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6/2/88 Thursday On the train to Switzerland

Drop off was at 6:30 a.m. and Charlotte got up to take me in to the train station where we were meeting. I told her I could take the subway but she insisted on taking me there by car. We had a little breakfast, then loaded on to the train to settle down for a 28-hour long trip. I sat with Tim, Sandra and Joerg, and wrote most of the day, and slept none. We took a ferry to Copenhagen (Helsingor) and had about an hour there which I spent with Mary walking around.

The next train took us clear to Hamburg where we switched to a sleeper cabin. In the sleeper cabin, I was with Roger, Doug, Shawn, Chris and Ross and after everyone settled down we actually went to sleep.

After lunch the Fishing Club met and talked about our responsibilities as a Christian in the USSR. Really good talk.

EDITOR: I was trying to have everyone write a little something in my journal toward the end of the year. Here are a few that were written on June 2nd.

Dear Grant

Well guess I'll just have to settle for being the second one to sign this, really want to thank you for having the guts to stand up in Bartlesville & ask the Christians to meet. It was so encouraging to find brothers and sisters in Christ in this cast. I'm glad we've had a chance to have a few talks this year and hope we will have a chance for some more.

You are really a fun, humorous teddy bear and I can't, believe you're only 20! I really pray that you will continue to grown in our Lord and to share his love with the folks you go back to and meet in college. J

It's too bad we don't have clowns in the show anymore, cuz you made a great ring master; you're also a great dancer. I'll always remember performing all the way on the other side of the stadium with you & Julie in Stockholm (you made me wanna SHOUT!)

Best of luck in college & your future & come visit me in L.A. some time:

In his love,
Sandra Jung


Dear Grant!

It was really great to have you in our cast. Unfortunately we roomed only once together in Campbellsville, but I remember this very well, when our host mother tried to find out where the girls in the magic trick came from. You were a great ring master.

I also want to thank you for starting the fishing club. It was a concern for me at the beginning of the year if I will find other Christians or not. But I'm very happy I did.

So I wish you the best for your future and if you ever come to Germany you're welcome to visit me.

God bless you

Jorg Hatermaas



Hey there big guy, you're a dear friend to me & always will be. I still remember our conversation in Tucson when we went shopping in the mall. Now I look at what we've become & can only smile. I'll miss you my friend but look forward to seeing you again. Never stop looking for more ways to be a Christian to make friends & to be humble. Life has so many opportunities take as many as possible. Best of luck in all you do! God Bless!

I¹ll miss you!


Cassi Kuck

6/3/88 Friday Lucerne, Switzerland

For some reason, they woke us up at 6:30 a.m. even though our ride did not end until 9:00. I tried to stomach breakfast, but couldn't do it. We stopped in Basel, Switzerland for a short time then on to Lucerne. The scenery was just awesomely breathtaking and I finally saw the Swiss Alps and they still had a lot of snow on them for being June.

When we finally got to Lucerne, we had a meeting by a lake (where the Wilhelm story took place) then free time to enjoy the weather. We walked around until we had to go to the hotel, but in the process, we stopped by and saw a great castle/fortress which had a fantastic view of Lucerne. Then picked up our stuff and went to the hotel to check in. We were split into two different groups. We only had enough time to check in then go to lunch.

We rehearsed for a while on this incredible stage that had neon lights, moving stairs, and a water fountain, but did a lot of sitting around. After dinner, we had the rest of the evening free, so Randy and I sat in the room and talked.

From Darci Buck-Price
Hi Grant!!

Just dug up my USSR journal. I'll include some of it here if you want to just cut/paste and add to your entries it would be cool maybe this month to promote that we want to have EVERYONE dig up their journals and then you can just copy and paste as many as possible into your journal emails!! TRUE HISTORY!!! Hopefully we're on the same page. If you need my help I am SOOOO willing to help you in any way!! I know that it is A LOT of work‹but copy/paste is pretty easy!!! (plus that would get them into their pictures and memorablia and maybe get even MORE to the reunion!!!!) There is something therapeutic and nostalgic about reading my journal(s)-it brings me RIGHT BACK to that day. Let's encourage it!!


Talk soon!


(EDITOR: So I am encouraging it. If you will dig out your Soviet journals, pictures, memories, I will send them along with my journal entries and Darci's beginning on June 6th. This will be a great way to hear what other people experienced in the Soviet Union and have one last push to get more people to the reunion. Thanks! Grant

6/4/88 Saturday Lucerne, Switzerland

This morning we were served breakfast by the Key Master/Dragon Lady. She had a fit when we started sharing our rolls with each other. It was actually pretty funny.

Today was a rainy, yucky day, so I'm sure glad we got to enjoy the beauty of Lucerne yesterday. We went to the performance hall at 9:00 a.m. and did stretch and worked on Russian words until we finally went on at 1:00. We did Sunrise and Up With People in 5 languages then went to lunch.

They ran out of food for Steve Ellis and I, so we had to wait, and finally got our food when everyone was getting up to leave. We rehearsed for 2 hours for the evening performance, blocking and running it. I was kind of bumming because I was really looking forward to dancing '50's but once again no dice Jack! When we finished, we wrapped up then went to dinner.

We had 3 hours to kill so we ate dinner, and hung around the hotel. The evening performance was 40 minutes long, but we did not have the production with video screens and the such like this morning. After the show, we had a chance to mingle and I met some really nice people from Ireland. I had a couple glasses of wine; was able to get 2 bottles to take back to the hotel; tried to call home; went back to the hotel and a bunch of us drank the wine and partied a little bit.

6/6/88 Monday - Lapeeranta, Finland

We didn't have to go until 11:00 a.m., but my family woke me up at 8:45, although I still didn't move until 10:00 a.m. I couldn't believe they woke me up that early after not going to bed until 3:00 a.m. Then they just stood at my door and stared at me.

When I finally got up, we tried to converse, but it was very difficult because they don't know English very well and my Finnish is a little rusty. Okay, non-existent.

The morning started with Carlos introducing Bruce Early who talked about all the media they have contacted: ABC, NBC, UPI, AP, New York Time, Chicago Tribune and all media that has a base in Russia. They also contacted everyone's hometown newspaper and every major affiliate possible.

Next Ralph Caldwell spoke to us about the film crew and introduced them. He told us how they went about deciding who should film us and what personality would be our host. Before deciding on Mary Hart , they had checked into Marilyn McCoo and Casey Kasem to be our host. It will be put all together then be for sale in September or August to TV stations around the U.S. McDonald's and Coke (Coca-Cola) has expressed interest in being the sponsor which will make it sell even better. It is incredible the marketing that is involved in doing this. Ralph also promised that we would each get a copy of it. I won't hold my breath! (EDITOR: It took me editing it together years later to make it happen. It never did air on TV)

When he was finished, Birger announced that his video will be fore sale in early fall.

We ate lunch, then had 50 minutes to go to town to get last minute things. I bought two 1 liters of Coke and 2 packages of crackers (the same for Kurt). Right before I got on the bus, I bought an ice cream cone, and when I put on my sunglasses, the ice cream fell off the cone onto the ground. They gave me another one for free and I laughed, but Cassi didn't find it very funny.

When we got back, we did an incredible fitness then worked on the dance for Footloose. I danced with Lisa and was pretty impressed how quickly I picked it up. It is a fun dance to do, following that we went in and rehearsed the Russian words, and blocked it into the show. It is a lot of hard work, but it is starting to become a reality.

I met Pauli and Arja (my host parents) afterwards to have a picnic dinner along with all the host families. Tony was pretty wild so after I showed them my Colorado information I went in and started getting ready for the show. We actually did almost the whole show with all Russian MC's, so it was kind of like a Russian dress rehearsal.

The show went pretty well, but the Russian songs were still weak. Everyone was sweating profusely because it was so hot, in fact, I think I have never sweated so much as I did tonight.

After the show, I got out of the strike to get my hair cut by Deedra. Cecilia cut a little more off the back but it was sure nice to have all that hair gone.

I was picked up about 10:15, went home and proceeded to wash clothes, repack down to two bags, took a shower, and did a lot of writing. Went to bed about 1:30 a.m.

From Darci Buck-Price
June 6, 1988

The production team of 7 just joined our cast. It's 3:30 a.m. and I'm wide awake- white nights here in Helsinki. We go to the USSR tomorrow!!! Long awaited day for Cast A of UWP.


Tuesday, June 7th , 1988 (leaving Finland for USSR)

Poost fsehg-DA BOO-det SONN-tseh!

It was a weird feeling because it kind of felt like another travel day, but not. When I hung up the phone with my parents I said, “I got to go. I’m going to Russia in an hour.” We took an official cast picture in front of the truck, and Hans said that Mr. Belk called to wish us luck one more time this morning then we hopped on the bus.

We finally walked our luggage through the inspection. They took a long time on me, and were talking back and forth. I think the beard may have concerned them because my passport is completely different. It was actually kind of scary. It is a weird feeling to be watched so long and hard.

We eventually left the border about 2:30, which means almost 5 hours at the border. Wow! It is now beginning to soak in that I am in Russia.

The landscape is very pretty, and a lot like Colorado, but more water. Mostly pine trees but also there are a lot of aspen trees. Different than what I expected, but my “preconceived image” was soon confirmed when we passed by a compound with many, many tanks covered up.

When we drove into the first city (Vyborg), it was like driving into the 1950’s and 60’s. Lunch was a salad (tomatoes & cucumbers) soup, steak (?) and potatoes, then a delicious ice cream. After lunch I made my first adventure into a Soviet bathroom, and it was scary. It was very dirty, smelly and the toilets had no seats. Luckily I didn’t have to sit down, but I will have to eventually.

…eventually (after doing a small performance of UWP and We Wish You Happiness) we got back in the sauna on wheels. I could not sleep because of the heat, so I wrote, read and talked to pass the next 3 hours on the way to Leningrad.

Dinner was amazing! There was caviar (black and orange), ham, roast beef (?), cucumbers, salami, salads, and little daisies made of eggs and carrots in the middle. It was incredible, but most importantly, there was lots of Pepsi to drink! Yeah! It was so hot and I was sooo thirsty. I practically downed one bottle instantly. We ate all we could eat, did a little dancing, then realized the main course was coming. Ooops, no room in the stomach. Little more dancing with Gretchen then some ice cream. When we were finished we sang UWP (Russian) for the Sputnick people, and congratulated a newly wed couple.

Back to the hotel. Denis had to collect our passports in order to get our room assignment. Room 737 with Brett Flood will be my home for the next few days. I brushed my teeth (another challenging task) with my water bottle. I think I am going to really be ready to go home after these two weeks because even after one day I missed some of the luxuries or givens like getting cold water from the sink, and being able to drink it and not worry. Getting an ice cold coke on any corner and just in general western conveniences. I finally went to bed around 2:30 after writing in my journal.

6/10/88 – Friday

My morning started abruptly at 5:45 a.m with a phone call from Brett Flood. He asked me to look through his bag and find his Euro-rail pass, 100 kroner and his passport. I told him his passport was with the staff and then asked him what he needed it for. He wouldn’t tell me, but I still couldn’t find his stuff. I told him when we were leaving and that he better be there, and he hung up. I don’t know what the problem was, but I went back to bed. I couldn’t sleep very well, so I was up in plenty of time to get my stuff into the bus.

After breakfast we made an official presentation to the Leningrad Sputnik people. We gave them some records and cast picture, then went on our jolly way to Kalinin. It was about a 10 hour trip and very bumpy. I was in the very last row sitting with Lena, Randy, Wynand and Lynda. I laid on the ground in the back on the floor and I woke up to a wet shirt. Something had spilled, and as it turned out a bottle in my bag had broken and spilled.

We arrived in Kalinin at 7:00pm, had the bread and salt ceremony, sang UWP once and checked into the hotel. Something I noticed while we were singing UWP in Russian is that none of the “Big Wigs” know it. I thought that was awful ironic being they are always asking us to sing it, and want to look good for the camera.

We did dinner then relaxed by just sitting around talking and later playing cards. While we were talking some guys came into our room, wanting to trade a Russian record for an American tape. They did not speak English very well, so I was having a little fun with them since they wouldn’t leave. I asked them if they knew John Denver and they said “Yes, isn’t he heavy metal?” We said “Yes, that’s him.” And started laughing. Eventually they left and we did our thing.

6/11/88 – Saturday

We met this morning at 8:30, but we didn’t get up until 8:00. I wanted to take a shower, but the water was ice cold so I was only able to handle washing my hair. Breakfast, like all the other meals was a challenge to swallow, but I made sure I ate a lot of bread. After breakfast, Carlos held a meeting and passed out schedules (in Russian Cyrillic), then told us what they meant. When he was finished, Bruce Early had some quotes that he read off, and Paul Caldwell reminded us of how historic our being here is and how “We are paving the way for future generations.”

After the meeting, we loaded the buses to go on a tour around Kalinin for 1 hour. We watched this ceremony at this one monument for WWII veterans, and those who gave their lives. It was strange because they had an eternal flame and from the flame it had the sound of a heartbeat. It was eerie and reminded me of Bill Cosby’s The Chicken Heart. When the kids walked down the stairs and stood their post, the clock chimed 11:00, and the heartbeat changed to Tchaikovsky’s music. Hearing his music after seeing the Soviet Union, it kind of explains why his music was so somber.

Right before the ceremony we saw a newlywed couple come and lay some flowers on the stone next to the flame. Al (Bias) and I analyzed it and decided since they don’t worship God, they still need to show respect and have a specific ceremony. In order to do this they must go lay flowers on memorials of their fallen soldiers. Kind of strange, but makes sense (if in fact it is true). We continued our tour a little longer then ended up at this peace march (Wave of Peace). The Group I was in watched a bunch of dances performed by kids. They were really good and had some neat costumes. When they were finished, we performed a few songs, and tried to teach the audience UWP at the end of our show. Imagine a bunch of English speaking people trying to teach Russian to a Russian crowd that has never heard of UWP before. It was quite hysterical and pretty useless in my opinion. When we were done there we went down the street a little way and did another show. I stayed off to watch people’s stuff, and after the performance they started asking us questions about the USSR. They asked how many provinces there were and what was the first impression of Soviet people. They were pretty intense questions, and then they asked if we had any questions for them. Katrin asked them what their feelings were between East and West Germany were, and I don’t think anyone ever did answer it.

After we were quizzed, I asked if I could have one of the posters on the truck/stage that had an American flag and USSR flag circling around the world. They told me I could have it, and when I came down, some guys approached me. One guy gave me this great set of peace posters, and the other two gave me pins, and I gave them an UWP button. We left soon after to go to lunch.

Lunch was not that good, but I had a fantastic conversation with Almendra about the big Mexico City earthquake. She went practically minute by minute of how it affected her and her family. It was really an intense conversation and I really appreciate the fact that I am in an international group, but felt sad that soon I will not be able to turn to my neighbor and ask how this affected their lives in another country.

From there we went to a kind of camp, where we tried to mingle and participate in their activities. I had a hard time getting into it, but tried to get involved with Stacie, Birger and Kurt. We tried to communicate with this one family/group of people, with success but it was very difficult.

On the way back to the hotel for dinner we watched part of The Golden Child on video on the bus. We had a very quick dinner because we were going on a boat cruise from 7 until 10pm. Elin and I had a nice talk walking to the boat, to try and get caught up on each others lives. Before the boat left, a good song came on and Lynda and I did a country swing. She has definitely gotten better during the course of the year. I think the cameras were filming us. It would be interesting to see how we looked. I hope they put some in the show.

The rest of the evening we all (or a lot of us) were upstairs of the boat. It was raining, but we had a top over us and still had the fresh air. I danced a lot with Kelly Bates and really had fun with her. Half way through we had some Russian folk dancing performed for us by both a pair of adults and 2 pair of children. It was pretty good. The lady had on a very sexy revealing dress during the numbers so it was hard to concentrate on their dancing. (Editors note: This is the event that made me decide to teach ballroom dance once we returned to our homes after the year was over. It obviously made an impression on me.)

At the end of the boat trip, I was talking with Paula and Melinda and they said some very nice things about me. They called me kind, cute and a fatherly figure. I walked back to the hotel with Melinda, in the rain, and we had a nice talk. The rest of the evening was spent talking with Stacie, eventually raiding her room when she was asleep and also getting into Pia’s room. It was kind of fun, like being in college again.

6/12/88 – Sunday

Breakfast was close to being edible, because it was eggs (or that is at least what it looked like). We went straight to the hall to set up at 9:45 and we were finished by 12:30. I was on truck crew with Terry, Matt, Darci, Kira and Jeff so we were done when we finished unloading the truck. We talked a while out in the truck because they were filming us talking.

For lunch, we were treated real special; we got 6 or 7 cookies and chocolate. No meat and nothing really substantial to eat. This day of all days in my life I have missed a Big Mac and Coke more than anything in the world.

After lunch we had stretch then dress rehearsal with full costumes for the cameras. They wanted to get close up shots of people and dances without affecting the show for the audience. It was a real challenge to keep the energy level very high, and not getting any feedback from an audience. We filmed several songs (none that directly affected me), but while we did The Proverb Song the first time I was in the front row behind the soloists. Mia decided she wanted a “pretty” face up front so she put Amy Roth there and moved me behind Brenda Borgnes and Susie. When we finally ran it, I stayed on the nine so I could see and be seen. We ran Gospel four times which became real old trying to be excited for no one.

We had a quick wrap up after rehearsal then went to dinner back at the hotel. It was very quick, then back at 6:30 for a show at 7:00. During Green room, we all stood in two lines and sang When the Saints Go Marching in and Swing Lo at each other. Then we all got in a circle to listen to a tape of Irma, we circled up, and we all divided into groups by what color shirt we had on. We couldn’t list to all of Irma because we had to go on stage. People tried to sidestep the fact that this is our last two-hour show so that we could still have a good show without crying.

The show went really well although I was not into it very much. Especially The Sunshine Song and The Proverb Song (with a non-rehearsed reprise), in fact they liked it so much they asked us to come back and do another show tomorrow. They asked us this at the end of the encores, unbeknownst to any of us. After a little bit of mingling we had a quick meeting to tell us we were doing another show tomorrow.

We went back to the hotel and sat in our room and talked with Heidi, Deedra, Brenda, Lynda, Bill, and Matt. I finally went to bed around 1:00 a.m.

6/13/88 – Monday

We totally missed breakfast altogether and spent from 9:00 - 9:45 getting ready for the day. On the way to the Palace of Pioneers, our bus hit a trolley car that stopped in the middle of the road. We were trying to go around it so the side of the bus (one luggage door up to the window) was pretty dented.

The Palace of Pioneers was not like a camp like I was expecting, but more like a summer school for boys/girls scouts. We first received some history of the building from some 13 or 14 year old girls, then took a tour that ended up in a room they were all waiting in for us. We sat in rows across the table from each other and asked questions back and forth through a translator. They sang one song. We sang Peace, we both sang Happiness and Sunshine Song together. When we were finished we signed their guest address book. It was an okay time but rather strange. We went back to the hotel for lunch that I couldn’t handle, so I left to go to the tourist store. Unfortunately, many people had the same idea so there was a long line. I bought a couple of bottles of vodka to take home, and a six pack of Coke that cost me $13.00 dollars.

I made it back just in time to catch the bus to rehearsal at 1:30, but I had to savor one of those Cokes on the way. We went through some transitions of the new rundown until about 3:30, gave us 15 minutes to change and get make-up on and be in greenroom. Greenroom was very quick, but included a man playing the accordion.

The show started about 4:15 after all the stuff Hans goes through at the beginning to tell about UWP and then have to translate it. I did a lot of screwing around during this show. I hopped on a mic for ‘80’s with Leanne, then at the end of the show I skipped out of the Russian songs so I could put on an international costume. I ended up putting on Moku’s old costume and a bandana around my head, and became Japanese for a couple songs: Unfinished World and UWP. I was even in the UWP line. Mia stood right behind me on stage and asked me why I was wearing that costume. She was laughing but I don’t think she was too happy, but I really don’t care. I ran off for the encores because I didn’t want to be on stage for all those presentations at the end.

By the time they shut up and I got changed and on the truck it was 6:15pm, but things didn’t really come out to the truck until 6:30. After we got going, we made pretty good time and were finished by 8:00pm. We are supposed to have finished and eaten by 7:30 to go meet a family to go home with for the evening. When strike was done, they had some Cokes waiting for us. (I just remember that the film crew filmed strike also. Cool!)

We went back to the hotel, washed up a little, changed clothes, and went downstairs to meet a family. Monique Balsinger grabbed me as I walked out and asked me to come with here, and I said I would.

Paul and the father (head of the house) were there to pick us up, and we walked to their house on the other side of the Volga River. When we arrived they had a fantastic spread of food out, but also lots of mouths to feed. There were eleven people other than Monique and I and a collie (dog). Dinner conversation started slow, but between Paul (English translator) and one of the other guys, who knew German, we managed pretty well. I asked them what they thought of America, and they had really not heard much. They asked me of what I thought about Russia before I came, and I said onion top cathedrals and Siberia. They asked me a lot about my school, and a lot of questions about UWP. We talked about Communism and Capitalism (which they don’t know much about either one). I said the main difference was that in our society “The harder you work, the more you can get.” Here everyone works for the good of everything, and there is no motivation to do better. During this whole conversation we drank champagne, and had many toasts with Georgian vodka.

After dinner, the guys sat down and played Beatles songs and I tried to sing along. They also played some Russian songs for me, and when that got old, I pulled out all my Colorado stuff and pictures to show them. They seemed very interested in looking at where I am from and my family. We did that for about an hour and when we were finished I taught Olga how to country swing (or at least I tried). It was pretty funny because she had no concept of what to do, but considering this she still did well. We took some pictures had some dessert and started exchanging gifts. They gave me some postcards, this banner, a little I.D. book and a cassette tape of Russian music. Also various pins, cards, posters, and picture of a building they designed (They are architects). We presented them with a UWP record signed by Monique and me and UWP buttons to each of them. After one more toast (that I made) with some strong Russian vodka we left to walk back to the hotel. This last toast was several gulps of vodka, and definitely put me into the pleasantly buzzed category. Almost everyone walked back with us to the hotel except for Mom and Dad. It was surprisingly hard to leave. It is amazing how people could become so close, so quickly and not even speak the same language. It was a fantastic evening and I am so glad I went there. I felt I finally got a clear view of what Soviet life was really all about. I didn’t get back to the hotel until about 1:30am and packed until about 2:15 when I went to bed.

6/14/88 – Tuesday

We loaded the buses first before we went to breakfast, and afterwards we did our presentations to Sputnik and took an official cast picture

My bus date was Diane and we worked on the statistics until the movie “The Bedroom Window” was put on the TVs in the bus. We watched that and figured out the number of shows and hours on a bus. We arrived at our hotel about 2:00 and went through our bread ceremonies, did The Proverb Song and UWP, then went to lunch. It was a fantastic meal (for once), and everyone just went wild.

After lunch we got our luggage, and checked into our room. I got into my suit and tie and met Christine Dorn and Ahmet Rhineike downstairs in the lobby. We took off on bus 87 to the Bolshoi Theater where we got off and walked to the Kremlin. As we walked up the hill (it took us 15 minutes to figure out how to cross the street) into Red Square you could see the top of the cathedral. That is the one thing that I have always thought of when I thought of Russia. It was the most awesome feeling in my lifetime. I felt like I was walking into a postcard and for the first time I really felt like I was in the heart of the Soviet Union. Wow! I think I will never forget that picture in Red Square.

We stood there for a while looking around and trying to get into the Kremlin. We finally started walking and ended up by the tomb of the unknown soldier. When we realized we were not anywhere near where we were supposed to be, we asked a police officer where to go. I had asked the guides earlier in the day to write, in Cyrillic, the place where Gorbachev lived. I showed the officer and he tried to explain where to go but he spoke no English or German, but some passer-byes stopped to help us because he spoke German. I’m sure glad Christine came because between the two of us we managed pretty well.

After asking several policemen along the way, we finally made it to the building the guides had written down for me. We started to walk in and were stopped by a man standing outside. He didn’t speak English or German so he went inside to get someone else, but the person he got was another man who could not speak either English or German. After trying to explain what we wanted and he had no clue, he took us down the street about a block and a half to another building. We went into the lobby before you get to the security checkpoint, and the man went to get someone else. He came back with someone who does speak English, and we gave him the UWP spiel (explanation of what UWP is). After about 5 minutes the guys asked us to wait a minute and 5 minutes later he came back with another man who spoke English.

We told him why we were there (to invite Mr. Gorbachev to our show) and told him who we were (that we were an international group spreading peace through understanding). I explained to him that we felt UWP is breaking the ice for the Reagan/Gorbachev student exchange program by being such an international group. He said “Well you realize that Mr. Gorbachev is a very busy man.” I said, “I understand that, but I would not be here if I didn’t think this was important.” We talked a little bit longer with him only being mildly interested until we finally mentioned that our sponsor was Sputnik. He seemingly became much more interested once we told him that Sputnik was responsible for bringing us to the USSR. He said “Why then did not an official Sputnik representative ask Mr. Gorbachev to attend the show?” I replied “Both Sputnik and UWP has sent official telegrams to him, but we thought it would be better and more sincere if we came and invited him in person”

At the end of the conversation he said, “The best I can do is try and get him a message from you and have him get in touch with you.” So Christine pulled out a business card and I put my name on the back. I also showed him our hotel card and he wrote down the name, my room number and when we would be leaving, and said he would try either way to tell us.

It was a disappointing ending, but more or less what I expected. I felt at least we tried and had fun doing it. Besides how many people in Colorado Springs can say they tried to talk with General Secretary Gorbachev in person.

We went back to the hotel for dinner and the rest of the evening was free. Some people went to the walking street at night, but I stayed in my room trying to get caught up with my journal.

6/15/88 – Wednesday

Today after breakfast, we had another one of those fantastic bus tours. I was dead tired so I slept most of the time which I just hate doing but couldn’t keep my eyes open. The first 2 times the buses stopped I didn’t even get out. The third place was at Moscow University which was cool, then an overlook of the Olympic Stadium and also looked into an Orthodox church. When our bus tour was finished, we went to stand in line for Lenin’s Mausoleum and on the way half of us put flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It took less than 30 minutes to get to the Lenin Mausoleum from a pretty good distance away. The guards, however, were constantly making people get as close together as possible and keep moving. You had to walk within the lines and in pairs, as you turned “the corner” you had to close your jacket, women had to wear shirts with sleeves, you could not have your hands in your pocket, cross your arms or hold someone else’s hand. Jerko had his arms crossed inside the structure and they pulled them apart and down to his side. We laid flowers outside next to the entrance just before we entered. Staying in groups of two in a single file line, we went down about 3 flights of stairs. The inside was made of black marble (not like the red outside) and was kind of cold inside. I was not expecting to go downstairs because I figured that is why it is so tall above ground level. It gave the image that we were going down to see a jewel.

When we got to the bottom of the stairs, we turned right for about 4 feet, then walked up about six stairs that led you on to the platform that went around the glass case that contained Lenin’s body. The lighting in there was very smooth, soft light just on the body. He was covered in a black velvet blanket and raised at a slight angle. His right hand was in a fist and left hand flat. It looked wax, as everyone says, but his beard/goatee was not very well trimmed so maybe it grew after he died. We had about a total of 30 seconds to walk on 3 of the four sides of his glass case, down the platform, up the 3 flights of stairs and out. The whole mausoleum experience lasted less than 3 or 4 minutes from entrance to exit with 16 guards inside to protect a dead body. This was a memorable experience I think I will not soon forget. It was a very morbid, weird thing we did than hundreds of thousands do every year.

When we were out, we walked along a path with plaques of dead soldiers who were of some political power. Then lastly you walk by all the graves of the past General Secretaries (except Krushchev) and a stone bust of them. We ended back up in Red Square where the Mausoleum had just closed at one o’clock, so Leanne and I took a Red’s in Red Square photo as well as all redheads in Red Square picture. We also took an official cast picture with the cathedral in the background.

We started walking to where the buses were but several of us stopped to get a picture of Kurt and the back of the cathedral, which is the picture on the sweatshirt. While we stood there, this guy in a black car came speeding by us. I pulled Kurt back and right after that, it skidded to stop, but hit Doug in the process. It only hit him hard enough to knock him in the air a little and off his feet. The guy who hit him hardly got out of his car, and when Doug got up and we were trying to get him out of the way, the guy started honking his horn. He was so rude, I couldn’t believe it. We then went to the buses to go to lunch. Lunch was late so we missed out on the Kremlin, so instead we had about 45 minutes of free time on the walking street. I found these wall hanging hot plate holders and a little wooden box for my Mom and Penny.

We went to dinner and then to a car museum of Ladas. It was a joke because the cars are ugly to begin with, but also were in terrible condition. One of the cars had a windshield wiper missing and most were scratched. After about 45 minutes of complete boredom we loaded the bus and went to another facility. Once we got there we sat in the audience and watched two performances. One of a man who plays guitar and harmonica, and was rather funny (interpreted). The second was weird, but cool of a mime acting out the world being blown up. Right after him we went backstage, had a 10 minute greenroom/warm-up, then did a 20-minute Toa show. It was extremely hard to do, but we actually pulled it off. People were really dragging today (literally and figuratively) due to little sleep, being on a bus all day, and several people being sick.

Afterwards we had a light dinner (2 open faced sandwiches and a Pepsi) and there was a disco, but about 6 of us sat around and talked. It was good because I explained about the time capsule and Laurie told of a chain letter she wanted to start. It would go from person to person and each person was required to write something about what is happening in your life and sending it on to the next person on the list. I hope she does it and it works.

As soon as they announced that the buses were leaving, we all hopped up and hurried out to the buses to go back to the hotel. We really didn’t do much back at the hotel, but I was anxious to get back and relax.

6/16/88 – Thursday

Today is (was) a rainy, soaking wet day. We broke into four groups in the morning, but after breakfast they changed it into 3 groups. (set up crew couldn’t setup today.) One group (my group) went to Lenin’s Library and the other two went to Pioneer Palace.

We finally got to the library at 11:10, but the guide had gone to lunch and would be back in 10 minutes. We waited in the lobby until 11:50 and then we went on a weak-ass tour that lasted until 12:40. I don’t think I saw anymore of the library than if I would not have gone.

