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Sunday, January 11, 2009
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Photo © Sarah Steinhauer
Red Viburnum "highbush cranberries" in snow.

Updates -

UPDATE -- a memory of our grandmother
by Angela Stahlecker Roberson
Hico, TX

Lois Dake will be fondly remembered for her excellent pies and pound cakes, for her hearty laughter, for her ability to make anyone feel welcome in her home, for her call of "yoo-hoo" when she announced her arrival at your house to visit, and for her absolute faithfulness to her family and to her faith.

Photo © Earl Stahlecker
After Lois Dake's funeral on December 31, 2008, a luncheon provided for the family was attended by many of Lois's grandchildren & great-grandchildren. Pictured, front table: Sully Brown, Trenton, Tracer & Trevor Roberson, Clarise Mendez, Hannah Meyer; next table, left: Cody Meyer, Trinidy Roberson; next table, right: Jacob Dake, Ezekiel, Dawn Dake, Andrea Mendez, Devin Stewart.

Photos © Angela Roberson
Lelan Elaine Brown
Born 7:38 p.m., January 8, 2009,
8 lbs. 12 oz. and 21 in. long,
to parents Adriana and Michael Brown of Granbury, Texas.

(She is SOOOO cute! ... but I am biased ... as her auntie!)

Angela Stahlecker Roberson
Hico, TX

Photos © Donna Johnson
Kierra Elizabeth Ostendorf, born at 8:32 a.m. January 6, 2009; 8 lbs. 1 oz., 21 inches long. Lori and Shawn are both doing great, along with their new daughter!

Miss Kierra Elizabeth Ostendorf has made her appearance! Becky, Caity, Jayce and myself headed off at noon today to go and meet her. I'm so excited! Shawn said she may have a slight red tint to her hair; I suppose with [hospital] lighting it's hard to tell for sure.

Grandma Donna Johnson
Ashby, MN

Photos © Lori Ostendorf
Kierra Ostendorf's new baby room is complete!

Photos © Lori Ostendorf
McKenna Ostendorf's room. She's the "big sister" now!

Photo © Dan Mellon
Austin & Julian Montford; Julie, Sam, & Nancy Mellon; Leonard & Lora Nichols (Nancy's parents); & Anne & Aiden Montford.

UPDATE -- Mellon family spends Christmas at home
by Cousin Dan Mellon
Alta Loma, CA

Thought I'd drop a note and a picture about our Christmas holiday. No travelers in our immediate family this year. All of our kids were home. It was fairly calm ... well, as calm as possible when our grandsons are around.

We spent Christmas Eve at my sister Colleen's house in Rialto. Tom was there and I've attached pictures of them both. Christmas Day was at our house. Pictured are Austin and Julian Montford; Julie, Sam, and Nancy Mellon; Leonard and Lora Nichols (Nancy's parents); and Anne and Aiden Montford.

My condolences to all of your family over the loss of Lois Dake. I remember my dad talking about being in their wedding. Mom and Dad were married in Pampa, Texas, in 1944. I'm guessing there were a lot of six-person weddings in those days.

I've had more days off than I have known what to do with over the last two weeks, but it's back to the grindstone tomorrow. I've played a lot of really awful golf (I'm not complaining -- I didn't have to hit a single shot out of a snow drift!) and watched a lot of football. Nancy got less time off than I, so my primary responsibility was to not destroy the house in her absence. I hope you and Don are doing well, and my best wishes for a healthy 2009!

Photos © Dan Mellon
Tom Mellon, left; Colleen Mellon Scott, right.

Photo © Mavis Morgan
Tom & Mavis Morgan enjoy a delicious Sunday brunch put on by Tim & Char Myron.

UPDATE -- the Morgans entertain visitors in Florida
by Mavis Anderson Morgan
Estero, FL

The Freesemanns from Minnesota and the Myrons from North Dakota were recent visitors at the home of Tom and Mavis Morgan here in Florida.

