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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.

Christmas 85

December 10, 1985

Dear Friends:

This year started off in hope and has continued so. After spending fall of 1984 on sick leave becaues of a ruptured disk, I resumed a somewhat lighter teaching load on January 3. You may recall that I was treated successfully by Dr. Norman Shealy, who runs a holistic health clinic in Springfield, MO. I have continued to recuperate and now am almost 100% free of pain. I have been running a bi-weekly pain support group on Sunday evenings, using the Shealy clinic principles of stretching and limbering exercises and biogenic pain control. Winter and spring also saw me developing some new computer education courses at SIUE.

Stephen has been living with me since last November, and much of the year has been a year of great accomplishment for him. He has sold his house, got a new Toyota, started taking voice lessons with friend, Shiela, and best of all, he got a job as head administrator of a local college and is doing very well.

In late spring, I got busy and bought a 1400 sq. ft. condominium in the central west end, just blocks from the old Laclede address. We moved in on June 28, and needless to say, the rest of the year has been involved in attempting to make a home of this place. Stephen is very good with storm doors, book cases, closets, and the like, and together we have been able to make things comfortable. the condo is near several excellent restaurants, a fine book store, some antique ships, and two groceries.

My summer was busy; I taught two courses and performed my original songs in a number of concerts, must notable of which was the 10th National Conference on Men and Masculinity held here in St. Louis. Dr. Shealy found an effective treatment for my ragweed allergy.

In early August I visited my family in Marietta, and they are all fine. I may or may not have told you that brother Tom is in his second year as chairman of the language department at Marietta High School. Stephen and I attended the Midwest Men's Festival with Ed Hrebeck. The following week, Stephen and his 14 year old daughter, Stephanie, who lives in Pennsylvania with her mother, flew to Oregon where I joined them. We visited his brother, Jim, wife, Jackie, and his father at his sister Janice's home at Brookings on the southeastern coast.

After Stephen and his daughter left for St. Louis, I did something I have wanted to do for years—I visited Mt. Shuksan, which is just east of Bellingham, WA, in the North Cascade Range. Often dubbed "the most photographed mountain in the world," Mt. Shuksan is home to a ski resort and companion to larger but less picturesque Mt. Baker. The picture I have enclosed with this letter is taken at Spirit Lake, with fireweed in the foreground. I flew from there to Santa Monica, where I paid my almost annual visit to Mariam Edgar. I got to spend time also with her mother and father, and sister Carol, Carol's husband, Don, and family who are now living in Thousand Oaks.

This fall, things have been normal, except that I have tried to cram my latest project into my already busy schedule, which includes two off-campus night classes. I have been making a tape of my songs at a professional recording studio. It has been a real challenge, and I have been learning my strengths and weaknesses as a recording artist. The tape should be done by the first of next year, and will include a variety of songs, both amusing and serious. Stephen and I also visited friend Tom Manuel in New York this fall, where we saw Lily Tomlin in a hilarious performance, went to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and saw the Metropolitan Art Museum.

For the most part, family and friends are all fine, although a friend died this fall of leukemia, and my parents' friend Bob West here in St. Louis has had major surgery twice. He seems to be recuperating well now. Stephen and I spend Thanksgiving vacation in Cedar Falls, where the temperature was 5 below. He visited his friend Agatha, and I was able to spend a day with my cousin Marlene Sagert, her husband, Roger, and their children and grandchildren. We don't often get to visit, so this was special.

The year draws to a close, and I find myself thinking again of all the wonderful friends that have made my life so rich. You can bet that you weren't forgotten, and that my Christmas wish extends especially to you.

Jim Andris
4961-E McPherson Ave.
St. Louis MO 63108