(NEW) What the Class of '57 Is Doing Now
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The reunion showed us how good it is to renew high school friendships, to find out about old friends, and to learn a bit about what our classmates are doing now. The Smitty's luncheons show how comfortable these friendships can be, and that it is fun it to remain in contact with classmates and hear their stories. And something else we've discovered is that there are a lot of interesting things that we still don't know about each other. So, to further this camaraderie, we are looking for stories of your trips, of family activities, or about hobbies
Below are several interesting classmate stories of trips, a write-up of a new business venture, hobbies and retirement activities. These are only some examples of what we can include. To kick this off I solicited a story from BJ Bolton who kindly agreed to provide a report on her recent vacation trip. Being the Guinea pig, so to speak, I want to especially thank BJ for her willingness to help. (BJ might say that “solicited” is not the right term for our request -- “arm twisting” would be more like it.)
We hope others will consider sharing stories of hobbies or vacations or every day life in our retirement years. Material may be as short as a paragraph, or as long as several pages. None of us are likely to invent the next Internet or anything really spectacular. And none of us are likely to win a Hemingway award for creative writing. That is not what we are looking for. Rather, there are a lot of interesting things that folks are doing and we want to hear about those in your words (you don't have to be a writer or even write in complete sentences – we are happy to offer editorial assistance). So please think of a recent activity that was interesting or fun, write it up, and send it along. If you don't want to write, but know someone who has a good story to tell, send me a note – I'll do the arm twisting – bob. Contact us (Ignore the spam blocker. I will see it.)
If you enjoy these stories, send the author a note. E mail me at the link in the paragraph below or BJ if you need an address.
Click on the titles below to go to the stories:
Iris Phillips Salvation Army Lassie
Tom Preston - Sailor and Snow Bird
Iris Phillips Bolstad -- Designer, seamstress, banner constructor and float decorator and Turn-of-the-Century "Salvation Army Lassie"
Editor's note – Pat Quinn Bryant, who is our star contributor to this site, forwarded a series of photos of the recent 2009 Apple Blossom Parade. Included were photos of the Salvation Army float, and a photo of Iris dressed as an early 1900's British “Lassie”. Guessing that there was more to this than the photos conveyed, I wrote to Iris for more information. What I learned is that Iris hatched the idea for the Salvation Army's parade entry -- the float, the costumes, the banners and most everything else. She designed the float and uniforms, made several of them, along with the terrific banners, and supervised every aspect of getting the show on the road. As a result largely of Iris's efforts, the S.A's entry was awarded the prize for "Most Original Special Unit". Following is Iris's write up of that project.
I became involved with the Wenatchee Valley Corp of the Salvation Army when I invited by Ruth Ballard to help with decorations for their 100th Year Banquet Celebration in 2008. She then invited me to join the board. The board members were so much fun to work with that I decided that would be a great place to serve the Wenatchee Community. They have been wanting to enter the Apple Blossom Grand Parade but had no one to head it up. So, what a team they made. It was a very nice experience - great fun! I started in Feb and worked solid making banners, costumes, and float decorations: apple blossoms, hearts, leaves, the 8 foot cross, lettering, etc. I traveled to Seattle to get supplies from the costume and display store. I made a miniature mock-up of the design for the March meeting and they accepted it right away.
The theme of the parade was "90 years of volunteers". Our theme was "The Salvation Army, 101 Years Serving Wenatchee Apple Valley" Each one of the words was made into a banner. I was dressed as a turn of the century Salvation Army Lassie with the red cape and bonnet that was worn by the British ladies. Bob Lovendahl loaned his golf cart, Delvin Schorzman and Jim Sullivan built the frame for me to decorate. It made such a neat mini float. We had 22 people marching in the unit carrying flags and banners. The banners were made of lamẻ, satin, velvet, and 90 yards of sequins. The float letters were made of velvet and glued onto a satin background. The cross was made of tinsel scrolls mounted on a welded steel frame. The red jackets were purchased at Wenatchee Mills Brothers, the red hats came from the Leavenworth Hat shop. All that red and white just popped with a flamboyant display of color.
The Salvation Army uses a lot of red in there banners and symbols so I picked that color to coordinate with the main banner. It also goes along with that wonderful red delicious apple that Wenatchee is so famous for. We tried to tie in the pink apple blossoms, the red apple, and the heart of giving, sharing, caring as a volunteer organization to fulfill the Parade theme of "90 Years of Volunteer
My son Ted carried the apple banner. So, he got a taste of the community spirit that Wenatchee has had for the last 90 years. He just moved to Chelan to manage the Lake Shores Resort. We are so please to have him and his family close. They have been in Florida.
My Wig Business and other Activities - Iola (Long) Simmons 8/28/08
Editors Introduction – If you've been reading the stories on this web page you've learned that I get leads on interesting classmates from others. A name that has been mentioned by several classmates is Iola Long Simmons. I was told that Iola is a go-getter and has been into the wig making business and quite a number of other interesting endeavors. So I wrote to Iola and have found that that she is indeed a remarkable woman who keeps busy! I'm happy that Iola shared a bit about some of the interesting, and in some cases, rather amusing ventures that she has pursued -- another of the many diverse and interesting activitis of our classmates that are fun to learn about.
