Before we get into the December Newsletter, I have some very sad
information to send to you. Tom Galbraith has passed away. Tom’s
beloved wife, Stanna, has put some thoughts and memories together for
us, so we will know more about Tom, from the person that shared a
great life with him.
The following will be placed in the “With Sympathy - Rest In Peace
Notification” and the “In Memory of section” of the Keep Your
I am writing with some sad news from Colorado. Tom died at home on
October 24; cause of death was a glioblastoma. This brain tumor was
diagnosed in late June as Stage IV brain cancer. We visited a brain
surgeon in Denver shortly after the diagnosis. The surgeon suggested
that with treatment (3 months of surgery, radiation, and chemo) Tom’s
life expectancy could be 8 to 9 months. But because of the location
of Tom’s tumor, surgery risked damaging all movement on Tom’s right
side, his ability to speak, and his sense of balance. Without
treatment, Tom's life expectancy was 2-4 months. Tom decided that the
risks of treatment were great and the benefits small, so he declined
treatment and we came home and registered with hospice.
Tom lived 3+ months of mostly normal life at home. He finished 2
solar projects for his niece and nephew, and another electrical wiring
project. He went on several multi-day backpacking trips in the San
Juans with friends, and some day hikes as well. Family and friends
from all over the country came to see Tom. Over the months he
gradually became weaker. He was only seriously ill for his last 10
days, and he was unconscious for the last 7 of those days. Tom said he
never had any pain. He lived 4 months and 3 days after his diagnosis.
Tom's departure was peaceful.
Tom’s obituary was in the Durango Herald our local newspaper.
Tom kept a blog for a number of years. At the top of his blog he
asked, “How many summers do you have left?” I have updated the blog
with a few photos from Tom’s last summer, and you can read about our
past adventures on the blog as well:
Thank you for being part of Tom’s and my life — with love, Stanna
Thank You Stanna. If there is anything the Aragon Class of 1964 can do or assist
you with, please contact me. Stay strong and remember we are
here for you. “Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you - we will never
forget - Aragon ‘64.”
I hope I don’t forget any Holiday Celebrations: Merry Christmas, Happy
Hanukkah, Happy Feliz Navidad, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Dun Che Lao Ren
and Happy Festivus for the rest. I want to wish you all the very best
during your respective Holiday Celebrations... be safe, enjoy your
holiday time with family and friends.
December is usually a fairly romantic, happy, family and friends get
together time. So, with that being said and with all the sadness
happening between August and November, I decided to go off in another
direction for my note to the Classmates for the December Newsletter.
First, let’s put a full title to our December Newsletter: “LOVE IS...
WHAT YOU MAKE IT!”
“LOVE IS: the strongest feeling known, an all-encompassing
passion, an extreme strength and an overwhelming excitement.
LOVE IS: trying not to hurt the other person, trying not to
change the other person, trying not to dominate the other person, and
trying not to deceive the other person.
LOVE IS: understanding each other, listening to each other,
supporting each other and having fun with each other.
LOVE IS: not an excuse to stop growing, not an excuse to stop
making yourself better, and not an excuse to stop making yourself
better and not an excuse to take the other person for granted.
LOVE IS: being completely honest with each other, finding
dreams to share, working towards common goals and sharing
LOVE IS: is not a feeling to be taken lightly, it is a feeling
to be cherished, nurtured and cared for and the reason for life.
“EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WANTS TO LOVE AND BE LOVED” -
Susan Polis Schutz
I know, on a personal note, that I, like many of you, have now been
married or lived with a partner for many, many years and not all of
those years have been “shared with marital/partner bliss.” I know I
will be looking over the above “LOVE IS...” more during this December,
(good feeling month), and continue through the year 2018. During my
time in the military there was a statement that was said numerous
times, each and every day: “be all you can be!” I am still trying to
improve on that motto every day, no matter what prefix goes with
Graham, i.e. Bob, Teammate, Colonel, Teacher, Coach, Airborne, Ranger,
Son, Friend, Classmate, Father, Husband, Grandfather, etc., I want to
be better every day that I have left on this earth.
But... I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the “one big item” that
gets in the way of everyone when they discuss the above “Love Is...”
“ANGER MANAGEMENT...IS:” How to tame your temper, keeping your temper
in check can be challenging. Here are a few Anger Management tips for
you to think about, before you get into WWIII and all kinds of terms
flow from your mouth, without any thought given, before you move into
attack mode! In any Argument, once the “hurting words” come out,
there is no taking them back... THINK BEFORE YOU SPEW!
One or more of the following may assist you in being that “better
person” and keeping that LOVE we all want close to your heart and away
from a “Foul Mouth.”
1. Take a time-out: Counting to 10 isn’t just for kids. Before
reacting to a tense situation, take a few moments to breathe deeply
and count to 10... slowing down can help defuse your temper. If
necessary, take a break from the person or situation until your
frustration subsides a bit.
2. Once you are calm, express your anger: As soon as you are thinking
clearly, express your frustration in and assertive, but non
confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and
directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
3. Get some exercise: Physical activity can provide an outlet for your
emotions, especially if you are about to erupt. If you feel your
anger escalating, go on a brisk walk or run or spend some time doing
other favorite physical activities. Physical activity stimulates
various brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more
relaxed than you were before you worked out.