We enjoyed a lovely Sunday lunch with the Myrons, who were staying in Grandpa Bob's condo, and the Freesemanns. One highlight was a big box of CRACKERS sent to all of us from the relatives in Ireland. The way they worked was that two people sitting across from one another would quickly pull the two ends of the CRACKER. As it broke open, it would make a somewhat loud crack and inside would be a toy and a hat. They were new to us, but later we found them at T.J.Maxx.

Photo © Mavis Morgan
Around the table: Zach Myron, Jett Freesemann, Marlee & Troy Freesemann, Tom Morgan, Char & Tim Myron, Angel & Alyssa Freeseman & Ty Myron in front.

Photos © Marci Weiland
Krista Weiland opening birthday gifts, left; enjoying birthday dinner, right.

UPDATE -- Krista Weiland turns 9 years old
by Great Aunt Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

At last, January 5, 2009, arrived. The anticipated date for my great niece Krista Rae Weiland, because that was when she would turn 9 years old.

Rich and Verlaine, the grandpa and grandma, invited us over for a special birthday supper of prime rib roast with all the trimmings, and an angel food cake, typical of their "angelic granddaughter" (smile).

It didn't take long to open the mountain of gifts, and being they had just gotten home from Arizona and to bed at 1:30 the morning before, they were all very tired. It was beginning to snow, so we cut it short and all went home.

Photo © Marci Weiland
Krista opens special gift as Mom (Marci) & sister Shalana look on.

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

Who Is This?

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

(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn. LeRoy Dake supplied last week's mystery photo.

How many can you identify?

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

Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type ... generally in the order we receive them, so the first guess received is on top.

This is not a guess ... but that is Mother (Lois Gandy Dake) and my sister (Kathleen Dake Stahlecker) in the mystery picture. It was taken at our home on the farm at Valley Mills, Texas.

We'll look forward to reading your memories about our mother and dad.

Carol Dake Printz
Sidney, NE

That looks like a picture of Grandma (Lois) Dake. I'm not sure who the baby is ... I'm guessing it's Aunt Carol.

Adriana Stahlecker Brown
Granbury, TX

That picture is of the young Mrs. Bill Dake, Lois, and the first Dake grandchild Carol (who got to run back and forth on top of Grandpa and Grandma Dake's table to whomever was sitting around it).

Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

As I was looking and studying the features to see family resemblances, I wondered if the GUESS picture might be Lois with her oldest boy, William Stanley Dake. I thought I could see William in that baby's face. Oh, please don't tell me I am all wrong again, but likely I am. The GUESS pictures are so interesting, and fun to try to figure out, even if I don't seem to guess right.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Memory Lane

Lois Gandy Dake

A bit of background for a new series of recollections, beginning in the winter of 1945-1946, just after my brother Billy Dake, who was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942, and my brother-in-law Jim Miller, who also served, came home from Europe at the end of World War II. Billy and Lois had married in 1943 in Abilene, Texas, shortly before he was shipped overseas. Jim and my sister Blanche were married December 15, 1945, at our home, and took their honeymoon trip to Texas by train. The links will take you to related stories told in previous editions of The Bulletin.

Billy, after being discharged in November of 1945, had gone straight to Texas. Billy and Lois, who gave up her job as a bookkeeper receptionist at a Cadillac dealership and garage, then made plans to move to Minnesota.

On Christmas weekend, the two couples came home from Texas together by bus, to stay the rest of the winter at our house. They all moved in with my parents and my younger brother and sister, LeRoy and Gert. I rented a room over by my school and came home every weekend.

Before he was inducted into the Army, Billy had worked for Fritz Main at the Allis Chalmers dealership in Howard Lake, but his old job as parts man had been filled. Rather than work there as a mechanic, he interviewed with a friend of Grandpa Mellon's who had a Cadillac-Chevrolet dealership in Cokato. Billy was hired immediately as their parts man; he was very pleased to work for Ernie Metcalf and glad to have a job he enjoyed.

Billy & Jim in England during World War II, left; Dick, Jim, Blanche & Dorothy at Jim & Blanche's wedding, December 15, 1945, right.

