Bruised, battered but breathing

Hi, everyone.  I am late putting the entry on the blog because I was in an accident today.

At 1:20 this afternoon, I was driving down 132nd Street near Dodge Street, just past HyVee, when a Dodge caravan coming from the south turned in front of me.  I swerved to miss him, but he turned and we both headed to the guardrail, unable to stop.  I think I hit the front right fender as we headed for the guardrail.  Our Windstar is totaled.  His Caravan is totaled, probably.  The air bags deployed in my vehicle.  It was bad.  I didn’t know those things would have such a horrible smell!  I thought my car was on fire.  My right upper chest hurt and I couldn’t breath.  I tried to get out of the car, but the door was jammed.  I finally got out and was able to breathe then.  All the witnesses were telling me to stay in the car, but I couldn’t breathe in the car.  The EMTs came but I told them I didn’t think I needed an ambulance.  I was shaking so bad, though, I wasn’t functioning very well.  I had all these people asking me questions and telling me what to do.  It was very confusing.  Three witnesses told me they saw it happen and that I had the green light.  Everyone was very helpful.  The policewoman told me to call the tow track unless I wanted the police to impound my vehicle.  I wanted to call Dennis.  I did that as soon as I could and he left work, arriving at the scene of the accident about 30 minutes later.  The policewoman stayed with us until the tow truck got there around 2:30 (an hour after the accident.)  Then I told Dennis I thought we should go to the ER for some x-rays.  My left shoulder was hurting quite a bit, plus my right hip (which probably hit the seatbelt buckle) and my chest.  We were at the ER from 3:30 until 7:30.  They were very busy at Methodist!  All the x-rays came back OK.  They gave me a sling to wear and a Rx for muscle relaxant.  While waiting there, my pains changed and some got better, but new ones showed up.  I guess that’s the way it’s going to be the next few days!  I have a “strangulation” injury across my neck from the seatbelt riding high.  I think that is why I have a sore throat.  The injury looks like someone took a thin wire and tightened it across my neck.  The ER doctor even described it as a strangulation injury.  I have always hated those seatbelts and I remember telling Dennis that I thought I could be decapitated if we were ever in a real serious accident.  Anyway, now we have to get a different car, so I plan to be absolutely sure that the seatbelt isn’t too high. 

They Would See Nothing

I went to the “Death, Murder and Mayhem” symposium at the Embassy Suites downtown this past week, thinking I might pick up some writing ideas.  It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I still enjoyed it.  Most people there were academia and grad students presenting papers, but there were a few writers in the crowd.  Many of the presentations had to do with various murders in the past, cowboy times up to Charlie Starkweather and beyond.  Several speakers talked about how the media can affect investigations and trials.  A couple “old timers” from 1950’s TV talked about how Charlie Starkweather was filmed in his cell and how the media described him as a punk with a limp, etc.  They said the media would never get away with that now.  One reporter talked about how, in the ’50’s, some reporters were even allowed to interrogate prisoners. 

Several speakers talked about the land and how it adds to the hopeless feeling people bent on murder and mayhem may have.  A couple mystery writers said the land is a character itself in their books.  One keynote speaker titled her talk “They Would See Nothing” which is a quote from Mari Sandoz about the Sandhills.  Sandoz described people who saw the Sandhills as a vast wasteland as “those who would see nothing.”  They don’t see the beauty but only look for ways of profiting from the land.  Many in pioneer days thought the Sandhills had nothing to offer. 

Sean Doolittle was one of the mystery writers who spoke.  I am currently reading one of his books called “Rain Dogs” that takes place near Valentine along the Niobrara.  Another writer was Alex Kava who has written many best sellers set in Nebraska.  I have never been able to get through her books because they are pretty gruesome.  I have her “Perfect Evil” and another one, but I get too emotionally involved to read very far.  It may have to do with being familiar with the places she writes about.  “The Perfect Evil” is based on the John Joubert murders of the two paperboys in the early ’80’s and that is too close to home for me to read.  (I never let my boys have paper routes because of that case.)

Anyway, I hope there is no mayhem in your lives and that you are all getting ready for the class reunion.  Please send your pictures, old and recent, to me.  You can just scan them and e-mail them or you can send them in the mail.  Have a good week!  


Would YOU let THESE People Plan YOUR Class Reunion??



Hi, everyone.  As you can see, I spent the weekend at Govier’s and had a great time reconnecting with old friends. We got together Saturday night for some reminiscing, planning and beer.  The next day, Deb and I talked to Dorsett as well, and we reserved the country club for our reunion banquet next year.  We went ahead and did that because it looks like the places in town that could accommodate us were being booked already.  We discussed places where we would have to set up the tables, hire a caterer, clean up, etc., and decided we’re getting too old for all that, so we went with the country club because they will provide all those services.  We made sure we had a separate room, though, so we wouldn’t have any issues with others who may be “reuning” there.

We will be sending out the questionnaires in the next couple of months.  We hope to get them back in a timely manner so we can begin working on the booklet.  As for the DVD, we need your pictures!  Please email them OR mail them through the US Postal Service.  You can send them to me or Cheryl Franssen, Janice Barnes or Bill Fann.  If you send them by “snail mail”, I will scan them and send them back to you, so you don’t need to get duplicates made.  We would like pictures “through the years!”  If you have any pictures taken 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, etc. please send them.

