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Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement

Issue 68August 2001Volume 6 - Number 9
Web Page

A Web page is available at:

This site has the current and two previous issues of the CANDOER News available to read, or download. Also, two downloadable versions are available: an Adobe Acrobat format and a WordPerfect format. Both are accessible to members who have donated to the CANDOER funds and have received their password. If you do not have a password, or have forgotten yours, send me an email request and it will be furnished.

Cat's Corner

Recently Tim (my youngest son) and I decided to set up a LAN in the house and connect our three computers (Tim, Nancy, and me) to the Internet using Verizon DSL.

This endeavor has led to a set of problems of their own. Although the connectivity is supper fast, the only DSL carrier in our area (Verizon), has a limit on the number of addressees you can send on a single message. The limit is 100 per message. In addition, they limit the number of messages you can send an hour, again 100. So, I can no longer send group messages using my group message mailer, Pegasus.

My group message to the CANDOERs has 270 addressees, therefore, I had to find another way to send group messages that gets around their limit.

This is accomplished by setting up a Group List on

The unique thing about using this method of sending to the group is that it not only allows me to send group messages, but it allows anyone who is a member, to send a message to the group.

I have set it up with one restriction, if you send to the group, it goes into a queue for me to approve. Using this control method will stop SPAM from being sent to each of you.

By the time you read this, you have already been added to the group. In the initial message, it tells you how to use the GROUP service and also how to delete yourself from the group.

If you wish to send a message to the group, you send it to:

If you wish to remove your e-mail address from the group send an e-mail message to the following:

If I have failed to add you to the group, you can add yourself by sending an e-mail message to:

By the same token, if you change your e-mail address, you can change it in the group address list by sending a message deleting yourself, using your old address and then subscribe using your new address.

Prayer List

This is a new section I have added to the CANDOER News. If you have someone you would like added to our prayer list, please send me their name, and how to contact them.

We have three of our CANDOERs who are in need of our prayers and moral support.

1. Ron Gard. Ron is in the hospital in critical condition from complications due to surgery for prostate cancer.

At this time, only relatives may visit him, but I am sure his family would appreciate your prayers and support.

2. Kelly Hearney. Kelly has been diagnosed with lung and lymph node cancer. He informed me that he has started treatment and is continuing to work.

3. Wardell Jenkins. Wardell has been diagnosed with colon cancer. He said they caught it early enough that his prognosis is excellent for full recovery. He started treatment this past week.

DEATH OF Roberta Ackerman

The following was received from Frank Pressley.

For those of you that were in Nairobi, you definitely know one of the IMSers, Steve Ackerman. After Nairobi, Steve and his family (Wife and five children) were assigned to Manila. Steve's wife, Roberta, died while visiting friends and relatives in North Carolina ten days or so ago.

Roberta had a heart of gold and tried so very hard to fit into Foreign Service life. Steve has five young children (4 - 12) to take care of now.

DEATH OF Richard H. Fralick, Jr.

With regret, I inform you of the death of Richard Haldeman Fralick, Jr., 57, of Prince William County. Richard died Sunday, July 8, 2001, at Potomac Hospital, Woodbridge, VA.

He was a member of the Woodbridge Elks Lodge No. 2355 and had been a resident of the county since 1984.

He is survived by his sister, Elizabeth F. Bryan of West River, MD.

The family received friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p. m. Thursday at the Mountcastle Funeral Home, 4143 Dale Blvd., Dale City, VA

A grave side service was held at noon Friday at the East Harrisburg Cemetery, Harrisburg, Pa., with the Rev. James W. Thornton officiating. The above was received from IRM.

DEATH OF Barbara Carroll

With regret, I inform you of the death of Barbara Carroll, loving wife of Edward Carroll on July 16, 2001.

A donation, in Barbara's name, from the CANDOERs Memorial Fund, has been sent to: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) 1233 20th Street, NW, Suite 402 Washington, DC 20036

This information was received from Babe Martin.

DEATH OF William (Bill) Headrick

With regret, I inform you of the death, from pancreatic cancer, William (Bill) Headrick on Wednesday, July 18, 2001. Margaret said that he died peacefully after fighting cancer for the past 6/7 months.

I received the following from Margaret, and would like to pass it on to all members of the CANDOER community.

Thank you for all your kind words and good wishes. We have made arrangements for Bill's service.

A memorial service was held at our church on Monday, July 23, 2001 at 10:00 a.m.

Directly following there was a grave side service at Ft. Logan Cemetery at 12:00 p. m.

