“Christmas Letter 2007”

Hope this Christmas Greeting finds you in good health and spirits and looking forward to a very nice Holiday Season.  Many of our service men and women are still in harms way and we should all be sure to remember their sacrifices and those of their families, and pray for their safe return.

A big event for Vee and I this year was we both turned 80 years old.  Do you emember the stories about the great "Golden Years"?  Well, I am sure it was written by a 30 year old.  Everything now takes so long to accomplish.  For example, our Christmas Greeting will be late this year.  "Oh well, better late than never" (written by an 80 year old J).

Had visits by family and friends, which are always the highlights of the year.  Bill resigned from the County Election Commission the end of June, as he had planned, to have more time to work on long delayed projects.  Vee was in the hospital after several weeks of deteriorating health.  It was serious, but she was lucky and in a couple of months she was feeling pretty normal again.  The most difficult part for her was not being able to work in the garden.  Bill attended a couple of Navy Reunions and always enjoys the comradeship of old friends.  The stories get better each year.  He continues to work on the Combat Aviation midshipmen Book, and has located several additional Candidates.

Our family met in Savannah, GA at the end of September for a four day celebration of our 80th Birthday.  Had a grand time site seeing, eating, and making toasts.  Ruined everyone’s diets.  Everyone stayed the Park Manor Bed and Breakfast House.  Savannah is a beautiful and interesting city and well worth a visit.

While some parts of the country have had floods, South Carolina experienced severe drought conditions without any measurable rainfall for five or six months.  Fortunately we have a good water supply, though we were all asked to cease outdoor watering.  Many plants and bushes died and even some trees were lost.  We had our first rain last Friday and received one inch of soaking rains to everyone's delight.

We are visiting the Birds in Prunedale, California for two week this Christmas.  Jason is coming up from Los Angeles and we are looking forward to a very happy family Holiday. Look forward to reading your Christmas messages.

Sorry, but just was not able to get the Christmas Greetings out during our visit with our daughter and Ron because of circumstances beyond our control.

Vee had cataract surgery on her second eye the end of November and resulted in several problems that continue to plague her.  Fortunately, the eyesight in both eyes is almost perfect.  Then the week before departing for California, noticed a small lump on my leg (shin area).  It seemed to have gotten larger after the 15 hour "door to door" trip to the Bird's. Phoned my doctor in Anderson on 22 December, and he insisted that I see a doctor immediately.  Difficult to make a doctor's appointment on Dec 23rd, but got one at a urgent care clinic in Salinas about 25 miles away.  After the examination, the doctor wasn't sure what it was, but scheduled an ultra sound of the leg.  Had to go clear across town to the imaging clinic for the ultra sound.  They would not give me the results of the test directly, and had to go back to the original urgent care doctor, who was now gone (4PM).  Explained the circumstances to the new doctor, that it would be very inconvenient to come back the next day­(24th) to see the original doctor.  He relented and discussed the ultra sound results.  "Not sure, probably nothing", but the ultra sound found "another" suspicious area.  Recommended another ultra sound when returning to South Carolina for comparison.  Got back to Bird's about 6PM, and had a couple of large scotch whiskeys and enjoyed the evening.

The next day (24th) received an e-mail from a daughter of the ex-Aviation Midshipmen friend who had been helping me with the research to locate Midshipmen that had flown in the Korean War.  He had died on the 20th after a very short illness.  We both had attended the Flying Midshipmen Reunion in San Diego in late September.  He owned his own aircraft, and had flown he and his wife to San Diego from Illinois (perfect health). One never knows what the future has in store.  The family needed assistance in notifying various Navy organizations because they did not know the "Password" to open his computer where most of the needed information was stored.  Took me several days of searching to identify and notify the other organizations.  He also had the only copy of most of the research he had done, and I didn't want to loose any of the records, and asked that everything available be mailed to me.  Received about 1500 pages of the research results the day after we arrived home.  Still have to go through that material.

We did have a very good two-week visit with Deb, Ron and Jason, and luckily flew out of San Francisco airport just as the very bad West Coast storm hit.

Arrived home at midnight Jan 3rd.  Opened up house and read mail, Christmas cards and letters over the week end.  Had an appointment with my Internist and lab work Monday morning.  Ultra sound of leg Wednesday, results Thursday "no c1ots"(J).  The weather was very warm for January, and took the opportunity to accomplish a great deal of Spring yard clean-up work over next three days.  After which I immediately came down with severe coughing and full flu symptoms.  These same severe symptoms had happened in the springtime two years before, after another three-day yard clean up.  In both cases, I was very ill for next two to three weeks.  Yesterday saw my Internist again and am now scheduled for several tests and Specialist visits in hopes of diagnosing the problem.  Not completely well, but feeling much better.  Maybe I am allergic to yard work (Happy Day!)!!!

Well, it has been a very busy six weeks.

Hope you and your family are healthy, and had an opportunity to visit each other over the Holidays.

All best wishes for the New Year. "Be Great on 08"

Pensacola Preflight Class 9-47