The Holmes Family Newsletter was involved in a hostile takeover. A group of Japanese investors have taken control of the Newsletter by means of a leveraged buy-out. Luckily, they're letting Bill keep his job as editor. However, they insist on changing the name starting with the next issue. They have suggested calling it The Imperial Newsletter of the Rising Sun & Real Estate Update. If you have a better idea, let us know, quickly. The person who comes up with the winning name will receive one hundred shares of stock in the Newsletter!
Eleanor wins the lottery!
Eleanor has won the Holmes Family Christmas Lottery! (You thought maybe it was another lottery?) After our plea for volunteers to host the Holmes Family Christmas in the last issue, the response was tremendous. Fights actually broke out over who would host this coveted event. Luckily, Bill is a trained usher and was able to break up the fights.
In case you haven't figured it out by now, Christmas dinner will be at Dad & Eleanor's house this year. Dinner will be served around 2 o'clock. For your after dinner pleasure, sway to the mellow sounds of "Cleotis Cool & His All Accordion Orchestra." No cover charge.
Steve puts up wallpaper!
Steve's first attempt at wallpapering was a successful one. He managed to paper the walls of two entire rooms in his and Denise's house! Now he just has to cut out holes for the doors and windows.
In a related story, there have recently been several notices plastered around the South Natomas area about a lost cat. However, Steve swears there is no relationship between that and the curiously shaped bump behind the wallpaper.
REPORT FROM CANCUN
[After Steve and Denise's wedding, a team of roving reporters followed the honeymooners to Cancun. They filed this report . . .]
The first day was all travelling. A three-hour flight from Sacramento to Dallas, a 4-hour layover, two-hour flight to Cancun, and then a two-hour, 16-mile bus trip from the airport to the hotel, Playa Blanca.
On the first day in Cancun, Denise was merciless in her bargaining with the flea market vendors. "We have a special today just for you, so I can make my first sale," was a common line. Steve and Denise spent their second day on a bus trip to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, 100 miles west of Cancun, where Steve, for no apparent reason, ran up the highest pyramid, 91 steps, two at a time. Wednesday, they took a trimaran trip to Isla Mujeres for snorkeling, shopping, lunch, and a little "parasailing" from the ship's mast by Steve.
Thursday, Denise and Steve stimulated the local economy some more at the flea market and were drenched in a rain storm. They spent the evening watching the Folklorico Ballet, which was quite beautiful with all its costumes and dances. By Friday, Steve almost had his voice back for the long trip home. The amazing thing was that he kept pretending to be hoarse for so long.
Dad writes a book
Dad has finished his book tentatively titled Sacramento Area Pioneer Portuguese and Their Descendants, or Pioneer Portuguese, for short. It will soon be available at fine stores near you. For a couple extra bucks, Dad might even autograph it for you.
DON'T WEAR FUR
The Humane Society has begun its annual campaign against the fur industry. Billboards with the slogan "You Should Be Ashamed To Wear Fur" plus magazine and newspaper ads and articles in The Holmes Family Newsletter have reportedly been having an impact. The Humane Society's contention is that the animals look better wearing fur than people do. So, the next time you see someone wearing fur, tell them what a scum-sucking slimeball they are! Thank you.
DON'T BUY IVORY, EITHER
Poachers kill about 25 elephants a day! Using airplanes to find them and machine guns to kill the pachyderms, entire herds, including the young ones that don't even have tusks, are being wiped out. Many areas once supporting elephants are now devoid of them. This reporter intends to visit Africa within the next decade before elephants can no longer be found. It's that serious.
[Your tax-deductible contributions are now being accepted for the "Let's Send Doug to Africa!" campaign.]
Lucy goes to Fresno
[Due to lack of interest, this story has been cut. We just left the headline there for its shock value.]
For a dollar a day, you can support a starving child in a foreign country! Yes, that's right. You see, Mike has a bank account in Germany now. And it's as easy as 1-2-3 to transfer money from your bank account to his! Just ask Lucy. She's done it. And now you can, too! Here's the info you need: Michael [redacted], Dresdner Bank, Bank Code #?????, Account #?????. If you have any questions, call Lucy, or call Mike in Germany at 011-497-615-???-??. Please give until it hurts.
Jeannie, December 31
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
We opened our wedding gifts last Saturday night. We got all the place settings we asked for, and them some. There weren't many duplicate gifts, except for five pairs of crystal and silver candle holders. We're putting all cash gifts toward a China cabinet. Now we just have to go to China to pick it up.
Thanks for the knife, Bill. Boy, is it sharp. I made minced meat out of a pile of vegetables. Too bad Denise wanted them to remain as vegetables for a salad.
Steve, Newlywed, Sacramento
by Lionel Holmes
DISTINGUISHED VISITOR to the Surfside manse Dec. 4 was ex-Sacramento Mayor Clarence Azevedo, here to be interviewed for Pioneer Portuguese, soon to be No. 1 on the NY Times best-seller list.
He told of working in a grocery after school in Perkins from four to seven, returning home to milk the family cow, and then delivering his four quarts of milk by horseback before returning to do his homework by kerosene lantern.
Reminded me of how I used to walk ten miles to school through drifting snow while carrying a sack of coal on my shoulders to stoke the schoolhouse stove.
Speaking of politicians, don't ever say you wouldn't vote for Dan Quayle as dogcatcher, for one of my cousins was poundmaster of Sacramento, and his father had the distinguished job before him.
As for relatives, did you know that I acquired my great business acumen from my great-grandfather Manuel Leal daRoza, who opened the first pawn shop in the Azores, a business he had started in Concepcion, Chile; that he was an amateur magician; and that one of his ancestors is said to have been involved in the tobacco-smuggling trade out of the Carolinas.
And that on your Hungarian side there's an ancestor supposed to have been related to the Principality of Liechtenstein.
The family's beginning to resemble the United Nations: countries now represented are Portugal, Brazil, Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Italy, and Chile (Diane's the ambassador from Lebanon, June from Yugoslavia, and your great-great grandmother came from Chile).
also perhaps Flanders should be included — that's the Dutch-speaking western part of Belgium, who helped Portugal colonize the Azores and from whom came the redheads and blondes you see in the islands today, like your greatgrandma Emelia Leal Silveira who passed on her redhead genes to Jeannie and Bill.
Re Hungary, this past fall your Uncle Leonard visited Békéscsaba where your Liska ancestors came from (your grandmother was a Liska).
Geography lesson continued: except for Steve and Don who reached Longitude 34 when the ship brought them back to civilization from Brazil in 1955 (and technically Jeannie since your Mom was pregnant then), I guess Doug has been the farthest east in the family when his vacation last summer took him to Nova Scotia, not counting Mike's presence in Freiburg and trips to Europe in years past by Denise and Elnli (Eleanor & Lionel).
Greg (June, too?) and Denise have been farthest west, to Japan.
Farthest north? Elnli again, to Banff, about 53rd parallel; south, Greg, Lucy and Steve with me to Montevideo in 1954 (we left six-month-old "Donaldo" home with the maid and friends).
Ever wonder where the writing talent (if any) came from? Uncle Francisco Rocha Homem, who was chief of the postal-telegraph office in Madeira (we'd call him postmaster here) wrote extensively but submitted none of his work for publication. His son posthumously published two of his one-act plays in 1973.