Open Session: What Readers Think

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Beautiful language - What a delightful column by Dennis McLaughlin (Editor's Notebook, September). I agree wholeheartedly that the 'English language retains its beauty.'

One of my earliest and most fascinating memories is trying to decipher the printed word. It was impossible for me to convince my mother to let me begin school a year earlier than was allowed. (There was no kindergarten at that time. How I wanted to walk more than two miles to that little one-room schoolhouse!)

After earning several teaching degrees, I taught language arts to all ages - from 5 to 80. Even today, I get excited about written language: how words sound, their spelling, their meanings and the context in which they are used.

Thanks so much for putting my thoughts into words. It's been more than 60 years since my first day of school, and I was as pleased as anyone could be to read a column promoting reading. You made my day!

Pat Bollinger
Marble Hill, Mo.

Eye-catching quote - In your September 2006 issue, one of the quotes you published caught my eye: 'Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.'

My family has had other pets, but it's because we had Zorra, a black German shepherd, given to us by our older son, that I can thoroughly relate to this quote. I truly loved Zorra because she made me love her while she loved back unconditionally.

When Zorra died, I finally understood why some people mourn their pets as members of their family, and that's exactly it … pets so dearly loved and who love back do become members of the family.

It's been a few years since Zorra's passing, and I still miss her very much.

Elinor Filice
Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Inspiring reading - Thank you for all the articles you have accepted from me in the Heart of the Home section. I am currently working on children's poems. So many of the good stories and pictures from CAPPER'S provide me with inspiration. Your publication always prints such wonderful animal pictures. Through the years, I saved many of them to put into a book, just in case our daughters had to spend time in a hospital when they were small. Fortunately, that did not happen.

Now, I pass your papers and all our magazines on to the art department at Garden Plain (Kan.) High School. I worked as a library aide there for 15 years. The art teacher is great, and her students do absolutely marvelous projects.

Roberta Seiwert Lampe
Garden Plain, Kan.

Part of the household - CAPPER'S has been a part of my life for 80 years. In the mid-1920s, when I was 2 years old, my parents moved to western Kansas. We were very poor, they said. So, my folks could not afford to subscribe to CAPPER'S WEEKLY.

My grandmother Minnie Grunwald would send issues to my folks through the mail. When I was old enough to begin to read, I picked up CAPPER'S and read what I could in it.

I've been reading it ever since. When I moved from Kansas to Colorado, CAPPER'S was the first paper to get my new address, and each time I've moved, CAPPER'S has moved with me.

Now, I am 82 years old, and I just finished reading all of the issue I received today. I work the puzzles and crosswords, and I read the recipes. I don't cook much now - I have no husband and my three children are away from home. I read the recipes anyway, though, and I think about how good they would taste.

CAPPER'S comes first when I get it; my dishes and dusting have to wait.

Vernetta Harper
Montrose, Colo.

Thank you - I want to take a moment to thank you for printing my request for apron rings. To date, I have had 13 responses - the first six arrived even before we received our copy of CAPPER'S. What a pleasant way to find out my request made it in.

I received two SASEs from dear ladies who are also looking for the rings, and I've forwarded the information on to them. Several ladies sent me apron rings, one of whom worked for CAPPER'S 40 years ago. She told us about Arthur Capper's children's homes. I've received catalog pages, rings, addresses for catalogs, and an envelope full of inspirational poems from a person who chose to remain anonymous, so much so that even the postage stamp escaped cancellation. To this person I say, 'Thank you.' My preacher husband shall be using one of those poems. I have thanked the others personally, but do so again publicly.

This has been a wonderful journey. We do enjoy the paper so much. Two months ago, my husband had cataract surgery. I took the paper with me to read while I waited. When I finished it, I gave it to a rather forlorn-looking lady who was also waiting. I told her it contained only good news. She accepted it gratefully and said, 'Good, I need some good news.'

Anita Wolfenberger
Bushnell, Fla.

Milk filter dolls - I wrote to Reader to Reader asking for directions on making decorative bed dolls using milk filters. I received several letters, some with directions, and others asking for them. A few folks sent me filters that I made into the dresses for the dolls.

On the Internet, I found a source for more milk filters and dolls to use. Here is a photo of one I made. I have three granddaughters, and when they turn 10, I will give them theirs. One doll is blue, another's red, and the third is a mixture of pink, orange and yellow flowers and ribbons. In the '50s, the dolls were put together with yarn. Today, I use a hot glue gun - it goes faster, and I can glue on all sorts of pretties.

Polly Williams
Rowley, Iowa

Baby's best friend - When my great-granddaughter Ava Elise Fowler was born, we worried how Ollie (who had been the baby for several years) would accept the baby. This photo, taken when Ava was 2 months old, shows we need not worry - Ollie loves and protects her. We think this picture shows it.
Barbara Meats

McPherson, Kan.