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06/24/20 12:33 AM #1778    


Jack Edmund Bookwalter

I am still amazed at how COVID testing varies from state to state County by County. It shouldn't be that way. In Palm Springs, Riverside County Health Dept has run extensive testing for at least the last month. Testing Centers are located all over and they are free. You have to make an appointment but that's only to insure you are the only person in the waiting room. The whole procedure takes 5 minutes in and out. You can usually get an appointment the next day. Other parts of the County have drive-through testing where you don't have to leave your car at all. Just about everyone I know in Palm Springs has bern tested, some more than once. By contrast in Oregon where I will be spending the summer, no one I know has been tested. You have to have a referral by a doctor, make an often inconvenient appointment in the future, and you have to pay for it. The virus knows no borders but we are fighting the war with 50 different generals -- about the worst game plan possible to win a war

06/24/20 11:21 AM #1779    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

"Que sera, sera" - "whatever will be, will be" seems to be the attitude in America in regard to COVID-19. The denial advanced by our CIC is the coronavirus' best friend. Federal funding is being pulled from testing sites.

We all want a cure but in the meantime we have to care.  
It is no surprise that COVID-19 is spiraling out of control in America.


06/24/20 11:54 AM #1780    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Baseball is back!

teams are working to figure out how to deal with covid-19 - as covid-19 is surging and infecting our youth.


06/24/20 02:01 PM #1781    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

There are Americans fighting to protect Confederate monuments and statues.

Last night two progressive statues were torn down from their pedestals in Madison, Wisconsin.

Statues are objects... why are we clinging to replicas of white icons, Confederate or progressive?

Black people are being killed. They are not replicas. They are human beings their families and friends are not able to replace.

There are people who seem more concerned about inanimate objects - whether they be Confederate or progressive monuments and statues - than they are about human life.

The sense of superiority on either side does nothing to advance race relations in the U.S. 


06/24/20 08:23 PM #1782    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Denial is NOT a strategy.

We are living in a humanitarian tragedy.

Today is the highest single day of new covid-19 cases in the U.S.

Why are we not meeting this challenge?

It's not  hot  spots popping up needing attention,

we're facing a raging pandemic.

Is now the time for the return of professional sports?


06/26/20 10:03 AM #1783    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

"Something's not working."

The spread of covid-19 is way worse than we imagined.

We are in an unmitigated public health disaster.

Covid-19 is not being contained, it's accelerating.

How are we going to move forward?

Testing reveals cases of covid-19; there are NOT more cases because of testing.  
Testing does NOT generate cases of covid-19.

With covid-19 surging, how can we possibly have enough contact tracers to follow up to stop the spread?

We can be part of the problem, or part of the solution. Our focus should be on saving lives.

Despite our different attitudes, it is imperative that we recognize we are interconnected and part of a process with societal responsibility.

We need to extinguish the spread.


06/26/20 01:19 PM #1784    

Stewart Myrent

I don't know if what we've been doing relative to social distancing & wearing masks is having much of an effect on the Covid response, but the death rate from the Covid-19 pandemic here in the U.S., based on the latest statistics, was about 5.25%, as opposed to the 5.5% to 6.0% that we were experiencing only a month or so ago.  However, I have to say, that the 125,000+ Americans who have lost their lives to the pandemic, so far, could care less what the death rate is.  And I don't think that the 125,000+ deaths is a statistic that we can be happy with, or proud of.  I thought this pandemic was supposed to be over by April.  I'm pretty sure it's late June - almost July.  Yikes!

06/28/20 10:20 AM #1785    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Will more advertisers walk away from Facebook?

Is Facebook doing enough to enforce its own rules about reliable information?

to rid Facebook of threats and attacks on American democracy  ?  ?  ?

What are we doing to protect ourselves from disinformation?


06/29/20 09:55 AM #1786    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

the wheels are off...


EU is likely to ban U.S. travelers.

06/29/20 03:51 PM #1787    


Marvin Irving Blusteln

Good thing I live only ninety minutes from Canada.

06/29/20 07:29 PM #1788    

Stewart Myrent

Marv, I heard a couple of years ago that the #1 question asked on Google, was, "How do I move to Canada?"  It takes me about 6 hrs. to get to the U.P. of MI, going thru WI, so Canada can not be that much further.

