OUR CHRISTMAS LETTERS
FROM OUR HOME TO YOUR HOME
FROM 1952 THROUGH
OUR NEW MAIN WEB SITE ADDRESS:
IS WHAT'S IN THE ROOM
WITH YOU AT CHRISTMAS
IF YOU STOP OPENING PRESENTS AND LISTEN
The year 2012 was run, run, run, but then what else is
Here are the headlines of the main events
Michael graduated with his Associate's Degree from HCC
here in TAMPA
Dan The Man graduated from high school here in
Amy graduated from
high school In VIRGINIA
In Virginia, we visited with Chuck's brother, Sonny,
again - photos below.
The next week - Rebeka and Kevin's wedding in
again to attend Jackie's 60th class reunion in
While there, we
drove over to visit some dear cousins
Eitelman, and Terri and Pierce Blunt in
During that week, October 3, 2012,
Chuck and I celebrated our 60th (diamond) wedding
THEN, to top
off such a great year - we knew that Les and Jan were
coming down from Alaska, via Hawaii for Christmas.
had no idea that Bill, Yumi and Amy were coming from VA
to pop in at our Christmas Eve Party
the heck out of all of us. Except for Paul and Ellen.
They were in on the surprise.
They were all here for
Michael was home from FSU and Daniel was home
Ron, Elise and Lauren and Paul, Ellen and
Julia did not have to travel, as they live here.
Rebeka and Heather were unable to get away from work as
they both work in retail in Alaska,
and Heather is
still in school and Rebeka was in a new job too.
Bill and Yumi gave us an iPad for Christmas. Whenever I
go looking for it, Chuck has it. What a new toy for
I have already attended two classes and bought
the two year contract,
so the support techs in TX
will know me shortly, right Bill & Les?
With that many family members here, what a SPECIAL end
to the year 2012!!!!!!
In addition to all of that,
my niece, Connie and
and my nephew, Tony and Lori,
came to spend some time with us.
It is always great
to see them and
I did not want to open my gifts,
because I was having
so much fun sitting there
watching such a huge crowd of 20 people
evening on Christmas Eve.
So here are the
highlights in photos for everyone.
We are truly
This year will be mainly a photo album,
since the news is still the same with all of us.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
JUNE 23, 2012 - Alaska - Rebeka
& Kevin's Wedding
Front Row - l-R -
Paul, Jackie, Chuck, Bill, Ron
Back Row - L-R -
Heather, Rebeka, Jan, Kevin, Ellen, Julia, Daniel, Amy,
Yumi, Michael, Elise
We wanted to re-create our cake
cutting picture in 1952
Then - October 3, 1952 - with
Chuck as an Airman First class
Now - October 3, 2012 - with Chuck as a retired
60 years later
The Tampa Tribune article is shown below.
published on 11-11-2012
Jim cut and pasted the article to
make a really neat compilation
Les and I both wrote (without the other knowing about
to Sarah Palin asking if she might be able to
pose with a family
picture for our 60th wedding
anniversary since we were going to be right
there in her back yard, Wasilla, next to Les and Jan in
She responded that she was out of town
that month, but she
sent this to us below, so
thought we would share it with you.
In the upper
right hand corner of her photo, it says:
Dan "The Man" Helfrich
June 2, 2012
Wiregrass Ranch High School
Graduated Summa Cum Laude
Now a Freshman at
University of Florida
(Home of the Gators)
June 10, 2012
Liberty High School,
Now a Freshman at
of North Carolina
School of The Arts
the Fighting Pickle)
Michael "Man" Helfrich
Hillsborough Community College
Now a Junior at
Florida State University
(Home of the
We forecast a
couple of years of rivalry between those Gators and
Michael: "Go Seminoles" (Noles) - Daniel: "Go Gators"
This was Jim's idea!
Hit of the graduation party, it was!
Silver corners are high school graduation photos
Gold corners are college graduation photos
Then Jim put the following together.
three have a college degree.
Lauren - Bachelor's
Michael - AA - HCC
Rebeka - Bachelor's - UAA
The others are high school diplomas.
Heather gets a second picture on
here in May.
What a special
keepsake!!!!!!! Thanks a million, Jim.
Lauren and Rebeka have their
Bachelor's Degrees and Heather will have hers in May
When we were
in VA to attend Amy's graduation, we were able to see
Chuck's brother, Sonny, and his precious little doggie,
Michael should receive his in 2014.
2016 for Amy (VA) and Daniel (FL) to receive their
Bachelor's and hope they are not on the same day.
That will just leave Julia, who is a junior in high
school at this time.
Jackie - Chuck - Sonny -
Amy - Yumi - Bill - Chuck -
Chico - Sonny
Bill - Chuck - Sonny - Chico
June 23, 2012 - Chuck & Jackie
June 23, 2012 - Alaska - At Rebeka and Kevin's
Bill, Les, Jackie, Chuck, Ron, Paul
will forever be one of my favorite photos of the
At the rehearsal dinner, Les and Jan
asked Julia and Amy to
serve as usherettes at the wedding.
not take a million dollars for their expressions at
that moment -
they were thrilled beyond words.
Then, I thought it would be a great idea for both of
them to escort their
Aunt Jan down the aisle.
Jan's beaming smile added to the
significance/poignancy of this photo.
As you can
see, Daniel was the videographer in the back and
Michael did the same at the altar.
grandchild played a role in the wedding - how very
This was the first wedding the
grandchildren attended, and it was so
exciting for everyone, with 110 guests in
June 23, 2012
Les and Rebeka
Our first grandchild getting married
Settler's Bay -
Kevin Richard and Rebeka Ann Helfrich
Les, Jan & Rebeka
Rebeka with both sets of
Bill & Madeline Kelly and Jackie &
Chuck, Jackie, Rebeka & Kevin
Rebeka and Heather
Les, Jan, Stephanie Rousculp -
Heather - (maid of honor),
Samuel Frederick - (best man), Tyler Law -
Carol and Tom Vanderwall (Kevin's
Kevin's mother, Carol,
made this stunning wedding
Kevin and Rebeka:
"Look at Heather trying to
con dad over there"
Proud dad, Les
With the beautiful bride, Rebeka
She still has that impish look,
"Now, dad, you can't POSSIBLY
say no to me."
Heather and Rebeka
Two kids at heart
Always have been and always will be
remember all the Christmases they flew
to Florida from Alaska and each night how they
would lie in bed laughing, giggling and cutting
up while we
sat in the next room laughing at
Every sister should have a
like each of them has, trust me.
June 23, 2012 - Rebeka and Heather
Can you believe these
two little dolls
have grown up into the two
beautiful ladies above?
December 1989 - Rebeka on left - Heather on
I just found this picture of Michael (below) dancing with
me, and it is priceless!
Here are some thoughts I
read into his expression as he is about to twirl me around -
look at my right arm going up.....
"Oh, Grammy, how long I have waited for this
Get ready, Grammy, there's a clear lane all the way back
to the other side of the room - HANG ON!
your panty hose in a WAD, you might trip on them.
Watch this move, Grammy!!
Payback time for all of those Grammy walks you took me
on all those years.
Who did you say is #1 grandchild again?
How many more times are you going to ask me to fix your
What do you mean, you called Bizland when you are
ALREADY signed up on MY hosting service?"
for it - coming up
Is Grammy pointing out some boys for the girls to ask to
Good grief, what a busy body she is, huh?
And, here we
are again - the "wannabe Kardashians" at the wedding
AKA Yumi - Elise - Ellen
Ladies, you ALMOST stole the
show, but Rebeka beat you out
And, then the last event of the year
was Jackie's 60th class reunion
Sorry that we did not
get a better group picture.
BUT, look at what Jim did
with this and turned it into a masterpiece.
worked for well over two months with the organizing,
identifying, changing, etc.
of all of these and finally came up with a masterpiece
that most of us will treasure for the rest of our
Remember last year we appointed Jim
Rabun as our Family "Editor-In-Chief"?
Well, he has already outdone himself this year.
He has cleaned up backgrounds, made photos much clearer,
moved things to a better position, taken shadows away,
covered up blemishes, etc.,
so much so, that we will
never be able to thank him enough. He just works
The guys all call him "Son #5" and he gets
moved up and down on the totem pole
as to being #1
all the way down to #5 according to how much trouble any
of them might be into.
I figure one day down the
road our grandchildren may enjoy sharing
all of this
with our great and great great (etc.) grandchildren.
And, Jim has just made us so proud to put the photos in
Helfrich Christmas Newsletter/History Book.
Thanks, Jim, from all of us!!
CHUCK AND JACKIE
not have that much additional info to report here on
each this year, just some photos to share with you all:
Frames Below - Courtesy of Jim
We will not have that much additional info to report
here on each this year, just some photos to share with
Frames Below - Courtesy of Jim
June 2012 - Chuck reached the
momentous age of 80
Bill and Yumi, I love this picture
taken when we were there for Amy's graduation
Les and Jan - Thank you so much for using your frequent
flyer points to
fly us from Tampa to Anchorage
CLASS - THAT WAS REALLY SO SPECIAL
June 2012 - Chuck, Ron, Les, Jackie, Paul, Bill sitting out
Les and Jan's new deck that Chuck and Les built when
we got up there. Beautiful!
