It's 2021, and it's time to start breaking out of our Covid-induced isolation. In this new SMN69 Blog, we want to share stories and hear about each other's life events. What have you been doing? Do you have an inspirational story to tell, or have you written some poetry or a favorite book review? Be creative!
Keep it positive and apolitical please. Leave your name, say hello, reach out to those who know the real you. Don't be shy - that time is long past. Think about it - we were each other's first best friends.  
Nothing exciting to say? That's OK, because we're all soooo incredibly bored and literally aching for contact with others. Let's hear from you!
June 20, 2020

So, What's New?

Let us know how things are going for you in 2020. Click on Add a New Comment to begin. You can also click the Reply control beneath anyone's comment and publicly post a reply or comment in response - these will show up on this page within that person's comment thread. 


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Gary Minden on January 4, 2021 3:07 PM
A Poem by Gary Minden


You get to walk the dog three times a day.
And, the dog thinks, “Yet again?"


Picking up pieces left long ago
Travel to places dreamed of
Thinking about the comfort of your home 


Having to actually do
Items on the Do-List


Is work.
Please explain Medicare?


What didn’t we have?
What did we have?
What don’t we need?

8-track tapes
Dial tones
Red jeans
Madras shirts
Cheap cars


Helping a daughter
Trying to let dancers, dance
The activity the students love

In a pandemic?

For some dancers,
This is the only time
They escape their house
To dance

When I see dancers, dance
It is wonderful!

Add your own and seek new ones

Gary Minden on January 4, 2021 3:06 PM
Book Recommendations:

“The Gift,” which I cannot now find my copy, explores the simple art of giving. I think it's relevant as we accept gifts and we give gifts. Recognition of those acts is important.
“Howard’s Gift” begins with “We can all use a wise man or woman in our lives. Someone who helps us make sense of the challenges we face. Who guides us as we navigate times of change. Who counsels us as we move along life’s path.” Can we reflect on those who helped us along our path?
“A culinary Traveller in Tuscany” by Beth Elon.
We all dream of Tuscany and Florence. What is better then riding (motorcycle) in the hills of Tuscany? The book describes the region and the food with recipes!
“How to See Yourself as you Really Are” and “How to be compassionate” by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. There are two ideas that stick with me from these books (or perhaps other sources). The first is while stopped at a stop light a group of Hell’s Angles pulled up beside his car. He turned and said, “They love their motorcycles.”  The second idea is when you look at something as simple as a table, do you think of all and everyone who brought that table into existence? There are crafts people who shaped the wood. But also those who milled the wood, those who cut the trees,  those who hauled the trees, and the trees that grew. A simple table has a long heritage.
“Taoist Wisdom: Daily Saying from the Taoist Sages” by Timothy Freke.
While visiting my daughter in Chicago, she had a book on her shelf by R. M. Rilke titled (I think), “A letter to a young poet.” I came home and ordered all the Rilke books I could find. I especially like his, “The Book of Hours, Love Poems to God.” 
The lines I remember are:
The hour is striking to close above me,
so clear and sharp,
that all my senses ring with it.
I feel it now: there is a power in me
to grasp and give shape to my world.
I know that nothing has ever been real
without my beholding it.
All becoming has needed me.
My looking ripens things
and they come forward to me, to meet and be met.
If you like, add Rilke’s “Book of Hours” to the list.
And, then there is always Texas Bix Bender’s, “Don’t Squat with your Spurs On.” “No matter where you ride to, that’s where you are.”