First, I need to clarify that I did not "make" wigs. I started my little business after finding that cancer victims had nowhere to go in Wenatchee that had a supply of wigs to try on and look at. So I took the plunge, invested in a quantity of wigs and became Wenatchee's only wig retailer of any size. I fitted wigs and toupees, removed bulk, cut, advised and did what I could. It was a fun business that helped people and turned out to be needed and rewarding – particularly so with cancer patients and alopecia victims with serious hair loss problems. The attached photo of two “falls” shows an example of what I did. In this case, I sold and then re-curled these when they gradually straightened out like they do. The owner wanted one tighter and one looser curl. This was fascinating to me as it was complicated and dicey being they were synthetic fiber, not real hair. When we sold the house, I closed the business and most of my inventory went to the Wellness Place. I later found out they were buying at retail prices with donated monies and giving wigs to cancer patients. I really freaked out. I made calls and got them wholesale prices for charities from a very economical company and now when they order I go help them.
As you might guess, there were some interesting stories associated with the wig business. An early experience involved a stocky, very “lumberjack” kind of guy who came in looking for a couple of long wigs which I assumed were for his wife. He picked out one blond and one dark, both snazzy looking long wigs. When I mentioned something about his wife, he said they were actually for him and then he began asking about makeup. I asked him how far he wanted to go with this….was he going to shape his eyebrows. He asked what I meant and I said pull the excess hairs out to make them feminine. His eyes bugged out of his head and he said he wouldn’t go that far. He said his girlfriend would help him with the makeup. (Sigh of relief) I guess you just can’t automatically assume these guys don’t have girlfriends. The wigs were supposed to come in one afternoon, but that day it snowed and they didn’t get in until after dark and this guy was going to stop by around 8 PM and pick them up. In that I was alone that night I felt a little panicky. I called my friend Joy Juchmes and asked her if she’d call me around nine and see if everything was alright. She gets her best “Mom” voice on and says, “WHY!!!” I told her. She said, “NOOOOooo I’m not gonna call you !!!!! I’m comin’ over!” Thank you Joy from the bottom of my heart. The guy came completely dressed as a sexy woman sans hair and I put his wig on him, fixed it and he left for a party in Spokane…. Oh, yeah, he had to come back to the door because……he forgot his purse…. I just couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing. We girls do that sometimes…. forget purses.
Another also involved a cross dresser, a CPA from the coast, who called one Saturday morning and said someone had snatched his wig from his head. This had occurred as he, while dressed as a woman, and his girlfriend who later became his wife, walked in Leavenworth the night before. He wanted a blond wig. I learned more than I ever cared to about cross-dressing. He was a handsome young man but he wasn't a very good looking woman. I didn't tell him that, either one! Later, I found out that my husband had stood at the top of the stairs and listened for my voice while this transaction was occurring. He said that as long as he could hear me talking he knew I was okay. If things got quiet he had his hero shirt on. (Are we beginning to learn a bit of life that most of us don't usually think much about?? bob)
Finally, one more from the wig business – To illustrate that the wig business isn't limited to women or cross dressing, I did business with an elderly gentleman in his 80s who wore embroidered cowboy shirts and black jeans and drove a spiffy small convertible. He didn’t want to ever have an appointment for his toupee care-taking on a Tuesday because that’s the day the senior center had their dance in the afternoon. He would drive in from a smaller town with his lady friend for those dances and didn't want to have to stop by and let her in on our toupee secret. (Too bad you're no longer in business, Iola. I could definitely use your services – on the QT of course -- Bob)
Moving beyond wigs, things to do just find me and I have pursued a number of ventures – too many to describe here. However, I will share a few. When we sold our house in E Wenatchee to move to a retirement complex I had to laugh at the flyer our agent made; the pictures were so out of perspective they looked cartoon-like. I explained to her what I meant and she asked if I’d like to partner up with her and be her assistant. Oh Yeah! My first job was photographing a house in Chelan that then sold in 3-5 days for around $270,000. I learned to do virtual tours and upload data to the MLS. It turned out the unexpected fees for use of the MLS and the unexpected agency fees made the whole thing less attractive, but it was fun for a year. It felt good to know I can pass the Real Estate course and exam for licensing so it wasn’t in vain. I did NOT, however, want to be an agent at this junction in life.
Another more recent activity -- I love learning the computer and it has become a channel out when I’m housebound. One particular interest I've developed is participation in a discussion group – a group of diverse folks who have started our own “thread”, (i.e., a separate discussion about a common interest. ) The particular “thread” is an off-shoot of a fan page for a particular musician. There are many threads and I didn’t feel comfortable with any of them. But it turned out that there was someone else who felt that way and that person posted the question ‘Are there any other grandmothers who like this music that we listened to when we were young?’ So I joined in and now, on this one web page along with many different forums, there is one little thread of discussion by 44 grandmothers that was formed in only 37 days. It’s the busiest, most posted to thread on the whole webpage. We are located all over the US with one from UK and one from Halifax, Nova Scotia. We are forming friendships and support for one another. Interestingly enough, our musician’s own grandmother is in our group. I made our logo which will also be on every card we make. I also made the first card which will be delivered by his own grandmother at his concert on Sept. 10th. And, I’m the go-to person for shirts made with our logo on them. Lots of busy work for this thread.
Those projects have been the "window" God leaves open when he shuts the door. This may sound silly or trivial to many, but I'm caregiver to my ill husband and that always has its ups and downs and stresses. I've found having something of my own to enjoy gives me balance to do it all better and stay strong.
And did I mention cake decorating? Yep, I gave that a try also as you can see in the accompanying photo. This is a photo of one of my cakes.
