Today in My History
Cast (updated 7/16)
November 30, 2020
There is a casserole that I make the day after a turkey dinner. It's very simple, but really good. You put turkey on the bottom of a casserole, top with dressing, then with gravy, then with green beans, and top with mashed potatoes. Dot with butter and bake at 350 for about half an hour, or until it's hot.
It's a recipe by Dana Rae Pomeroy, the author of the book "When Someone You Love Has Cancer." Dana Rae was part of our CompuServe Women's Issues group for many years, and died in 2013.
I have mentioned that I was the secretary and newsletter editor for every group I have ever been involved with. Gilbert and I started "Cock and Bull" for The Lamplighters. I wrote "Many Hands" for the volunteers of Davis Community Meals. When I joined PFLAG, I took over its newsletter. I had a group of people who were pen pals trying to all lose weight together and I wrote the "Fat Fax" which went out monthly. "The Piñata Papers" went out monthly for several years to all the people in the Piñata Group. I wrote "The Well," a newsletter for Women's Health Associates, when I worked there.
I also wrote (or collaborated on) cookbooks for groups. "Trifles from Tiny Tots" was the first, for our kids' nursery school. After many years of chatting daily on CompuServe, often sharing recipes, I gathered all the recipes I could find that had been posted and put out "Hugs and Cinnamon Rolls" for the CompuServe group. It was so popular that a year or so later, volume 2 went out.
The turkey recipe is in Volume 2. The project started because we all ended up getting bread makers and shared the recipes we found that worked. In fact, I wrote this poem at the start of the first book
It started with a piece of bread
One by one we fell in line...
Over bread, our group congealed
We've shared our laughter, tears and woes
To preserve it all
has been my goal
(cinnamon, of course)
It was a wonderful (and sometimes sad) trip down memory lane to go through those recipes and remember the people who posted them.
As I said, Dana Rae wrote the wonderful book to help people caring for someone with cancer when her husband was dying. She herself died of cancer several years later.
Pat became my best friend in the group. She lived in Pasadena and whenever we went to Southern California, we stayed at her house. She was the music editor for Walker, Texas Ranger and she died of lung cancer (she was an avid smoker).
Judy was the very first internet friend I met face to face. We were both nervous that the other one might be a serial killer, but our time together went well and it opened the door to meetings like that forever.
We don't know if Cathy is still around. Pat and I, along with the support of the rest of the group, helped give her the courage to leave her abusive husband and move to be with her family in Vermont. She would be in her 90s now, or late 80s, I think, if she's still alive but nobody has heard from her and the email I sent this week came back as a bad address.
Sian and diane [sic] both came from England to meet us several times. (I have to write "diane" to differentiate between Diane, who is from Texas.) Sian lives on a small island in the Orkneys and we visited her the week of 9/11, when the main town (which you get to by ferry from Sian's island) is so small that news of the American tragedy didn't even make the front page of the newspaper.
Heidi was a unique character who lived in D.C. and worked with a group that had something to do with AIDS drugs, which were beginning to be released. She and Walt share a birthday. Heidi always kept you laughing when we were together. But she had some sort of a brain attack, whether stroke or something else — I've forgotten now. She nearly died and it took her months to recover, but her personality was never the same. She and her partner split up and to my knowledge nobody has heard from her since.
So many women, so many memories. So many gatherings, which we called "Netstock," where we all tried to meet -- in Colorado, in D.C., in Minneapollis, in Portland (hosted by Bill, the only man in the group), in Seattle, hosted by Mary, who also became my good friend. The year she hosted Netstock, she gave birth about a week before. Her daughter is now a college graduate.
All the faces and memories of these people flood into my head every November when I make Dana Rae's turkey casserole.
It was an amazing group of people who came
together through CompuServe and now aren't as close as we once were, but most of
us are on Facebook, so we still see each other regularly, though we have not had
a Netstock in many years.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7553