Memorial Day Speech, American Legion, Bagley, Minnesota PTSD and Writing our Stories

I was honored to be guest speaker. I was surprised at the large crowd on such an overcast windy morning. It was refreshing to see youth groups participating in the memorial service. Bagley residents should be proud of the tribute they pay their veterans. Click …

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My Maternal Grandparent’s Wedding at the Fratt Mansion, Everett, Washington, December 10, 1917

The wedding photo is interesting because the painting in the background, titled, “Portrait of a Young Girl,” by Simon Harmon Vedder, 1890, was passed down to my mother. Sadly, it had to be sold to settle her estate debt in 2010.   This weekend as I …

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Chickenhouse Chronicles: Early Warning Signs of Schizophrenia

My Aunt Polly and Grandmother Elsie Philips, circa 1939, in Darien, Conn. This past week we’ve been studying schizophrenia in the psychology class I’m taking at BSU. Schizophrenia often manifests itself in late teens and early twenties. This evening I was reading some of my …

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Muddy Jungle Rivers Current Events

  Tuesday, April 16, will be a busy day: At 8:30 AM I will be on “Coyote Country Radio” KKWB 102.5 FM discussing Muddy Jungle Rivers. At 7:00 PM Fosston Community Library and American Legion have teamed up to host a book reading and discussion. …

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Chickenhouse Chronicles: 1950 Holy Land Visit

  My great grandmother, Katherine Thomas Philips, had a younger sister named Alice, who married Edmund Garstin.  They had two daughters: The eldest, Martha “Pattie” Thomas Garstin, born 1888, died in a mental institution, Normansfield Hospital, Teddington, in 1935. The second daughter, Eloise “Emily” Thomas Garstin, was …

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Chickenhouse Chronicles: WWII Letter about my Grandfather’s Ship sinking

I discovered this terribly water-stained letter in a packet I am currently reading. The tone of the letter seems fatalistic. Frederick Pierce, the author, has a son on a coastal patrol craft in the Mediterranean—perhaps one of WWII’s famed PT Boats. Fred Pierce is my …

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