Round Robin Letters
Issue 17 - Winter/Spring 1997

Skip to other sections: Malc & Bev, Ben & Vae, Jerry & Idee, Bob & Esther, Larry & Lou, Eileen


Glenn & Marjorie Layton
December 21, 1996

Hi everybody,

If this gets in the mail before Christmas, that will be good. The days right before and after seem real busy. We have simplified gifts and decorations and enjoyed the relaxed feeling. Our group of friends doesnít exchange gifts or goodies so that is easy. Instead of exchanging in our camper group, we gave a shoe box gift to Samaritanís Purse Missionary effort in which you fill a decorated shoe box with items appropriate for a specific age of either boy or girl (you choose). Apparently planeloads go overseas and Christian literature is added to the box in the language used.

Weíve attended Merryís ballet performance "Fantastic Toy Shop" and she was one of the older girls -- a really good program. Went to the S.S. Christmas program, Bible study cookie party and campers party. Also had a nice 49th anniversary dinner at Brambles on Dec. 3.

It was fun to have Bushes and Wests visit -- quite a surprise to hear the Nancy Street house is sold. Many of our kids have happy memories of that location. We wish they would move in our direction but being near grandchildren is important especially when they are little.

Iím enclosing the San Luis Obispo newspaper article of Maggieís scholarship (cousins, this was included in our last cousin letter) partly because it is so unique. I wonder what Mom would say?

We had a trip into Oregon and Washington after school started and had great weather for visiting Mt. Rainier, Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC, Rain Forest, etc. We went west around the Hood Canal so didnít get into Seattle. One of our surprises was seeing over 100 in a herd of elk at our campground north of Eureka. It was early morning and what a sight!

We went east on #299 and stopped in Weaverville for a few days. Bryant is a smiling, healthy sweetie of a guy. We enjoyed getting acquainted. When we left, there was a feeling like fall and it rained soon after we arrived home on October 21.

Glenn has been having dental work done which we hoped would be complete this week but the partial he got yesterday doesnít fit right -- we hope it is a correctable problem.

Took time out this morning to attend Trevorís soccer All-Star game in Los Osos -- they won 7-1 so have a playoff game tomorrow. The bridge to Los Osos and Montana de Oro is complete and so enjoyed -- no more flooding of twin bridges we hope.

We had fish and chips at the Great American Fish Co. on my birthday (72). Thank you for cards and notes -- so appreciated!

OíMalleyís will be here for dinner on Christmas Eve and weíll spend some time at their house on Christmas day. Hope itís a good holiday for all of you. God bless.

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Malc & Beverly Staley
January 5, 1997

Dear Folks,

Doesnít seem like 4 months since the last time I was doing this but the calendar is usually dependable on such matters.

Our normal January tour to the south-land is ready to take off this coming Saturday. We will be heading straight for Yuma, Arizona, this time (about 610 miles) and we have a larger group going this time with seven units. We will be strung out down the road a long way and sometimes gets a little touchy for on-the-road stops. We plan on a week in Yuma and then, thanks to Becky in Tucson, we are all set up to park there for several days on our next stop and then to Quartzsite after that. We will probably arrive back in Oakdale about 6th of February as Beverly is called on for jury duty on the 10th unless we can figure out how to get her out of it. We get called regularly every 3 years, it seems.

Hope you all had as nice a Christmas and New Years as we did. We were in Pleasant Hill for Christmas and here in Oakdale for New Years of which we got to do our regular party of Bible class (Sunday & Wed. class), 25 in attendance, I believe.

This last week, in our end of the state at least, the weather has been a main topic and concern. Too much rain for one week and too warm at the same time as all the snow in the mountains melted and everything hit the valleys at once and much flooding around north of us near Sacramento and also to the south side of Modesto (about 20 miles from here). Our main river (Stanislaus) just a block away is really under good control so no problems on it. We sit about 75 feet above it.

Mickey seems to be settled into his new job (1 year) by now over in Vallejo. He has to drive about 17 miles (mostly freeway) and a couple of months ago on his way to work a tree on the side of the freeway blew down right in front of him. He was the first one to hit it so it didnít do the old í82 Mustang any good at all. Fortunately he bounced around inside and only got some bruises. The car was totalled, though. Sad end to an old family car (we bought it new).

Hope this finds all of you in good health -- nice to hear from Russ again!! He just ordered 15 lbs of nuts. Much love to you all.

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Ben & Vae Staley
February 7, 1997

Dear Family,

Already 1997 and three years till the next century. It will be strange to write or say 2000, but perhaps the Lord will come before then anyway.