06/30/20 12:57 AM #1789    


Jack Edmund Bookwalter

Don't think I haven't thought of that, Marv. You are 90 minutes away from Canada. I am 3+ hours (Portland). So don't think I haven't thought of it. But the big question is: Would they even take us take us??? 😞.

06/30/20 11:33 AM #1790    


Marvin Irving Blusteln

Jack it's simple.  Go for a vacation and don't leave.  Canada must have illegals as we do.  As long as you have sufficient income to live on,  shouldn't be to hard to stay off the grid.

02/09/21 02:51 PM #1791    


Scott Mermel

Welcome Back to the Message Forum -- Looking forward to seeing your posts!

02/10/21 11:48 AM #1792    


Ronald I. Zager


Glad to be back.

In the first six months of 2020 there were about 260 postings on this forum under our "good behavior" rules before being terminated at the end of June.  Janis Kliphardt had over half of them at 51%  ,Stewart Myrent slightly over 15%, Jack Bookwalter nearly 7%, Paul Hain about 4%, and 13 other classmates combined  accounted for less than one-fourth of the total.

My favorites were from Donald Kuehn, Holly Semiloff, and David Bantz.  How about the rest of you--what kinds of posts would you like to see now and from whom?

I'll get things started--I finally became a grandparent last fall with the birth of Sonia in Portland ME.  Go to Facebook if you'd like to see her phote (spoiler alert--she's adorable!)  And I continue in my 15th year of substitute teaching at Webster Groves High School, averaging about ten days per month in the classroom.

Hope you are staying healthy and getting your vaccinations!  I'm still waiting (Missouri is 49th of 50 in getting its residents vaccinated).

Spring training starts next week--go Cards!  :-)


02/11/21 11:50 AM #1793    


Scott Mermel

Ron (others I hope):

Thanks for joining in.  I received my second Pfizer dose yesterday.  Aside from a sore arm and some incredible fatigue, I'm doing OK so far.  I'm looking forward to being able to actually be with my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren in a couple of weeks.  This has really been a terrible year for all of us, who really don't have years to give up!!!  I'm hopeful that by summer, we'll be much more back to normal.  It's time!  Completely retired now, and cancelled our winter trips to Palm Springs and Scottsdale due to the virus, so bored would describe me.   Hope others have some more fun things to post.  Hope everyone stays well.

02/11/21 07:52 PM #1794    


April Mau (Richardson)

Hi all. I want to thank Larry for  starting this conversation and Scott for making it happen!  I began covid in fla and was unable to get home til mid June when my son rented a car, drove down here and we drove home in my car. It actually was a great trip - we drove the same amount of miles in 2 days that used to take Rick and I three days! I  just kept my head in my book so I didn’t see how fast the landscape was flying by!  I had actually moved from Arlington Hts to Elmhurst (in order to  be near my daughter and her family) in Feb last year and the boxes were all patiently waiting for me to unpack when  I got  back in June. My new neighbors all liked to gather on driveways so I met everyone very quickly  during the summer than I would have otherwise!  The only positive thing about covid I can think of!  I  finally returned to Fla in mid January ( trying to avoid Xmas stragglers) and am now signed up in two counties for the vaccine (my county here is actually a lottery system - really?? ) and will try next week on the local grocery/pharm chain that is now scheduling appts here,  The people I see in my area here are rule followers different than what I have heard about Fla in general.  So most of my my covid time has been spent in warmer weather (except for Nov. and Dec) and  being  able to  be outside and see friends has been such a gift. I am one of the lucky ones and have not lost a family member or close friend to the disease. My heart goes out to any of you who have experienced otherwise.  I am  hoping that, like Scott, many of you have been able to take this first step toward normalcy with the first dose. Adjusting to covid was especially difficult for me because i had lost my husband of 47 years 6 months earlier and was trying to adjust to losing a life partner at the same time.  We’ve probably all got stories to share...would  love to hear them! 

