When Ken Barratt wrote in late summer, he and his wife had recently returned from a trip to Alaska and the Yukon Territory in northwestern Canada. They visited Dawson City and learned what life was like there in the gold rush days. They visited the kennels of Jeff King, who had won the Iditarod race from Anchorage to Nome for four straight years, and toured the tundra for a view of the mountains surrounding Mount McKinley, then headed back home to Green Valley, Ariz., in time to experience Arizona’s monsoon season. Ken said they were glad to have escaped at least some of the early summer heat wave, which sent the temperature soaring above 100 for 39 days in a row at their locale.
King Berlew wrote from Topsham, Maine, where he and his wife Jeanne spend seven months of the year. The Highlands Retirement Center, where he wrote from, is just across the Androscoggin River from Brunswick and Bowdoin College. For a small annual fee, they became friends of Bowdoin and have enjoyed taking advantage of numerous events at the college. They saw Bowdoin beat Wesleyan in football two years ago and hoped to see that result reversed this year. By the time this sees print, the Berlews will be back in Florida, where they spend the winter-spring months at their condo in Sea Oaks, which stretches between the Atlantic Beach and the intercoastal waterway.
Les Aroh wrote from Louisville that he was still active in leasing and managing the office warehouses he has had an interest in. He and his wife, Janet, had cut back on travel, but instead have enjoyed interacting with their two sons’ families, which, Les said, for the most part lived only minutes away from them. One granddaughter lives in Yuma, Ariz. At the time Les wrote, he and Janet were getting ready and had just learned that their oldest granddaughter would make them great-grandparents in March.
Walter Cook wrote in late August from Connecticut, where he and his wife, Marie, spend their summer months before moving to Florida for the winter. “We have families in both states, which makes it nice,” he wrote. Walter was a World War II veteran who was stationed for two years in France. As part of his voluminous summer reading he has recently read a lot about the war. But the best story was written by a member of his own family. Walter’s nephew convinced his father, Walter’s brother, to tell his story of a mission his brother had not told anybody for 69 years, the story of a bombing mission his crew carried out on Nov. 4, 1944. Their B-24 was shot down over Vienna and the crew had to bail out. Walter’s brother landed on a farm, where he was sheltered by a 20-year-old American exchange student named Vicki, who was hiding with her brother from the Nazis. She sheltered Walter’s brother until he could assemble his crew and they then made a 30-day trek across country, helped by the Underground, finally making it back to their base in Italy, from which they flew 43 more missions. After the war, Walter spent 41 years with the UniRoyal Chemical Corp. “So far, Marie and I are doing okay,” Walter wrote.
DAVID M. PHILIPS
100 Elena St., Apt. 618, Cranston, RI 02920-7620 firstname.lastname@example.org