We are still in Tucson at a small trailer park in town -- and getting itchy to be on the road again. We had a visit with Malc & Bev a couple of weeks ago when they came to Tucson with their RV group. Went to lunch and then a little sight-seeing at Sabino Canyon. They went on to Quartzsite from here. Weíve enjoyed time with Jan and Becky this winter. Becky and I have been to a couple of basketball games and watched a number more on TV.

Iíve been doing some work for a friend the past couple of weeks. Repairing a tile floor and some facia painting. It has gotten me out of the trailer and also earned some money for my new (old) hobby of radio controlled model airplanes. Becky got me a beautiful plane kit for Christmas so I had to buy the radio, engine and other equipment. I decided to build a glider-sailplane model to learn on and am just now getting it ready to fly. As a matter of fact, tried the first flight yesterday and crashed on the first try -- but it can be repaired and will try again when it is not so windy. This ought to keep me busy for a few years as Iíve always wanted to try R.C. but it is not easy to learn and get everything to work right. A good challenge, I guess.

Vae has been doing some little painting trying to get back into it but has forgotten some of the techniques by laying off a couple of years. She keeps busy on her computer and is now transcribing some of Rolf Johnsonís diary that Becky will print and send you each a copy when done. It has been nice of Jeff to collect all this material for the family archives. We helped Jeff and Barb paint a couple of rooms in their new house in Bothel when we were in Seattle area for Christmas. It will be nice to have them part of the Staley/Keller clan in the area.

We both feel good and keep pretty active -- the winter weather here in Tucson helps this, too.

Love to you all.

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Jerry & Idee Keller
March 25, 1997

Dear Family,

Well, itís my fault this time! I got it the day after I got home from Fresno and having seen all of you, there really wasnít anything to write about. So I decided to wait till Iíd been to Seattle. I got home March 2 and here it is three weeks later! Sorry!! It was so good to see all of you -- even though the circumstances were sad for us but wonderful for Johnny! Itís still hard to accept. We really miss him.

Well, Seattle was enjoyable in spite of some rainy days. We did have two beautiful warm sunny days and Pam and I went for a long walk along the lake, enjoying all the spring flowers & trees and even sat out on the pier and soaked up the sun for awhile. Itís such a wonderful location. Seattle is even beautiful when itís cloudy and rainy! We celebrated Garyís birthday with Pamís mom & dad & family. Pam, her mom and I went to a fabulous sewing expo that is an annual thing for three days. If you like fabrics, crafts, books, etc., you would go crazy -- I did! We took some classes, too, which were great. Iíve never seen anything like it. Itís huge! Had good times with Steve & Erin, of course -- theyíre super neat kids. Pam and I went to a really special tea room one day and then to a pottery painting shop another day. I did a tea pot -- Pam completed her sugar & creamer set. Thatís a fun thing to do & Iím not an artist in any way. Gary even took some time off & had lunch with us one day & then spent Saturday afternoon and evening with the kids & me at REI downtown (what a fantastic place!) and also bought Steve a new trick skateboard for his birthday (March 19). Those are some of the things we did. Had a real good visit.

Seems like Iíve been so busy since then I canít stop long enough to get things like writing letters done.

Sunday evening we had a dinner party for Sue & Maddieís birthdays -- the 25th & 27th. Itís always great to be together. Ethan and Nathan are growing up fast. Theyíll be two in July. They are so much fun. Maddie is such a young lady now -- seven years old. Iím picking her up in the morning and weíll spend the day doing fun things & sheíll stay all night. Such a fun age. And Lianna is a little china doll -- pure charm. Weíre so thankful for strong, healthy grandkids -- what a blessing!

Did you all know that Cami is engaged? It happened over spring break in Denver. She called me the other day & asked if Iíd like to go look at wedding dresses with her. Didnít hesitate a second on that one. We had a fun time looking and trying on and she did actually find the one -- we couldnít believe it. And she looks gorgeous in it. She and Howie are spending Easter with us. Weíre looking forward to meeting him.

Kathy and Bill are anxiously awaiting their big event. The lawyers have worked out a plan and it seems like itís a go! They fly to England May 5 -- the baby is due May 8. Hopefully it wonít be early. Naomi wants them there at the birth. Pray for the timing of all this. Theyíll be there till Naomi is able to travel & they will come over here for the adoption. Private adoptions are illegal in England (weird!). Naomi is very willing to do anything to make this all happen. Itís really complicated and if you want to know any more details, call me. The Lord has answered so many prayers already, itís really incredible. Naomi is overwhelmed at Godís goodness and especially His grace to her. Sheís a new Christian and is being loved and supported and cared for by wonderful folks at their church (Barb & Regís in Cambridge). Iím going to Wichita April 3 so I can help Kathy & Bill get things together, work on the nursery, and just enjoy this wonderful "happening" together. God is so good!

