Archive for the ‘News from Baltans’ Category

Simonson 2014 Happy New Year’s Letter

December 29, 2013

Click on this link for the Simonson letter with the graphic and photo.  Below is the text only.

My dearest family and friends,

The year 2013 was full of new adventures for Curt and I.  We are both healthy and happy moving into this new phase of our lives and I’d like to share a little of that with you.

I retired as of April 1, 2013.  I no longer take conference calls at 6 a.m. or 9 p.m. and I no longer work “part-time” at the rate of 50 hours per week!  I have done a bit of consulting for my former employer, but find even that to be such a joy!  I can walk away!  My retired life was to be made up of time with my grandkids (Max and Emma), yoga, some research related to a book Kenny and I have briefly discussed, and the Chicago Botanic Garden.  I immediately started with yoga; took some private lessons first so I would understand the language and then joined a class.  I kept having balance issues as I started and then we went on vacation.  We had two weeks in the Destin, Fla area; one with Jenny, Seth, and the kids and one with Mary Beth and GJ.  Always a great place to visit.

As we got home from vacation, Jenny and Seth were working on finding a house to better meet their family needs.  The chose and finally closed at the end of June.  They wanted an updated kitchen, along with a “few” other things that were expected to take about a month to six weeks.  They finally moved in during mid-September without a complete kitchen!  During this construction phase, Gramma got very acquainted with her grandkids.  I lost 8 pounds and had the best time of my life!  Sleep was awesome!  I didn’t get much of anything else done after July 1.

Andy is still in Montana, but considering, along with his roommates, a move.  They want to have their own farm, raise their own product to deliver to customers through their own restaurant.  They are tired of being cold 10 months out of every year, so they are considering Texas (where they will be hot 10 months out of the year)!  He started working for the Pine Creek Café in March; by mid-summer, the chef decided to return to his home territory and Andy was promoted to executive chef.  He is working his butt off now, but seems to be enjoying the challenges.   Very little time for personal activities, which continues to be frustrating, but, hopefully, that will come soon.

Curt’s still at In Fine Spirits; he works about 10-20 hours per week with the retail business, meets with distributors to taste wine and help select what will be sold in the store, he helps with special events that come up, and has written tasting notes for wines and spirits being promoted through the store’s newsletter.  He doesn’t make much money, but what he is doing is “priceless” to him.

As for me, I have to say that retirement does not really come all that naturally.  While sleeping late and reading the newspaper with coffee every morning is nice, after that, you kind of look around and think, “Okay, now what”?  The “now what” seems to happen.  As most retirees say, we’re not really sure how we had time to work!  Curt and I took several trips from April on and I’m finding there are so many interesting things “out there” that I never seemed to have time for while I worked.  We saw some of those 8th grade history things (Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and DC) and found a place I’ve heard about my entire life – the Allaire State Park in New Jersey.  I’m still not quite sure how we’re related, but I met a woman at the Park whose name was Shafto – my grandmother’s maiden name!  Discoveries are everywhere.

I didn’t get to Christmas cards this year; and I decided a good excuse for that was that I wanted to always look forward.  So, we’re looking forward to 2014; more new adventures, more time with wonderful family and friends, and more time to re-learn old things.  Curt and I wish you all the very best of New Years and hope to cross paths this year!

Love to all –



BJ and Joy’s Wedding, 6/10/12

June 11, 2012

Congrats and much love!

Elizabeth Hannan’s News

February 10, 2012

Dear BALTA Friends-

After 19,970 days in the United States, pledging her allegiance to the American Flag (and America), paying income taxes and Social Security and Medicare for more than 50 years, Elizabeth will become an American Citizen on Feb 24.

For all practical purposes, since we have known her, she has always been an American but held off giving up her British citizenship because of the possibility of needing to returning there to take care of family.   Now, except for nephews and cousins, she no longer has family living in Britain so it is now time to make the transition.

Needless to say it’s a big day for her and, rest assured, it is for me as well because besides doing this for me she wanted to have the right to do something she has never been able to do here or in England …… for the first time in her life.

Hope you are all well-


Email from Gerry Boyle

October 22, 2011

We stumbled on the BALTA web site and were amazed to see some old people we recognized.
We still cherish the memories made in BA.  Great to see most of us are still alive.
We were saddened to hear that the base is closed and has been for some time ’04 we read but it was wonderful to see a picture of “the tree”.
We will continue to read the blog and try to decipher the photos

Gerry and Roz Boyle

Straight Man’s Red Bag

August 18, 2010

Straight Man (AKA Michael Gleason) asks that the attached be posted to the BALTA Blog


Contents of Straight Man’s Red Bag

On evening of Friday, August 13, 2010, in Silver City, NM, I, Maddog, was passed a red bag from Straight Man. The red bag contained the following items:

One bag of 100 cut lavender heads

One yellow plastic glass with blue lettering and admissions number 800-872-9668 for Western New Mexico University

