Monday, December 5, 2011

Rolland Arthur Ely: Unto the Least of These

Rolland Arthur Ely, ca. 1945
(Fairfield School Board picture)

In a fleeting effort to improve my mind, I checked out a book of poetry from the library.  To my surprise, I enjoyed it more than I thought, especially when I came across a familiar poem, one that I think I have only heard once in my life.  I had to ask mom where I might have heard that one memorable delivery, and she said she thinks it was over the pulpit (or at least the microphone) during a fast and testimony meeting when I was a teenager.

The poem was memorable because my Great-Grandpa Rolland Arthur Ely was the one reciting it.  He did it completely from memory, having learned it as a schoolboy.  It was also memorable because the poem is a fitting theme to honor his life of quiet service and friendship.

So, go ahead and read this out loud, maybe picturing Grandpa Ely's quiet, melodic speaking voice, and think of what things you might be doing better this Christmas season to love your fellow men.
(The picture is from Uncle Jim Ely's picasa album).

Abou Ben Adhem
by James Leigh Hunt (1784-1859) 
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
 Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
 And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
 Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
 An Angel writing in a book of gold:

 Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
 And to the Presence in the room he said,
 "What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
 And with a look made of all sweet accord
 Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."

 "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
 Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
 But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
 Write me as one who loves his fellow men."

 The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
 It came again with a great wakening light,
 And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
 And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Harry & Bess Van De Riet: Outlaws, Indians, and In-laws.

I've had some good conversations with Aunt Bonnie Crary over the last few months about the period of time  before my Grandma LaVonne was born.  Bonnie caught me off-guard with a mention of the woman my grandma was named after.  I always thought the name LaVonne was because it sounded similar to her Grandma Kale's name, Lavina Row Kale.  No, actually.  Grandma was named after a part Native American Mormon girl named LaVonne Hudson who lived near the Canadian border.   Oh, and they kept coyote hunting dogs.  Wha???!

No, I had NOT heard this story but it doesn't surprise me too much.  Grandma would have liked her namesake--she loved the history and stories about the Indians, particularly in Montana.  Maybe this is partly why?  And then isn't it ironic that she married a Mormon and also joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a young mother? 

No, this does not belong to the family.
It was the late roaring twenties, all glitz, glamor, lawlessness, and .....coyote skins.  Apparently the coyote business was booming.  Harry and Bess Van De Riet had moved back and forth and around a few times already since their marriage in 1919.  They had lived in Conrad, running a creamery, where Harry, Jr. was born in 1920.  Their next son Jack was born in Great Falls in 1922, but I'm not sure if they were living there or if he was just born in the hospital.  Next the family lived in Shelby--I forgot to ask Bonnie what they were doing there.  Maybe more creamery work?  Shelby was a boomtown after the 1922 oil discovery, so there would have been lots of work opportunities.  We know that the Van De Riets were present in Shelby at the great Jack Dempsey heavyweight fight on the 4th of July, 1923. Would you like to see the fight?  Just found a video clip of it at the site that is selling the medallion above.

Bess & Jack, Harry Sr. and Bobby.

Harry and Bess had a baby girl, Marilyn, who was born in Shelby in 1924.  She died a few months later of a childhood disease.  Bess had another baby, Robert, called Bobby, the following summer, in Shelby, and another son Ray in 1927, who was born in Choteau.  The family was back in Shelby in February of 1928 when tragedy struck again, and their two-and-a-half year old Bobby died of illness.  (Either Marilyn or Bobby died of meningitis, but I didn't note down which one.)

Sometime after Robert's death, Harry and Bess were ready for a change.  They moved again, this time to the Jack Galbraith ranch near Babb, Montana, (part of the Blackfoot Indian Reservation), and took up a new venture.  Coyote trapping.  And so close to the Canadian border, perhaps a little brown jugful of something "on the side" as well.

That's right folks, Bootlegging.

James Bailey Schnee
Enter Uncle James Bailey Schnee.  He was a friend of Harry's back in Choteau when the two were younger.  This is how he met Harry's little sister, Marie Van De Riet.  The two were married in 1921. I remember Grandma LaVonne talking about Uncle Bailey and Aunt Marie and how fun and lovable they were.  Anyway, I don't know whose idea it was to go trap coyotes and live with their young families on the Res, but I'm guessing it was Bailey's.  At least he stayed in the area longer and is found living up there with his family in the 1930 Census when Harry and Bess were long gone, back to the Choteau area where they had LaVonne in August 1929.  Maybe he liked the work?  Aunt Bonnie says that Bailey was bootlegging "bet ya didn't know that!" and that she "is sure my Dad was a partner in it".  I don't know if living on the Reservation affected some of the Prohibition laws or if it was just the proximity to Canada that made rum-running easy and profitable, but I'm pretty sure they never got caught.  (Bonnie recommends Ken Burns' new documentary, Prohibition.)
Harry's picture of the Cardston, Alberta temple. 

