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Forgetfulness conjures up all sorts of crazy memories

November 7, 2010
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

Sometimes I just need to be smacked upside the head.

And, no, you can't do it. That was rhetorical.

Loree Clarken, one of my best friends, turned 92 on Thursday, and I've been planning for months what kind of happy ad I would put in the paper for her. To embarrass her as much as to make her happy. I planned and planned, then replanned and planned again, and before I knew it, I was way past deadline. No time to put in anything at all.


More than half a century ago, Mom and Dad used to visit Loree and her husband, Woody, and because people had to, they dragged us kids along. Sometimes I think they'd rather left us tied in the bedroom than running around someone else's house. Well, not really tied up, but at least at home.

They liked to play cards. Little kids don't play cards, but we did get into trouble.

Once - and don't even wonder why I did this - I was lying on the floor and wriggled over close to Woody and bit his toe. His toe that something already was wrong with or why else would it be outside his sock and shoe. His toe that looked way too inviting to pass up, so I bit it.

He paddled my behind fast and hard, and Loree, sweet woman she is, never fails to tell people this little faux pas on my part.

I'm just glad Woody spanked me; I'm quite afraid Dad would have been harder on me.

When I was grown and had a little one of my own, Woody and Loree stopped in Greeley, Colo., to stay with us. He even went bowling with my husband to watch the league. He was an excellent bowler.

Loree bowled, too, but I can't remember ever watching her. I know she bowled, though, because whenever the two of us drive out to Duncombe to see my aunt, Doris Hansch, they bring up bowling, if only in passing. It's difficult to get that kind of enjoyment out of your mind.

Sometimes Joann Hammitt, of Lehigh, joins us and we play 500, but we've really switched to dominoes. Whenever they complain that I make up and change the rules at will, I remind them I've written a story about a group of people who play dominoes every Friday - or once a month, but I forget that - so I surely should know how they played it.

That quiets them, for a while at least. Which just goes to show if you say something with enough authority, you'll likely get it pushed through to reality.

If things get too tenuous, however, I bring up the little dog Loree had at their farm. Brownie, I think its name was.

He was a mouser. Anyway, she likes to say men would ask Woody to come help with the corn, but they wanted him to bring the dog, too, in case they scared up some rats. Mousers can take rats, too.

I'm not sure of the facts, just the memories and stories. But it makes me wonder, if I'd remembered to place her happy ad in time for her birthday if all these things would have stayed buried somewhere in my mind.

Hmmm, who knows?

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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