It has been a while since I’ve experienced a rapid transfer of photos from my camera to the blog. I’ve whined and complained all week, but it’s all about the pictures. Photographs of all the places we’ve been, and all the family and friends we have seen are what’s important. Who likes a story without lots of pictures to go with it?
We’ve just had a great couple of days with a fellow Murdo girl and her husband, and I have high-speed Internet at my fingertips. I’m good to go.
We left Camp Verde on Sunday, and drove to Peoria, AZ to see Jim and Patty Arnieri. We had the most enjoyable time with this fun and hospitable couple, and it all happened because of the Murdo Girl stories. The reconnecting with old family friends, and meeting new people is a byproduct of the blog that I love the most. I never in a million years could have anticipated all the fun I would have because “one day” I decided to write down my memories of growing up in Murdo, SD.
Me, Paul Thomas, Ralph Thomas, Jerry Elrod, Patti Dykstra Arnieri, Judy Dykstra Brown, and Valerie Leckey Halla..in Murdo for the All School Reunion last July
As the story goes, I wanted to keep writing until I had squeezed every last memory I had out of my already squished to the pulp brain. I knew eventually, I would run out of material. Early on in this whole phenomenal experience, I started getting some comments on my blog from Judy Dykstra Brown. I didn’t realize who she was at first, because the comments showed up under the name of Judy’s blog, Lifelessons. I soon made the connection. Judy is such an accomplished and talented person, and I was excited to know she was enjoying the Murdo Girl stories. She had learned about the blog from her sister Patti, who graduated from Murdo High School a year before my brother Billy. Patti and Billy have remained good friends and have kept in touch since high school.
I found it rather funny when Judy, and then Patti, said they didn’t remember that much about me. I was Billy’s little sister, who was just kind of there. Judy asked me if I knew our Dads used to recite Shakespeare to each other. I do recall Dad quoting Shakespeare, and it’s fun to picture the two of them, (a plumbing contractor and a rancher), “To be or not to be (ing)” to each other.
Billy and me when I was just kind of there
Anyway, we all reconnected as a result of Murdo Girl, and I had two more Murdoites to share memories with. When Patti and Jim learned about the trip we had planned, they invited Kip and me to come and see them. I found myself really wanting to take them up on it. They are a fun and interesting couple to say the least. They have a beautiful home in Peoria, AZ. where they spend the winter months, and they live in Sheridan, WY. the remainder of the year.
We talked.. ate great food.. and told stories. We laughed again at stories we had heard a million times, and shared a few the others hadn’t heard before. We were fascinated by the many hobbies Jim has, from skeet shooting, to his photography, and interest in cars. Kip said several times, “Oh, I forgot to ask Jim this, or I wanted to ask him that. He is knowledgeable about so many things.” He told us about growing up in Sheridan, WY. He would often ride his bike out to the airport and he got to be friends with some of the pilots. Soon they started inviting him to fly places with them. He thought of himself as a copilot in training. Times were different then. He would go home for dinner and when his mother asked him what he had done that day, he might say, “I flew to Denver.”
It almost always proves to be a small world. Jim, Patti, and Kip all went to the University of Wyoming in Laramie. They knew a lot of the same people and spent some time comparing who knew what about whom. Judy also graduated from the same college.
I began tonight by telling you how important it is to have a lot of photos to accompany my log of events. I must have been having a really great time, because I forgot to take pictures until after dinner the last night we were there. We ate at their club, which is absolutely beautiful. Kip snapped a picture of Patti and me. When I looked at it, I noticed my bangs were parted funny, so I told him to take another one. The bangs still didn’t hang right, so he had to take that one over too. Patti decided she would take care of my problem. Here is what happened.
Well, now you have seen all the pictures of our time together. Don’t look at them too long. It will give you a headache.
Same pictures a little slower
Judy and Patti remembered my story about going to Mack’s Cafe after school every day to have a Bing and a Coke. My friends Marlene, Karen, and Josephine, were usually with me. As I wrote the story, I started really obsessing about those Bings I loved so much. I assumed they didn’t make them anymore. At least I hadn’t seen them in years.
When we got to Patti and Jim’s, Patti said she and Judy had come up with an idea and she had a surprise for me. She handed me a big red bag FULL OF BINGS!!
I have eaten 6 twin packs of cherry mash covered in milk chocolate and crushed peanuts and I still have lots more. The only thing I’m missing is a Coke, and I plan to take care of that tomorrow. They are to die for! Yum, Yum, Yum.
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
About that running out of Murdo Girl material… Judy suggested that I didn’t have to stop writing when I ran out of growing up memories. I will always be from Murdo. I was raised there as were so many on both sides of my family. Twenty-five of us graduated from Murdo High School. Whatever I write, will most likely have a Murdo connection, so I guess it’s okay to call my blog and myself Murdo Girl.
Thanks Judy…It doesn’t get much better than this!