Posts Tagged With: old and new friends


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People began arriving about 9:00 on Saturday. Setting up their ice chests against a shady wall of the house. Above is Bob and Norma.

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I bought a ping-pong table thinking the kids were getting older and maybe tired of the trampoline. Ken, Ted, Richard and Doug went to work on setting it up.

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They finally realized it was necessary to read the instructions. After that, things went smoothly.

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Everyone was catching up since last year. Grandmother Eunice, mother to Bev and Cathy. Eunice, Cathy, Wendy and Kristanne realized they were all dressed in tie dye.

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Bob and my son, Ken, have a few beers and visit.

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The kids get gifts from Grandma Eunice.

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Tyler ducked the squirt gun. A great way to stay cool.

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The kids like to check the totem to see how the stuff they put on last year held up.009 (Copy)

Cathy wanted her picture taken with my adventurous hat.

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Eunice did too.

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Brother Bill and cousin Terri discussing their favorite snacks. There was probably an equal amount of food inside the house as outside. Everyone kind of spread out.

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The good eats just never end. Virginia, Cami and her mother, Laurie, take a break from the heat outside.

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Anthony and Clint give up the squirt guns for several games of ping-pong.

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Must have been a serious conversation, Stewart, Virginia and Laurie. Earlier there was a card game going on outside and the guessing game, What’s Yours Like, going on inside.

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Brother Clark and Ken discuss the barbecue.

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The kids never seem to tire of the squirt gun wars.

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I caught the smallest and the tallest. Jacob who just graduated high school this year, is 6 foot 2. Abbie, the youngest,  is dwarfed by him.

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The trucks are loaded with tubes and everyone is anxious to go to the flume.  I tried to get a picture of everyone who came and failed miserably this year. And, I stayed away from the flume, so Kris took pictures for me.

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Everyone is getting into their river shoes and ready to go. Ken, Rob and Susie. Rob is foster daughter Susie’s fiance.

But, flume pictures and more tomorrow. I’m slow today because of so many interruptions.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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My partner Jim, and Ned Bedinger, struck a deal. Ned gets Panama Or Bust and we found a new friend. It made for an auspicious day when Jim sold his rig. It was actually more than a rig, it was his home for nine years. And, not without some emotion about letting go, he said: “I’m homeless!” I understand the feeling. I too was temporarily homeless at one time.
Later this morning, I have guests from Hardwood, Michigan arriving.
I’ve blogged about them before, but just for an update, let me explain why this unusual group of visitors are headed my way.
My house burned to the ground in 1946 or 47. My mother was left with the clothes on her back but without shoes on her feet. My dad was cutting pulp for the paper mills and the house was consumed before he was able to reach it. My older brother, sister, and I were in school when it burned. Two younger brothers were home with my mom. No one was injured in the fire.
It was catastrophic to have the school bus driver leave us at the crossroads that day with nothing but a spiral of smoke to go home to.
In rural Hardwood, our closest neighbor, the Robinson family, was adjacent to the bus stop. In the opposite direction, about 1/4 mile away, was the Cousineau farm.
My two chums, Pat Robinson and Bernice Cousineau were at the bus stop with us. We spent that first homeless night with the Cousineau family.
With no house, we moved to a friend’s camp, then a very tiny house with a renovated chicken coop that served as a boys bedroom. Within a few weeks we moved out of Hardwood to Iron Mountain where my dad got a job at the Ford Plant.
Except for one brief encounter, I never saw my childhood friends, Pat and Bernice again.
Today, after a lapse of over 60 years, Pat Robinson Whitfield, and her husband Richard; Bernice Cousineau Patrick and her sister Marie Cousineau Gaber will arrive at Sacramento Airport for there first visit to California. We had had no contact over these intervening years until a phone call out of the blue last year. I was amazed they managed to run me down after so many years.
Every picture our family had was burned in that fire. They’ve promised to bring some photos. Old friends found. You will meet them on this page as we renew a lifetime of changes in the weeks ahead. Homelessness and friendship is something you never forget.
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