It’s countdown to surgery time!  I go under the knife on Tuesday.  I am not looking forward to it, but I want to get it over with.  I appreciate all the good advice you have given me.  Thanks for your support.

Dennis’ mom arrived today.  She will stay with us for a couple weeks and help out around the house.  She loves to clean, so I am glad to have her!  She is a great help.  We used to clash more because our personalities are so different, but I wised up and realized it could be a win-win situation if I just let her be.  As I have gotten older, I have gotten somewhat wiser, I guess.  Not so hung up about some things like thinking my mother-in-law was critizing me when really it was just her way.

We had a parish council meeting Tuesday and I received many well-wishes then, too.  When I told them my surgery is the day before Ash Wednesday, Father said, “Looks like your Lent is set!”  I guess that means I don’t have to give up anything extra since I am having surgery.

Thursday I had a band booster meeting, so I have had meetings about every day this week. (We had a meeting at work on Wednesday.)  Our band director just became a grandfather and had been out in Oregon to see his first baby grandson.  We had a surprise “grandpa shower” for him Thursday.  It was great fun.  We decorated the Burke cafeteria where we usually meet every month.  We brought cake and punch and of course, presents.  He received several books, photo albums, and picture frames, as well as some very creative gifts.  A couple of moms made blankets out of fabric with musical notes on them.  I gave him a “Grandpa’s Diaper Changing Kit” with rubber gloves, a mask, ointment, etc.  I also found some baby bath toys that were shaped like musical instruments.  The best was from our band booster president, though.  She made a little band uniform for the baby! The band director was so funny.  He kept saying, “I never heard of a grandparent shower before!”  I finally said, “That’s because we made it up!” 

Jim H has been sending me emails about various things including “classmate talents.”  He wants me to share this with you!

Susan,  I was thinking of the wonderful hidden talents of our classmates in high school and I remembered some that might interest you. Nick Dean could ride a unicycle for a block or more, Marc Dickinson could pull a wheelie on a bicycle for a block or more, and Doug Ferguson was unbelievable as far as the amount of time he could spin a basketball on his left forefinger.What a class president! By the way, Opal Ferguson’s most embarrasing moment was when Mr. Hausmann played a joke on her in typing and gave her a report card with a B, yes a B, and not an A for the 6 week period and she got really despondent.  Hob

If any of you have special memories of Jim, be sure to share them with us!

I also heard that Kevin received some very special anonymous Valentines this year.  It’s so nice we can share our love like that.  I’m sure he enjoyed them very much and would like to thank all the secret admirers for sending them.

I am continuing to receive questionnaires now and then.  I received two just today!  It is great hearing from you all.  Jan S also sent a donation with her questionnaire.  Thank you, Jan!  I also have received questionnaires from Terry B, John U, and Jerry S lately.  Thanks, guys! 

Some of you have been helping me figure out how to send the booklet.  I thought it might be nice to have the booklet available by email.  The file is ‘way to big, so I have received tips on converting it to a pdf file or even saving it to a CD.  With the electronic age, we may not even end up a hard copy booklet.  We’ll see.  Of course, there are still people who would prefer a hard copy, so we may print up a few.  It would save us a lot of money if we used email, though.  I will keep you posted.  We may end up with it being available in many forms!  (No stone carving, papyrus or Guttenberg printing press, though.)

Can you tell I haven’t gotten much sleep lately?  For a week now I haven’t been able to take any pain medicines except Tylenol.  No aspirin, no ibuprofen, nothing.  They even told me I couldn’t use my lidocaine patches on my knee. So, I haven’t been able to sleep very well because whenever I move, I wake myself up.  Having right knee pain and left shoulder pain, it’s hard to roll over either way!  So, forgive my foolishness.  It will only get worse in the coming days!

During recovery I will become a one-handed keyboarder, so it is going to be tedious to blog or email.  I will likely still do it because I am an addict.  I am addicted to writing.  I MUST write something every day.  I suppose it is possible that I will fulfill that need by writing longhand in a journal or sending off some handwritten letters, but I have a feeling I still will do computer work.  That being said, it is likely to be much shorter! Aren’t you glad?!

Keep in touch. Keep those questionnaires, PICTURES, and emails coming!

Vote for Mary and Jerry’s Son!

Hi Friends,

Our son, Bryan, has a small record label, Paper Garden Records.  He represents “Peasant” who is one of ten finalists in a Lincoln car commercial that aired on the Grammy’s.  You have a chance to vote for your favorite one of the ten on the site below.  Remember — vote for PEASANT – Jon Hill, director.  Thanks so much.

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Mary Vaughan

I received this email from Mary.  What a fun way to support one of our classmate’s kids!  Please to the website and vote for PEASANT!