The only picture we got of all
seven of the guys in Alaska together
L-R - Michael, Daniel, Bill, Paul, Ron, Les, Chuck
SOME of the group in Les and Jan's living room - just
relaxing - 8 or so are missing in action
England, who is always our hostess for the class reunions,
surprised us by having a limo pick us up at the Shreveport
airport for a 60th wedding anniversary gift.
FANTASTIC! Here is Gay in photo #4, waiting for us at her
And, the limo was LSU decorated. They are all
AVID LSU fans to the max.
What a treasure this canvas is that
Les and Jan gave to us.
It is going to be
framed and hung in the hallway going up the stairs
across from the 50th wedding anniversary portrait of all
Thanks so much, Les and Jan.
Front Row - Jim, Jackie, Chuck, Bill
Back Row - Paul,
Ellen, Ron, Elise, Jan, Les, Yumi
took us out for dinner and a show for our 60th wedding
anniversary,(we had a great time)
while the kids had
a kids night with pizza and watching the video "Grease."
Then , the next night, we all got together for a final
night of nostalgic fun - sad that some were leaving the
They left as quickly as they arrived.
They gave Chuck
a beautiful money clip and gave me a breathtaking
bracelet - no amount of money could buy it from me.
How very sweet of all of them.
Jim said it was the closest thing to a Walton Christmas
that he had ever known.
The highest of compliments.
BILL, YUMI, AMY
June 23, 2012 - Bill, Yumi, Amy
June 2012 - Yumi - Bill - Amy
on 26 Glacier Tour - AK
Bill and Yumi celebrating their
20th wedding anniversary
September 19, 1992 - September 19, 2012
June 2012 - Amy - Bill - Yumi
- On the way to Alyeska, AK
May 2012 - Amy - Senior Prom
America Grand Prix - New York, New York
2012 - Amy
The neighbor who designed and baked
for Amy also did one for Sarah
Chuck, Jackie, Yumi, Bill first row right
Amy in the middle waving
Amy receiving her diploma
Amy is on the far 4th left row looking straight
Amy: graduation cake, President's & honors awards
June 8, 2012 - Bill, Yumi, Jackie, Chuck
We had Bill's cap and gown from 1972 when he
and we forgot to take it to VA when
So, we took it to Alaska when we
went up there
just for this picture. It was
Bill, that cap is YOU, it has Bill
written all over it!
Bill, thank you for being a
good sport and posing for the photo.
you for putting up with your silly & weird Grammy
LES, JAN, REBEKA, HEATHER
June 23, 2012 - Les, Jan, Heather, Rebeka
Valley Polar Plunge | Facebook
You must look at
this video above/enlarge it too - trust me, it will make
This is a must see the link from Alaska that is less
than 2 minutes - it is so cool:
(3) Going from Florida to Palmer
Les and Jan: Thank you so much for
the two marvelous photo albums/books.
We have never
seen anything like these and we look at them constantly, as
they stay on the coffee table.
December 2012 -
Les and Jan flew to Hawaii in December
and Jan flew from Alaska to Hawaii and took a cruise to
all of the islands.
Had some great photos - This
is my favorite
Then, they came on down here to do
they love doing best: Run Mom & Dad Ragged!!!
All of them are trying to keep us young, though.
and, we love the running with them.
Going from Florida to Palmer | Facebook
This video that Les took is less than two minutes and
gives you an idea of why
we live in Florida and
not Alaska (from Chuck and Jackie)
June 23, 2012 - Elise, Ron, Michael
July 2012 - Ron and Paul celebrating the
anniversary of Paul donating a kidney to Ron
June 23, 2012
- Elise went Hollywood on us
Ron and Elise, just a note to say "thanks so much for
all that you
do throughout the year, cutting the
grass, keeping up our yard for us, car repairs,
and especially your special "meals on wheels" that you
provide to us several
times a month. We do enjoy
them. Thanks again
and changed her name to
June 23, 2012
- Two beautiful people
Elise and Ronz The Fonz
And, then we have these two guys below!
What can we
2012 - Ron and Michael
2012 Below - Ron with Ms. Daisy
October 2012 - Elise in all of her finery
Breast Cancer Walk in Tampa
She far exceeded her goal
Congratulations, Ms. Elise!!!
are proud of you - Noble Cause
2012 - Thanksgiving
Lauren with Tinker Bell and
Both are rescue doggies
August 2012 -
Ellen - Daniel - Michael - Elise
Elise dabbing away a tear since their
going away to another big city to school
May 4, 2012 -
Michael's Graduation Class
June 23, 2012 - Paul, Ellen, Daniel, Julia
Guess Who Is Going To Get Top Billing This Year?
(But, of course, Ms. Daisy)
Paul and Ellen - we just wanted to thank you for having so
many of us out
so often for dinner and cookouts during
the year. Christmas was a super special day,
both handled it with great aplomb, considering there were 26
people for dinner.
We all had a marvelous time, so thanks
again for the memories.
July 2012 - Ron and Paul celebrating the
anniversary of Paul donating a kidney to Ron
Paul and Ellen
Then, Daniel wanted to give someone a bear hug in
so he found a bear to hug in Alaska
Julia - 2012 - Growing up so quickly
She is working part
time in a new hamburger restaurant
around the corner
from where they live and it gives her
and extra spending money while in high school.
She is still our baby grandchild, though - always will be.
June - 2012 - Daniel - With Hoss
Les and Jan's Doggie in AK
2012 - Ellen - Daniel - Michael - Elise
dabbing away a tear since their
BABIES are going
away to another big city to school
Dangerously Dynamic Duo Dudes
Sweet Sophisticated Super Sister Sals
Closely Knit 1st
June 2012 - Julia and Amy at Alyeska, AK
June 23, 2012 - Daniel and Michael - Wedding-AK
June 2012 - Daniel and Daniel
at wedding - AK
June 2012 - Dan - Mike - Julia - Amy - AK
June 2012 - Dan - Mike - Amy - Julia - AK
June 2012 - Julia - Amy - Mike - Dan - AK
- Daniel - Amy - Julia - Michael - AK
2012 - Christmas Eve
Papa Chuck's and
Grammy Jaw's Kitchen
Julia - Amy - Michael -
All four showed up in black and lit up
the entire house
Below - Amy - Julia in Grammy &
Papa's FL Room
2012 - Christmas
June 2012 - Daniel - Amy -
Julia - Michael - AK
11-22-2012 - Thanksgiving
"Dooda" Julia - "LaLa"
11-22-2012 - Thanksgiving
Michael and Daniel
Some more shots from Alaska
Les loves to entertain us
with his huge bonfires
First row shows the ski
lifts up to Alyeska
Quite an experience
And, I could have watched
those little sea otters all day floating on the
I look back and I can't believe I
sat there and watched the grandchildren chop
and I did not have a nervous breakdown watching
BUT, it was the general consensus that
out of all of the events,
everyone had the
best time around the bonfire,
marshmallows and chopping wood.
Can you all
believe that one, I ask you?
Some more shots from Christmas 2012
Jan comes from Alaska to Hawaii to Florida
and finds that Paul has his own little
Hawaii at his pool side.
2012 - Christmas Eve at Grammy's and Pop's
About ten more people on other side of the
room/and Fl room
One of the best
thought our old Christmas tree was
is this one better?
bought it just for you, whenever you can
Les, Paul is
practicing in his backyard to
with you on those huge bonfires.
How great to see Tony - Lori - Connie - Rich
How we hope they make it a yearly
Here are some more pictures of us at
Columbia Restaurant and some of us
celebrating the last three months of
2012 birthdays and anniversaries
#1 & #3 Ron and Elise
at Columbia Restaurant
#2 Chuck and
Jackie at Columbia Restaurant
and Elise 26th anniversary/Ron's 54th B.D.
Jackie at Columbia Restaurant
#6 Paul and
Ellen for their 21st anniversary/Paul's 53rd
#7 Chuck and
Jackie for their 60th anniversary/Chuck's 80
#8 Jim for his
T'was a community
Happy Birthday and Anniversary
Written on it and tt'was for Christmas, too
Had to add a picture of cousin
and her little doggie, Lacy on the floor
her beautiful new home
We enjoyed visiting with her so much in TX in
Terri, I am so sorry that we did not
get a picture of you and Pierce
wrap this up, most of you know how stubborn I am
That "I can do it by myself" independent
attitude - Don't need any help - After all, I am
only 79 years old!
Well, you see what it got me below
from a glacier - I had on scads of layers of
My jacket pocket was filled to the brim with
extra gloves and caps
Would have sunk like a
rock if I had gone into the water - although I
don't think it was that deep, just ice cold
Cameras were going on from every direction
In picture #4, I was holding
my hand up and saying something to the effect:
"see, piece of cake - uh ohhhhhhhh - timber"
You can see, I did not argue about help that was
offered on the return trip across the ice water
Don't ask me how I can still hold my stupid head
up after this - 'cause it served me right
of these days, they are going to restrict me
from traveling with them, doncha think? But,
ol' Grammy is always good for a laugh
Here comes Ms. dum-de-dum-dum!!!
play, don't leave me behind - I can do it, I
She thinks she is still 15 years old.