Home At Last! Winter 1945-1946
by Dorothy Dake
Howard Lake, MN

The winter of 1945-1946 has been long and eventful. Fun, for the most part -- but frustrating, too. I doubt there will ever be another one quite like it for our family.

To think the war is finally over! All of the boys that I used to write to are home -- everyone safe and sound -- busy with the job of fitting back into civilian life.

And what a winter to introduce our own special war bride to her new home state. Snow! Wow for snow ... and plenty cold, too! But so far no complaint from anyone, as we are all so glad to be together. It is so nice that, though Lois teases us about our weather, she takes it all in stride.

I am sure that when Billy and Jim came home from overseas they would have liked to take their brides and move them into their own homes. But that has had to wait, for the present. There is not a single place to rent or buy within driving distance. And I guess there are no materials available to build, if they did find a spot to put a house on! We all fit in here at home -- it's tight but we try hard to keep it going smoothly (and mostly we succeed).

I miss out on the fuss and confusion during the week as I am rooming near the school where I am teaching this first year. (I am thinking it may be a short career -- this teaching bit -- as I am not truly enjoying it a lot; however, that is another story.)

Dorothy Dake age 19, summer of 1945. I had just signed my contract to teach at North Howard for the year 1945-1946 ... at $145 dollars a month. There would be seven students in grades 2-6 in a nice, modern school.

At home, you would think it might be chaos, what with three families all stirring around. I can just picture LeRoy and Gert getting ready to head off for school, Billy and Jim getting ready to head out -- Billy to his new job and Jim to take Blanche to her teaching job. He is spending his time searching for an opportunity to establish them somewhere.

Mom and Lois hold down the fort during the day. Dad has a lot of work keeping the farm chores done. Winter is always a struggle for a farmer and when there is this much snow, it is really a cold, wet business!

They tell me it goes pretty smoothly. The women all work together to keep up the house. Gert and LeRoy do a lot to help Dad with the outside work ... and the guys keep the snow shoveling done after they get home from their daytime activity. And then comes weekends and we have lots of fun.

Gert shovels a path to the chicken coop.

We have introduced Lois to all kinds of Minnesota winter fun. She is the BEST sport. We tease her, to hear her laugh, and it is so fun to listen to her southern way of saying things. We have been showing her all kinds of ways to get cold and shivery so we can have the fun of warming up by the fire, drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows floating on it -- that is, if you can find the marshmallows. (It helps that Grandpa Mellon has a grocery store!)

Lois shares my ice skates. We take turns using them and they really don't fit either of us very well. Bill is trying to find a pair for her. But in the meantime, we use the skates that are the best I could find when I first took up skating. We have had tons of snow which means LOTS of work to get a rink ready. We decided it was easiest to all crowd into one or two of our available cars and go skating on the town rink (sometimes in Howard Lake and sometimes in Cokato). They both have warming houses, a great place for changing into skates, or just sitting to chat and warm up. Gets pretty crowded, though!

Sometimes, when the snow is just right, we are going to have to play some games that Blanche and I have been teaching the kids in our schools. Billy would make a great fox, chasing all of us geese around the wheel. I would probably dash for the safe place in the middle when he starts after me ... but somebody would always force me off and then I would become the fox. Oh well, Jim would probably let me catch him so that he can take up the chase! But we haven't gotten that game in yet, as the snow has gotten far too deep.

Last weekend, being we kids own a toboggan together, we decided we shouldn't skate every available night -- really, we needed to go toboganning! That is what we did Saturday afternoon. We tried it out on Libor's hill, out near Waverly. We found that even though the hike up the hill, dragging the toboggan, requires a lot of huffing and puffing, it was worth it to swoop down and glide way out onto the snow covered field. We whooped and hollered and went until everyone was tired and then went one more time!

In the evening, we went home to dry clothes -- then sandwiches, hot cocoa and a night of singing. This time I enticed Lois into playing some of the new music sheets I had bought on one of our trips to the cities. I have been plugging away, note reading it so we could learn it. Now it was Lois's turn -- she is a whizz at the piano -- this playing by ear is great stuff! We made music! I just loved that new hit!