And finally, I will share one other thing that I have found that has been helpful to me and others like me with fibromyalgia or other chronic pain. Making yourself get enough exercise is a problem when it hurts. A commonly used devise that is designed to assist in relaxing muscles that are in spasm is called a TENS UNIT. For those who are unfamiliar with this, it is a gizmo that sends an irregular electrical impulse to muscles in spasm and they often get confused and release. But I've discovered something that works better for me. Specifically, I've "re-found" my love for music and it's helping a lot. I've found that music in one's ears makes one concentrate on just the music and you don't recognize, or it masks pain messages to your brain until the pain is a much bigger message. What that does is let one work longer, walk longer, do more before pain becomes too discouraging. My doctor is so impressed with that whole idea and the results of what I call my "TENS UNIT For The Brain and Pain" that he now is getting an MP3 player too. If that helps one person it will be worth all the lifted eyebrows I can feel going up.
Although, I have had a variety of vocations, like many I am also enjoying watching my children, grand and great grandchildren grow and develop lives of their own. What is more interesting than people, she quips?
From Sailing on Puget Sound to Wintering in Mexico, Tom Preston is staying active! – Tom Preston (6/08)
Editor's Intro -- From time to time over the past several years I have exchanged e mails with our old Columbia friend and classmate, Tom Preston, in which he has mentioned his various hobbies including sailing on Puget Sound, restoring a tugboat, and wintering in Mazatlan, Mexico. I asked Tom if he would be willing to describe and share a bit of his experiences with us. After the usual amount of prodding and arm twisting, Tom agreed and sent along the following information. I think you will agree with me that this glimpse of Tom's active and unique retirement life is another a great example of the interesting lives of the Class of '57 -- and another one that makes me feel very lazy. -- Bob.
I lived in Wenatchee for most of my life, having worked for the PUD for 34 years where I was a Senior Power Systems Operator. I retired in May 1997, but continued there on contract for another year. However, my wife Diane and I pursued other hobbies and interests during vacation time and weekends on the coast and also in Mexico, a location which we love and which has become our second home.
Diane and I have enjoyed sailing for many years. The first boat was a Catalina 25. Next we owned an F-27 trailerable trimaran for some ten years, primarily sailing and racing on the Puget Sound (see photo). After selling the trimaran a few years ago, however, we more or less accidentally became power boat owners. I say “accidentally” because we went to the Seattle Boat Show just to look at Boats. As luck, or maybe fate would have it, we ducked into a boat just to get out of the rain and the rest is history. The particular boat we selected to get out of the rain in was a Nordic 26 Tug (see photo on Candid Camera) which we decided to purchase. We spent about four years cruising in the Tug and also restoring it to original condition. I am currently finishing the refurbishing of another F-25C trimaran and also own a WR-17 (WindRider).
It seems that we can't get enough of the sailing thing. A week ago (June 08) we were out in the Windrider and I noted a dark cloud forming behind us. I kept a close watch behind and after about a half hour, I calmly said to Diane, lets take the sails down and motor in, since the breezes were a bit light and it's getting late. By this time I could see the storm on its way. Just as we dropped the main the sh-- hit the fan. We were hit by 45 to 50 knots of wind and wave heights went from 6 inches to over 3 feet in a matter of seconds. We rode the breeze home under bare poles (i.e., sails down and no need for the motor) and did a bit of a spectacular docking maneuver with the wind dead astern. We cant wait to get the F-25 in the water -- 20 to 25Kts in a trimiran is a rush.
As for Mexico, we first visited Mazatlan in 1978 and we were attracted to it. We had looked at houses, condos, etc., for retirement off and on over a period of years, but not until 1998 after I actually retired did we start looking with the serious intent to buy. We had realized by then that prices were only going up each year and if we wanted to buy we shouldn't put it off. We liked Mazatlan better than other cities in Mexico as it is a real working city, not one that is built for tourism like Cabo San Lucas or Acapulco. As such, Mazatlan at that time was a very economical place to live. It has turned out that the building boom has reached Mazatlan in the past three years and, while beach front is still relatively reasonable, it is becoming pretty expensive.
We like the atmosphere in Mazatlan -– the people are friendly and very family oriented, and the climate is great. Although many in the area have two or three jobs and, it would seem get little sleep, the priorities are clearly family first, and work second, We have good entertainment available at the restored Opera House which hosts live shows. Cost for the best seating averages about $15 USD. Fishing is good in front of our condo, and fresh fish delivery is available every day at our front door. We spend four or five months there each year and enjoy it a lot.
I think I would say that Mazatlan is primarily a great place for relaxation. It has great beaches and good fishing, as well as some interesting historical sites and monuments. Also, around the last week of February each year, it is home to one of the world's greatest parties – Carnival which is an unforgettable experience.
We have enjoyed having several visitors from Wenatchee and would welcome seeing other classmates. Just be sure to touch base with us ahead of time and we would be happy to have you drop by and to show you some of the sights. Bob Winslow and Donna visited us on their way home. (See photo on Candid Camera) They RV to a tiny village south of Mazatlan. Also, Roger Bennet (WHS '56) and his wife have visited several times.
Our most recent activities have involved a complete remodel of of our condo which we finished 2006. We stripped the place to bare walls and started from scratch with new plumbling, wiring, flooring, windows, cabinetry and baths, as well as the addition of one bath and a laundry room and refinishing the doors. We subsequently sold it and are now waiting for completion of a new condo unit which we are purchasing that is about one and 1/2 blocks north of old one. You can check out a model of our new unit at www.solariatower.com (turn speakers on, click on “English”).
