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Some raw material about the past and the present.

February 11, 2016

February 10, 2016

More about Tom.  I mean to tell about him as he grew up and married Dana Graham, soon after that he was father to Hannah B(anana) Graham.  Tom absolutely loved Hannah, who married Jason Wild, and had two children, Jacob and Savannah.  Tom was a grandfather when he died.  I know something about Jacob, nothing about Savannah.  Hannah subsequently had another son, Henry, with another man.  Therefore, Tom had three grandchildren.  I don’t know a lot about the grand kids, but I can start telling about experiences with Dana and Tom.

I recall that Dana and Tom were our Best Man and Brides’ Maid at Penny’s and my wedding in Lewistown, Montana, January 30, 1971.  Our mother, Helen Struckman, came from Dillon; my sister, Carol Angel, and a few of her six children came from Bozeman; and Peter Koch and his girlfriend came from Missoula; and Penny’s younger brother Vern, and her sister Dolly’s son Waylan were all there from Lewistown.  Plus, Penny’s mother Lillian Meakins, of course.  Most of us stayed at Lillian’s big house.  Lillian baked a wedding cake—a flat cake—that I cut into about twenty, or so, pieces.  I was dressed in my Marine Corps green uniform.

I had a flower in my lapel.  My drill instructor, SSgt. Fayechak, had told us that wearing a flower was permissible because our country was not (technically) at war with Vietnam.  It was peacetime.  However, he said, if people are shooting at you, it is war.  And the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were still shooting at us in 1971.  They would continue to do so for several more years, although none of them fired at me because I never went to Vietnam.

Penny wore a beautifully blue flowered dress and had a bouquet of daffodils.  I will always remember the wonderful expression on her face when we kissed during the ceremony.  I knew this was a very serious commitment.  I knew she thought so too.

Tom and Dana signed Penny and my marriage certificate prior to the ceremony.  The minister who presided over the wedding was Father Boyer.  I didn’t know Father Boyer’s first name, but he was an Episcopal priest.  Someone told us that after serving in Lewistown, Father Boyer served on the Sioux Indian Reservation, but I never learned where.  Of course, every time we traveled through Sioux country, I thought of him.  Father Boyer told me a few things that I’ll never forget.  When he told me to walk up the aisle and stand in front of the alter, I told him that I had experience standing at attention in boot camp.  Father Boyer told me that if “I didn’t ‘camp’ in the right place, Penny would give me the ‘boot.’”  I took this admonition to heart.  Our vows were made with the most sacred intent.  Then Father Boyer had us kneel at a place and he wrapped a cloth around our hands.  He told us that this knot could not be untied.  I think we believed him.  We have been married more than 45 years.  We will stay married until we die.  Such was the ceremony provided by Father Boyer.  It held the kernel of the future.

More about Gunther, our part pug, part Brussels Griffon.

I just wrote a check for $295 to Tony Barone so that he could help us train our dog to be a good citizen.

Trouble is, I’m not convinced that our dog isn’t already a good citizen.  Shit.  Gunther just vomited.  I think Gunther ate something he shouldn’t.  Like the pencil that I found in slivers.  Yes, the yellow one that I was using for my opera score.  Or the cat turd he put on our back porch.  Or a stick, or corn cob from last summer.  Or that pumpkin stem from the compost bin.  Poor Gunther!  His appetite is zero.  He still drinks water, but then he pukes up yellow bile.  Worse yet, I am working the next two days!  I think we need to take him to Dr. Kilzer.  Little Kate Kilzer is an accomplished scientist who is also a small animal vet.  I think we are pretty lucky.

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