2.23.2015

Letter(2), January 8, 1976

Hi Carla,

Thanks much for the letter, it’s nice to get one from someone new – fresh handwriting to look at and all that! Seriously, I’d just as soon you didn’t write me too often since I got so God awful many letters for Christmas that it’ll take me a month to answer then all!

The first thing that comes to mind to say to ya, is how much you have changed in the year & a half since I last saw ya, but that sounds like what Aunt Mabel & Aunt Mildred used to say about me so I can’t say that! Seriously, it’s easy to see you’ve stopped being a "tierna" {child} and started becoming a "señorita" {young woman}, which is all for the better ‘cause little kids never have any real fun anyway!

Your comments about the Bicentennial are very reassuring. At times I’ve thought I would really be missing something, being out of the States during "our two hundredth birthday", but Yankee Doodle Crunch I can do without! All I’m really going to miss is a chance to maybe sneak up to Canada for part of the Olympics next summer. That is a shame.

I just got back from a great trip to Costa Rica the 6th. It was so beautiful there! The rainy season had just ended, so there was no rain, but flowers were out and everything was green like springtime. The weather was cool and breezy like early June or late May in Wisconsin. I ate more tamales there than in my whole previous life! They make tamales for Christmas like we make cookies, seafoam or fruitcake. People dance and visit more over Christmas there, and don’t go so overboard with gifts like we consumer-glutton Americans. (Partly because of the generally more humble financial situation of the people.) I’ve never been treated so hospitably as folks there treated me, and I told the Castillo Murillo family, truthfully, that it was one of the best Christmas seasons I had ever spent.

By the way, (since I told Jan, I have to tell ya’ll too) I fell in love with a "tica" (slang for Costarican woman) during my visit to Costa Rica and if my balloon don’t go and bust you may hear a good deal more about her. As you know, I’m one of the last persons on earth who should ever have been expected to fall in love (much less have the audacity to say so), but unless the whole thing ends as quick as it started – I could be in big trouble. Lord knows I’m too young to speak about unmentionables like marriage. <I got some pictures of her (her name’s Sofia) on the next roll of film I’m sending home – along with 3 of her 6 sisters, Jaime Olson (a Wisconsin boy!) and his fiancé, and my Costarican family from training.>

Whew! This turned out to be a long letter, and I only wanted to acknowledge yours and tell ya to write again sometime, sorry.

Take care,

Dean

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