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Family Newsletter - Fall, 2005

Past Issues: 1998 June July August Sept Oct Nov/Dec 1999 Jan/Feb March/April May June July Sept/Oct Nov/Dec 2000 Jan/Feb Mar/Apr May/Jun Jul/Aug Sep/Oct 2001 Jan/Feb May/June Sep/Oct 2002 Jan/Feb Mar/Apr May/Jun/Jul 2003 Apr/May Jun/Jul/Aug Nov/Dec 2004 Jan/Feb May/Jun Sep/Oct 2005 Mar/Apr Jun/Jul

From: Frank and Jo

We had a great family trip to Nova Scotia in August. Frank taught there two summers when our boys were young and I've always wanted to go back. Watching our three grandsons explore this interesting area was such fun.

We enjoyed searching for neat rocks at the ocean, watched the tidal bore come in at Truro, saw seals (and John saw a whale), climbed the rocks around the Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, watched a fire performer in Halifax park, explored the Citadel, went canoeing out on a lake near our cabins, swam in dark, spooky swimming pools. Great trip.

In October Frank and I went to my Kodai '55 reunion near Washington DC. That was a fantastic experience. Gwen had urged me to go since she attended the '54 reunion last year, and I'm so glad she did. It was amazing to me how instantly I felt I was with family when I walked into the dining hall and so many of my Kodai friends came to greet and hug me. We spent several days together at Shepherd's Spring, a retreat out in the woods, learning to know each other again and talking about issues such as peace activism, what's happening in Kodai today, archiving our memories. We had several curries, which were delicious. We also spent an afternoon at Antietam, a memorable experience; we spent some time singing and reflecting in the little Dunker Church there. It was hard to leave these old/new friends. The picture of our class is below. For more pictures from the reunion, go to our class webpage: www.kodai-1955.net/photos.html

Our Kodai Class of '55

Front: Alice Graham Silver, Kid Zigler Kusserow, Conrad Heins, Miggie Carman Tegenfeldt, Ann Gibbs Henderson, Lowey Thoms Dickason
Back: Dave Dickason, Jean Towle Reed, Owen Thomas, Jo Hiebert Sorensen, Bev England Williams, Ruth Voss Harris

Gwen was here for a few days and we spent a lot of time playing duets, just like when we were kids at Kodai. I really enjoyed being with her.

Phyl's early piano students

Now life is back to its hectic normality. We're still trying to finish our house, which somehow never quite makes it to the top of our priority list. Soon it will be Christmas and the whole gang will be home. That's good.

Take some time to read the new stories. We've added one about vehicles we've had a relationship with (no checking grammar, you English teachers), as well as two Kodai stories by Jo and one by Molly Schmitthenner Lesnick. I've put Molly's story together with the earlier ones by Hermann Tauscher in a new section entitled "Stories by Kodai Classmates."

From: Karen

My email address has changed to: karenposhcoffee@gmail.com

From: Bets

Betty has been having a lot of company. Paul went to visit, then Gwen and Jo, followed by Phyl, Margy, Loey and Jo, and now her kids and grandkids are all coming for Thanksgiving. How neat to be loved so much!

From: Loey

Lots has been happening since the last newsletter, though most is already common knowledge. Just quickly, Kirby and Susan are expecting a baby next spring, Chelsea is still working hard and raising two little ones in Colorado, Niks headed to Nigeria with USAID and is still adjusting, and Priya is now a permanent employee with the Gates Foundation. Gary has made a successful start at his woodworking business (go to www.catseyecraftsman.com) to see some of his wood pieces) and I'm delighted to be in Montana and in an academic job.............that's it in a nutshell.

Other than that - Montana is a beautiful state and you should all come visit. We are buying a house next summer and once that is all set there is plenty of room for any and all. You might want to come in summer--being this far north means long long nights at this time of the year. The pictures are of a summer trip to Glacier which is only a couple of hours away.