02/12/21 07:46 PM #1795    

Theodore John Forsberg

So happy that the forum is back. Great to here from lucky April suffering from a winter in Florida while most of her classmates are freezing or digging out driveways. And good to hear from Ron and the adventure of still teaching, I would feel sorry for him if he had us as students. We could end his substitute days quickly. LOL

02/12/21 08:35 PM #1796    


Paul Richard Hain


Welcome back, everyone!  When Ron mentioned teaching 15 years post retirement at Webster Grove High School, I was reminded of a CBS television production by Charles Karault.  He told an interesting report about the Webster Grove students, their interactions with each other and teachers and staff back in 1966-67.

 I was in junior block at the time of the broadcast, studying a curriculum focusing on what we now call middle school and high school.  My instructor used Karault's report to teach us many things, especially the social dynamics we would face as new teachers.  We weren't ready to test our wings, yet.  We observed in the local high school and practiced lessons in a limited way.  Ron's mention of WGHS instantly brought back those days in the classroom.  It is a school with a famous past.  I'll bet Ron contributed to its fame. 🙂

Dee (my wife) and I got the first shot of the Moderna vaccine today.  No reaction whatsoever.  We got it at Walgreens in our little town.  Second dose scheduled in a month from now.  

I am still working as the supervisor of Richmond Township, Illinois.  Elections are in April for another four year term. I agreed to run again, but may not finish the full term.  No, I'm not planning on dying, I just think there is a time to turn the reins over to younger people.  I work with people in need of food, shelter and clothes.  This is a brutal time of year.  Lots of people in need.  My small staff operates a senior transportation program that has been shut down since last March because of COVID.  After fifty years of service, the three members of the Richmond Township cemetery board resigned last May.  Nobody (least of all me!) knew anything about running four cemeteries.  I appointed two other trustees to help.  The oldest grave is 1791.  We had to learn to survey, sell graves, mark locations and seek help to repair a massive mausoleum that is 117 years old, solid granite and falling apart!  I don't mean to creep any of you out telling cemetery stories.  All I can say is that after 8 months of dealing with this, I have lost any fears, aversion, dislike of the subject whatsoever.  My goal now is to maintain the ancient histories and dignity of these sacred grounds that pre-date when Illinois became a state.  Homesteaders worked the rich prairie, made roads and tiny villages with burial grounds.  Now, they're  entrusted to us to operate and maintain.

Richmond Township is a beautiful 36 square miles of two smallish villages that are nestled in mostly farmland and conservation district.  You can park along a township road and watch the colors change over the prairiescape as the sun goes down.  Even now, the glow of warmth from the setting sun suggests spring will soon be here.  Year round we have chickadees, finches and bright red cardinals by the hundreds that happily eat and sing on the feeder, even in all this cold.  Peace, everyone.




02/13/21 12:38 PM #1797    


Paul Richard Hain

Dear April,

I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. I hope your life going forward will be rewarding and filled with happiness. 

02/13/21 01:58 PM #1798    


Holly Semiloff (Ciotti)

OK: Zoom/school/covid -- you haven't lived until you are in class, Zoomly-speaking, and a student posts in the Chat "Ms. Ciotti, can I go to the bathroom?"   The kid is AT HOME, for petesake; what am I going to say: "No, you are in class, no bathroom passes now."????????????

You also haven't lived until you are in class WATCHING a student brush his teeth in a little Zoom-rectangle.  "Varaga (that's his name), why are you brushing your teeth in class, if you don't mind my asking?"  He swallows, shifts the toothbrush around and says, "I know I shouldn't miss class."  I am humbled.

You might also not have lived until you are in Zoom-class and a student is BOUNCING ON HER BED, BALANCING A CHROMEBOOK ON HER KNEES.  "Anzhela (that's her name), is there by chance a table and a chair anywhere near you???"   "Yeah, I guess so."

And for some reason, my 10th graders are not spellbound by the contriversial issue of the pros and cons of the death penalty.  And for some reason, my AP Lit seniors are nodding off (I guess) while Hamlet is browbeating his mother for marrying Claudius.  And for some reason, my AP Language juniors are slightly less than wowwed by Martin Luther KIng's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" -- all 15 pages of it.

"It's CS" -- It's Covid, stupid.

And once more I am reminded why I'm still teaching, these 36 years (and not stopping)  -- teenagers is teenagers, bless 'em, every one.



