Christmas 1968

Warm Southern 1968 Greeting to one and all (if you can call 33 degrees warm!)

We Barkers once again enjoy the opportunity to invite you onto our treadmill of activity (an exercise in perpetual motion) for a representative turns as we progressed through the past year. This is our way of telling you that we wish circumstances were such that we could deliver such a sampling in person. We sincerely hope our greetings find you all in good health, good humor, good spirits, and that you all completed your Christmas shopping early. Down here this would have meant months ago since the Christmas rush started on or before Halloween.

As we unroll the parchment (would you believe 16lb. #4 bond?) cn 1968, the year that was, we note that it was a year of continued community activity, (with the intendent frantic pitch increased in magnitude by at least a factor or two), a year of travel (4,500 miles in two weeks), a year of entrance into the field of communications, a year of the big Pow Wow and a year of the Muffin. All this, mind you, in a period of time that I am convinced was reduced by at least 10% from last year.

Bruce is still very active in his Boy Scout Troop, which averages a camp out at least once a month. One of the highlights this year was a fish fry in which the boys seined for the fish at the beach. Now there is operation – get the picture – almost totally dark, 100 foot seine, twenty boys, and along with the good fish, (sheepshead, flounder, drum etc.) and ample smattering of crabs, catfish and other sundry denizens of the not too deep. Tables were setup, and by torch light the critters were cleaned on the spot. Over 75 lbs. the first night.

Karen’s group went on their annual trip, this year to the mountains of North Carolina, where near Franklin they prospected for rubies (with predictable results) and in Cherokee, they attended a performance of “Unto these hills”, a story of the Cherokee nation. She was most impressed. Diane’s scout troop is not so active, and restricted themselves pretty much locally. Her yearly highlight was a visit to Maine, to visit friends in Bucksport who recently moved from Jacksonville to Boston. She even had the opportunity to visit Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower, something Daddy hasn’t even done.

Our entrance into the communication field does not refer to the proposed merger of St. Regis with RCA, although this is a definite possibility, but rather Bruce’s assumption if a paper route. Affectionately referred to as “our route”, with 93 customers, it has been successfully executed since mid-summer ( a fact that should be duly recorded in the World Almanac). From his proceeds he has already bought a stereo record player (I can get time from 2-4AM Sundays; the miserable ……).

The year of the Pow Wow refers to George, as you might expect. Daddy and George are Indians in the Indian Guide Program of the local “Y”. The only real problem here was in the Indian names. Now anyone knows that daddies and their little boys must be kept in proper perspective, and Daddy had chosen “Big Bear and Little Bear as appropriate Indian names, stat still carried at least a medium of dignity in an otherwise ridiculous situation. Well, it did; that is until Mommie reviewed the situation – result – George he Running Rabbit, Daddy – he sitting Turtle, (*!?!!). Anyway, it is better than the alternative(Big Wind and Little Wind).

Now about Daddy and Mommy” Well, Joyce is still teaching kindergarten. She keeps us all amused with utterly fantastic dialogue that transpires between; child and child, child and teacher, teacher and child, teacher and mother, teacher child and mother(or mother child and teacher) ans alas, teacher and teacher(usually with a mirror).

Daddy is still somewhat involved with church activities as chairman of the Deacons, sponsor of the junior youth group, and 11th and 12th grade Sunday School teacher. In addition he has accepted the chairmanship of the Board of Management for the local YMCA, family branch.

As a Family, our highlight this year was to drive to Maine to pick up Diane. This was a spur of the moment trip, and as a result we didn’t see many people while we were in Connecticut. It was a beautiful trip with lovely weather. We just stuffed ourselves with lobster provided by our master hosts, the Elliotts.

The year of the Muffin, refers to a muffin with teeth, teeth that shake slippers, chews sock, attacks feet, swings on trouser cuffs, and runs stockings. In addition the teeth are followed by a short, small body with an unestimatable moisture content that releases some almost constantly and at will throughout the environs, To be specific it probably goes something like Caninus beaglii, or in short, a beagle puppy. You say we should have learned by now? If we are going to get a dog he should be at least 18 with no teeth? You’re right; but if the world can’t learn from experience what do you expect from a lil’ole family!

The children, Mom and Dad are all approaching Christmas with the usual anticipation, and without the foggiest idea of what to get whom. We think of you all up in the more Christmas like climate, with real snow, real ice, real snow suits real cold and everything. We have to settle for real flowers, real sun, real bathing suits, and real warmth(82 degress two days before Christmas last year). We will try to suffer through it, though and and hope you have as nice a Christmas as I am sure we will.

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