Adding some irony to the situation is that they had a non-drinking Mormon landlord (wonder if he knew what was going on?).  I'm also guessing that this is the period of time where Harry took a tourist's photograph of the Cardston Alberta, Temple, a newly built symbol of purity and goodness and the Latter-Day Saint faith, where some of his children and grandchildren would later be married.  It's one of my favorite temple pictures; I have even shown it when I've given Sunday school lessons in church, etc.,  and now I find out Harry may have been in Canada taking this picture while breaking the law!  Pretty funny skeleton in the closet--the joke is on me.

Bailey and Harry moved their young families into a Duplex that still stands (Aunt Bonnie has a picture I need to get of the Galbraith house) on the Galbraith Ranch.  Jack Galbraith was part Indian and had a wife named Susan Hudson.  The two had a daughter? (Bonnie wasn't sure on this point-maybe she was a sister-in-law, or maybe Susan went by LaVonne) named LaVonne Hudson.  Jack was Mormon and a participant in the  efforts of the LDS church to settle southern Alberta/Montana.  Bonnie says there is a wonderful article titled "Mormonism in Montana" in the Spring 2006 issue of the Montana Magazine of Western History that talks about Jack Galbraith.  The article is not online but I intend to look it up next time I am at the FHL in Salt Lake and fill in the rest of the story.  In any case, he and his wife were wonderful friends to Harry and Bess.  I don't know if they knew each other before they moved to Babb or became acquainted as tenant/landlord at the time.
I don't think they were in Babb for a very long time; my best guess is that they were there for about a year or less between March 1928 and summer 1929.  Bonnie says her mom, Bess, used to talk about having to chop up the meat (as in, coyote meat) every day to make the dog food.  P.U.  And I'm guessing that she would have been pregnant with LaVonne for part of that time.

Harry's son Ray writes about his earliest memory (as printed in the Van De Riet Reunion binder, compiled by Sheila VDR Jackman.)
     "The first I can remember of my family life was when we lived on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, thirty miles north of Browning, Montana, on the Galbraith Ranch.  There was an Indian family who worked on the ranch by the name of Bearwalker.  The youngest boy, Joe, was a little older than I was and when we would try to follow the older boys, Harry and Jack, on their horses, they would tie him to the horse manger in the barn by his long braids and then we would have to go have our mothers untie him and of course, the older boys would be gone by then."

It sounds like it was a fun place for the whole family (other than cutting up the stinky meat.)  Brother Galbraith had a fancy house that included a ballroom.  Sometimes he would hire an orchestra clear from Great Falls and host dances.  At one of these parties, Grandma Bess had a dance, as The Joker would say, "with the devil in the pale moonlight."  She knew him as Charlie Gannon, cowhand.  The Texas Rangers and other lawmen knew him as Hillary "Hill" Loftis aka Tom Ross aka Frank Hale, murderer, cattle rustler, prison breaker.  He would have been an older man, maybe in his sixties or fifties, having been on the run from the law since 1895.  He also purportedly had " a head shaped like a buffalo’s and chilling black eyes".  I wish I had a picture or a wanted poster!

That dance may have been the last pleasant evening for the outlaw Charlie Gannon.  We don't know when it was exactly, but it fits well with what I learned from an article by Max McCoy.
  "He remained on the run until 1929, when during a thirty degree below night in a Montana line camp he killed a range detective by the name of Ralph Hayward who had been sent to smoke him out. After shooting Hayward to death, Loftis ordered the other cowboys out into the cold, burned all personal papers, and wrote a suicide note – then put a pistol to his head and pulled the trigger."
Aunt Bonnie said that they found him in the bunkhouse, and her story matches an entry from The Encyclopedia of Lawmen, Outlaws, and Gunfighters by Leon Metz. (On Google Books in its entirety, if you would like to read the full article.)

