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This message forum is an ongoing discussion about anything and just about everything ... within reason.  One thing our class was good at was having opinions.  Almost 70 years of life experience certainly qualifies us as experts on most everything!   Ask a question ... give an opinion ... share some insights ... it's our web site, it's our forum.  That said, it's probably not a good idea to get into arguments about politics, religion, and the like.  While we're experts on everything, we also have a wide range of values and beliefs. This site belongs to all of us ... the whole range ... and we are not here to isolate, alienate, or subjugate anybody.  Of course insults, humiliation, sophomoric barraggadocio, and demented humor is expected behavior among some of us less mature people.

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11/23/18 05:32 PM #2559    


William Nelson

I just wrote a response about the streetcars, but it disappeared before I completed it. Starting over!
We moved to my grandma's house on S 23rd Street, just south of Greenfield Ave. when I was about three. We moved to 36th and Rohr in 1953. I remember the street cars plying Greenfield when I was a kid, but I also remember when they were replaced by trolley buses. A good friend of ours was interviewed on TV as she rode the last street car back to West Allis. The trolley buses were already running on 35th Street when we moved to the North side. I remember they turned around on Silver Spring in the area y'all were discussing. 

I worked for the Milwaukee Players stage crew while attending Custer. Many of the shows were staged at West Division HS, so I used to ride the bus to and from quite often. One night, I was the only passenger on the bus and struck up a conversation with the driver. He told me how quick off the line those buses were. I had my doubts, so he proved it at the next stop. He stomped on the go pedal and did it ever! At that time, I'd never been in a vehicle that could accelerate that quickly up to about 30 MPH. If you remember the Bob Newhart routine about the "Chicago Bus Drivers' School," he had a student driver alternate starting and stopping quickly as an elderly lady tried to find her seat. He kept her airborne for four cycles. After my experience, I believe that might be possible.

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. If you've been traveling, travel safely. The two of us dined alone yesterday, but our middle son's family will arrive this evening and we'll have more goodies tomorrow. They'll head back to Texas on Sunday. 

To all our friends in California, our hearts go out to you. It seems like your area is stuck in a vicious cycle and it sounds like that might continue for a while. Hard to imagine such losses.


11/23/18 10:03 PM #2560    


Jim Cejka

Another Thanksgiving blessing - the Camp fire is contained.

Lauren, in regards to the East Troy Trolley Museum - been there, rode that. In fact, I'm still a member of the East Troy American Legion Post (long story.) 

We went to Astoria, OR, last year, and they have a similar streetcar they run along the river through downtown. Same flipable seats, trolley cable, and all. Boy, did that bring back memories. 

11/24/18 01:56 PM #2561    


Lauren Dieterich

2 weeks before the Well st streetcar service ended, I took my youngest brother downtown to ride the streetcar. Jim, I'm a life member of the American Legion. I haven't changed my post from Lansing, MI to AZ, yet. The Post here is #87. The state Vietnam Memorial  and the USS Arizona Memorial are both behind the Post.

12/05/18 03:13 PM #2562    


Jim Cejka

So, does anyone still do St. Nicholas Day? Never could get it straight whether it was the night of the 5th or 6th. Didn't matter, the socks got stuffed on either day. And, is it socks, . .  or shoes? 

12/05/18 03:46 PM #2563    


Nancy Davison (Boerger)




Hi Jim,

Yes, someone still does St. Nick - to wit: our "kids" (age 43 and 53). And, of course, now - our grand daughter.

I think we have this right: you put your stocking out the night of the 5th. If you live in the Netherlands, you put a shoe. I mailed St. Nick's packages to our girls on Monday. Cookies, cookies, cookies. Have baked fourteen batches (a few are double or triple - certain favorites) and have started the stollen. No, we don't eat them all - some get mailed ( we have nieces with demanding careers and fond memories of cookies from their childhoods, plus an old German friend who no longer bakes). Don't know how long I'll be able to keep this up, but so far, so good.