We went to lunch, then had the option of going to the monastery or to a Beriaska (tourist, hard currency) shop. They were at the same place, so a lot of people did both or tried in the 45 minute we had. At the shop I finished getting all my gifts: Dad- chocolate and candy, Scott – a box; Brett – chess set; for everyone a bottle of champagne and a bottle of vodka. I also bought a book on Moscow for myself and the family ( and had the whole cast sign it.) The book was $17.00 (10.30 rubles) and the rest of the stuff was $38.00, so I spent almost $60.00 Ouch! It will be worth it though. (Editor: What a big spender I was!)

From there we went back to the hotel to get ready for a folk music concert we were going to and have dinner. The concert was at the Cosmos Hotel, an awesome tourist hotel, in the theater there. It was really neat because the orchestra consisted of all guitar-like instruments, percussion and large glockenspiels The instruments sounded like they were from the same family as the mandolin. It was nice to be on the receiving end of a performance for a change. They had a few singers perform with them that were pretty good, especially one lady. I think the thing I liked best, however, was the way they ended. On the last song instruments just started leaving by ones and in small groups waving to the conductor as they left. It was done really classy, and was a really cool way to finish. Some people went backstage after the performance to meet some people in the orchestra. I went back to the hotel, riding with Laurie, and when we got there, the door was locked and the key was gone. We knew Doug was in the room and our bet was that Holly was with him and we were right. (Editor: I wonder what they were doing??)

The rest of the evening was spent running around checking out the scene, but ended up going to bed around midnight.

6/17/88 – Friday

(Here comes that rainy day feeling again!) Today we split into several groups to go different ways. They did this at breakfast right after they introduced a girl from Lithuania who wants to travel in UWP and then introduced Mary Hart. I was actually a little disappointed, but I really don’t know what I was expecting. She is very pretty, but not the “Knock-out” that I remember from TV. Terry and all the other people with titles sat at her table and I’m sure Terry let her know that she slept in his bed when he was 2 years old.

My group went to the armory then the Kremlin, and others did the following; 20 did the Kremlin, and then the armory; 30 went to Pace talk conference with Mary Hart; 40 set up. The armory was really interesting, but I didn’t enjoy walking with the tour guide because I could not hear her. So, I did a self-guided tour, bur checking in occasionally with the group. Now I am really glad I got the book because it has some fantastic pictures in the armory.

When we were done there, we went to the Kremlin, but all we did was walk into a cathedral for a while then left. Dek, Meg and I got into it a little more, and got left behind, but caught up soon afterwards. Then we got on the buses and went to lunch. It was a relatively good tour, but very wet at the Kremlin.

At lunch I spent a little time talking with Hal Brown about doing commercials. It was really interesting and I really felt that is what I wanted to do. I actually got excited about doing that as a possible profession. I asked him about internships and he said yes they do them and to give him a call when I get back to the states. Although he was answering my questions, he seemed in a hurry the whole time and he kind of talked over me.

After lunch I made arrangements with Cassi to go to the Cosmos Hotel with her, to pick up some posters, but she left while Randy and I introduced ourselves to Mary Hart. So Randy and I went to try and invite Gorby to the show again, but ended up talking with this guy for about 20 minutes. We talked mostly in circles, but he was impressed how Americans make an effort to try and make positive contact.

When we were finished at the Central Committee building we went to Russia’s, actually the Soviet Union’s, largest and best shopping mall called Gumm (pronounced Goom). It was rather large but we only walked down one hallway on one floor. The shops were almost like the flea market where you stand at the counter, point at something you would like a closer look, then put it back or buy it. You never touch the merchandise except when you look at it and again when it is wrapped. If you decide you want to buy it you must take a slip to the cashier, pay for it, she gives you a receipt, then you go back for the wrapped package and get to pick it up by either showing the receipt or giving it to her.

We rode the bus back to the hotel, after getting a picture of the water machines, and finding out that a whole string of taxis had no time to take us to the hotel. They weren’t busy, but it seems to me they only work when they want to.

I got back to the hotel, showered and got ready to go to this Sputnik dinner. It was a pretty nice dinner and we even got to pop a bottle of champagne and toast to several things. We did a lot of dancing and just tried to have fun. It made me think of how the end of the year banquet would be. I actually only danced with Gretchen, Brenda La Mica and Corinne. I rode back to the hotel with Kurt, Gretchen and Nanette. When we got back to the hotel I walked Gretchen back to her room. Almendra gave me a Mexico pin and then Gretchen walked me to the door. I stopped her in the little hallway between the bedroom and door and gave her a kiss. Gretchen is a pretty good kisser. (Editor: Maybe she was my destiny? Must have made enough of an impression as to want to eventually marry her. :) )

I went back and changed and went to Doug’s b-day party in #1401. At midnight when we sang Happy B-Day and popped the champagne, and when that had happened I went up to Leanne’s room (1522) to see her surprise party. I sat there for 10-15 minutes then went back down to Doug’s. Deedra grabbed me however, and wanted me to go trading with her. So I followed her and we told everybody that we came in contact with that there was someone in a red shirt and jean jacket with a knife that had stolen some stuff from Rita and Monique. (Editor: hmmm, don’t remember what this was about.)

We wandered around for a while, but I went to bed abut 1:30.

6/18/88 – Saturday

After another “Breakfast with Mary” we loaded the buses to go to rehearsal, while some people went “shopping with Mary.” The performance hall is a sports area/ice rink that holds 35,000 people, and is pretty impressive. The stage went length wise and had our full stage and another stage for other bands facing one half of the arena. It was an awesome sight to see, but they were still building a structure behind our stage when we got there. I spent the whole morning working on costumes with Mary Huckins, Diane, Lena and Deedra. I didn’t really do much, but hang up the costumes after they were ironed. We did, however, enjoy reminiscing about the year and talking about different things that have happened to each of us. We all went to lunch at the hotel, and had a little time to get stuff pulled together for the show tonight.

When we went back for rehearsal we ran several things with costumes on so the camera could film. We had time to get ready for our first appearance on stage and eat a sack dinner before greenroom. At greenroom we had a quick few words from some people, but did not have much time before we went on.

The first segment of the show was all the performers on stage doing one song and jamming out. When we were done, we had an hour and 15 minutes to wait before we went on, so the fishing club got together for a while. Henry did most of the talking about his experiences in the hospital in Leningrad. It was pretty scary some of the things he was saying about the isolation ward he was in and the food he was served. It was really eye-opening for me, but somewhat what I expected. We talked a little bit about Lenin’s Mausoleum and our feelings about how they “worship” Lenin. We finished up by all praying together. It was really refreshing.

For our second to last greenroom we listened to the rest of the Irma tape that we started in Vitlander . All she said was that we were a great group and wished us all the luck in our show in the future.

When we were getting ready to go on stage I decided I wanted to wear the Japanese costume again, and Noriko gave me a headband to wear with it that is really cool. I was wearing the headband around behind stage and Mia came up to me and said “You aren’t going to wear the Japanese costume on stage again are you?” I said, “Yeah, I was planning on it.” She said, “I don’t think you should because you don’t look Japanese. I could understand if it were the German or Russian costume, but people in Japan are going to watch the video in a year and wonder why you are wearing that outfit.” I said “ I don’t think it is that big of a deal,” and just stared at her. She said “Do you have a major problem with it?” I said “As a matter of fact I do. It my cast year, I’m just having fun, and I don’t thing it matters, but I won’t wear it on stage.” (Editor: Sorry Mia-if you ever read this- for being a 20 year-old know-it-all.) Soon after I did take a picture with it on, but went on stage right away after I took it off. Needless to say I was not very happy with Mia and wanted to be in a good mood on stage which made it very hard. During the show, I was able to get on a microphone with Leanne for 80’s and Song of Peace, and had a blast. I went out in the audience for Shout and was nearly blinded by the spotlight while dancing in the aisle. It was a real challenge trying to stand on a step and not fall off. We were performing for about 12,000 people and the show was going great until we got to We Wish You Happiness the first time. We were also going to do that as an encore with all the bands so they all came on stage because they thought we were done, and we still had a good 20 minutes of performing left. The cast just went with it and kept going, but the “people in coats and ties” from UWP just went crazy especially Reed Thompson. They started up the smoke machines and he was back there trying to stop them yelling “Nyet.” The MC for the evening came on stage and was swaying back and forth with us (the wrong way), while Hans walked on stage with a concerned look in his eye. Lindsay and Mia were running around trying to decide whether or not to continue. They ended up doing The Proverb Song with everyone on stage then back into We Wish You Happiness for the encore. At the end another song was played while we went dancing and clapping in the audience. I enjoyed seeing the UWP powers going crazy and frantic more than performing tonight.

I got dressed right away after the show and went back to the hotel. I don’t remember the rest of the evening, but I probably stayed up and talked with Steve and Doug and wrote in my journal. I think in general people are holding up really well, but are getting a little run down. The most frustrating thing is (as the saying explains it), “Hurry up and wait.” That has been the cast motto for these past weeks and the whole year, but not as regularly used. Tomorrow is the last show but I don’t think that is sinking into too many people’s heads. I know it hasn’t hit me. It will! I’m sure.

6/19/88 – Sunday (Last show of the year)

We had the morning off until 1:30 when lunch was served. I slept in until about 11:00 when I got up and showered and wrote some postcards. I also finally wrote in Elin’s book. I told her I would write some questions and she could answer them in my book.

After lunch I bought some stamps so I could get my postcards in the mail. We loaded the buses at 2:30 and like usual we left around 3:00. They were going to take an official cast picture in Red Square in our show costumes, but it was raining so they decided to wait and see if the rain stopped. Well on the way to the hall, they changed their mind and we ended up at Red Square. We all changed on the buses as soon as we found out. It showed how far we have come since the beginning of the year. No one even hesitated changing, they just complained (because most people had been in their costume, but they told us to change into fitness clothes) and started taking their clothes off. I thought it was relatively funny, and what was even more funny was that halfway across Red Square it started raining again. All you could do is laugh it off. We were all in a “V” shape with our banner in the center in front of St. Basil’s. We took a few pictures with different Sputnik people then one with Mary Hart and that is when the cameras started rolling. She gained some respect from me when she proved she had some fun in her. On the count of three we all ran and rushed the cameras and screaming. It was funny and sure got some frustrations of having a camera round all the time out of our system. This is, however, where the epitome of “Doing it for the camera” happened. We all walked around Mary talking with her and walked around Red Square. It was really dumb, and there were a lot of people walking in the back bitching about it. At the front with Mary were the usual suspects: Rick, Ruud-Jan, Susie, Sean, Rodney and Brett. I was walking with Leanne, but there were a lot of Europeans around us. I think the Americans could understand why we were doing what we were doing, and had an easier time accepting it than the non-American, however. Most Americans thought it was a little ridiculous. When we were done, we went back to the facility to work Mary into the show. We all got into our show costumes (those that weren’t) so that we could film it. We must have run her little speech about 10 times. It got really old, but when we were finished and waiting for instructions we did The Load is Getting Heavier. It was like resurrecting something from the dead.

When we were done, we had a quick meeting then had a little time to eat our sack dinner and change into our costumes.

Our first green room was “the official” one with Sputnik, Hans making presentations, Mary wishing us a good show, and various other official people and stuff happening. We went on for this opening song soon after and there was very little emotion involved. Between the two shows I wrote about 15 postcards before we met for our final greenroom.

In the greenroom Lindsay spent the time thanking the production staff and told us the staff had gotten together about something, but wanted us to vote on something. In keeping with Russian tradition, they wanted to have a toast with Russian Vodka as an entire cast and wanted to know if anyone objected. Some people raised their hand in jest (Brian Eide), but they had alternative drinks anyways. We were going to do this toast at the end of greenroom, but the vodka started eating through the plastic cups so we had to do it sooner. “To Cast A” Nastrovia!

Lindsay continued by saying what a great group of people we were and ended up getting a little teary-eyed before she was done. When she was done, Christine did a warm-up, but each intern did one of their warm-ups that they were “famous” for. We did one last Who’s the best, who’s the best, Cast A! and walked away singing Go Bananas. I missed the last fishing club prayer which I could kick myself for but my head was somewhere else. Most of the “crying girls” were crying, but for the most part everyone was still stable.

I personally was not feeling anything as far as emotions, which I felt bad about, but came to the conclusion that maybe I have prepared myself for this better than others (Editor: But Boy Howdy did it hit me about three weeks later!). I later found out that several people shared my “non-emotions” and my same conclusion. We did a lot of hugging then went on stage and had one of (if not the) most energetic shows ever. I don’t think I have ever sweated as much as I did this night. I tried to put this whole year’s energy , excitement, frustrations and achievements into my performance. It was a good show and everyone held it together until Unfinished World then there were a few tears. I have to admit it almost got to me and I had a quick touching moment when I was screaming my lungs out on the AAAAAAAHHHHHH! I was standing next to Tim and holding Jo’s hand behind me. It was like I had expected, but felt good to be with friends. Then we went into our Russian songs segment, finish off with Mary making her little speech about “looking forward to the day when children don’t draw picture of missiles.” The ending tonight went much better although the MC still came up early.

Most of us went back to the hotel following the show, but one crew stayed back to strike.

We were just sitting in our room and Shawn and Wijnand brought in 2 members from one of the Russian rock bands that played with us. We were talking and people were straggling in, but before I knew it, it had turned into a party. We tried to keep it quiet for Denis next door, but people just kept coming. At one point in the evening there were 57 people in the room. I don’t know how (that’s Doug’s figure), but I know I counted 50 before that so it is possible. The highlight of the evening was when Hans, Carlos, Terry, Thomas and Reed came in loaded with liquor in their hands (and stomachs). I don’t know how many times Hans banged on his glass to make a toast or just to say something and eventually several people made toasts. At one point he clanked his glass and said “I just want to announce that my glass is empty.” It was a prime moment and I was out of film. I had used my last picture with Mary Hart and her brother that afternoon.

About 2:30 we started kicking people out, but didn’t succeed until about 3:00 A.M. The room looked like a tornado had hit it, but one broken table was our only casualty. I enjoyed myself especially when Denis came in to ask us to quiet down and came face to face with Hans. (Denis was not a happy person!) (Editor: Denis, have your forgiven us yet after 18 years?)

After packing a little, we were in bed no later than 3:30 A.M.


We got on the bus at 6:00 a.m. and I was plenty tired, so I slept (not as well as Deedra, my bus date though). We stopped in Kalinin for lunch at 12:00 (we were supposed to be there at 9:30am) until 12:30. I finish the story Roadwork in the Bachman books novel by Steven King. During the course of the trip several movies were shown. The Bedroom Window, Rambo, The Living Daylights (James Bond) and The Golden Child. We arrived in Leningrad at about 9:00 p.m. (15 hour travel day), but by the time we dropped of one group of people at the Palace of Youth hotel and got checked into our hotel it was 10:30 p.m.

Henry was my roommate and we stayed up and talked and wrote -postcards because he was doing some trading at 1:00am. They came to our room along with Marc DeGroot and Jeff Martinson who also wanted to trade. I got caught up in it because I decided I wanted a flag. I gave a pair of my black Mega Sport shorts, some razor blades, 3 packs of gum and a UWP lapel pin. He wanted my used deodorant, shirt (dress shirt), pouch to my black carry on bag, my sweat pants and my Jammin’ shirt, none of which I wanted to part with.

By the time they left and we got to bed it was 3:00 a.m. You wonder if these kids have parents and what they think of them being out this late (or early) in the morning. They couldn’t have been older than 16 years.

6/21/88 – Tuesday

We woke up at 7:35, washed my hair then loaded the buses for breakfast at 7:45. After breakfast we left Leningrad for the border, but we stopped in Vyborg for lunch. It was really odd because we came back the same way we went and I recognized some of the same signs, houses, and just scenery in general brought back a wave of “first impressions.”

Lunch in Vyborg was actually very good, and what was funny was we got lost and pulled into the train station just like the first time. It was a major déjà vu. Mary Huckins bought me a local newspaper right before we left, then we went to the border. It was only about a 30 minute drive and I saw so many things that I first saw only 2 weeks ago i.e: dogs, tanks covered up, rundown houses, houses painted all different greens, and the beautiful scenery with the buoys in the water.

We got to the initial border where they took a count of how many people were on each bus. We got to the main border about 2:30 and everyone was worried about them checking luggage. We made it through relatively easily and I don’t think anyone was checked. The thing that took time was exchanging money. When I got up there I did not have the exchange papers with me because I didn’t think I ever got them. However I found out later that I had them in my address book. Brenda B. exchanged them with her rubles.

We passed through one more border (to check our numbers) then off to the Finnish border. We arrived about 4:30 – 5:00 (3:30-4:00 Finland time) and it was like a huge weight was taken off our shoulders (collectively). We all went through Finnish customs and laid outside waiting for the third bus. The weather was great and everyone was all ecstatic (excited) about clean bathrooms and being in the Western world again.

We arrived in Lappenranta about 5:00 and had two hours to kill before the meeting. I went and bought film ($10 for 1 roll) a candy bar and a chocolate ice cream cone. I was one of the lesser “Western world indulgers,” a lot of people went out and bought “normal food.”

We had a meeting at 7:00pm where we started saying goodbyes to Thomas Rhinecky and his wife and to Christine Stevens who is leaving early to get settled before she starts her job in Topeka. A teary situation but I have yet to get choked up.

My host family was about 15 minutes late, but when they picked me up I got comfortable, took a much needed shower, got my clothes together to wash, then relaxed by watching the soccer semi-finals. I tried imagine leaving tomorrow for Munich, but couldn’t. Thank God. (Editor: This comment was I

in relation to the fact at one point we were going to go do a show in Munich during the soccer finals.)

6/22/88 – Wednesday

I didn’t have to be in until noon, but I still was up around 10:00 taking a shower and getting ready. I did a little writing and packing before we left at 11:45. Only some people came at noon for lunch, the rest came at 1:00 p.m. for the meeting. I signed up for lunch because it was salad and I had not liked my host family’s food the first time I stayed there. After indulging in an ice cream cone, I went back for our USSR evaluation.

Carlos ran the meeting and Bruce Early taped everything everyone said. They asked if our first impression or preconceived ideas were correct. They asked what surprised us, what did we like or dislike, and a few other general questions. The last two hours were spent going around the circle giving our one (ha ha) best experience in the Soviet Union. Most everyone gave two or three in great detail so only about 25 people told their experiences. I was kind of disappointed not getting to share my experience (missed me by about 5 people), and I was really only going to take my one minute. I was just going to list meeting the clowns and trying to invite Gorbachev to our show, then tell about trying to teach my Kalinin Mom country swing. It kind of made me mad that people were taking 4 or 5 minutes. Matt told about our experience with the traders in Leningrad which kind of embarrassed me. He made me sound like a total rule breaker.

We finished up at 5:00 by asking a few statistics like: how many families did we visit; how many of us feel like they made a friend; how many got marriage proposals? When we were done, I met Paul and we went home to grab our swimming trunks and head to his summer home.

It was a nice place and I met his mother, uncle, uncle’s wife, cousin (or nephew) mother-in-law who were all there. We played darts for a while ( I could hardly hit the target let alone the bulls eye), then changed, sat in the sauna (my first Finish sauna) for maybe 5 minutes, then jumped in the lake, swam across and back then back in the sauna to rest. Whew! Paul decided there was enough wind (but very little) to wind surf. He went out first (his second time), but ended up paddling back to let me try. I had to start from the water (he started on the dock, which was a challenge in itself. After taking many times to figure out how to stay on the board and pull the sail out of the water without falling off, I learned how to stand. Just when I would get going I would head to the shore and not know how to turn. Every time Paul said “Good job!” I would fall off! (Murphy’s Law) I was going to keep trying until I got it, but it was getting late so I gave up, however, it was a very noble effort. We sat in the sauna little longer, washed off in the lake, dried off and started up the grill for dinner. They called them hot dogs, but it was just large sausages to me. They were good. We left about 9:30, and was home and in bed by 10:30 or 11:00.

6/24/88 – Friday

When I got up, I finished packing it was about 8:10 and we had to be at HDO at 8:00, but I had forgot to tell my family that it had been changed from 8:30. To help him hurry up, I told him that it had been changed to 8:15. I got to HDO at about 8:25 and had to find which bus I was on to put my luggage on. I found my name scratched out and switched to another bus than what Kurt was on, and we were supposed to be allocated together. I asked Catharina and she said I had been switched because Ruud-Jan had missed the bus so I had to go to this other city. I said “What if Kurt and I are roomed together and I’m in the other city?” She said “I doubt you are because a lot of people are alone.” I said “So you know how pissed I am going to be if I find out that I was supposed to be allocated with him?” Luckily Lynda was there and said the good news was that she could be my bus date still.

I was kind of upset at the whole morning because I didn’t have any time to say goodbye to anybody before we had to leave. Lynda and I had a good bus date, we didn’t say much but just enjoyed each other’s company.

We arrived in this town about 45 kilometers from Helsinki at noon and I, of course, was not allocated, but neither was Ruud-Jan. So I found out Steve Ellis had been changed out of a large group so he could be by himself. He asked me to join him right as I was approaching him if I could join him. So he took Clay’s place, I took Rick’s.

Our family never showed up, so this alumna went to their house to see if they were there, but they weren’t. He came back for us, and took our luggage over and put it on their front porch, then we walked downtown. We tried to hitchhike, but with no luck.

We ended up at this restaurant and had a pizza and talked for a while. After that we walked around and ran into Dale, but was unable to go anywhere because everything was closed due to Midsummer Nights (holiday). We ended up back at a bar and had a drink and tried to get a hold of our family. Still no answer so we called Timo (the alumnus) and he came to pick us up. We went back to his place and crashed for a couple hours.

When we woke up we knew no more info so Timo arranged for us to sleep on the floor in his sister’s house. We asked again about his summer home and if that would be okay because we would really prefer beds. He said sure and we took our stuff out there.

Steve and I were so psyched when we drove up because it is out in a forest in the middle of nowhere. There is one hose with running water downstairs next to the sauna, but an outhouse for bathroom accommodations. It is going to be like camping in a luxurious cabin.

After we dropped off our stuff, we went to this bonfire at about 9:30pm. It was supposed to be lit at midnight, but somehow got started at 10:00. We watched until 11:00 then left to go back to his place to get some food. We finally got back to our “home/cabin” around midnight and settled in.

We spent the first hour snooping around by candlelight in the dark, checking in every door we could find. The second hour we tried to get the wood stove going to boil some tea. After filling the house with smoke we sat in the kitchen and talked until about 2:00am. It was really cool being on our own, in nature, making the best of a potentially bad situation, and getting to know each other. We had never really roomed together except in Moscow, but I really get along well with him and we were equally excited about staying here.

6/25/88 – Saturday

First thing in the morning when I woke up I called Gretchen and Michelle. I had talked with Michelle on the bus yesterday and she was really up for going camping. We told them how great our situation was and they got excited and decided to come. However… they had no car in their host family, so we had the dilemma of how to get them out here. We thought of everything from hitchhiking to bus to have Clay bring them, but after much thinking, and a lot of telephone calls, we decided they should go to the train station and grab a taxi when talking with a taxi driver how much it would cost another taxi driver noticed that they were in UWP. It was Timo (our host dad) and he said, “You are trying to get to my house,” so he brought them out here free of charge.

While we were waiting for them Nannette called wanting to know how to get here so they could come visit. I gave them directions. When they arrived, we walked to go swimming in a lake. We tried a couple lakes before getting to the one that we went swimming in. We swam for a while then walked back, but on the way back Nanette and Brenda drove by us and picked us up and took us the rest of the way. We all lounged around, took a nap (with Gretchen and Michelle), eventually started a barbeque to cook some sausages/hot dogs for dinner. After dinner, Steve started up the sauna and Michelle, Gretchen, Steve and I went and sat in it, and eventually Nanette and Brenda went to sit in there. After that we sat around and talked and asked some serious questions like: Have you ever been in trouble with the cops; Have you broken rule number 9 this year, are you a virgin? were amongst the question. (Editor: Sorry, no answers were written in my journal.)

I don’t know what time it was when we went to bed because none of us were wearing watches because we didn’t want to keep track of time. We all slept in the same bed (except Steve).

6/26/88 – Sunday

I got up around 10:30 in time to see our guests leave. Michelle and Gretchen went to Clay’s house, and Nanette and Brenda went home. Steve and I laid out in the sun, sauna’ed, laid out some more, wrote in my journal, read my Moscow book (Nanette did some cool calligraphy in it for me), fell asleep for about two hours, did some more writing and listened to music. Timo came over about 6:00 p.m. with some firewood, and when he left we cooked our dinner, (sausages again). He called us back to tell us we were here for the duration which we were not too happy about. This has been fantastic, but without any TV or anything we will go crazy in another three days. He did bring us some more food which Steve was extremely pleased about. Later that evening we did more snooping out in the barn, went on an adventure in the woods, cut down a tree (Editor: see below for further explanation), came back, wrote in my journal while Steve added up all my statistics (that helped me a lot), then we talked a while about people and the banquet. Steve is an really interesting guy. Earlier he told me about a survival week he did; a summer job as a nurse in a small town mostly working on airplane crashes; all his interests in stocks, and at one time had about $130,000, but lost $60,000. He said he would also like to go through the whole interview process again, be accepted, go to staging with a beard and curly hair, and do the whole year again with no one ever knowing, and see if anyone questioned him or if he could really make it and how far. That would be so cool because you would know so much, but could play dumb and concentrate on the things you want to improve from the first time.

We have definitely done a lot of talking and I feel like I know him a lot better than I used to. It is neat because now he is someone I might keep in touch with more because of these past few days. (Editor: And I have!)

It is 1:12am and the sun will probably be coming up in the next hour (it just set an hour and a half ago), so I should go to bed. I’m starting to get a little homesick or at least America sick. Being here alone makes you think a lot.

Editors note: Henri was anxiously awaiting this day, and I have been asked by Julie Burgan to share with you “the rest of the story” behind the cutting down of the tree. Steve and I had two rusty axes and it took us way to long to cut down this three inch round evergreen, but it made us feel very manly and was quite the testosterone charged event. About two years later after we got off the road I received this very official looking letter from the “Finland National Forrest – Department of Legal Affairs”. It said something to the effect of “Dear Mr. Axton, We know that you cut down one of our precious trees without provocation and have issued a warrant for your arrest if you should ever return to Finland. Our trees are our most precious commodity and we prosecute those, to the fullest extent, who destroy them for pure recreation and with no regard to our laws.” Something along those lines. At this point I had not realized that there was a US postage stamp on the envelope even though the return address was from Finland. It wasn’t until I got to the second page that it said, “Here is to remembering a fun few days in Finland. Sincerely, Steve” Well, being a gullible college student, he actually had me believing the letter until I got to his disclosure.

I am not one to forget these things easily. I didn’t know how or when, but I knew there would come a time when I could retaliate and get Steve back for making me feel like a Finnish fugitive. My opportunity came about four years later when I was performing at the Big Fork Summer Playhouse in Montana. It turns out the playhouse was about 30 minutes from where Steve’s father lived and and he was going to be in town visiting, so he made arrangement to come and see me perform in one of my productions. As was customary at the beginning of each show we would have a little pre-show announcement about no flash photography, and candy wrappers, etc., and would introduce any family members of the performers or dignitaries in the audience. I had given the person who does the announcement instructions on introducing Steve, but with a twist. First he asked for Steve Ellis to stand and be recognized. Well, you all know he is not one to shy away from attention, so there he is, with 6 or 8 family and friends around him, standing and not knowing why he is standing. The person on stage then asks the audience to help him welcome the Chairman of the Finnish National Forestry Department, and to give him a round of applause for traveling thousands of miles to be at tonight’s show. I have never seen a brighter shade of red on a human face, nor have I ever seen Steve Ellis speechless! To make it even better, he had people welcoming him to America during intermission and after the show.

I know my days are numbered, and I am constantly watching over my shoulder for the retaliation from Steve, but for the time being, I have the last laugh! HA!

I hope you are enjoying reading these as much as I am sharing them.


I have such fond memories of the house in Finland. I remember when Michelle and Gretchen came over and joined us, about five guys . . . and it is so sad I cannot remember all of us who ended up being there. And to save their honor, there were more ladies who joined us. We had a bunch of people at our house!

The point was that we had a big house, no host family, keys to the car (which we left at the airport parking lot with the keys under the mat . . . did I mention we had NO host family!), run of the house, all the food we needed . . . and Kevin had a Sauna! (Editors Note: Host Family was only there the first night to tell us where everything was and left the next morning on vacation - not before sitting in the sauna topless . . . I wonder why Kevin liked that Sauna!) What a blast and great memory for me! I remember those cold mornings crawling down in that dark hole under the house to put firewood in the stove to heat the water for showers. We had great breakfasts, listened to Sting records (yes, records) and had we found an axe . . . well, we may have cut down a tree or two. Sorry Steve. Wow. Awesome memories.

Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us. I have relived so much of this through your writing, but found it to be so cool that someone, in the same cast as me, was having a totally different experience. Very cool. It is a very small world.


6/27/88 – Monday

I was awoken at 10:00 am by a phone call from Gretchen wondering what our plans were for the day. We didn’t know, but after calling Kurt’s (and mine) host family starting Monday they said they were able to take three people (instead of two). We called Timo and made arrangements for him to pick us up around 4:00pm to take us to the train station to meet our family at 5:00pm. After such a strenuous evening last night of exploring and chopping down a tree with Steve, we needed to have our daily sauna. While it was heating up I laid outside to catch some rays. Steve and I sauna’ed and “showered” then he took a nap and I read The Running Man by Steven King. For lunch we had our usual corn flakes, but also had butter and sugar on a bread warmed up to perfection. We have had a great diet of either sausages or corn flakes. This is called roughing it! During the day we packed and cleaned up the house, and by the time Timo came we were all set and ready to go.

While we were waiting for Kurt at the train station, Mina approached us and told us she was our host, and we explained to her that we were still waiting for one more person. The 5:00pm train came and went and no Kurt so we waited for the next at 5:15. We saw Ruud-Jan get off the train and we found out Kurt was with him, so Steve and I thought we were screwed again, but the family said they could take all four of us.

Timo took us and our luggage over to their house and we had Cyndi and Suzy with us too, and the poor family thought it was all of us. We got our luggage and beds situated then had dinner on the barbeque. It was a pretty good steak and nice to have a well-cooked meal.

We talked a while after dinner, but went to a place called “The Upstairs Club around 9:00pm. It was pretty boring, although, quite a few people were there, I just was bored. I had a rum and coke that made me tired, but had trouble getting into the “club scene.” We left about 12:30, which was fine with me. I did spend part of the evening talking with Birger about making a tape of American music for the video so I will try to do that for him.