Look at that face, is that pitiful or what, I
Gonna be mighty shame faced shortly!!
And, please don't ask me why
I was stupid enough
to carry my purse on any
of these excursions,
rather than leave it in the trunk of the
Learned my lesson on that one too.
Paul and Les, thank you for holding that purse
I know how you all feel about getting or holding
Daniel and Michael, thanks for
helping your Grammy
Ron, I heard you telling that man in the
background above that I do stuff like this
every time y'all take me out of
home" for a few hours.
Bill, thanks for
taking the pictures for history's sake
2012 Christmas Day
Julia, Daniel, Lauren, Michael
Christmas Money Basket of Coins Annual Game -
With Jim contributing a SIGNIFICANT sum,
the rascals made out like bandits - all between
$50 and $70 each.
They keep Grammy on her
toes though, as each year changes must be added
to make it even more challenging.
of the grab bags (in addition to even more money
- dollar coins, $2 bills, several $1 bills and
even some $5 bills) had a
Dear Abby Booklet on Manners and Social
A couple of days later, Grammy
gave them a typed up test with 20 random
questions from the booklet - $1.00 per correct
The varmints actually read the
booklets, cuz they waltzed off with another
$17.00 to $19.00 each.
They are just money
grubbin younguns, I tell ya!!!
it all up - taken our last day at Les and Jan's
before we left Alaska....
See "In Memoriam"
below this photo, please.
See y'all next year!!!!
Wobbles - Chuck and Jackie's Bichon Frise
1998 to 11-27-2012 (we adopted her from
Bratpack Rescue in 2002)
Sorry, folks, they did
not have a sign for
this sightseeing trip in Alaska.
So, I had
to make up my own to put above our picture
This was one of the
many trips that Les and Jan took us on
when we went to Rebeka's graduation in
Anchorage in May.
What a fantastic trip
that was! We just never tire of Alaska.
in the room with you at Christmas,
if you stop opening presents & listen."
Unbelievable that another year has flown by.
we really had one whirlwind year, so will get right to
In April, Chuck and I took to the road for one fully
packed trip half way across the country,
the first half and then flying from mid country to
First, we attended the Josey Reunion
in SC for the first time in many years.
great seeing everyone again.
continued to Knoxville, and visited
with my brother, Buddy, and his wife, Hilda and their
daughters, Mary and Betty.
I was able to take
them books and DVD's of all of the Josey research that
we have to date, and
Betty's daughter, Ally, my
grand niece, took hers to school to show everyone.
She showed such an interest in the family history,
that it made ol' Grammy very happy.
David, we really enjoyed staying with you in your
and the Easter egg hunt was a
Had a very special visit with
Buddy, Hilda, Mary, David, Betty, Robert and Ally, as
we always do.
Then, we hit the road for Branson, MO, hoping to
select a cabin area to celebrate our
anniversary next year. Well, that was when the
tornadoes were on a rampage.
a few minutes after we left each town, we were hearing
on the radio
"Emergency, seek shelter immediately"
in whatever town, and we had just left that/those
town(s) a few minutes before.
It was a tad
bit unnerving to hear those emergency warnings as we were
winding around mountains,
with rock on one side of us
and a complete sheer drop-off on the other side.
Just where do we seek shelter in an area like that?
They chased us from Knoxville to Branson. What a
trip! Had a great time there too, seeing some
Then, we drove to the
Springfield, MO airport to continue this madness on to
where Les and Jan and their family were
waiting for us to attend
Rebeka's graduation from
the University of Alaska Anchorage.
exciting, seeing our second granddaughter get her
on the heels of Lauren last year from USF.
More on Rebeka's graduation below.
In November, Jan had an
accounting conference to attend in Boston,
(Les and Jan are still working at the same
so Les took some time off to go
with her and then they flew down here to
surprise us for the
cooked up a scheme with Michael to get me to
come to Sweetbay to help Michael with a video
from school with someone
who had bought cereals in the 50's to compare
today's cereals with 50-60 years ago.
pointing out certain cereals to me, asking
questions, and his classmate
taping. I turned around, saw this guy with a
grocery cart trying to get around me.
I moved aside,
and said to Michael:
"Golly, that guy looks
so much like your Uncle Les!"
whipped back around and saw that it was Les!!
Then, they had to do the same thing to
Chuck, after calling him to come up front from
Les and Jan are
becoming pros at surprising us.
A couple of pictures from Alaska - Does
everyone understand why we love Alaska?
On our way back from Heather's with Denali in
Rebeka, Kevin, Jackie, Chuck, Jan, Les
And, you know we had to pull off on the side of the
road for this!!!
No matter where you go, you will see this spectacular
scenery is abundant!
How fortunate we were, per the cruise captain to have
seen so many whales on this tour.
Thanks, Les and
Jan, a million times.
Then, we had all of
the celebrations you will see below under each guy's
which included our 59th wedding
We just got back this past week
from a trip to VA to witness what Elise so
described as a "Magical Nutcracker
Weekend," with Amy performing in the lead role of
The Nutcracker with the Manassas Ballet
Theatre, at the
Hylton Performing Arts Center,
which is a spectacular $58,000,000 arts center.
Amy was so fortunate to get to perform with many
Moscow Ballet stars.
We attended three performances, and enjoyed each one
as much as the first.
Just a beautiful show. Elise, Ellen, Chuck and I are
still talking about it.
Also, David brought
Chuck's almost 81 year old brother, Sonny, to meet us
so they were able to visit while we
were in VA.
Then, later David joined us at the
final performance and the cast party celebration
Chuck and I sat for a time at dinner
with some of the Russian performers,
listening to them converse in Russian.
David enjoyed all of it as much
as we did. Always a treat seeing family.
Left - Chuck & Sonny
Above L-R - Sonny,
Chuck, Elise, Amy, Ellen, David, Bill, Yumi,
Right - Chuck - David -
December 10, 2011 - Chuck - Amy -
But, next year will be even more of a doozy, because
we have three graduations - two in Tampa,
in May, then Daniel on June 4, and the next day June 5
will be Amy in VA,
and then a wedding in Alaska June 23, again more
on that below, and
Chuck's 80th birthday on June
25 and our 60th wedding anniversary October 3.
Then, my 60th class reunion in LA is the same week as
our 60th wedding anniversary.
In the meantime,
Chuck is still working at Sweetbay and
I am still
interviewing people for the same New York publishing
So, you are caught up on Chuck and
me for right now.
As you will see below, things
have really been popping and hopping and blowing and
Onward and to the rest of our tribe.
See if you all can keep up with this old 78 and almost
80 year old duo.
October 2011 - Chuck and Jackie
Our 59th Wedding
2011 - Our Tree
Ms. Wobbles in a 2nd
bed at the window
Left - In her favorite
spot at the window
Right - Guarding her
Leaving you all on a funny note - we flew
out of the Orlando Airport for the trip to see Amy
Scenario: I was selected to go through
"Spread your arms & place your feet on
these footprints in this machine, etc."
have some health issues - and would prefer to not go
through this scanner, please."
Agent: Rather loudly
"Scan refusal - supervisor to the front" - three more
Grammy: Explains the medical issues,
with a sincere apology.
Agent: Explains the whole
procedure, while donning her gloves. Trust me, it was
encounters of the closest kind.
Agent: "Now, we
must wipe down your hands."
Grammy: "Fine, but would
you please tell my traveling companions sitting over
and laughing at me to stop taking pictures."
Agent: "Uh, oh!!!"
As a queasy feeling engulfs me,
because my little
palm strip set off alarms and bells and whistles.
Now, what did I do?
Agent: "You have residue on
your hands." More supervisors called,
"Residue found, we need to take you and your suitcase
and purse into a closed room."
Grammy: Oh, dear,
now what happens next, as the door shuts,
but I can still see Elise, Ellen and Chuck falling
off the bench laughing.
Agent: Since she is a
new agent, she explains the entire
procedure again, and the same familiarity routine
as my bag and purse are being as
thoroughly examined as was I.
Agent: "I will do
another residue scan with a new pair of gloves after
this second pat down."
Grammy: Oh, it came back
negative, whew!!! "I would not have y'all's job for
Agent: "Yes, ma'am, but it is a fact
that not many people are as nice as you have been."
It seems that hand lotion and certain medications can
set off the residue alarm.
I was called "Residue Red" by my three companions for
the rest of the trip.
Just a good thing we got to
the airport more than two hours early, because that
ordeal took 40-45 minutes.
OK, everyone - all
laugh at once.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year again!
Grammy is in serious trouble
Bill - Yumi - Amy
2011 -Yumi - Amy - Bill
2011 - Amy - Junior Prom
highlights from Amy Performing in
As you can see on the left side under "Staff," Amy's
mother, Yumi, is one of the two Costume Mistresses.
Also, Bill is the photographer for the performances.
Amy as Clara
Amy, we are so proud of you!!
We had tears of joy
and pride watching you perform as Clara.
quite a bunch of fans bringing you
for your autograph
and wanting their picture taken
Especially the children. We think you have made a
decision to enroll at University of South
Carolina with a
dual major of ballet and pre-med,
hoping to become
a pediatrician after your have
your ballet career.