I guess it is good that the winter is about over. When I got home this weekend, my mom told me that Dad told her that if Lois and I sing that song one more time he is going out to live in the cow barn. He is so tired of doing chores in the cold and snow with that song in his head! I guess the winter is just getting too long! But, really, I do think it is a neat song! Guess we will have to be careful and only sing it when he is out choring!

The weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

A real Minnesota winter!

Homesteading Days at Effie, Minnesota, as toldby Bruce McCorkell

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.

Bruce, David, Raymond, Olive, Edna held by Don McCorkell.


One of the things that we don't hear about anymore, the old logging roads that were through that country were never called logging roads, nobody ever called them logging roads, they were always called tote roads. A logging road is a relatively new term I guess.

Most of those logging camps had a main logging camp. They were there for more than one year, sometimes several years. They were kind of a main camp and they might have had some smaller ones off here and there. They were maintained year around and sometimes they even had some pigs and some stock and they needed supplies continually, because they had a lot of men.

In the wintertime, these fellows had a sleigh and a team and in the summer time when it was fit, they usually corduroyed the roads so they could get through most of the places. These were called tote roads. They called it toting. When they brought supplies in, they called it toting. I used to hear them refer to, "So and so went out with the tote team this morning."

Sometimes a visitor would come and the boss usually had a horse and a sled of his own that he came with. I don't know what he did in the summertime. It was called a tote. The guy was toting and bringing in supplies on tote roads with a tote team.

When they first moved out there, there wasn't any road that you could drive on with an automobile in those days, in fact, there weren't many automobiles, actually. There was just a wintertime road, because in the summer time there were little swampy areas that were hard to go through. It wasn't a road either, actually. It was just a tote road that came from the South Bustie Road, Highway 1 now, by Patrow's and came out on our present road just about a half a mile down from the old homestead.

My dad and my Uncle Robert and I suppose Uncle Walt and all the rest of the homesteaders along the North Bustie Road each had a certain distance of road, a mile or two or whatever it was. That was before he was married even, before he went to the World War. The county furnished dynamite and paid each one of the settlers along there to cut and burn and blow the stumps. They cut and burned the trees and the brush and blew out the stumps and got it ready. That's the way they got their road, the seven miles out to what's Highway 38 now. That would be straight west of our place.

Travelogue t

Photo © Sheldon Swenson
Kjirsten & Mitzi shop in the open air market in Arusha.

Meanwhile, Back In Arusha...
by Mitzi Swenson
Dickinson, ND

I feel like I have stepped into the pages of a National Geographic magazine as soon as I exit the Kilimanjaro airport. It's dark outside and I'm grateful that a driver from Good Earth Tours has met me to bring me to Arusha where I'll meet up with Sheldon and Kjirsten.

It is soon evident that electricity is not wasted on street lights in Tanzania, and as we drive the left side of the road I can see lots of people walking on the shoulder and in the road ditch. I'm amazed the people can see where they're going and I wonder if they ever get hit by vehicles.

Later in our trip we will learn, from an American woman who volunteered in a hospital, that 25% of the patients were victims of car accidents. Most people can't afford to have their bones set so they just get a sling, and there were four people to a bed.

In less than an hour we arrive at Hotel Jacaranda where Sheldon is using the very slow Internet connection and Kjirsten is drinking tea in the restaurant.

We have one day to spend in Arusha before leaving on our safari so we arrange for a cultural tour of a village seven miles away. A taxi transported us up a very rough road where a young man who spoke excellent English told us about village life as we spent a couple of hours walking around. He showed us how crops are planted and harvested and we see a typical home. We are amazed at the very primitive living conditions and the strength of the people as they carry heavy loads on their heads and shoulders.

The village is very proud of their school, and by giving these tours has been able to raise enough money to add a building and teacher every year, so that in three more years they will have a complete grade 1-12 school system. They believe that education is a key to future prosperity. Families only have a small plot of land and cannot acquire more, so adult children need to move to town to find work, which requires education. Their native language is Swahili and English is taught in school.

