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Today in My History

2000: Ptui!
2001: Somebody Stop Me!
2002: How to Complicate Almost Anything
2003: Playing Doctor
2004: #9 Call Bulletin
2005: First Blood

2006: A Fleeting Wisp of Glory
2007: Internet Narcissist
2008: California's Prop 99
At Loose Ends
2010:  A Good Friday
2011:  Why?
2012: Rhyme Time

Bitter Hack
: 3/11
"Midsummer Night's Dream"

Books Read in 2013
 Updated: 3/31

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Monterey Weekend

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Airy Persiflage

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mail to Walt


3 April 2013

Since we lost Pat in October, and both Bill and Dana Rae last month, I have written quite a bit in the past four months about our CompuServe group and how close we have become.

Yesterday I came across some old photos in a box and, one thing led to another and I started on a hunt for photos for some of our "Netstock" gatherings.  It became a great hunt, gathering information, scanning photos, and trying to find out when we met and where.  It was more often than I realized.   The whole group (or whoever could make it) got together for weekend gatherings:

1996 in Boulder, Colorado
1997 in Seattle, Washington
1998 in Washington, DC
1999 in Austin, Texas
2000 in Portland, Oregon
2001 in London
2002 in Ashland, Oregon and
2005 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

(we missed 2003 and 2004...and none since 2005).  Not everybody made it to every gathering, but I did and there are records up the wazoo about who was there and what we did, though amazingly I took very few "people photos."  I guess I was embarrassed to take photos of the people -- I do that sometime in some groups (despite the fact that I photograph EVERYBODY, I have almost no photos taken by me of any Lamplighters, for example!).  But based on the folks our group has lost now, if we have another gathering (we are talking about an autumn trip to the Vermont area), I will surely take lots of people pictures!

The gathering in Boulder, where we all fell in love with The Tattered Cover book store and Pat became the "u-turn queen" was so much fun that we planned another one the next year in Seattle.  Mary had just given birth and managed to host a beautiful weekend, with a newborn in her arms!

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This is the Seattle group, including Pat (second from the left in front) and Bill.

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Sian is the lady on the left and her friend diane is the lady in red.  diane and Sian traveled from England to be with us. (we call England diane "diane" to differentiate between her and Texas Diane...you can do that when your primary method of communication is in print!) We saw lots of Seattle and even took the ferry to Vancouver Island so we could visit Butchart Gardens.  It was a wonderful weekend, recorded in a delightful newsletter by Maryanne E.

In 1998 we went to Washington, DC.  I saw fireflies for the first time, which was magical.  Walt came too and we also brought Peach with us this time.  She was doing genealogy research and wanted to visit the National Archives.

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Our hostess was Heidi (next to the lady in blue in  the front of the Seattle picture).  She has since left the group, and we all miss her a lot.  But she hosted a great party at her house.

Tricia manned the box o'wine for the group, and Walt (who grew up in Maryland) helped people learn how to buy cards for the Metro

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After DC we had a fun time in Austin, which was notable for many things, including a fun river tour and a tour of the Lady Bird Johnson Wild flower center, but mostly for the durian tasting.  Durian is a fruit that people in some parts of the world claim is the most delicious of all fruits.  I think it's called The King of Fruit, but it smells awful and is forbidden to take it on public transortation.  Mike (known as MGGM) managed to find a durian and we were all going to taste it.  Mary finally carved it and we all tasted it.  I think my friend Lynn's face told the reaction most of us had -- not unlike the Twiglets, a British snack food that diane had brought to Boulder for the first Netstock!  I think it's marmite-flavored burned cardboard.

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I haven't found any photos of our meeting in Portland yet, but Bill hosted it and took us to a fabulous restaurant.  I missed most of the activities, having hurt my foot, but they parked me in the incredible Powell's Book Store to read while everyone else was playing.

After that was London, where we all arrived on 9/11/2001 so it was a rather unusual get together.  It's kind of a blur, but when we could fly again, some of us flew to visit Sian on her island in Orkney (it has a lighthouse, you know), which was a nice way to get away from all the headlines.

The year after London was Ashland

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The lady on the right is another Pat, who didn't stick around the group, but was there for our activities in Ashland. It was a gorgeous trip, with all that beautiful fall color.  I was in great shape and Walt and I brought bikes and did a bike tour of the town.  I've never done that before (or since).

We didn't get together for 3 years after Ashland, but did have a Netstock in Milwaukee in 2005.  One of the memories from that trip was a ride on a short-line railroad train out to a farmers market.

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Tricia and Ellen

In between Netstocks there have been smaller get togethers, like one in San Francisco where a few of us visited the zoo and other pairs which have developed an even closer relationship.

Each of these gatherings has been such fun and such a continual bonding experience.  We've lost members like Heidi and the Pat in Ashland and a few others and now that our group is a private group on Yahoo we don't meet new people any more, but I love these women and have loved them for more than 20 years.  We are talking about another Netstock perhaps in Vermont in the fall.  Before we lose any more people to the grim reaper, I need to give them all another big hug and share another box o'wine and a lot of laughs again.


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