What a thrill that you were
able to dance with so many
Moscow Ballet stars in
How happy we are that you were
accepted into the
ballet program at USC, since
there were several hundred who applied
and only 25
who were accepted. And, the nice $14,000 scholarship
received from USC will help tremendously, too,
taking care of a good portion of your tuition, since
it is an out of state school,
making the tuition
so much more.
We wish you luck as you were
once again selected (for the third year in a row) to
go on to the
YAGP next month (Youth America Grand
Prix) International Ballet Student Competition.
We know you have won some scholarships in the past,
we are hoping you come away with even more this
time, since they are awarding
$250,000 worth of
And, how surprised we were when
your orchestra director came up to us in the lobby at
The Nutcracker event, introduced herself, and
added "Amy was born to be on the stage."
Then, she was talking about you
being first violin and how you are the violin mistress
of the orchestra,
which was something we were not
aware of at all.
We knew years ago that you were
playing the violin, but did not know
you had moved
up to first chair and had been pursuing that too.
We just found this picture of you in the orchestra on
Facebook from last week.
My goodness, how do you and your mother find
enough hours in the days?
We are proud, just so
proud, that our buttons are popping off.
mother and dad have done an exemplary job, and you are
such a shining result.
With your dad looking on - full of pride...........
And, Grammy's look of surprise seeing so many people
surrounding Amy for pictures, flowers & autographs
Chuck, Ellen, Jackie, Amy, Yumi, Elise, Bill
Chuck, Ellen, Jackie, Amy, Yumi, Elise, Bill
Amy for her final performance
Chuck, Elise, Yumi,
Amy, Bill, Ellen, Jackie
Edited and miraculously saved by Jim Rabun
Jackie and Yumi
2011 - Bill - Yumi - Amy
Newspaper article on Amy
Click to enlarge
off to Bill and Yumi
2011 - Chuck, Jackie, Elise, Ellen
bound from our
With visions of sugarplum fairies
Just as we walked into the
in Washington, DC to come
back to Tampa,
they started playing
Nutcracker music on the intercom
again, combined two photos above into one.
Les - Jan - Rebeka - Heather
May 2011 - Les and Jan
Jan in their annual role at their company
Christmas Childrens' Party
2010 December 2010
Jan in their annual role at their company
Christmas Childrens' Party
Left - May 1, 2011
Rebeka receiving her degree at UAA
Right - Heather
2011 - Les and Jan's
Les and Jan - Glacier Tour they took us on
Chuck, Kevin, Jan, Les, Rebeka, Jackie
Les and Jan - Blue Man Concert - Anchorage
November 2011 - Les and Jan
Anniversary - Tampa
November 2011 - Ron, Paul and Les
watch the sun set over the beach in FL
May 1, 2011 - Chuck,
Jackie, Les, Rebeka, Jan, Madeline and Bill
Again, Rebeka had her parents & both
sets of grandparents there for her graduation!
WOW! What a
They had cannons strategically
placed around the
graduation area (about 1,000 students were
When the ceremony was over, confetti
was shot out of those cannons that went
to the rafters
and just kept on coming out.
It was difficult to
find the faces of any of the graduates on the floor
because of the thick floating confetti.
Just spectacular!! Very effective!!
and Rebeka on a sightseeing cruise with us
Celebrating Rebeka's graduation
graduate from University of Alaska - Anchorage
With a Bachelor's Degree in
So we were driving to the Oregon coast in his Dad's
but the weather was misty and foggy
(it is the Oregon coast after all...).
over to walk in the sand along the beach at
O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint.
was still foggy, it was no longer drizzly. As we were
we saw a flock of sand pipers and these
little critters in the sand,
we assumed were baby
To get a closer look at them, Kevin
tried to catch one.
I told him not to because it
would be our luck they bite.
"Got one!" and when he
turned to show me,
he had a little black box with a
Wedding date: June 23, 2012
Rebeka, We are so very proud of you and
have enjoyed watching you grow into
beautiful young lady.
You have such a
calm aura that makes you stand out above the
That will take you a long way in
We can't begin to tell you how
proud we are of you for sticking it out and
getting that degree,
and working at the same
time. That is truly fortitude.
And, how proud we are of you for being in
the top 10% of your class too.
lot about you.
No one can ever take that
degree away from you.
We are really looking forward to the
wedding. It should be a humdinger.
First Alaskan wedding for all of us.
Luv ya. Grammy and Papa Chuck
November 2011 -
MINUS 30 degrees
Heather, you will
get more top billing when you graduate, dear
For those not up to date on everyone,
Heather graduates in 2013 from University of
and she is also working while attending UAF.
She is going into
social work with children. Noble profession,
It was great seeing you and
Jesse when we were there in May,
wait to see you next year for Rebeka's
wedding, and the year after that for your
Wow, you guys are running our
legs off, ya know.
We all drove up to See
Heather and Jesse in Fairbanks
Jesse, Heather, Rebeka, Kevin, Jackie, Les,
Ron and Elise's Tree
Ron and Elise - 25th Wedding
Amy and Elise
2011 - Ellen - Amy -
We had such a great time
going up to
Amy perform in
Oops, think I have said that a couple of times
Lauren is working for an auto dealership,
working in sales/operations and is
being trained to move up into management.
She has recently accepted the position as
the DriveTime Charities leader
Tampa region. DT sponsors an
underprivileged school in Tampa,
Lauren conducts school supply donations,
talks to the students
importance of education, and plans an
annual festival for the school.
is still in the thinking stages of whether
she wants to go to
New York or Chicago
to pursue different fields in the
museum arena, which is what she got her
degree in last year.
Since it is a
new job for Lauren, we are so hoping that
be able to get off a few days
next year to attend Rebeka's wedding in
Alaska next June.
All of the other
family members are hoping to go,
how nice it would be if all 17 family
attend the wedding.
It would be the first time in ten
years that we were
all in one place at
the same time.
Lauren holding her doggie, Morgan, and her
roommate's doggie, little Tinker Belle
Michael is graduating
in May, 2012 from
HCC, with his
He is still
considering transferring to Florida State
to finish his last two
years for his Bachelors Degree in the IT
He is also still working at the
same restaurant helping put himself
through school. We went to the
restaurant when Les and Jan
town, and it is a really upscale
Everyone kept coming over to
talk with Michael, even some of the
asking the server to send
Michael over to their table so they could
say hi to him. The owner raved about
He seems to be quite the big guy
He is also making some serious money by
designing web sites for two
restaurants and performing many different
types of computer repairs for many folks -
including his grateful Grammy.
He is also in the process of setting up
his own business
with a hosting site,
and his best friend, who is majoring in
accounting, to be his CPA, accountant,
business manager, etc.
and they have plans
for hiring other employees.
2011 - At restaurant where Michael
Julia, Paul, Lauren, Michael,
Ron, Elise, Jan, Les, Jackie, Chuck
2011 - Michael with the owner/manager of
Michael is also really family
which makes his parents and
grandparents very proud.
He and Daniel
are always there for our family
though they have
both reached the ages they are. It is so much
sit and watch Daniel and Michael
Reminds me of their dads when
they were younger
and still are even in
their 50's now.
To prove my point, can't you just see the
dickens in their eyes here?
look so young. Michael is almost 21
and Daniel just past 17.
2011 - Daniel and Michael
And, if you
want more proof, here is what Daniel did
at our Christmas Eve
gift exchanging party.
gave Michael a huge box as a gift,
about the size that a bicycle comes in.
Said that he had put a twenty dollar bill
Michael spent a good half hour
or more going through several months
of old newspapers, envelopes, tennis
shoes, old socks,
books, etc. - page by page.
had thrown everything that he could dig up into that box.
said "Cut the box open, and see if it is
taped to the inside."
Sure enough, Daniel had cut
out a section of the box and
stuck the $20 bill
Yepper, sounds just
like four guys I lived with for many, many
Like father, like son.
But, even after such a stunt as that,
are still "bestest" first cousin buds.
Don't worry, we have faith in Michael;
and he WILL get Daniel next year, trust
|Ron, Elise and Michael were
fortunate enough to take another trip to
Alaska in July to spend a week with Les and
They enjoyed themselves as much as we
did a couple of months before that, as you can
An early birthday and
Now, where did they get the Merry Christmas
sign, as it is
the same cruise boat
that we went on,
had to settle for Happy Holidays?
Paul - Ellen - Daniel - Julia
2011 - Paul and Ellen
Ellen - Amy - Elise
We had such a great
time going up to watch Amy perform as Clara in
(Uh-oh, repeated it, didn't
2011 - Daniel's Senior
Daniel graduates from
high school in
He also got a
nice car for his 17th birthday.
It is older
than my car, but I would swap
with him in
Daniel is still on the school
which starts up again next
Congratulations to Daniel for being
top 20 of his class of over 400,
He has been
accepted at his first choice of
schools he was looking at -
of Central Florida
to enter the
Update, Daniel just
called and told us
that he received a
letter today advising him
that he was
awarded a gold scholarship
from UCF in the
amount of $12,000.
Way to go! We are
truly proud of you,
DAN THE MAN!
2011 - Ms. Daisy
The queen of this
AKA Known as
This year was a big highlight for
Ms. Daisy's Mommy
Ellen celebrated the
of becoming 50!
Now, she can join all
the rest of us.