We pretty much went straight to bed when we got home.

6/29/88 – Wednesday

Most of the morning was pretty lazy just sitting around until Kurt left for Helsinki to get the costume bags settled. Steve and I sat and watched the movie “V” until the power went off, so we went to lunch. The strange thing is here the power goes off before the thunderstorm not during. We had these meal coupons to use, but the restaurant had no power either as we sat and watched the rain. It was cool to watch and really started to downpour. We ran out in the rain a little bit until the power came on and went back to the restaurant to eat.

They spoke absolutely no English, so Steve pointed to the two different things on the board and hoped they would be good. For all we knew we were getting boiled tennis shoes, but actually got something edible. When we finished we went back to watch the rest of the movie, but towards the end, the tape ran out so we never saw the ending. Ruud-Jan came home just as we were leaving without him. He had to hurry in order for us to get out the door quickly.

We met host Mom at the airport with our luggage and checked it in as soon as possible. I still needed a Finnish flag for my coat so it would be complete (with a flag from every country we visited). Mina went one way and I went another, but she came back with what I didn’t want. Oh well, it was a nice gesture and it worked anyways so I was happy I didn’t have to buy it. I hung around with Randy until we had to go through passport control. Today was full of just waiting, so while we waited, I took a picture of all the Coloradoans.

We got on the plane at 6:30pm, and my plane date was Jennifer (McDonald). She was not feeling well so we didn’t talk much, but I got some writing done. The whole flight home (to NYC) it was light outside so it was hard to sleep, and the movie was Moonstruck. I was not too impressed with the movie, but watched the whole thing. Walked around talking to people for a while (to Lynda) and played gin with Jeff and Darci.

We landed at 8:20 and Jeff Van Zyl notified us that we were now alumni. Weird thought! We waited for about 30 minutes for our luggage and the first thing on the belt was Kelly Bates. It was pretty funny, but reality hit hard when Leanne left to catch her flight home. She was the first American to leave.

I went through customs relatively easy. I told them I was part of the UWP group that was going through and he asked me where I was coming from, whether or not I had food, and did I have any alcohol. I told him I had a bottle of champagne, no food, and my most expensive purchase was not over $20.00. I didn’t think I should mention about the vodka, but I didn’t have any problems anyways. (Editor: Probably a good idea not to mention it since I was only 20 at the time.)

We all congregated out near the doors and said our goodbyes. Steve Riveria was here to greet us and say hello and goodbye and it was really good to see him again. It got pretty teary-eyed for all of us and I was finally able to get out some of my emotions. We slobbered over each other for about an hour and a half until I could call home after 10:00 p.m.

Mom didn’t know much about what was going on with my flight plans. I told her I was not able to get in a hotel room that night and that my plans to get to New Jersey fell through so I was back to square one. I had checked with Bill Parker on how to get to Tom’s River and he told me I would have to switch a couple of times to a different bus in order to get there. She said Mrs. Marko was not able to get any Cats tickets, so she suggested I stay in the city and see what I could do about getting tickets, but she didn’t want me to sleep in the airport. When I was done talking with her, I checked the ground transportation and they said I could only get there by personal car. Megabucks! So I decided to wait, spend the night in the airport, and try and tackle it tomorrow with a clear head. A bunch of people (about 10 of us) found a somewhat quiet corner, and took over. Welcome to the Kennedy Airport Hotel! Not quite as comfortable as a hotel bed, but at least it was cheap (free).

6/30/88 – Thursday

How great can a day start off when you start it by waking up in an airport on the floor? We sat around and talked and waited as one by one people started walking away. Finally all that was left was Michelle Bauckham and I, and we said our final goodbye and went our separate ways.

I met up with Marty and Bill and we talked and read the USA Today. I was able to leave my stuff while I called the Markos and told them I was in town. I also looked into tickets to Cats and they had some available but I had to have a credit card to reserve, and besides I didn’t know Mary Huckins’ plans. When I was done with that, I babysat luggage while Marty waited until Cynthia left. I was going to go with Marty to Newark Airport but it cost $17.00 and I would still have to get to Tom’s River from there, so I decided to go to Port Authority downtown for $8.00.

Marty waited until I left, and we laughed about this guy’s job it was to inform everyone in sight when the bus came and how much it cost. I answered this girl’s question as to what bus it was outside and he about had a fit.

After I got downtown, I checked my luggage into storage then went straight to Winter Garden’s box office (only stopping at the visitors center for a map to make sure I knew where I was headed) to check on Cats tickets. I was able to get one for tonight for $30.00 so I went for it and figured Mary would understand. I thought since I saved money on the ticket I could buy a Cats t-shirt for $10.00. (Editor: Yeah, I am a geek.)

After I did that I found the nearest telephone (across the corner from Winter Gardens) and called John Marko and told him my plans. He seemed real cool about it and I told him I already had bought my ticket. He said I could either call when I got there or take a taxi. I called home and told them I checked into an airplane ticket and only found things for no less than $308 smackeroos. I asked if Mom could find more info on the cheaper tickets to call me at the Marko house. They also received my postcard from Russia today which took a lot less time than I expected.

When I was finished talking with them I went across the street to the Pizza Hut and had a pepperoni Personal Pan Pizza! It was delicious! I didn’t think I missed it that much. When I was finished I took the subway to downtown Manhattan and saw: The World Trade Center two towers, St. Paul’s Cathedral (outside) Trinity Church (inside), Wall Street, American Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and was going to see Chinatown and Little Italy, but I ran out of time. On the way back I went clear to 57th Street so I could go to the Hard Rock Café – New York. I stayed there for about 30 minutes and had my first real wine cooler in 3 months! That Bartles and Jaymes was one of the best things I have ever drank! (Editor: Yes, I was quite the wine cooler connoisseur.) The guy standing next to me had a Swedish flag on his coat and I asked him if he was from there. He said yes, but had moved to the states several years ago. I told him that this Hard Rock was much better than Stockholm and he agreed. We talked for a little while. I left about 6:30 to head back.

On the way back I looked into Radio City Music Hall, the NBC building and read a LIFE magazine in the Time/Life Building. I got to the theater at about 6:50 and just sat around and waited to go in.

When I first got my seat I couldn’t decided whether or not they would be good seats. I was actually in the stage left wing and right on top of the stage. It was good because you could see extra things the rest of the audience could not see like the entrances and exits, but the things you couldn’t see far outweighed what you could see. Most of the time we were staring at their backs and could see nothing that happened on stage left down stage. It was still good and I was glad to be there, but I noticed some seats down front that no one ever took, so at intermission I asked the man. On my way down there I got Old Deuteronomy’s signature and took some pictures of the stage. Also once everyone was on stage looking around I got a snapshot of Old Deuteronomy. Oooh boy I don’t think he liked that. He was not saying anything when he signed autographs, but his look could have burned a hole right through me.

After intermission I enjoyed the show much better because I was still close to the stage, but could catch everything. My senses were going crazy trying to absorb everything. The makeup was just phenomenal and you could tell that they had studied the behavior of cats. The stage did amazing things with backdrops falling to make a completely different scene. From a junkyard to a ship. Then at the end this whole tire moved towards the audience and up to meet another staircase that came out of the ceiling to take Grizabella to the heavy side layer. They were constantly in the audience roaming around and really brought the audience “on stage” or maybe made the audience part of the stage. The entire audience and stage set design was all boxes, cans, bicycle tires and trash in general that were 10 times their original size. I knew that when the song “Memory” came on the audience would go wild because that is the most famous song from this musical. The first half when she came out to sing it it was good, but not a showstopper. However the second time being able to see her whole face and body was just incredible! She really did not have a great voice, but boy could she project. I don’t think I have ever shivered as much as I did during that one song. It was incredible!

After the show I walked straight back to Port Authority, picked up my bags, found out where to catch the bus then went upstairs and waited. The bus ride was about an hour and a half and I arrived into Tom’s River at 1:30am, called John (and Mrs. Marko answered) and he was there to pick me up soon after.

When we got home they showed me my room and the bathroom and I went to bed.


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7/1/88 Friday

Today was a real relaxing day for me. I got up about 10:30, showered, sat in the sun, wrote in my journal, went to lunch with Bob and John at a hole in the wall diner, came back and started calling travel agents. After I found out some information, I watched TV a while until Mrs. Marko came home Then she took me to get my ticket, went to the grocery store (got normal deodorant hooray!) and to get dinner, went back home, left again with John to the bank to get money, came back and had a delicious steak and corn on the cob dinner with Mr. & Mrs. Marko. After dinner I watched Dragnet on HBO until 10:00 then I went to bed. I really didn’t mind not doing anything, but Mrs. Marko felt bad about it. She didn’t believe me when I told her I was perfectly content. Oh well, it was a nice home and a nice stay, but I’m getting anxious to get home.

I also talked with Mary Huckins for a short time to see if she was coming to the city, but she was not. Good thing I didn’t wait to see Cats.

7/2/88 - Saturday

I had a fantastic eggs, sausage and muffins breakfast this morning, then she dropped me off to catch the 9:00 A.M. Express bus to NYC.

I went straight to the ticket outlet when I got there and stood in an incredibly long line, but it moved pretty quickly. I had no problem getting a ticket for A Chorus Line for the matinee this afternoon. I basically just walked around waiting for the show because I only had two hours to wait.

My seat was way left of the stage so right before the house lights went down I moved to the middle section for a more straight on shot at the stage. I was a little disappointed in the show actually, more so in the casting of the performers. Some of them just really did not look the way I thought they should look. I really liked the way Marsalis played her part and sang the song “I Felt Nothing,” but some of the other parts didn’t work. The girl who sang “Tits and Ass” was too old trying to look young. One thing I thought was really neat was that the character part of Sheila came from Colorado Springs, so I was going to try and meet her after the show, but didn’t. (Editor: Dang, quite the theater critic at age 20!)

After A Chorus Line was over, I went downtown to Chinatown and Little Italy where I looked around a while. I called home from a phone booth between the two and gave my flight plans to them and talked for a while. I was not impressed with Chinatown because it was very dirty with too many people.

From Chinatown I went down to Battery Park and just sat on a bench and stared at Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty. I was thinking that so many people look at these places with the American flag waving and think nothing of it. After being overseas, the American flag stands for so much more and means more to me.

I headed back uptown to catch Godspell and was there by about 7:15. While I was waiting I talked with this usher and explained to me that the theater was owned by the church.

The Lamb’s Theatre was pretty small with a small stage so there were not many “bad” seats. I really enjoyed this production after it got warmed up. It was very up to date and down-to-earth. I would like to see another production of it to see if it is the show or the director that made the show good. The cast was 5 guys and 5 girls between age 20 and 27 and was very high energy with lots of interaction with the audience. It was actually very similar to UWP, and at intermission the audience was asked onstage for a Dixie cup of grape juice. I spent some time talking with one of the girls at intermission. I asked her if most of the performers had the same beliefs as what they were saying/performing. She said no, which should not have surprised me, but I didn’t feel like they meant what they were saying during the second half. The second act was much more serious than the first and was pretty deep. I really enjoyed this show and getting to laugh. If I come back to New York City, I will have to see more comedies.

When this one was over, I hung around and watched the actors and actresses leave, and it hit me that as soon as they leave that theater they become just another New Yorker. After 30 minutes or so, I went and got a Big Mac, fries, and Coke, my first one since I’ve been back in the states. From there I walked to the Hard Rock and had another wine cooler hoping to meet someone, but didn’t.

I took a different way home checking out nightlife. I actually felt relatively safe. I never saw a prostitute, but there were men selling watches every 10 feet on some streets (literally). It was very strange to me and I couldn’t figure it out. A commodity that is not a big seller (watches) and so many of them (sellers). I couldn’t understand why they sell watches.

I walked back to the Port Authority, but it was 1:00am so I couldn’t get my bags until 7:00 A.M. so I read my book in Burger King until they closed then I moved on to the street to sleep. I slept (or tried) on the bus station steps until 6:00 A.M. when I got my ticket to JFK. (Editor: Amazing how UWP and youth made me crazy enough to think this was okay to do. No wonder my mother wanted to kill me when I told her I slept on the steps of the bus station in NYC.)

While I was waiting for the parcel holding place to open, I dozed a little and two cops came and asked me if I was okay.

I guess this is actually July 3rd now. I loaded the bus, checked in my luggage and had about 30 minutes to spare before we left NYC.

7/3/88– Sunday

(Editor: These last couple days had nothing to do with our tour, but I found them interesting because of how random my thoughts were and how my whole goal was to explore my surrounding and my thoughts. This was not a common occurrence for me before UWP. Maybe it will remind you of your own experience of going home right after the tour and how disjointed it felt, yet so good to be home.)

My flight to St. Louis with continuing flight to Honolulu left at 9:20 A.M. arriving at St. Louis at 10:52 Central Standard Time. Coming in on our 747 our captain assured us it was beautiful 79 degrees. I spent the two-hour layover eating Oreos and playing a video game (Motorcycle).

Now I sit here buckled in my seat in the DC-9 that will take me home “to the place where I belong” (John Denver) [I’ve been reading too much Steven King lately; first Roadwork,, then The Running man, now The Stand. ] This is the first time I have been in Colorado Springs in six months! We are just taxiing to the runway and I already have butterflies in my stomach.

I can’t decide (“place this mask tightly over your mouth…” blah, blah, blah) whether I’m excited or nervous. I have ideas of what I would like to do when I get home, but I’m afraid I’m going to get really bored quickly. I hope I can appreciate the little things that I missed in Europe and that I yearned so much for. I hope that I can accomplish some of the things that I have been thinking about i.e: Ballroom dance Instructor, Community theater, a good job, classes at PPCC or UCCS, maybe go to UWP Dress Rehearsal. Dress Rehearsal… wow that seems like a lifetime ago. It was a lifetime ago! I have 130 friends all over the world that I am already starting to miss, and I feel like I’m just coming back home after a week at Jeff’s (my best friend at the time) in Salt Lake City. Yesterday sitting at the bay, looking at Lady Liberty I couldn’t help but think of Elin and Jo, Sanne, Tim, Diane all standing together seeing that spectacular sight for the first time. . Going to see Cats made me think of Elin and that same corner and Radio City Music Hall will always remind me of her.

I’ve spent a year of my life that none of my friends or family will completely understand what I went through. Was it worth it? Yes, I think so, but would (or will) I do it again? I don’t’ know, but I’ll answer that if I ever have to make that decision.

I was starting to read through this journal trying to come to some conclusions when people ask me questions which are probably not going to be: So how did you like it? Or what is Up with (the) People? The questions they are going to ask now are going to be centered around Europe and especially the Soviet Union, i.e.: What was your favorite country / place? What are the Soviet people really like? What does the USSR look like? I will try and write in this in a few months and see if I was right. As far as this entry, this journal will not be written in from an UWP perspective. UWP said my year was over June 29th but it won’t be over for me until I reach home. I will have then completed my full circle.

It is funny that in The Stand a girl talks about her boyfriend and how he always knows how he is being looked upon and he always tries to create the perfect picture. Sometimes I think I have written in my journal with the same thought. I have told several people that my main reason for trying to be so thorough and detailed is in the hope someday someone might write a book or make a movie about my life. Well future son, daughter, or good friend, that is now reading this, I hope this gives you a fair account of the trials and tribulations of just one year of my life. I hope I’m around to see how I am perceived by others through my writing.

1:20 – Mountain Standard Time

Decent into Colorado Springs

I can see the mountains so I must be home. The only thing in my head is the one line from a song in Anything Goes by the same title: “Come on and blow, Gabriel, Blow! Come on and blow, Gabriel, Blow!” (Editor: Not sure why this song was in my head. Weird.)

I look out the window and it is good to see familiar things: Pike’s Peak, the scar on the mountain, I-24, Black Forest and Colorado Springs. I’m not expecting anyone besides Mom, Dad and maybe Scott (my oldest brother), if anyone else shows up I will write it in here but otherwise this is my last entry. There is a lot of turbulence, Pike’s Peak is out the left window and we are about to land right now (1:28 and 54 seconds on July 3rd 1988) the day before Independence Day my Up With People Experience is over! (Editor: Damn! So dramatic. Was it that way for you too?)


Well here goes. Today is the day it all began 19 years ago. I didn't write every day, but I wrote a little bit most every day. These are not as long and detailed as the Soviet Union daily journal entries (which you can find on the cast A website if you missed any of them at: You can also find journal entries from Julie Burgan on the website daily. This is all in an attempt to remind you what a life altering year you had in 1987-88, and encourage you to attend our 20th reunion in Tucson, AZ from August 8-11, 2007. My goal is to get 80% of our cast and staff at next years reunion and I think we can do it. Start making plans now. In the meantime, enjoy A Day in the Life of Cast 87A!



7/26/87 1:00 P.M.

Went to church this morning and took off to catch my flight from Colorado Springs at 11:20am and arrived in Phoenix at 12:35. While waiting for the flight to Tucson with Brad Wagnon, we met up with about another 12 to 15 UWP students also heading to Tucson. After introducing myself and meeting the others (and already forgetting their names) we boarded the plane. Just walking down the boarding hallway, I got a taste (and feel) of the temperatures we will be experiencing for the next five weeks. It was not until now that I finally realized I m really going and really going to be traveling for a year. I would have never thought a year ago that this is where I would be. I will miss my friends and family, but I suppose I won't have time to miss them too much. Kind of a rough flight to Phoenix with a lot of turbulence, but we were greeted by rain in Tucson, however it was still 98 degrees.


Well the first day is over, and I m at my host families house. Sandie Mott and her two children Debra (14) & Carrie (9). Nice people. This is definitely going to be an experience. I went through registration without any problems. People are very friendly and anxious to meet other people. It s like putting 5000 Grant Axton clones in one room. There is so much to know about and remember, but I suppose it will get easier. Every one talks with people as if they have known them for a long time. Everybody is also very hyper and anxious and excited, and don t listen much to instructions, but somehow they are hearing what they need to hear. My roommate for the next 5 weeks is Steve Bailey from Lynchburg, Virginia. I also met a guy named Jim Mangam whose mother works with Aunt Katie. Gee, what a small world!

7/27/87 12:00 P.M. Noon

A bowl of Cheerios to start out the day before the 9:00 a.m. meeting. It opened with a Mexican band, and excerpts from Time for th Music show. It was a lot like a cheerleading pep rally; very energetic and exciting. After meeting Mr. Belk (the president and founder) he talked about the travel plans and introduced us to the people from other countries. I suddenly felt like I was in a fantasy world and could travel anywhere in the world and not be harmed in any way. It seems like there is some sort of safety shield that surrounds Up With People. We broke into smaller groups (mine was #12) of about 40 and sat in a circle, face to face and met other people. Then we sat in the group and discussed concerns and what we were excited about. It helped get some of the few inhibitions out that were left. It was very worth it.

7/28/87 Tuesday

We had our first meeting in our color group. I am assigned to the blue color group. We will find out where we are going and what cast we are (in) at the end of this week on Friday or Saturday. We had a short meeting this morning with our color group then met with another color group and had our first vocal rehearsal today. We learned the parts to Sunrise which is the opening number of the show, and Too Many People. We had our first fitness session from 3:15 5:15. It was not too bad, but it is extremely hard to put over 500 people in two ballrooms and try and learn dancing. Luckily I was in front and was able to see pretty well. You can imagine the heat that 500 sweaty people create (and the smell) . We did a little bit of aerobics and learned the steps for Up With People. People are learning really fast, but we have to watch our voices or we re going to lose them. I have to be careful so I don t get into a shouting match.

7/29/87 Wednesday

Opening meeting: the travel plans

Cast A tour

- New Mexico; Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Tenn; North Carolina; Midwest U.S.; (Iowa, Ill; Missouri;) 2nd semester Texas, Ohio, Europe (Nordic countries) Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, (cruise ship), then to New England. Possible Japan tour

Cast B tour

- New Mexico; Northeastern States, Indiana, Chicago; Philadelphia; New England, Mass, Boston, 2nd semester: (Nordic Countries) Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, West U.S. California, Oregon, Washington

Cast C tour

- New Mexico, Eastern Canada, 22 cities, Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto, Ontario, 2nd semester: Europe (Central) Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy, Spain, North East U.S.

Cast D tour

- Arizona, California (L.A.); Finland, Sweden, (cruise ship) Germany, Netherlands, Dutch Royal family, Belgium, 2nd semester: Southeast tour, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, etc.

Possible tours: Japan, Korea, Venezuela, Mexico, Russia, Australia
December 19th: end 1st semester
Leave Tucson: on 28th, 29th, 30th of August

6:00pm: Bus stop

We had our second fitness session. This time it was the full 2 hours and it came right after my dance placement that lasted about 45 minutes. I think I did pretty good, well, at least I picked up the steps fast, I don t know whether I looked good or not. We learned a few more songs today: Unfinished World and the French part to King Richard. I hope tomorrow I will have a voice workshop. We had to take the bus to the University of Arizona this morning. Sandie has been taking us, but now we are leaving earlier. We did a little bit of swimming last night and are going to go to an UWP party tonight. I hope I make it through to the end with Steve, he s too laid back and doesn t treat the host family very considerately. I guess I just got to do my own thing and let him do his. I miss my friends, a little more now because I enjoy all the different types of personalities that I have in my friends. I ve always been the one who is always happy and making people laugh, now there is 500 people competing for the attention. It is definitely an adjustment.

We find out about which cast we are in on Friday or Saturday. I wouldn t mind any of the tours (see previous), but if I got to choose I would like Cast C.

7/30/87 Thursday

The party we went to last night was really a lot of fun. I met a few new people and really enjoyed myself. Drinking age is 21, but you find ways to get around it.

We started the morning with a presentation from the promotions team. They showed us some of the TV commercials and told us a little bit about it. After that we had vocals and learned The Picture which is my favorite song (right now). We also polished some of the other songs. Then after lunch we learned Maybe and the Japanese song called Roppongi Shinju. It is a pretty rocking song, and fun to learn and sing. Moku was the one who taught us the words.

I didn t get called back for a voice workshop, but got called back to the MC workshop. It was pretty interesting. We each had to just talk or introduce one of the songs. I did so by including other song titles in my introduction to spice it up. I feel like I did well and the others clapped for me. I don t know what that means, but I will find out in a few days. The thing that was really neat is some of the foreign students did it in their native tongue such as: Mexico, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Norway, and Ethiopia all did the intro in their language. It was real


We missed most of the fitness, but when we came back they were just starting the dance (part of it) for Black and White and Lift Me Up. I can actually see the beginnings of a great show, but the days are long and full. I feel like I ve been here for two or three weeks, but we still have a lot of hard weeks ahead. I haven t heard about a voice workshop yet. Hopefully tomorrow.

7/31/87 Friday

We started off the morning with a vocal rehearsal, then I went to a meeting about the educational aspects of UWP that was really informative and exciting. We had another vocal in the afternoon and then fitness. Nothing too much out of the ordinary. We find out what cast we re in tomorrow. I personally think mine is Cast A. I would like Cast C but Cast A has the possibility for the Japan tour so that is a neat opportunity too. I'll just have to wait and see.


Click here to choose a different month

8/1/87 Saturday

We found out what cast we are in. We were late getting here which bugs the heck out of me tobe late so much. Anyways I'm in the Cast A and will tour New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, Iowa and Minnesota during the 1st semester and then to Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland (or a possible Japan tour) then back to New England area for 2nd semester. It is amazing how many people are unsatisfied with what cast they have. You would think they would be happy just to get a chance to go to where ever they are going. Oh well.

I'm happy.

1st Cast A meeting
Start tour: August 27th, 1987 to December 21st
Start 2nd semester: January to July 5th, 1988

Cast director: Carlos Acevedo
Cast Manager: Terry Adams
Music Production Assistant: Christine Stevens
Dance Prod. Assistant: Paula Leland
Production Mgr.: Kathy Lee
Marketing Mgr: Darci Buck
Recruiting/Admissions: John Morgan
Finance Mgr.: Dennis Cournoyer
Merchandise Mgr.: Kathy Bates
Operation Mgr.: Bill Parker

- mission
- history
- alumni
- future

- individual
- teamwork
- skills
- background

- host family
- sponsors
- culture
- local concerns

"Team": notice how it doesn't have an I in it.

Grant: Cast A Up With People Axton
What is expected of me:
Host families are the number one thing that is most important!
Host families contribute in one year between 7 and 9 million dollars
Food:try it!
Monday/Wednesday/Friday - we eat here
Write thank you s and put it on the bed under the cover.

8/2/87 Sunday

Well, I have survived one full week so far. Today we went to a water amusement park called The Breakers. It was a special price for all the Uppies and their host families. Debbie (host sister) came with us (Steve and I) and it was a lot of fun. It strengthened my knowledge of how good looking the girls are in all the casts. This is really going to be an exciting year, but I m ready to start traveling. The fitness is getting old. We stretch for an hour and a half and dance for a half an hour. I m read to dance and work up a sweat and feel like I m learning and accomplishing something.

I'm already getting tired of this host family. I m getting sick of the kids always hanging on me and everything has to be read out loud and commented on. There is no time for privacy and I notice it is starting to grate against my nerves. Besides that we have had chicken in some form or another for 5 of the seven nights we've been here. This is the good and bad they talked about.

I talked to Mom and Dad this morning for about an hour. They had their pancake breakfast this morning at church for the Fun Walkers and was real successful. I told them my schedule and some of the things that have been happening. It was good to talk to them.

I got hold of Dr. Roberts (my High School Principal who moved to Tucson) last night and talked to him for a while. He invited me to his house for dinner next Saturday night. He lives in a place called forty-niners club, and from what I understand it was pretty nice and ritzy. It will be at least an interesting evening and a good break away from the host family for a while.

8/3/87 Monday

History of UWP:
Sing out 65 - 1st performance in Stamford, Conn. On Aug. 7th (1965)

UWP became incorporated in 1968 (Aug.)
Began calling the show Up With People in January of 1967

Night: Today started out with an orientation of the history of UWP (see above). Then after lunch I had my first dance workshop. In it we learned most of the steps for the Mexican dance. It is not too hard, but I have a good dance partner which helps. Then after that I got a full haircut from Glemby s Hair Salon. They were doing free cuts for UWP people all afternoon. They did a nice job on me. Then Cast A had a special fitnes session with a guy named Frank (Manton?). This guy has worked with Michael Jackson on his new 25 minute video. He traveled in UWP in 1981 and is now a professional dancer in New York.

We ate dinner at the Student Union (The Fiddlee Fig) and that will happen every Mon, Wed. & Fri. So our host family doesn t always have to worry about feeding us all the time. It is impossible to get food and eat in less than 1 hour with 500 people eating at the same place and same time. I can tell from here on out it is going to get extremely busy.

Talked to Wayne tonight and he, his girlfriend Tess, Mark Gannon, and Cindy Cole are going to try and come to Tucson on Aug. 16th. Wayne said he may try and make it to the dress rehearsal also. It will be good to see all of them. (Friends of mine from high school)

8/4/87 Tuesday

We started the morning off with our cast going over more rules and regulations. Then we had an all casts vocal rehearsal. After that I finally got some sheet music from Yuva (oova) to help me with the parts. After lunch another all casts vocal session and then fitness. Fitness is getting tough, but I think that is because I m working harder and trying to trim up and get more out of it. Half way through fitness I left to go to an MC workshop. The part they gave me to learn opens the second act with what they call a surprise party. I would dress up in a ringmaster uniform and invite younger kids with birthdays that week to the stage. Then they help do a little bit of magic. It is the longest introduction and a fun part of the show where I can ham it up. I hope I get to do for dress rehearsal so Wayne, and Mark and Cindy can see me. It doesn t look like I will get a solo right now so I have to be happy with what I ve got so far.

8/5/87 Wednesday

Dr. Carolyn Lee

The 7 Points of UWP:
1. The UWP experience is personal.
2. UWP is educational. (potentially)
A) action (the actual experience)
B) reflection and
C) documentation
D) understanding (then back to action)
1. UWP is a sensual experience.
- You need to see it, hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it.
2. UWP is cultural.
3. UWP is hard
4. UWP is an emotional experience.
5. UWP is a temporal experience. (It is bounded by the beginning, middle and end)

We are climbing a majestic mountain.
Keep your eye on the ball!

Wow! What an inspirational speech! I think it gave us a good sense of how our year is going to be. I would like to hear that speech again after the year is over.

After that we had a vocal rehearsal. This was the first one that I have felt I really have a grasp on the part and what I'm singing.

After lunch we learned the 1st half of the show blocking from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30. We actually accomplished quite a bit. For now I was put on one of the six chorus mics with a girl from Boulder, Colorado named Priscilla, which gives us a little bit more room and our voices are the ones that are really heard, so I have to be really strong with my part. I was also given the MC part for the Ringmaster who does Be a Clown and The Surprise Party. It is a lot of talking and interaction with the audience. Just because I had it today doesn t mean I get to do it for dress rehearsal, but I m going to work hard to make sure I keep it.

After the first blocking rehearsal we met by sections of the U.S. or by language, and country. Nobody in Colorado knew what section of the US we were in, so half of us went to the Southwest and half to the West. This was just so we could talk and share our views with people from similar upbringings and backgrounds. It was good but we didn t cover much ground. We kept getting stuck on a few topics, but it was nice to be able to talk and share and have everyone understand completely.

When that was over Randy Roach asked to speak with me and another guy named Chris that he went to CC (Colorado College) with. He has finally realized that he is out of college and college life is over, and it is really hitting him hard. I tried to help him by relating it to when I left high school. I think it is similar but college is more intense and I just haven t experience that yet. I got really profound, and realized something for myself. I told him the more you are involved in something the harder it is to leave (and it doubles the amount you get out of it). And he said So basically everything we do is just setting ourselves up for a fall. But isn t that what life is all about? To do things to say I've done that. And experienced it and this is what I got out of it! It is like what was said in the speech. (Editor: Randy, I was either brilliant or screwed you up for life. Who knew I was Dr. Phil at such a young age?!)

The dinner on campus, and home for the rest of the evening with the girls and an evening swim. All in all a pretty good day.

8/6/87 Thursday

We started off with a vocal rehearsal for a couple of hours, then we stood in a line for a half an hour to get a costume. Once we got to the front we only got pants and were told we had to wait for the shirts. My pants were just a little long without shoes so I think they will be okay once we get shoes. I asked if they would hem the pants if I needed and they said that it was our responsibility if it needed hemmed. You would think after $7300 dollars they could give us costumes that fit us well.