Bill Keck on January 4, 2021 3:00 PM
I will give a real estate low down, 1 wife, 45 years, 2 children, 1of each, son and daughter in law 2 grandaughters live in Palm City Florida, daughter married 0 children, and live in Scottsdale. We lived in Wichita for 3 years x graduation from KU,  Dallas 10years, Athens  Georgia  for 13 years and Scottsdale Az for 20 years.
My life has revolved around Kay, my wife, a genetic disorder, and my love of golf. Kay and I met in graduate school at KU. In our short dating, February to December of 1974, we always looked at life as our team. Whoever received the best opportunities we would go.  As was stated above we have lived in four cities, and all were led by Kay.  I believed in her ability as a person and business person.  I met some scorn about my moving with my wife's job and even told that by the personnel manager of the largest corp. in the US., Cargill.  We still gave up my job and moved.   I was even told that I could always find a wife but I couldn't always find a good job. We were ahead of the curve. I  started my own business and trade agricultural  futures
.  Women rock.  
The second important aspect of my life was receiving the news that our 5 year old daughter had a life threatening disorder, tuberous sclerosis.  We didn't know if she would pass today or what her fate was.  Yes a lot of tears were shed.  Again Kay and I agreed that we wouldn't let this stop our lives. We learned a lot about each other and solidified our faith.  That was 35 years ago and our daughter and her husband live in a neighborhood close to us.  I really believe this experience set the tone for us today, living with covid.  We will do what we can do to protect us, and we move on.  Yes, we're maskers and do not party with the college students and we are waiting to take the vacine. 
The third area of my life is golf.  I chuckle to myself when I would wear my SMN letter jacket and guys from the football team harrassed me about golf.  According to them golf was not a sport and not worthy of a school letter.  Those same guys now play golf.  I was ahead of my times.  Golf also teaches life.  Ones integrity is tested by the self enforcing rules.  Can you imagin a football center calling off sides on himself. Golf allows you to be outside and in a beautiful place.  On our course we have a bald eagle, numerous coyotes, a bobcat, many vermillion flycatchers.  Being in nature and challenging yourself is wonderful.
Well now there's 2020.  It has been a great year.  Yes the worries of elections and covid have been present.  But what a great time to reexamine our lives and be with our loved ones.  When we all were working I am sure we all said boy I would like to be at home.  Well we have had our wishes granted.  Happy 2020 and a prosperous 2021 to all
SMN 69

Rick Kleiner on October 6, 2020 10:30 PM
Great to hear from y'all, glad most of you are both surviving and powering through this weird year! As far as me, after sudden CHF in 2010, my airline plot career was cut short.  I was not ready for checkers in the park, so I spent a few years being lazy on the beach before I almost lost my mind.  Relationship (ya now, the one that what was supposed to last forever?) fell apart, so I got to experience the joy of living alone :)   Started a global security company, which took off, I am now more of a silent partner. 

Pandemic Update:

Fortunately, beaches invite distancing (at least here), so the summer was great.  Still maintain a place in Overland Park (my daughters live in KC), so I am still often there, maybe less as the temps get colder LOL.

Deb Hydeman Swirczynski on September 28, 2020 3:49 PM
Book Review on The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
(Submitted by Deb Hydeman Swirczynski)


Although I’d never describe myself as a student of WWII, I have been pulled in to the renewed focus of this era brought about by the advent of the 75th anniversary the war’s conclusion.  I recently read Erik Larson’s book, The Splendid and the Vile (2020; Crown;NewYork). The book covers the time period of May 1940 through May 1941. The rescue of Dunkirk is just weeks away, and Winston Churchill has just been elected Prime Minister. The book covers the bombing of London, Churchill’s attempts to garner help from Roosevelt for the war effort, and concludes as Hitler prepares to invade Russia. 


Although it is not what you might expect in a book about WWII retelling the battles and skirmishes and strategies surrounding each attack, it focuses instead on the relationship between Churchill and his family and his inner circle of advisors. What I found most interesting was the perspective revealed by Churchill’s seventeen year old daughter, Mary, who though her diaries wrestled with the protectiveness of her parents and her blossoming independence and desire to spend time with her friends and live her life as she wished without having to endure the restraints brought about by the war.


The book was too short for me. After “getting to know” Churchill, his family, and advisors and beginning to understand the tremendous obstacles they faced and conquered, I would have enjoyed Larson’s telling of their interactions as the war continued, grew, and eventually concluded.