The House That Jackie Built - Jackie (Rose) Monsey 3/29/08
Editor's Introduction – In my continuing search for classmate stories, one name that kept popping up was Jackie Rose. The sort of comments I heard were that she and her architect husband, Ray Monsey, have built a gorgeous house on the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth and that they did a lot of work on it themselves, that they are into family genealogy, that they are a delightful couple, and that Jackie is an amazing and interesting person. So, I wrote to Jackie in hopes of persuading her to write a story for us. With some initial reluctance, she warmed to the task. Following is Jackie's house building story. I'm sure you will enjoy reading this, as I did, and will agree with me that the class of '57 does indeed have many untold, interesting stories of which this is a great one. Jackie is indeed an amazing and interesting lady. To say that they “did a lot of work on the house themselves” is quite an understatement! We appreciate her sharing this with us. - Bob
It has been said everyone should plant a tree, build a house and write a book during their lifetime. Well we have planted lots of trees and built a house. Building the house was a lot more work than planting trees. Maybe some day there is hope for writing a book.
This is the story of how Ray and I built a house after our kids were gone. I won’t go into all the building details, you can buy a “how to” book for that, we had lots of them. I will just try to give you some of the humorous (hopefully they are) stories. Through the years we were always remodeling and adding on to the houses we lived in. Could building a whole house be that much harder? Well, yes actually and take much, much longer. The estimate was for about a 10-year project. Such optimism!
We were not quite as naive as you are thinking, or at least half of us weren’t. My husband is an Architect so he had quite a bit of knowledge of how things go together. But he is not a builder, so there were lots of tricks of the trade we needed to learn. I on the other hand did not have any knowledge at all of the mechanics of building and I knew it. The only thing I knew how to construct was in the sewing department. I found they are somewhat similar. You plan, buy your material, measure, cut, put together, and then rip out the mistakes. My job was to be helper, gofer, and painter.
Our plan was a two-part project, first a garage/apartment, that we could also live in while doing the main house. We started this in 1985, hired a builder we knew who would let us work with him to frame the garage/apt. This was our hands on apprenticeship. I could tell the first couple of days that we had misjudged his personality. He was very aggressive and obnoxious and felt he needed to show his superiority by pointing out how little we knew about building. I was afraid Ray would eventually lose his temper with him, so that night I told Ray we had to be patient, ignore his rude remarks and just learn how to do the framing which is all we had planned to use him for. Well guess who ended up getting mad, not Ray, but me. He started calling me “missy”, “put your back into it missy, use some muscle missy, it’s just mind over matter missy”, what’s wrong missy, are you afraid of heights,” (well that was a yes). At the end of every day I was fuming, I managed to hold my tongue although I really complained to Ray at night, who only chuckled, and reminded me of my lecture. Then came the day the builder had a load of rock about a inch in size dumped that needed to be shoveled where we were going to pour a slab. Hard shoveling, which I am not good at anyway. Ray was at work that day, so it was just the builder and me, who did not help me at all. I got my usual “missy harassment “ about how slow I was, didn’t pick up enough rocks in one shovel full. At about 5:00 p.m. I started to put down my shovel to go start dinner. His usual quitting time was 5:00. When he said, “where are you going missy”? I told him, thru clenched teeth. His reply was “no you're not, you have to finish this tonight, I have the concrete truck coming first thing in the morning”. Who hired whom, I thought. I wanted to say YOU'RE FIRED. I Still had the shovel in my hand, and my other instinct was to hit him on the head, I think he knew it; I don’t know what kept me from doing it. Good sense I guess, and the thought we didn’t want to pay for a concrete truck sitting around while I shoveled the next morning. So I turned around and started shoveling with so much anger it gave me super human strength, and I shoveled better than I ever have in my life. Guess it is mind over matter. I did get back at him though, refused to speak to him, surely that taught him a lesson. In truth we did learn a lot from him.
Once it was framed we took over, and finished most of the inside during the winter. Did the outside shingling the following summer. Learned a lot on this first smaller project. Not to do the insulation in the main house by ourselves, we can hire it done, for the same price it cost us to buy the insulation. And that taping sheetrock is not our talent. It was passable although not really good enough for the main house. We had to have the texture heavier to cover up our taping.
You know what they say “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans”. Things came up, we were tired and we were comfy in the little apartment so rested a bit. The second phase was put on hold.
In 1989 we broke ground on the main house. We hired another local builder (who is very nice by the way, I speak to him) to do the footing and the foundation, as it had a lot of stepping up and down the lot with a lot of rocks to go around. We took it from there.
I remember that day well, a Memorial Day weekend, raining, mud everywhere. The first job was to backfill around the footings. Shoveling again and a panic set in. I looked at the huge hole in the ground. Because of a large crawl space, we had walls to build, just to get to the first floor. I kept thinking what are we doing, what makes us think we can do this!! This summer was to be our biggest push, because we had to have it framed up and the roof on before winter. What if we didn’t finish before snow, all kind of “what if’s” hit me. Ray calmed me down and assured me we could do it and I somehow believed him.
did all the figuring how to build it, the measuring and cutting, I
helped hold the wood as we put the frames together, then did the
nailing. The neighbors across the river said they could always tell
who was hammering. When Ray hammered it was a loud Whop, whop! Mine
was much more musical, ting, ting, ting, ting, ting, ting, ting, I
don’t know which they preferred, maybe neither. Because Ray’s
part was more than mine, I found my self-standing around while he was
figuring things out. So I kept myself busy putting extra nails in to
make sure everything stayed together. That was not a real bad thing,
unless a mistake was made and we had to rip it apart, which then
became twice the work. We went through 10- 50 # boxes of nails.
Partly because I kept bending them, it is a learning curve you know;
think I got better about the time we were done. The builder who had
helped us with the footing walked through later to see how we were
doing, and said,” you know if this house ever falls down it
will be from the weight of the nails.”