We met the village chief who greeted us warmly, told us about improvements the village is working on, and asked for a donation for their school. Click here for a web gallery on the tour. Some photos also appeared in Sheldon's account in Bulletin #336.

Next: African Safari...

Photo © Weston Johnson
Gophers fans stream into Sun Devil stadium for the Insight Bowl in Tempe.

Where In The World Is Weston? S
Bowling For Gophers
by Weston Johnson
Maple Grove, MN

This past fall, as the University of Minnesota football program jumped out to an unexpectedly fast start, it appeared likely that the team would be invited to participate in a bowl game. For those of you who may not follow college football, any major college football team that finishes the regular season with a winning record is eligible to play in one of several post-season bowl games held over a three-week period around the holidays. The better a team's record, the better its chance to be invited to a more prestigious bowl, many of which are held in warm-weather tourist destinations.

As the wins kept piling up, the Gophers' fan base (myself included) hoped the team could land an attractive bowl invitation to play in a southern city -- perhaps Orlando or Tampa or San Antonio or Tempe or, dare I say, Pasadena, the home of the Rose Bowl. Ah yes, the Rose Bowl, the Granddaddy of Them All, the most prestigious and historic of all the bowl games. The Rose Bowl annually hosts the Big Ten Conference football champion, which is why the Gophers have not been invited to appear there since the 1961 season.

With a prime bowl invitation seeming to be a foregone conclusion, Joanna and I discussed the possibility of following the Gophers to their bowl destination. I had not been to a bowl since my epic road trip to the Sun Bowl in El Paso in 1999, my last season as a U of M student. Joanna had never been to a bowl game, despite being raised in a family of Gopher fans, attending the U herself, and owning her own football season tickets. Both of us were excited about the prospect of escaping the Minnesota winter and watching another Gophers football game, so we decided that we would go to the Gophers' bowl game (wherever it may be).

About the time we made our pact, the Gophers began a losing streak that gradually devolved the season from "promising" to "disappointing." It soon became clear that the Rose Bowl field would not have to worry about Gopher mounds for yet another year. In fact, the Gophers were losing games at such a frightening pace that it appeared they may be relegated to the Motor City Bowl, a game that is annually played in front of a sparse crowd in an indoor stadium. In Detroit. Not the sunny winter escape we were envisioning!

Suddenly, Joanna and I were adding a qualifier to our previous agreement: we would follow the Gophers to their bowl game ... unless said bowl game took place in the Motor City. I have nothing against Detroit, but I was not about to pay money to fly there in December.

At that point, all we could do was sit back and wait for the end of the regular season to play out, after which the bowl invitations would be announced. After the Gophers were trounced by Iowa in the season finale, Detroit still seemed likely, although Tempe and Orlando were also discussed as possibilities. As luck would have it, the Gophers scored an invitation to the Insight Bowl in Tempe, where the team would play the Kansas Jayhawks on New Year's Eve. With Detroit out of the picture, Joanna and I booked our flights to Phoenix!

We decided to make a rather quick trip, flying down on the morning of December 30th and returning on the afternoon of January 1st. After an unusually cold and snowy December (even for Minnesota) we wished we would have booked a longer vacation, but we looked forward to our temporary escape nonetheless.

By the time we left for the airport at 7:00 on the morning of the 30th, snow had begun to fall once again. If conditions had gotten bad enough to force a cancellation of our flight, I was fully prepared to start driving south. Fortunately, it didn't come to that. Our flight touched off more-or-less on time, beating the worst of the snowstorm, and the sub-zero temperatures that followed.

The miserable weather back home was quickly forgotten when we stepped off the plane and into the 70-degree sunshine in Phoenix. After catching a shuttle to the hotel and getting checked in, we found our way to the light rail station a couple of blocks away. The first spur of Phoenix's new transit system had opened just days before, and was offering free rides to attract riders to the system. The train took us to a stop near Sun Devil Stadium, the home of the Arizona State University football team and the site of the Insight Bowl.