In lieu of flowers you may donate to our church in memory of Bill Headrick at the following address:

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
7691 South University Boulevard
Littleton, Co. 80122
Tel: 303-798-0711

or a bench will be placed on Bill's favorite walking trail here in Highlands Ranch. The bench will overlook a small pond and trees will be planted to provide shade.

A donation, in the name of the CANDOERs, has been sent to Margaret to help finance the bench mentioned above.

A Freighter Voyage Around the World
February/March 2000

by James and Mary Prosser
Final Chapter

Friday, March 17 (St. Patrick's Day)

No green seas today. They were dark and angry! The swells and wind from the north continued throughout the night bringing 14-21 foot waves like we hadn't seen since our wild days crossing the north Pacific several weeks ago. We'd almost forgotten what real waves were like! Doing anything on deck was out of the question. Even though the temperature was 61F, the wind, rain and spray everywhere made conditions ugly.

Yet, if this could be called a storm, it certainly was different from what is expected of the north Atlantic. Alternately, there were blue sky, dark clouds, bright sun, rain, fog, with the cycle repeated many times throughout the day. The low-flying clouds raced by. When we reached open spaces, we saw the cloud cover was probably not more than 2,000 feet high.

For the first time in three days, we passed another ship this afternoon.

By evening the waves had subsided considerably.

Saturday, March 18

The morning started off lovely with a golden sunrise, and the sea fairly calm. What surprised us was the temperature of 65F, for we were now in the Gulf Stream just south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. When we planned the trip, we just knew mid-March in the mid-Atlantic would be fairly cold and brought appropriate clothing.

By 1400, the sea had gotten itself worked up into a frothy state again. The emergency boat drill which was scheduled for 1520 was canceled as being too risky in such wind. It was a wise decision for our boat station was on the windy side of the ship today.

As the day progressed into evening, the winds increased as well as the 20-foot waves which were coming directly at us on the port side. Just before darkness overtook us, it was exciting to watch the enormous sheets of water and spray being taken off the waves and blown high into the air!

The ship had been running at about half speed, so this ameliorated the severe rolling which might otherwise occur. At least we didn't fall out of our chairs or bed at night.

Sunday, March 19

As the ship slowly (emphasis added) proceeded for Halifax, Nova Scotia, we definitely lost our 65F temperatures of recent days. It was only 40F today. The wind and waves had also shifted 180 degrees to directly out of the north, and with some ferocity. Oh, for yesterday's 20 foot waves! After breakfast they were all at least 30 feet, with some probably peaking at 45 feet. Mountainous would describe them quite nicely.

Regardless of this ship's tremendous size (292 meters or 958 feet long), the forces of nature; i.e. storms, can easily overcome what mankind may have developed to accommodate those forces. For instance, the front portion is reinforced to withstand the force of most waves at our maximum speed. However, times do come when waves such as those of today necessitate a reduction of speed. Beneath the main deck of containers, there is a long passageway running the entire length of the ship. When the force of the waves begin to bend the ship past a certain critical point, an alarm sounds to the bridge to reduce speed at once. This alarm system is activated by a photo-electric beam which runs the length of the tunnel. If the ship bends too much, it goes off! That happened today. The engineers say it is scary to look down this tunnel in high seas for it "bends like a snake!"

Running at half speed for much of the past two days, our arrival in Halifax would be delayed by as much as one full day. Jim loves riding these wild waves and often stands out on deck observing the winds ripping the tops off them into massive sheets of spray. The scenes would make great pictures, but the camera lens gets covered with salt spray the instant it is opened to take a picture.

In the dining room, we sat with ship's officers at our table, opposing each other facing fore and aft. We must have looked like a comical crew when, like today, during meal times the ship made heavy rolls leaning far to port then starboard while we are like eating on a teeter-totter grabbing things to keep them from sliding off the table. It was good for laughs.

Monday, March 20

At 0900, we docked at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The temperature was right at the freezing level on an overcast day, but with little wind, fortunately. There was even some ice and the remains of a previous snow fall. What a change from just three days ago! But, we were prepared.

As we were just about to descend the gangway for an extended shore visit, the Rev. Louis Saldanha, chaplain of the Stella Maris seamen's center, was coming aboard. He told us if we waited until he finished his business, he would give us a lift into the city. With his car at the bottom of the gangway and on a day like today, who could refuse such an offer?

