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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 88

December 14, 1988

Dear Friend:

This whole year has been one of family and professional focus. Stephen is still the Dean of the International Graduate School, where he performs an amazing number of functions from menial to "deanial," mostly the latter. The politics of the situation are too complicated for a senile old codger like me to comprehend, but he seems to be enjoying himself. Actually, he's become quite an expert at administrative computer applications, and we've recently been talking about starting our own desktop publishing business.

Stephen's daughter Stephanie is a senior at Rosati-Kain High School, an all girl's Catholic school. She is an excellent student, has cultivated many valuable friendships, and has many interesting activities: cello, art, German and photography. She works for the school newspaper, and about 10 hours a week at the local Subway (sandwich) Shoppe. This coming summer, she hopes to continue her German and cello in Europe for a year.

By this time, we have accumulated quite a menagerie here at 4961-E McPherson. There is Mollie, the Lhasa apso, Leonard (Sylvester) the black and white persian cat, Billie Oliver, the canary, and three mice, Catherine, Emiline, and Mrs. Beasley, and an assortment of fish. Actually, umm, Mrs. Beasley may have undergone a sex-change operation, since she has been observed engaging in some, err, non-feminine activities.

In June, I completed my second full year as Coordinator of Computer Resources for the School of Education at SIUE. This job is quite challenging, and it keeps me going in a dozen directions at once, helping people at all levels of the academic process with their computer applications. But I love the work, when it's just not too overwhelming. This fall, I gave a paper with another professor at Blacksburg, VA, and I'm scheduled for several local presentations in the coming months.

This was the year that I turned fifty (December 3). Our old gang from high school [Mariam Edgar, Myra Hausman and Walter Kendall, Willard and Caroline (Cogswell) Lutz, Dee and Kay (Flowers) McFarland] and Stephen and I got together to celebrate our "50th Birthday Reunion," which grew out of a telephone call I received from Mariam and a visit from the Lutzes. In the end, we met in St. Louis for a September weekend of talking, shopping, reminiscing, and even dining on the riverboat Becky Thatcher. We all had a wonderful time, and it made the grim event more tolerable.

If that wasn't enough, I bought a new '89 Jetta on the actual date of my birthday. This is our second car exchange in a year, since Stephanie unfortunately was involved in an accident which totaled our Tercel.

While Stephanie visited her mother for several weeks on the New Jersey beach, Stephen and I had two great trips this year, one back to Michigan's beaches, and one with friend, Tom Manuel, to the Main coastline and Acadia National Park. We've remained active in Trinity Episcopal Church. We both continue to study voice with my good friend, Sheila Dugan. We've recently begun to train Mollie at Kennelwood Pet Acadamy.

This year was a sad one for me too. Our family has been deeply touched by AIDS. My good friend Don Busch, Jr. died on January 1 of this year. Some of our friends have been battling the disease. And several have died in past years. I've had to learn to deal with men dying young, to be a comfort and a help, and to find hope and meaning in the face of tragedy. I ask for your generous and compassionate prayers for those dead and those struggling to live, for a cure or effective treatment.

May all of you have an excellent New Year.

Love,
Jim Andris