From the train stop, we walked to the Mission Palms Hotel, which was hosting the 'Sota Social, a gathering for the Minnesota fans who had made their way to Tempe for the game. We enjoyed free appetizers and beverages in the hotel's courtyard, then watched a program that included rousing speeches by the University's athletic director, head football coach and radio broadcast team.

After the social, we checked out the many boutique stores on Mill Street, a popular shopping district near the ASU campus. We ate dinner at a restaurant that happened to be showing the University of Kansas's basketball game. It was fun to talk to some of the Kansas fans who were in town for the football game, even though we would be enemies the next day!

On New Year's Eve, a full day of activity was planned for Minnesota fans. The Gophers basketball team played its first conference game of the season back in Minnesota at 10 a.m. Mountain Time. The University's Alumni Association rented out a restaurant on Mill Street and hosted a viewing party so the loyal Gophers fans who had traveled to Tempe would not have to miss the basketball game. It was impressive to see an entire restaurant and bar (including the outdoor patio) completely packed with Gopher fans in maroon and gold attire.

The next scheduled event was a tailgate party held on a parking lot next to the Mission Palms. While no actual tailgates were present (or even cars for that matter), a traditional tailgating menu of burgers and brats was served. The event also included appearances by Gophers broadcasters and University dignitaries, including Goldy Gopher, who somehow made the trip from the basketball game in Minneapolis all the way to Tempe in a couple of short hours.

As game time approached, Joanna and I headed to the stadium, arriving early to take pictures and watch the players go through their warm-up drills. The pre-game festivities included a precision parachute team, whose members delivered flags representing both universities and the United States, with each executing a perfect running landing on the field.

Photos © Weston Johnson
Joanna & Weston at the game, left; a member of the precision parachute team delivers a University of Minnesota flag to the field, right.

Just before the game started, one of my co-workers and her friends arrived, occupying the seats directly in front of Joanna and me. I knew my co-worker was going to be at the game, but thought it was funny that her seats were located so close to ours. While I was pondering that coincidence, a young couple took the seats immediately to my right. I didn't really pay any attention until I heard my new neighbor.

"Wes?" he asked.

I looked over and realized it was my former co-worker Joe, who I hadn't seen or spoken to since he left the company to move to San Diego about four years ago. Out of 49,000 people attending the game, it was pretty amazing that the only other people I knew there were sitting immediately in front of me and next to me.

Similar to the Gophers' season, the game started out promising. After falling behind 7-0, the Gophers scored two touchdowns to take a 14-7 lead. But (stop me if this sounds familiar), the good times didn't last long. By halftime, the Gophers trailed 28-14, and the game was never really competitive after that. But we still had a good time watching the game, and it was fun catching up with Joe.

After the game, we spent the rest of the night at Tempe's New Year's Eve block party, a huge event that encompasses much of Mill Street and the adjacent Tempe Beach Park. Billed as one of the top 10 New Year's events in the country, it featured block after block of live music stages, food and beverage stands and various other entertainment. As midnight approached, we made our way to the area in front of the main concert stage, where rock band Styx was in the middle of a set. The band members led the midnight countdown, which was followed by an impressive fireworks display over Tempe Town Lake. It was a good way to ring in the new year, especially since we were in the great outdoors while our friends back home were cooped up inside to stay out of the cold!

The next morning, we had to catch our flights back to Minnesota. It was hard to leave the fun and sun of Phoenix, although getting bumped up to first class seats made it a little easier to take! While the trip was too short, we had a great time, and we agreed that we should try to travel to the Gophers' bowl game every year. Now we just need to hope the Gophers keep up their end of the bargain by achieving winning seasons every year!

Photo © Weston Johnson
The sun sets on the Insight Bowl & another season of Gophers football.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays
January 11---Brandon Harvey Lehtola (6 years old)
January 13---Russ Riesenberg
January 15---Shea Ashley Birkholz
Happy Birthday!

