Monday, 3 Sep 84

Dear Mom & Dad,

I will write while the kids are sitting here watching cartoons. I am on call today so we can't go anywhere.

I was called in yesterday and Saturday to help with C-sections. I won't be surprised if the trend continues.

kids with Faye Sigle at Paddington - 4 Sep 1984 Angelique starts to school tomorrow. She will go Monday through Friday to Paddington, 8:30 to noon. Since this is a private school, it will cost 100,000 a month. Plus Steven will go Tuesdays & Thursdays. We are not sure what he will cost. His teacher will be Faye Sigle. Angelique will have two teachers. One will be the same one she had last year; the other will be the director of the school. They are going to have a hard time finding something to teach Angelique.

We are getting more and more excited about going to the States. Both kids talk about it every day. Just yesterday, Angelique said she wanted to go to Fort Smith. Of course, she couldn't understand why we didn't need to go to Fort Smith.

One place that we would like to go shopping is to Springfield. Jeannie and I would also very much like to see Star Trek III. It will surely be playing in Springfield in October.

Otherwise, we aren't sure what we want to do while in Harrison. I certainly want to see June & perhaps Uncle Charlie. I want to see your slides of Europe.

I have been reading a book about the Flood. Have you heard a lot about Noah's Ark lately? Did you know some of the people on the expedition were members of the church? We got very little news about it here. Was there much in the newspaper?

I finally got a letter from you. We were wondering if you were still alive.

It is hard to believe it is September already. We kept waiting for it to get hot like last year. We used the fan very few times this year. The past couple of weeks it has seemed like October. It has gotten too cool to wear shorts.

I wrote Grandma a letter recently. How is she doing?

The kids have fun playing PAC-MAN on the computer. Angelique prefers to play a harder, more "shoot-em-up" game.

"Ducks, Ahoy" on a cartridge for Commodore 64 would be a good present for Angelique for Christmas.

If you want to get us a video tape for Christmas, I will make a suggestion. We would very much like to have the musical "Lost Horizon." (There was also a nonmusical with the same name that was in black and white. We don't want that one.) "Lost Horizon" (the musical) will probably be as hard to find as "Camelot." So, if you can't find it, get "Music Man," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Singin' in the Rain," or "The Sound of Music." If I give you a bigger selection, perhaps you will not have as much trouble finding us one as you did last year.

We are giving the kids the gold edition of Mickey Mouse video for Christmas. If Becky wants to get them a video tape for Christmas, I suggest the Donald Duck limited gold edition.

Daddy is just as bad as I am about finishing a project as soon as possible after it is started. However, over here, sometimes, other things control when I can finish.

The hotel I will be staying at is the Americana Kansas City, 1301 Wyandotte, KC, Missouri. It is supposed to be in downtown. It is near the convention center called Bartle Hall. I hope you don't have to go pick me up, but I may have to take you up on the offer. We can talk about it more later. I am sending a map now because I won't be able to send it over the phone.

By the way, if you don't want me to call you collect from Kansas City, you need to send me your credit card number.

I am still hoping I can get a ride to Harrison with someone. The convention will be over at noon on Friday. We haven't heard from Dan or Alisa in months. I am threatening to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope. (I suspect that Dan is going to Kansas City, but can't know that for sure until I hear from him.)

I'm glad there is a place in Harrison that can service my computer. I may need to send it to you someday if I have any problems with it.

I have ordered the 1541 disk drive from Sears and a Gemini 10X printer from somewhere on the East Coast. They were both cheaper than the prices you quoted. I also ordered an expensive genealogy program. None of these things have arrived yet. I will have to buy very few programs. I know people here who are experts at copying software and have offered me anything I want.

After I get my disk drive & printer, I will have to buy a TV set and build a desk for it all. Then, we will all be in the poor house.

We are not certain whether we will need to go to Little Rock on Thursday or Friday. It will depend a great deal on how much Jeannie will get to visit with Diane and Bill before that. They are coming to Italy next summer and perhaps staying as much as a month. I'm sure they will have lots of questions.

Are you sure these people want to watch the video tapes we send? Two hours is a long time to bore someone with home movies. Poor Sam Alexander.

Did I tell you about Jeannie taping Angelique's school play? Since the play is just a lot of confusion and just for the kids' experience, the director of Paddington's has never let any of the parents watch the plays. Jeannie was determined to tape it so all the other parents (as well as Angelique's grandparents) could see it. So I gave her a crash course in how to operate the videocamera the night before the play. An hour before the play, Jeannie talked the director into letting her film it. There were three plays. Jeannie filmed all three so we could make copies for other parents at the school, as well as for the teachers to see.

After the play was over, Jeannie came home, but got nothing when she tried to play the tape on the VCR. I came hope for lunch while Jeannie was at Paddington picking up Angelique and telling everyone that the tape didn't turn out. The director was a bit upset that she had permitted one of the parents to be there for no good reason, then. Anyway, I found the tape in the VCR, turned it on, got nothing, pushed a button that Jeannie had forgotten about, and I was watching the tape when she got home. You can imagine that she was quite excited. But, then she had to tell everybody that it turned out ok after all. We made lots of copies of it every day for a couple of weeks.

Yes, indeed it was just a lot of confusion. They only practiced for a week. Faye said that watching the tape helped her know how to do it better next year.

We need to know exactly when you will be here next year. How soon can you let us know?

