrianne. --Ed.]
The CHUCKLES was pretty cute with the horse and cow barrels. There are so many "cousins" there's always someone to play with.
The Quotation for the day might be at the very end, but it is never missed or overlooked. We would like to change the world, but we forget that if each one changed themselves the world would be changed, and surely for the better. A good thought to ponder.
Thank you again, you who have worked so untiringly to make yet another Bulletin yet another keeper. We wait so anxiously for Saturday morning, and then all too soon it's over and we begin the excitement all over again. I have tried to send in a thing or two in case you get short on updates and gossip, but just put it in the "evergreen" if you don't need it now. Hopefully, your stash to draw from is overflowing by others submitting things, too.
Betty, and Roy, too
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: Never allow a crisis to go to waste. They are opportunities to do big things. --Rahm Emmanuel
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.