But it was amazing, step by step, little by little, things started to take shape. Walls went up with window holes, door holes. Not saying we didn’t make mistakes we did, one wall in the kitchen we had to redo twice. Think that was because our kids were visiting and we were showing off how good we had become at this. Never try to impress. Think they went home shaking their heads, wondering what this house would look like and are mom and dad losing it?
We only had one major argument, over the placing of a “huge beam”, that I was sure we could not handle by ourselves. I wanted to find people to help us. Ray was sure he knew how to do it. I could see it crashing down and not only hurting us, but all the work we had done. Ray finally ordered me out of the house (can you imagine that). Of course, I refused to go with the firm exclamation I needed to stay so I could call 911. Well it went the way he planned, but I still claim it was luck, and could have fallen on him, the house or us.
Our neighbors visited often, and seem to always appear about the time we needed a little help tipping up a wall. That was very helpful, but I never could figure out how they knew when we were tipping up the walls. Did they hid behind the trees watching us? Friends also would arrive at times to help; some were more help than others. There was the couple that was planning to build themselves, and wanted to see how we were doing it. They bought all the newest tools, even his and her nail guns. They had so many disagreements we were afraid they were going to shoot each other with their nail guns. Or the guy who was so hyper and quick, did not have any building experience and did not look at the plans. I hated to say “not that way”. So I would say, ”yah, but, maybe we should do it this way”. I guess I said that one time too many. Because he exploded one hot afternoon, saying, “ yah but, yah but, yah but, you sound like a GD frog! Seems like I always said that too much. The things you can learn about yourself. We have a window, framed on the wrong side of the wall, but we left it that way, because I didn’t want to say,” Yah, but it’s suppose to be on the other side.” It really was one of those things, that didn’t matter too much. I now have a carved wood plaque that says YAH BUT. It was close, too close but the roof was on the house and the windows in by the first snowfall.
We put 600 miles on our car looking for gray river rock for our fireplace. When you are driving along you see river rock everywhere. But try to find a spot where you can park close to the rock, so you don’t have to carry it a long ways or up banks, or isn’t private property. I have heard since it is against the law and there is a fine for picking up rocks now. Hope it wasn’t then. When we would get home and unload our rocks, Ray would look at them and say, “these are not lively enough”. I found myself thinking this is going to be a long hunt, to find lively rocks. Of course he meant the color, we were looking for a particular blue gray.
For anyone who likes statistics we painted, and put on 15, 000 shingles with 30,000 nails for our outside siding. How do we know that? I have no idea how or why Ray figured that out.
We moved in to the main house April 1993. Two years ahead of our 10 yr estimate. It wasn’t done though, but we could live in it, no trim, lots of doors not on, lots of cabinets, shelves not in, it was a livable shell. We slowed down after we moved in. Somehow once you are living in the house there is not the pressure to work on it. And we were very tired. Once again slowly, step-by-step we got things finished, not sure when we could have said it was DONE. Well we couldn’t have, we still have a couple of things to do, although they are very small things.
Quilting and Museum Docent – Only a few of Carol Cammack Burger's Retirement Activities
Editor's note – I described previously that Carol is one of those very active folks who, speaking for myself at least, sure can make another feel like a couch potato. This past winter she sent along pictures and a brief story of her quilting activities which we previously posted below. Recently she sent another e mail and shared photos of her volunteer work as a museum docent. With Carol's permission I have added parts of her note and her photos below. I think you will find her new activities equally interesting.
Spring – 2008 Carol first reports that “skiing has been unbelievable this year. Yesterday we had the best powder day in about 14 years. It was just so much fun but, of course, we were exhausted when we got home. Regarding the quilt, I took a quilting class in Aurora, Oregon where Frank and I live during the warmer seasons. To make the large Bargello quilt I needed to gather about 35 different fabrics and then arrange them in a sequence to my satisfaction. (Bargello is a specific quilt style defined by a clever construction technique that gives them a characteristic appearance.) The pieces are then cut out and sewn together in large quarters. After that, the whole quilt is sewn into one piece. There are over 3200 pieces in this work. I was then asked to exhibit the work in the Old Aurora Museum Quilt Show in October.
“The other quilt (shown on the bed) is a reproduction of a quilt my Grandmother (Florence Cammack) made with the Stemilt Hill Ladies Club. My grandmother's quilt was probably made of flour sack fabric and I'm guessing it was made in the late 1930s. This quilt also was on exhibit at the Old Aurora Museum Quilt Show in October 07.”
(New 6/22/08) While in Aurora these past 2 months I've been doing my usual volunteer work at our Aurora Museum. We host 4th graders on field trips and spend the day with them demonstrating what life was like here in the Willamette Valley in the 1850's - 1880's. I have the pioneer cabin; a one room original home to a pioneer family of parents, grandpa and 5 kids. I make bread with the kids and at the end of the day they take their loaf of bread home with them. We talk about what their role would have been as children in the family, etc.
If I seem to be rather amply proportioned in my pioneer dress it is because I am wearing my ski underwear under the dress. It was so darned cold in that cabin I was freezing. We have had an unusually cold Spring here in the Portland area and it just does not warm up, even now. The fruit farms over in the Hood River area are really hurting in that their fruit crops are pretty much frozen out.
I am so looking forward to being back in Colorado for our hiking/biking season. Aug. 1st, my daughter, Noelle, and I are hiking from Aspen to Crested Butte and back again. We will go through the Holy Cross Wilderness and it should be a carpet of wildflowers at that time of year. You're all invited to join us - it should be absolutely spectacular!!
