Thank you notes

I was the worst in writing thank you notes after Christmas.  I still am pretty bad at remembering those who have done me favors.  Today, walking through a bookstore in Sandakan, Sabah (island of Borneo), Malaysia I came across a travel go set.  It reminds me of two gifts I received long ago.


Peter, Thanks for the Boomerang

My oldest brother, Peter, gave me a boomerang. I can’t remember the year but I suppose he was at the University of Minnesota.  I could not wait until a mild day in Spring, I had to try it out right away.  The wind was strong, I wasn’t sure how to hold it.  After a few overhand attempts, I tried a horizontal throw.  Zoom, off it went high up and around it came back from the sky.  That was exciting.  I tried again. Zoom. Up it went, into the wind carried high and slammed back down into the icy snow.  Crack.  I know my brother felt bad that his gift only lasted a few times.  That Spring I read more and ordered another boomerang using the address on the package.  With that, I mastered the overhand throw.  By the time I broke it, I was looking for a larger, more sturdy one.  Over the years, I owned five or six more.  Two were bought from an Aborigine in Australia.  At one point, my boomerangs were returning to my feet every time.  Sometimes I could grab them out of the air. I kept one on my basement desk next to the Lionel train set my mother saved.  Daughter and I practiced some days when we could not fly kites.

edina basement@23dec2003

George, Thanks for the Go Set

The Christmas my brother came back from serving in Viet Nam by way of Japan, he brought me a game of go. In the small town of Windom, there were no books on such an obscure subject.  I only had the small manual that came with the game.  I acquired Go and Go-Moku: The Oriental Board Games by Edward Lasker maybe from a bookstore in Minneapolis.  I have looked through all my saved photos and cannot find one that shows the books I collected on Go. (Half Price books bought the ones from Ishi Press as they are not common in the U.S.) Of saved photos, only one shows a thin tome lying horizontal.  But I did find a photo of the business card for the Takadanobaba Go Club.


The banner shows the three of us.  They let me ride in front of the toboggan (so I wouldn’t fall off).  George behind me steering.  Peter handling braking in the back.

There have been many thoughtful gifts, and I thank you all for your kindness.  I hope to send you a thank you note, but it seems I’m still catching up on fifty years of laziness.