Holiday reports

Nancy wrote this report on the holiday season in Seattle:

Dear Out of Town Family, It snowed on Thanksgiving but the sun shone on Christmas. Today we had snow showers, hard at times, but it didn’t stick and in between the showers, the sun came out and the mountains showed all gleaming and white all the way down.  Steve, Cate, and Ben arrived last Wednesday and left to today. They took the light rail from the airport and we met them down town and had a late lunch at a Vietnamese place across from the art museum. Dick just returned from taking them to the airport and reported that the highway was clear all the way until he got to the airport drive where there was glare ice where the cars had driven.  Friday we are going to Lopez for New Year’s Eve with Mike and Julia.  In between we had quite a time with lots of togetherness.

We started with a shank half of ham thinking there would be food for lots of lunches and meals if need.  The next night Steve, Cate and Ben had dinner with Cate’s brother and sister, and Amy and Lib, just back from skiing at Big White in BC came over to trim the tree so we had ham and scalloped potatoes.  Friday Mike and Julia arrived by train, getting off in Edmonds. That was Christmas Eve.  David, Janice and Alexa came early in time for a walk.  There were 12 at the table with just the family minus the four in California.  I made the traditional crab bisque for dinner.  We had a big spread for Christmas morning including scones made by Steve and Cate and mini quiches I had picked up at Costco and smoked salmon also from Costco.

There seemed to be a lot of gifts even though we have vowed to not give presents to the adults except for spouses and significant others, but Alexa wanted to give something to her grandparents and she showed excellent taste in her choices. After opening everything, the sun was out and everyone except Janice and me went for the traditional walk down to the beach and back.  We had a huge roast beef which David helped me put in the oven along with baked potatoes.  Cate cooked green beans, Steve made the Yorkshire pudding, Dick made to salad. I had made the rum cake for dessert.

Sunday Mike and Julia had to leave so Steve took them to the train station while the rest of us slept. That evening the ten of us went to see the Black Nativity.  This is a show that the Intiman Theater puts on every year.  The first half has an enactment of the nativity scene with lots of music, dancing and singing and words from Langston Hughes, famous black poet.  Dick and I had already seen it twice, once with Alexa, and last year with Ben.  This year the adults wanted to see it too. Monday Amy and Lib had made reservations for Steve, Cate and Ben at the Science Center to see the Harry Potter exhibit.  How much science I am not sure, but i guess it was a money maker for the Center.  David, Janice and Alexa joined them there.

Cate had announced earlier that she wanted to have a crab feed on Monday and she told me that she was going to be in charge and I didn’t have to do anything.  They bought the crab in the market.  They were huge.  Cate’s brother, Mark, and his girl friend joined us so there were 12 of us at the table.  Yesterday, Amy and Lib left for cross country skiing in Winthrup so we had a small family with crab cakes made by Cate with crab left over from the night before. Since their plane was not until this afternoon, Cate had washed and dried the sheets and made the beds.  What wonderful guests!

Meanwhile the “four in California” had a splendid dinner at Arcadia and Rodney’s house; on the menu was (quoting Arcadia’s e-mail from the day before ) . . .

I’m about to go to Rainbow for a grocery shop. Here’s what’s officially on the menu for tomorrow:

Tuscan Bean Soup
Spinach Salad with Prosciutto Dressing
Roasted Cauliflower with Sage Butter
Champagne — and of course Crixa for dessert!

If I can manage it I’m also going to make cookies today, including your Russian Tea Cakes. Yum.

She did manage the Tea Cakes (and the bread and gingerbread cookies and unbelievably moist chocolate cookies) with all of which we hardly got to the “Dundee cake” (from Crixa Cakes in Berkeley) that Leslie and I brought for dessert! Everything was DELICIOUS! I took the picture below on my phone without a flash so it’s a bit grainy, but sitting down to dinner we did all get to comment on the days when Arcadia and Rodney thought they might have to put a veil over the Obama print you can see on the wall behind the table — but that the veil would definitely be off now — hurray for the “lame duck” session!!

There seemed to be a lot a lot of gifts after dinner here too, so many that Leslie and I found we’d lost track of time and had to leave all in a rush to get our City Carshare back before it turned into a pumpkin!

Christmas Eve 2010 (with wedding champagne!)

Original Boomerang issue #2: December 2, 1917

Original Boomerang, December 2, 1917 (click on thumbnail for full sized version)

Reporter “Nose Around” mentions Camp Dodge in this number of the Original Boomerang, as he did in the first one (featured here); following Mr. Nose Around, I also have a bit more to say on Camp Dodge in this post in the latter-day Boomerang! Nowadays it’s a National Guard post and it was and still is in Johnston Iowa, which is near Des Moines (where the Eno family lived at the time of this Boomerang issue). About six months after the Boomerang’s news of cousin Ernest Blake being in its hospital there and having a standing invitation to visit the Enos and eat turkey (as long as he brought it), Camp Dodge made news for its formation of a “human Lady Liberty”; I quote from the Camp Dodge history website:

“On a stifling July day in 1918, 18,000 officers and soldiers posed as Lady Liberty on the parade [drill] grounds at Camp Dodge.” [This area was west of Baker St. and is currently the area around building S34 and to the west.] “According to a July 3, 1986, story in the Fort Dodge Messenger, many men fainted-they were dressed in woolen uniforms-as the temperature neared 105 degrees Farenheit. The photo, taken from the top of a specially constructed tower by a Chicago photography studio, Mole & Thomas, was intended to help promote the sale of war bonds but was never used. Many examples of Mole’s patriotic photographs in true perspective still exist. Pay close attention to the way spatial depth and perspective is defied. As in the Statue of Liberty there are twice as many men in the flame of the torch as in the rest of the design.”

"Human Lady Liberty"

That was July of 1918, though, and this Boomerang issue was written in December of 1917, and for that story it’s important to know what the Epworth League was: an organization of the  Methodist church for young adults (age 18-35). It’s mentioned (among other places) in the musical The Music Man (which is set in Iowa in 1912): teenager Zaneeta Shinn declines a date because “it’s Epworth League night.”

Fred Eno mentions that the Epworthians who were to entertain the soldiers at Camp Dodge were to be transported there from “Grace,” which (I reckon) is Grace United Methodist Church of Des Moines, founded in 1883 and still going strong (read about its history here). “Pattie” the “only thing on wheels in shouting distance from the church” is of course the hupmobile introduced in the first issue of the (original) Boomerang, and the “five most agile”? The five Eno girls, of course! (Pattie’s “tonnau”–or more properly “tonneau”–would just be the back seat, or rounded part of the car — the word is from the French word for a barrel or cask.)

Ruth, of Ruth and Clarice who are thinking of earning their living by “daily toil,” is the next to the youngest Eno girl (see the post on the first issue for the full run-down).

“For Sale or Trade” . . . Fred et al are thinking of moving — stay tuned for developments on that front!

The young Swede from Ames (with his four-syllable name) with whom Beth has just departed is definitely not Orville Rust.