Classmate Emails, Birthday, Surgery, All-City

Hi, All!  Sorry I’m late with the blog!  So much going on.

First of all, an update on my rotator cuff surgery.  I am scheduled to have it February 24 (Mardi Gras)!  I told my doc, no partying until it’s all over!  (He is a very serious guy and didn’t joke much. I finally got him to smile when I told him it was my birthday–I used to have parties on my birthday, but now I have doctor’s appointments.  He thought that was pretty funny.) 

I had a very strange birthday Feb 2.  (Yes, the Groundhog saw it’s shadow!)  It started out with a plumber coming to fix our bathroom sink.  I spent the morning waiting for him to finish his work.  Then, I had my doctor’s visit in late afternoon.  I was there until 6 pm.  Dennis and Mike met me for dinner at the Upstream then and it was a nice end to the day.  When we got home, I found flowers that Carlota’s folks had sent along with a couple packages containing books.  Dave and Carlota gave me books by Erik Larson, the guy who wrote “The Devil and the White City,” a very good nonfiction book about the 19th century Wolrd Exposition in Chicago and a serial killer on the loose.  If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy Chicago.  It has a lot of history in it, but the author is a captivating writer and it’s very interesting to read. 

Many of you have sent me encouraging emails about rotator cuff surgery.  Several of you have had it or know someone who has.  Janice and Doug have given me many tips, primarily “Do your physical therapy!”  Robin, Hob, Neil, and Jerry C all emailed suggestions and encouragement.   I got a kick out of what Linda K’s daughter told her.  Linda’s daughter is physical therapist and she said that our generation is going to keep her in business.  She says we baby-boomers are her job security.  We think we can still do everything we ever did, and have the insurance to pay for the physical therapy that is always needed!

Nick told me a lot of Major League pitchers have had this surgery and came out better than they were before!  He suggested maybe I could start pitching after surgery!  His comment reminded me of the joke where the guy goes to his doctor about knee surgery. “Doc,” he says, “Will I be able to dance after surgery?”  “Of course,” says the doctor.  “That’s great,” says the man, “because I sure can’t dance now!” 

I appreciate all your support.  My doctor does several hundred rotator cuff repairs a year and he believes in early movement, so I will be doing PT almost right away.  He gave me a clear step-by-step plan as to what he expects me to accomplish each week of PT.  I have heard that if a patient isn’t at the level he thinks they should be, he calls the physical therapist and tells them to get on it! 

This weekend was the All-City concert at the Civic Auditorium.  We haven’t seen much of Mike lately because he has had so many practices.  He is also in the “pit” for the upcoming musical, so he hasn’t been home much.  The concert Saturday was very nice. It is the 60th anniversary of All-City and Omaha Public Schools has the longest running music festival in the country.  Over 2000 students participated from 20 grade schools (6th grade bands), 12-15 middle schools and 8 high schools.  The festival included the 6th grade band and chorus, middle school band, chorus and orchestra and high school band, chorus and orchestra. The younger kids were recommended for participation by their music teachers and the high school kids had to audition.  Mike participated as a middle schooler and as a freshman, but didn’t try out the last few years because of the time commitment.  This year he had to audition since he was a section leader.  The band director made all section leaders audition.  Anyway, it was a nice event.  Several thousand parents and family members attended the concert Saturday night.

Now, news from classmates:

Cindy E. writes:  I have been looking forward to coming to the reuion for the last 5 yrs. I only got to go to one and it was the one that you weren’t at. But it doesn’t look like I can make it. Ron, my husband, had a heart attack Dec 15 th. Had a five way bypass and was in the hospital until Dec. 29 th . The worst thing is he is a self employer contractor. So when he isn’t working there is no money. It’s tuff.  But we will make it through somehow. 
Our youngest son is going to get married Sept. 12th in Sacramento.

After complaining about not knowing how I was going to do my hair after surgery, Shelley wrote:                    

Hey Suz:

I would love to not be able to do my hair and makeup, which seems to take about 30 min. each day of my life (or at least on Mondays through Fridays, sometimes Saturdays or Sundays). Surgery like you are planning would be a perfect excuse not to do it.  Maybe you could just ask Dennis to put your hair in a ponytail.

Sounds like you are doing all the necessary research, asking the appropriate questions, talking to people and preparing as much as possible prior to surgery.  That is good, because many people I know would not do any of that.  I can’t remember if you have an exact date for your surgery?