Then after lunch, Cast A practiced in Centennial Hall. We Previewed the 1st half and learned parts of the 2nd half. They keep telling us that the names they call off for positions are not necessarily the people who are going to be doing it for the dress rehearsal show. I found myself extremely frustrated today when they kept calling off the same names and using the same few people for everything. I thought the idea was to spread it around a little. I know there are other able bodies besides myself that could do the things that they are asking of those few people. I think part of my frustration was partly due to the fact that I was pretty tired. Tomorrow will be better, and Saturday we will be working with the band.

We went straight from blocking to the dance workshop for the Mexican dance. After that they (the dance staff) showcased all the international dances for us, so we could see how they looked from beginning to the end.

I came home and Debra went and picked up my package (shoulder bag) that Mom and Dad sent me last Monday (7/27). I ve been needing it for almost two weeks. Andy and the kids took off to the Tucson Mall so I had dinner at McDonalds and the evening to myself for a change.

At the cast sale today I bought Mom and Penny each a coffee cup and Brett & Scott lapel pins, and Dad an UWP tie. I thought they would make good X-mas presents. Plus I bought one of the UWP jackets with Time for the Music embroidered on the back and my name, Cast A, 87-88 on the front. It is a real pretty royal (or sky) blue, but it cost $55.00 bucks, which is really not too bad, but I can safely say Merry X-mas, Grant.

(Editor: Did anyone else have an UWP gift-giving X-mas for their families that year?)

8/7/87 Friday

Almost a whole other week has past. Wow! This week went fast, but it still seems like we ve been here a long time. This morning started off in Centennial Hall with small groups talking about who they (we) are and where we come from. I didn t get a whole lot out of it. , but I guess other people did. We stayed in Centennial Hall until noon running all the blocking. I am now moved off the mic and I now come on with the rest of the cast. Needless to say they keeping knocking me down and humbling me. I'm finding it very hard to keep in perspective because for the first time in my life I am only average and just like everyone else. That s what I ve been striving to get rid of for most of my life, and become someone and make a difference, and I don't feel like I m being allowed to do that. I guess it is very similar feelings as when I went to college and felt like a nobody, but yet not quite the same. (Editor: Now you get to see me as I REALLY was, a 19-year old kid just dying to get to perform. Funny how things always seem to work out in the end.)

It is also hard with the fact that I m trying to keep myself from getting jealous of Dean and I don't want to be jealous because I think he is a really super neat guy. I don t know whether it is good or bad, but he seems to confide in my advice about how he sounds. Today he showed me the words to two of his songs and sang them for me. I guess he has written 30 or 40 songs and he is going to sing (the 2 songs) for the UWP staff and see if they are interested in using them in one of their future shows. From what little I heard of them, the songs sounded really good! The ironic thing is he asks me if he is singing the right part during one of the vocal rehearsals when he has such a nice voice.. Oh well! I have had several people tell me that they think I fit the part of the ringmaster very well. Let s hope I get to keep it. (for a while anyways) I know what happens now is not going to matter in a couple of months, but it sure would be reassuring if I could get a solo, or quartet or anything.

(Editor note: I had just finished one year of university on a vocal music scholarship and majoring in vocal music, so to not be doing any singing for

the show was quite a shock to my system at the time. I never really did do any singing in the show which was one of the main reasons I joined.

However, I guess I became the consummate Ringmaster! I never really did become jealous of Dean, but instead learned to respect his huge talent.)

We had vocals after lunch and then fitness. I slept through half of vocals, which helped me make it through the rest of the day. In fitness we stretched a lot and cleaned up Too Many People, Time for the Music, and Shout. It seemed pretty productive. During lunch we took a picture of all (Or as many as I could find) of the Colorado kids. I ll send a copy to Kent (Phillips) and the Denver (Colorado) UWP alumni Association. I thought it would be nice.

We take a cast photo tomorrow and I also go over to Dr. Roberts house for dinner. More later!

(Editor side note: I found out about four weeks into staging that the film in my camera never loaded correctly, and all the photos I had been taking for those first four weeks were never really taken. Talk about being bummed when I found this out.)

8/8/87 Saturday

We started out the morning with a run through of the first half of the show. I got to do the part of the ringmaster MC. I received a lot of complements of how well I did it, which made me feel good. After lunch (with Debbie, my host sister, because she spent all day with me) we took our Cast A photo. It took over an hour but we got it done. From there we had a vocal rehearsal then fitness. At fitness they let us take pictures and then the dance staff showed us the rest of the dances for the second half.

I came home after fitness and got ready to go over to Dr. Roberts house for dinner. (Editor: Dr. Roberts was my high school principal that I got to know pretty well when I was Student Body President my senior year. He moved down to Tucson the year after I graduated) He and his granddaughter Nelissa (16 years old) picked me up at 7:00pm and drove me by his new high school (called Sabrino High School) on the way to his house. His house is incredible! The guest house was half as big as my host house. It was a great evening, the only thing that I thought was funny was that they had a Mexican chicken casserole. I think I ve had enough chicken to last me a long time. Nelissa was a pretty & nice girl and was from Colorado Springs. She went to East Junior High School (my old Junior High School) and was in "Bye Bye Birdie" as the mother. She knows Mrs. Melahn (my junior high school music teacher) rather well and told me a little bit about her new baby girl (Yikes!). I got home about 12:00 midnight and really truly enjoyed myself. They asked me to come back again sometimes before I leave, and I think I will try to do that.

Editor note: Okay, today had nothing to do with any of you. Sorry. Still waiting to see if there is any fall out from Dean from yesterday's entry. :)

8/9/87 Sunday

We had a chance to sleep in a little this morning and woke up about 10:00 a.m. Called Mom and Dad and talked for about 45 minutes. Aunt Katie is there so I got a chance to speak to her real quick too. Scott (my brother) got a permanent job from Digital which was nice to hear. After that we took off to Sabrino Canyon and had a real fun time. We jumped off a cliff a couple of times into some deeper water called The Crack. Met some cute girls (twins) and met a guy who is going to be going to Sabrina High School and I told him about Dr. Roberts. When we are out and around different people one starts realizing the full effects of being in UWP. It almost gives you an excuse to just start talking to a total stranger. It s great! As much as I've bitched in here, I sure am glad I'm doing this and taking time for myself and try to find myself. I think I made the right move doing this year, and I wouldn't trade places with anyone I know right now.

And just as an aside, I'm starting to find Linda Cullen attractive and intriguing. What's weird is I feel like I can read her mind.

(Editor: I am SOOO getting in trouble from my wife by leaving this in. What do you think Linda? Could I read your mind back then?)

8/10/87 - Monday

This morning we had a guest speaker that is on the board of directors for UWP and the President of a communication systems company. It was kind of boring, but informative I guess. Then we had an informative orientation on AIDS from the man who was the main speaker for the national AIDS convention in D.C. It was really very interesting.

After lunch we had a music run-through of the first act (half) that went slow, but good. I'm back on the mics for the 1st and 2nd half with Leanne the only other redhead in the group (Cast A) but did not do the ringmaster today. I was told we looked cute. And I got a lot of questions asking why I wasn't doing the ringmaster. After the run-through we had a vocal, then dinner. Pretty basic day.

I did learn something yesterday while we were in the canyon. There is such a thing as a mesquite tree, and they use the bark for a special flavoring while Bar-B-Q ing. I also learned about the Saguaro cactus while on the tour of the canyon. The Indians believed that the cactus were the spirits of the old warriors and how they lived their lives. If the arms grow upwards that means that the marriages they had were good. If they grew down that meant the marriages they had were bad. The number of arms were directly proportionate to the number of wives. It was a neat FYI to know.

8/11/87 Tuesday

Dr. Morris Martin:
- Difference between education and learning.
- Education is done to you; Learning is what you have to do.
Writing is the road to thinking, and therefore is the heart and soul of learning.
- Maps: Who is in the center? (U.S. for U.S.; Europe for Europe)
Write it down!
It s Greek to me Shakespeare
And many, many more phrases

The morning went really well today. Actually the whole day was fun and prosperous. We started off running through the show from the beginning (in the Middings Bldg.) We also did mic tests, and I was with Leanne again today. We were told by Yuva himself that we blended well. At 10:00am I left to go to a workshop to learn the 50 s dance. I had talked to Al yesterday (or Saturday) and told him that I had a little experience doing 50 s dance and I was really interested in doing it. Sure enough I was put on the list to learn it. We were short the number of girls so I danced with different people on the dance staff, which was great because I could concentrate more on my stuff and what I was doing and knew my partner would be right there ready for me. It was a lot of fun, but it gets harder as you get farther along into the dance. Each cast did it by themselves and I danced with a girl named Melinda. We did really well and looked like we were having fun ( I was having fun; I don t know about her). We must have done good because they put us together for the afternoon 2nd half run-through. Anyways we worked on that til lunch and then had a guest speaker named Dr. Morris Martin. He was pretty good, but kind of redundant. He did point out an interesting point about maps and how each country makes his own map with their country in the middle. After that we learned more of the 50's dance (this is where it got a little harder). Then we went to the run-through and it went well. We got the forms to get tickets for our real family, of which mine consists of: Dr. Roberts and his wife, Wayne, Mark & Cindy (all friends). We also saw off the PR teams for Roswell, N.M. and Borger, Texas. Henri is on the Borger team and I think I will miss him and I look forward to getting to know him better over the next year.

We went to a Tucson Torros baseball game tonight. It was fun to just mill around and talk to people. I met this little girl named Amanda (6) and sang Dum Dum Ditty Ditty and Whatali-atcha with her. It was really kind of a special moment. Now isn t that special. (Editor: I had to laugh. This must have been written because of John and Brenda doing the "Church Lady" so often.)

8/12/87 Wednesday

The morning started with another guest speaker named Stephen Rhinesmith who has a big impact on UWP and helping them try and get into Russia. He had some interesting things to say, but was not real exciting to listen to. I found myself day dreaming quite a bit. Then we went to another 50 s dance workshop form 10:30 to 12:00, and worked extremely hard, but I think I got it down (as much as we ve learned anyways). We have only learned through part of Great Balls of Fire. I really like it a lot and am having fun doing it, but I find myself getting bored when I get back with the rest of the cast. I think that is because I m not being kept busy enough.

Cast A was in Centennial Hall for the entire day from 10:30 to 12:00 and 1:00 to 5:30. It was a slow long day, but I got a chance to run the whole thing of the ringmaster, and I really enjoyed it. I would rather do the ringmaster and the 50 s dance than just the mic group (if it is between one or the other). I'd like to do all three, but I doubt that will happen. Most of the day was spent working on the music part of the show because Herbie was there.

We are going to find out tomorrow the choices of design for t-shirts or sweatshirts for Cast A. And today we became official in Cast A because we got our nametags (plates). That was kind of exciting. Somebody suggested to me to country swing for a possible special talent to open the second half of the show. I might give it a shot, teach Melinda or some other girl, and show it to someone and see if we can pull it off.

I don't know whether I'm going to be able to find a ride to Tempe to see the Broncos (football) with Wayne, I kind of doubt I will get to go. We ll see.

8/13/87 - Thursday

Mr. Blanton Belk

4 points to think about on the road:
1. Go with appreciation instead of comparison everywhere you go; care don?t compare
2. Give more than you think you can give; Don't have any fear; Take risks
3. Be a participant and not a passenger.
4. Make places into people. 80 cities with 80 family friends.

We started this morning running a couple of song with everyone and then went back and did a mic test with everyone getting a chance to sing in order to find out how they sound on a mic. That took most of the morning, but I left at 10:30 (after half falling asleep) to go to a clown and ringmaster workshop. Only Kurt (from Denver) and I were from our cast doing the ringmaster. It was a lot of fun and kind of relaxing for a change. We will get to work with a professional magician who happens to be playing at Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City opening for Kool and the Gang. Then after lunch we talked with Mr. Belk, the President and founder of UWP. He answered quite a few questions about everything from the beginning of UWP and before, and then looking into the future and what he thinks UWP will become. It was enlightening. After that I went to a costume committee meeting. I was chosen to learn the costumes and what goes with what, and then we show the rest of the cast and are responsible for making sure everything is there once we're on the road. We got done with the meeting in time to get to wrap up. We voted on the design that we wanted on our Cast A shirts. We decided on Kurt's (from Denver) design of the world with the flags representing everyone's country in our cast. Then above the world says "Time for the Music '87-'88" - and on the bottom it says "Cast A World Tour." It is really neat and will look good on a shirt. I think on the back they are going to make a screen of everyone's signature. It is really hard to believe that it has been almost 3 weeks since we got here and only two weeks from today is our first performance for the dress rehearsal.

I talked to Wayne last night and he said he bought me a ticket to the Bronco game. And I think Kurt is going to the game and he said he would give me a ride. I'll know for sure whether or not I'm going by tomorrow.

One thing I forgot to mention about Belk. It occurred to me today that he seemed somewhat fake to me before today. But now I truly believe that he is sincere and for real. I just thought I would add that, and say how impressed I was of him.

(Editor: Man I was opinionated about everything. Even Belk! Sacrilege.)

8/14/87 - Friday

Again we had a performance of part of the show (the same part) for the guest speakers. The speakers were Mr. Don Weiss (Executive Director
of the National Football League) and Mr. Mel Blount (Director of the NFL player relations). They didn't really say anything new, but I got the feeling they were there because they were important and because the NFL is one of the big sponsors of UWP. Which I suppose is fine because we will get a chance to meet (or at least hear from) some pretty important people.

After the speakers I was late to vocals so I had to sing a verse of 'Tarantella' in front of everyone. Then as soon as I sat down, several people were asked to leave and go to a mic group workshop. (Myself included in that list.) It was really neat because they were some of the better singers and we were able to move fast without having to correct the same mistakes more than once. Then after lunch I went to a Mexico workshop, and we were working with the man who choreographed that particular dance. It was neat, but we went very slow and relearned a lot of things that we already knew, but he did fine tune and give some details about the things we knew.

We finally did a complete run-through with no stops from about 3:30 to 5:30 (after the Mexico workshop). It went good, but people are still slow and not on the ball. There is an obvious improvement, but there is an obvious long way still yet to go. Unfortunately I was too much on the ball because I jumped in on the ringmaster MC a song too early, but I did it convincingly and people really thought we were not doing the gospel number. Oh well, it is better to make the mistakes now than in three weeks. I have to get it memorized better so I can ad lib it if I need to.

What was neat today during the run-through was that I got to be on a mic group, do the ringmaster, and do the '50's dance. I would like it to stay that way until dress rehearsal, although I don't think it will.

After a nice dinner/talk with Randy Roach in which we kind of bitched back and forth, I went to the talent show. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it would be a joke with a bunch of people fooling around on stage in front of an audience, but it wasn't. There was only a few of the acts that were really hokey, but a lot of the acts were songs and dances that were written by the students. It was a true 'Talent' show in most cases. It didn't get over until 8:00pm (the Sun-Tran buses stop
running at 7:10) so Steve and I got a ride home with Anushka. Chris (a girl) came home with us and they are all watching "Heartbreak Ridge" and eating cookies and cream ice cream right at this very moment. Just in case anyone's interested and reads this after I'm dead and gone.

(Editor: Good golly, I am too darn dramatic. Luckily you got to read this before I am "dead and gone."

8/15/87 - Saturday, 6:25

I'm writing this from Dick's University Drive-In in Tempe, Arizona after finishing off a hamburger and fries, getting ready to go to the Bronco/Green Bay football game. For the first time in 3 weeks (that I can remember) I truly feel like I'm in Up With People, which is really ironic because I'm missing the UWP picnic (with host families) to be here for the game. Let me go back and rehash today's events and then I will expand on that thought.

I started off the day by missing the bus. Steve is really hacking me off because he is so darn irresponsible. He wanted to borrow money from me to send Chris home after the movie. He even called Sandy to see if she would come home just so she could take Chris home. Then I found out this morning that he checked people's car to see if there were keys in any of them, and stood out in the parking lot asking people if they would take her home. I couldn't believe it!

(Editor: Oh, how Steve tormented me in those early weeks. He was unlike anyone I ever had been around in my life. Luckily, I learned to put his antics in perspective, and I eventually learned to quit being such a stick in the mud.)

Anyways we missed the bus and the next one didn't come until 8:55am, so we waited at a bus stop. Some guy drove into the dry cleaners next to the stop and Steve asked him for a ride to the University. We got there just in time for Cast A's meeting in Gallagher Theater. That meeting was just a time to share our ideas and thoughts about how things have been going so far. It was nice what everyone was saying, but I was not in the mood for 'You're all wonderful' and 'I love you all.' After that I sat next to Elisa from Memphis and Gwendolyn from Canada during our vocal rehearsal. We goofed around too much, but I got to appreciate what each of them has to offer. Especially Gwendolyn; I was really excited to find out what a super neat girl she is.

We had lunch and then a Mexico workshop (which I missed) with that guy from L.A. again. I was too busy trying to arrange to get to Phoenix. So I left the University about 1:30pm to get home and ready to catch the 3:00 bus. Sandy took me to the bus station (Greyhound) and waited with me 'til about 3:00 p.m. We finally left about 3:25 and I found out we stopped in Tempe on the ASU campus about 200 yards from the stadium and that's where I called Mark and Cindy. That's when I went over to Dick's. From there I went over the Manzanita Hall and finished off Richard Bachman's (Steven King's) "Rage" and waited for Wayne, Tess and Mark to go to the game. They picked me up about 7:35 and we missed the first touchdown (by the Broncos), but saw the majority of the game. We found Cindy and her
folks at half time, and arranged to meet Cindy at Dick's. After the Broncos soundly defeated Green Bay 20 to 14 we met Cindy and then went to Dairy Queen and talked and laughed all night 'til about 12:30 when we took Cindy home. After we dropped Cindy off we went to Wayne's apartment and by the time Mark and I fell asleep it was close to 2:00 a.m. It was a nice apartment but was kind of awkward with Tess and Wayne sleeping in the other room together. (Editor note: Don't worry, they have now been married for 18+ years.)

8/16/87 - Sunday

(Editor: I almost didn't send this today as it is a bit disjointed and means nothing to you, but hey, who am I to keep you from the full Grant Journal experience.)

We woke up about 10:30am when Wayne had to go to work, but Tess realized after he left that her car keys were in his car. So by the time he got a chance to bring the keys home, it was 2:30, so we didn't even get to ASU until about 3:30. Then Mark ended up not being assigned to a room, so we waited until about 5:30 and nothing happened so we went to dinner at Flaky Jake's and then afterwards went to place called Mellato's which is like ice cream, but all the air is taken out of it. Strange concept but good ice cream. By this time we were joined by Cindy's RA from last year Carmy (Carmelita), and was a lot of fun. She is a super neat girl. After that we drove around campus for a while and then finally went back and got Mark checked in and finally got a room. Then we left from there to come back to Tucson. Cindy brought me back with Carmy and Mark and got a chance to meet the Motts (my host family). I think those three, Wayne and Tess, and Dr. Roberts and his wife are all coming to the show which will be really neat. I need to try and get two more tickets so Tess and Carmy can come too.

Cindy, Carmy and Mark left here about 10:00pm to head back to Phoenix. I'm really glad I got a chance to go and get away for a while and just be with my good friends. It was relaxing and fun, and very fulfilling. I am truly blessed with the best friends a man could have! It is kind of special when I gave Cindy a hug and told her I loved her and she had a couple tears well up in her eyes. That's is extra special when it comes from Cindy.

8/17/87 - Monday

Ralph Caldwell; John Gonzales
Producer of UWP electronics; Director of UWP video and NBC sports director &

12:50 p.m. We missed the bus again, but got a ride with a lady from the UWP office. She is the same lady that I met that is from Colorado Springs. We started off the morning with a '50's dance workshop, and God we moved fast. We only had an hour to learn the last part of 'Great Balls of Fire' and it is the hardest part of the whole dance.

After that we went to the modern language auditorium and saw the 58-minute video that Cast E did up in Toronto, Canada. Wow!! I got that same feeling again from when I've seen all the other UWP shows. It is the most incredible feeling in the world. It gave me that whole warm feeling and that sensation that I may only be one person, but I'm one person that can make one hell of a difference in this world. And the neat thing about it is that I will get a chance to give that feeling to hopefully thousands of other people. That is one thing that I hope (I know) that I can give of myself, and make people feel like they too can make a difference in life. I love that feeling and by God I'm not going loose that feeling during the year.

We are now meeting with the guy who is working with UWP in Charlotte, N.C. and organizing us to be at the stock car races. He said they have sold out for the first time and the audience will be approximately 160,000 people.

10:50 p.m. - Well, after meeting this guy, they showcased the costumes and then we proceeded to do a full run-through with costumes. They did most songs twice so we had plenty of time to change, but it is going to be hard to change costumes so fast. I think the run-through went really well, but Lynn gets mad too easily. She then bitches at us which makes us frustrated and loose concentration (what little we have) and begin to mess up worse, which gets her more upset at us and a vicious circle is created. We seem to do just fine until she comes to our rehearsals. I did the ringmaster, was on mic 2 for acts I and II, and did parts of the '50's. I'm determined to learn and get down that '50's dance, so I can do it cold, and start concentrating on how I look and come across. I'm going to prove to them and
to myself that I can do this dance.

After running the show, the costume crew got that distinct honor of helping clean up and put things away. I didn't like it, but it wasn't really all that bad. Then I talked to Cassi and told her how good she looked on the China dance, and we were going to do dinner, but I lost track of her. We're going to try and 'do' lunch or dinner tomorrow. While walking to the bus stop I had several people chime in together 'Ladies and Gentlemen, etc.' I suppose I'm getting this image of the ringmaster which is okay by me I suppose. Got home and went to see 'Revenge of the Nerds II' and had a guy throw up in front of us. It was fun.

(Editor: "It was fun!" What was fun? The throwing up part or the movie or what' I had to laugh at myself on this one.)



Thanks for the news about Mok. My show went to Monterey this weekend and I hung out with John Flores for spell. He did my hair and a blast was had by
all. We picked up exactly where we left off and he's coming to the reunion next year. I am looking into bringing the show to Tucson during the reunion.
Do you know the exact weekend'


8/18/87 - Tuesday

Financial Orientation - Jim McClennan: Executive Vice President

UWP is an incorporated independent non-profit organization

- all profits have to go back into the company
- UWP does not pay taxes
- People who donate can get tax deductions

Fiscal -87 (from July 1st, 1986 to July -87)

Where money comes from: (Revenues)
Student fees - 34% - $3,550,000
Show Revenue - 38% - $4,022,000
Sale of products/merchandise - 7% - $755,000
Gifts and grants - 17% - $1,811,000
Investment income - 4% - $366,000

Total revenue - $10,504,000

Jim Boswell (largest cotton producer) is the largest donor to date with

Expenses - By Department (Way the public sees it)
Student Services - 31% - $3,134,000
Show Scheduling & Promotion - 28% - $2,832,500
Cost of merchandise - 4% - $429,000
(Fund raising) Development - 5% - $523,500
Production (of show) - 20% - $2,049,000
Interest - 2% - $190,500
General & Administrative - 10% - $1,098,500

Total expense - $10,257,000

Expenses - by function
Salaries - 34% - $3,545,500
Transportation - 23% - $2,317,800
Merchandise Lost - 3% - $299,400
Communication - 5% - $490,000
Office Expense - 8% - $817,300
Technical - 6% - $632,600
(advertising) Promotion Scheduling - 5% - $513,400
Food & Lodging - 11% - $$526,00
Other - $5 - $526,000

Cast B- -86--87 Revenue (Cast Budget)
Show revenue - $813,500
Products - $131,800
Gifts - $13,000
Total revenue - $958,300

Production - $84,900
Promotion - $147,000
Operations - $197,000
Admissions/Ed. - $15,300
Cast - $326,100
Merchandise - $44,500

Total Expense - $814,800

Net gain - $143,500

We started with a vocal and then we had the financial orientation meeting from which the above figures are from. They had several pie charts and explained very thoroughly where the money comes from and where it is going to. It helped me understand it better so hopefully I can explain it better. Then we had a run-through of most of the first half after lunch and after that we had fitness. After fitness we had a party for Uwe (Oova) and Lorritta who are a part (a big part) of the summer crew for Cast A. It was a nice idea, but I was so exhausted I left early to go to dinner. After dinner I ordered my Cast A t-shirt, and then came home.

I finally got some mail today! I got letters from Brett, Cindy M. and one Mom forward to me. It was nice to hear from them, but made me miss being there. I need to write some postcards, so until tomorrow.


Hey Grant,

Been enjoying your journal. I noticed the name Anushka in your journal. Was that Annushka Theobold from Tucson- If so, she married a high school
friend of mine after meeting him at the Denver 1990 reunion - he didn't travel with UWP, was there with another friend who married a Cast B 1987
gal. Anyway, I speak with Annushka often since she and her husband live in St. Joseph, MO.

We just visited the National Mall in DC yesterday - we are on vacation - and are currently staying at my in-laws in Lynchburg, VA home of Melinda
Connell, Steve Bailey, and my wife.

Thanks for sharing your journal.



We went to TCC (Tucson Community Center) at about 9:00 a.m. and spent the whole day there until 6:45pm. The morning was spent doing
workshops and a vocal rehearsal, and then after lunch we tried to run it clear through without stopping. We didn-t stop too much, and we didn't talk
as much between transitions, and the transitions went a lot smoother. All in all I think it was a pretty successful day. After a spaghetti dinner a
lot of us were outside and some girls were doing a form of woodshedding (singing). It was kind of a neat quiet time. We also got a chance to just
lay on the stage for about 10 minutes and get rid of our stress. It was a nice change.

When we got home, Sandy and Debbie were fighting so Steve and I went swimming over at Gehert's host house with Heikki. It too was relaxing
and good to get away from here. I'm again totally exhausted so I'm going to bed.


Hey Grant,

Just wanted to let you know I am truly enjoying your journal!!! What a detailed account...brings back so many memories...Centennial Hall, the
Fiddlee Fig, and Sun Tran....those were the days! Wasn't it great to know it all and be so sure that we knew it all (big laughter)!
Oh, also wanted to let you know that I saw you on a 'behind the scenes' type deal concerning Blind Date last week when we were in was
pretty cool. The first time it was on I was in the other room and all of a sudden I heard your voice...I told Kelly..."Hey, that's Grant" and I got into the room and caught the tail end of your tour around the office. The next day I caught a repeat of it (actually a repeat of the repeat I suppose) and was all excited until I looked at the chyron and they misspelled your name!!! Okay, it wasn't that bad, they had Gran Axton instead of Grant...but damnit my friend deserves the "T" in his name!!!! I calmed down and realized that it was still pretty cool to see my friend on TV!!!!

Hope all is well, say hello to Gretchen and the girls for me!

Bren [Brenda Perkins]

8/20/06 -

Wow! What a day. I think today was a sample of what a 'normal' day could be on the road.

The morning started off by getting our potential careers report from Dr. Felton Gamble. I was amazing to find how close it pinpointed me. It showed me that advertising would be in the general areas that I would be good at and comfortable doing. The four career work fields the computer close for me were: Counseling, Service, Promotional and Operational. Really pretty interesting and seemingly accurate. After that I went to a clown workshop which was done mostly by the professional magician Franz, and he showed us how to do the little tricks as well as the special birthday box. It was really incredible working with him, and he is a super neat guy. By the time I got to do it I had seen it done several times and I just went all out. One of the first times I did it he asked me if I had ever done any of
that stuff before. I said no and he told me that I was very natural and did a really good job as if I had done it before. I was really flattered because that is practically somebody famous telling me I was doing good in something that he does professionally. He did some of the special effects for the Michael Jackson 'Victory!' tour and after he is done with us tomorrow he is leaving to go do some more with the new Jackson tour. It is exciting meeting all these notable people. I hinted at Franz that if he ever needed an apprentice to look me up.

After lunch we worked on some more clown stuff and tried to clean it up a little, and we got a chance to watch a portion of Cast B's rehearsal. After that I went down to Giddings to get ready for a '50's dance workshop, but had about a half an hour to kill before hand. So I worked on the dance by myself and I think I got a much better handle on it. Then at the workshop they threw all of the Johnny B. Goode dance at us. It is really not that hard, but it is very physically demanding, especially since it comes at almost the end and you're already tired. So we basically have been shown (and done it a few times) the whole '50's medley. Now let's
hope we can put it all together.

While I was doing workshops all day the rest of the cast learned how to strike the set (in the morning), and vocals and fitness in the afternoon. Then at wrap-up we learned about our concerts in Oakridge, Tennessee, and about the possibility of going into Canada for three weeks.

After dinner I got home and Dr. Roberts called to find out what the plans were and see if I was interested in coming to his place on Sunday and spending the whole day at the Country Club (the 49 CC to be exact). Could be fun. Mom and Dad called at about 9:15 and talked for about an hour.

I was watching "The Charmings" tonight and it reminded me of Betsy Potter who does all our costuming and makeup for our show. She also is up for an Emmy for the costume designing on "The Charmings". Just an FYI to remember.

8/21 - Friday

We started in Centennial Hall with a guest speaker, Pat Ectoy, who is a lawyer in the San Francisco area. She talked to us mostly about
drugs and what to look for in case we are ever confronted. After her speech and questions & answers she sang us a song from when she was in UWP. Then we saw the clown act performed the way we ill do it in the show, but the ringmaster was Franz. I thought he was a great illusionist, but he didn't seem very comfortable with this particular MC. I even had a couple people tell me they thought I did a better job than him. I was flattered to say the least, unfortunately he gets paid and I don't. Cast A changed into the international costumes and then ran through the first three numbers before lunch. That was while I still had energy, even after it took us 15 minutes to just get on stage the right way (by Lynn's standards). After lunch we started from where we left off and did the rest of the first half. It
actually went pretty good and the clown act and magic went really well considering it was the first time with full costumes and on stage. I think that will be really fine tuned by show time. Then just as our energy was picking up, we went back over to the Senior Ballroom and watched a depressing movie called Peege (sounds like Peach) about a lady in a nursing home and how her grandson deals with it. This was to get us prepared for our CID tomorrow. It was just an okay movie, but it really moved a lot of people. It got to me a little bit because of the scene of the grandson walking down the hall of the nursing home looking in all the rooms as he
walked by. That especially hit me hard, because that is definitely a vivid memory of going to visit Mimi in her nursing home (my grandmother). So the rest of the movie was hard to watch because of the flood of memories, and things I never got a chance to do or say. But after the movie we had a nice cry/discussion session. It was neat to see everyone sharing their emotions, and it did me good to do some reminiscing, but it ruined the energy for the rest of the day.

