Dear Elisha and Merle,

Priscilla and I surely enjoyed our Israel tour, though it took us a week to recover from jet lag! I enclose a resume’ of what I remember. We will consider another trip, but probably not in ’09. Priscilla is part Gypsy, I think, for she saves her Social Security money and periodically says to me “Let’s go!” We’ve been to Hawaii, Mexico, Canada, Bahamas, Alaska, and 37 of the 48 continental United States. In addition, Ken visited several foreign ports while a US Navy sailor in 1960-’64.

My early childhood was somewhat like yours, Elisha. I was born and raised in a town of 20 families in New Hampshire. My Dad was a woolen mill worker in the 1940s and 50s. Working to support a wife and 8 children took so much of his time that I saw little of him. Then, when I was age 10, he was laid-off from the mill, which closed, and he became a “handyman” in the area, with his two eldest sons Rodney and Kenny (me) often “pitching in” to help. It was “tough-sledding” from then on. We became poor, but we children didn’t know it, for we had enough. We raised most of our food, and enjoyed games of marbles, baseball, ice skating, etc., so we were plenty busy. Summer Saturdays Rod and I would often walk five miles to town to enjoy Saturday afternoon movie matinee for 25 cents, then collect pop bottles beside the highway to sell at 2 cents each, so we could go again. I’m a Vietnam vet, so I know something about danger.

Thanks for being great hosts!