Here are a few updates on our lives:  Dave’s brother and sister-in-law are planning on visiting AZ for 2 weeks in March (beginning March 21).  They are going to Rocky Point with us for 4 days and will also be spending some time at 2 resorts (in Tucson and Sedona), so we are looking forward to that.  My mom’s 84th birthday is today and I made her a carrot cake (yesterday actually, so it can “age” for a day, which the recipe said to do). It’s her favorite kind of cake. 

Friday my sister’s husband won tickets to the “Fab Faux”, a Beatles tribute band consisting of the bass player from The Letterman Show and the guitar player from The Conan O’Brien show bands.  They were really good.  They don’t dress in costume (Beatles wigs, clothing, etc.), but they play all their music. There were a bunch of old farts like us there. 

The last recent event I can think of is a bit of a downer.  One of Dave’s friends from high school & college, Eric Boshart, passed away on Jan. 7 due to prostate cancer that he had been battling for a year or more.  He and his wife were married in 1971, like us, and had been living in Deer Lodge, MT.  He was semi-retired, but only 58 years old.

That’s about it.  Thanks for writing.  Keep me posted on your surgery. Shelley

I also heard from many people after losing my dear 16-year-old Pepper Cat.  Linda D wote:

I really could relate to it. Last year late we had to have our dog put down. Butch was 17 years old which the vet told us, was old even for a miniature daschund. He was inside at night all of his life and stayed inside while we were gone during the day. We always said “We are going to work, You be  a good dog.” . He would immediately jump in his bed .He was part of the family Krista chose him and he was always her dog. I took care of him and he always let me be second best; his number 1 ; when she went off to college. He always knew when she was home for a visit. Then, I almost didn’t exist. He had a cat buddy outside and they would walk around the yard together. They were exactly the same height, and walked side by side always touching. One turned the other followed, almost like they were glued together.  He traveled with us and would let my mom baby sit him at her house , when we were out of state or on vacation. He would go to her house and sleep in her cat’s bed and expected the cat to sleep in his. They had it worked out perfectly. They were best buds.  He was always with us when we went to the pasture to check cows. You could not see him in the grass, but you could look carefully and just spot the tip of his tail as he ran around.  He went all over the farm and knew just exactly where his yard ended. Christmas 2006, on the 15th of December he disappeared. We couldn’t find him anywhere. He loved everyone , especially kids. If you petted him once, he loved you forever.  He had been dealing with failing eyesight, so we worried lots. Cried and worried some more.  We had a couple of bad ice storms, and we worried more. Surely he couldn’t be out in that horrible weather. We went to Lincoln on the 23rd and told the kids tearfully that he was gone. On Christmas Eve, we got a phone call from Terry’s brother who was doing chores. Butch was home and laying out by the back door. We couldn’t believe it. I called my mom in Grand Island and she drove up and picked him up and kept him till we got home 2 days later. He was a little dirty and very hungry, but never related to us where he had been. We felt so thankful to have him back. We watched him lots closer than before. As he aged, he started to suffer from dementia and he was developing some major health issues.  We decided it was best not to let him suffer. We still think of him, but have decided we don’t want another pet. It is too hard on them when we are gone to the kids, which is frequently.
 We will be with Nathan and the kids later this month, as Coy and I both have January birthdays. Coy will be 4. I will be older.Topanga is now 7.
We had a great holiday, as we hope all of you had as well. I will be sending my photos very soon. I really enjoy the BLOG. Nice to keep up with everyone. We enjoyed the Christmas card made from the band photos. Great idea!. Take care.  LD

Deb G emailed:Thanks for letting me know about Pepper.  You made the right decision.  She was suffering.  I think after we try a few times to extend their life we know we have done all we can.  It is still a difficult thing to have to do. Every once in a while I think I see Lydia peeking around a corner like she used to do.  Maybe you will catch glimpses of Pepper as well

(Deb and Frank will be having a wedding in their future, too. Their son, Logan will tie the knot later this year.)
I heard from several other classmates.  Deb Mc will be a grandma this year.  Mary Lou’s husband is being treated for cancer.  Arlene is going through what many of you already have or are continuing to do, caring for elderly parents. A few of our classmates are out of work.  Please keep us all in your prayers.  We all have our struggles and joys and can use the support of one another. 
It’s not to late to send your questionnaires and pictures.  Please do so soon, though!  I have lost track of Connie and Steve.  If anyone has their address, please let me know!  Also, I don’t have John St’s current address. 
Dan Jacquot emailed me about resizing pictures.  Please resize pictures you email so they don’t take so long to download.  I have HP Photosmart already on my computer which can be used to resize, crop or whatever.  If you don’t have that capability, Dan says:
“I use PIXresizer freeware available from Bluefive at   Just thougfht you might pass it on to those looking for and easy one to use if their email program does not have this feature.”
Keep in touch!  Let me know if I can share your emails!