Julia has been doing
work and baby sitting, getting
her career of choice,
She really has grown
Julia and Daniel are both so
tall, that it
our necks to look up so
much when we talk with them.
We think she could easily
if she changes her mind
She recently obtained
her learner's permit, so
it is difficult to
see our little
baby grandchild becoming
(as the country boy says)
I decided to put the
transplant anniversary pictures under Paul's
family this year,
because we usually go out
there to celebrate that very special date.
We can't begin to thank Paul enough and
his entire family, for all of the entertaining
they do for us
but, above all, Paul's
life saving kidney to Ron leaves our entire
family so thankful and proud.
Paul is still
in his insurance business, Helfrich Brokerage
Services, and Ellen has gone back to her
She is planning to go back to school
to further her education in the nursing
Within the next couple of years, when Julia leaves for
Paul says they will probably
downsize on homes and Ellen will, hopefully,
have the time to pursue a continuing
Jim gave Ron and Paul a very special card for the
Ellen, Paul, Ron, Elise
Paul and Ron
Paul and Ron
2011- Paul and Ron
Nothing like brotherly love!
||Let's see, what did we just
read about brotherly love and
like son," above - referring to Michael and
At our Christmas Eve party,
volunteered to be our elf and pass out the
Paul read the gift tag on
"To my #1 son, Ron,
Paul responded with a loud
the blankety blank is this?"
opened it and you see from the pictures right
Ron and Elise were
falling out of their chairs laughing.
They had seen it at the mall, just had to
buy it and wrap it as being from
It certainly provided some
and I am sure you all get the
picture now, right?
Kids with the annual Christmas money bank game that
Grammy came up with,
including Easter Eggs as prizes
with more big bucks in them, something new each
Amy, Rebeka and Heather, we do miss you three
at these family events.
Lauren and Julia
Lauren just sent sent two more photos from our
Christmas Eve party via her iPhone tonight, so here
Our two daughters-in-law - Elise, Ellen, and
two granddaughters - Julia and Lauren
We would all like to add a special
"thank you" to
Jim Rabun for all of his editing
and making some serious "dud" pictures look
Knowing Jim will disown me for
doing this, with all of his input, proofreading,
we are making him the official
The Helfrich Christmas
And, this is what
we love to look at each Christmas (below)
Throw that we put on the easy chair in the living room
As we count our blessings, which are more than
bountiful, our main emphasis is
"Family is SO
As Les says, "we may have our
squabbles - but at the end of the day we go home as
friends and families."
We are hoping someday our great great
grandchildren will enjoy all of these years of
Well, here we are again, another
year come and gone, with us actually getting this
newsletter out in the year 2010.
2010-Lauren and Julia
L-R Daniel, Michael, Julia, Lauren,
(Christopher, Ellen-cousins of Daniel & Julia)
Well, it looks as if we have a few little
misers here. Give them a BIG bowl of
tell them that they get three cups
each of the money and give them each a bank
that counts!! Whoa, get out of the way,
of the Christmas list is another year celebrating Ron &
Paul's kidney transplant birthday,
2010 - Paul and Ron
2010 - Paul - Ellen - Elise - Ron
Chuck and Jackie's News
started out with many medical issues, but it ended up
with all of us celebrating a joyous and healthy
Christmas at Paul and Ellen's home with a bunch of
Great food and fun with so
many folks in attendance.
We missed Bill and Les
and their families.
In May of 2010, Chuck and I were able to
attend Chuck's 60th class reunion in Pittsburgh, PA.
There were about 135 folks there, which was so
nice to see.
Jim, our friend, put together a
terrific collage of all of the classmates who
attended, that we will
He spent months working on it.
Hope you can see it well enough below with Chuck being
in the third row, second from left.
August, September and
October, we were quite busy out campaigning for a great
candidate for the
U.S. House of Representatives, Mike
We were all so impressed with him -
Retired Army Colonel - and he is going a long way in the
He did not win, THIS TIME, but he
was picked by our new Governor as his Chief of Staff, so that
was great news.
Here is a picture of us on the ship
with Mike where there was a rally held for him in October.
In October of 2010, Chuck and I celebrated our 58th wedding
And, last, but not least, a few updates on our Wobbles
As to the news of each family, just a few highlights below
no bad news, no complaining, just updating.
Bill and Yumi's News
Bill, Yumi and Amy are still in the same mode, working at
the same jobs.
They are still kept busy with Amy in
numerous ballets throughout the year -
just finishing up The
Nutcracker a couple of weeks ago.
Amy will be a senior
next year and is still considering William and Mary College.
She is not sure what her major will be yet,
but ballet will be her minor.
Jim also put
together a stunning collage of Amy shown below. Thanks again,
the toy soldier below; she is in all of the
other bordering photos;
she is on the right side holding the box
in the air;
and in the front of the center photo at the bottom
2010 - Amy-Bill-Yumi-Angel-Lilly
Les and Jan's News
Les, Jan, Rebeka and Heather are in the same mode,
with the same jobs.
This was their year to stay home
and enjoy the beautiful snow that they always have this time
of the year in Alaska.
But, Les did manage to
surprise us AGAIN in 2010 to no end for
THE THIRD TIME
He was sent on a business trip to
California in October & decided to come
on down here to surprise us again.
Hope you can get to the
link below to see it on You Tube. Here tis. We do
enjoy these surprises.
And, Les is good at it.
Les did the Polar Plunge in Alaska in February (2010) and
here is the link below to that.
He plans to do it again in
This time, he will wear a tu-tu and ballet
shoes, he says.
Amy, do you have a spare tu-tu and
ballet slippers for your Uncle Les?
Ya'll believin this stuff? I am not
making it up - I am only reporting the news.
Look at the video here!!
Click on the thumbnail above to see Paul holding up the
Alaskan newspaper front page picture of Les's Polar Plunge.
Click on the thumbnail below to see Les's eyes, as he is
looking at the ice in the water.
To quote Barbara, one of my
family is so loving and 'interesting'."
Rebeka will graduate
May 2011 from the University of Anchorage with a
Bachelor's Degree in
that Chuck and I will be able to drive from Tampa to Seattle
at that time.
Then we can fly into Anchorage so we can see
Heather is still at
the University of Fairbanks; will graduate one year after her big sister.
Her major is Social Work.
It was so interesting to see her in a
video doing sign language on Facebook.
is a requirement for that degree.
Videos Posted by Greta Cole: Humor Situation [HQ] (4)
Ron and Elise's News
Next, Ron and Elise are still in the same roles too.
2010 - Ron and Elise
Lauren graduated from the
University of South Florida in May 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Art History.
She is planning
to go to New York or Chicago to apply for and/or work up to a
She plans to
work on her Master's Degree, where ever she goes.
Here is her USF Graduation Picture
in May 2010.
May 2010 - Lauren Nicole Helfrich
Graduation Day - USF
WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!
Michael is in his second year at HCC.
He has pretty
much decided on finishing his last two years out at
Florida State University.
They have the best curriculum
for the field he is going into - Computer Information
Michael, I really appreciate your
maintenance on my computer over and over. You are a
Paul and Ellen's News
Then, Paul and Ellen are pretty much the same too. Except
that Ellen has gone back to work - in her nursing career.
They had a nice
vacation this past winter going to South Carolina for the kids
to see their first snow.
What a blast they had being
up on a mountain where they were completely snowed in.
Daniel and Julia
will not forget that trip, for sure.
Daniel is still on
the tennis team in school, & received the MVP award in 2010.
He will be a senior
next year, and he is thinking about going to FSU also.
Whoa, FSU is not ready for two Helfrich guys at the same time,
Julia is 5 ft. 8 in., so she is towering over me
and she is only 14 years old.
She is doing great in school, turning into a very pretty young
lady. Her plans are to become a teacher.
Ending our 2010 Christmas card
on a funny note, here's a link - the youngest Helfrichs in SC enjoying the snow in
A perfect throw
Wishing all of you a healthy and
prosperous 2011, as we say "so long to
Here we are with our tardy 2009
Christmas letter, as usual.
But, I was determined to
get it out before January is gone.
Will try to
update you on 2009 & 2008 as we did not get 2008
finished at all last year,
so do take a look at that
one below 2009.
Our tree is the one in the center above and the
one on the left and right belongs to Paul, Ellen,
Daniel & Julia.
It was good hearing from all of you with your
first things first
Most important headline for 2009
The celebration of the 5th anniversary of the
Where Paul donated a kidney to
Ron in 2004.
We look forward to celebrating that
day each & every year.
July 2009 - Paul and Ron
Elise and Ellen get flowers for putting up with Ron &
(Each one of them kept saying throughout the
"I'm #1 favorite daughter-in-law,
CHUCK & JACKIE
We had a hectic year, as we always do.
were that we were able to attend
class reunion in Shreveport, LA in October and
celebrate our 57th wedding anniversary on that date
October 3, 2009
Chuck & Jackie
57th Class Reunion
57th Wedding Anniversary
It was a great reunion. I want to thank my
classmates, the ladies and Jimmy, who put up
with my foolishness at the reunion.