Merry Christmas to all!







12/05/18 05:43 PM #2564    


Jeanne Zinser (Gottschalk)

Hey, Jim~~

Happy St. Nick’s Eve. When I was a kid, my parents, knowing my love of chocolate-covered cherries, always made sure that I got a box of them for St. Nick’s, along with tangerines and other things. After Robert and I were married, he made sure to carry on the chocolate-covered cherry tradition. Every year, I would get some, but he went a step further and purchased some higher quality ones. I always looked forward to them. Before we left on that fateful trip in 2015, I received a box of them, his final St. Nick’s gift. And when I returned home, alone, there were 2 left in the box, and I saved them for quite a while before I finally decided to eat them. When the next season came along, I remembered, tearfully, that the only way the tradition might continue would be if I purchased them myself. So, now a small box of dark chocolate-covered cherries from Quality Candy sits in my kitchen, and I will savor each one that I eat, remembering dear Robert. who always made sure that the tradition continued.

12/06/18 06:33 AM #2565    


Nancy Davison (Boerger)

Hi Jeanne,

Your story is a gem. I'll never again be able to eat a chocolate covered cherry without thinking of you. I'm so sorry that you lost your dear Robert. How amazingly certain foods can bring forth memories - the reason, I guess, that our family has to have certain Christmas cookies every year. Enjoy your memories with every last bite.



12/06/18 01:37 PM #2566    


Terri Levenhagen (Hoornstra)

Our childhood St. Nick's celebration was that my siblings and I hung our stockings Dec. 5 (or was it the 6th?) eve. When we awakened, only if we were good, (and our parents apparently saw some good in all of us every year LOL), our stockings would have an orange or tangerine in the toe, and the rest filled with candies and nuts. It was how I learned to appreciate the various nuts: walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts. Of course we always lived under the threat of a lump of coal being there, and as the holiday approached we warned each other of the coal at every perceived transgression against us. We, unlike today's kids, knew what coal was, having had it delivered to the coal bin in the basement. I absolutely loved that at my 1 yr.-ago church, the children left their shoes at the church entry on the nearest Sunday to Dec. 6, and near the end of the service St. Nick would make an appearance, gather the kids around, tell them a little about his life, and upon leaving there would be treats inside the kids' shoes. Nancy, I love that you still do all that baking, and I'm sure the recipients do too! And Jeanne, with your chocolate cherries (love'em!) Good to see traditions continue. 

12/06/18 03:13 PM #2567    


Jim Cejka

We always did stockings too, and soon realized that Dad's or Grandpa's socks were bigger and got more stuff. Sounds like we all had pretty much the same St. Nick, because we all got pretty much the same in our stockings. I was always worried about hanging them on the fire place mantel, because our fire place was a fake, and I thought St. Nick would think bad of that.

My dad was the one who got the chocolate cherries. 

Of course we knew about coal. One of the highlights of the month was when the coal men came and we got to watch them carry the coal in those baskets on their shoulders and dump them down the ramp through the basement window. It made such a neat sound. My job was then to shovel the coal that managed to miss the coal bin. 

Teri, as a Californian, what did the kids do out here? How did St. Nick manage to get all those goodies into your flip-flops?

12/08/18 10:50 PM #2568    


Garry Sellers

I don't think Terri is a "native Californian", are you Terri?  That might have been a long bus ride to school in the mornings. I don't think my parents ever did the St Nick's thing.  Why would they with 9 kids?  We never did it with ours either. Most people out here in California would look at you strangely if you told them about it.

I was thinking about asking people for their favorite tradition, from childhood on.  My mother used to make spritz cookies only at Christmas, saying unkind words about cookie presses, burning the first batch (which tasted fine to me), too much almond extract, etc.  And finally making 1000 dozen of differing colors and designs ... all of which were consumed with in days! 