Dick Rice's Antique Car Restorations – Dick and Rosemary Rice (2/9/08)
Bob Ajax noticed in the bio that I put on the web site at reunion time that I am involved in the "Wenatchee Valley Antique Auto Club” and he asked if I might write up something about my car restoration hobby. In fact, car restoration has been a hobby of mine for a long time and I have enjoyed it greatly. In addition to the enjoyment of restoring vintage cars, I have enjoyed the association with others who share this interest. I am currently vice president of the club and past President. Other class members of the club are Gene Cliff, Carlton Olson, Leonard Ward and Arden Racus. So I am happy to provide a write up, which was prepared with a lot of help from Rosemary, describing my projects. I hope that others will find this of interest. If you would like to see what this involves, give me a call and stop by.
I guess my interest in old cars and restorations began in 1958 when I bought my second Model-A -- a 1930 Ford coupe. It is hard to believe, but I found a receipt not long ago showing that I paid $90 plus $3 tax for the car. I sold it in 1959 for $150 which I used to buy Rosemary’s engagement ring. How times have changed -- in 1986, for our 27th wedding anniversary, Rosemary found a 1929 model-A for me that needed restoration, for $4500. Quite a price change! We still have that car today.
In 1988 we found, sitting in a field, a “1955” Chevrolet that I bought it for $1100. I did a ground up restoration on that car. We did it all original, taking about 3 years to complete, as I still worked full time, and farmed our Cherry Orchard. Rosemary took pictures of each step.
In 1989 we purchased the 1931 Model-A Deluxe Roadster that is pictured above. This car had already been restored by Gary Jacobsen, a local restorer. We enjoyed that car, taking in many Apple Blossom Parade’s and county Fairs, hauling many dignitaries, and cruising. We sold that one in 2003 when we moved to our new home, as I was up to nine vehicles and didn’t have enough garage space.
Also in 1989, I started looking for a 1948-1951 Chevrolet Panel. At that time Rosemary owned Rosemary’s Cakes and Catering and I wanted to create an advertisement vehicle for her. I found three Chev panel vehicles in Washington -- a 1950 model in Kittitas, a 1950 in Linwood, and a burnt orange 1948 model here in Wenatchee. The Linwood car was all rusty, but the chrome parts had been rechromed and were in perfect shape. Taking some parts from the three, I began restoration. I started with the frame of the 50, a Pontiac Lemans front clip, a Buick Skylark rear clip, an L2-350 Chevrolet Engine, a 350 turbo transmission, and used the 1948 body. I did all the mechanical, electrical, and welding, and hired out the body work, painting and upholstery. The paint color is called lite lavender pearl, but is more like shocking pink. The interior is a wine and gray color. It took about 5 year to build, because of a couple of heart-attacks. Rosemary took pictures at different stages of restoration. This year I finally decided if we want to drive this Panel it has to have air-conditioning, so that has been the project of late. There is always some thing to work on when you own old vehicles -- batteries or washing, polishing, etc.
In 1993 we bought a restored 1968 XL Ford Convertible and enjoyed driving it until we sold it in 2005. We took in many Parade’s and car shows, and home coming events with this car.
Now I am working on a 1950 Oldsmobile, 2 door Coupe. This is for Dennis Slack, who owned this car when he was 16 years old. Dennis is now 61. The car sat for 17 years, so everything was frozen up. It now runs like a watch, but still needs new wiring, brake work, upholstery, and paint.
So, as you can see, this is a hobby I've enjoyed a lot. I hope you found this write up of interest. Give me a call and stop by some day and I'll show you first hand what is involved. I'm afraid I must add, however -- no, I don't plan to take on a restoration for anyone else again; perhaps another one for me, but that's it.
BJ and Dewayne's Trip to Visit Korean War Buddies, and their Southern Roots – BJ Herron 12/07
BJ (Bolton) Herron
We started out on a long car trip six days after the WHS 50th Reunion. Not being of sound mind or body, we nevertheless headed East on I-90. I think maybe I was ready to put some distance between myself, my computer and that WaWa editing program – I know Dewayne was ready. We accomplished that, spending the first night in Drummond, Montana, the “Bull Shipping Capital of the World”…the post card said so! In addition to that display of cowboy humor, Drummond is an interesting and real Western Town. On an earlier trip, Dewayne encountered a real live cattle drive right thru the middle of town. Granted, it isn't a large town, but can you imagine a herd of cattle coming down main street? As they sat down in the cafe to order, in comes in the 'cowpokes'. Cowboys and cowgirls right out of a Zane Grey novel. One of them must have been the grandmother of the bunch. She was white haired and just as bowlegged as can be, spurs jingling, chaps slapping as she walked in and ordered her coffee and breakfast. The unmistakable fragrance of the old west wafted around them.
We followed I-90 a long way. The amazing rock formations of the Continental Divide always intrigue me. We visited cousins in Hartford, Michigan, and then drove through the Amish community down to our initial destination -- Van Wert, Ohio. Yes, in the Amish country they really do drive those little horse-drawn buggies on the highway, a scary thought. The photo is a pretty good illustration of the contrast between the Amish life style and modern life on the road. We noticed that the Amish hang out their wash on a line that is fastened high under the eve of a barn or to a telephone pole. I wonder if it was wash day or if they do that most days? After seeing this, I may be a little less frustrated waiting a day or tow for repair the next time my dryer breaks down.
A highlight of the trip was the 50th reunion with Dewayne’s Army Buddies from the 44th MASH Surgical Unit. This was their first reunion since they left Korea 50 years ago. It was a great reunion attended by six members of the unit from as far away as Washington, California, Ohio, Michigan and Connecticut.
