Monthly Archives: May 2018

Memories: G-ma’s aerogram

Ruth Blocher (my maternal grandmother, known as “G-ma”) and her sister Esther (my beloved great-aunt) and I wrote aerograms to my parents when they were in Argentina.

I later moved to faxing, and then to email.  And of course I started with letters before realizing that aerograms were cheaper.

G-ma (who had just turned 84 at the time) posted this aerogram to my parents on July 21, 1992.  Her first paragraph recounts seeing me as Horace Vandergelder in a performance of Hello, Dolly! at Blue Springs City Theatre earlier that month.
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“Friday as I told you I went to Auntie’s, we picked up the girls in L.S. and went to the play.  It was good good great.  I hadn’t laughed so much in a long time.  He yelled and screamed at everyone until Dollie got to him then he was mild as could be.  When the old beat down man part came he was perfect.  Of course from then on he turned on the charm and smile.  I’m sure glad we didn’t miss that one. Rich several times I saw you up there on the stage.”

Playing Horace Vandergelder in Hello Dolly in 1992.

Memorial Day 2018

I spent this Memorial Day quietly.

Sisters Karen and Beth have visited the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery which now has the graves of both of our parents:

This is an odd feeling, on this day in particular.

Meanwhile I’ve watered the plants and walked the dog and napped and made a pig-pickin’ cake and paid bills and barbecued burgers and done quite a bit of Webster University work.

And now it’s time to read for a while.

Memories: Eastern Airlines

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We found several boarding cards amongst my father’s belongings.

Here is one for Mom, for a wide-body when airlines were still flying wide-body jets on short haul domestic flights.  Mom was in seat 28J.

Eastern Airlines when out of business in 1991, so this flight was sometime between 1986 when they became missionaries and 1991.

Memories: 5th grade

Amongst my father’s belongings was this clipping from the Lee’s Summit Journal, sometime in the spring months of 1972.

I won the fifth grade oration contest with my speech “Why George Washington Carver is My Favorite American.”

As I look at this photo, I notice the street addresses of the students. This is of course something that we would never do today in our worries about child safety.

I also notice how many of these classmates were in the school band with me eight years later at graduation.  Is there a correlation between playing music and being successful, or at least voluble?

And I notice that all of the ten finalists list a “Mr. and Mrs.” as the parents.  Was divorce really that less common in 1972?  Perhaps it was!


  • Doug Wesselschmidt is now a city manager of a large city in Kansas.
  • Barb Darabos is retired military, living in Germany.
  • David Collum is pastor of Methodist church in Bolivar, Missouri.
  • Kenda Wilson went on to become of my dearest friends in high school, but time and distance have played their part.
  • I’d love to know where Marque Shafe is.

My high school graduating class included more then 560 students, so I’m not able to find (with complete assurance) all the rest of these folks on Facebook.


A day off?

I’m in the midst of four days of holiday….

But boy howdy, do I seem to be busy:

  • sorting through things that belonged to my mother and father
  • going on a leisurely stroll through Costco and still only spending less than $140
  • then driving on local roads to Aldi, and the bank, and Dierberg’s, and taking my time in each location
  • doing a photo shoot
  • enjoying a half-day at the spa
  • taking Auggie for his own doggie-spa morning
  • cooking and cleaning and doing laundry
  • napping
  • arranging voice lessons for next week
  • and reading.

Sunday will be a church service, a voice lesson, and a choral concert.  Then steak on the grill, with homemade macaroni & cheese, green salad, and strawberries for dessert.

Memories: senior recital

Twenty years ago today, my then-seniors in high school sang a senior recital.

I found the program in my father’s belongings.

Of these students, I visited with Matt Wilson in Chicago two or three years ago, and Jimmy Boswell is a Facebook friend.  The rest have disappeared.

These students were an especially good group, and I adored teaching them.