More January Birthdays
January 3---Brandon Hellevang
January 3---Virginia (Dake) McCorkell
January 4---Harry "Junior" Anderson
January 4---Nathan Hill
January 5---Jayce Michael Chap (10 years old)
January 5---Krista Rae Weiland (9 years old)
January 6---Sean Thomas Cannon (10 years old)
January 6---Kierra Elizabeth Ostendorf (newborn)
January 7---Logan Benjamin Henderson (1 year old)
January 8---Rosanna Miller Dahlinger

January 19---Trevor Jayce Roberson (8 years old)
January 20---Lois Dake
January 22---Timothy Mellon
January 24---Marloes de Been
January 30---Whitney Johnson
January 30---Madilyn Mae Larson (2 years old)
January 31---Larry McCorkell

January Anniversaries
January 24---David "Beaver" and Donna Anderson Johnson (15 years)

January Special Days
January 1---New Year's Day
January 19---Martin Luther King Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Photo © Kurt & Jeni Larson
Madi Larson expresses extreme fan frustration at Vikings loss.

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

I apologize for being too late to be much help. I just got done reading The Bulletin ... and it is all wonderful! You all did a great job with the whole thing.

Angela Stahlecker Roberson
Hico, TX

What a priceless picture! I'm talking about the one of Grandma Amy Mellon (Dake) with her students. Thanks to our Auntie Gert [Dake Pettit] for putting together such an interesting piece on the school from which some of us cousins also graduated. It looks very much changed since we went there, but I guess it has been more than 25 years ago!

Marlene Anderson Johnson
Boise, ID (for now)

Lois Dake has been a strong, independent person all the 34 years that I have known her. It is surprising how quickly her health and her strength left her. She ran out of energy and left this place to be with her "Bill" following a visit from two grandsons from out-of-state, along with several of us, over the Christmas holiday.

We are glad that Eric Printz and Jeremiah Dake were able to see and visit with her. And visits from Carol and James earlier this year were certainly welcome.

Eric was still in the state and was able to handle part of the funeral services. We appreciate all of the cards, flowers, thoughts, and prayers received for Mom. The visitation and funeral were well attended by a lot of friends, neighbors, and relatives.

Earl Stahlecker and the rest!
Gatesville, TX

I can't wait to start reading your stories about Grandma, when she lived in Minnesota. I'm sure they will be very special!

Adriana Stahlecker Brown
Granbury, TX

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

One needs some artistic values to appreciate the first picture. We should drive by that famous deck someday, as we have seen various stages of snow on it for a few years now in The Bulletin. Of course, the red feather will have blown away by then -- or was that a leaf?

I appreciated very much the memorial for Lois Dake, and the story of her beginning in the Dake family. I admired the simplicity and calmness of her memorial picture. It probably was typical of her. I was glad for the family pictures, and to see just where each one fit in what we have been reading in The Bulletin. It was very nice to see pictures of the Printz family, and also the one of the siblings in Lois's family -- sorry James was not there.

Even Roy spent a long time looking at that Thanksgiving dinner table that showed LeRoy and Vonnie. Surely a memorable picture, even if Larry and Virginia McCorkell are missing. When I first glanced at it, I thought it was an older picture (or younger) picture of Florence Miller, and then I realized it was her daughter!

The next picture shows LeRoy at the table alone. That first picture must be about the last one with them both on. Looks like Sherry and Larry can always make room for more at their table. We do miss seeing LeRoy occasionally here, but with our weather he is so fortunate not to be responsible for a home.

OK, you Arizona people! You have to admit that the snow on the evergreen trees is absolutely beautiful. Very nice to have a window between you and that view, sitting by a cozy fireplace. For instance, like the new room at the Johnsons'. I see the evergreen picture was taken by Sarah Steinhauer, likely way up north.

The delays for Rick Anderson's return were filled with suspense. Just so he had a safe flight. That is all that matters, in the long run.

Looks like Levi is turning out to be a great chef. See how he holds the frosting bag? He is following lessons he's had from a sharp mommy.

