Friday, July 29, 2011

A letter to their friends in Holland

October 20, 1994

Dear Theo and Mieke,

Kay and I have been “on the road” almost continuously since returning home two weeks ago. This is why it has taken so long to send this expression of appreciation for all you did to make our Luttenberg visit such a happy and memorable occasion – from the moment we spotted the American flag atop your pole until you bid us farewell at the cathedral in Raalte.
            We shall all retain the memory of you sitting on your bike like the Pied Piper as you led us on the tour through Luttenberg to the pig farm, Spiyker Hein’s farm, and Betty’s house for the delicious heon, and finally to Raalte.
            We appreciated your opening your lovely house and hearts to use as we sat in your living room enjoying Mieke’s cakes and coffee, the inviting warmth of your fireplace, the American music in the background.
            Fred had mentioned Mieke’s beautiful gardens, and they are truly lovely. I don’t know if Mieke’s example inspired the others to be more creative about their gardens, but I do know Kay had me working very hard yesterday hauling compost to insure that we’ll have pretty gardens next year.
            As you probably have observed from your local newspaper, our town was publicized in response to your request. While in Deventer, I visited the newspaper office and the gentleman with whom I spoke very kindly offered to find us copies of the article. I received these yesterday and enclosed is a copy for your information. I’ll also send one to Fred and Betty as it will interest them. Thanks again for alerting your press to our visit.
            I have requested the group to give me any extra photos taken in Luttenberg and, unless they send directly to you, I’ll send you some in addition to those enclosed from our collection.
            On behalf of the group, I am enclosing a box of 3 compact discs featuring the “Best of the Big Bands.” It is a little gift of our appreciation for making our day with you in Luttenberg such a happy experience. When you listen to this music, we hope it will remind you of your many new American friends who join us in extending warm thanks.
            If you have time when here next year, we would welcome seeing you if your travels take you to Harrisburg or Florida. We will be in Harrisburg until the last week in January when we will be leaving for Venice, Florida where we’ll be until early March.
            Have a wonderful time over the coming holiday season and on your 1995 visit to the U.S.


John & Kay

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