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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 87

December 10, 1987

Dear Friend:

We ended last year with a three day trip to New York City to visit Tom Manuel. Stephen and I stopped in Marietta to visit family and then drove east, picking up Stephen's daughter Stephanie in Bethlehem, PA.

1987 has been a good year for me, both personally and professionally.

Stephen and I have continued to enjoy our affiliation with Trinity Episcopal Church. Stephen has continued to take voice lessons with Sheila Dugan and now sings tenor in the choir, which is a very good one. I have begun to take voice myself. We both occasionally usher at Trinity. Stephen continues his work as Dean of the International Graduate School. We've also enjoyed quite a few new friendships.

I have succeeded in bringing to the School of Education Computer Lab many new computer applications. We now have interactive videodisc stations up and running and a modest library of videodiscs. We have artificial intelligence, an "intelligent" atlas that responds to English geography questions. And last but not least, we have desk-top publishing, which now does on the microcomputer and laser printer what used to be done at the typesetter's. One of the most exciting things in computers this year for me was the purchase of a program that lets me print my musical compositions in publication-ready format.

As usual, I've had my share of small travels. This spring I attended an IBM conference on higher education computer applications in Madison. I also visited my old friends, the Breiters in La Crosse. For our end-of-the-summer vacation, Stephen and I spent a week in Michigan: two days on each of the three Great Lakes that surround the state and give it over 3000 miles of coastline. I can recommend such a vacation heartily to you.

Of course, the big event this summer was my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary on August 16. It was a really wonderful gathering in the neighbors' back yard. Over fifty people attended, including relatives from Florida, Iowa, and West Virginia. Old friends Myra and Walter Kendall were there from California, and Caroline and Willard Lutz from Cleveland, sister Vicki and sister-in-law Dee deserve a lion's share of the credit for organizing this event. I videotaped the proceedings, and we all were very pleased with the results.

I've kidded my parents for arranging to have their anniversary on the so-called "Harmonic Convergence," which you may have read about: a time in the earth's history when the forces of love become stronger than the forces of fear. Stephen and I were lucky to be able to celebrate this event with about twenty-five like-minded souls on top of a mount in Mound Cemetary in Marietta, Ohio.

This fall things seemed to be back to normal, but this was not to be for long! Stephen's sixteen year old daughter, Stephanie, has come to live with us permanently. She is able to attend a good college preparatory school here in St. Louis, Rosati-Kain. Stephen has spent countless hours reorganizing our condominium, but now we are quite comfortable and settled in, the three of us, my canary, Billy Oliver, her mouse, Mr. Alphabet, and Stephen's fish. Stephanie has made many friends, and she has scheduled her first slumber party for next week. Stephanie was also very fortunate to win an eight-week scholarship to Germany this summer.

Stephen, Stephanie and I spent our Thanksgiving vacation in Thousand Oaks, California, helping old friend, Mariam Edgar, to christen her new house. We had Thanksgiving dinner on the patio and spent the rest of the day at the beach playing frisbee.

Last week I celebrated my fiftieth-year-on-the-planet birthday party (49 years old) with an italian dinner and ice cream and cake and twenty good friends. I hope the next fifty will be as profitable and as packed with good memories, friendships, and down-right miracles as the first fifty have been.

Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.