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This website is now published on my mobileme account. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.

The original website was published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.

Happy Holidays 2005

From Jim

If you take the longer, scenic tour of this newsletter, you will be clicking on some of the live links in it. Or just know that you are in our thoughts and hearts, and that we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.


Starting off with the downers, this was a year of loss.

Dear friend Charlie Watts died just after Christmas. Charlie and Anne are dear friends of ours, and we all miss him very much.

Trinity parishioner Michael Sampson, much beloved by the congregation, died a few weeks later.

Growing American Youth founder, Bill Cordes died at age 59. I had worked with him in the late '70s and early '80s.

Despite these losses, my retirement life is going quite well. Tinkering with things computer has become important. We now have three Macs on an ethernet network, including a laptop with wireless access. Keeping that functioning takes time and attention. I also have started exploring the next generation of internet technology, and I've gotten into blogging (http://ocibi.blogsite.org/), chatting (I am Jim Andris jandris@mac.com and jandris-98 is my Yahoo! Messenger account name) and podcasting.

Our friend, Rick, put on a Mardi Gras party in Natchitoches, LA for us in February, where everyone had a blast. We combined this trip with a visit to the Clinton Library in Arkansas. You can see a slideshow by clicking on the name. Then in March, we visited Will and Caroline in Sarasota. We drove over to the Strawberry Festival at Plant City, which you can see by taking the link.

Just after this we got the news that a baby for Stephen's daughter Stephanie and her partner Dawn was on the way. Little Alexander was born on November 26. We have a website for him, Zander's Zecrets. Stephen and I are excited about visiting Boston to see them early next year.

I was invited to perform at the 2005 John William "Blind" Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival in Columbia, MO this June. Five of my compositions were performed, three by me and two by friend Colleen Hawkins. Our summer chugged on as usual, but we visited Marietta more frequently to see mom and family, we got to Boston to see Stephanie and Dawn, and we were visited by Wayne Huber in July.

In the summer here in St. Louis, there are so many fun things to do: the MUNY, Opera Theatre St. Louis, Union Avenue Opera, This year I will share with you an album of pictures taken with the group of friends I affectionately refer to as the Ragtime Rascals, because they have so faithfully come to the once a month Ragtime Rendezvous at Dressel's Cafe at which I play. However, in this album you see them at one of the weekly free Compton Heights Band concerts in Tower Grove Park, and also in our front yard, sitting on a bench that they bought me for my retirement present.

Not only am I very active at Trinity Episcopal, but I am now just starting the third year of the Education for Ministry Course offered by the University of the South. Stephen is a mentor in my group. Likewise, Stephen is active at Trinity, singing in the choir, and is a mentor in the EFM course. For someone who professed to be an atheist for the early middle part of my life, I sure do put a lot of time and attention on religion. If you visit my blog, you will notice that I have written several entries under "What in God's Name?"

We really get in a lot of entertainment and relaxation around St. Louis, with season tickets to the Repertory Theatre, and the St. Louis Symphony. There are also our monthly play reading group and bridge and our weekly Yahtzee! games at Shugga's Coffee House. I even put up a searchable database of all the plays that have been performed by our 2nd Sunday Dinner Theatre group in the thirty odd years of its existence. You can log in using your last name and the password "play." (Without the quotes.

This September I got sort of good health news, in that my pulmonary hypertension has remained stable now for two years. After that we visited Marietta once to see mom, brother and sister and their families. Nephew Adam and Wife Jessica had a beautiful baby girl on October 3, their first child. They will be spending Christmas Day with us.

From Stephen (via Jim, maybe later to be revised by him)

Stephen continues to sing in the River City Pops. They are very entertaining and bring much joy to various retirement communities around the St. Louis area. He also has two voice recitals annually. He continues to love his yard work, his pets and the birds and squirrels who frequent our front and back yard. He is revitalizing his Mannatech business these days, too. He's doing well and enjoying his life.

Take care, dear friends, enjoy your life.


Jim and Stephen