Open Session: What Readers Think


JUST FOR PETS: Firefighters Pat Dickens (left) and Mike Fox apply a pet oxygen mask to a Yorkshire terrier that belongs to another member of the department.

Photo courtesy of Tom Nuernberger

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Music to our ears - I've been searching off and on for 15 years for piano sheet music for the Oklahoma Sunset Waltz, a hunt that took me to music libraries in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Illinois.

After my request for the sheet music appeared in your Reader to Reader section at the end of last year, a CAPPER'S reader in Oklahoma named Doris sent it to me. She remembered playing the song in the 1950s, and she wrote it down from memory.

My mother and her twin sister learned the piano duet in the 1920s in DeWitt, Neb. They are 95 years young and could play only a few measures by memory. Now, we have all the music for the waltz!

Virginia Stierwalt
Tolono, Ill.

Surprise roses - A sweet CAPPER'S story about a husband who surprised his wife with a dozen roses ('Hubby surprised wife with a dozen roses,' December 2007) reminded me of my surprise roses.

I'm in my 80s now, but I had never received a bouquet of roses - or even a single rose. My daughter, who lives in another state, ordered two dozen roses and told the growers to deliver them to me. She wanted to surprise me, so she gave directions to the person I live with to hide the package from me - but she didn't reveal that the package contained roses.

My daughter called frequently (and always reached me) and asked if a package had come. My honest answer was always, No, nothing had come. She finally called the growers, and they volunteered to send a second box.

Still, I told her no box had arrived. Finally, she resorted to talking to the other person living here, who told her, 'Sure, I hid two big, long boxes under the bed.'

'Astonished' doesn't begin to describe my surprise. The roses were so well-moistened and well-packaged with a vase that after two weeks, they completely opened into immense roses - not one died.

The growers refused payment for the second box. They thought it was an amazing story.

Shall I say my last wish was granted - and what a wonderful daughter.

June Tomlin
St. Louis

Help for pets - Three pet oxygen masks in three sizes were donated to the Richmond Heights, Mo., Fire Department. They are now standard equipment on the team's ambulance.

Fire Chief Larry Drexler said the equipment hadn't been able to fit into a budget, so the donation was welcome. In the past, when a pet was overcome by smoke inhalation, we were forced into using human oxygen masks on them, but the fit was almost always too big.

Rich Gerding
Richmond Heights, Mo., Fire Department

Sharing with Others

Our grandson, Brandon Novak, 8, lives in McKinney, Texas, but he absolutely loves spending his school vacations with us on our farm near Gove, Kan.

One of the things he especially enjoys doing is hunting for antique glass bottles at an abandoned dump on some property we manage. At first, Brandon wanted to take his expanding collection back to Texas to display on a bookcase in his bedroom. Then some relatives tried to persuade him to sell his antique bottles on the online auction site eBay. Brandon, however, wanted to share his collection so others could enjoy the unique glassware he'd found, so he decided to donate his collection to the local Gove County Historical Museum.

Now, that's what I call unselfish.

Karen Ann Bland
Gove, Kan.

Former pupils help teacher enjoy 100th birthday

Here is a photograph showing former students - who are all 80 years old or older - giving a birthday party for their high school teacher, Boyd Austin. They came from Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska to be there to celebrate Austin's 100th birthday. The Kearney (Neb.) Hub newspaper carried a story about the party.

Austin, of Broken Bow, Neb., just bought a new car and a new laptop computer. A reporter asked him if he recognized his students. He said, 'Yes, but they all look so old.'

Austin is in better health than some of his former students.

June Wescott
Brewster, Neb.