I looked, but no Hawkeye. However, we did have our own Radar look-alike in the group. “Our Radar” performed the duties of Postman in Korea. He said the first day they gave him a sidearm and told him he was to drive to Seoul alone it worried him a lot. He was afraid of shooting himself, he was so nervous about the trip. He didn’t know what kind of help he would have with the mail “out there”. Another of the fellows from the MASH unit looked so much like Jamie Farr -- Klinger. (third from right in the photo.) In fact, they had all the MASH characters in one way or another. All of the guys said it seemed the series was taken straight from their unit. They even had their own Major Hot Lips Houlihan, but they didn't get into too much detail about her with two wives present.<grin> Dewayne was the radio operator. He has some interesting stories to tell, too. There were clearly some jokers in the unit. They stayed up late talking and laughing about all the hi-jinx that went on. There were lots of photos showing “our Radar” suspended upside down -- they liked to toss him around as he was just the right size. They talked and laughed about how their uniforms would never fit again. They were interviewed by several members of the local press and made the front page of the local newspapers (with pictures!). The Mayor of Van Wert and his wife came by to deliver their appreciation to the Vets. Most of all, they just enjoyed seeing each other again. They quietly but unanimously elected not to talk about this current war. They left with great hopes of getting even more of the fellows together next time.
We then traveled on to Branson, Missouri for Dewayne’s 53rd high school class reunion. His graduating class was so small they invited the adjoining classes. There were 16 classmates and 7 spouses there. Everyone wanted to visit and the motel graciously gave us the use of the coffee room from 8 am till 11 pm. We enjoyed several of the shows. Branson offers a wide choice of first class entertainment and is a great place for a get-together.
Branson is the place to be if you like Country Western Music and Comedy, Music from the 50’s, showmen like Shoji Tabuchi, Jim Stafford, Andy Williams, Mickey Gillley, Yakov Smirnoff, new shows like Acrobats from China, and the Twelve Irish Tenors, Impersonators, Magic Shows, “Duck Rides” on the lake, the Branson Belle Dinner and Showboat, Wax Museum, Car Museum, Toy Museum. I also have to mention Silver Dollar City, it is an all day event! To say nothing of all the good food there.
From there on it was cousins-all-the-way. In Dewayne’s home town, Franklin, Arkansas, we had a “Cousin’s Day”, where 15 of us got together and everyone brought their favorite dishes. I know your mouth will water when I tell you we had a real Southern Dinner -- Chicken and Dressing, BBQ ribs, Baked Beans, Ham, Turnip Greens, Crowder Peas, Hominy Casserole, (for the uninitiated, those are real southern “vittles”) Mashed Potatoes, Peach Cobbler, Apple Cake, Berry Cobbler, Corn Bread and Homemade Rolls (that always win blue ribbons at the County Fair). Local people wait to see if Dewayne's cousin is going to enter her rolls. They know they don’t have a chance if she enters. (The web site editor tells me I haven't tasted real barbecue if I haven't been to North Carolina, but the ribs were pretty darn good!)
We finally ran short of Dewayne’s cousins and started on mine with a swing through Mississippi and Alabama. The Mississippi delta country is amazing. It is as flat as a table top – about as different from Wenatchee as it could possibly be. We saw rice growing, soy beans being harvested, and cotton in huge ‘modules’ (equivalent to 10-12 bales about 45 feet long) still out in the fields. We even saw cat fish farms.
In Alabama, we had my version of Cousins’ Days on Graham Lane where everyone is related! I know about all those jokes about the South, but in defense of my Gene Pool, Graham is a very short lane -- three brothers and a sister live there. We next worked our way east to Birmingham, Alabama, a town long known for heavy industry and smoke stacks, but which is now a modern and thriving Southern city. In fact, they have just refurbished “The Vulcan” who stands tall and proud over the city. There we visited with my 97 year old Auntie. After Birmingham, we headed north through the TVA lake area of Kentucky to Paducah. We kept looking for the Blue Grass, and we didn’t see any of the fabled “Thoroughbreds”, (because we were in the “Boot Heel”).
It was a good trip back to the part of the country where my roots are planted – to a part of my life I will never forget. We had great visits with our families and good friends. For the next couple of years, we will have to stay home (at least some of the time) so maybe they can return our visit. We traveled 6,419 miles. No accidents, but some near misses, like the time that super charged black Corvette came out of the far left lane, across 4 more lanes and onto the off ramp, during evening rush hour in Kansas City, Missouri. If the Good Lord forgives me, I’ll not be back in that place!
European Tour – Romance of the Rhine and Mosel
Pat Quinn Bryant 1/08
The following is my story about a great tour of the Rhine Valley that I took in May 2006, through Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland, mostly by boat with side tours at a number towns where the boat stopped. This was a sixteen day boat trip, plus a four day tour of the Bruges, Belgium area. I enjoyed the tour very much and highly recommend it. For seniors such as myself, this particular tour was relaxing and allowed one to do as much or as little as is comfortable, with no concern about schedules, lodging, or directions, while providing a great opportunity to see many beautiful and historic areas of Europe.
I booked the tour through Grand Circle Travel. It was a package deal that included my flight from Seattle to Atlanta, and direct from there to Brussels. Company representatives met us at the airport with identifying signs and directed us where to go to get our luggage, and then to the hotel. Everything about it felt very safe and comfortable. The boat trip covered a total of over 800 miles with 22 locks.
I saw way more picturesque and interesting sights than I could possibly describe, and I learned of far more history of this part of Europe than I could have imagined. Following are some of my personal impressions. The GCT web site (http://www.gct.com) has a lot more detail and history of the many towns and places that we visited.