Surely, the story of the Sibyl is not the only thing I got wrong on the video tape. Did you get a copy of Bulfinch's Mythology?

Have you read the book I sent? I have read it twice. Everyone around here really likes it. Did Daddy read it? I hope you liked it. It talks about a lot of the things you saw. After Jeannie read it, she had dreams about volcanoes and was ready to move.

You and Becky have a lot to learn about VCRs. I have two VCRs. That is how I can make copies. We have a Panasonic PV-1220 and a PV-6000. The PV-6000 is the portable one for my video camera. I probably would not have bought 2 VCRs if we lived in the States. We frequently copy tapes here, but would not have that need so much in the States. If Becky wishes to copy a tape, she needs to find a friend with a machine, then she'll have 2 machines so she can make copies. Did Becky buy a VCR just like yours? Do you know anyone with a VCR?

As Diane said, aren't we fortunate to have moved overseas at the right time to afford video equipment so you can see the kids as they grow?

We send Diane the originals and send you copies. We plan to get the originals all back to keep for ourselves. You can do whatever you want with the copies we send you.

Diane and Bill also have two VCRs and send us copies of their tapes.

We still have not found the Corelle plate. I suppose it will turn up when we move.

Angelique has Tenderheart, Funshine, and Sleepy Care Bears. She also has the miniature Birthday Bear. Steven has the miniature Luck Bear. They play least with the miniatures. They especially like the car and play with them a lot. Angelique is looking forward to going to the States and picking out her own Care Bears. I asked her to write down the names of the ones she had, but she wrote the ones she wanted instead. She said the reason she wanted another Funshine was to give to a friend. She copied the names out of one of her Care Bear books.

Angelique already has Care Bear pajamas & panties.

Angelique wears size 5 and Steven wears size 4.

The sandals you sent have been worn almost out this summer. Next year we will send you a pattern of their feet so you will be able to pick out the best sizes.

Thanks for confirming TWA for us. I will probably go pay for the tickets in a week or two. I still do not know if the Navy will pay for my trip or not. We will need to confirm our return flight after we get to Harrison.

How are your art classes? Is there anyone in the class that you know?

Have your leg cramps stopped?

Jeannie and I enjoyed "Yentyl." What did the critics say about it? It was a very interesting story. You would enjoy it; Daddy probably wouldn't.

There is no limit to the number of times you can tape on a video tape. The snowy picture doesn't bother us. We have worse tapes. There should be a knob or a dial on your VCR that sets the "tracking." Is yours centered? When I play a tape that was recorded on a different kind of VCR than mine, I have to move the tracking on my VCR usually. Otherwise, the picture is jittery. When we play the tape you sent, there is always a little distortion in the picture regardless of where I try to set the tracking. That means that our VCRs are not completely compatible or your tracking wasn't centered when you recorded the tape. Do you understand what I'm talking about? We have the same problem with some of the tapes Diane & Bill send. Do you have any problems with the tapes we sent you?

The electricity frequently goes off here while we are making a tape. It is a nuisance just to happen once, isn't it? Would you like to trade places with us?

There is suppose to be a miniseries on TV called "Space" based on a book by James Michener. I read it a couple years ago. I think you gave me the book for Christmas. Can you tape it for us?

We have no idea if Kem & Brenda are paying Jeannie's mother to babysit. We think they are. She seems to be enjoying doing it. Kem lives in a house that they bought several months ago.

Rex & Velma still are not in their new house yet.

One of Velma's older sisters, who lives in Flint, had a very bad stroke. We doubt that she is alive, but have heard nothing more from Velma since the one letter telling us about it. Jeannie's mother writes about half as much as you. (Jeannie writes about half as much as I do. However, she writes Diane long letters, too.)

It is Rex's family who lives in St. Louis.

Perhaps you need to call Rex & Velma and ask them yourself to spend the night at your house. Otherwise, we doubt they will.

We do not want to go to Wichita. I told Grandma when I would be in Harrison. If she cannot come, I will just visit with her over the phone. I also mentioned to her that if they find someone with a VCR that I would send her a tape of the kids.

Depending on how much we find to do in Harrison, I might want Daddy to take me to Gaither Mountain. I want a plant fossil.

For sure, make chocolate chip cookies.

Thanks for the Conoco credit cards. Of course, we can't use them here.

First you told me you weren't thinking about us coming for fear of being disappointed, then you told me how many days till we get there. It won't be long after you get this letter. I won't write but a couple more times before we leave.

We primarily need to do a lot of shopping when we get to the States. I don't know how much Jeannie will get done before we get to Harrison. Also, I may be able to do a little in Kansas City, especially if my hotel is really downtown. I need to look for computer programs, shoes, and several other things. I also need to spend perhaps an hour at the library looking for something in the 1840 Tennessee census. Jeannie will want to get the kids some clothes, coats, and who knows what else. This will sure be an expensive trip. It will probably take half our savings.

Well, this letter certainly has gotten long.

I better stop or we won't have anything to talk about when we get there.

Take care. Don't be sick in October. (Last year I had pneumonia then.)

Love you lots,

Michael, Jeannie,
Angelique, & Steven

P.S. Maybe Richie Poe knows if Dan is going to Kansas City. Ask him and let me know.

I forgot to tell you that Jeannie went to Caserta Palace last week and saw an outdoor ballet one night with Ann Cummings. They had a good time but didn't get to see all the ballet because it was in the gardens and it rained.

Michael



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