We came back to Centennial Hall and started the second half and I was paired up with Melinda. She was half panicked because I wasn't there. I was with Franz, Mia and the rest of the clowns watching Franz's video from Caesar's Palace. By the time I got there we still had plenty of time before we went on. I got on stage and just blanked out on most of the show. I was too worried about my pants being too big and too long, rather than concentrating on what I was doing. From there I just got more and more frustrated. We finished a little early and went to dinner. We found out U of A is in Sorority Rush week and there was a banquet for all 1220 of them
in the three ballrooms. I got home and Sandy told me that all my pictures of the first three weeks (on the first roll of film) didn't develop. Something never advanced my film, so while I was taking all those pictures, my counter was counting but the film had never advanced. So I lost record on film of my first 2 1-2 or 3 weeks here. It also had the picture of the Colorado people that I was going to send to the Colo. UWP alums, now I have to find someone else who has the picture and get a copy. Needless to say it was a great way to end a bummer of an afternoon.


What an interesting day this has been. We broke into our three groups (7, 8 & 9) in the morning, and were briefed on where we were going and what to expect. Then we rehearsed for a half an hour and left the U about 9:30 a.m. Our first stop was the Pima Country Juvenile detention court which is basically a holding facility for juvenile delinquents awaiting a court date. Most of us were really tense and did not know what to expect, especially after they told us that the seriousness of the crime
was as wide as shoplifting to murder. Well after we were briefed a little more (at the detention center) we set up the equipment and waited for them to come in. When the students came in they were all wearing either dark blue or tan colored jumpsuits, and most of all of them were wearing the same stone cold look on their face. After they came in and sat down we got up and went and talked to them. There was 48 kids and about 35 of us so it was pretty even to reach every one. The first person I spoke to was a girl named Tracy, who was 15 years old, and really kind of cute. She was a runaway and had only been there a week. While I was talking to her, I couldn't stop thinking of why she was there and what led up to her being there. She was definitely a girl that I would have given a second glance
at, and would have tried to get to know her. The girl that was sitting with her was 2 weeks shy of 18 and also was getting out the day before her birthday. She was also pregnant.

After talking for a while we did our 'acoustic' show, which went fairly well for the first one ever. In fact the head guy (Warden so to speak) told us that we were the most organized best looking and best sounding UWP group of the last four years that had come there. After the show we went back into the 'audience' and visited with them some more, but the whole time I was performing I couldn't stop looking at her because she wouldn't stop looking at me. It was really kind of eerie. When they finally had to leave to go to lunch, we went and had a question and answer session with the Warden. Then came lunch. Wow! What an experience that I
would have never had a chance to experience. The food was really good; we had ham, corn, coleslaw, and bread and juice, but it is absolutely impossible to eat ham with a small plastic spoon and still be civilized. We soon learned that fingers are the most important utensil. After lunch we had a quick tour of the facility and saw for the first time holding cells, and a padded cell (that cost $26,000 to build). After going through there you have a lot of 'whys.' Why if they were so kind to us, can they not do that (and be that way) on the street.

After the detention center we went to a retirement village called Villa Campana. Interesting, but what a complete shock and whole different setting than from the morning. We got something to drink and talked with some of the residence before the show started. I met a man named Jules, his daughter and her niece. Really nice people and very familiar with UWP because his daughter's son (his grandson) was in UWP. We then performed and went back into the audience to talk some more. A couple ladies asked me if I performed in the Jordan tour. They were recently in Greece and said that they broadcast parts of the show every Friday night.
That is where they saw a red head that looked like me.

After that engagement we went back to the U of A to meet with our whole cast. Each cast did a total of 6 stops, so in all of UWP we reached 24 different places. It was neat to hear some of the stories everyone had to share about where they went.

After that I was able to spend some time listening to Mark (Cast C) and Dean Lindsay do some of their music. I told them that I hope I get to be the one who gets to represent them (as their manager/agent). Who knows, it could happen? Now I'm not afraid to uproot and take a chance. We came home and went to Coco's for dinner, then straight after to a party. It was a huge house, and really beautiful. The party was a t-shirt signing party, and was a lot of fun (partly because there was a lot of people there). Maybe one of these days I'll really feel like I fit in at a party. Crazy! Maybe?

A wonderful day in Tucson and a great first CID. It is 2:30 a.m. and I'm tired so I'm going to bed.

8/23/87 - Sunday

I slept until 11:00am, which was nice, and got up and called Mom and Dad. Talked with them for about an hour (Penny, my sister, was there too). They told me that Mike Morgan (an associate pastor from my church) was going to be leaving to go to a little town on the Western slopes. So I probably won't get to see him for who knows how long. When I hung up with them I called Wayne to make sure he is coming, but he wasn't home so I left a message on his machine.

Then at 1:00pm, I went over to Dr. Robert's house (he picked me up actually) and had lunch there, swam in his pool, went on a bike ride, came back and watched 'Paint Your Wagon,' had a wonderful dinner of roast beef, stopped by Centennial Hall to show them where it was, and then went home. An incredibly relaxing day and it gave me a chance to get to know the Roberts a little better. I got home about 9:00 p.m. and have been doing little odds and ends like drawing the record on the back cover and reading my checkbook. A really nice day and ready to work hard this week.

(Editor note: The "record" on the back cover was the spreadsheet I used to log all of our miles on the road. I kept it on the back cover of my journal.)

8/24/87 - Monday

We started the day by going to TCC and spent the day in the arena until noon. I spent the whole morning in a '50's workshop in which we mostly concentrated on the lifts (and the roll across the back). It was helpful and I'm starting to feel more comfortable (especially with Deedra). Then we had lunch and did parts of the second half and concentrated on 'Time for the Music' and 'Unfinished World' to the end through the reprises. About 2:00 we moved to the little theater and had some more workshops. Mine was for the MC's and they basically told me I had a real good grasp on what I was doing. Finished off rehearsal by going back over what we did earlier to make sure we knew it.

Got back to C.H. and bought my make-up I had to purchase and eye pencil also because my eyebrows are too light. Had dinner and then came home (in the rain). Steve had stayed home because he was sick from the food he ate the day before on his trip to Mexico. When I got home I watched the last half of the Bronco game against Miami (Broncos 31-28) and then watched a show on George Gershwin that was real interesting. Who knows, maybe some day someone will use this to help make a movie of my life. Anyways Wayne called and told me for sure that him and Tess were coming to dress rehearsal, and would meet Dr. Roberts around 6:45 in the lobby of C.H. I'm glad all of them are coming. It will make it a little more special for me, and more incentive to learn everything extra well and perform better. I
think I will call Cindy tomorrow night just to check with her.

I need to spend time getting some letters written before I leave, so I will do that sometime this week. I need to get my film developed also.

I noticed people are starting to get nervous and don't feel like we're ready. We are not ready, but it is good people are feeling that because I think they will work especially hard these next few days. We will be ready. I'm sure of it.


Hi there!

I just wanted you to know I am hosting four students - and it is a total blast!

Three girls and one guy - the guy is from Nepal and the girls are from California, Colorado and New York. After the Twin Cities they head to Mankato for a week then South Dakota, then Wisconsin. They will be doing 6 weeks in Japan and then on to Brussels!

Oh yes! Please let everyone know that I am going to Brussels from the 1st to the 10th of November. My sister has a BOG meeting there and my mom, her friend Joelle and I decided to tag along! Up With People will be performing in Brussels the weekend of November 3rd! I want to see whoever can make it to the Up With People show as well as see people I haven't seen in forever!

Jo - I will be looking at a map to see where Gent is!

Stacie Welch :)

8/25/87 - Tuesday

We started this morning with a guest speaker in C.H. named Dr. Hermann Bleibtreu who is a professor at the U of A. He was a pretty good speaker and kept my attention. We also had a special song from Pol for the staff that was really nice. From there we went to TCC again and ran through the first half of the show until lunch, had lunch, and then finished up the second act. They put Deedra and me on one of the 18's to do all the jumps and twists. It was a little bit of a challenge to work in such a confined area. We got through it and had time to do a couple extra songs for a TV station called CNN (Cable News Network) who will be covering the staging until we leave on Monday. They are doing a feature story on UWP and with an emphasis on Weine (Ethiopia). We are the only cast featured. After that we went to the little theater and struck the equipment. Then we learned some songs from 5, 10, 15 years ago to sing for the alumni convention on Friday. We had wrap up there and came back for dinner, and now at this very moment I am sitting up in the balcony of Centennial Hall getting ready for the first dress rehearsal performed by Cast C (7:35 p.m.). I'll write an update after the show.

The show was pretty good, but I think we will be more prepared for disasters. Two girls forgot words to their song, which made everyone panic, but the second half was great! And their dances were real tight! That is one area we need to work on, but I think our vocals are better. Not only do we have more talented soloists, but a better sounding chorus. I also got more complements about how I did the ringmaster much better than the person
tonight did. But there wasn't one singular birthday in the audience tonight, and I'm sure it is going to be that way on my night, so I better learn to compensate just in case. All in all they did really well for being first, and we can learn a lot from the things they did well, but on the other hand I'm more confident of our show now.

8/26/87 - Wednesday

Steve made me miss the bus this morning. If I would just leave I would be on time, but I was brought up that that was inconsiderate. So we went to the office and Retta said that she would take us (Heikki and Jeff) to TCC where we spent the whole day.

We started out discussing the good and bad from what Cast C did. Then I worked most of the day with the mic groups on almost all songs that I'm not on stage for. Not that it killed me, in fact it did me good, so in case I am on stage at those times. Then we did a little work on the alumni medley and ran the clowns once. Then had lunch. And after lunch we did some troubleshooting and cleaned up some bad spots. Then at 2:30 half of us struck and the other half had a real relaxing experience and learned some more about each other. It was really worth it. Then we did some work on Japan and Black and White and had off until wrap up, in which time I
finished a letter to Brett which I'll send tomorrow. We had wrap-up, then loaded the buses back to campus, ate dinner and changed. Then I volunteered to host this evening for Cast B.

The show went really, really well. They can start looking at, and paying attention to details, and really fine tuning an already good sounding group. So after the show I got a ride home with John, Heikki, and Gerhut (Gert) who is in Cast C and leaves tomorrow morning. It is hard to believe a cast is already leaving and not too far away is when we leave.

dear grant and gretchen,

thanks for getting michelle's # to me. we got together on monday and enjoyed a couple hours at the beach.

on a sad note, i just found out that my dad has cancer again (third time in 5 years) and my grandmother is in the beginning stages of alzheimer's.
please pray for them and esp my mom since she's the one who gets the most stress when dad's ill.

aloha, sandra

8/27/87 - Thursday - Dress Rehearsal Day

Once again we started off by talking about the show the night before (Cast B) and what was good and bad. Then we started with our stretch and vocal warm-up. Then we combined the two by running around the building singing -Go Bananas! Go, Go Bananas!- (You lean to the left, You lean to the right; You peel the banana and uh take a bite.) It was a lot of fun and it pumped us up. Then we did a little work on -Unfinished World- and by that time Lynn finally showed up and we all went off stage to do our little
gift to Lynn. We came off the stage singing our ‘Zoom, Golly, golly, golly' song to her and gave her a flower. Needless to say it started her day off in a good way and helped us a lot too. After that we started with the second half and ran what we could before lunch. Then had lunch and finished off the second half. After that we had five minutes to get ready to run the show from the top. We did the first half stopping as little as we could and
then went straight into the second half and did it without stopping at all. After that we had dinner (which I couldn't eat very much of) and had to be dressed and ready in the green room by 7:00. On my way to C.H. after dinner, I went and walked through the line and the front doors to see if I could find Dr. Roberts and the rest of them . While looking for them, I ran into the lady I met at the retirement center and promised we'd get her some
tickets. Well I guess she got the tickets. While talking to her I spotted Dr. Roberts and his wife, but Wayne and the rest of them were not there yet. After I talked with them for a while I went to the green room.

In the green room, Kathy Lee talked to us for a little bit and introduced several other people that made announcements like Terry, Carlos, and Christine, We acknowledged our staff with flowers, and met some of the Cast ‘A' alumni who wished us well and taught us the Cast A song. Then our last good luck wishes were from Mr. Belk, and we presented a Russian fishing hat to him.

(IN MARGIN) Get all excited. Going to tell everybody that Cast A is number 1. Repeat X3 - Cast A is number one!

From there we pulled together and Kathy Lee led us through a quick trip back to when we first saw UWP, to when we interviewed, when we were accepted, the time spent raising money, the day we left to come to Arizona, through staging, guest speakers and fitness, and now it is dress rehearsal! Open your eyes, you-re here! Wow! I sure was. The whole cast was psyched up and ready to go. Especially after several verses of ‘Go Bananas.'

It seemed the show would never start, but when It did it went extremely fast. We had a little bit of a problem with the sequence on “Maybe”, that slowed our continuity down and we picked it up pretty quick, and from there on the dances and singing went really well. I was told that Helene some of her words in 'The Pictures' but covered really well. I was real pleased with the ringmaster/clown act. I think it went exceptionally good. Then I met Wayne and Tess, and Dr. Roberts at intermission and told them I would meet them in the lobby after the show.

We started the second half with a good strong '50's number. I danced with Deedra and we did pretty good except we were early on the final lift., but we held it until the others caught up. The rest of the show went really good, and we finished the show strong. Afterwards I saw Cindy, Carmy and Mark in the balcony and met up with them and the rest of the gang and we walked down to an ice cream shop. Sandie and the kids met us down there and we spent about 45 minutes eating ice cream and talking. It was really nice
to see them all, and get a chance to say goodbye to them. Then came home with Sandie and talked for a while and went to bed.

(Don't forget you can revisit all of these Tucson places during next year's reunion in Tucson from August 8-11, 2007.

8/28/87 - Friday

Well the day after the show and I'm exhausted. We had to get up at the same time as always in order to get to the U, because we had a concert for the alumni reunion at La Paloma Hotel. What a place! We spent most of the morning practicing the alumni songs and then had a really nice lunch at the hotel. After lunch we had about 2 hours to our self. Most of the cast went swimming or tanning until we had to perform (get ready by 1:00) at 2:00pm. The performance went really well, and I remembered the words to their songs. It was neat because most of the alums were singing with us and some were crying. After we changed, we had a cast meeting and talked about leaving Monday and what to do then. We then loaded the buses and took off to the Tucson Mall. I rode over to the mall with Cassi and had a really good talk with her, and even walked around the mall with her for a
while. It was really neat. It will like to get to know her. We left the mall at 5:30 and went back to the U and had dinner (with Stacie Brockman). Then we went to Cast D's show that went really well. They didn't make any mistakes, but had really low energy during the first half. They did pick it up, however during the second half and gave the alums a great show.

After the show, I met up with Randy, Carole (New Orleans), Chris (CC), and Jim (from Garden Grove) and took a few pictures of us. That was probably the last time I will see Carole or Chris (at least for a long time). I really wish I could have gotten the chance to know Carole better. She seems like a wonderful human being.

When we got done taking pictures Sandie came and picked Steve and I up and went home and crashed right away.

BONUS note:

I hear good things about that tiny TV station called CNN. Cable news could be the wave of the future...


My God, this great stuff, Grant! I finally stopped having UWP dreams awhile ago, but now I'm having them again (all good, of course). See y'all in 2007!

Dale Shaver

8/29/87 - Saturday

I didn't get up until 11:00 a.m., which was nice to get a chance to catch up on some sleep. After I took a shower I took off and went to the U of A to get some things 3 hole punched and check out the music and drama buildings. I wasn't able to get into the drama building and I was not at all impressed with the music building. When I started walking back to the bus stop, it started raining. Needless to say I got soaked, but it was kind of nice. I walked the whole way because how many times as an adult do you get to play in the rain, let alone just walk in it. I came back home and got out of my wet clothes and wrote a couple of letters. We had dinner and now I'm sitting here listening to the Bronco vs. L.A. Rams game and will probably go to bed fairly early.

BONUS note:

Hi Grant,

Did you ever see the CNN special? I just barely remember CNN doing something on our cast and I don't remember seeing it at all. Then again, I watched very little tv in 1987-88 and what tv I watched usually put me right to sleep.

I had a fun day today. Max Baucus, one of Montana's senators (5-term senator) was visiting our company today as part of a tour of high tech companies working in Montana. He's on the Senate Finance Committee and I guess as part of that, he's trying to bring some good high-tech jobs to Montana. Anyway, he was to spend 1-2 hours with our group to see what we do.

Turns out he sat with me the whole time, answered the phone, helped customers, and kept me in laughter for much of the afternoon. He (and I) were having so much fun that he stayed a half hour longer than he was supposed to. I guess maybe next time he comes up for election I might have to consider voting for him. (0:

Max has been in politics for so long that I remember seeing him in a Deer Lodge parade when I was about 6 years old. I remember it because when one is 6 years old, any politician in a parade appears to be the president (plus, he waved at my brothers and me as we tried to get our broken down go-cart to start).

That's about all the news from this end. I'm really enjoying reading your journal entries. Because the band was separated from the rest of the cast for much of staging, it's fun to read what you all were up to!

"Hi" to Gretchen and the girls!



8/30/87 - Sunday

I woke up about 9:30, showered, called home and no one was home, and then wrote a letter to Russ. Mom and Dad called back about 11:00 and we talked until almost 12:00. After we talked for long enough, Sandie, Debbie, Keri, Steve, and myself took off to Colossal Caves which is a lot like Cave of the Winds, but is completely dry (unlike Cave of the Winds). On the way there we stopped by the mailbox and picked up the mail which included a letter from Mom which had my newsletter in it and $5.00 ( I really appreciated it and the money was definitely good timing). After the caves (with a redheaded female tour guide) we drove through the Saguaro National Monument which was pretty boring, It is a good thing we didn't pay for it. After stopping by a friend's house and the grocery store, we came home and had delicious spaghetti. After dinner, went for a quick swim, and then came in and packed. From now on it is living out of a suitcase. We leave tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. for T or C, N.M.
BONUS note:

Well so far hosting has been awesome! I had them try fried cheese curds and sweet corn on the cob at the State Fair as well as chocolate chip cookies and off to the dairy area where you can drink all you can handle of milk - we watched the parade where 10 of the Uppies were in it - this was all at the Minnesota State Fair. Then took them to my friends lake house where they went tubing, played on Sea Doos and kayaks and had a bonfire - all very Minnesota. Tonight is the show - last night the Alumni from the cities hosted a potluck dinner for the cast .

Oh yes I got an e-mail from Jo- I will be going to Gent to visit her in November! I am so excited to see her! Plus, I will see the UWP show again there in Brussels.

The show - we performed some of it at the reunion this summer is very good - it is brining it back to our times!

Stacie (Welch)

BONUS note:
(EDITOR: And now the REAL stories come out...)

Ooopppsss. Brian Eide and myself (after partying with Brian's "Host Brother", all nite @ LaPaloma's nite club/bar), remember looking across the bar, seeing Carlos Acevado our tour manager. I turn to Brian and say "this is some kind of way to kick off a year".

We find ourselves in the back of a pickup truck with one eye open @7am. Looking up we see our 2 UWP busses heading up the mountain to perform for the alumni. We say to each other "I think a drink at the pool will somehow fix everything."

Needless to say I passed out on a raft (caught some serious sun) and I think Brian was inside catching Z's as well. The rest as they say is ah.....history

I'm glad all of you enjoyed the show @ LaPaloma, and perhaps I could be apart of our 20th yr show ( I just hope I don't miss this one..... A Big NY BooYa going out to everyone......OooooooooAahhhhh

Bman (Brian Merriman)

Bonus Note:

TOOO Funny!!!!

Wow, the things you never know about--- Brian- you crazy guy(s)! And Grant- how did you spend those five bucks? I guess that was a lot more back then-- fun to hear all of your insights.

This makes me want to go dig out my journals and post an entry or two- hmm- now that would be fun. Mine will seem pretty tame I'm sure...

Blessings and a big shout out to a FUN group of people!!! Cannot WAIT to see ya'll next summer!!!!!!



Admissions meeting at UWP conference room:

My Role:
a) representing UWP
b) recruiting
c) interviewing
d) admissions team

We met at Tucson mall at 7:30 and left about 8:00 a.m. and went to the offices and had a meeting about admissions and then a tour. We left here at about 10:30 a.m. and headed for ol' Truth or Consequences, NM. I can't say I was really sad to go because I was ready for a change. We rode the bus until a rest stop just on the Arizona side of the border. We stayed there to finish lunch and stretch for about 1/2 an hour. From there we went clear straight through to T or C. About 3 miles outside of T or C, we started getting escorted by the police into town. We met up with another cop, a fire truck, a hay (flatbed) truck and the sheriff's posse, and they all paraded us through town to the high school where all our host families were waiting for us with the high school band. This raging town of over 5,000 people was pretty dead because most of the town was waiting for us . Gosh darn it was exciting to get that kind of welcoming. This is one of those great benefits of UWP.

We got a packet of info and our roommates. I got stuck with Steve Bailey again. Just my luck, huh. (Editor note: It was somewhere around here that I went to speak with Terry, almost in tears and contemplating quitting. I asked him if we have to room with the same person for the entire year. I was assured that the allocations would change throughout the year and not to worry.) Our host father and son was waiting for us, both named Earnest Cummings. Earnest the younger is 17 and student body president of the high school. Cool, I can relate to him and there are no little girls around. Besides that we have our own bathroom. The elder Earnest is a teacher at the middle school (grades 6, 7, 8). We got home to a wonderfully cooked spaghetti dinner cooked by wife Velma. We have had a real nice evening talking about everything and playing guitars. They seem like a really (normally) fun, down to earth family, which is nice for a change.

I wrote Sandie a thank you note. I also received a letter from Russ. I'll send him a postcard telling him where I am. Mail call was pretty funny because it was so exciting. It was kind of like it would be on M.A.S.H. (An American TV show)

BONUS note:

We are sooooooo LUCKY to have such a great motivator and dedicated leader. How can any one of us read through these old memories of yours and still not be moved a little in our own memory? I think we will have a larger turnout for this reunion. That is my prediction. (Grant: I hope so. It is time to get ALL of us back together.)

Thank you again for all you do. Hope you had a great summer.
Jeff (Martinson)

BONUS note:

Don't even have to check my journal - I recall the pictures in my head, and also remembers the icecream-bar I visited with "my" dress rehearsal guests after the show (Haegen-dazz ). It was hard going to sleep that night. Thanks for doing this - you are the best. Love to all of you - Sanne


Click here to choose a different month


We rode to the old middle school with Earnest Jr. and then started the day with announcements from Terry. After that the rest of the morning was spent more familiarizing us with the admission responsibilities. Lunch was sandwiches and pop from Sonic. After lunch, group Bartles set up stage, lighting and costumes while group 2 (Jaymes) went to the veterans' center and then to the natural hot springs. I, being in Bartles, help get the platforms set up for the stage and then spent the rest of the afternoon working on costumes. After I finished costumes, I set up and put together the magic box. When we finished that, a few of us went to a convenience store and on the way back I found out a lot more about Christine (Germany) and Deedra. I learned that they have both been through a marriage and a divorce. It was really enlightening and it was from the female perspective. We then had a short meeting discussing how we did, then we had an all cast wrap-up. After the wrap-up, Earnest picked us up and took us to Ralph Edwards park for a picnic dinner. We met Earnest and Velma there and did a little bit of two-stepping, polka and some swinging (dancing). I did most of that with the girl that is on PR for this city, Renee, and besides that she had red hair. It was a lot of fun at the park with the old folks playing the fiddle and guitar. We also had some square dancers, and they taught us some dance steps and we taught them the UWP song. After the picnic we came home and got our swimsuits and went to a pool party at the host family of Paul Kuntz and Mary Huckins. It was a lot of fun, but we even had more fun when we went and visited Nanette, Beth, Stacie and Gretchen at their host house. We just sat there and talked for about an hour, it was really a whole lot of fun. We just sat there and laughed about different things. We got home about midnight and have been talking with Earnest for about an hour, so we have really gotten to know him better, too. It is 1:15 a.m. so I'm going to bed. P.S. Maggie (Rodiger) gave me the responsibility for keeping mileage for the duration of the tour.


Please check out this important documentary (Tab Benoit is an old friend from Houma) and pass the link along:


9/2/87 – Wednesday - TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES,NM

Earnest dropped us off at the old middle school and we started off the morning with our announcements and any new news. Then we had about a 10-minute break and then right into the second admissions seminar. That took most of the morning, but after that we had about 30 minutes before lunch, in which I took a much-needed nap. After lunch we had a full cast rehearsal running the whole show, but stopping when we needed to clean something up. The rehearsal was fair, but the energy level was extremely low. After rehearsal we had wrap-up, and they basically just informed us of what was happening this evening and told us that Pat Murphy was in town and would be doing some solo workshops on Thursday. I didn't eat dinner because I wasn't hungry, so I got on stage and worked on my ‘50's dance for about 30 minutes. They moved Deedra and me to a couple number four so we came on right before “Jailhouse Rock.” I hadn't worked on that part of the dance for a couple weeks and wanted to make sure I looked good. When I finished working on that, I went and changed and put on my makeup. (Editor: How long was it before you stopped wearing make-up during the show? I am guessing most men didn't make it very long.) I was ready by greenroom, but had to go around and pre-set the magic tricks. Green room did not do much for me so I was not mentally prepared for the show. And I'm convinced I need at least a minute to myself away from everyone else. The show went pretty well, and especially the clown act. Afterwards, I talked to Earnest and Velma, and eventually went home with Earnest Jr. On the way home we stopped by and bought some beer and a cooler and went up to the dam (Elephant Butte Dam) and stayed there for about 25 minutes. When we came home we talked for a while and then hit the sack.

Tucson, Arizona will be the site of next years reunion (our 20th!), and that it will take place
August 8-11, 2007 at the Westin La Paloma Resort.

Mark your calendar!

9/3/87 - Thursday - TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES,NM

The morning started like all the other mornings spent here, but after our meeting we went to Ralph Edwards park and did aerobics with 3 ladies who called themselves Uni-robics. I thought it was kind of stupid but it was a different way to do fitness. After that we loaded the buses and went back to the middle school and had a merchandise seminar from Kelly (Bates). She had a real good presentation. When she was finished we got back on the buses again, and went to Elephant Butte Lake and had lunch at a little outdoor food cafe that was on the lakefront. After lunch, several of us from different countries talked about world leaders and especially Reagan and what his image is worldwide. It was neat to finally get into some real controversy. We loaded the buses again around 1:00 and headed back for rehearsal. The first part of rehearsal was spent in vocals for most of the cast, but I used that time to put the box together and pre-set the tricks. By the time I was done the rest of the cast was ready to run through a few numbers, which 'Surprise Party' was one they wanted to run. So we rehearsed for about an hour and a half , had wrap-up and then went home to our host families for dinner. After a clumsy night with my tea (spilling it everywhere), we went back to the old middle school and changed and had greenroom. The show went fairly well, but there was a small audience and low energy on stage. Bill forgot some of the words to King Richard and I think that made us panic a little bit. After that the show seem to go extremely well, and we were able to get the crowd really going especially after '50's. I think that will be the trend throughout the entire year; I think the crowd will be real rowdy after the '50's number and during the second act. After the show I signed my first two autographs on two girl's shirts. It was kind of exciting, but that excitement soon turned to dread when I started cleaning up the men's quick change and packing the clothes. I spent most of the time during the strike either with costumes or loading the truck. It really was not as bad as I thought it would be, and we were done by 11:30 which is usually not achieved by a cast until half to three quarters of the way through the first semester. So we had quite an accomplishment. While crew one was striking, crew two was learning how to interview and actually interviewed some of the applicants. My host brother Earnest interviewed, and I would imagine has a pretty good chance. When we finished striking we had a final wrap-up, and then went home. On the way home we stopped to pick up some milk and I was able to get a newspaper with our article and advertisement in it. Then when we got home, we made some milkshakes and talked 'til about 1:00 a.m. then finally made it to bed.

9/4/87 - Friday - ROSWELL, NM

What a wet, rainy morning. Definitely not good weather to leave in, but I'm sure we will see worse. I said goodbye to the folks and the house and Earnest dropped us off at the Safeway parking lot. I said my goodbyes and went in to buy some film and a newspaper to see if the Broncos won. They lost 27-17 to the Minnesota Vikings. The bus drive was not so bad because it was broken into two smaller parts. First we stopped at the White Sands Missile Range and had a tour of the missile park and an old launching pad, then back to the visitors' center for a film on the different missiles. It was very pro-American, and I almost felt embarrassed to watch it with all the foreigners, but I realized that I probably would not have given it a second thought had I see it before coming to UWP. From there we went straight to lunch, and at lunch they spit us up, and the U.S. students went to one bus and the non-U.S. to another. They thought we might get stopped and have our passports checked but someone called ahead and notified them we were coming. And for some reason they didn't stop us. So we stopped at White Sands National Monument for about an hour and then drove straight through to Roswell, NM. I sat with Nanette on the bus and we had a really good conversation and really enjoyed talking to her about her family and my family. It was real exciting. We arrived in Roswell about 5:30, and picked up our bags and stuff at the Girl Scout picnic area. We met our sponsor, a councilman and two guys from Cast E who are going to perform with us. After that we met our host parents, Joyce and Warren, loaded our pickup with luggage , got the food for the pot luck, put it in the kitchen and went to the end of the line. We were last in line and by the time we got there, all the food was gone. We just decided we would eat at the football game. We took the truck home and went with another host dad (Steve) to the high school football game between Goddard and Roswell (0 to 48, Roswell). It was fun to remember my Wasson High School days. After the game we came home and Marc (deGroot) and I played chess. It was a stalemate.

