Tuesday, December 24, 2013

On This Date in 1998

Dear Eric and Sally,

We do actually spend some time at home. The two times you called you reached our voice mail, and I meant to call back promptly if for nothing else than just to chat.

We dispensed with the one-size-fits-all letter format this year. Instead, as if I’m living a life of leisure, I assigned myself the duty of enclosing a personal note in each card without trying to repeat myself too often. That didn’t work with the relatives, on both sides of the family. My longhand notes informed them that we’ll be in Two Rivers for the first week of Christmas break and Warren during the second week and not much more. As I moved toward the heart of our Christmas card list, to the names of special friends, I decided to sit in front of the computer and just share whatever’s on my mind.

I talked with Paul Stearns last night. He’s living in the Eagle River area, working for the Commissioner of Public Lands. He’s developed a long-distance relationship with Sarah, who lives in Milwaukee. They were supposed to get married this year but postponed the ceremony since they couldn’t work out the details of a practical living arrangement. \

I spent an evening with LeRoy and Patsy Stahle this summer. I scheduled the June meeting of the Wisconsin Library Association board of directors, of which I was president this year, at the Oshkosh Public Library. They are both doing great, enjoying retirement, keeping busy. LeRoy looked like a Native American he was so dark from playing golf every day. What a life! (Only 15 years until my retirement. And, no, I’m not counting.)

As for the Schnozz, I haven’t heard from Pat and Vicki in over a year. When I read in some library publication that he had accepted the directorship of the Pikes Peak Library System in Colorado Springs last November (1997), I gave him a call and we chatted for a half hour or so. Up to that point, he had been doing a lot of consulting as well as guiding a successful building project to completion. I think they have two kids now. Actually, you may know more about them than I do. 

After five years of hanging upside down in the garage, the bicycles that JoAnna and I use were finally taken down off their storage hooks. Naturally, they both needed major tune-ups before being roadworthy. So how many rides did JoAnna and I take together this summer? Zero. Andy and I took a couple of short rides, but otherwise, the bikes leaned on their kickstands until last weekend when I returned them to their hooks. And when I think back on all the bicycling I used to do. Eric, I still consider our bike trip through parts of Wisconsin and Michigan to be one of the highlights of the 1980s. I hope that it won’t turn out to be the one and only two-wheeled excursion of my life. 

I’ll save more of the family stuff for a phone call. Stayed tuned.

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