It's an old wives' tale that a shock to the mother during pregnancy may show up on the baby's face.  Grandma LaVonne did have very black eyes...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Named in America: Second Generation Van De Riets

I've been collecting records on Herman and Sarah Elmyra (Hale) Van De Riet and am fascinated by the change that some of these Dutch names underwent. My good friend Elsje (pronounced Elsha) is half Dutch; I met her Mom recently and she taught me how to pronounce some of these names.
So, here is a little quiz for you. These are all names of Van De Riets, born to Herman and Sarah in Kansas. They were pretty good about naming their kids for their parents, which meant that some of the Dutch names showed up, strange sounding to our Yankee ears or not. Actually, they weren't that unusual because Herman and Sarah actually lived in a Dutch community where these names were common.
Herman and Sarah with six of their eight children
 Can you match these Dutch names to their American counterpart, or the American name to the nickname they ended up with?
Can you identify which grandparent these kids got named for (apparently)?
Can you guess how they were pronounced?

Which child did not actually belong to Sarah and Herman?

Remember, these are Grandma LaVonne's aunts and uncles, siblings to our Great Grandpa Harry VanDeRiet. I know that the Dutch names were used originally based on the census records, marriage records, and from Grandpa Herman's will that I recently picked up in Great Falls, Montana. (PS, Herman left quite a chunk of change--over $25,000 at his death in 1920.  I looked that up in today's money on an inflation calculator and it would be the equivalent today of over a quarter million. Pretty good for an immigrant farmer turned ranch boss!  Maybe he had just sold some property?  He was renting in Great Falls when he died.)

1. Gerrit Jan                  A. Alice
2. Gerhard                     B. Will
3. Geziena                     C. Grace
4. Aaltje                        D. Minnie
5. Hermina                     E. John
6. Mary                         F. Harry
7. William Garrett          G. Hi
8. Hiram                        H. Marie
9. Grace                        I. Hazel AND Zina AND Sinnie

You got that?
1. Gerrit Jan is actually John. Herman's Dad, the original immigrant, was also named Gerritjan. The fun part is that it is pronounced with a gutterel G, which means you say a hard H sound down in your throat, so it comes out like "Herreet-Yawn."
2. Gerhard is the biggest surprise to me. This is actually my Great-Grandpa Harry. It also is pronounced with an H sound, Hairhard, so I guess it makes sense he would have gone by Harry. Of all the paperwork I have on him, the only place I've seen his name as Gerhard is in Herman's will. Harry was named for Herman's little brother Gerhard (who, I think, also went as Harry.)
3. Geziena. If you've caught on to the G=H trick, you might have figured out that this is Aunt Hazel. Sounds like, Hay-seena. As a young girl she went by Sinnie (I know, weird, but there are several in her community. Then, in Herman's will he refers to her as Zina. I've only heard her spoken of as Aunt Hazel.
4. Aaltje. This is the bogus child. Aaltje got Americanized to Alice. She is actually Herman's sister-in-law.
5. Hermina is Minnie. Understandable. Herman has a sister and a grandmother named Hermina, a very prevalent name in the Van De Riet family.
6. Mary is Aunt Marie. I don't know why she didn't just stick with Mary. Too common? Sarah's mother's name was Mary Ann Poole Hale.
7. William Garrett is Uncle Will. Sarah has a brother Will and also a Grandpa William Poole, so I guess that's where this comes from. It's kind of funny that they use the name Garrett twice.
8. Hiram is Uncle Hi. Named for Sarah's father Hiram Hale who fought in the Civil War.
9. Grace is Grace.

Now do you want to meet these half-Dutch Americans? Here are a few photos.
John, Harry (my Great-Grandpa), Will, Hiram Van De Riet
Uncle Hi Van De Riet, 1941, Portland.  Talk about a 100 watt smile!

Aunt Marie, 1947.  Marie went to college at Dillon, Montana and either saw, or played a small part in a play with Gary Cooper, who later made it big in Hollywood.  And she loved him ever after.  She also married and divorced Bailey Schnee, a fun uncle to my grandma, but also a bootlegger across the Canadian/Montana border.  She remarried James Kenyon.

Marie, Minnie, Hi, Hazel, and Grace.  Love the fancy dresses.  
The photos came from my Grandma LaVonne Van De Riet Haynes.  I helped her go through hundreds of family photos and write labels on them when I was in high school.  It was fun to hear her talk about her aunts and uncles.  She thought very highly of them.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mayflower Descendants: Me, Ashley Judd, and how many million others?

