Then and Now; April 10, 2019

In 2010 I wanted to buy a special gift for Ben and Ann Bonsells’ first child Samson. Lickity Stitch Quilts had opened in Lusk and advertised in the Lusk Herald. I called. I know nothing about quilts. I did know that I wanted to bring the ocean to Samson by purchasing a quilt with a dolphin theme. Karen Wisseman explained the different possibilities and the quilt making process to me. As I often do, I said, “I’m leaving it up to you.” The result was a 100% satisfactory gift. Later I ordered a quilt with a turtle theme. Turtles are still one of Samson’s favorite creatures.

Later I sent Ann a gift so she could buy Samson a vehicle that he could drive. I received a picture of Samson seated sound asleep in the car. The captain was asleep at the wheel. I remembered the musical group Asleep at the Wheel who performed songs such as “Get Your Kicks on Route 66”, “Take Me Back to Tulsa”, and “Miles and Miles of Texas.”

Recently I learned that Karen’s daughter, Alissa, was one of the Shoshoni High students with whom I met at the 2008 graduation. Prior to meeting with them, I had decided that rather than myself interviewing them, I would ask them to question me. They wanted to know ‘why I was awarding scholarships’, ‘how I had achieved success’, and ‘what could be done to make Shoshoni a thriving town.’ Alissa used her scholarship to attend the University of Wyoming and earned a degree in mechanical engineering. She now works as a petroleum engineer. All of the scholarships were presented with no strings attached. I had two requests: Write a thank you letter and enroll in college. In my opinion, if you want young people to be responsible give them a chance to be responsible. Alissa has made her mother proud … and me too.

Among my possessions at Dominican Oaks is a quilt made in Lusk. Its multi-blue background with orca whales was too beautiful to give away. Instead it keeps me warm in the winter. During the warmer months it’s a reminder of Lusk and the special people who live and work there. Thank you Karen. Once again, the then became a part of the now.

My 1952 classmate and special friend, George Flint, is once again living at his Reno home. He has recovered from an infection. Hopefully, George will write again, and I’ll retire…again.

John Wasserburger

PO Box 14

Capitola, CA 95010





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