Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dear mom & dad...

This was a letter I sent to my mom & dad in West Plains on December 27th, 1979. We were playing at the Holiday Inn in Bemidji, Minnesota. This was our first winter on the road, and the first time we would be away from home for Christmas. And it was also the first time we had ever seen a lake frozen so thick that you could drive cars and trucks on it. The locals also built fishing huts out in the middle of the lake, and used them all through the winter months. We also experienced our first real north country blizzard while we were there. The snow was blowing sideways for 24 hours straight. It was a real learning experience being thrust into that world. Those first few years we spent quite a bit of time in the northern states, and the little things that we picked up along the way came in handy. For instance... after we left Bemidji, we went to Fargo, North Dakota, where the wind chill was an amazing 40 degrees below zero. All of the cars were plugged in at night. Again... something we had never seen before, growing up in southern Missouri. After the first night there, and having to get a jump-start the next day, we went out and bought one of those shop lights and an extension cord. Each night I would prop the light next to the battery in the car, run the extension cord out, and plug it in. It worked like a charm. I guess you can adapt to just about anything, but personally prefer 80 degrees and no ice & snow.
I mentioned in the letter that Pam fixed a glazed ham and baked potatoes as a special holiday meal for us. She was/is a very good, creative cook. When Pam & Patricia were on the road with us, we always had a toaster oven and a two burner hot-plate with us to cook on. Pam could whip up just about anything in our hotel room with that set-up.
Patricia and Pam (and Paul & Babe) at Lake Bemidji Park. December, 1979
Del, standing out on Lake Bemidji... late December 1979


  1. That is so cool...I love that you were sweet enough to write to your mom & dad!

  2. probably not nearly enough, but I usually tried to write them a letter every couple of months... just to keep them updated on our schedule and things we had been doing. I have folders and boxes brimming with letters I sent to Pam & Patricia during those times when they couldn't travel with us. There's a lot of trivial stuff in them that would put most people to sleep, but they are like little time capsules.