The portrayal of the unending struggles of people simply trying to survive in a war-torn country allowed me to put our current war with COVID-19 into perspective. Actually, there is little comparison between living in a city being bombed for 57 straight nights (beginning in September 1940 and continuing intermittently until May 1941) to tolerating masks and social distancing for the past seven months. As we continue to look for solutions, it’s expedient to remember what those before us have endured, persevered, and overcome.


Doug Potter on September 28, 2020 1:53 PM
In common with everyone else, Ruth and I have spent the past few months reconfiguring the new reality of still happily-retired life in the New Mexico high desert north of ABQ. Both daughters and their families navigate their respective “hot spots”-- but technology keeps us close—with Lauren’s May wedding arrangements in western Massachusetts nimbly and efficiently reconfigured from “traditional-venue” to “Zoom-from-home,”  under all their towering pines. I was honored to be able to pre-record the tune she and Zack requested for their processional--even though I’ve never considered “Uke and vocals” my primary instrument.    
Her big sister Robin--and her husband Claudio and son Pablo (just turned 1)—were on hand for the wedding, though--just weeks before their relocation south, for Claudio’s new gig at the University of Miami. Robin keeps us amply entertained with daily video calls from Pablo to coin nicknames for us and display his budding bilingual language tricks. (His abuela--i.e. non-Ruth Grandma-- speaks little English, so he’ll grow up fluent in both.) Other than that—my days are spent noodling piano tunes with an occasional posting to FB, gardening under the longer New Mexico growing season, keeping the ’74 VW Super Beetle running smoothly, and trying to maintain my high-school French—via “Duolingo” and movies on the Criterion Channel--lest all those  years of SMN language drill from Mme. Stine prove completely in vain…

Debby Orrick Howland on September 28, 2020 1:52 PM
I've been spending my time at home in Jefferson City, attempting to stay safe and healthy since I am my mother's only remaining family.  She is 93 and living in a wonderful Assisted Living Center in Leawood where there have been no cases of Covid thus far.  I talk with mom each day – so thankful for the telephone!  We are both anxiously awaiting the time that I can come for an in-person visit.
Our youngest granddaughter (6 years old and starting first grade in Overland Park on Tuesday) came to Jefferson City for a fun 4-day visit in August and we enjoyed taking her to a cave near Eldon, Missouri. It was a very hot August day so we especially enjoyed 55 degrees in the cave! We also took her fishing and she was thrilled to call her parents and report that she had caught 5 blue gill and 1 bass!  My husband, John, fried the fish and we all enjoyed dinner that evening.  Grandchildren certainly can be a bright spot in the lives of their grandparents, especially at a time when we are isolated from our normal life routines and special adult friends!
I stay busy with morning walks with my good friend/neighbor each morning.  Our church has had outdoor worship throughout the summer, and it appears we will continue until the weather is no longer conducive.  I've enjoyed a lot of reading time on the screened porch (especially in May and June while the weather was delightful).  "Where the Crawdads Sing" and "The Magnolia Story" were 2 of my favorite books this summer.
John and I have spent more time in our backyard gardens than ever before, he's the vegetable garden expert and I enjoy our flower gardens.  I'm sure I've never spent so much time tending to our flowers and they seem to be responding to all my attention!  Hooray for fertilizer ???
Besides missing family dinners in KC with my mom and our kids and grandkids, I miss the opportunity to get together with my high school friends when I'm in KC.  I know we canceled a March group get-together in hopes of a do-over during the summer – who knew Covid cases would still be increasing in September?  I remain hopeful that we can all get together again in the future and compare notes on our time apart due to the pandemic!

Kathy O'Dowd on September 28, 2020 1:51 PM

I’d like to share many exciting adventures this summer but we all know what this summer has been like.  I’ve spent far too much time on the couch and being lazy and scrolling on FaceBook.  BUT, one of our SMN classmates (who is a  treasured friend of mine) inspired me!  Kristin Kennedy Bowen started taking Pilates and as I was sitting on my xxx, bored and lazy, I decided I should do that too!  Interestingly, our instructor is a grad of SMN—class of ’77.  Kathy Coon-Boucher, sister of Joe Coon (SMN class of ’68).  Kathy is a fantastic and gifted  Pilates instructor!  Small world indeed!