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching NBC's show, "Who Do You Think You Are?" on Fridays. This week they ended their second season by filming Ashley Judd's search into her ancestry. About half of the program was spent spotlighting her ancestor William Brewster, who was a genuine Mayflower Pilgrim. To watch it (and if you are related to me or to Ashley, you'll want to) click here. After viewing it, I had to go and check my notes, but yes, William Brewster is also one of my ancestors. With a strong showing from the Yankees (New England, not New York, sorry Jared...) in my family tree, it was pretty difficult to avoid having Mayflower ancestors. In fact, a huge chunk of Americans do--tens of millions, according to the Mayflower Society, whether they know it or not. Those families were prolific!
If you are a Haynes cousin, you are unusual in the fact that you actually have seven Mayflower ancestors (that I am aware of.) From my Dad's side of the family, through Grandma Pearl's family, who are also early converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I always think it is fascinating that the several-times-grandchildren of these pilgrims who came to America for religious freedom and to avoid persecution were able to exercise that freedom in joining Jesus' restored church on the earth, and then also suffer persecution for it and flee to a new land. How history repeats itself. I also wonder if, in a way, they were put in a position to claim that opportunity first because the Lord wanted to honor those brave pilgrims and their descendants.
So, which pilgrims share our blood? You're probably already familiar with some of these names.
1. Governor William Bradford, through TWO of his sons, William Bradford b. 1624, Plymouth, Mass. and Joseph Bradford b. 1627 , Plymouth, Mass. (yes, there were some kissing 2nd cousins in this case), down to their gggranddaughter Hannah Bradford who married John Kempton and joined the Mormon church with her family.
2. William Brewster, who was a leader among the pilgrims and had been imprisoned with Wiliam Bradford in England for their beliefs (watch the show, you'll see the jail cell).
3. Mary Wentworth Brewster, his wife, who came across on the Mayflower with him, along with...
4. their son, Love Brewster, who was actually born in Holland during their exile from England. He was about nine years old at the crossing. We are descendants of his daughter, Sarah Brewster Bartlett, whose granddaughter Sarah Bartlett actually married into this Bradford family we already discussed.
5. Thomas Rogers. He was one who died during the "first sickness" soon after arrival, but his son Joseph survived. Joseph was eventually joined in America by his sisters, (including our ancestor Elizabeth Rogers), who were children and had been biding their time in Holland. Elizabeth's GGG-grandson was John Kempton, who joined the Mormon church. And married the illustrious Hannah Bradford, who we've met (see #1,2,3 and 4).  Note:  It has been recently pointed out that Elizabeth Rogers may not have actually been the wife of our Walter Woodworth; there is no documentation.  We'll hope for good genealogical discoveries here.
6. Priscilla Mullins. Are any of you English majors perking up your ears yet? Maybe you will if you remember that she was the beauty who finally married...
7. John Alden. As in, "Speak for yourself John." As in the poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. John was the go-between for the tough, tongue-tied soldier Miles Standish, and it seems he charmed himself right out of a job. John and Priscilla were married in the New World and lent a considerable hand to populating it. They had ten children. Their daughter Elizabeth was also a GGG grandmother to, you guessed it, Hannah Bradford. I can see the writing on the wall. Maybe I should research little miss Hannah next!

Anyway, now that you know how much pilgrim is in you, check out a library book about the Mayflower or Plymouth Colony or the Pilgrims and do some learning. It will mean a lot more to you knowing just how much you had a stake in these heroes and heroines.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Girl's Best Friend: M. LaVonne VanDeRiet Haynes

We recently moved, and are mostly unpacked. The final frontier of boxes is Mark's office, where all of our papers, official & unofficial, have landed. I've been trying to empty out the boxes that I have any power over and came across a box the other night that was full of cards and letters I had saved from high school and college. It made me feel a little sorry for today's generation, in twenty years none of them are going to have a box like that to unpack. It amazes me that people would take the time to write letters and cards--long ones even--to someone they maybe didn't even know that well. We are kind of selfish today I guess. I hate writing even thank you cards and generally think a verbal thank you is fine, unless I really really mean it. (So if you've ever gotten one from me, consider yourself extremely appreciated.) I also loved checking out the greetings and the signatures. A "love" thrown out from a casual friend, a lack of "Dear" from someone who didn't want to be complicated, XOXOX smiley faces and tears from a little sister who missed me, a "Dear Twitter and Pated" to Mark and I when we were newlyweds. (That was from my missionary brother Jake in Brazil. I was actually surprised at how much he wrote me! He even managed to spell better than he does now, haha.) I'm getting a little off track here, what I wanted to say was, the ones I loved reading the best were from my Grandmas. I'm sure my siblings still get nice cards from Grandma Heagy, with her beautiful loopy handwriting, but Jake and I are probably the only ones who received mail from my Grandma Haynes because she passed away not long after I was married.