My wife has continued that tradition.  No good #@$! cookie press ... too much sugar (is there such a thing?) burnt batches, etc.  Our sons still wait for her baking spritz cookies day..  I look forward to the day after that ... once the explitives and sighs of exasperation have been cleared from the air!!!

12/09/18 09:55 AM #2569    


Karsten Boerger

Gary,Thanks for the headline. Your envy is obvious, not everybody has the good fortune to have been born on the same day as Christ. OK keep pouting, only GOOD people are born on that day. Obviously Nancy has been blessed with good fortune of having married such a saintly person.

Happy Holidays Karsten





12/09/18 10:23 AM #2570    


Nancy Davison (Boerger)

Hi Garry, 

While congratulating Karsten, why not add a note of commendation for me? Do you think it's been easy living for 54 years with a saint? (Actually, it's been one of my life's great joys)

I commiserate with your wife's struggle with spritz. Some years ago when the new presses (with a "gun" !) came out, I bought one. It lasted for a few years, and then did what all plastic stuff does - broke. Now back to the old (1964) metal model, which will probably last longer than will I. 

Add it to the list of "old stuff" (cast iron frying pan, stove-top pressure cooker, metal ricer) which are in my kitchen, aging right along with me.



12/09/18 10:36 PM #2571    


William Nelson

This is the second time my message was interrupted and erased just before completion. Anyone else having a similar problem?
As I was saying, my wife, Mary, is making a couple of kinds of cookies that I especially like this time of year, although they're not neccessarily Christmas cookies; one filled with mince meat and the other is an oatmeal cookie with Craisins. 
My mom loved to bake and Christmas was her season. She baked >50 kinds of cookies each year, in addition to fruit cakes, stollen, Yule Kaga (sp??) and a couple kinds of candy. I ran across a picture Dad took of our kitchen table in 1956 when she was preparing for company coming. I remember Kenny Rabas was at our house after school and Mom gave him a platter to take up to the guest room where the cookies were stored and told him to fill it for his family. When he came down, he thanked her and asked if he could stay overnight in the guest room. BTW, my dad made the pewter sugar and creamer set in the foreground when he was in college. I never got that talented.

12/11/18 07:03 PM #2572    


Jim Cejka

Deja-Vu Wow?

Was exiting a parking lot here in beautiful Manteca, CA and I noticed a van go past that had "Cozzini Sharpening" on the side. Gina? Gina? Anyone remember Gina Cozzini, class of '63 I think, band/orchesstra. When we had games at King, our group used to end up at Cozzini's place. Her dad ran a business, "Cozzini Cutlery" out of his garage and truck. Sharpened all the knives at all the restaurants on the north side, or something like that. Did he/she/they grow into a nationwide business, or expand to California? Her mother had an interesting background too. 

12/12/18 11:50 AM #2573    


Lauren Dieterich

My youngest daughter's birthday is Dec. 22 nd. Anyone whose birthday is within a week of Christmas usually gets screwed. It's Happy Birthday heres your card, now lets get ready for Christmas. To make mattes worse, here's your present, it's for both Christmas and your birthday. The rest of us get seperate presents, they don't. My ex was good for the 1 present deal. Those of you who are born on Christmas, it's usually a pretty big deal.    From the time that I was about 12, I did most of the baking. My Mother was pretty sick by then. I like spritz cookies. I still have my Mother's Mirro aluminum cookie press. I haven't made stollen in about 50 years, it's time to start again.                                                                                                                                                             Bill, I put craisins and raisins in outmeal cookies. But, I bake them in a 13 X 9 baking dish. Just bump your baking time up to about 25 minutes and cut into squarees.                                                                                       I found a very interesting Facebook group, it's Historic North Milwaukee. It was started this last September. It seems that a lot of the posts are " do you remember "

12/13/18 08:42 PM #2574    


Jim Cejka

Anyone else notice that when you're hand-writing out your Christmas letters and cards, there's no spell check?