I came up with
the lame idea of a few of us dressing up in some
slightly risqué T-shirts with a cheerleader design on
the front. We had top hats and canes and had music
for us to do a "dance at will" routine.
main star came in wearing a T-shirt with a chorus girl
theme on the front,
wearing a feather boa to vamp the
male classmates - all to the tune of
Then, we got the best sport in the world, Jimmy,
to come up, we formed a circle around him, while he
allowed us to dress him in one of the cheerleader
shirts, with a wig and then he let us parade him out
in front of everyone.
Dolores (checking out something on Jimmy that we were
missing because we were laughing so hard)
Jackie, Clarice and Betty Jane
Jimmy - Our #1 cheerleader
I am sure my classmates will understand why I probably
will not show my face again at the next reunion.
They were all such good sports though.
As one of the girls said: "there's no fool like
an old fool."
Not that any of us would ever own
up to being old, though.
After the reunion, Chuck and I took off for Texas
and had a lovely time with a Blunt cousin, DeAlva
Then, we went into Oklahoma,
Arkansas & back to Louisiana, to fill in some
long sought after blanks on our family history.
great success in many areas. It was so good to see
Aunt Lessie Josey, in Vivian, LA again.
Chuck is still at Sweetbay and I am still
We missed Bill, Yumi and Amy
- and Rebeka and Heather at
But here is an update on all four sons and
their families below.
December 2009 - Jackie and Chuck
December 2009 - Chuck and Wobbles
2009 - Christmas at Ron
and Elise's Home
- Chuck, Jan, Ellen, Jackie, Lauren, Julia,
Daniel, Michael, Paul, Ron, Les, Elise
BILL, YUMI, AMY
2009 - Amy
2009 - Amy, Bill, Yumi
2009 - Bill and Yumi
2009 - Amy in pink front left - Nutcracker
2009 - Amy in Pink - Nutcracker
2009 - Amy - Nutcracker
2009 - Amy - Nutcracker
2009 - Amy - Nutcracker Appearance
2009 - Yumi, Amy, Bill
are still very busy with the ballet, and they are
still in the same jobs - Bill at the State Department
and Yumi teaching.
Amy is now in the tenth grade.
Outside of school, ballet takes up most of her time.
been in a couple of international competitions, and
She spent the summer of 2009 on a
scholarship at a ballet academy,
and now has another
ballet scholarship for the summer of 2010 at yet
another ballet academy.
They offered her an
entire year's scholarship.
But Bill and Yumi were
not too sure they wanted to do that, as she would have
to be away from home at the age of 15.
are still pretty much in
their same mode, with Les and Jan still at MTA.
Rebeka is still at University of Anchorage, hopes to
graduate next year, and she is working part time at
Heather is still at University of
Fairbanks, has two years to graduate, and working part
time at Sam's Club.
Les and Jan came on down from Alaska during the
holidays, and then they went to Cancun, Mexico for
came back and spent the rest of the time
with us for Christmas.
We really missed seeing Rebeka and Heather, but they could not get off for the
says, "until they get their degree, they are at the
bottom of the food chain."
We were sad to see Les and
Jan go back two days after Christmas.
the nicest gifts we have ever received.... was Les
making DVD's for us........
(continued below the
updates on the four families)
Les had to buy a new computer and
I lost count of how much he had to add to his computer
to keep this project going. In the end, he is giving
each of us a hard drive of all that he has put
It was a massive project that Les said he
enjoyed every moment of producing. Hope you enjoy the
A lot of work that is more
appreciated than Les can ever imagine.
I have already watched all 13 of them, and we are
anxiously waiting for more to watch.
of pictures of Les and Jan -
1- 2 - 3 - 4 - in Mexico -
- We went to a Greek restaurant in Tarpon Springs, FL -
With a Belly Dancer!!
Hoss and Tippi
2009 - Rebeka - 2009the
2009 - Heather -
Les at his favorite place in the whole wide
Les, you were truly OUR SANTA
bringing down all of those DVD's of the
Les, you were truly OUR SANTA
down the famil
RON, ELISE, LAUREN, MICHAEL
are still working for the same companies,
at his printing company and Elise with her insurance
Their big news was Michael graduating from Plant High
School in 2009.
June 2009 - Michael Helfrich
June 2009 - Ron, Elise, Michael, Lauren
November 2009 - Ron and Lauren cooking
December 2009 - Elise and Ron
December 2009 - A perfect gift from Jim to Ron
2009 - Left - Lauren with her kitty
2009 - Right - Ron and Lauren
from USF with her bachelor's degree in
has just begun an internship as director/curator
at a gallery in Ybor City.
looks promising that she may
be offered a position there as curator when she graduates,
but at any rate, she is gaining excellent
experience to put in her portfolio for her
Lauren also plans to go to NY to apply at many of
their renowned museums and galleries -
eventually acheive the position of a curator.
It would be her dream
fulfilled to be the curator of a nice museum or
However, it is certain that she will have to get
get her master's degree now.
to school once again.
As we said, Michael graduated in June from
Plant High and is now in his second semester at HCC,
working toward a computer science
degree, and then will spend his last two years at USF for his
His ambitions are in the
systems administrator or I.T. professional field.
He is still working at the Asian restaurant where
he has worked for the past two years.
He is a highly requested server, but with his charming
personality, that is no surprise.
2009 - Michael - Senior Prom Night
One other bit of news for
Ron and Elise is that they lost one of their doggies
so they found a new puppy to fill that void,
Boomer born on July 4,
Trust us, he is
no longer a puppy, as you can see below.
#1 and #2
Boomer - Birth date July 4, 2009
#3 Reilly, Boomer,
Morgan (Lauren's doggie)
#4 Boomer at 5 months
lounging in the chair by the pool
Mr. Boomer not even six months later......
PAUL, ELLEN, DANIEL, JULIA
are doing their same thing too. Paul still in his
own insurance company, Ellen is studying to get her
nursing license updated.
Daniel is on the debate
team, tennis team, does some coaching at his
and is a referee for an athletic
association in Wesley Chapel.
Julia has joined the
school band. She played
the clarinet for us last month - and is quite good on
She is picking up where her Papa Chuck left off,
he played the clarinet in band in high school in
Summer 2009 - Paul, Ellen, Daniel & Ellen tackling the
rapids all alone in NC
Right after Christmas 2009 - Daniel, Ellen, Julia -
Paul took picture
They went north (NC) for the kids
to see snow for the first time, and did they ever find
2009 - Julia-Daniel-Daisy
2009 - Julia - Daniel - Daisy
Ms. Daisy all dressed up
waiting for Santa
Paul celebrated his 50th birthday in December
2009, so there was a great party held.
enjoyed so many guests which included two of his and
high school buddies,
Ray Hernandez and Frank Bolin.
The family and Jim Rabun got together and gave Paul a
group gift -
a HUGE five burner grill. NOW, Paul can
finally say that he has something better than Ron
They have always had that competition going,
"my car is better than yours, my surf board is
sharper looking than yours, my pinewood derby is
faster than yours," etc.
Paul, it could not have
happened to a nicer person. Glad you got one up
there on Ron. Pictures below.
Ray Hernandez, Paul, Les, Frank Bolin, Ron
1977 - Ray Hernandez, Paul Helfrich, Robbie Beck
Ray Hernandez, Paul, Ron, Frank Bolin
Mr. 'OVER THE HILL" Paul
A Marine Album that we put together of Paul's military
pictures and snippets from his military year book from
And, the grill has lights on the inside of the
hood, so eat your heart out, Ronz! Right, Paul?
We are all so thankful for our health and wish
all of you the same.
We hope you enjoyed this
newsletter, & we would love hearing from you as to
whether we entertained you, updated you enough, or
pulled at your heartstrings with so many memories.
However, since I did not finish the 2008 newsletter
until just now, you might find that one to be of
One of the nicest gifts
we have ever received.... was Les making DVD's for us
starting with converting the old 8mm camera silent
film that Chuck's dad had taken back in the 60's and
and then Chuck's first video camera in 1985 (many
of them were deteriorating so badly) - from the 1960's
and he converted them to DVD's, so we are
putting a thumbnail below of the first 13 DVD's that
he gave us.
He gave a set to each of his brothers
too. He has about 150 more to put together.
were so professionally done, and we would not take
anything for them. What a family treasure!!!
Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge and see the
backs of the DVD Jackets
Our Time in Hawaii
Our Cross Country Trip
Christmas in Florida
Ron & Elise's Wedding
Busch Gardens, Epcot Center,
Paul and Ellen's Wedding
Christmas - 1999
Lauren Helfrich's Graduation
Rebeka Helfrich's Graduation
Heather Helfrich's Graduation
Michael Helfrich's Graduation
A little side note here:
All of the pictures, stories, memories, etc. shared
above and below started out with these six people
The two at the top had their branches
intertwined and then four little apples of their eyes
appeared on the tree.
My, my, how this family tree has
blossomed and flourished!!!!
Do keep in touch - let us hear from you. Many hugs.
Jackie & Chuck
SO LONG, 2009 - HELLO 2010
THE most important event of 2008 was the celebration
of the fourth year that has gone by since
donated a kidney to Ron. Here is a very
special picture below:
July 2008 - Paul and Ron - 4 YEARS
In June, Chuck and I attended the Hatfield-McCoy
reunion in Pikeville, KY.