So today, as a treat to those of you who love her, here are some words from Grandma (or Gramma, as she signed her letters--you know you all say it that way, anyhow) and some insights that I gained from rereading them. I had forgotten how much I truly LIKED her as a person, not just loved her as a grandmother. Here is one letter from her, as an example. I think it is really indicative of how much she cared about people and how passionate & fierce she was about the things that were important to her.

Nov. 4, 1997
Dear Jackie O,
Thank you so very much for that wonderful letter. We are looking forward to having you home again. Brooke says you are getting homesick, at least she is meaning she misses you too. I have spent most of last week getting people to sign a petition to get our library county funded. It has to be voted on, so I have been running around to most of the west end of the Slope. Nobody is ever home so I have to go back again and again. I think it is important. You would do it too. Jake has an area in Fairfield he is doing.

I went to the choral concert at the school last Fri and you won't believe this but both Duke in Choraliers and Jake [cute, she accidentally spelled it Jack. Those Haynes men are all alike, you know...] in Chorus both stood up and sang. What a surprise and they really looked good. [Notice, she didn't say you sounded good, haha.] Bill Lee said he was so glad to have Duke sing with them. Katy told me she was on the decorating [committee] planning for their homecoming dance and they did a garden scene or something like that, anyway they had a fountain of goldfish and little bowls of them around on the tables. The boys started daring each to eat one and they soon ate them all. Katy saved one and brought it home. She was so mad. I was hoping all those kids would get sick, but I guess they were really tough guys or jerks or something. Is that crazy or what.
When we were out in Seattle we went to the huge South Town Mall and there was at least a thousand people in every store. Some Asians, Chinese, Indian Buddists with turbans on their heads. So many different nationalities, like a trip overseas. The big food court served that many different foods, too. I was sure glad to get out of there. Nobody was shopping, just walking around. So many people. I suppose it is like that down there, too.
I helped Verda and Lena make a quilt for the Cub & Boy Scout Auction. It was just tied but it brought $65. The Tacke's bought it.
Then she talks about her Primary class at church where she had a student who struggled with reading and writing, and it really bothered her.]
I wanted to help him but he didn't want me to do it. He would pound his head and nearly cry. The other kids each wrote about 10 things on each one and he only had 2 on one list. I feel so bad, he can't read or write past early kindergarten. When he gave the closing prayer, he prayed that he would be able to write next week. I don't know what to do, I cried when he said that and you can't talk to his know it all parents. He is a smart little boy but what a mess he is in.
We are making some really nice Primary projects, mostly pioneer scenes and stories. The kids love it. Lorraine Kolste had a baby girl. Rhett says she looks like Katy. Her name is Mikell. [
Rhett was one of her students. She loved to visit with them.]
I went down to visit Rita [probably "visiting teaching" for the church, kind of reaching out to your neighbors and helping the ones that don't come to church, etc--something she loved and never missed in I don't know how many years, listen to how sincere she is] the other day and she showed me some pictures of Joe's family that she had copied for some of the kids Xmas presents. Some of them were of his Grandparents in Canada over 100 years ago. Such a great job of copying they did, some of his family were Scottish and some Cree Indians, all very handsome people. Rita was surely pleased. Joe sure has an interesting life and so nice to visit with.
We have been busy putting in a well across the road for the cows. Such a lot of work and tinkering around. It will really be a big help though, we won't have to drive them back and forth every day.
It sounds like you are working very hard and I am glad you are having fun too. Yes, you really need lots of sleep just to keep with your studies, let alone living in a dorm with lots of other gals. Keep up the good work, we are so proud of you and love you lots. Be careful, take good care of yourself. Love, Gramma & Gramps
Really looking forward to seeing you again soon.
PS. I told the Schwann man you were going to the Y to school and he asked what kind of classes they were giving there and I said just about any kind. He said, when did they start that. Anyway he thought you were going to the YMCA. I had to straighten him out good.
Wasn't that a great letter? I know my siblings are hoping for a mention here, and they all know that Grandma was their biggest fan, so here is another letter and then some excerpts from when she was keeping me up-to-date on all that.