I did have a fun day last week going to Weston, MO for a wine tasting at the Pirtle Winery.  It is located in an old church building.  Got to sample quite a few wines and meads and then had a lovely basket of bread, sausage, apples and cheese in their shady outdoor seating area.  All in all, a lovely afternoon!  Here’s their link:  Ask for Aaron—adorable young man who made our experience special!  


2020 has reminded me of the importance of our relationships.  I’ve been spending time with my 2.5 year old granddaughter who I adore.  She is a miniature warrior—3 open heart surgeries and yet she doesn’t seem to know what a big deal that is.  Instead, she LOVES life and her family.  It is such a pleasure to be able to spend time with her.  Since I am a proud grandma, I have to share a picture of her!


A person sitting on a couch

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Drew Masters on September 28, 2020 1:49 PM
Reflections and Service
We are now at the age that we are fully considered “Seniors”.  For many of us this is both a time of reflection, as well as looking forward to best enjoy the days, months, or years that may remain for us.
My personal reflection is that I have experienced a blessed and privileged life.
I have been privileged to have parents that relocated their home and improved their position in life so that my sister and I could have the best public education available at the time in the greater Kansas City area.
I consider that I was privileged to attend Shawnee Mission Schools and SMN in particular.
I consider that I was privileged to attend the best university in the State of Kansas.  The University of Kansas.  Although I did not perform as well as I coulda/shoulda, I value my education there as well as the Jayhawk experience.
During my adult life, I have lived in seven states, with four of them twice.  Within those seven states, I was privileged to live in at least four wonderful, family-oriented and progressive communities (including OP).
I consider that I am privileged to have been a member of and active in three meaningful churches, where my faith has developed and evolved.
I consider that I am privileged to know many wonderful people and have numerous friends around the country.  (I admit that I don’t keep in contact as well as I should, but FB fills in many gaps!)
I consider that I am privileged to have experienced diversity on many levels.
My reflection also includes that I have made numerous poor choices and hurt many people.  For this I regret and am sorry.
My experience and reflection have taught that we should love others as ourselves and to serve others.
Many of us have activities and family that we focus on in our Senior years.  For many of us that focus is grandchildren (which I do not have nor will), or a hobby, or a part time job.
For me, my focus and compassion is serving others.  Over the past 25 years, I have participated in 20 out of my home state Service Trips.
Because I have led such a blessed and privileged life, I feel that I should return some of those blessings and privilege.  I am willing to spend my time, and some limited resources, so that someone else can live a safer and more comfortable life.  Just seems fair.
My current service and focus is a not for profit organization called Re-Member (
Re-Member provides services to the Oglalla Lakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota.
Please review the Re-Member website to better understand the living conditions on “The Rez”.
The conditions on the reservation are truly Third World and embedded in the most advanced country in the world.  This should not occur in the 21st century.
Believe it or not, the United States government had a stated program of genocide in the last half of the 19th century.  The program was to irradicate the indigenous people by killing them in war, destroying their food and shelter source (buffalo), and removing their children to make them white and Christian.
How many field trips did we go to the Shawnee Indian Mission?  That Mission, that is so engrained in our county’s history, was part of the genocide program.
Re-Member is my service passion.  I hope that each of you has a service passion.  
I will promise you that your personal reward for service is far greater than the time and effort you provide in service to others.