02/16/21 05:59 AM #1799    


Scott Mermel

Here's a view of remote learning from the other side.  For many months (until infections started to spike in November and we no longer felt safe because our daughter's family wasn't completed "podded"), I spent a day or two a week (my wife also) sitting with our 8 year old grandson supervising his remote second grade schooling to give our daughter a few hour break each day.  Our 11 year old 5th grader was fine; she could handle everything on her own for the entire 6 hour day, but it was a bit much for the second grader.  So, I got to attend second grade again and I was amazed!  Besides the three R's, which, of course, were very basic, the teacher covered concepts like empathy and sympathy.  I have to admit that some of the second graders' answers were better than I could have given.  I was happy the teacher didn't call on me!  With our direction, I think there was a good deal of learning going on, but I hand it to the teachers who got better attention and response at times from the second graders than I've seen on adult Zoom meetings.  Kudos to all our teachers and administrators for their contributions in these tough times.

02/25/21 01:46 PM #1800    


Roger C. Kaage

It's great to have the (non-political) message forum back!  Thanks, Scott.  Where to start?  Like most of us, we've been TWT (trapped without travel) for a year.  Last February we were down in Key Largo.  Got home, looking forward to our April 3-week cruise from New York to Seattle, through the Canal.  No go, so we rescheduled it for this January.  No go, so we just rescheduled it for next January (2022).  Keeping our fingers crossed for that one. No long weekend in Chicago for fun and a show at the Opera House.  No trip to Lake Tahoe to visit our nephew and his wife.  No fall leaf-peeping, supper club searching trip to northern Wi.  Since Pat and I married in 1998, we've taken at least 4 trips a year, just to keep things fresh and new.  Going without any trips for a year has been a different experience--but not an altogether bad one.  Having nothing else to do, we re-dedicated ourselves to healthy diet and daily exercise routines, and we're both at a fitness level we haven't seen in 15-20 years.  Though we did lose some good friends in the past year, none were from Covid.  In fact, of our friends and family, only a couple contracted the virus.  No onerous symptoms, except for loss of smell/taste.  Can't imagine what that's like, and don't want to find out.  Really miss seeing friends, going out to dinner, just socializing.  But, with the vaccine now being injected (Pat and I are awaiting our second doses, as are most of our friends), we're already planning a dinner party with our best-friend 3 couples once we are all fully vaccinated and a couple of weeks have passed--maybe by the end of March. 

I'm glad to hear that most of our classmates have weathered the storm successfully.  It will be good to hear from more of you.  Keep us informed.

04/04/21 12:06 PM #1801    


Trudi Ann Davis (Davis)

I am so happy to have received both vaccines and in celebration I am flying to Nashville to visit my niece.

My grandaughter was attending virtual kindergarden and I was called in to cover Fridays.  What a fun task, trying to keep Delaney sitting and paying attention.  She is a very active child and doesn't seem to feel that learning the alphabet is that important when there are so many fun things to do, like run around the house chasing her almost 3 year old sister.  I am so grateful that she is now in school five days a week, she is also happier.

I had yet another surgery to replace my left shoulder.  It went very well and am now in rehab.  Other than that I feel great and am grateful to have avoided covid.  This has been such a hard year for loss.  .  . loss of activities, loss of friends and relatives, loss of face to face connection.  I am tired of zoom although appreciate that it has provided continuation of friendships.  I go to church on zoom, go to meetings on zoom, keep up with friends on zoom, watch my adorable grandson in Spain on Whats App so I don't feel like I am missing his infancy.  I can't wait until I can fly again to Spain to visit.  So happy they will be coming in August.

05/01/21 08:11 AM #1802    


Terry J. Bramwell


Hope everybody is doing OK. I have not been checking the message forum that often but it seems like it is not being used as much anymore.

I know a lot of us are glad we have received our shots and we are trying to get back to some type of normal life again. I suppose staying at home got to get pretty old after awhile for most of us. My big problem was going to the refrigerater too ofter. I think I gain about 12 pounds for the last year. Hope to get back to walking soon.

I know my wife and I are looking forward to some travel here before too long. I wiil mention that we will be going to Lake Tahoe in September and meet up with some of our classmates. Jim Archer, Bill Hohs, and Bob Yamaguchi and their wives will be joining us for a few days. It should be fun and I look forward to reminiscing with all of them.

Stay safe

Terry Bramwell

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