Having thoroughly visited Halifax nine years ago, we limited our touring to indoor activities. Father Saldanha was having a Lenten Mass at noon, so we attended it and took him to lunch afterwards at a quaint local pub called "The Rogue's Roost". It actually was a micro-brewery which served mighty good beer and lunches in the heart of the city. We had an extremely interesting visit with Fr. Saldanha. It turned out that he is a native of Bombay, India. Talking to him about Catholics in India was fascinating. After all, according to tradition, the apostle St. Thomas was bringing Christianity to India before the time of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome!

If Seattle is the coffee house capital of the USA, then Halifax has that honor for Canada. The number of coffee shops and cafes is amazing. Many of them are of the INTERNET/Cyber type. But not a single one would allow us to plug in our laptop to a telephone line to send/receive our E-mails! All of their computers were directly connected via cable television links. We didn't even have the option to pay for the use of a telephone line. There just wasn't any available. So we ended up going to KINKO's and using one of their public FAX machine lines. And they did not even charge us for the use of the line and local call.

Anyone who has not visited Halifax and Nova Scotia owes it to themselves to see and enjoy this charming, historic city and countryside.

Sadly, one of the most incredible series of independent, multiple disasters ever experienced by mankind occurred here December 6, 1917. In the two days previous, the twin cities of Halifax and Dartmouth (a half mile across the harbor and Halifax Bay) were cut off from the rest of the country by a massive winter storm leaving heavy, wet, snow more than three feet deep everywhere. This caused many older buildings and roofs to collapse making a large number of people homeless.

Then on the morning of December 6th, two freighters, heavily loaded with high explosives bound for the World War I theater in Europe collided in the fog of the inner Halifax harbor. This resulted in a single, horrific explosion that: a. flattened every structure within a mile facing the harbor and started a fire storm from broken gas mains and collapsed buildings; b. blew all the water out of Halifax bay for about two minutes; c. then the returning tidal wave instantly flooded both cities for several blocks inland drowning those in freezing water who were not already killed by either the initial blast or fire storm.

Thousands died within minutes in what then was believed to be the largest man-made explosion.

Word of the disaster did not reach the outside until amateur (ham) radio operators living far enough away reported it. Remember, rural electrification in 1917 was pretty much a novelty, as was ham radio. Provision of aid to the survivors was impossible for several days due to blocked roads, rails and destroyed hospitals, food stocks, etc. The citizens of Boston, Massachusetts were amongst the first to provide support for they could reach Halifax quickly by sea. Since then, as a continuing token of thanks, each year the city of Halifax sends to Boston the large Christmas tree which is mounted and decorated in the Boston city center.

But, enough of the dark side of Halifax history, its future is getting brighter all the time.

With one of the deepest natural harbors on the east coast of North America, Halifax has developed a container port which is able to accommodate the largest existing container ships or those about to be built.

The recently announced merger of the Canadian National and the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroads fit well with this port. To make this viable, the rails between Halifax and Montreal still must be upgraded to double track the entire distance. The trains are brought directly on to the docks so that cargo moves rapidly in both directions.

Eventually most European containers to and from the American and Canadian Midwest will be handled more expeditiously here vice other east coast U.S. ports because Halifax is one day closer to Europe.

We spent the entire day ashore, enjoying the city, exchanging E-mails, sending postcards, minor shopping, returning exhausted to the ship just before dark.

The evening was spent reading and answering a week's accumulation of E-mail. Having the laptop along on this voyage and E-mail capability was really nice, for keeping in touch became easy and inexpensive.

Tuesday, March 21

At 0300 the ship sailed for Newark, New Jersey.

The last full day at sea was quite a dreary one. The prospect of this incredible voyage ending didn't help to brighten things. Visibility was very poor, the sea was slight, plus it was damp to be outside, but not too cold.

For the first time on this voyage, the ship was "surfing" by riding 10-foot waves coming directly from behind and, amazingly, traveling the same speed as the ship. These are called "following waves" and sailors are very wary of them. They can disable a ship by breaking the rudder and thereby control of the ship's direction.

The exhaust from the funnel went straight up, with the wind and ship speed being identical. This continued all day, and was a rather strange sensation as the ship rolled quite a bit. The captain said when this vessel has following waves striking from the rear, but not exactly direct, balance becomes a greater problem than waves coming from the side or front. That certainly was evident all day. Walking inside the superstructure on the cross corridors was like going uphill or downhill.

Wednesday, March 22

Fifty-one days ago, at midnight we silently slipped beneath the Oakland-San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate bridges leaving the shores of the U.S. This morning, at the break of day, we slipped just as silently beneath the Verrazano Bridge at the entrance to New York harbor and eventual return home.