Gert, how did you ever line up all you have included in The Bulletin with your extremely busy schedule of work and responsibility? The pictures and stories would be so valued by those who remember the school and events. I admired the color coordinated "home of the Lakers" gym.

Oh, Dorothy, we will look forward to your storytelling series with great anticipation. It will be fun to bring them out of the recesses of your memories, and we will enjoy reading them. It will make Lois much more meaningful to those of us who had never met her when we read about this Texas girl.

I loved the title of the section called Memory Lane. Gert, we read every single word of your story with interest. That is a priceless old picture of Miss Amy Mellon in 1918. She must be sitting on the ground. Don't you wonder where any of those children are today?

Homesteading Days continues with memories from Bruce Mc Corkell. Bruce tells the ice story like it just happened yesterday, and those kind of memories will always remain vivid, no matter how old a person gets. It does seem like a lot of hard, cold work, but those old timers knew how to manage with their lack of modern inventions. It is truly amazing to me.

The Travelogue still holds us captive as we read the final chapter of the climb on Mount Kilimanjaro. I almost said it was a once in a lifetime experience, but knowing the Swensons, it might just be one of many. Thank you for taking pictures for us, which helps us to enter into your travels (and hikes) more completely, and to believe it did happen. I was curious as to what all was on that "picnic table," knowing it had all been carried somehow all the way up and all the way down.

Kjirsten's medical school days now will see pretty tame, compared to what she does in her spare time. It crosses my mind as to just how much it would cost to hire all that crew, but being it wasn't mentioned, we are not to know.

It's really fun to get the letters from Ary and Frans from The Netherlands. Everything they tell us is exciting and new as we will never see it ourselves. I'm glad for every picture they include, and I wonder if Frans is thinking that he came all the way from Oosterhout to catch that huge fish in the Florida waters! Wondering just how worth it it had been, but it sounds like they loved every moment of their time in the USA. A good report from them after they got back home. Sounds like they saw the most popular tourist attractions and must have had a great stay at the motels.

I had to smile at all the fishing equipment Koen had picked up, and his catch of fish much bigger than his dad's. Each one have their own memories. Looking at the Web Gallery of Frans and Koen's, I could see they covered a lot of miles and saw the highlights of south Florida. I'm glad they shared all those pictures. I have never been to those places myself. I have a question, though ... are all those dollar-looking bills on that building real? (Yes, of course! --Ed.)

I loved reading the Miss Hetty letters. Even one from Dorothy about her company that afternoon. What a shock to see my brother and Verlaine on that picture with Dorothy! They surprised me as I guess I had missed the fact they were going to Arrowwood, which would naturally mean a stop at the Andersons'. I am glad that worked out. It is such a joy to actually see The Bulletin headquarters and the Editor, herself.

Then the other Letters to the Editors this time. Wyatt talking about his nostalgia, seeing the old pictures of Bennie and little Jerrianne and Kathy. I was glad for the explanation of all the trophies, Gert. I will look at them differently, seeing he won every single one of them himself. Quite a collection for one his age, but then he's that good, for sure.

I was glad Judy Riesenberg finally sent in her LTTE as I know she's wanted to for some time. Then Donna Mae and her comments on the Epcat Center. I noticed, too, those beautiful big windows of Kyra's and Ken's.

The Chuckles was really good for a chuckle this time with Ethan Horne looking like an experienced game player -- especially with his first cousin once removed, Suzanne. But then he's a (kindergarten) graduate so likely has lots of winning ahead.

I could identify with the Quotation for the day, which said the dazzling winter days command our admiration, but never our love. We are having zero and below, and we can't say we love that so much, either. However; we do enjoy the change of seasons that we have here at HOME in Minnesota.

Thanks again to the staff of The Bulletin for each and every part they have played in Bulletin #342. It was another varied and suspense filled production that we found we couldn't lay aside until it was all read. I know when I turn over the last page (being I print it), I really get an empty feeling, and yet we need something for the next Saturday and Bulletin #343.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Donna Johnson
Kierra Ostendorf's birth inspires a big yawn & a much needed nap.

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