Sandie Davisson Kelly on September 28, 2020 1:48 PM
By mid-March it was obvious that a new plan had to be put into place if I was planning to keep from becoming a total slug. As someone who thrives on puzzle-solving and always looking for 'that next thing' I went to work!
I ventured into the realm of paint-by-number. This is nothing like what I remember from my childhood, for sure! I have a very deep appreciation for those real artists out there. Colors next to each other can make all the difference in the world. As well as the subtleties of shading. Two paintings completed and framed!
Of course my foray into the world of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art as a newly graduated Docent has been very rewarding. However, we are now working on guiding tours virtually, since school groups will not be headed to the museum until some time in 2021. [Note the comments below regarding Zoom!]
There has been a definite learning curve on mastering the art of Zoom meetings. I'm president of the Johnson County Kansas Heritage Foundation (and would be thrilled to tell anyone about who we are and what we do!). I have often compared the journey of online running a meeting to what the late night TV hosts have gone through - to develop a seamless dialogue with a bunch of blank faces staring at you. The meetings are not without hiccups, but we're still managing to meet with some success!
A much needed getaway to Chicago (the Evanston area) happened recently and I had the opportunity to experience firsthand the challenges of virtual schooling with a very busy little 1st grader. Oh, my . . . kudos to educators and parents during these challenging times! May we all get back to safe person-to-person gatherings!

Bruce Andersen on September 28, 2020 1:47 PM

2020 has been and will continue to be a big contrast to 2019 because of the virus.  Last year I traveled a lot going to Italy, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Canada, etc.  We also had our big 50th class reunion and all the planning leading up to that.  It was a active and wonderful year.

2020 has been different for us all.  I can relate to the new Rhonda Vincent song “I Ain’t Been No Where”.  

“I was traveling along playing anywhere I could

When along came a virus and took away my livelihood.

Somebody picked it up and spread it worldwide

And now for a while we have to all stay inside

You ask me how I’m doing and if I’ve washed my hands

And I say listen Bud I’ve had about as much as I can stand

I ain’t been nowhere man I ain’t been nowhere man

Been sittin’ in my chair man growin’ out my hair man”---

I have been trying to be a good citizen and practice social distancing, wearing a mask and all that.

This has been a good year for doing projects around my house.  My kitchen has been partly remodeled.  I have re-organized every room, closet, drawer, the basement and garage and worked in the yard.  I have made many trips to Goodwill to get rid of stuff I don’t need or use.  It feels good to have done all of this but I’m tired of it.

It has not been all work and no play, just limited play.  My son and I have been fishing a number of times.  I have done some hikes in parks around town and am making it a priority to exercise more. I am in a book club and have read several good books this year.  We meet monthly by zoom.  It works but is not the same as getting together.

I hate social distancing,  I need to be around people.  I miss eating at restaurants and going to concerts.

So after complaining a bit I must admit that I am blessed to be retired, financially fine and healthy.  So many others are struggling to make it through this.

I don’t want to wish my life away but I’m ready to get this year behind me.   2021 has got to be better.  I look forward to more travel and seeing many of you at class get togethers.


Mike Alley on September 28, 2020 1:46 PM
Before the Carona hit, I was playing music out & about 4-5 times a week, having great fun and EVEN making a few “beer & brat bucks.”  (Yes!)  
The lockdown of course stopped all that cold. 
BUT, now that control protocols have proven successful, my music duo is getting RE-started playing ‘40s-‘50s-‘60s songs at the Alzheimers Association, senior homes and memory units.  (Yes again!)  
The response has been AMAZING, despite the fact we play a socially distanced 20 feet away, outside, across the driveway, for rotating groups of residents; they‘ve just been so isolated for sooo long, that even semi-remote entertainment is better than none at all!
Depending on a vaccine that permits us to play inside again, this may only last a couple months til the weather gets chilly.  But for now, it’s great to have somebody to play for again. 
Steve Wright on September 28, 2020 3:53 PM
I can relate to Mike's experience. In my late 30's I got into playing 20's and 30's jazz and swing, but my gigging came to an abrupt end back in February for the same reason as Mike's. Ironically, my last gig was also a nursing home gig, for Mardi Gras, at the same Kirkland nursing home that went into lockdown three days later and kicked off the covid spike here in Washington. I went into home quarantine but never came down with it myself. But the entire music scene here is still shut down, apart from a few guys doing online streaming for venmo tips. :-(