At 0800 we docked at the port of Newark, New Jersey. It was the end of a wonderful voyage and realization of a life long dream to sail around the world.

We are already planning our next freighter voyage, most likely a Africa in 2001.

Retiree's Report

I received and processed a Web application from Doris Ann Rivera. Doris retired in 1997 and is living in Victorville, California. Welcome Aboard! Doris heard about the CANDOERs from Kathleen Emmons.

An updated bio was receivedfrom Jules and Lyn Bacha. Jules retired in 1989 and is living in this area, in Winchester, VA. Thanks for the update.

I received and processed a Web application from John and Sharon Williams. John retired in 1995 and is now living Chicago, IL. Welcome aboard! John heard about us from Grell Bushelle.

I received and processed a Web application from Bobby and Diana Balderas. Bobby is working in the Department. Welcome aboard!

I received a new e-mail address for Thomas Murphy.

I received and processed a Web application from Fred and Rebecca Armand. Fred is presently assigned to Embassy Lima. Welcome aboard!

Avocado Festival - Fallbrook, CA
By Jim Steeves

Sunday, April 22nd was the day on which the annual "Avocado Festival Day" in Fallbrook was held. Located about 45 miles north of downtown San Diego, Fallbrook is in the center of the avocado growing area of southern California. It's a sprawling community of about 22,000 folks that hugs the eastern boundary of the Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendelton.

No one in Fallbrook could tell me when their Avocado Festival began ... clearly I failed to find a Fallbrook native but even had I done so I'm not certain a native would have known either. It is considerably bigger than last year, when we first attended it. The one main street, a quarter of a mile long, is ground zero for the festival, but this year it spilled over to part of an adjacent street and into a big parking lot on that street.

With vendors selling mostly crafts and foods ranging from nachos with a pile of guacamole to corn dogs and weathervanes (Yeah, someone made a bundle on a neat weathervane that stands atop a 5' pole --- we must have seen hundreds of people carrying them.) The streets were jammed. It struck me, as we inched our way down the main street and then back up the other side that in this part of the world there's a reason for so much weirdness. I mean half the population is over the age of 80 but there are so many people that there's still a heck of a lot who are younger. Since there are so many elderly people, you see them by the ton everywhere. Of course they ... well OK, we are retired, we never go shopping during the rush hour. We get into Ralph's or Von's or smaller markets well before noon and are home and settled by the time the younger set come flying up I-15, 1-5 or the other freeways hell bent for home and their TV programs.

Back to Fallbrook. We experienced something there yesterday that just begs for a comment. There's got to be a "screwball" gene. I mean, how much common sense does it take to realize that when you get 50,000 people jammed into a space that can only hold 25,000 people and still have room to breath --- it might not be a good idea to go there with your kiddies in a double-wide stroller'? Or your twin pug-nosed dogs that weigh about 15 pounds apiece on one of them double-dog kind of leashes? But strollers and dogs galore were everywhere. Single strollers, double wides and double length strollers; big dogs and small dogs and lots of double-dogs.

Now, into that melee, imagine several dozen older folks with their electric chairs? You know what I mean about the maneuverable chairs --- the kind that can get up to 10 mph if you get a clear space of 50 feet but in this crowd of humanity I have to think their batteries would run down after a few hours of trying to buck the south-bound stream in order to cross over to the north-bound stream that leads to the roasted corn stand. A collection of youngsters who had Down Syndrome had been guided to a place where they each had an ear of corn and were trying to hold on to their corn, their drinks and not get pushed into a store window by the crowd. You saw a lot of cases where someone with a hot dog had got mustard smeared across their shirts and others with wet backs caused by spilled soft drinks.

And that isn't all. There were people with skate boards; others on roller blades; I think two or three pushing their stands with IV lines connected to their arms; the usual scattered folks who were blind, some with seeing-eye dogs and other with a human escort. I am all for people getting out to enjoy the event and beautiful weather (it had rained the day before, complete with hail stones as big as BBs so these people needed to shake cabin fever) and that definitely ought to include anyone including the elderly, blind or what-have-you. I'm all for it. I do, however, wonder if it's the right place for organ transplants! I swear there was an especially thick mass of humanity choking off oxygen at one stand and I got glimpses of people in surgical garb, one calling for a clamp and other medical tools. A squirt of ketchup or blood shot across the crowd and I swear it's the truth, what looked like a very badly worn out kidney was passed along a group of people toward a dumpster. The smell of medical "perfume" was strong, even where I was jammed, gasping, between a very big woman and a utility pole 30 feet away. Only in California.