9/5/87 - Saturday - ROSWELL, NM

First interview with Kathy Lee: Patrick Kanieski

F2. 2 sisters; parents divorced;
E3. White American
P4. Summer '88
G1. Engineering college or AFA; keyboards and fencing, CC & swimming;
lifeguard; drama & musicals;
T8. Keyboards
H6. - 'like an ox'
Strengths - meeting people
Weakness - self-discipline

M5. Fundraising, scholarship

What a long, but exciting day! It is 1:30 a.m. and I fee like I've been up since 6:30 a.m., because I have been. I have been moving for 19 1/2 hours today, no wonder I'm so tired. This morning seems so long ago, but if I remember correctly, we discussed what had happened the day before with a lot of discussion about the missiles. A lot of people shared the same feelings I had. After the meeting, crew one (Bartles) loaded the buses and went to the Goddard Planetarium and Museum. I really enjoyed it partly because I haven't been to a planetarium show in a long, long time and it brought back some childhood memories. The museum part was really neat too. I actually enjoyed it a lot. After that we went to the Roswell Mall for about an hour and then got back to eat lunch. Joyce and Warren picked Shawn (Faucher) and I up for lunch and took us to La Cocina, and we had steak and chicken fajitas. It was delicious and we got to spend a little extra time with them. When we got back from lunch I checked the magic box, worked with the band on 'Surprise Party,' and practiced juggling until 3:45.

At 4:15 we had about 300 cadets come in and watch rehearsal until about 5:00 p.m. We had wrap-up and had dinner in the mess hall. It was quite an experience to watch them march to dinner and the way they ate. It seemed ridiculous and reminded me of why I'm not in the military (and these were mostly high school kids.) Got ready and Clay (Stroud) asked if I would sell for him tonight because he was on strike crew. I think I ended up selling about $45 worth so I might make $2 or $3 for myself. I couldn't sell anything at intermission or afterwards. The two guys (from Cast E) did a lot of dances and solos so I was bumped off the mic for the first half, and came in at 'Runaround Sue' during '50's. Ringmaster went well, but the girl I had clammed up on me and would give me nothing but 'um uh.' So I just tried to make it as funny as possible and play off of what she said. When the show was done, I did my first interview with Katrin (Scheibner) and Kathy Lee and you can see who and the notes on the previous page (up top). Kathy was impressed with us and how we did in the interview, and we ended up highly recommending him. We rounded all four of us up (Ken Frye, Marc deGroot, Sean Faucher & myself) when Jaymes was finished striking, and came home. Stopped by and got a six-pack of Dr. Pepper and came home and talked and drank Dr. Pepper. Now I'm exhausted and I'm going to bed!

9/6/87 - Sunday - BORGER, TX

Warren and Joyce took us four to the Roswell Mall and loaded up. We also got to say goodbye to Steve and his wife who was hosting Stacie, Cassi, Lena, Weine, and had gone to the football game the night before with
them. I took the van so I could get some extra sleep. I slept most of the morning until we stopped at Texico, New Mexico to take a break and eat lunch. Texico was about 500 feet from the Texas border and I called my folks, but they weren't home (which was fine because I was on an outside pay phone) so I left a message on the machine. We took off again and I slept until we reached Amarillo, Texas where we stopped at a Hardee's and I sat outside and sang “Amarillo by Morning,” something I have never been able to do before. (Editor: I did a lot of these geeky things.)

We left there and made it into Borger, Texas about 4:00 p.m. at a small shopping center and then host pick up was at the Borger High School cafeteria. We found Deputy and Barbara and their nephew Rick and his two kids. I rode with Rick from Borger to Fritch which is about a half an hour away and really enjoyed talking with him. We talked about the Colorado/Texas hatred and why it is that way. He told me how proud Texans were and that every Texas courthouse has a monument on the southeast corner in honor of the Confederate soldiers from that particular city. I thought that was very interesting and a super nice guy to talk to. We went to Cherry's house for dinner with hour host parents, Rick and the eight girls staying at that house (Deedra, Anne, Corinne, Kelly, Meg, Val, Ingi and Diane) and had hamburgers and hotdogs in a good old fashioned picnic style. After dinner we sat around and talked and then went downstairs and danced to some of the songs on the jukebox. Deedra and I danced to Johnny B. Goode, while Cherry video taped it, so we got to see ourselves doing it, which was really neat. It was kind of a fun idea. We took a bunch of pictures of all of us in the living room and really had a real relaxing evening. It was nice for a change to not have to go or be somewhere, we just spent the time with our families and each other. After a nice evening we came home and did some washing and getting settled.

I'm going to call Mom and Dad, so I will close for now.

9/7/87 - Monday - Labor Day - Borger, TX

I had a real good talk wit my folks last night. It sure doesn't feel like it has been a week since I talked to them last.

I forgot to mention that we had some deaf people in our audience at Roswell and they had an interpreter for the entire show. After the show I got a chance to talk with them through their interpreter and found out that we are doing “What Color is God's Skin?”correctly and they could understand us pretty well.

Today started off with a presentation from Amy about Labor Day in the U.S. and then we had a speaker from a local refinery that told us about the largest natural gas deposit in the world which was right under our feet. After the speaker we (Bartles) started setting up. I worked mostly on costumes and putting up a quick change, but got extremely frustrated when I was doing all the men's costumes by myself and then Rick came in and acted like I didn't know what the heck I was doing. Then we put up the quick change and he tried to build a super structure, so I got very irritated at him. (Editor: Sounds about par for Rick to build some kind of "super structure". I guess we eventually figured it out, huh Rick?) So after we finished I went and threw my frustrations at Cassi.

After lunch we had a '50's dance workshop that went pretty well but just strengthened what I already knew which is okay to do because then I don't have to think about what I'm doing. After the workshop we worked on the acoustic and then ran through the sound assembly program. We will be doing a high school in Bartlesville so we needed to know the format. While we were rehearsing the curtains began to smoke and looked like they might catch fire. Half the cast panicked, but everything stayed under control. During the wrap-up Darci awarded prizes to the winners of the Tucson trivia contest and I was a runner-up with my rendition of Denis on a dollar bill. It was a little bit exciting. When wrap-up was finished we loaded the buses and went to a park for a barbecue with our host families. My host parents from Roswell came up to give Sean his trumpet that he forgot at the house (Editor: Yeah, I would think he might need that. Heehee), and while they were in Borger they watched rehearsal and came to the barbecue. It was kind of neat because Deputy and Barbara (Borger host parents) got to meet Warren and Joyce (Roswell host parents). I left a little earlier so I could get back and do some typing to fill out the statistic forms that Paul asked me to do while I'm on the road. After I got those typed up and done, I changed and put my makeup on. We met Sedric's family in green room, but most of the time I spent getting the tricks ready. I couldn't get energized for the show, and to make it worse it was a terrible show. The sequence went out on “Sunrise” and I don't know if it was there for most of the show. Then I tried to think to myself just pull it together and as soon as I was doing that we screwed up the ending to “Too Many People.” From then on our energy level went way down and our panic level went way up. Intermission came and went and the '50's number picked us and the audience up as usual, and we finished pretty strong. One thing I know now is that I cannot go on stage before the clown act without some kind of liquid in my throat. I squeaked twice on stage. The second time I said “Excuse me I'm still going through puberty.” Oh God! I don't know how that slipped out. after the show, we struck the set and near the end I was being Mr. Motivation and singing and doing cheers.

Kelly drove us all home in the van in the middle of a wild rainstorm, and when we got home we stayed up and talked for a while until I passed out on the couch.

9/8/87 - Tuesday - Bartlesville, OK

I was definitely slow in the moving around this morning and by the time I packed and showered we were pushing it. We made it on time though, and got myself loaded and on the van. I really enjoy riding on the van, mainly because I'm able to get sleep. I slept most of the morning, but I did see the Oklahoma/Texas border. What is wild is that as of today we have already traveled in four states, three time zones and over 1100 miles in only 8 days. Pretty incredible how fast we're moving. We stopped for lunch at a Pizza Hut in Oklahoma which was kind of neat. From there on we only stopped once for 10 minutes but we arrived in Bartlesville at about 5:00 to the high school band and cheerleaders. After finding our allocation bags we had a quick meeting and had a proclamation by the mayor stating Up With People Days from Sept. 8 until Sept. 11. Basically your typical proclamation form, just fill in the names and dates. We found our host family under the label “Banners,” came home and had dinner with them and their daughter Mary, her future husband Roger, and her son Ben. We spent
the rest of the evening talking and taking it easy.

Oh my gosh, I'm cracking up!! Love the 'puberty' comment- too funny!! And
I'm so glad you won runner-up for the trivia contest-- and that at least it
was a LITTLE bit exciting! LOL. Just having a blast reading these
Anyway- thanks Grant!


9/9/87 - Wednesday - Bartlesville, OK

We had our usual morning at the high school and then went straight into the guest speaker named Ray G. Steiner who is the Vice President of Supply and Transportation for Phillips Petroleum. At that time the task force took off and did their thing and then after the speaker Bartles set up the stage and Jaymes took off for a C.I. at Washington County Adult Center. We had a school lunch in the cafeteria with the students and then Jaymes joined us at 12:30 while we took sound levels. The sound assembly started at 1:45 for about 600 students and lasted until about 2:30. We passed out flyers and then changed back into our nice clothes while Jaymes struck the set. Bartles went to Heritage Manor Nursing Home and met some third graders there that had colored the UWP "Time for the Music” poster to give to the elderly. The kids and the old folks learned the UWP song and sang along with us in the show. The acoustic was a mediocre performance, but they really enjoyed it. I'm still not real comfortable in a situation like that, but I'll get used to it. We went back to the high school for wrap-up and we talked for 45 minutes about what kind of effect we had on the high school students and on the community as a whole. Among other announcements, I had talked to Terry about holding a short prayer meeting tomorrow at lunch and he said go for it. When I announced it, I tried to leave it wide open for any denomination or religion, and I didn't feel like it was very well received. Especially after Wilfred said his host father was going to take a tour of the famous architects building, but I had about a dozen people tell me they were coming and asked for sure where it would be. So now I panicked a little bit because I don't know what I'm going to do or say, but I'm sure the Lord wouldn't have given me such a response if he didn't think I could do it, so I'm going to sure give it my best thoughts, and give it a shot.


I am only home for 10 minutes for lunch so I am eating my Salmon and Rice (very NW meal) as I read. I really love hearing the perspective of someone so into getting their time on the mic or in the spot light.....I was always one of the marathoners who was there for every song (almost) (vamping and smiling my heart out), never being pulled for a workshop, so I pretty much never missed a work out or run through or set up....oh and I never did costumes either. I loved just being part of the show. I could always find people in the audience to make eye contact with. I think I want to learn the dances at the reunion...anyone up for teaching me? I always wanted to do that. (No lifting though....I have lost 70 pounds in the last 2 years, but we're getting old!)

Also, I love reading this part of the tour I missed. I left with Anki after our first city to do PR in Hutchinson KS...(I did do PR 3 times...all in towns UWP had NEVER been before...yup, we started from scratch!) Thanks for the fun reading!

Love, Erin

9/10/87 - Thursday - Bartlesville, OK

During our morning meeting we talked mostly on how we thought we were doing as a cast and where we should be as a cast. After that I went with Gretchen to find some postcards and we had a really nice talk and walk. We came back after about 45 minutes because she had to be in a workshop, so I read the newspaper and waited for my workshop. Christine took some of us and we learned an arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner” and basically worked on that until about 12:30, so I sat down in the green room, wrote Cindy a letter, and waited for lunch. We had pizza from Pizza Hut and lots of donated soda. At 1:40 my prayer meeting started with a prayer, then we went around and asked if anyone had any special prayers or concerns. Several people voiced different things that were really neat. And unfortunately not every one got to say something. Then we sang a song (“They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love”), and then I read Romans 12:9-21 and then we prayed using the concerns people had voiced already, and finished with the Lord's Prayer. It went really well, and people seemed really pleased about what happened. From 2:00 p.m. until about 5:30 we did sound levels and ran the first half of the show. It sure was nice to perform in a real auditorium again. After wrap-up we met with Mr. Belk and expressed to him that we were very interested in going to Russia. We talked a lot about that, but we told him about our community involvement the day before, and how our traveling was going up to now. Then we had a nice dinner of barbecue pork, and right after dinner we rehearsed “The Star Spangled Banner” some more. During green room we introduced some VIPs and the sponsors, and then we 10 performed the song for them and the cast, and it was really received well. Green room was pretty rowdy because we were psyched to do a good show especially for the Phillips 66 VIPs. There is a potential they might be a sponsor for Russia or on the same level of Coke for China. Several things went wrong, but you wouldn't have known if you didn't know the show. The two major things was the lights went out right in the middle of the clown act. I didn't really realize they went off until I got off stage. They were on soon after, but went off again at the end of the show. The other thing was Rita pulled a muscle in her back while we were doing '50's and could not finish the show, and in fact went to the hospital. They got Kathy and she talked to Stacie Brockman about doing it. Stacie was just being a chorus member tonight because she had a sore throat, and that's the reason she wasn't doing any solos anyway. Surprisingly enough we handled the situations rather well, and kept the show moving. On “One Footstep” Steve filled in real quick for Helene, but when they set him up they put the guitar mic on the wrong side. When I noticed that, I walked across stage while he was doing his intro and moved the mic for him. I don't know whether that was the right thing to do or not, but I did it anyway. Overall I think it was a really good show and we weren't thrown by the adversities. After the show, there was a VIP reception that part of the cast went to, while Bartles interviewed applicants and Jaymes struck the set. I did my second interview, but Katrina and I got to do it by ourselves without a staff member. I think we are the first ones to do an interview without a staff member. We didn't give him a second interview because we weren't very impressed by him. J.B. picked Rodney and I up, and by the time I packed and got ready for bed it was 1:30. Woo! I'm tired.

9/11/87 - Friday - Hays, KS

J.B. took us to BCC at 7:30 and we took off at 8:00 a.m. I rode in the van for the third straight travel day in a row, but this time I had to. All the National Anthem people rode on the van so we could practice if we needed to. Our first stop was about 20 minutes away at a place called Woolaroc which is basically a wild, running free zoo. We also walked through the museum and had a short presentation. We rode clear through to just outside of Wichita, KS where we stopped to eat lunch and get gas. Everyone slept the whole morning, but in the afternoon we talked about a lot of different things like: Best dream and worst nightmare, how we raised our money, and how we were supported. It was really neat to spend that time finding out that much more about each other. We worked through the songs a couple more times before we stopped at a really nice rest stop. We walked around and acted crazy and sang “We Love You Mary” to Mary in the restroom. We made it in Hays at exactly 5:00 p.m. and no UWP people were there, so we thought we would check at the school, and low and behold they were just arriving. While we met some of the VIPs I met a couple neat guys that turned out to be my host brothers, Craig and Rich, but also included: Ned, Bill and some others. We took my stuff inside and I found out that is where I was staying (in the monastery). They showed me my room that I'm sharing with Jeff Hansen. It is actually in the school (Thomas More Prep) and is kind of like living in the dorm again. The bathroom is across the hall and the showers are upstairs. He showed me around a little and then we went to the meeting before host pick-up. After that I went up and changed and then ran to dinner because “God” was calling for me to come to dinner. After we ate, we went with Kathy to the football game where I met up with the other National Anthem singers. We sang through it once and then huddled around one mic and sang it. It was kind of fun and had a sense of importance about it. When we were done, we went up and watched TMP defeat the Irish (somethings?) 28 to 12. After the game we went to a park, and talked and drank a beer (and wine cooler) and then went to the Sock Hop which was really just an ordinary dance. Not real good music, but I had fun and met a few people. After the dance we stopped and got something to eat, then back to the school. Craig came into my room and we had quite an extensive talk about everything. Then we hit the sack and I'm in the top bunk of a very small room, but it is kind of neat to have 48 host brothers

I am going to be going on PR soon to go to Freeport, IL and will be leaving from LaCrosse, WI. I will be gone from 10/28/87 To 11/19/87, and would love to have some guest journal entries from all of you to cover some or all of those days. If you would be willing to type up your journal from the road for one or more of those days I was gone, please let me know and I will share it with the cast. That way you are not all stuck ONLY reading about my adventures on PR in Freeport. Thanks for participating. Please let me know soon.

9/12/87 - Saturday - Hays, KS

I didn't have to get up until 7:15 for a change because I only had to walk out the building and across the parking lot and I was there. I fiddled around after my shower and I still was the first one there. During our morning meeting we discussed our arrival/reception and world events. Then we broke into our groups and Bartles set up and Jaymes had a tour and did an acoustic for some physically handicapped people. Costume crew worked good together and got finished quickly and when we were done we sat down and they got to talking about what some guys said the night before. (“They” being Deedra, Diane, Anne and Gretchen) I told them that we were talking about the perfect girl in our cast that had looks and personality. What was really neat is that each of us guys said a different girl, and I think that says a lot for our cast. They were able to figure out that I said Cassi, because she was the only girl that I added a bunch of adjectives for and besides that I had a “tell-all” grin. (EDITOR: This is kind of a weird story from this side of life. Here I am telling my future wife who I thought was the perfect girl in the cast. Funny I didn't mention any of the other girls that were discussed. All you women out there, surely similar conversations were had about the men in the cast. Fess up. Don't worry, I won't be embarrassed if I was at the top of the list. :) )

After we talked for a while some of us went to a couple of stores and got some sewing supplies, and bolts and washers for the magic box. We got back in time for lunch, and then we had show prep, where they do sound levels and fitness and the like. About 3:00 they rehearsed on stage while I still was fixing the box and trying to figure out how it was going to work. Well, it didn't work to well so it looked like it was going to get cut until we found out after dinner that we were just going to cover the complete box before the girls got up.

The show was the best we've done to date in terms of smoothness and audience/cast interaction. The audience was just incredible and created a lot of energy on the stage. It was really amazing how much electricity was between us. The magic trick worked really well, and I'm glad they didn't cancel that part of the show. After the show, we struck the equipment, and I walked back to my room. When I got there Brother (one of the Monks) called me down to the lounge and ordered a pizza that Brother, Jeff and I shared. It was neat because I found out some stuff about the Catholic Church and what it takes to be a Brother, Father or Priest. I really felt comfortable asking questions about anything. It was a nice ending to a long day! (EDITOR: I had to laugh here because I remember the Brother offering Jeff and I some beer to go with our pizza that had been confiscated from some of the boys living there at the prep school. Here he was offering me a beer, (at that point 19 years old and not legally able to drink beer), which was taken from my 18 year old host brothers because they were under age. The Brother never asked how old I was.)


Hey Grant,

If I can remember the dances I will work with Erin at the reunion. The inner person in my always wanted to be on a mic group with someone. Erin can do the lifts (with a spotter) and I think it would be fun. I will miss reading you journal for the next week but will catch up when I get home from Dallas on the 18th. Have a great week. I get to read tomorrow's edition, then Tuesday off to see some cows (I'm really going to see some fire trucks, but that doesn't sound Texas enough). I haven't done 50s for at least 6 years since UWP 1.0 ended. UWP 2.0 hasn't made it to the deep south yet so I guess I will have to find a video to refresh.

Thanks for everything. Keep it up.


I regret to admit that I haven't had the time to read all of these juicy little missives. Grant, I hope you'll continue to respect Steve Ellis's privacy and not share with the whole group that time he took a personal day off from the rest of us and got his "Pee Wee" stuck in that hole in Hays. Later that evening, I had the unfortunate job of consoling our host mom from when she walked in on him in the barn. I don't think she ever really bought the "I was just trying to take a leak" story.

Steve considers this to be a very personal matter.

Love to All My Cast Mates,


9/13/87 - Sunday - Alva, OK

I got to sleep in 'til 10:00! That's when I got up to go to mass (church service) downstairs from us. Mass was interesting. There were several Uppies there and the choir that sang for us that night before in green room also sang at the service. The priest mentioned UWP in his sermon and even went as far as to mention individual songs from the show. After mass, I took a picture of Brother, Rich, Craig, Jeff, myself and some of the other guys. Then we went to lunch and finished packing and took our stuff down to the buses. There was a lot of tears this time when we left. I sat next to Cassi and we had a real nice talk about religion and beliefs. We seem to come from virtually the same beliefs and are both very sure of ourselves. She feels very comfortable in a Catholic church and could not see leaving it or getting married in a different church. I'm very much the same with Methodism, but I feel there is a reason that we were sitting together today and a reason why we are going to become close this year. God knows what the reason is, but I think it will be revealed at some point. (EDITOR: Another situation that prepared me for life. Ironic that I would marry a Catholic woman. I think it was my long conversations with Cassi that gave me a clearer understanding of the similarities and differences between Catholicism and the beliefs I was raised learning, and prepared me for my life with Gretchen. Isn't it amazing how the sum of our life experiences help us to deal with everyday life.)

When we arrived in Alva, OK at about 5:00 we were given one shoe in our allocation bags and we had to find its mate. We found Jane and Chuck and took off to the park for a picnic and had a great time. After the picnic we came home, changed clothes and went with Monte to his choir rehearsal. I really enjoyed it, and we got to critique them and give them good and bad things. They were really good and we could only pick the little details to work on. I met some cute girls (Jolinda, Teresa, Annita) and had a nice talk with them (especially Annita). Teresa and Annita are going to be in a Miss Alva contest on Tuesday night that we will get to attend. We came home afterwards watched a little TV, watched the news and sports (Broncos over Seattle 40 to 17) and now am going to bed.

My commercial seems to be airing again this football season. Thanks for the heads up from Marty who saw it during a college football game. Thanks to his eyes my agent renegotiated my contract for another two years. Let's hope those residual checks keep rolling in! Keep your eyes out for it if you are in the US.
Monday - Alva, OK

We had about a 30-minute morning meeting and then took off to Longfellow Elementary School (which was neat - that was the name of my elementary school) and we did an acoustic for 80 to 100 3rd and 4th graders. I also got to do the MC for the first time, and I think I did a pretty good job (at least it went well). Then after the performance, we went into the classrooms in groups of three and told the kids where we were from. We didn't have much time, but I really enjoyed it. We went straight from there to the Beadles Rest Home, and did our acoustic show. After that four of us went to some of the rooms and sang a couple songs for those who couldn't see the show. When we joined the rest of the group, they were playing games and talking. I started talking with a lady named Maude who was 100 years old (101 in Jan) and found out that her sister was the lady sitting next to her. Her sister, Naomi, had traveled down here last week from Boulder, Colorado to visit. Naomi is 93 years old almost completely blind and is one of the most interesting people I've met. She has written a book (when she was 80) about her sister's life called “My sister Maude.” She gave Helene a copy of the book, and I am very anxious to read it. She was really fascinating to speak to, and she was from Colorado. We ate lunch at the rest home and then went back for show prep. When I got back to the high school I went with Kathy Lee to the staff hotel and made a phone call to Tucson (Tina Moore) and gave her the statistics of our shows up to now. I typed up the forms for Paul, but didn't finish all of it. When we went back we ran through the second half of the show. During wrap-up we had a strip tease demonstration from the costume crew (Linda and Beth) and Darci told us about her position. Then at 5:15 after dinner we had a prayer meeting for 45 minutes outside of the auditorium. (EDITOR: From strip tease to prayer meeting. Wow! What a transition.) It went really, really good, and a lot of people (of the 31 people that were there) had some input. It is really exciting that so many people are interested and I hope I can keep it up with some sort of consistency.

Before the show started, I heard for the first time someone say that they were sick of the show. That's kind of scary when you consider we have only been on the road 2 weeks.

We had another great audience but I didn't feel like we were giving our all to them. Our energy level was way down, but we still gave a good show. The number 3 lead mic was giving us some trouble, and I found out they took it off stage when I went to grab it during clowns, but Ken was on the ball and figured out which one I was on. During the '50's dance, which Deedra and I danced most of, I pulled her through my legs and my foot was on her dress. Well, it is obvious that I cannot pull her up in the air with my foot on her dress. Needless to say her dress came down past her waist, and her expression was worth a million dollars. (EDITOR: Heehee, sorry Deedra.)

We only had one interview, so we had a free evening, with which I spent talking to Gretchen. We had a really nice long talk about mostly religion and Cassi. (EDITOR: Okay, this is just plain freaky. If it is any consolation, Gretchen and I still talk about all of you. :) ) I left early to go home though, so it got cut short. When we got home we had a roast beef sandwich and talked about the show. I really like Jane, and I wish we could spend more time in this town.

99/15/87 - Tuesday - Alva, OK

I didn't even get up until 12:45 at which time I got up, took a shower and ate lunch. I started a load of the costumes that I was told to wash, and then we went and got some allergy drugs and my developed pictures. I came back home and did some writing and typing (in the audience stats book) until it was time to go on our picnic. We met another family (hosting Sedric and Bill) at their private pond and did some fishing and barbecuing. I caught over a 3-pound catfish, and they filleted him along with Sedric's for dinner that night. I wasn't in the mood for fish, so I didn't really like it too well, but it sure was fun to catch. After dinner I came back and did some more wash and writing and had a nice talk with Charles. I also called my folks and they didn't have too much to say except Scott and Penny will probably not come to Alliance. I'm looking forward to seeing them and I hope I get to spend some time with them.

Then I watched “the Color Purple” on the VCR just to see them sing “God is Trying To Tell You Something” which was at the very end. (of course!) So now it is 2:00am; A lot of good catching up on my sleep did. (EDITOR Note: "on the VCR"! What an 80's comment.)


Dear Grant and all my other wonderful friends.

First a big warm THANK YOU to Grant for the wonderful diary. I recently found my diary from the good old days, but discovered that I managed to write a diary for a total of 7 days during the year. 4 days in Tucson + one day in Rosswell, Borger and Bartlesville. Put then I have more than 40 hours of video. Every day I am eager to open my mails to see, what we did almost 20 years ago. I wish I could turn the clock back and do it all over again.

I have reserved time for holiday in Tucson for August 8 to 11 next year. I will not miss the reunion for anything in the world. Just waiting now for the flight tickets to come up for sale and I will book them as soon as possible.

And now a little update from Prague.

On the home front there is not much news. My wonderful wife Jana is still working as a judge and my kids Anna and Nina are now 12 and 10. Anna started last year in a special 8 years gymnasium, for talented kids and Nina is still going to language school, but can apply for the gymnasium next spring. We are still living in the heart of Prague, but currently talking to architects about building a house in Dobrichovice, 20 km away from Prague. Our summer was spent on a driving 2500 km through Scotland, visiting Denmark, for holiday and the wedding of Allan X. Grige (country manager UWP when we toured), and finally one week in Poland, yachting on the Polish lakes.

At work a lot has changed. I left the company German headhunting firm Lichtwer Consult last fall as I had very different opinions about the future than the owner of the firm, a 76 year old German. As managing director of the firm I had built the biggest firm in the group and when employing more staff and having bigger turnover than he had in 5 other offices together. We just did not see the future business in the same way.

In January this year I started my own HR Consultancy and Executive Search (headhunting) firm. It is called UniqueConsult Czech Republic s.r.o. . I own half of the firm and the other half is owned by the Danish consultancy firm UniqueConsult. The firm in Denmark has 20 consultants on board and I have now after 8 months of operation 6 staff on board. We are allready discussing opening up new offices in Sweden,Poland and Slovakia in 2007. Business is going fantastic. We have the largest Danish firms on the market as clients, and additionally we won a huge contract for CzechTrade, the Czech Republic's Export Promotion Agency, belonging under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. I am now consulting CzechTrade on Strategies and helping changing the organisation to become more efficient, and currently helping screening candidates for director positions for CzechTrade in their office in India, China, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.

I am still sitting on the board of the Nordic Chamber of Commerce. Now for the 7th year, and further getting involved in starting some more cooperation between Denmark and the Czech Republic, primarily together with the Danish Embassy in Prague and the Czech Embassy in Copenhagen.. After 3 years I left the board of EuroCzech Forum, an association for the foreign chambers of commerce in the Czech Republic, representing 1.2 mill. working places and 70% of foreign direct investments. I am now getting more involved with MeridianEaton Global, a consultancy company started by UWP alumni in the field of Cross Cultural Training and training executives for them in the Czech Republic, Denmark and Poland. I am also enjoying doing various pep- alk presentations to international management groups and to promote the Czech Republic at seminars. My amatoer jazz band is getting more active, so I am crooning old Sinatra stuff a few times per month. Otherwise hanging onto Rotary and helping making a few events supporting handicapped young people. All in all a pretty active life, with a lot of fun, wonderful people around me. A fantastic family and a wife even more active than I.

And further more Wonderful friends around the globe who will hopefully all come to Tucson in August next year.

Big Hugs

Birger Husted
UniqueConsult Czech Republic s.r.o.
Mob: +420 728 244 444

9/16/87 – Sulfur Springs, TX

I didn’t really get to say goodbye to Jane because I was on luggage crew (which I was late for anyways.) So it was kind of rushed for me. I about didn’t make it on the bus, but they let me on anyway. The buses were decorated in honor of Mexican Independence Day. I rode with Anne Stainforth (my bus date) and really enjoyed it because I learned a lot about her and cows. (EDITOR: hahahaha - "her and COWS"?!?) Like: breeding cows are sold for beef when they grind their teeth down so far that they can’t eat. Just an FYI! I sat across from Denis Cournoyer and he always cracks me up. We stopped a couple of times to get out a play Frisbee, but it seemed like a long bus trip. When we arrived, we were entertained by the Sulfur Springs High School Drill Team (and they are number one in the state) the H.S. cheerleaders (with special cheers just for us) the flag squad, and the marching band. It was quite exciting but starting to get a little repetitious. Besides that it was our third time to have “UWP Days” declared while we’ve been on the road. We got our allocation bags and suitcases and went straight to church after we met Bonnie. We had a potluck at the 1st United Methodist Church, a little sermon, then a tour of the church. The sanctuary is gorgeous with 16 beautiful stain glass windows. Paul and I met the pastor and he played the “Bells” (it was really a recording) that rang out over the whole city. It was beautiful. Then on the way out to the farm we stopped and got some ice cream. The farm is way the heck out here and is 125 acres big. Ken and Bonnie have about 33 beef cattle and a nice home (ironic since I was just having a discussion about cows with Anne). They have hosted before, but seem very interested in our backgrounds and are easy to talk to. It is about 20 minutes back into town so I will have to get up early in order to get ready.


Good morning Grant-

I saw the commercial as well - I think it was an ESPN/ABC broadcast. I blurted out "there's Grant!" My mother-in-law was visiting and I pretty sure she thinks I'm making it up that I knew you even though Matt confirmed our cast connection. It was fun to have you visit in our living room for a few seconds. Next time bring your wife and girls - Sophie would love to meet them - and stay a bit longer!