Three blank sheets from a Travelodge notepad. Information in dark blue lettering: Recreate. Hibernate. For reservations call 800-578-7878

One notepad from Mimbres Valley Learning Center containing 24 blank sheets. Information in green lettering: Mimbres Valley Learning Center, an Educational and Vocational Center for Luna County. (575) 546-6556 2300 E. Pine, Deming, NM

One dark green ballpoint pen from Mimbres Valley Learning Center. Logo and information of previous item in white lettering

One white tea bag of Lipton 100% Natural Tea. Lettering is in red on white or yellow backgrounds

One 288-page red, white, and blue guide to Bavaria and the Austrian Tyrol. Gregston, Brent. Bavaria and the Austrian Tyrol: Your Guide to Great Drives. Second Edition. Peterborough, UK: Thomas Cook Publishing, 2003; ISBN 1-841573-32-9

Condition: Very Fine

One 120-page multicolored Gourmet’s Guide to Herbs & Spices. Trewby, Mary. A Gourmet’s Guide to Herbs & Spices. Photographs by David Johnson. Los Angeles: HPBooks, 1989; ISBN 0-89586-813-X

Condition: Front cover delicately gnawed on outside edge, otherwise Fine

One dark blue bumper sticker with white lettering by Friends Committee on National Legislation and reading: WAR is NOT the ANSWER.

One new clear plastic 6” x 5” Ziploc bag

One silver, red, black, and white sticker for placing on an RV and reading: Official Member Good Sam Club. Logo of smiling man with halo

One Bierdeckel with dark blue printing for Brauerei Schlössle in Offenhausen (Mittelfranken, Bayern)

One black and multicolored business card for Travel Alberta Canada. 1.800.ALBERTA

One red, white, blue and turquoise campaign card for Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Friend of New Mexico families, Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

One light tan wooden clothespin

One multicolored Bazooka Joe and his Gang bubblegum wrapper cartoon

One pink, blank, and unlined 3 x 5 card

One sheet of blank notepad from Casino Aztar 1-800-DIALFUN in red & black lettering

One sheet of  blank notepad from Ramada Express Hotel & Casino, Laughlin, NV 1-800-2-Ramada in red & black lettering

One red, white, & green Peppermint Altoids can for The Original Celebrated Curiously Strong Mints 100% Natural NetWt 1.76 oz (50g) containing:

(1) One white golf tee

(2) One green tiny plastic cannon

(3) One shiny 2010 D copper penny reading In God We Trust. LIBERTY. United States of America. E Pluribus Unum. ONE CENT

One three-disc DVD Set of 12 Gorehouse Greats Collection. Cult Classics Features which contains:

(1) Blood of Dracula’s Castle; (2) Blood Mania; (3)Brain Twisters; (4) The Devil’s Hand; (5) The Madmen of Mandoras; (6) Nightmare in Wax; (7) Prime Evil; (8) Satan’s Slave; (9) Stanley; (10) Terrified; (11) Terror; (12) Trip with the Teacher

Hermanos Freyermuthos N@

August 10, 2010

Click on the image, and you should be able to read the caption.

Courtesy of our Balta photographer, Captain Hog.

Another book recommendation

April 29, 2010

I don’t read a lot of fiction, but a great ASA-related novel:

The Waldental Gasthaus by Ron McGraw

This book is so good that I will guarantee satisfaction – if you buy it and don’t like it I will apologize and buy you a beer in October!

Ed Sharpe

New Baltans

April 29, 2010

I recently added two names to the ‘People You Might Have Known in Bad Aibling’ page.

They are:

Richard Everett
Paul Keyes


Dan’s Celebration, 1/16/10

January 16, 2010

Pat is attending the ceremony.  And he sent some behind-the-scenes photos, which are below.  During the celebration of Dan’s life, he is going to give Heidi a note regarding our Balta memorial to Dan.

Set-up in the hall for the Dan Day Celebration

Heidi making sure things are ok before the celebration.

When I get more photos, I’ll post them.


A Sermon for Dan

December 30, 2009

As life is a banquet so death is the salt. It brightens the flavors of the day. We the people need death. It gives hope to the critic who doesn’t think being is such a merry dish, but may be made palatable. It is a smash-mouth scrum that causes us to catch our breath and hold those we hold dear more dear. Thank fucking God and all the gods for death when it makes us glad to breathe and smell and taste and kiss and fuck.

This other part is private. In our few years, Dan and I have uncovered stone after stone of anti-societal agreement. We have celebrated whisky of various sources, finally coming to agree on Bourbon as the essence of life. We conflated courtesy with good living, and women with good life. We hated hatred and loved those around us. I have never had a better friend.

We will not combine our fortunes and buy a house for the four of us. We will not sail the sound to brave the Golden Gate. Not now. It kind of doesn’t matter. Most things don’t work. Only the wanting works, but it works well. Oh, bang the drum slowly and play the fife lowly. A gentle man has passed our way and is gone.

Pat Carroll