Wednesday, October 31, 2007


The Flemish Government has recently started 2 new websites giving news and information about actual life in the part of Belgium the Lasseys originate from.

We want to give our American relatives the possibility of learning about "the old country" on:


Go there and learn about where and how we are living today.

Greetings to all from Belgium,

Hedwig and Herna

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Ron and Mavis said today that they had finished the beet harvest last evening, and were having the annual celebration dinner tomorrow night! The yield was good, but they have not done the final calculations on tons per acre. They were delayed by four days of wet weather, and lost two afternoons because it was too warm, and are much relieved to have the 16-hour days in the fields over without any major problems!


Dad drove his pickup to their house today for the first time in three weeks--now that the beet trucks are off the road. I asked him if he was enjoying the reading of our draft memoirs, and he said he was. Mavis said that he had almost worn the pages out from reading it over and over! Marilyn and Issy took him to Bismarck for a checkup last week, and he got a good report. However, he has more and more trouble remembering to take his medication. Vicki Dunbar is now going to his house every Friday morning to clean and help him out. He will surely appreciate that!

Linda and Jenny came for a visit last week, going to Sidney with Dad and Mavis for lunch. Jenny is planning her big wedding!


We are getting ready to hit the road again as of November 5th, after moving out of our condo on October 31, and spending a few days in Scottsdale. We'll go east through New Mexico and Texas, with plans to spend time at several National Seashore campgrounds and state parks along the Gulf Coast, going south in Florida for the colder months. Our main on-the-road project will be final editing of our memoirs to get them ready for publication. We will visit some of Marie's family in Georgia and South Carolina along the way, and will come back north in the spring via Ohio and Iowa to see Dione, Saul, Mollie, Derek and Sherill.

Fortunately, my eye surgery turned out very well! It is quite amazing to be able to see better than I have in years--with 20/20 vision in my left eye. I can even read again for hours at a time! We have both had medical checkups in the last few weeks and are told we are in very good health, and fit to travel. Good news!

Bill and Marie

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Did I ever tell you that Julie finished her Doctorate in August and is now officially Dr. Julie Goebel. The practice in Williston has been so busy, she barely has time to breathe. All the Doctors are referring patients to her. She says she has quite alot of children with hearing difficuties.

Anyway, Julie , Dennis and Ashley are in Washington, D. C. this week. Dennis has a meeting there and Julie and Ashley are sight seeing. Hope she gets some rest and relaxaton, she is really due for some.

When are you leaving for the South East states? Keep in touch.


Marilyn & Issy

Monday, October 08, 2007


Mavis says the beet harvest is going well, although work was delayed by rain over the weekend. Yields are pretty good, ranging from 19 tons per acre in one field, to 30 tons from the field in front of Dad's house. They have a good crew (15 people, including Ron's brother from Missoula) and so far no equipment problems. 230 acres are done with about 600 to go.

Saturday was "apple pie day," with 18 pies cooperatively produced, and a tub more apples for other uses. Mavis fixed "Cabbage Bread, " a German dish made from pastry, cabbage and hamburger (Sounds delicious!).

Mavis had a good trip to Billings for the Sewing Festival, with Lana, and brought home a new sewing machine for Ashley and Julie. Ashley (age 16) immediately learned how to use all the fancy technology and was producing some sewing products.

Dad says the memoirs are interesting, but he has not gotten very far as yet.



Hi Dad,

Attached is the syllabus for a course called
"Global Ecology" that Saul and I teach together. We
use Lester Brown's book "Plan B" for the class as well
as a book by Jared Diamond called "Collapse". If you
get a chance to pick up either book they are both very
interesting. Lester Brown's books give the whole
overview of the issues we are facing: Peak Oil,
Global Warming, Food, Water, Farming Practices, etc.
Jared Diamond's book gives a historical perspective
about societies that have collapsed and the reasons
for their collapses. The two books together make a
very powerful combination.

The first chapter of Jared Diamond's book is about the
Bitterroot Valley in Montana because he has a place there.
Jared Diamond won a Pulitzer Prize for his book "Guns, Germs and
Steel", and had a full page article in the New York
Times about "Collapse".

So, Lester Brown was actually one of your students??
[Note from Bill: Brown was an exchange student at the
same time I was in 1956 and is my age, not my student]
Interesting! If you get here at some point when we
are teaching the class, you could come talk to our
students about your former student!

Also, if you are playing around on the internet google
a man named Jose Ramos-Horte. He is now the president
of East Timor, but he got his Master's Degree through
Antioch McGregor's independent study program (with
Noam Chompsky as one of his advisors). Saul and I
planned a dinner for him a few years ago and met him
personally. He's a very interesting person who, in
addition to recently winning a national presidential
election, won the Nobel Peace Prize in about 1995. I
hope all is well!

Love, Dione


[Marilyn and Issy returned recently from a trip to visit Carol, Susan and Harvey.]

Hi Bill and Marie,
The girls are all fine. Susan and Harv are somewhat frustrated by the slow housing market in Minneapolis as they would like to get their house sold so Harvey can move up to Thief River Falls with Susan.

Mavis has been up to ears with beet harvest,etc, so she just gave Dad the memoirs yesterday. I have not seen them yet. I'm sure Dad will read them soon. We were over to Mavis' and had our yearly apple pie bake yesterday. It had rained so harvest had stopped for a couple days.

Glad your eyes are doing well. I'm surprised you want to start traveling again so soon. Hope all goes well.

We plan to meet some friends from Manitoba for the "Hostfest" in Minot on Wednesday. Will stay over and do some shopping. Then the next week, Dad, Issy and I have Doctor appointments in Bismarck. Mavis plans to go with us and we'll have lunch with Lila.

Haven't seen much of Dr. Julie Goebel. She is still not unpacked as her practice in Williston is so-o-o busy, she has little time for anything else. Her assistant is going full time soon, so that should help alot.

We plan to leave around the first of November for Yuma, if I get the rentals full and everything goes well.


Marilyn and Issy

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Maureen and Mat had a very busy September--traveling much of the month to places like New Orleans, Portland, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. Maureen's boss went to Scotland for 2.5 weeks, where his daughter is going to school, while Maureen looked after his office work in Washington. Both Maureen and Mat had meetings in New Orleans where they also have good friends who took them around the city. The place still looks pretty depressed after Katrina, they said. Maureen was headed for Las Vegas today for a meeting, before they go to Kalispell for a Jazz festival this weekend.

Maureen says that Fannie Mae is weathering the mortgage credit crunch quite well--since they do not generally handle sub-prime mortgages.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Beet harvest is in full swing! Dad said yesterday that the beet trucks are filling up the road in front of his house. In fact, Mavis did not want him to drive to church because of all the traffic! The weather is just right, at about 70 degrees yesterday. Dad says he is doing fine, but occasionally has his bad days.

Dione called for my 73d birthday, indicating they are enjoying their new house. It has a wood-burning stove, so they were spending part of Sunday bringing in wood for the fall and winter seasons. She is enjoying the new middle-school teaching job, but finds all the new experiences, and people at the school, a bit challenging. She has a combination of special education (slow) students and gifted students, and really enjoys working with them. Mollie is doing "great" and has a male teacher for the first time. She is playing soccer, among several other activities that keep her busy. Saul has moved to a new office in a new building housing the McGregor graduate program, where he is a Department Chair. Nice! He enjoys the teaching and the students.