We drove almost 2,000 miles (7 states and two days
for the reunion) in a little over 5 days.
bad for a couple in their mid 70's, huh?
June 2008 - Jackie and Chuck
June 2008 - Chuck holding the shotgun that the
Hatfield-McCoy Organization sent (after the
President George Bush in
commemoration of the truce between the
Hatfields and McCoys
June 2008 - This was the highlight of our trip.
As the sign above this house
states, this is
the home where Rosanna McCoy had her baby.
is her Aunt Betty's home, and it is on the
National Historical Society List.
who owns it, extended an invitation to Chuck and
me to come in and
eat with them, since they
were all there for the Hatfield-McCoy Reunion.
How exciting it was to see the log cabin inside
that this home was built around.
Chuck's first cousin 3X removed.
The next special event was
Ron turned 50 years old in September 2008,
so we had a great party for him.
Les and Jan
flew down from Alaska to surprise him and
THAT was the biggest
coup you could ever imagine.
Les and Jan can
never top that surprise. Some
September 2008 - Ron's 50th Birthday Party
September 2008 - The Ronz - 50 years old
The Ronz - 50 years old
Frank King, his daughters - Cathy & Ellen
Jackie trying to get 65 people's attention
around the patio & pool
For door prizes for
ten questions on The Ronz' life
Les with the girls - Ann King and daughters,
Cathy and Ellen
Les and Chuck
Just some of the folks that we were able to get
inside - just could not herd them all up at
They were in the living room,
kitchen, Florida room, patio, pool, everywhere -
beautiful crowd of 65 nice people who showed
September 2008 - Ron - Chuck - Jackie - Frank
September 2008 - Elise and Lauren enjoying the
You can see they are mother and
daughter, can't you?
December, and Les, Jan and Rebeka came back down to spend
Christmas with us.
We flew to
to spend Christmas with Bill, Yumi and Amy.
Had a great time. Chuck's brother, Sonny and
his son, David, and Jackie's niece and husband, Connie and
Rich, came up to visit with us.
We did some sight seeing like none other that we
had ever done. It was 17 degrees and the wind
was about 40mph. The taxi driver told us that
we were not being very smart going out into that
When we had to stand out in that wind
for almost an hour, we began to agree with that taxi
I had dressed that morning with long johns, leg
warmers, three pair of socks, boots, two pair of
six layers of sweat shirts, jackets and
sweaters, gloves, head and face masks, and was still
Everyone told me to walk at least
ten feet behind them because I looked like some
Took extra gloves and scarves
and passed them out to everyone, but we were
Enjoyed the art museum the
most, even though we had seen it so many times. At
least, it was warm in there.
Then, we drove from Washington, DC to
Tampa, with poor Les doing 99 percent of the
We stopped along the way at Rock
Les wanted to re-visit where he had
seen a picture
of me holding him as a baby,
standing up on this STEEP overhanging cliff.
He said it looked to him as if he were hanging out over
that cliff in the picture.
Wellll, Les got to see it, and was not too
thrilled when he saw it,
asking me "mom, do you
realize you could have dropped me off that cliff?"
I'm in the blue suit, holding Les in my arms, Bill
with the other hand & I am pregnant with Ron!
(I guess it was a good thing that Ron did not decide
to do one of his infamous "kicks" at that time!!!)
There is a close up of this picture beneath this
See, Les, there was plenty of room between us and
December 2008 - Les was none too happy to go back up
51 years later & look off that
And, no - I was not pregnant again this
time. Once again, I had on six sweaters and
However, Les would not allow me to hold him this
THAT'S ALL FOR 2008, FOLKS
October 2007 Chuck and Jackie - Jackie's 55th
October 2007 Chuck and Jackie - Waving "bye-Bye"
Finally, here it is almost the
middle of 2008 and we are just getting our 2007
Christmas letter out. In May 2007, we went to
Alaska to attend Heather's high school
graduation. We had a great time, and came away
with an awesome picture of Rebeka and Heather
with their parents and both sets of their
grandparents (shown below.) Also, as you can
see above, Chuck and I were fortunate enough to
attend my 55th class reunion in Shreveport, LA.
As always, we have such a good time and enjoy
seeing all of the folks who are able to attend.
There are more pictures on the web pages - here
is the link -
Jackie's 55th Class
While we were in Shreveport, we
got something accomplished that we have tried to
do for many, many years. Virginia Barlow
and I were finally able to put down a headstone
for our great grandmother, Lucy Jane Carter
Josey Barlow. Lucy was married to our
great granddad, John Thomas Josey. John
and Lucy had Roddie Josey, our granddad.
Lucy never had a headstone, and we wanted to see
that she had one, so thanks to Virginia, we got
it done - here is the link to that page - her
headstone is listed under "Barlow," since she
remarried after John Josey must have died -
click on the picture of the headstone to enlarge
Lucy Jane Carter Josey
We have more ancestors that we
want to work on getting headstones done for yet.
Another marvelous bit of news was that I found a
newspaper article in the Vivian, LA - Caddo
Citizen Newspaper of my birth announcement in
January 1934 (way back in the days of the
dinosaurs, huh?) I never knew that an
announcement of my birth existed.
had a pretty busy 2007, as each year tends to
become busier and busier. We also
celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary -
October 3, 2007. Will hope to have the
entire family together for a big celebration one
day soon for that. Paul, Ellen, Ron and
Elise had a really nice dinner, cake, wine,
flowers, etc. at their home for us - (see
picture to the left.) That was so sweet of
In June, Chuck and I hope
to go to the Hatfield-McCoy reunion in Kentucky.
We went to the first one and had a blast - have
tried to get there each year since, all to no
Chuck is still working for
Kash n Karry, now known as Sweetbay, after all
of the remodeling of their stores. I am
still working for a company out of NY doing
interviews - have been doing that for 5 years
and enjoy it immensely. We feel very
blessed each day and are thankful for all that
we have. But, above all of that, good
health is what matters the most, in my opinion.
There are some pictures of Ron and Paul (below)
celebrating the 3rd birthday of the kidney
So, we are showing all four
sons and their families below with their latest
news. We love hearing from you guys.
Take care. Jackie and Chuck
Bill - Yumi - Amy's Updates:
December 2007 - Bill,
2007, Amy was chosen from
her ballet school to attend
the National Youth America
Grand Prix (ballet), in PA,
in 2008. Amy will also be
heading into high school in
the fall of 2008, and
looking forward to getting
ready to go to her choice
"College of William and
Mary." We are keeping our
fingers crossed, as it is
the second oldest
institution of higher
education in the U.S.,
second to Harvard.
and Yumi are still working
at the same jobs, Bill with
the State Department, Yumi
teaching, and both enjoying
their work. They all
three are extremely involved
with the Manassas Ballet
Theater, where Amy is always
rehearsing for an upcoming
performance - having just
finished with a solo in
"Stars and Stripes Forever,"
and "Carmen" next.
Bill has been in several of
the performances also, and
he is becoming quite a star
- no, not ballet - but a
ballroom type of dancing,
and acting too. He
looks so nice in his tuxedo
in each of the performances.
Yumi is also involved, as
she is constantly behind the
scenes with the wardrobes.
She even made one of Bill's
costumes for one
performance. Yumi also
flew back to Japan to see
her mother and family
addition to that, they all
three take frequent trips
throughout the beautiful
state of Virginia.
They really enjoy the
mountains up there. We
are hoping that they will be
able to join us at the
Hatfield-McCoy reunion in
June 2008, since Kentucky is
so close to them.
Les - Jan - Rebeka -
Jan, Heather, Rebeka, Les
Hoss and Tippy
May 2007 - Chuck,
Jackie, Les, Rebeka, Heather, Jan,
Madeline and Bill Kelly
Photo Editing Courtesy of Jim Rabun
May 2007 - Heather Lynn
group picture is Heather's high
school graduation in Alaska in
May 2007. We had a great time,
as always, and came away with
this awesome picture of Rebeka
and Heather with their parents,
and both sets of their
grandparents. Les and Jan are
still working in the same jobs
that they both love at MTA - Les
and Jan are both managers - Les
in the technical department and
Jan in accounting. They go on
camping and fishing trips, just
traveling around and enjoying
Alaska, and visiting with Jan's
parents, Bill and Madeline, and
Jan's sister and family, since
they all live in Alaska too.
in her third year at University
of Alaska - Anchorage. We
look forward to returning to
Alaska in 2009 to attend
Rebeka's graduation from UAA.
Heather went from her high
school graduation in May - 07 to
the University of Alaska -
Fairbanks, where we are sure it
was an eye opener for her, with
their brutal winters at times of
60-70 degrees below zero.
Les and Jan are the first of the
four families to face the "empty
nest syndrome." But,
Rebeka and Heather are close
enough, that they are able to
come home occasionally, so
that's nice. Rebeka and
Heather also work at part time
jobs, so they are kept very
busy. As we said, we are
looking forward to going back up
there, as they are always great
hosts. In addition to
that, we found the most
marvelous bed and breakfast last
time, and we have a standing
invitation there to come back
Ron - Elise - Lauren -
Ron, Elise, Lauren, Michael
transferred to USF here in Tampa
and is enjoying being near her
family and friends. She has a
new puppy, Morgan, a beautiful
new apartment, and she works
part time for her Uncle Paul.