Mar 15, 2000
Dear Jacky & Mark,
I want to thank you so much for all the family history work you have been doing. That is so very interesting about Mary's lamb, I knew they used it in McGuffeys reader, first children's literature they could relate to. [
This was when I was investigating the long held belief that we were related to Sarah Buell Hale, the author of Mary had a Little Lamb. Turns out we are definitely not.] I am surprised all of that story is in the computer. Who puts all that information in there? It is truly amazing. We are fine and the weather is cold, windy and maybe snowing later. We had a barnyard full of coyotes this morning, sure scared the cows. I am not sure what they were after. A mountain lion killed one of Kosel's calves the other nite so Gramps has loaded rifles in the pick-ups. I don't like big cats they get up on the roof or in the trees and jump on you, it is scary.
Well basketball is over, I really miss going to the games. Duke had a wonderful year, he has been picked to play in a tournament in Billings this week-end, I guess your folks are going and we will do chores. Darcy had a good year in Volleyball and now they are both out for track. I got to see Brooke in one game, it was such a surprise to see her play so tough and fast. So unlike her, but she was good. [
Seriously, I think she knew us as well as her own kids. No question.] I hope all is well with you and so glad you could all get together at Kelly's wedding. We love you and miss you.

Feb. 8, 2000
...I am feeling fine now. Even went to Duke's game and yelled at the refs and our dopey coach. So I am mending fine. Brooke is playing ball but I haven't been to any of her games and I have been missing Darcy's volleyball. I sure wish everything was not on the same nite. Brooke is really into basketball. I was so surprised that she likes it.

May 16, 1999
Dear Jackie and Mark,
I am so glad everything is fine with you. I heard you got seasick on your cruise. It is an inherited trait. We both got so seasick we didn't care if we drowned. How are your jobs? I hope you are getting some ice cream samples...We went to some track meets and Brooke did so good 7 ribbons she just didn't believe she was so good. Duke has just burned up the track, Sat. at the district meet he got 3 firsts and 1 second. His goal for the year was to get 40' in the triple jump and 20' in the long jump and he did. So he was walking pretty proud. They will go to Divisional at Glasgow this Sat. We will stay home and watch cows and care for Brooke. Darcy will go as an alternate in a race or two. She hurt her leg over in Missoula so she didn't get her best jump in as they said she scratched, she felt pretty bad, but she has done very well. We went to Brooke's spring thing at the school last nite and what a great job they did. It was a whole show about Egypt with mummies, pyramids, tombs, beautiful costumes and even a snake. They sure did a lot of work on it. I thought it was one of the best ever. They even had the Nile River across the classroom.
I feel bad that Jake is having a kinda of tough time[in Brazil on his mission]. He says send food, they only feed him rice and beans and no catsup. He also says we should be so very thankful to live in the USA it is not so nice there. I just may have to go get him. I hope it gets better for him when he moves again.

Oct 1, 1997
Dear "Faraway Jackie",
At least that is how it seems to me....
I went to Darcy's game last Sat. and she sprained her ankle. I felt so bad for her. You did it too once so you know about that. She is doing fine and will be able to play in her tournament next week. She is terrific on defense and the team needs her. Duke is still O.K. and doing better but I sure worry about him getting hurt. Jake caught his pass last week for a touchdown. It was Haynes to Haynes. I think they both like it better now.
Last week the missionaries were here for supper. They are both new to this area. One is a nice friendly sort but the other one is having a bad time, he can't hardly talk and is very homesick. He sat in our living room and just looked at the floor. I didn't know what to say. He is from N. Carolina and Jack got him to talk about his home and made him show him on the map. He is really strange and I felt sorry for the other Elder. I gave them cake and strawberries and (you would have really laughed) I knew when I handed him his, something was wrong. Wouldn't you know he was allergic to strawberries. I was glad when they had to leave.

[Spring 1999]
Sounds like your shower was a great success. I am so glad. Sorry I couldn't be there. We are getting ready to start farming, we branded our calves and Gramps got some (cow dirt) in his new teeth so he took them out and put them on the barn window sill. Then he forgot where they were. I guess he will soon be able to manage them. We hope you are fine and all is well. We miss you and also Jake. We had a nice letter from him and he is doing fine.
Gramma and Gramps [
here is a bald-guy illustration that Grandpa sometimes signed with]
We sure love you.
We sure love you, too, Grandma.