Pam Aggus Hayden on September 28, 2020 1:45 PM
Mike (Hayden class of 1969 SMN) and I did celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary on June 19th. We sort of just were in shock at how the time has flown! We sold the Alternacare Home Infusion Company three years ago which freed us up for even more of the traveling we had been doing. I say that in past tense now. Since 2010 we’ve managed to view 6 Total Solar Eclipses. The first on Easter Island then Australia- Faroe Islands- Bali/Sulawesi, Indonesia- Carrollton, Missouri-and in the South Pacific Ocean aboard a large sailing ship. Our next one was to be in Padagonia/Argentina but was canceled at the last minute because of Covid-19. We also had to cancel our trip through the British Isles that was to be just for fun and to find the spots our ancestors were from. Mike has signed up for an Eclipse trip to Antarctica in 2023. I am passing on that one. Not sleeping in a tent for a week on Antarctica. I’ll go to Hawaii.
So in this “circle of life” we now find ourselves going back to school in that we will be helping our grandchildren with their remote classes. The youngest is doing hybrid lessons. It’s Kindergarten, but she’s the one I’m worried about. Germs in class for 2 days a week, then home to share with us. We thought this was the exact scenario everyone was supposed to avoid! And speaking of grands, we now have 5 grandchildren, 26-5 years of age and 2 great grand kids, 6 and 3 years old. Our youngest daughter, Randi is teaching her first class this year, 3rd grade. What timing!
We are really enjoying the SMN69 Facebook page and seeing everyone’s posts. I am still doing genealogy research for Volume 2 book of the Aggus family line. Volume 1 completely sold out. So proud that there is a copy in both the Joplin Library and the Butler County, PA Library. I think I found a nephew who is also interested, so I can pass the torch on to him as family researcher, no one else seems to care. Mike needs a hobby now that our wings have been clipped and travel has stopped.