4. Think before you speak: In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say
something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your
thoughts before saying anything --- and allow others involved in the
situation to do the same.
5. Identify possible solutions: Instead of focusing on what made you
mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy
room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for
dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening --- or agree
to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger
won’t fix anything, and might only make it worse.
6. Stick with “I” statements: To avoid criticizing or placing blame
--- which might only increase tension --- use “I” statements to
describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example say,
“I am upset that you left the table without offering to help with the
dishes,” instead of “You never do any housework.”
7. Don’t hold a grudge: Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow
anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you
might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of
injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might
both learn from the situation. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to
behave exactly as you want at all times.
8. Use humor to release tension: Lightening up can help diffuse
tension. Don’t use sarcasm --- it can hurt feelings and make things
9. Practice relaxation skills: When your temper flares, put relaxation
skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing
scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.”
You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga
poses --- whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
10. Know when to seek help: Learning to control anger is a challenge
for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if
“your anger seems out of control,” “causes you to do things you regret
or hurts those around you.” You might explore local anger management
classes or anger management counseling, with professional help, you
• Learn what anger is
• Identify what triggers your anger
• Recognize signs that you’re becoming angry
• Learn to respond to frustration and anger in a controlled, healthy
• Explore underlying feelings, such as sadness or depression
Finally, as we all know, you just can’t “talk the talk” you also need
to “walk the walk.” So, with all that being said, I need to excuse
myself and get “walking.”
Just a reminder, so that everyone can enjoy their Holiday
Season...Bonita and I are going to keep December’s and January’s
Newsletter shorter. Shorter in quantity, but will continue to match
the high level of quality you expect and what we try to attain each
and every month.
Hooah, Hugs & “LOVE IS...?”
• The Website For The “Fork” Home Page Remains:
If that doesn’t work for you, just contact me at my e-mail address:
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone
(702) 656-1696 .
• The “Connections and Reconnections” (C/R) Section: -
Connected or Reconnected with a Classmate or just want to contact a
Classmate, but don’t have any contact information? Let me know (see
above). This still continues to grow - over 30 looking for Classmate
information during November!
• “Who Said That - Movie Quote Addition” (WST - MQA): - this
site is doing GREAT! Many of you are continuing to send in the correct
answers; just a little late. The first week of a new month is the time
to strike...get your answer(s) to me - ASAP! We had #11 Classmates
challenging to be first last month.
• November’s Quote:
“EXCUSE ME, IS THAT YOUR NOSE,
OR DID A BUS PARK ON YOUR FACE?”
• November’s Answer:
The movie was “ROXANNE” &
the actor is “STEVE MARTIN”
• The Winner is: GARY ROCKLAGE!
SATURDAY, 4 NOVEMBER, 5:14 PM, 2017 - Time
*We started the “semi-annual contest “ with the June Newsletter and it
will be complete with the December 2017 Newsletter. Now is the time
for you to jump in and claim the winning prize, for 2017!
1. William (Bill) Stevens - WON the first - JUNE
2. Renee’ (Leroy) Otte - WON the second - JULY
3. William (Bill) Stevens - WON the third - AUGUST
4. Gary Rocklage - WON the fourth - SEPTEMBER
5. Gary Rocklage - WON the fifth - OCTOBER
6. Gary Rocklage - WON the sixth - NOVEMBER
7. ???????????? - WHO WILL WIN the seventh - DECEMBER
• December’s Quote*:
“Igor, would you give me a hand with the bags?
Certainly. You take the blonde and I’ll take the one in
*Title of Movie and Actor(s) Name(s) are required.
• The Winner(s) for the year will be announced in
January 2018. If Bill Stevens wins, that will give him and Gary
Rocklage each “THREE WINS;” If that happens each will receive the
“AWARD,” FOR 2017. GOOD LUCK BILL & GARY.
• “The Bucket List (B/L) Challenge:” - The B/L - needs to stay
alive & healthy...”As the Bucket List Goes, So We Go.”
OK, let’s get to the articles for December, that your Classmates,
Family and Friends sent into the “FORK.”
“LOVE IS...?” -
H. H. & L, Bob
Deck Of Cards” #1 Contributed by Ted Dumke
[An oldie, but a great one for this time of year]
10 Songs, That Will Take You Back” #2 Contributed by Maggie (Tubia)
Horwitz [Ah, the memories - I really like #4 & #1]
Roberts - Strikes Twice”
1st 2nd #3
Contributed by Charlene (Wiper) Swenson [Time for smiles and laughs
Father” #4 Contributed by Bob & Peggy Graham [Check out
about Some Magic?”
by Judy (Fondren) Ahlvin
[Everyone likes magic - how about this?]
and the NFL” #6 Contributed by Kathy (Lanstyak) Sheffield
[Thank you - to all in uniform! Semper Fi & Oorah Marine!]