Michael is a junior at Plant
High School - graduating in
2009. We hope we will be able
to attend Michael and Rebeka's
graduations - with both of them
being on opposite sides of the
country. Michael was just in a
contest at CompUSA - out of the
top 100 contestants/some were
pros - he came in #10, putting
together a computer from
scratch, (only the motherboard
was inside) in 4 minutes-29
seconds. He then went on to the
finals and he placed #6 out of
10 finalists in 3 minutes and 18
seconds. We all know what his
career will be, huh?
In 2007, Ron went with us to
Alaska to attend Heather's
graduation, and Elise and
Michael went to Ohio to see her
life long childhood chum,
Caren. Ron and Elise are both
busy with their jobs; Elise
still at Hartford and Ron is
working with his friend, Allan.
their jobs, their two doggies,
kitty cat, 2 young adult
children and constant work with
the home and yard, Ron and Elise
have full days. Since they
live in the home that Ron's
grandparents lived in, we are
sure Ron's grandmother and
granddad Helfrich would be proud
of how nicely the home is kept
up. Once again they, along
with all of us, are so thankful
that they have good health in
Paul - Ellen - Daniel -
December 2007 - Paul, Julia, Ellen,
2007 - Ellen, Anne, Frank, Jackie, Chuck, Paul
Daniel and Julia in front with their
parents - Ellen and Paul - on either
side of them and
Both sets of Daniel's and Julia's
grandparents in back - a pretty special
Ellen have also been very busy
this past year. Paul with his
insurance company, and Ellen
worked quite a bit as a
substitute teacher. Ellen is
considering going back to school
to further her education. All
five of them go to Sarasota
often to visit Ellen's parents.
Paul travels to Georgia several
times a year in his business;
and he was busy the year of 2007
with coaching several of
Daniel's sports teams. Each
winter, they make plans to go up
to VA and see Bill, Yumi and Amy
so that Daniel and Julia will
finally get to see snow, but
something always comes up and
prevents the trip, so we hope
they can make it next winter.
But, they did go on a Caribbean
cruise in June 2007 and had a
very active in track and will be
graduating from middle school in
May of 2008, so he will be in
high school next year, and he
plans to be a pharmacist.
Julia was in the play "Show
Kids" - singing and dancing.
Julia and Daniel are growing so
much that every time we see
them, they are several inches
taller. Chuck and I really
enjoyed going to Daniel's
football games and also getting
to see Julia as one of the
cheerleaders in '07. They
are lucky to live near Busch
Gardens and they go there quite
is still running that household,
doncha' know - just look at her
in the picture, she knows she is
the queen - but all five of our
households have critters, so we
can relate to that. They
bring so much joy to our homes.
Ron and Paul celebrating
3rd birthday of Ron's kidney transplant
The entire family will be eternally grateful
to Paul for his donation to making such a difference in all of our
July - 2007
Also, here is the link to their page on the
Ron and Paul's Odyssey
- Again, we are so thankful!
CHRISTMAS - HAPPY NEW YEAR
Jackie - Chuck - Wobbles
Yumi - Amy - Bill (Traveled from VA)
Les - Jan - Heather - Rebeka (Traveled from AK)
Lauren - Ron - Elise - Michael
Ellen - Daniel - Paul - Daisy - Julia
we are into 2007, and just sending our Christmas
and New Year greetings' letter. Things have
just been too hectic. Will not even try to
explain with all of the remodeling we had going
on for so many months. The yard was the biggest
project, with all of the dead trees and grass,
along with numerous repairs inside also.
were so fortunate to have everyone together this
year, the first time in four years. We had
hoped to get a beach picture with all 17 of us
together, but that will have to be two years from
now, so look forward to that.
We had our
usual Christmas Eve get-together, then we had
Christmas dinner the day after
Christmas. We were all back and forth between
our home and Ron and Elise's and Paul and Ellen's.
Jan, Rebeka and Heather cooked and baked to no end,
and we all reaped the benefits of their endeavors,
believe me! Our Alaskan group definitely did the
scene at the beach, we went to a lot of Christmas
movies, shared many great meals with each other, did
a lot of shopping, went to Busch Gardens, did a lot
of visiting with each other, Les took over a
thousand pictures, etc., so it has been a marvelous
holiday for us. Chuck and I always look
forward with great anticipation to the alternating
years we get together. You can see from the
pictures above they are all doing well. We are
truly thankful for that. And, we can't forget
the fact that we celebrated the second anniversary
of the kidney transplant in July from Paul donating
a kidney to Ron.
Chuck and I are
still working; and everything is the same as last
year with Bill, Yumi, Les, Jan, Ron, Elise, Paul and
Ellen. Rebeka is in her second year at
University of Alaska - Anchorage, and active in many
activities on campus. She also spent the past
summer working at Denali National Park, which was
quite an experience for her. Heather graduates
from high school the end of May and is heading up
north to University of Alaska - Fairbanks. She
just got her SAT scores on line while she was down
here and we were so proud of her. She did
quite well. Lauren is in her second year at
Florida Southern College. She was accepted
into the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, and she was
thrilled as that was her first choice. Michael
is still into computers, so we know where he is
headed later in life. He just began to drive
too. Daniel is still into sports big time, and
wowed us one night recently with being able to
answer any question that anyone threw at him about
any football team or player. Julia is growing
unbelievably - and she has the most wonderful sense
of humor. She had us all in stitches at the
Christmas present gathering. Amy is so tall
and elegant, and has just enthralled us with her
pictures from the ballets she has been in this past
year. She is really talented and may very well
have a future in the ballet field.
Paul borrowed a
picture I had of the four guys from 1989; he had
copies made, put them in frames, and gave a copy to
each brother for Christmas. We took
pictures of them (standing in the same position)
holding the 1989 pictures. Then, Les framed
the 1989 and 2006 pictures, and gave one to each of
his brothers and Chuck and me. That was all
very special, as you can see below. Great
idea, was a big hit.
Chuck and I
already have our plane tickets for Alaska the end of
May. We really can't miss Heather's
graduation. We truly hope you all had a
marvelous Christmas and that your New Year goes even
better for you and yours. We appreciated
receiving so many of your Christmas cards, letters
and pictures. They keep us up to date on so
many of you. Lots of hugs and do keep in
1994 - Two photos of our home
2006 - Two photos of our home
We are actually
getting around to sending out Christmas cards this year.
Many things have transpired since our last letter to
all. Chuck and I are both still working full time and
constantly on the run, so time is precious. But, a quick
run-down follows below.
As most of you know, Chuck and I reached our 50th
anniversary October 3, 2002, and we decided to celebrate
it in December of that year when all four sons and their
families would be home. The only thing I wanted for that
anniversary (other than for Ron to get a kidney
transplant) was to have a nice family picture taken. So,
everyone complied, as you can see above. We then went to
dinner on the Starship Dining Yacht, and had a marvelous
time. We were so glad that my sister, Angie Josey
Brocato and her son, Tony, were able to attend also.
Then, Ron was not doing all that well with dialysis, to
say the least, with one heart pounding episode after
another for the past almost five years. His chances were
slim to zero of getting a second kidney transplant
because of the antigens in his body from the first
kidney transplant. Then, Ron was given an opportunity to
participate in an experimental program in
transplantation. On July 16, 2004, Ron and Paul entered
Tampa General Hospital for Paul to donate a kidney to
Ron. We are enclosing an article that they put in
Lifelink Transplant Center’s Newsletter in August of
2004, explaining it in more detail for those who are
interested in more details. Needless, to say, we are so
thankful, and what a marvelous gift Paul gave Ron.
Les and his family are coming home this year, and we
look forward to having them here. Lauren graduates May
of 2005, and Rebeka graduates June of 2005, so it will
be a busy couple of weeks for us, with them being 7,000
miles apart. Bill just started a new job, so he and his
family will not be here this year.
I have been working on a web site for almost two years
on our 50 years of family research on our Helfrich and
Josey and allied family lines. I hope to have it
published in the month of December 2004. If you have an
e-mail address, please let me know what it is - mine is
(JACQUEL384@aol.com) and I will let you know when the
web site is published.
Front row left to right - Michael, Heather, Chuck, Amy,
Jackie, Rebeka, Julia and Daniel - Back row left to
right - Elise, Lauren, Ron, Yumi, Bill, Les, Jan, Paul
Happy New Year, and God bless you all. Hugs to you and
Chuck and Jackie
Click to enlarge and then click
lower right corner
Click to enlarge and then click
lower right corner
1999 - Back Row - Left to Right
Les - Jan - Rebeka - Jackie - Elise - Heather - Chuck
Front Row - Left to Right
Ellen - Julia - Paul - Daniel - Yumi - Bill - Amy - Ron -
Michael - Lauren
Click to enlarge and then click
lower right corner
Click to enlarge and then click
lower right corner
1995 Back of Card
Click to enlarge and then click
lower right corner
1960 - Ron - Jackie - Bill - Paul -
Chuck - Les
1960 - Bill - Les - Paul - Michael
Anson - Ron
1953 - Chuck - Jackie - Bill
Here is the link to our entire web site -
just click on it :
Click on "Gift" for