I arrived in Brugge, Belgium on May 7th and met my roommate, Jackie from California. I had not known her and we had not communicated previously. However, it worked out beautifully. She was a early riser and I am a late one. I snore, but Jackie is hard of hearing and had hearing aides which she removed at night so my snoring did not bother her. Jackie and I have become friends and may go on another trip together – perhaps to Alaska this fall.
In Brugge, we met our charming 34-year old tour guide, Tony, who was with twenty six of us for the whole trip. Tony took us on a tour of the medieval city of Brugge. We spent two days exploring all the sites. The third day we took a train to the big city of Brussels and had a tour. Brussels was founded in 580, and in the 11th century the city was surrounded by walls. I liked the city very much and we got to have a covered boat canal ride there. We saw a windmill. The trees lining the canal were beautiful. We saw the Castle of Counts where the above photo was taken.
On the next day we arrived in Antwerp, a city of 500,000 population and the largest sea harbor in Europe, where we boarded our ship, the Ravel, and got settled. The ship was good size – 366 feet long and 38 feet wide. It was very nice. Our room and attached bathroom were very spacious. The two big windows gave us a wonderful view of all the barges, swans, ferries and land going by. We were on the lower of two levels and there was a big deck on top that was nice. The ship carried 110 passengers and a wonderful crew. Everyone associated with the cruise spoke English and the boats announcements were in English so there were no language problems. After boarding we had lunch, and that afternoon toured Antwerp, where we also got to spend all the next day. Antwerp is picturesque with gilded houses with steep gables, and gold figures; and is the diamond center of the world. Seven out of every ten diamonds in the world come through Antwerp.
The first evening we had a welcome aboard drink and met the Captain and crew in the lounge, followed by a wonderful dinner in the ship's non-smoking dining room which offered single, open seating, with live music by the “The Stardust Duo”. The captain was from Poland and was about my age. But there was a younger mate who was very handsome and gave me lots of information on the rivers and boats going by. It turned out that they had recently fired the boat's chef so we got the cruise line's top chef. There was so much beautiful and delicious food and great entertainment by our crew and others. My favorite food was the green cold apple soup which I managed to get three times. On mother's day they gave each mother a red long stem rose.
The second evening the boat cruised to Heusden, Netherlands. The next morning we took a bus to the Delta Works and took a tour of a museum and went out on a lock. The Delta Works is a huge project consisting of a number of dams, locks and dikes that were built between 1950 and 1997 in the southwest of the Netherlands to protect a large area of land from the sea and to shorten the Dutch coastline. I later learned from Julie Blonk that her uncle had worked on the project. I mentioned to the guide that it was too bad the engineers who built this are not helping New Orleans. He said they did send people to advise them. All the time and engineering that went into the locks was really awesome.
About 930 windmills now dot the landscape in the Netherlands out of an original 10,000. Close to 300 still function mostly for tourist, but some grind cereals or perform other work. In the mid 18th century the small village of Kinderdijk which we visited had 19 sturdy windmills which were used to pump water out of the low land into the sea. They are no longer used for pumping, having been replaced by diesel powered pumps. However, since 1997 the Kinderdijk windmills have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally each windmill was operated by a family who lived in the bottom of the windmill. I wondered what that must have sounded like when trying to sleep. I went up in one of these windmills that was built in 1738. I really loved the windmills. Part of our trip money went toward the up keep of these 19 windmills.
Traveling next into Germany, we visited Dusseldorf where we saw grapes that had been planted over 2000 years ago. Dusseldorf was destroyed in WWII, but is now the center of the fashion industry in Germany. Further up the river, near the intersection of the Mosel and Rhine rivers, a friend and I took a cab to the Fortress above the Rhine River. What a view from there; there were three museums and so much history. They have found evidence of people there 10,000 years BC.
We traveled next to the small country of Luxembourg where the Battle of the Bulge was fought in World War II. This was one of the most important and bloodiest battles that U.S. forces experienced in the war; the 19,000 American dead were unsurpassed by those of any other engagement. Several Wenatchee residents fought in that battle. In Nijmegen we had a home-hosted dinner. The people from the Netherlands are so grateful to US soldiers. The museum there is fantastic. We saw the fields where the men who parachuted had landed. The cemetery is awesome. General Patton and thousands of others are buried there, including three nurses, with marble head stones engraved with only the name, date of death, and home State The marble was from France. The US cemetery is kept up by our government, in contrast to the German cemetery which was in sad shape and not kept up well. I enjoyed talking to people in Luxembourg. They speak their own language, but also speak German. I took a small tape recorder and asked a lady there if I could record her speaking her language and the several other languages that the crew spoke, for my grandkids to hear.
After Luxembourg we toured the town of Boppard and then cruised the most beautiful part of the river. There is this big rock that the sailors say has siren - women creatures that call ships into the rock. One of the tour guides dressed as a “siren” for the occasion as you can see in the attached photo. We had fun with that.
Continuing on the river, we stopped at Speyer, France, a lovely town founded in 50 AD, where we toured in a covered wagon pulled by the Austrian Horses and enjoyed singing and tasting different wines along the vineyards. Next was Baden Baden, where we tasted mineral water that is supposed to have restorative powers. I keep waiting for it to take affect and to become young again. And then on to Strasburg where I saw the most beautiful church I have ever seen, did some sight seeing via canals, and toured the Black Forest where the famous cuckoo clocks are made. After France, we went to Basil, Switzerland and the next day, on to Paris, France to catch plane for New York and onto Seattle.
As I said at the beginning this was a great tour that I can highly recommend. I enjoyed widening my circle of life –meeting new people and learning history.