About Lauren (sent in by Loey):

SEIU hires activist from a new school
The union signs up an alliance builder who worked for an environmental group and is credited with forming the coalition that helped sell FasTracks to voters.

By Tom McGhee, Denver Post Staff Writer

Lauren Martens hopes locals of the 1.8 million-member Service Employees International Union can work together.

Lauren Martens doesn't match the image of a hard-boiled labor activist. His meticulously polished shoes would blend into any corporate board room, and he spent his early years as an environmentalist. But he is just the type of new blood the upstart Service Employees International Union seeks out. Local 105 hired Martens as political organizer in June as part of an effort to help lure workers who haven't traditionally been drawn to organized labor.

"We are looking for folks who have a broader view about economic and social issues, because at the end of the day social justice is what we want to achieve," said Mitch Ackerman, SEIU Local 105 president.

Martens, 46, fills the bill. When death squads were terrorizing El Salvadoran peasants in the 1980s, he joined a Chicago group that educated the public about conditions in Central America. As part of Neighbor to Neighbor's campaign, he lobbied Congress to pressure Latin American governments for change. In 1996, he went to work organizing and lobbying for the Colorado Environmental Coalition. And in 1998, he began building a coalition of 40 organizations that are credited with selling the FasTracks light-rail expansion to Denver voters last year.

That skill at alliance-building made him especially valuable to the SEIU, Ackerman said. It and The Teamsters last week defected from the AFL-CIO.

(Note: Our congratulations on this exciting opportunity, Lauren!)


Here are some pictures of Nikhil and Jennifer, taken in a small village in Nigeria where they are polio medication for USAID.


And these are pictures from Priya's trip to Bangladesh, where she is working on microfinancing of women's projects through Gates Foundation.

From: Sandra

I have recently completed the Hoffman process: http://hoffmaninstitute.org/process.html. It is an 8 day retreat that works to reduce the emotional behavioral patterns of our early childhood. It was suggested by a colleague, and I have been trying to do it for about 2 years. It took that long for several reasons, but in the end I got there. I am telling you this because it has been one of the profound experiences of my adult life, and is the MOST important work I have done for myself and my own personal growth. I have been able to experience a sense of true joy that was beyond my reach in the past.

I am including the link to their website and invite each one of you to consider this incredible, worthwhile experience for yourself. I am so committed to this encouragement that I am willing to help financially any family member that wants to go but is unable due to finances. The Institute offers scholarships as well, so between that and my help, hopefully anyone that wants to go, can and will go. Please feel free to pass this on to any family that I haven't listed able, because I don't have everyone's email addresses.

Please feel free to ask me anything about this. Wishing each of you my love.

From: Michael

On. Sept 13, I was involved in a burn accident that occurred at a bonfire location outside my house. I was sent to hospital for over a week. The burns were over my arms, a little on my ears, and lips. What kept me going in the hospital was a chart that my mom set up for me marking my progress. I am making tremendous progress amd I would like to thank all of my relatives that sent cards and condolences to me.

As of Sept. 20, I have been home. When I got home, I discovered a lift chair that my mom rented for me just like the one that Betty used when she was down here in Florida. Just like the progress chart for the hospital, I started one here noting my progress of healing.

Other news: I am a substitute teacher as of September. I have had 20 assignments so far. I have taught Head Start, ELP, pre-K, kindergarten, and SLD. For all my relatives with experience with the elementary school system, I want them to know that their advice will be consulted from time to time. Starting next year, I am taking some classes toward my entry into the College ofd Education at USF. The courses are Earth Science with Lab and Intro to Anthropology. I plan on working towards a B.A. in Early Childhood Education.

(Michael sent some pictures from the time Pete & his gang visited Michael and Margy in Florida.)

From: John Sorensen

Grandpa and Grandma Allie, Mom, Dad and Noah came to my class (1st grade) to make a Pilgrim Village and a Native American village. I helped paint the board, saw open the coconuts and saw the logs (for the barricade). My favorite part was making clay people and animals and food. I made a Native American and put him in the cornfield and I made a canoe.