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December 2000. What a thrill to receive the following e-mail from Kevin Thaut, who, in a search for Bellingham, came up with the following:

I was just amazed by your recollections of time spent there, they are pretty similar to mine. My grandfather (Richard Clark) raised 6 children there who in turned had many grandchildren (there were 30 persons at last thanksgiving there).

No matter where my father had to move us to work, that house was always a safe haven for us.

Just about all of us were active at one time or another in the Bellingham High marching band (we all remember Mr. Paulee), and many of the family also participated in the alumni band. Grandfather was the most active over the years in band programs, and had his drums always close at hand.

The biggest event I remember at that house was when grandfather decided to build a boat in the side yard. That was a event that took over 10 years to complete. So many other events occurred at that house, that it would be difficult to catalog them all, but in reading your article, I felt it could have been a story about myself. Though I've never met any of your family, I do feel a certain kinship with them.

Following is Grandma Sue Boynton's poem about this house: a prophecy fulfilled time and again:

Goodbye Old House
by Susie Boynton - 1954

Within your empty silent rooms I stand alone. Soon I shall turn the key, lock your door, and go to our new home. In these last moments, though, I stand alone, remembering.

How beautiful you seemed when we moved in that day some forty years ago- fresh from the builder's hands!

But now I leave sweet memories locked silently within your walls, of babies crying, cooing, of toddlers playing, growing, of children loving, leaving, to begin their own homemaking. Memories of countless friends, two grandmas, sharing, caring, always giving; ever living in our hearts.

Dear home, on this last day, somehow you seem to gently say: "Goodbye, The time is passed for sheltering you and yours. Soon I'll be full of life again. Go out to new beginnings, free, And leave these silent rooms to me."

In peace, I turn the key and lock the door, not even needing to look back once more. I leave for new beginnings.


Copyright Judy Vorfeld.
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