The following is taken from Lee R. Christensen's Book: "You Knew Me As Buddy"; a collection of letters he wrote to friends who grew up in Mt. Pleasant. Beth is Beth Lund.
February 9, 1997
February 9, 1997
Raymond Larsen, Miriam’s new husband? What do you know about him? A Sanpeter? Has
the name. I had a letter from Miriam early January. No hint of a remarriage. I won’t know
how to address her unless she lets me know.
Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream.
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest,
And the grave is not its goal.
Dust thou art, to dust returneth,
Was not spoken of the soul.
—Longfellow - A Psalm of Life
Back in our grade school recital days - remember when we all had to memorize - was it two
or three poems for Verl Johansen - sixth grade - and then the reciting competition in junior
high - this poem was a standard. I think Fern Olson gave it in grade school and maybe
some others. I was 2nd in the junior high competition with “Vive La France.” Probably
because I recited in French. I think Evelyn won. Was her poem the “Highwayman”? The
wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees, the moon was a ghostly galleon
tossed upon cloudy seas. Think Billy Beck recited “Invictus”: Out of the night that covers
me, black as a pit from pole to pole. I don’t think we had this competition when we were
in eighth grade.
“Count your many blessings?” - is that from William Clayton. No -I just checked with his
great granddaughter. She says, “No.” His was “God Wants Me For a Sunbeam.”
The horses are healthy. We’ve had a mild (temperature wise) winter. Much snow - two
big, big storms. About two feet each time, but very little sub-zero temperatures. Horses
hate deep snow, but it does not stress them like very cold weather does. In our area, domestic
animals surviving. Wild animals, deer especially, very high winter kill.
My birds are doing very well. They are now into their second hundred pounds of sunflower
and wild birdseed. Even the stray cat I feed - 2-3 cans a day - appears to be healthy. In six
weeks, we will be well into spring. The worst is over.
And I’m thinking spring baseball camp in Arizona. Remember when Fremont Draper went
to spring baseball training. He was the only man of our generation to try out for the professional
leagues. He was a very good first baseman. Did not make it. As they say these days
- he was good field - no hit.
I always thought I grew up with some great athletes, but only one or two made it at the college
level. Bob Wing, Betty’s brother, was a three sports letterman at Arizona State. Steve
Keusseff was 2nd string football at Stanford. Blain Hansen, Whiff, Dewey Fillis, and
Ralph Ashton never made the teams in college. Whiff and Dewey in college - other than
Snow, only a semester or two. Whiff, I think, had an athletic scholarship to the University
And our musicians - did any go on to a big orchestra? Many, I think, did play in college
bands. Did any of our group sing in the Tabernacle Choir? Surely Wayne could have. A
few years after our class, Fairview had a male singer that made the big time. Did you ever
hear him? Was it Glade Petersen? Was Tommy Brunger good enough to have gone big
time? How about all those country and western singers around the valley. Any of them
make Nashville? And didn’t Fairview have a champion yodeller?
And movies - did any of our group star or sub-star in a movie? I think - may be way off
- that Jay Madsen had a sister married to a Walt Disney illustrator. How come Mt. Pleasant
never had a Lorraine Day who was from Roosevelt? I can remember thinking as I sat
chatting with Nancy Regan that in my high school class were a dozen girls more attractive
than she. But, none of us boys may have been as good looking as Ronnie. Maybe Boone.