Jer is really worn out. Heíll be so happy when April 15 arrives. We leave for Sanibel April 17 for 3 weeks.

Lots of love to each of you.

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Bob & Esther Staley
April 2, 1996

Dear Family,

Believe it or not, but itís a damp, cool day in Phoenix today. Yes, this is a little unusual for us but weíll look back on this day in the summer and wish for the temperatures in the low 70s.

It was so nice to see everyone at Johnnyís home going. Iím so glad we were all together at the reunion before he went to be with the Lord.

Weíre trying to decide what to do this summer. Weíve a couple of possibilities but havenít made any decisions. We havenít been up to Robbieís for several years so we might go up there by way of Seattle where Jeff & Barbara are. Weíd like to go to a Bible conference in Colorado also but donít know if that will work out.

Both entail a lot of driving and I donít drive as much as I used to.

Havenít heard from Greg & Kathy at the mission for awhile but that is a possibility also -- driving up there, I mean.

Our Easter church service was the best, most worshipful that Iíve attended for a long time. Iím still enjoying it -- lots of music & singing, a great message.

Itís great to meet and worship sometimes, with a large congregation who love the Lord.

May the Lord bless you all.

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Larry & Lou Bush
April 20, 1997

Dear All,

"Hello" to everyone from Long Beach. Our new address, in case it hasnít gotten to you yet, is: (Cousins, e-mail me for this address update if you need it).

Looking at the date on my last letter, it seems a long time since I wrote. However, since we were together recently, there isnít much news. We pray & think of you often, Eileen. Weíre in a great location, half a block from a marina with lots of ocean breeze. If Fresno gets too hot for you, we have an extra bedroom and I run a great B&B! This goes for all the family. Welcome!

We really are enjoying our new location. Itís warmer with less fog than we had at Westchester. I can do my walking now all along the marina area where the boats are docked in front of beautiful homes, then on out to a water-ski stadium in a bay which is about Ĺ mile long. There are always lots of ducks, egrets, pelicans and, of course, seagulls, to watch. We havenít had a chance to do any bike riding yet but intend to as there are bike paths all over the area.

We still canít find things once in a while, or I remember I threw it away before we moved, but it sure feels great to have things put away and organized again. How long it will stay that way, I donít know. We need new carpet but the place has been recently painted and lots of "decorating" yet to be done. Thatís the fun part! Larry has re-worked all the outdoor lights and sprinklers (they didnít work the way he wanted) and built a big storage shelf in the roof of the garage so he feels his work is done. Little does he know I have a list a mile long for him yet!

Weíre all packed and heading out tonight at 11 pm for another of our "bare-boat" trips in the Caribbean. We fly to San Juan, then to St. Lucia in the Grenadines where we pick up the boat for 10 days. This is the same area where we went for our very first boat trip with the boys about 12 years ago. I guess there will be lots of changes since it is a popular place for cruise ships now, but they only come through about once a week on their schedules. Itís only us and the Lockwoods this time instead of our usual gang of 8. Skip Smith has been having lots of migraine headaches (after lots of tests to determine this) so they are not able to go this time, and our other couple, the Youngs, are busy buying and setting up a new business venture.

All our family is well. I do enjoy getting the family letter and the cousin letter from Becky so we can keep track of this big gang weíve become.

Love to all.

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Eileen Staley
May 5, 1997

Dear Family,

Your letters arrived on the 29th. The travels, projects, scholastic goals, hobbies and new additions to the family all are so interesting. It was a real treat to settle down and "catch up" with your goings on. Iíll be awaiting each future edition.

Most of this past weekend was spent at the Oakdale Staleys along with a couple of their long-time friends who live in Fresno. We enjoyed a lot of visiting, beautiful "outdoor" church service, delicious food and sight-seeing. Since the Stevensí granddaughter was scheduled to sing in the Childrens Spring Chorale at Evangelical Free Church Sunday evening and had requested their presence, we hurried home and then on to see and hear a beautiful production by as many as 83 well-trained youngsters. A refreshing and encouraging experience!

Carol will be starting her spring vacation tomorrow and we hope to do a few things when she is free that we have been "putting off until" -- not work! Sure is great having family closeby.

Iím looking at an invitation to meet the Doug Staleys for a Motherís Day brunch. Carol and Jim, Patís folks, cul-de-sac neighbors and sometimes others attend. Always fun!

Michael and Erinn have me "adjusting" again. Now Iím trying the great-grandmother role. Iím sure the assignment will be a lot more fun when we have our first glimpse of Sarah Lyn.

Much love to all.


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