Back from a week in the wilds of Arizona, Dad and Eleanor told of battles with man-eating coyotes and vicious attack-rattlesnakes which Dad wrestled barehanded to save countless maidens in distress from fates worse than death.
Baloney aside, Dad did kill a rattlesnake and they did see a couple of coyotes on their trip to Arizona to visit Jon [redacted] and family near Scottsdale. The rattler lay in the cool of a bush just outside the living room window. A small redracer (non-venomous) snake had raised its head to have a look inside the house and they ran him off with a squirt from the garden hose, not knowing that under the same bush was the rattler, which Jon's mother-in-law spotted while the others were concentrating on the smaller one.
Jon forced the rattler out with the hose and after missing with several whacks of a hoe Dad finally managed to sever the snake's head. Even with the head severed, the forked tongue kept darting in and out.
Later, Eleanor was heard to say, "It kinda tasted like chicken."
If you have a snake problem at your house, call Dad at 976-SNAKE.
Doug gave an elaborate, two-projector slide show at Dad's house recently. It was standing room only, and the crowd oohed and aahed a lot as he showed slides from his year on the road. As an added bonus there were slides of Steve and Denise's wedding, Eleanor's executive secretary days, and historical photos of illustrious Holmes family (Specht side) ancestors.
Tiffany and Thomas each won a recent foot race. Tiffany got a medal when she tied for first with her friend Joanie. Thomas didn't get any medals, for some reason, but right after winning his race he got on his bike and rode alongside his mom while she ran in her race.
Speaking of Thomas's bike, he can now ride without training wheels! How many people can say that?
Also, did you know Tiffany has been elected President of the Lathrop 4H? Wow!
In compliance with a Hayward city ordinance, Don has bought himself a 1978 Yamaha 750. We asked if he knows how to ride and he said, "No. Why?"
June is "Adopt-A-Cat" Month. So, go out there and adopt one! Next month is "Adopt-A-Fish" Month.
"[Jon and Kathy [redacted]] have a beautiful house in the midst of a couple of acres of sand, sage and cactus.
Aside from the reptilian excitement and the pleasure of seeing Jon and his family after four years, high spot of the trip was our stay in Sedona, Arizona, unquestionably one of the most beautiful areas in the West.
It's a photographer's paradise and a must-see for anyone who likes outdoor beauty. It's just off I-17, south of Flagstaff and north of Phoenix.
We took the Tioga Pass highway (120) through Yosemite to Bishop, and then through Death Valley (yes, hot!) to the new gambling mecca of Laughlin, Nevada, on the Colorado River where Eleanor fed the machines for a bit before proceeding on to Sedona.
On the return we went via Santa Ana to see Greg, June and family. We avoided the Monday-morning commute traffic through L.A. by going north through Riverside to 395 and back through Bishop, winding up at Lake Tahoe where Eleanor lost $2, and then home that Monday night.
-Dad, Snake Killer, Sacramento
A Saga of Seven
This is a story in the style called rap
that'll surely encourage an afternoon nap
of a family of seven, their kids and their wives
and something regarding their travels and lives.
Now first there was Greg, a Brooklyn-born lad;
and then it was Lucy that Mom and Dad had.
She was born at Sing Sing (no, not in the jail).
They left the U.S., for Brazil they set sail,
and there in October, in the village Niteroi,
number three joined the family, yes 'twas a boy:
Estavao in Brazil, but in America, Steve;
then eighteen months later all decided to leave.
'Twas São Paulo the city they all set out for,
and there it was Don who became number four.
But Brazil didn't like population explosion,
so a return to America was the course chosen.
They reached California, all well and alive,
and the four were then joined by a girl, No. 5.
Virginia they called her, but Jeannie will do,
a redhead addition to the Holmesian crew.
But that didn't end the family augmentation,
for Doug soon joined the Holmes congregation.
If six, why not seven, so Bill joined the crowd,
and that was the end, no more were allowed.
Then Lucy left home, she went and got spliced,
[line NOT missing. we checked. ed.]
and soon came a boy, Michael was his name,
destined in time for disk-jockey fame.
Greg then thought married life would be dandy,
so he wed June, had Aileen, Brian, Andy.
Jeannie was next to leave the Holmes fold;
she and John formed their own household,
and Tiffany and Thomas before long begat,
also acquiring a horse, dog and cat.
Next it was Don's turn, and to Reno he ran,
plighting his troth with Doctor Diane.
Then followed Steve, the mathematician;
now he and Denise await an addition.
Five down, two left: it's Doug and it's Bill;
who'll be next? D'ya think they ever will?
Surely this is the poorest of poems,
but what d'ya expect for a family named Holmes?
[Anonymous Wendell Holmes]