My news of late is that I created a puppet for a children's performer -SteveSongs who has recently been signed by Rounder Records and currenly making a kids' DVD and is looking to make the move to TV. (Long story how that occurred). You can see the video and my puppet by going to Click on Portfolio, ignor the Civil War promo pic and click on the photo of the guitarist and kids. Pick a Quicktime format that works for your computerand enter"Silly" as the username and "Vanilly" as the password (case sensitive).(Silly Vanilly is the name of the puppet) Sophie is part of the crowd of kids but is hard to pick out unless I'm there to point her out. Based on Silly I've been asked to help develop new charactrers for the show they hope to put together. It's exciting yet a very long shot - and a nice departure from immigration advising scientific researchers and MDs. Has Gretchen ever heard of this performer? His music is great - fun, playful, educational and not at allinsipid. I love the Flying Guitar and Marvelous Day CDs. Any insights from either of you professionals on kids music, character development, music industry realities, and how this show production works would be helpful.

Thanks again for all the journal entries - having been in a different color group and then shipped out to PR in Hayes almost the week following the switch I missed almost all of the cast A staging experience. Thanks for the fill in. You really made great use of your time with host families, cast mates and alone time. I am impressed - gives me insight as to how you can manage job, acting, family, cast stuff.....

Smooch to Gretchen,

9/17/87 - Sulfur Springs, TX

During our morning meeting we met some parents, friends and Brannon from Cast E, and then after meeting everyone we had a brief explanation of Mexico Independence Day and about the constitution (This is the 200th year of the Constitution) the Bartles crew had everything set up in a little over 2 hours, and then we all walked over to the park where they were cooking hamburgers for lunch. After lunch we broke open a pi'ata and then went back for rehearsal. We spent about an hour practicing the '50's dance outside and had my first real encounter of humidity. We were only stretching and I was already sweating. When we went back inside we ran through some of the things that had new people doing them until 4:30 when we had wrap-up. During wrap-up we had a Mexico trivia contest along with the regular announcements. Then we went home with Bonnie for dinner and to get ready, then back again for green room. Nothing out of the ordinary during the show, and I did basically the same thing as usual. (couple number 3 in the '50's) I was the only one from my crew working on costumes for the men, luckily Kurt and Sedric came in and helped me. I'm getting real sick of how people are leaving the quick changes and they don't understand what a drag it is to clean up. We struck and got home about 12:30 and finally went to bed at about 1:15am.

9/18/87 - El Dorado, KS

We left the house this morning at 7:10 in a terrible downpour and had to load the buses in the rain. It was cold and wet but kind of fun. I finally got caught up on some of my Thank you notes to past host families. I sat on the bus with Linda Cullen and had a really good conversation with her (in between sleeping). We got into town about 5:00 and about 30 of us got on Stagecoaches and rode to host pick up. (at the Methodist church)

My family in El Dorado, KS has this incredible house that looks like it came straight out of the Better Homes and Gardens. It has a lot of old stuff and neat antiques and is really homey. This is the host family situation I was expecting would happen most often (but hasn't until now) with a teenage girl wanting to host two guys. The teenager, Amy, is cute (but too young) and Sarah is about the cutest little girl I've ever seen. Harold and Linda own their own florist and seem to be doing great business. We had lasagna for dinner which I had been craving and a really nice evening doing wash and playing pinball. Then Birger and I figured out the amount of miles we've traveled so far. It is close to 2700 miles and it is 2567 miles (approx.) from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast. 2700 miles is 3669 kilometers which is from Copenhagen to Rome and back again. Pretty amazing for 19 days, I think! After we figured that out we played a game of Pictionary and Amy and I won. I really like this family because they are very comfortable with us here.



There were several times that I would have the reality of life hit me traveling with Cast A, but Sulfer Springs, TX as one that will be a special time in my life. My host family was amazing. Not because they had a big home, or fed me well, but because of how much they gave of themselves.

When we pulled up to the home, it literally looked like a run down plantation. My first thought (if I remember correctly) was that I hoped they would have air conditioning. Quite frankly, I cannot remember if they did. When we arrived, I saw a large family, mostly high school age kids. They were all wearing what appeared to be second-hand cloths. I was not sure what to expect, but I was so pleasantly surprised!

After a wonderful meal, they asked us to join them in their living room. In that room were all kinds of instruments - drums, brass (trumpet, trombone, etc.), guitars, etc. Each of the kids picked up an instrument and began to play some of the prettiest music I have ever heard. I remember thinking how much each of them came alive . . . even the parents . . . when they began to play. They seemed to forget all about reality and get lost in the great music. They invited me to join them on the drums. What an incredible night!

I wish I had done better at keeping good notes and keeping in touch with past host families. I often wonder how many of them are doing. I have a feeling that this family is doing well . . . no matter what riches they have or don't have.

I cannot remember who from our cast stayed with this same family. If you pass this on and someone remembers, please send me a note to let me know if you remember the same.



I had a similar "blurt" Saturday. We came home at half time after watching CU lose badly to ASU (not a big surprise, but their 3rd loss in a row) and started to watch the Nebraska/USC game and around the 4th quarter, there you were! Great commercial. I was glad I got to see it because my computer wouldn't let me view it the other day when I tried your link in the email you sent. Hey, in a way, it's like we're your field agents all over the world!

Hugs to you all-

9/19/87 - Saturday - El Dorado, KS

We had breakfast and then Harold took us to the middle school, and there wasn't anything special in the morning meeting. After that Bartles had a speaker named “Bones” Noy who is the Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and was a pretty good speaker. His basic message was to tell those around you that you love them before it is too late. It was nice, but it seems that Bartles gets the raw end of the deal when it comes to days we don't set up. Because after the speaker we had warm-up then went over our acoustic until lunch.

Right before lunch, John Flores and I met with Kathy to talk about the MC's. She wants me to learn the opening and closing MC because she thinks the foreign students are not being understood by the audience very well. We also wrote two new MCs for the sound assembly that are a little bit more personal. When we finished, Laurie W. took me over to the offices so I could use a typewriter. I typed the two MCs and made copies and started writing my monthly newsletter. I was late for the next meeting which was all about interns and their responsibilities. After that more fitness and then we went into rehearsal and worked in a new girl from Cast E, named Becky who plays saxophone. After a short rehearsal, Bartles did our acoustic for Jaymes and they did it for us. We did a lot of wrong things as did they, which is really sad that people don't treat that like a performance. Then we had wrap- up and after that we did a quick chorus mic level check.

Harold was there to pick us up, and we went home and had a barbecue with two other families, one of which was hosting Jeff and Dale. We had a pretty good green room. Part of it was led by Brannon at which time he announced he would be with us while we toured Texas in January (1988). It was really nice. The stage was extremely hot because there was no air conditioning and I felt very drained while I was on stage. For the second night in a row, Antoinette's trick was not loaded correctly, and it was never checked (or it was messed with it). I didn't do the '50's number very well because I couldn't hold Deedra up very long before my arms gave out. The Harmons were sitting in the second row so I saw them while I was performing which made me feel like I knew someone in the audience.

There were only two interviews after the show, and Birger did one of them, so I helped out with the costumes. Then after that we packed the box away (magic) and I went and laid down in the aisle and waited for Birger. I got a little extra sleep and we finally got home at about 12:00. We then stayed up until about 1:30 talking and packing. Sarah, our host sister, gave Birger and I a special present ( a 3-page book) and decorated our lunch bags. It was really special and I was really touched. They were my favorite family so far and I gave them the extra host family coffee cup that I was saving for that super special family. I hope I can experience that same feeling (and more) many, many more times.

Host Family notes:

Dear Grant,
I wish your stay could have been longer. You and Birger were truly a delight! I love our girls but to have terrific young men around somehow filled out our family. We feel so close to both of you and to be really honest, we were really nervous about doing all the “right” things. Especially me-host mother. Somehow you made me relax and made me feel comfortable. We really enjoyed you and the girls (Amy and Sarah) loved having big brothers. We were really blessed by having you and Birger. Your talent is really “pro” and I know you will succeed in anything you go after. Thank you for enriching our lives and inspiring our daughters.
Harold, Linda, Amy & Sarah
Dear Grant
It has been a real pleasure to have you in our home. It seemed like the time went by too fast. Your performance in the show was excellent you have a true flair as a magician and a “fifties” dance & greaser. I wish you the best of luck in future in what ever you choose for a life profession. May God watch over you this next year in all your travel.


Dear Grant,
Your journal certainly does bring back some memories. I think that my host family in Sulphur Springs named a cow after me...! Love to Gretchen and the girls...

TO BE FILED UNDER "Wow! What a small world we live in!"

A couple days ago I sent a note from Heidi and how she has developed a hand puppet for a children's performing artist named Steve Song. Today I get a note from "Patrick" Shawn Faucher saying Steve Song has been one of his clients at Nimbit for years. So essentially, Heidi and Shawn are working together to promote and develop this new performer.

Look how we are all learning a little bit more about all of us from reading my journals!

9/20/87 - Sunday - Alliance, NE

We had an incredibly early drop off at 6:30 a.m. We got up and had breakfast, and Linda and Amy got up to see us off with Harold. Linda had to stay home because the two younger girls were there. We got to the parking lot before the buses, so we had plenty of time to load luggage and say goodbye. It was kind of hard to leave this host family. This is the first time I've really not wanted leave.

Leanne was my bus date and I don't know how many times there was some kind of comment about two redheads sitting together. She is kind of hoarse, so we didn't talk a whole lot, but had a nice time laughing about redhead experiences. We arrived in town about 5:30pm (Colo. Time again, Yay!), received our bags, had a cast meeting about our CID, and then went upstairs to participate in a pep rally which was broadcast live locally. It was fun, but a little long. We had cheerleaders (one group was second in the State), a lawn chair band / routine, met the sponsors, did a little 'Cast A says'hi' to you' nd short version of Up With People, then met our host family. I was more excited about having Denis Cournoyer as a roommate than anything else. The family is nice, but it seemed a little uncomfortable. The father (Tom) is the chief of police and looks and acts like it. The strange thing is that they all went to bed at 9:00 and just kind of left Denis and I to ourselves. I called Mom and Dad at 9:35, but decided to hang up and call after 10:00. I fell asleep and forgot to call them back, so I guess I'll call them on Monday night.


Hi Grant

Thank you for bringing my memory back about the family in El Dorado. It was a really great family. I remember that we were almost afraid of touching anything, as the whole house looked like an exhibition. found my host family book today and saw a similar message, as the one you mentioned, from Amy, inda and Harold Harmon though with one extra point to it from Linda (the host mother). She wrote that it was extremely inspiring to talk to us and we were extremely talented and very interesting to talk to. So I uess
we left a pretty good impression. Sorry to tell, that I have not kept in contact with them since. Could be fun to renew it.

Take care and keep us on memory lane. Looking forward to reunion already.

Big hugs to all your girls.

Best regards


9/21/87 - Monday - Alliance, NE

We had a free day today so we slept in 'til about 10:00. I got up and took a shower and then took my watch to get fixed (I couldn't set the time) and go to the bank for Denis. While at the bank (getting a cashier's check for $2,000) I saw Jeff and Ty and met the sponsors. Just driving around town we saw another five Uppies. I guess that explains how much there is to do in Alliance, Nebraska on a free day. We (Denis and I) went back and had lunch with the whole family , and after lunch she took Denis and I to Woolrich and then to a racquetball club. I bought a pair of shorts and then split two games with Denis in racquetball. Then we played doubles with Terry and Matt and beat them 2 of 3 games. It was really a lot of fun and good to play gain since I haven't played for so long. When we got done, Diane picked us up and we went and got my watch and came home. When we got home, I worked on my journal, then had dinner and Tom gave me one of his police badges. After dinner I sat around and watched TV, and then called home at about 10:30 p.m. and talked for about a half hour. Told them things I need and directions into town. I'm really excited to see them. I think I really do miss them, and what's funny is they miss me. I wish Penny (my sister) could come too, but she can't. I'll have to wait until X-mas.


My host family in Alliance was my first "unusual" host family situation of the year. They were nice people, just offbeat. We have cheese fondue and baguettes for dinner. Their 4 year old daughter was adorable and adored me like I was a Hollywood star. I'll have to look them up in my host family book.

Thanks for the memories! - Randy Roach

I am hoping someone will step up and send me a couple days of their journal from October 29th LaCrosse, WI) til November 21st when you joined back up with me in Freeport, IL. Julie said she has some of those days but has lost one of her journals and may not be able to help out for the whole time. Let me know if you have stories that you would be willing to share from the following cities that I could include while I was on PR:

Mankato, MN
Batavia, IL
Sioux City, IA
Latimer, IA
Clarion, IA
Charles City, IA
Algona, IA


9/22/87 - Tuesday - Alliance, NE

Wow! What a busy day! We started off the morning at the high school by rubbing in our racquetball victory over Terry and Matt (who wasn't even there). After a short morning meeting (and told Terry that Mom and Dad are coming) we broke up into three groups, and my group (the Pioneers) took off (walked) to Emerson Elementary School. We did an acoustic (which I MC'd, rather poorly) and I also was the contact person for our group, after the acoustic we had the chance to go to recess with the kids. It was great! And it sure brought back a lot of memories. Then immediately after recess we had another acoustic (where I did a little better). Then we walked down to City Park where we met up with another group and had lunch (Pizza Hut). It was almost 2 hours for lunch and was very comfortable and relaxing.

About 12:45 we walked over to Central Elementary School and had two more acoustics and afterwards recess. In all four acoustics we perform for about 600 people, and each of the three groups did 4 acoustics, which would mean we reached over 2000 people (almost 1/4 of the whole town). By the time we do two shows we will have reached almost 1/2 of Alliance, Nebraska. Wow! We met back at the park and talked about our day and what made it special. Then at 3:30 we headed off to the Boys Ranch where we played games, ate spaghetti and apple strudel, and did another (shortened version) acoustic for the boys and the people who fed us. It was really nice. We got back to the H.S. at 8:30 at which time we came home, sat around the dinner table, and talked and laughed. Actually it was real fun and I feel like Denis C. and I broke down their barriers a little bit (our host family), which allowed them to have fun. Chief (Tom) broke down and let me have a wine cooler and boy did it hit the spot. It is a good thing I only had one because I was punchy already and I felt that one take hold. If I would have had 2 or 3 I might have been pretty buzzed. After that I straightened things out in my room, now I'm writing this (at 10:55) and getting ready for bed.

One thing I forgot to mention was that Deedra cut my hair today. It is short on top and long (for me) in the back, but I think I really like it.

I'm convinced Wilfred has a weird obsessions with strange animals (Tarantula, praying mantis, and now dead snakes.) (EDITOR: Boy, this was an understatement.)



Alliance was my PR town and I left straight from Tucson with Ty. I had completely forgotten about the "Lawnchair Welcome" we planned for the cast. WHAT WERE WE THINKING??? We had a blast in Alliance and my host family Bob and Eva were great. I have kept in contact with them since writing several times a year etc. They had a "cottage" in the mountains that we visited several times throughout the stay in Alliance. As those of you who know, leaving straight from Tucson without experiencing the actual show etc is quite the challenge and at times I think Bob and Eva knew more about the show than Ty and I did. As you mentioned Grant, there was not much to do in Alliance but I guess that is why we escaped to the mountains and their cottage. Thanks again for all your journal entries. I did not keep one but now feel more than ever that I should have. I do however have 13 photo albums that help with my memory.

I am not sure if I mentioned this but Jerko came to visit from Belgium! He stayed with Aldo and I for several days. It was great catching up with him and we all spoek of meeting again in Tucson next year.

Jeff vz

9/23/87 - Wednesday - Alliance, NE

The day started off really good at the morning meeting when I made several announcements (including my fashion statement). After that we set up and got the costumes ready, and I tried to go do the PR report but Jennifer wanted me to help some more. Lunch was over at the park again, and a group of people cooked us hamburgers. We had show prep then vocal rehearsal, and about half way there the costumes came back from the cleaners, so I helped put those away. Then we ran 'Sunrise' and 'Time for
the Music' a bunch of times each, and we also did 'God's Skin' to find someone to cover for Linda since she was sick. The two people who did it talked through the song which just ruins the whole song. Why did they even put music with it if they are just going to speak the whole thing. It is not the girls' fault, but it made me really frustrated the whole rest of the day. (EDITOR: A little sensitive aren't we???)

On the way to dinner I bitched about it to Kurt and Henry the whole way and then I didn't get any mail at dinner mail call. After dinner we met with Cassie's host dad who is the minister at the church (where we had dinner) and he talked about the Lord's Prayer. It was really good and made me think about it. We then walked back to the high school and got ready. The Boys from the Boys Ranch were in our green room which seemed to be pretty exciting for them. I thought the show did not go very well because a lot of little things happened, but it was a great audience. Besides that there are a lot of people sick and there were a lot of fill-ins. It was really weird because I had this feeling my parents were in the audience and then after the show, sure enough they were there. They hadn't been there until about 20 minutes before the end of the show, but they were still there. I introduced them to my host family, Bill, Kathy and some of the Uppies, and then we went home and had a Coke, sat around the dinner table and talked. It is nice to see them and we'll spend most of the day (tomorrow) together.


Hey Grant - I got an email from Mary Huckins the other day and she said that she hasn't heard from you in awhile which surprised me because you have been sending daily emails.

I also got an email from Joerge the other day he seems to be doing very well.

I sure have enjoyed your daily journal entries. I am sorry that I cannot help you out with more journal entries while you were doing PR. I unfortunately did not keep a journal while I was on the road.

Keep up the great work.


9/24/87 - Thursday - Alliance, NE

We had a morning meeting and Eva Knight (our sponsor) was our speaker and she talked to us about Nebraska and Alliance. After that most of the cast went to the park (and Mom and Dad showed up) but I had to go to a promotions workshop. I don't quite know why, but Paul wanted me there even
though I'm not going on advance work until Freeport, Illinois, which is November 21st, so I would probably would leave the first of November. My folks sat in on the meeting which finished at about 11:30 at which time we went back to the house and switched my summer clothes for winter clothes.

After showing pictures and switching we went to lunch at Arby's and did some work on my checkbook. We still had a little time before we had to be back, so I decided to go ahead and go to a chiropractor (like Dad suggested) because my lower back had been bothering me quite a bit. He popped it a few
times on this special table and told me to keep ice on it for a half an hour when I got back to rehearsal. So while the rest of the cast brainstormed about ideas to do while at C.I., I laid there with ice on my back. I think it worked pretty well. Then we had one of those relaxing sessions that last 15 minutes but feel like an hour. Then a complete stretch and fitness to the music of Mozart. It was a good workout but very relaxing.

From there we went straight into rehearsal, and after that we went to dinner at the Methodist Church. The food crew made buffalo stew and cornbread, and had it set up really well with candles and Al being the maitre'd. It was a nice change of pace, and my parents got a chance to join me. After dinner we went back and got ready for the show (after a quick stop home to get everything I forgot). Mom and Dad were supposed to come to green room, but someone tore off their 'Reserve' signs so they decided to stay in their seats for fear someone would take those also. It seemed like an average green room, but we did play 'Love in Any Language' again. It is a beautiful song, but I hope we don't wear it out and start hating it.

I'm glad my folks came to the show tonight instead of last night because we did much better. One thing that was not good was that our sheet that covers the magic got ripped pretty bad, so we don't know how much of the trick got revealed. I think we were okay for the most part, I think the pins that
hold the box together were left behind in Alliance though. After the show I talked to a guy who was up by my parents, and had singled me out and said he was really impressed with how energetic I was on stage. I really needed that because that is what I've been striving for, but I'm going to strive to have 5 people say that to me in one night. It was a good night and I signed quite a few autographs which always makes me feel good. I went out with my parents afterwards to a little cafe and had a piece of pie and a real nice talk, plus Sonny and Griff were there so they met them (my parents). When I got home, I finished packing and talked to Denis a while and went to bed.


Grant- I'm SO LAUGHING!!

Okay- two things...

First of all, one wine cooler just about did you in? That's a riot!
(EDITOR: I was 19 and a lightweight; what can I say!)

And secondly, short hair on top and long in back is usually called a mullet. But I guess that was the 80's for ya! We need a photo with that journal entry...

(EDITOR: Damn! I was hoping no one would put that together. I thought that after reading it, but I would never own up to wearing a mullet. I will see if I can find a photo from Alliance for proof.)

Thanks for sharing all of these FUN memories- they make me smile every day and make me so excited to see ya'll next summer! (EDITOR: Me too!)

Darci (Buck) Price

9/25/87 - Friday - Norfolk, NE

Travel day was like any other, pretty much, except for the fact that my parents were there to see me off. Amy and David brought us to K-Mart, but had to leave early in order to get to school on time. My bus
partner was Meg Cashman which was really a good time, and I got to know her a little better. I tried to sleep, but didn't seem to do more than close my eyes. After we stopped in Taylor, Nebraska for lunch (a nowhere town) I had a really great conversation/joke session with Meg, Ken Frye, and Amy Roth on
the bus and I really enjoyed it a lot. Host pick up was at a hotel where we had a buffet with the families. We were there for just a little while then went to dinner at a place called The Granary. On the way home we drove by the steel mill where he works. When we got settled we went downtown and cruised Main for a while until we went and got a movie and some beer. Then watched 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' and drank coolers and beer then off to bed.

CAST A FUN FACT: Gretchen's grandparent's were "extras" in this movie during a scene at a German restaurant where people are dancing.


Hi Grant and Gretchen - copy Pia

Sorry Grant - I did promise you a lonnnnnnng time ago to find Pia, just never got around to it before now. But now she's found and we even talked a little over the phone.

She's married (you guessed due the strange sur-name?) with a Danish guy with polish parents.. Has 2 little girls and right now is home till November as part of her maternal leave for the youngest of her girls. She's still working for the foreign ministry - sounded very interesting.

I told her about your journey details and promoted our reunion next year. I'm sure you will hear from her shortly (no preasure Pia ;-)

By the way, if no one else signs up I would not mind sharing a little of my journal. The last half part of November was kind of sad (my father getting more and more ill ) and most of my journal is about my family there, but I could translate the first 3 cities after you left (they are positive and ok). They are not at all detailed like yours but at least I did write what we did and a little more. But did you ask Declan ? I remember he shared things from his journal already when we traveled and he was a good writer. Maybe he's worth to ask.??

Take care and give my best to all your girls.
Love sanne

9/26/87 - Saturday - Norfork, NE

At the morning meeting we shared what was happening in our host families, then James set-up and Bartles left to go be in a parade. We got to the parade at 9:00 and it didn't start until 10:00 a.m. and we were 120th, so by the time we started even moving it was 10:45. After waiting so long we lost our energy, but managed to look somewhat excited while we were sitting/standing on this 1950's fire truck. It was my first real parade, but it is not much more exciting being in one rather than just watching it. After passing out a lot of candy, doing a lot of waving, and stepping in a pile of horse apples (poop) we got back to the city auditorium and had lunch.

For show prep, about 30 of the people learning the 50's dance loaded 3 cars (11 people in a pinto) and went to a dance studio to clean up the 50's number. It was fun, but I wish we would have had more time to keep working on it because in those session where I'm sweating buckets I feel like I'm accomplishing something. When we got back we started rehearsal right away doing King Richard to try and find a replacement for David. After that we tried some different people in the 50's medley and danced through it. Deedra danced with Roger and they didn't have me in it, but at the last minute Paula asked me to fill in for Al so he could watch it. So I went up and danced with Melinda and was doing good until I missed the first roll over. She did a lot of things different (in style) so it was kind of hard to dance with her. Then when we did the hip toss into the lift in the air, I over compensated and threw her up too high. I felt like she was going over backwards so I had to really use my back to support her. I made it through 'Shout!' but after we were done I had to go lay down. I tried to put ice on it, but it did not work very well this time. Someone told Paula and she talked to me about taking it easy, but it didn't really matter anyway because she did not have me on the dance list.

I walked down to the Methodist church for dinner (which I didn't eat) and we walked back through town. I got a chance to catch up in my journal, but they needed sellers so I decided to sell. I didn't do too bad. I sold $123 worth, came in third, and got a bonus for selling six audios. I sold four tapes by just standing at an exit on a chair. I will have to use that technique again.

I really don't know how the whole show went because I was off stage most of the night. I was not on a mic for the first half, so I was on and off because my back hurt quite a bit. I did ringmaster with the newly sewed cloth, and went pretty well. The magic word was 'Tuna Fish'. Pretty original huh? Since I didn't dance 50's I went down into the audience during 'Shout' but came off again until 'Black and White' at which time I stayed on until the end. And I was even in the Up With People line at the end which was the first time I did that. We only had one interview so I sat downstairs and talked to Denis and we formulated a new plan for the magic box trick. The first girl never appears, and we tell the audience that they just were not convincing enough so they need to say the magic words a little louder. Then 'poof' two girls appear from nowhere. I'm going to figure a way to spring it on Kathy without her or the cast knowing. We finally went home (after stopping by Taco John's), talked with the family for a short while, then went to bed on my firm (ha) waterbed.


If you have never been on the receiving end of a cast drunk call, then you are truly missing out on an interesting phone call. Somehow they always seem to involve Steve Ellis, Brian Merriman, Declan Reiley, or Bill Becker. Well, I got one the other night from Steve and Brian. Apparently as they walked into the bar, my commercial was on the TV so it was almost like I was there! After speaking to Brian, he said that recently he attended the wedding of Brett Flood and it was attended by Rodney Blake as well. Brian reports that both Brett and Rodney look the same and are doing great. Both of them have been off my radar for years, and I would have classified as missing. Hopefully Brian can help me find them and get current information. Regardless, it was great to hear from Steve and Brian.

From Lynda Cullen-Hall

I was a pathetic journal keeper but would be happy to share my 11/11/87 and 11/23/87 entries which seem to cover a portion of the time you are looking for. I did NOT journal everyday so some of my entries are not very ""organized." (There are no entries between the 2 dates shown above if that gives you an idea of my journal skills.)
As always...enjoying the journal entries and truly regret not keeping up with it while in the cast.
School's busy but it is a good distraction from my personal life. I have a student teacher which keeps me extra busy during the day. My planning and lunch periods are filled with explaining things. She is a great young lady though.
Take care and enjoy the fall.


9/27/87 - Sunday - Hutchinson, KS

The first Sunday of the NFL football strike.

Melvin and Robin brought us to HDO and we waited until we finally left. I was on a van today with all six of the Japanese Uppies plus Meg, Denis and Paul. I had a really good talk with Tomoko, and saw pictures of her home and family and friends. It was a really interesting day. I also learned that I was born in the year of the monkey. I also found out that it costs about $16 for 10 minutes on the phone, and she had to call at 5:00 p.m. (Norfolk time) in order to reach her mom at 8:00 a.m. the next morning (Japan time). I'm glad I did it and I feel I know the Japanese students a little better now and besides that I got a chance to listen to Japanese singers/music, for the first time ever.

We arrived into Hutchinson at about 3:00 p.m. greeted by Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Lion and then went and watched "The Wizard of Ox" on a big screen TV. After the show is when we met our host families. Bob was there to pick us up and brought us home for a delicious dinner. We talked quite a bit, but spent the latter part of the evening doing wash and watching "The Terminator "on TV. After that we went to bed at about 11:30, and I had a real good talk with Jerko.

From Leanne Monahan-Voyles

Boy! You have really started something! I have enjoyed reliving my cast year through your journals. Trent enjoys hearing all about it too (ha, ha!) My journals have been packed away in our attic and I have been too lazy to go up there and get them. Well, this afternoon there was a bird rattling around up there so I decided to let the bird out and try to find my journals. The MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group I am coordinating is doing journals tonight too, so I thought it might be worth the trip to the attic! The little bit I have read is so different from yours! I was a love-sick little 18 year old! There are way too many boys names in there to share with the whole cast! In fact this journal is going right back up into the attic! It is safer to read yours!! :) Birger and I were in Oglesby, Illinois for most of October. I liked my entry from the day of our show. You can save it for October 23rd if you would like to... (EDITOR: Sorry Cast, we are not in Oglesby yet. You will have to wait until October 23rd to see what she said. Bbbbwwwwaahahahahaha - I have such power!!!)
I also wanted to say I got to see Kurt in Dallas a few weekends ago! He was in town for a firefighter convention. Daniel (almost 3) had the time of his life going from firetruck to firetruck! A lot like the Family Circus maps! Attached is a picture taken at a fountain nearby. It was a great place to do the "Lift Me Up" vamp but I held back for Trent's sake! :) We have completed our adoption home study and we could have a baby of any color at any time! I'll keep you posted! I hope we can make it to Tucson next summer!
Thank you for your dedication to Cast A!!! Red heads still rock!


9/28/87 - Monday - Hutchinson, KS

To date we have performed for approximately 18,000 people.

We had a speaker this morning from the Hutchinson newspaper who wrote a 7-day series on the Amish people of Kansas (Yoder). He was very interesting and spent the majority of the time answering questions. After the speaker, Bartles had a slow set-up, but it is a fairly good facility. We had lunch across the street in the park, and after lunch I went to the city hall building and asked them if they had a typewriter I could use. They did, so I typed up the statistics report to bring it up to date. Then I sat around and waited to use the phone so I could call Tucson and send in the report to Tina Moore. I worked on the Scandinavia routine for Charlotte for a little while then we started rehearsal.

After that we had wrap-up at which time we announced the first set of interns for the first session, then dinner at the park. It was kind of nice because it was McDonalds hamburgers and Wendy's salads, and it seemed like the first time we have had fast food during meal time hours. Then a quick change into my costume and green room, where they did the second episode of 'Days of Our Cast.' I missed the first one because I was selling during the last show.

The show went okay, but I thought it was a rather dead crowd. There was a photographer there that I was playing up to, but did not get my picture in the paper. I did, however, find out that I made the El Dorado paper the day we left. We had a really great strike! Kurt, Gretchen and I were having a great time singing all these musical numbers and playing guess that musical, and I think since we were having so much fun it rubbed off and kept everyone moving fast. We were finished at 11:35 which means it took us less than 2 hours. It was even almost fun! When we came home our host Mom and Dad bought a huge sheet cake for Kevin's birthday and some beer and wine coolers. It was really nice, and we finally made it to bed about 1:30 a.m.

From Melinda Connell-Ellsworth

Leanne's comment about being a lovesick 18-year -old cracked me up! Don't be so hard on yourself Leanne, I'm sure there were others who were also "boycrazy" (myself included)! Fortunately, we outgrew it!
Okay Grant....what are you saying? That I was a crappy dancer? Thanks!!!!! It's okay, I couldn't have been that bad since I continued dancing all those years after Up With I'm the one whose back is hurting!

Have you marked your calendars yet? Next years reunion (our 20th!!) will be in Tucson, Arizona, and it will take place August 8-11, 2007 at the Westin La Paloma Resort.