Wade "Chip" Martin on June 22, 2020 11:04 AM
                As a cardiologist, I've sort of had to re-invent myself and do my cardiology clinics by telephone and do a lot more general internal medicine and less cardiology than previously.  I'm a full-time faculty member of the Washington University School of Medicine and on the staff of both Barnes Jewish Hospital and the St. Louis VA Hospital but all of my recent rotations have been at the VA Hospital.   Fortunately, at the VA Hospital we've had ONLY about 100 hospitalizations with Covid-19 whereas Barnes has had many more.   Some of my telephone clinics are from home but I still come to the hospital to reviews grants by teleconference and perform other activities.  I am met by a phalanx of gowned and masked personnel, wear an N-95 mask myself, and have my temperature taken before I can enter the hospital.  Barnes and the rest of the hospitals have a similar procedure.
                Fortunately, I've been afebrile so far as has my wife.  I have a step-daughter with special needs who works at Schnucks grocery as a bagger.  Several employees there tested positive but so far my step-daughter continues to slog on.
                I had a hip replacement at Barnes in November 2019 due to arthritis but am back to performing daily strenuous exercise.  At my follow-up clinic visit in January 2021 I showed the Barnes surgeon who performed my hip arthroplasty a study from Stanford in about 40,000 runners who actually had about a 20% lower rate of arthritis and hip replacement than non-runners or sedentary people.  Although none of them approached my 120,000 miles of running, he agreed that it isn't at all certain that chronic high impact exercise causes arthritis but it definitely is likely to have contributed to my having no other health problems or taking any medications.  Regular exercise also would likely reduce the risk of a poor outcome with Covid-19 by preventing diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.  It increases by several hundred percent nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme that synthesizes nitric oxide in the cardiovascular system and physicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are using inhaled nitric oxide to improve outcome of Covid-19 patients on ventilators.   I think I'd much rather make my own nitric oxide for free and out of hospital.  An Irish study showed a relationship between low Vitamin D levels and higher Covid-19 mortality in some countries so Vitamin D and possibly C ingestion might be helpful and not harmful to reduce the severity of the illness, although I suspect that exercise, maintaining an ideal weight and avoiding tobacco are the most important, same as for preventing heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc. etc.......  Since ultraviolet radiation may help inactivate the virus, being outside and exercising in a park or other large open space where physical distancing is easy to maintain is a good idea.
                This pandemic is likely to drastically change (likely for the better) the United States healthcare system, which, as you probably know, has average costs about twice those of any other developed nation, the poorest longevity of all those countries and one of the most sedentary obese populations in the world.    There has been a massive drop in elective medical procedures in the United States, many, if not most of which, were medically unnecessary, although they were necessary for hospitals' bottom lines and many hospitals (such as the Mayo Clinic, Barnes, Stanford, etc. etc.) are reporting huge losses.  Questionable medical necessity is certainly true for many coronary artery interventions, bypass operation, and imaging stress tests, so cardiology is one of the worst culprits in eliciting high healthcare costs without improved outcome.   The New England Journal of Medicine published 4 articles in the past 2 months showing no benefit of coronary artery intervention or bypass surgery for improvement of mortality, reduction of heart attacks or hospitalizations for chest pain, heart failure, or cardiac arrest in patients with a moderate to severely abnormal imaging stress test. In fact, in patients with severe kidney disease, the risk of stroke was almost 4 times higher, and the risk of death or progression to dialysis was higher in those with coronary artery revascularization.  Thus, I hope the volume of these procedures never comes back.  
                With that, I'll sign off.  Best wishes!  Stay healthy by staying physically fit, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco!!!
Chip Martin
Sherry Harvey Hilleary on June 23, 2020 11:55 AM
It is so great to get this inside look at your life's work. We lived in St. Louis (Chesterfield, from 1992-2003), and all three of our kiddos graduated from high school there. Those years were full and fun. Warm regards!
Chip Martin on June 24, 2020 11:23 AM
Hi Sherry,
Wonderful to hear from you and delighted you and Tom are doing well!  If we had known you were in St. Louis, we would have reached out.  I've been here since 1985, met my wife (Mary) in 1992 and we were married in 1999.  Unusual to be in one place for 35 years now.   I can't believe I just wrote that (35 years). Weren't we in Unified Studies class with Mr. Maach in 7th grade at Old Mission?  I think I got that right???  Vaguely remember a vegetable roll when everuone rolled vegetables up to the front of the class.  I read your post about opening all the boxes. Isn't that the truth and we haven't moved as much as you.  Mary and I were in Kansas City for a couple of weeks in around summer 2012 to clean out my parent's house in Roeland Park.  They died in 2009 and 2010 at age 92 and it was impossible to walk through their basement.  Lots of treaures found as you aptly described below.  Letters from my great grandparents in Germany in the 1800s.  Stamps.  Antiques.  Some items that we couldn't figure out their purpose.  We had a major home remodel in St. Louis in 2008 and quite an upheaval with that.  We have lived cin University City between the Delmar Loop and Wash U since 1996 if you remember that area.  Are your kids still in St. Louis?  It's so fun to hear from you!!  I have hardly seen or spoken with anyone from SMN in many years except for the 40th reunion.  Marsha Bainbridge was in my medical school class at KUMC.  So was Dwight Cashier who unfortunately died last year of complications of Parkinson's.  I only learned that from a retired medical school classmate who was Dwight's cadeaver partner!  I ran into Steve Osa one day at Barnes in about 1980 or so when Steve was doing an endocrinology fellowship at Wash U.  He then went into practice in Colorado and I haven't seen or spoken with him since.  I do speak with Lance Lichtor frequently.  He lived down the street from us on Neosho growing up.  Went to the University of Chicago for undergraduate and medical school, became an anesthesiologist, married another doctor from Boston, lived in Chicago, Iowa City, Boston, and then New Haven, Connecticut, where he retired from Yale Medical School last year.  We're always talking about the horrible politics in medicine.  I guess that's in other fields as well but hope you haven't experienced too much of that.   Thanks again for reaching out!  Let us know if you are ever in St. Louis.
Sherry Harvey Hilleary on June 25, 2020 5:59 PM
Thanks for your comments, Chip. Yes! Mr. Maach was a fabulous teacher, and I do remember the vegetable roll. You mentioned two people that I remember well - Steve Osa and Lance Lichtor. Steve and I were in the same youth group for several years. Good old Roeland Park! My youngest brother's family still lives there and their two daughters go to SMN. You were blessed to have had your parents until they were 92! We live in Lenexa now, but love to visit St. Louis now and then. I believe the Westward Expansion Museum under the Arch is one of my all time favorits museum. I have worked in ministry in Plymouth, MN., St. Louis, KCMO, and Leawood, KS. during my career - never a dull moment!
Thanks, again for reaching out. Think about visiting KC for our SMN 70th Birthday Party.