Jeanne, I got a package in the mail today from my cousin and guess what - she sent me a box of chocolate covered cherries. I had forgotten that those were also the traditional gift we gave my dad. Unfortunately, that tradition died when he died. Your note, and my cousins gift, have rekindled some wonderful memories.

12/14/18 04:05 PM #2575    


Terri Levenhagen (Hoornstra)

We just had a birthday bash for my son and d-in-law whose birthdays are both on the 10th. Just far enough apart to require a separate celebration, and far enough apart to require a second thorough house cleaning!

12/14/18 06:12 PM #2576    


Nancy Davison (Boerger)

Jim, Do you ever wonder about how your grandchildren will be addressing their Christmas cards? Not only without spell-check, but they will be printing them. Or, maybe just send e-cards 🙁 What a shame, to not experience one of the holiday's great joys - sitting by the fire with a glass of wine and some lovely bowl full of cards while your favorite CD plays in the background. One by one, savor every card, read news from old friends - a graduation (by now, grandchildren), a marriage, a move or a new challenge. All the news, all the I will miss those, as our aging friends slowy leave us behind. 

Our (one) grandchild hasn't learned yet to send e cards, so I get little notes addressed to "Gammies Boerger", in printing that fills the entire front of the envelope. I'm thinking of the possibility of spending some of our summer hours here at the lake teaching her cursive (they don't seem to teach it in the schools any more). Not sure yet how this would be received by our daughter, but we'll see. 

Man, am I old, or what?



12/16/18 07:07 PM #2577    


Jim Cejka

No Nancy, you’re not old. And there is a Santa Claus. Personally done cards and Christmas cookies are the “merry” in Merry Christmas that stays with us for a lifetime. Remember the smell of Mom or Grandma (we lived with Grandma) baking cookies? Remember when we got our first very own Christmas cards sent to us, or how hard we tried to make the specialist beautifuler card for someone? Now, do you remember, or cherish, any present, or tree, or anything you got back then? You have created that same special “merry” Christmas now for your children and granddaughter. Somehow, I think those feelings and traditions will last longer in them than “Alexa – send Nana a card.”

12/17/18 11:10 AM #2578    


Terri Levenhagen (Hoornstra)

Ah, the cursive wars rage on. Some schools are dropping it, but they do still teach it in Cupertino, CA - not that we need to be able to write it as much any more.  It is still taught for a similar reason people took Latin in high school - anyone who studies primary historical documents will need to be able to read cursive. (Especially for reading letters from Grandma or Grandpa in the future!) Some kids actually love doing it - the little third graders I taught would actually do it for fun when their regular work was finished — and others hate it. It requires small-muscle skill, and some are as talented at those kind of things as others are at basketball. 

12/19/18 10:28 PM #2579    


Jim Cejka

Cursive - Bah, Humbug. Get rid of all those silly loops and squiggles. Make the next generation of youth go up to their sports or other heros and ask them, "Could you print your name for me please"? 

At least that'll make the value of my Bart Starr and Ray Nitchke autographs go way up. 

01/02/19 08:17 PM #2580    


Jim Cejka

Cursive People Unite - and move to Ohio. A new law there requires all kids to be able to read and write cursive by the 5th Grade.

01/02/19 08:43 PM #2581    


Terri Levenhagen (Hoornstra)

Happy New Year Everybody! Glad to hear Ohio is on the cursive bandwagon. I have never subbed or taught in a California school where cursive was NOT taught, but I'm sure there are probably some in our gigantic state. Stay warm, classmates!


01/03/19 06:00 PM #2582    


Nancy Davison (Boerger)

Coincidentally, our grand daughter ( will be 8 in March ) expressed an interest in cursive writing during our holiday visit. We agreed that we'll work on that this summer at the lake. Our local district library is offering it after school for several months, complete with pen pals and a picnic at the end. So, it's not dead yet!

01/08/19 10:45 PM #2583    


Jim Cejka

So, the rain stopped and it cleared up just in time to see that blood wolf eclipse moon thingy. Neat.

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