“Slice Of Life - Gender Perspectives” #7
Contributed by Stevie Graham & Scott
[This is just a joke, sense of humor – please.]
Before I lay me down to sleep, I pray for a man who’s not a creep.
One who’s handsome, smart and strong, one who loves to listen long.
One who thinks before he speaks, one who calls, not wait for weeks.
Oh send me a king to make me a queen, a man who loves to cook and
I pray for a deaf-mute gymnast nymphomaniac with big boobs, who owns a
bar on a golf course, and loves to send me out to go fishing and
drinking. This doesn’t rhyme and I don’t give a s**t.
Buddy, My Pal, A Part Of Me - Jake” #8 Contributed by the
Graham Family [A great life that has crossed over the Rainbow
Bridge. Love and miss you, Jake!]
“The 10 Canine
Commandments, According To Jake
1. “MY LIFE IS LIKELY TO LAST 10 TO 15 YEARS” - Any separation from
you will be painful to me.
2. ‘WHAT YOU WANT FROM ME” - Give me time to understand.
3. “IT’S CRITICAL TO MY WELL BEING” - Place your trust in me.
4. “DON’T LOCK ME UP FOR PUNISHMENT. YOU HAVE YOUR WORK, YOUR
ENTERTAINMENT, AND YOUR FRIENDS. I ONLY HAVE YOU.” - Don’t be angry
5. “EVEN IF I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOURS WORDS. I UNDERSTAND YOUR VOICE
WHEN IT’S SPEAKING TO ME.” - Talk to me sometimes.
6. “BE AWARE THAT HOWEVER YOU TREAT ME.” - I’ll never forget
7. “REMEMBER BEFORE YOU HIT ME; I HAVE TEETH THAT COULD EASILY CRUSH
THE BONES OF YOUR HAND,” but I choose not to bite you.
8. “BEFORE YOU SCOLD ME FOR BEING UNCOOPERATIVE, OBSTINATE OR LAZY,
PERHAPS I’M NOT GETTING THE RIGHT FOOD, OR I’VE BEEN OUT IN THE SUN
TOO LONG, OR MY HEART IS GETTING OLD AND WEAK.” - Ask yourself if
something might be bothering me.
9. “YOU TO WILL GROW OLD.” - Take care of me when I get old.
10. “NEVER SAY I CAN’T BEAR TO WATCH IT, OR LET IT HAPPEN IN MY
ABSENCE. EVERY THING IS EASIER FOR ME IF YOU ARE THERE.” - Go with me
on difficult journeys.
“REMEMBER THAT I LOVE YOU.” “WE WILL BOTH BE YOUNG, FREE OF ACHES,
PAINS AND BE HEALTHY...YOU WILL THROW MY BALL AND I WILL GET IT AND
RETURN IT TO YOU, SO WE CAN RUN AND PLAY CATCH FOR ETERNITY.” - I will
always be with you in mind, body, heart and spirit; until we meet
again at the rainbow bridge.
“I LOVE YOU, JAKE”
Bless America” #9 Contributed by Ted Dumke
(John Wayne 1970 Variety Show, missing in America now?)
Nicholas Winton - Saving The Children” #10 Contributed by
Maggie (Tubia) Horwitz [A real hero for humanity!]
To Our Heroes” #11 Contributed by Linda (Wanke) Rapp [Be
proud, be very proud - it feels good, but it still hurts!]
Trick Plays In Football History” #12 Contributed by Bruce
Ahlvin [It is football season. I thought you might like some trick
plays of the past?]
“Just a Young Cowboy, Showing Respect” #13 Contributed by Gavin
Graham (I like him, I’m seven years old and I say the Pledge of
Allegiance with my Grandpa Bob!)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND ANNIVERSARY TO ALL “DECEMBER” CLASSMATES!
DECEMBER 2017 - “WRITE A FRIEND MONTH” - DATES TO REMEMBER:
1. Eat a Red Apple Day.
2. National Fritters Day.
3. National Roof Over Your Head Day.
4. Santa's’ List Day.
5. Bathtub Party Day.
6. St. Nicholas Day.
7. Pearl Harbor Day.
8. Take it in the Ear Day.
9. National Pastry Day.
10. Human Rights Day.
11. National Noodle Ring Day.
13. Violin Day.
14. Roast Chestnuts Day.
15. Bill Of
16. National Chocolate Covered Anything Day.
17. National Maple Syrup Day.
18. Bake Cookies Day.
19. Look For An Evergreen Day.
20. Go Caroling Day.
21. Forefather’s Day.
22. National Date Nut Bread Day.
23. Roots Day and Festivus Day.
24. National Egg Nog Day.
25. Christmas Day.
26. Boxing Day.
27. National Fruitcake Day.
28. Card Playing Day.
29. Pepper Pot Day.
30. Bacon Day.
New Year’s Eve.
Classmates, you really did it again for December. One more time: your
Family, Friends and Classmates came through, in a big way. THANK YOU,
THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Have a GREAT December and we will get back
together, after the New Year - JANUARY 2018. Our Thoughts & Prayers
will be with Tom & Stanna’s Family.
“LOVE IS...WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT,”
H. H. & L. - Bob