April has been a tough month for several classmates.  Becky Arnold Crawford lost her dad, Opal lost her dad, and Terry Brand lost his mom.  Some of you were relatives such as cousins.  Some of you were friends and neighbors.  Several of you attended the funerals, which I’m sure meant a lot to Becky, Opal and Terry.  I was out at the Catholic cemetery while I was in BBow.  I went out after attending Mass.  The only people I recognized in Mass on Sunday morning were Mike Goeden’s folks.  But at the cemetery, I recognized a lot of names.  It struck me that all these people were a part of my impressionable years.  Many wonderful people are now gone.  We are blessed to have had them in our lives.  We express our condolescenes to the Arnold, Ferguson and Brand families.  You are in our thoughts and prayers.     




7 Lana Pleak

17 anniversary –Rosentreader 1971

18 Tom Cordell


Who else has birthdays and anniversaries in April?  Please let me know.


I think Spring has finally arrived in Omaha.  Today is cool again, but we had a beautiful weekend.  Dennis even fired up the lawn mower.


We celebrated birthdays this weekend.  Since Joe’s work and school schedule is so full, we celebrated his upcoming birthday a few days early.  We met at Old Chicago for lunch, then came back to the house for cake and presents.  It was nice to spend a little time together.  Then Joe had to dash off to work.  Mike teases him that he sees Dave who lives in Chicago more than his brother here in town.  That isn’t far from the truth!


I found a new quote I like.  In this Sunday’s paper in the “Parade” section, there is an article about a professor who is dying of pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest, quickest cancers around.  His name is Randy Pausch and he has three young children, so he made a video of his “Last Lecture” in which he passes life lessons on to his children.  It is a very good article, filled with many nuggets of wisdom.  My new quote is about failure and not being afraid to fail.  Randy says, “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you wanted.” 


I have a couple more e-mails to share from classmates.  Judy Mohatt Person, one of our many classmates in Colorado,  recently wrote:

Howard and I are both well and doing great.   He will be retiring from his job the end of April (surgical assistant for a periodontist).  He plans to take a couple of months off and then find something else to do with his time.  Our financial planner tells us that I will need to work until I reach 66!  I’m the lucky one that has health insurance coverage.
My family established a scholarship fund at the Custer County Foundation in my sister’s memory.  The first scholarship presentation was on March 2nd.  The recipient went to the same one-room school that Mom went to 60+ years ago.  Mom, Dad, Mike, Howard and I were all there.  I had a chance to talk to Jerry Vaughan at the reception afterwards and he mentioned that you were driving out next month. 
Mom and Dad are doing pretty well.  They live in the assisted living apartments up at the hospital (Liberty Square) and really like it there.  They can walk to the dining room, the doctor’s office and the hospital section without ever going outside. Howard and I are driving back to attend my aunt’s 90th birthday open house in May. 
Thanks for all you do to keep us all connected.  I think it’s wonderful! 

Nick sent a funny “Growing Up in a Small Town” forward.  (I’m not real crazy about “forwards” but do enjoy a good one now and then.)

  Those who grew up in small towns will laugh when they read this.
  Those who didn’t will be in disbelief and won’t understand how true it is.
  1) You can name everyone you graduated with.
  2) You know what 4-H means.
  3) You went to parties at a pasture, barn, gravel pit, or in the middle of a dirt road.  On Monday you could always tell who was at the party because of the scratches on their legs from running through the woods when the party was busted. (See #6.)
  4) You used to’drag’Main.
  5) You whispered the ‘F’ word and your parents knew within the hour.
  6) You scheduled parties around the schedules of different police officers, because you knew which ones would bust you and which ones wouldn’t.
  7) You could never buy cigarettes because all the store clerks knew how old you were (and if you were old enough, they’d tell your parents anyhow.)  Besides, where would you get the money?
  8) When you did find somebody old enough and brave enough to buy cigarettes, you still had to go out into the country and drive on back roads to smoke them.
  9) You knew which section of the ditch you would find the beer your buyer dropped off.
  10) It was cool to date somebody from the neighboring town.
  11) The whole school went to the same party after graduation.
  12) You didn’t give directions by street names but rather by references. Turn by Nelson’s house, go 2 blocks to Anderson’s, and it’s four houses left of the track field.
  13) The golf course had only 9 holes.
  14) You couldn’t help but date a friend’s ex boyfriend/girlfriend.
  15) Your car stayed filthy beca use of the dirt roads, and you will never own a dark vehicle for this reason.
  16) The town next to you was considered ‘trashy’ or ‘snooty,’ but was actually just like your town.
  17) You referred to anyone with a house newer than 1955 as the ‘rich’ people.
  18) The people in the ‘big city’ dressed funny, and then you picked up the trend 2 years later.
  19) Anyone you wanted could be found at the local gas station or the dairybar.
  20) You saw at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town or one of your friends driving a grain truck to school occasionally.
  21) The gym teacher suggested you haul hay for the summer to get stronger.
  22) Directions were given using THE stop light as a reference.
  23) When you decided to walk somewhere for exercise, 5 people would pull over and ask if you wanted a ride.
  24) Your teachers called you by your older siblings’ names.
  25) Your teachers remembered when they taught your parents.
  26) You could charge at any local store or write checks without an ID.
  27) There was no McDonalds unless it was a clothing store.
  28) The closest mall was over an hour away.
  29) It was normal to see an old man riding through town on a riding lawn mower.
  30) You’ve pee’d in a cornfield.
  31) Most people went by a nickname.
  32) You laughed your butt off reading this because you know it is true, and you forward it to everyone who may have lived in a small town..
  I would not have wanted to have been raised any other way!!!!
  Toughtimes don’t last…. Tough people do.
Have a good week!