It took a while but we eventually got what we'd gone there for, which is half an avocado breaded in .. breading stuff and deep fried. Yummy. The line was so long for this vendor that it blocked the view and prevented business for ten other vendors downstream. None of whom was too pleased with this revoltin' turn of events. Why didn't the fried avocado folks have a few more stands? Oh well, it's just another example of the hardship one has to endure in order to live in California. At least, for those who can afford it, there's still electricity.

My Inner Child and Me
by Herb Walden

One day last summer after one of many rain showers, I noticed some sizeable puddles on my lawn and driveway. You know what I did? I jumped in them! Yes sir, I jumped in them! Several times! And got wet way up past my waist which, by the way, is the measure of a good puddle-jump.

You're probably thinking that this is odd behavior for an old guy. Well, I can't really take full credit for it. My "Inner Child" was the one responsible. My Inner Child is between 5 and 10 years old, and he likes to come out and play once in a while.

Mostly our play times are fun, but sometimes things do go awry. You see, my Inner Child usually acts impulsively while I try to analyze the situation and avoid disaster. Usually.

For instance, a few days ago he wanted to climb the oak tree in my backyard. But I explained that at our age, we'd most likely fall and break a lot of things and maybe dislodge some internal organs. He said okay, but every time we walk under that tree, he looks at it longingly. I know he's going to try again, and I'm not sure I'll be able to talk him out of it. Sometimes it's hard to say "no" to a kid Take last winter for example. Early one morning I was about to take some bird seed out to the bird feeder. It had snowed overnight, (the first of the season), and there were about two inches on the ground.

All of a sudden, my Inner Child said, "Let's go barefoot to the feeder!"

I said I didn't think it was a good idea, He said he just wanted to see what it felt like. I told him he said the same thing every winter, but he insisted he couldn't remember the feeling of soft, fluffy snow on are feet. Besides, we were already barefoot, and this would save hunting up boots.

So I relented. The feeder is only a dozen steps from the door. We half-trotted out onto the porch and down the steps. When we hit the ground, both feet went out from under us, and we were airborne!

It was a classic fall! One of those kind often seen in cartoons where you're suspended horizontally in midair about four feet off the ground for what seems to be several minutes!

Then we crashed!

We laid in the snow for a little bit. Cautiously, I tried moving various body parts. Everything still worked. I got up, and we went on to the bird feeder. I was okay, but my Inner Child whimpered all the way.

We don't go barefoot in the snow much anymore.

Then there was the bicycle incident.

A while back, I was cleaning up my old bike, and my Inner Child suggested what we go for a ride. I said, "NO!" He said we'd just go down the road a little ways. I said, "NO!" I told him that our bike, being built in the 1940s, was made mostly of cast iron and concrete. Or so it seems. He said that never bothered him when he was my Outer Child. I explained that there's a lot more gravity now then there was back then.

We argued a bit more and then went for a ride. It took about a week for me to recover! Every direction I rode was uphill! People walking along the road were passing me! Even now, I'm getting leg cramps just thinking about it!

We don't ride my bike much anymore.

And then last summer came along.

We were wandering through the back field, my Inner Child and me, when we came upon a huge ant hill. He has always been fascinated by insects and suggested that we stop and watch the ants for a bit. There was quite a line of them coming and going, hauling little things that I couldn't make out.

Having observed where the ants were and were not, we sat down out of the way to watch the procession. Within a few minutes, a couple more-adventurous ants found us and were harmlessly exploring our shoes. We kept an eye on those ants, too.

All of a sudden, we were aware that some previously unnoticed ants had made an excursion up the leg of our shorts! Somewhere between 2 and 2000, I'd say. It was hard to tell. I suggest it was the former, but it felt like the latter! All I know for sure is they were sinking their fangs into parts of our anatomy not designed for fang-sinking!

Well, we got out of there in somewhat of a hurry. My Inner Child was saying some rather harsh things about ants! I would have cautioned him about his language, but I was busy disrobing and doing something that might have passed as an audition for "Riverdance"!

We don't watch ants much anymore.

Now another situation has arisen. I think this one is safe enough. You see, my Inner Child just said that he would like an extra-large dish of vanilla ice cream with way too much chocolate syrup on it. And a glass of root beer to top it off.

As I said before, sometimes it's hard to say "no" to a kid!

See you next month!

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