Marilyn Hicks Mokhtarian on June 21, 2020 8:29 PM
During the crazy days of the pandemic- who would have dreamed we would be calling a friend to say- " I know where toilet paper is !" My husband successfully defended his dissertation during these days. I missed not going to K-State to see him walk across the platform and being able to have the party celebration I had planned for him! I will say we had some friends show up at our door (6 feet away) after they heard the news to give him a graduation present of 12 rolls of toilet paper ! We also received a gift card to order Jack Stack . I don't know which was more appreciated !!

 I have missed getting together with friends for lunch and missed gathering together with friends at church.

But on the other hand -I have gone thru my whole library of books by Madeleine L'Engle – one of my favorite authors !

Blessings to all, Marilyn Hicks Mokhtarian in Nampa, Idaho

Sherry Harvey Hilleary on June 20, 2020 10:50 PM
What I Did During our Stay At Home Time
Over the years we have made four interstate moves, accompanied by boxes that have never really been dealt with, much less opened. Some have moving company stickers layered over older ones. We 
inherited the family histories, old photos and memorabilia from several generations past for both Harvey and Hilleary families. It has become a family joke among my children that I will someday get to this project. This was the time, and one of our spare bedrooms has become the sorting floor for these physical memories.
I found old love letters.  How very interesting that in the very near past we were a society of letter writers. I have unearthed some real treasures mostly between 1950-1990. I have envelopes with 6-cent stamps, and bundles of old love letters that Tom and I wrote to one another before we ended up at KU together. Back then, long distance phone calls were too expensive. In fact, I even found a note from Tom with a phone bill for $16.00 attached bearing an admonishment from his parents that we really should write more letters. Much to our children and grandchildren’s chagrin we have decided to have a ceremonial burning of the old love letters! Some secrets should stay private.
Treasures from the boxes include some fun SMN items such an assortment of Mission Newspapers; Spirit Sticks (how did I end up with those?); an activity card; athletic letters; a graduation announcement; old drama programs; local menus and matchboxes, and more. 
From photos, I have learned who my great, great, great grandparents are on my mother’s side; found a birth certificate from 1872 written in Swedish from Tom’s family; and joined Ancestry in order to pursue a new, or at least overly delayed, passion to learn more about our geneology.
If I had to use one word to put a positive spin on my “time at home” I would surprisingly use “Connection.”
Like many of you, we have become people of Zoom/Facetime/Webex technologies. We have used it for business meetings, ministry, virtual happy hours and family visits. We have connected with grandchildren through the barriers of doors or windows, and connected with news sources, both television and media in new ways (and were guilty of news overload in the beginning days of the pandemic). We’ve done our share of driveway fun with wine and camp chairs as a way to see more of our neighbors, and we’ve hiked and taken short road trips to connect with nature in important ways. We have been thankful to connect to our church through online and televised services – and have been surprised at how it can still hold so much meaning for us. 
It shouldn’t surprise me. I do believe that we humans were created for relationship… I guess now I know that, thankfully, we will innovate and go to great lengths to achieve it.

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