9/29/87 – Tuesday – Harrison, AR

We left early with our sack lunches and the remains of the sheet cake (most of it) and went to HDO. There was coffee and doughnuts for those who were early and we got off to good start. We did, however, have a dead van so we had extra luggage in the aisle of the bus. On the way out of Kansas we had to go through El Dorado and we saw the place we performed and I could even see my host house from the bus. It was kind of a weird sensation knowing we had just been there a week ago.

(Leanne & Birger left for PR today.)

On the bus trip along the way, the cake box carrying the sheet cake for the cast fell off the top shelf and splattered on the floor. About 10 pieces were saved. My bus partner was Shawn, but we didn't talk much because we both slept a lot and Gretchen spent a lot of time with him. Most of the afternoon I slept on the floor in the aisle which seemed to be the most comfortable position. We arrived about 2 hours late, but the host families weren't supped to arrive until later because we were supposed to set up the stage tonight so we could go canoeing tomorrow.

It is really beautiful country out here, and I was especially excited because I have had several “first times” today. For the first time I was in Missouri and first time in Arkansas. Also with each inch we drove today it set a new record for the farthest East I have ever been. This is really exciting because we are heading farther East and South to a part of the country I have never imagined going to. This is so exciting because it is like a whole new world. We had HPU and I'm staying with Moku in the sponsor's house. Great family but they sure talk funny. Roger and his host dad (John ) came for spaghetti dinner and it was delicious. To close I'm going to start a list of Midwest lingo. See if you can figure out what words they are in Coloradoan: Waish; N'Orleans (1 word); caske; graeta (great); and many more. (EDITOR: Yes, I speak Coloradoan.)

9/30/87 – Wednesday – Harrison, AR

We had an early host drop off in order to be able to go canoeing on the Buffalo River. We arrived at 8:30 at the drop off point and by the time we got into the water it was about 8:45 a.m. My canoe partner was Clay and we did a good job of maneuvering after we got the hang of it. It was so incredibly beautiful and peaceful. The morning fog was just rising off the water and canoes were paddling into it and boy was it breathtaking. It is an incredible area and I'm sure glad I did it.

From there we went to the high school and had lunch, and then we paired up and went into the classrooms and had discussions. Our class (Pia was with me) was kind of dead and didn't ask many questions, but I had a really good time. After that we went back to the auditorium for rehearsal. We were briefed on the Charlotte show at the speedway and saw a picture of how big it really is. Wow! Then we ran the private Memphis show rundown straight through, and then got a lecture about drinking alcohol when you are not with your family. There was some wine from the sponsor in Kansas for after strike and apparently the cast attacked it and fought over like kids. I was not there. This is just part of the lecture from Terry. I know Steve was part of that little escapade which is about par for him. (EDITOR: Sorry Steve. We hadn't had our bonding time from the Soviet Union yet, so I hadn't quite figured you out yet.) We had dinner, then green room, then the show which started slow, but the crowd picked up real quick. After the show there was only a few interviews so Moku and I went home early and got some extra sleep.


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10/1/87 - Thursday - Memphis, TN

Jim took us to drop off at 8:00 a.m. and we were out of there by 8:30. I didn't have a bus date, but I sure got a lot accomplished like writing thank you notes and sent a birthday card to Mrs. Miller and Kara. I really didn't sleep much, but didn't feel like I needed it. Although I did feel this morning that I was starting to get a cold, I am taking vitamin C and trying not to get it. We went through Little Rock, AR, and for the first time ever saw the Mississippi River and crossed it into Memphis, Tennessee.

When we got here we went to Libertyland and a connecting fair. We were only there two hours, but had a good time. From there we went to the mall of Memphis where host pick up was and found Mary Clyde McKnight. Is that a southern name or what! She is single and seems like a real nice person. For dinner we had zucchini casserole. Hmmm, very interesting. After dinner she left and went to her clogging group meeting and was gone until about 9:40. Basically Pierre and I watched TV and I did some writing and finally went to bed at about 11:00.

10/2/87 - Friday - Memphis, TN

I got up at about 10:00 and did some writing then about 11:00 a.m. I went walking to try and find stamps and a mail box, but with no luck. I did however, stop at a Wendy's across the street from Memphis State University and ate lunch. After lunch I talked with some students about the campus and school and they did not seem overly excited about the school. The one guy was from Fort Collins, Colorado. What a small world huh.

When I went back home our host mom picked Pierre and I up and took us to Graceland. I was really amazed and kind of had a wonderfully weird feeling when you realize your walking where Elvis did years ago. After we finished the tour of the mansion we did a little shopping and eventually went and saw the movie (If I can Dream), the bus, the plane (Lisa Marie) and the jet (Hound Dog II). I really enjoyed it, but felt like a total tourist. Mary Clyde came and picked us up at 5:30 and we went home, had dinner and a quiet evening at home, and called Mom and Dad at 10:15 (Tennessee Time). I talked a lot about Arkansas and Tennessee and asked how Aunt Katie was after the earthquake in California. She was okay, and Penny was there and she slept through it. So I guess it wasn't as bad in their area as it sounded. After I talked to them for over an hour I went to bed.

10/3/87 - Saturday - Memphis, TN

We got up early so we could leave by 7:30 in order to get there by 8:00. The Orpheum is a beautiful theater and I didn't get any pictures of it, so I was kind of bumming. When I got there I helped Sedrick sort the mail and put it in the people's folder. We read some letters from past cities at morning meeting, and Carlos joined us and will be with us until after Charlotte, NC.

We had a fairly easy costume set up, but I spent a lot of time training Ty on the costumes and what is what. By the time we finished it was lunch time, so I passed out the mail and then walked over to the Spaghetti Warehouse. It was a delicious lunch, and we were served like a real meal. It was really nice. I got a letter from Ron Jenkins today and he wanted to know whether we were still coming to Chicago.

We ran the show once there with special costumes, then had wrap-up and dinner. Then we had until 8:45 which was when we had green room. In greenroom we had a Sweet Adeline barbershop quartet come sing for us and wow were they good. It really psyched us up and got us ready for the show. Besides that it sure was nice to hear Barbershop music again. I was real excited to do this show, and it was good acoustics and a great crowd. The show went well without any hitches. That was the first time I haven't done Surprise Party on a stage (because it wasn't in the rundown), and was the first time I have performed 'Gospel,' 'Picture,' and all of 'Time for the Music.' That is kind of a weird thought that we have been on the road five weeks and I've never done those numbers.

It was a worthwhile show, and I've decided I really enjoy being in the UWP line down front. After the show Kurt helped me strike the costumes so that I could go with him to the Peabody Hotel. We finished by 11:15 and walked over to the hotel to find Beth and the people she was with, so we sneaked out, but could never find them. We were looking for them over the railing on the second floor. When we turned around a man asked us if we had a few minutes to talk and then proceeded (along with his wife and two other couples) to drill us and ask us questions about Up With People. When a few minutes were up, we realized we had talked almost an hour.

Just as a closing note Ken and I both mentioned the possibilities of going to Russia, and one guy took Kurt's address. Who knows what will happen because of what we did, but hopefully we had some influence. (EDITOR: I don't really remember what this was about and what exactly it meant.) After we finished talking, we walked back to the Orpheum, and when we got back they were done striking so we got to go home and go to bed.

10/4/87 - Sunday - Madisonville, KY

Mary Clyde took us to the mall and we took off at 8: 00 with our new bus driver who is replacing Griff while he is at home with his mother who is having open heart surgery. My bus partner was Mary Huckins and we had a good long talk about everything. I really enjoyed it, and found out she has a lot to offer as a girl and human being. She has got a big heart.

We got into Madisonville at 2:00 and we weren't supposed to arrive until 3:30 so we were a little early. It was nice to be able to just relax for an hour. After that we set up the stage, and after we had finished costumes, we had a meeting with the costume crew to try and figure out how to get people to pick up their stuff. I don't think we came up with a solution, but we are going to do a skit or something to get people thinking about it. Then we had a little more free time, our wrap up meeting then waited for host pick up. We went home with Martha, watched a little bit of "Star Wars" had dinner (spaghetti), then watched a movie called "Soul Man". It was pretty funny and had a good message. Then I stayed up to find out how the Broncos did (lost to Houston 40 to 10).


From Clay Stroud

That was such a beautiful show. I remember hearing the Sweet Adeline barbershop quartet and thinking the same thing!

One thing I remember was Whynot, Shaun, Steve and me walking down Beale Street, setting up with a guitar, and collecting some coin-age from the passers by. What a riot . . . I have often told people that I played on Beale Street! Ha!
From Priscilla Fisher-Madden
Hi all and especially Colorado alums:

I just saw in a newspaper I was reading that Dakota Blonde, Mary's group is playing at a live music place called Nissi's in Lafayette, CO on October 15th. $10 is the fee and such a GREAT show if you haven't seen it, I highly suggest you try to go. She, and her group are so much fun live.

I can't attend this time, but thought you may like to go if you're local. Sure love your journal entry's Grant! Thanks for doing this. Love and hugs-

10/5/87 - Monday - Craig / Madisonville, KY

We had morning meeting then a little free time before we went into fitness for an hour which was led by Heidi (because she is the dance intern). After she warmed us up Kathy Lee came and led us into some 'BIG' exercises to get us thinking big for Charlotte. Then we worked on a new version of 'Sunrise' for High School sound assemblies. This is about our third or fourth version of that song. Then we did the fifties number twice and Deedra and I did couple number 3.

Then they gave us about 45 minutes to get ready for the sound assembly for about 1100 students. They really loved the 50's number, but the transitions between songs were extremely slow. Then we had lunch and after lunch we had a 50's workshop for all 10 couples that are doing Charlotte and we did the whole thing another 3 or 4 times. Deedra and I worked out a new pose because Paula assigned everyone a pose and gave us a stupid one, so we came up with our own. Which is really the same as the final lift in Johnny B. Goode, so we do the hip tosses, lift up in the air, come down and right back up again for the pose. I think it looks really cool, but I can't see it. Paula approved of it so we are going to keep it. We went back to the gym and sat there for about 1 1/2 hours while they blocked us for Charlotte. I will be on center stage so I can change for 50's quickly, then I go to stage satellite #2 on stage left which is really a flatbed trailer. That took along time to work out, but after that we had wrap-up, changed and went to dinner at Ponderosa.

It was a nice dinner and all we had to do was sing 'Up With People.' I sat with Matt A., Anne S., and Dale S. and we talked about proms which brought back some great memories. When I got back I got ready for the show. I did a lot in this show it seemed because I did the Mexico ad lib (which is when I lost my voice, and I found out afterwards the mic wasn't even on!), a mic group, the ringmaster (without a French clown because Laurie W. forgot, and I didn't know until Dean came on stage and whispered in my ear), and Deedra and I were couple #2 for the first time and did our new pose. (that means we have been couple number 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 almost all of them) When the show was over I helped Kurt strike then went and saw a doctor who was donating his time to check us out and medicine. I almost lost my voice, and he basically told me to drink lots of liquids and try not to talk. Nothing I couldn't tell myself. We went home and Randy and I were able to go to bed a little early. We found out Cast C's bus rolled down a hill once in Canada, but everyone is alright with only minor injuries.


From Sandra Jung

dear grant,

please send the following note to the cast:

thanks for your thoughts and prayers about my dad :) at this point, it looks like they misdiagnosed him. it seems he has scar tissue on his arteries to his liver, and thankfully it's not cancer!!! they're still doing more testing for the next couple weeks, so I'll keep you posted.
Thanks too for the generous contributions to the city of hope through my dance-a-thon. I've raised over $300 so far and have $700 to go by Nov 10 :)
love, sandra

10/6/87 - Tuesday - Oak Ridge, TN

My bus partner was Lea and she has no voice so we either slept the whole time or wrote letters. When we arrived in Oak Ridge it was early afternoon (new time zone so I don't really know what time we came in) and we had about 3 hours at a science and energy museum. Then watched an electricity demonstration, a short movie about Tennessee; the song 'God is Trying to Tell You Something' from The Color Purple, a short meeting with a little more update on Cast 'C' (just a couple specific names), then left to meet our host family.

Linda picked us up and brought us home for a good roast beef dinner with Alan, Ryan, and Steven. We spent the evening, talking, watching TV, doing wash, and taking it easy. I sat with a heating pad on my back and took some aspirin because my back was really sore. I think it helped quite a bit. I also called Mom & Dad because they told us to call home and make sure our parents knew it was not our cast. They sound good, but I think it upset Mom a little. To bed at 12:00 a.m.

EDITOR NOTE: Seems most of my journal is about food. Maybe that explains the shape of my body? Thanks for your notes of support about the journal. I enjoy reading them and sharing them with others. Keep them coming! I am trying to think of ways to help people get to the reunion that might not be able to afford to come. We already have in place a way to help people with the registration fee, but I wondered about people donating unused airline miles to help with flights for people. Does anyone know how this could be done and can you add miles from multiple sources/people? Please let me know your thoughts and ideas. -- Grant

10/7/87 - Wednesday - Oak Ridge, TN

From our morning meeting at the Civic Center half us went on a tour to the Nuclear Research Center, and my half went to a dance studio with Mia (who just came in yesterday). At the meeting, Mia explained what she has been doing so far. After her, I got up and told the cast some stats we had accumulated during Sept. (which I didn't think they would like very much), but they really seemed to enjoy what I was saying. At the dance studio we had a long fitness, but then worked on details in the 50's number and some of 'Black and White'. For lunch we took the bus to Big Ed's Pizza Place and had a lot of great, greasy pizza. We had an hour to walk around and do whatever, so I looked around.

At 1:30 we went back and set up the stage, then wrap up. At wrap up I took part in a short fashion show that went over really well, and it really wasn't that big of a deal. It was for Dale, and I think it was Margaret's and I J.C. Penney pose that brought us to stardom. :) Dinner was in the High School cafeteria served by a soup kitchen, then off to a baseball diamond to practice for the Charlotte show. After the fashion show, Cassi gave me the nicest comment, she said, 'It is people like you that when I go home I wonder where or who is the Grant Axton in my life? You are someone I will really miss at the end of the year. I thought that was very thoughtful and so we rode to the field on the bus together and sang stupid little songs.

When we got there we ran through Sunrise and the flag routine for that number. It took a long time, but I really had a good time. I screwed around too much but I enjoyed myself. We had one five minute break for some hot chocolate and then did the rest of the show very quickly. Afterwards we folded up the flags, struck the equipment, and went back to the Civic Center for host pick up. Got home and talked with Linda and Alan about how the day went, then Alan took us to a convenient store to try and find patches and a pin. On the way there, I saw my first real possum in the road (we almost ran over it). I helped put Steve, my host brother, to bed because he kept coming downstairs. It was really a special moment when I was tucking him in bed because all of the sudden I felt like a father and wanted kids. After that I finished Cindy's letter and went to bed.


Sorry some of these are so corny. I guess we didn't have possums in Colorado Springs, and who knew I could be excited about putting a kid to bed.

10/8/87 - Thursday - Oak Ridge, TN

When we got there we had a very short meeting and went into a warm-up and got ready for the sound assembly. It went good but I didn't do much of it because I really was not in a good mood. Deedra had done some heavy partying until 4:30 in the morning and was still somewhat drunk and very hyper. She wasn't concentrating, so that got me mad and we ended up not doing very well in the 50's number. That set the mood for me the whole day. I finally rationalized that I don't mind people partying until it starts to effect me and make me look bad. I guess it was only fair since I had such a good day yesterday.

After the assembly we had a short presentation for Sonny and said goodbye to him as he heads back to Tucson. Then we had a really good meeting with Carlos who led us through a great evaluation exercise of how far we have come since staging. It was really good to evaluate what I have been doing. All that happened before lunch, and then after lunch we had an hour and a half before our next activity. I went to the library and typed up the statistics report for September and was pretty darn creative if I do say so myself. When I came back, the suburbans were leaving to take the '50's dancers to the dance studio to supposedly work on the dance. We did an hour of stupid useless warm-ups and then did 45 minutes of work on 'Black and White' (which I don't know and was mad because I really had no reason to be there). We finally worked on 50's for about 10 to 15 minutes out of two hours. Useless! I wandered around while Mia was discussing the vamps to rest of the cast.

We had wrap-up then dinner, and I went and I set up the dressing rooms. While I was doing that they cleared the hall of all our stuff, so I end up having to pay $2 to get it back. Very Bogus! Needless to say I wasn't having a very good day. Green room was there, but we did have the next part of 'Days of Our Cast.' I wasn't on a mic group all night so I came down the isles for the first time, but did not spend more than half the show on stage. During clowns we had identical twin girls and I really had a good time with and made a great joke about the Wrigley Corporation getting touch with them but most everyone missed it (Except Denis Cournoyer, of course!)

My voice survived but I lip sang most of the night. By the time the show was over I was feeling a lot better, and even enjoyed strike. I was pretty much bouncing around and I would like to think I am making a difference in people's lives because I feel like I am. Part of the reason I was happy was because I was picked to be one of 10 guys living in an all-girls? dorm with 8000 girls on campus. That made a big difference! I also got serenaded by Kelly K out on a bridge, and I did the same to her. She seems to be a very insecure person. Went home, packed and went to bed.

10/9/87 - Friday - Charlotte, NC

When we woke up, Alan and Linda had fresh muffins for us and even Ryan and Steven woke up to say goodbye. It was an extra nice host family, but still El Dorado was the best so far. Alan took us there, but had to get to work. I handed out the stats report, but ran out so I need to make some more copies. My bus partner was Denis and had a good time as usual, but ended up sleeping most of the way.

We stopped in a place called lake Lure, N.C. for lunch and I guess is a pretty popular place. For instance, FDR visited there and parts of "Dirty Dancing" and "Firestarter" were filmed there. I walked around with Kurt and we walked up to see some bottomless pools that are really 63 feet deep. We stopped in this drug store and she gave us some 60 year old banners for free. Useless gift but nice thought.

We went straight to the speedway when we came into Charlotte and saw the last 10 minutes of car racing. Then we had our cast meeting in the Grand Stands, and were told more about what we are doing. After the meeting we went out front and did an acoustic show for all the host families and I got to do all the MCing for the show. I really enjoy that aspect of performing. Then us 10 guys staying at the college plus five girls who are living in a house near us loaded our luggage back on to the bus and went to the college. We got our card key for the front doors and our room key and moved in. After we got settled about four guys went to a supermarket and the rest of us watched TV and ordered some pizza. The guys got back and not too long after the pizza arrived, so we all watched baseball and ate pizza together. After the game and some news I went to bed.

10/10/87 - Saturday - Charlotte, NC

We were picked up by the bus about 8:15 and went straight to a museum called Discovery Place. It was really fascinating and I really enjoyed it, and I spent the majority of the time with Cassi. We were there until about 12:40 and then left to walk around downtown. We ran into some more Uppies and eventually hooked up with Cindy Flynn and Kelly Bates. So us four walked around, tried on colognes (for Kelly) and went in out of stores.

We ended up at a nice park and wrote letters and rested. At 4:00 we left for the speedway and by the time we fought all the traffic it was 5:00 and the race was still on. So we had to wait awhile just to get in and after we got in they still had to set up the semis and the sound plus all the flags and our equipment. We got started a lot later than we expected, but we were able to run Sunrise a couple of times, 50's clear through, and at least parts of every thing else. It was a long night, but fun to watch how things on that big of a scale work. We finished up at 9:15, but by the time we left and got home it was 10:30-11:00. We order some more 'za,' ate it, watched more baseball, then went to bed about 12:30. (EDITOR: "Za" was me trying to be a hip teenager, either that or being too lazy to write pizza. My year in college before coming to UWP we often ordered "za" and had to take the "vator" to the main floor for dinner.)

10/11/87 - Sunday - Charlotte, NC

They moved host drop-off up an hour to 7:00 a.m. so as to avoid traffic, and once we got in there we were free until 9:00. I kicked a soccer ball around a little (I still got it!), walked around, did some writing and basically took it easy. We had a short meeting and did some stretching, then the cast met without the staff and took up a collection to buy t-shirts for the staff. Then we hung around, set-up quick change, and waited until 10:45 when the guys were allowed to change into their show costume.

We walked to the stage in a group (clump) and waited 'til the cheerleaders finished their thing and went straight into 'Sunrise.' I really had fun doing it, but panicked when Deedra didn't finished changing until the end of Japan. We made it to stage right in time for the pose on 'Tutti Frutti,' so it did not look that bad and after that we did really well during the dance and even got some of the people into it. After the show, we had to strike everything in 20 minutes and we did it in about 15 minutes (the costumes are in a shambles, but we did it!). We then ran to get our bags, then across the field and up to our seats in the nose-bleed section. Actually we were in the glassed in area with padded seats and was really a good view of the whole track. ($5,000 a year membership) The race was a lot more exciting than I thought it would be, but I would have never paid $65 for the seat I was sitting in. There was quite a few (six) wrecks so it slowed the race down somewhat, and it finally finished about 4:30. We had to wait around until 6:00 when we had a meeting out front. The powers to be seemed very pleased about the show, and were very complementary about what we did, but to finish off the meeting they told us Margaret was kicked out of the group for a month. Her suspension was due to a violation of the rules and 'She made a bad decision.' We all basically figured it out that she violated 'rule number 9.'

We finally got home around 8:00 p.m. and waited for Dennis H. to come home with the suburban. He brought Darci with him and we all went to a Chinese restaurant after we found directions. It was a really nice dinner and I actually liked it. After a good time we left at 10:00 and when we got home Margaret was there looking for Ken and us, and we had a nice half an hour talk with her. Stayed up and watched TV for a while then went to bed.
For the second night in a row we walked the girls home (Kurt and I) and have had really good talks with them and just between us both nights. It is a beautiful walk with huge trees on both sides of the street.

10/12/87 - Monday - Charlotte, NC

We got up around 10:30 so we could all go to the mall from 11:00 - 2:00 because they had to have suburban back to the hotel by 2:00. We had lunch there, and picked up fixings for sack lunches for Tuesday. When we got back I took a nap until about 4:30 then Kurt, Randy and I went over to see Gretchen, Melinda, Nanette, Jo and Diane and we sat in front of the fire, drank wine, and talked about everything. It was really homey.

We left at 6:00 to go back and eat dinner, but the other guys had already eaten, so we went over to the cafeteria to grab a bite. When we walked in we practically had a hole burned through us like these girls had never seen men before. After we grabbed our dinner we sat down with four girls (Betty, Elizabeth, Michelle and Julianne) and had a really nice talk. Liz had to leave early, but Michelle showed us the freshman dorm, and Julianne and Beth showed us their room. I love how they have to yell 'Man on the floor' and check us in and out. I tried to get them to explain why they attended an all-girls ('women's' I was corrected) school, and all they could come up with is 'there is no distractions, we don't fight as much between each other, and they just don't have to worry about looking good for men in the morning. We went back to our dorm and called ‘our' girls to see whether or not they were able to get a VCR, and they didn't so I decided to spend the evening with the new girls I had met. Kurt and Randy decided to go over to the house to spend the evening with the girls while I stayed there at our dorm.

When Michelle came over we walked to the store to get some beer and chips and stuff, and talked with her most of the way. There wasn't a whole lot to know about her and she seemed very interested in herself. Oh, well. We went back and played Trivial Pursuit with Sherry, Beth, Julianne, Ken Frye, Mary Lynn, Michelle and myself. I drank a four pack of Bartles & James wine cooler (EDITOR: My drink of choice back then. Quite the connoisseur, I was.) while playing and answered most of the questions and gave all the correct answers to win our four pie pieces, but we ended up losing. I walked Michelle to her dorm about 10:30, came back, played a game of UNO, then walked Julianne home. I have to remember to send her one of the pictures we took. Afterwards I came home, talked with Lana and another girl for a while, then went to bed.


This came from Dean Gaboury who did PR for us in one city. Sorry I can't remember which city, but he just sent me this note and I thought I would share it.

Hello Grant-

I'm not sure if you will remember me, but I was a PR rep briefly assigned to your cast and did one set up in Canton, MO with Heidi Barry. I was going through some boxes of UWP stuff and came across a roll of film from when I was with your cast which prompted me to go to the UWPIAA website. I ended up making my way to your cast's website and really enjoyed it. It brings back a lot of fun memories. Even though I was only with your cast for a couple months at the most, I remember being welcomed immediately and feeling at home. It really was hard to leave and go back to Cast E88. Fortunately I've had the opportunity to revisit with your cast as my reunion schedule is the same as yours since I originally traveled in A82 (Terry was our Asst Dance Captain back then). I'm amazed with how many people I remembered, which is testimony to the caliber of individuals you traveled with. PR reps come and go and it's difficult to connect with a cast, but your group definitely made an impression on me.
I wanted to let you know that you inspired me at the reunion in Boston when it was mentioned that you and Gretchen have managed to keep in touch with almost your entire cast with the exception of a few people. We had a decent showing for our 20th with about 33 people there--the most for any 82 cast. I knew that with our upcoming 25th reunion, I wanted a better attendance. I took on our "Lost & Found" efforts and am excited to say that out of about 140 cast & staff throughout the year, we now are in contact with all but 1 staff member and 4 cast members (all of which either left the cast or were sent home). It's a proud accomplishment and the momentum is building for hopefully a great turnout at our 25th. I just wanted to send you a quick note to say thanks for lighting a fire under my ass to get my cast better connected! It's been an incredible journey.

Dean Gaboury
TEAM - Detroit
306 S. Washington, Ste #218
Royal Oak, MI 48067

10/13/87 - Tuesday - Campbellsville, KY
(Girls phone numbers. It could be my first. Hmm?)

The bus was late in picking us up so we got to Charlotte Motor Speedway about 20 minutes before we were scheduled to leave. I sat by myself again on the bus, and slept most of the way. When we came into town we had a gospel choir sing for us after we got our allocation bags. Then when I found my family it was just Stella, and she took Jorg and I home to meet the rest of the family and eat dinner. She is divorced by her ex-husband who still lives at home. Figure that one out! It was a pretty quiet evening at home, and I kind of felt uncomfortable. This is my first black host family, and I am really excited to learn about and get rid of my stereotypes about black people. It is different, but I'm really enjoying it.


I received in the mail a couple weeks ago a book about the Colwell Brothers and Herb Allen called "A Song for the World: The Amazing Story of the Colwell Brothers and Herb Allen: Musical Diplomats." I must confess, I didn't know their story prior to UWP, and it was truly fascinating as they traveled the world several times over. It is a quick read and there is a whole chapter on us in the Soviet Union with quotes from Anne-Cecilia and Katrin Scheibner. It was really interesting to read the perspective of our Soviet Tour through the eyes of the Colwells and Hans Magnus. One piece of information in the book I found fascinating was that Paul Colwell's wife, Catalina, is the daughter of actor Anthony Quinn, and the granddaughter of Cecil B. DeMille (on her Mother's side). Who knew?!?

If you are interested in getting the book, you can go to the alumni website for more information( or directly to their website at If you need to contact someone directly, send an email to


10/14/87 – Wednesday - Campbellsville, KY

Stella took us to the school at 7:30, and at 7:45 we started morning meeting and had a great start with Cassi and Ken singing “Good Morning” from Singing in the Rain. After the meeting Bartles split into small groups and attended three high school classes each. Priscilla, Lena and I visited a 9th grade geography class, a dating, marriage and relationship class (really fun), and a 10th, 11th, 12th world history class. The first class was dead; second one we had a discussion about dating and they asked me if I would like a girl to ask me for a date and should she pay? ( I answered yes and yes), the third class really got into the discussion and asked us a lot of questions. I really enjoyed the time we spent in the classrooms, and I found out I still relate really well to High School students (like I'm that old!) Then we went to lunch in the cafeteria, and had a short rehearsal before we did a sound assembly for the jr. high and high school students.

Afterwards we changed quickly and went to the college and broke into groups. The groups were an issue discussion on the U.S. involvement in the Persian Gulf, a choir (handbell), and a soccer game with their team. That's where I went and had a good (but frustrating) time, and got out there and did some running around. I'm starting to regret not going into soccer in high school. Afterwards we had a really fun wrap-up meeting at the college, and Stella picked us up there and we went home and ate dinner. I got the Freeport city packet today. From Paul and I started reading that. Later in the evening we went to Stella's sister's house where Stacie Welch was staying and had a really great talk about what my images of how black families lived. We talked really openly about it and I feel a lot more comfortable about black people in general. Then when we came home. Stella and I talked to her niece about drinking. All in all it was a very educational day. Darci would be proud.

From Erin Harnish

Dear Grant,

Once again thanks for the great journal entry emails!

Below I am forwarding emails I received from my friend from Med School, Ardis.

I really have no idea about show biz, but I thought you or someone in the cast or a friend might. I guess she represents her friend, Davis Kay, who is trying to find some leads or contacts. She writes lyrics (but doesn't want it general knowledge among her patients.) (EDITOR: I don't have this knowledge but Shawn or Dean might know what to do.)

Her email is: ardis fisch], she'd love to hear any helpful information from anyone!

Thanks! Erin

From Ardis:

Lukas ( using the stage name Davis Kay) --my good friend who lives with me--has opened his website- anyone who wants to see it- it is I am the lyricist on many of the songs, although not all.

His music has now been bootlegged in Poland, as well as being used on a You Tube video before he even opened the website, and the music is not for sale anywhere as yet. He needs a record contract! Anyone know anyone???

His music is being stolen left and right, so far in the US, Poland and Russia. so people want it, we just have to figure out how to get him a contract.

thanks for your help!


10/15/87 – Thursday - Campbellsville, KY

After our morning meeting (led by Steve Rivera) we had a speaker named Joe DeSpain who is the news director at the local television station. He talked about the impact we have had and will have on their community. He was really an interesting speaker and brought the idea of what kind of effect we have on a city. We then loaded the buses to all our different ways again.

Ten other people and myself went to the Batesville Casket Company, and were given a tour of the plant where they manufacture the Cadillac of caskets. It was really fascinating! They hardly ever touch the casket with their hands because most of it is on conveyor belts and moved and worked on by robots. We were able to see it from start to finish. They told us that they use 1/16 more paint than a Cadillac, their average casket is sold for $5,000 but make them as expensive as $15,000, and the seal on the casket would preserve a body for 55 years guaranteed. Who's going to check I wonder? They fed us lunch (pizza from Mr. Gattis Pizza) then we went back to the high school and they had an underwear sale for us. (EDITOR: HUH? I don't remember that!?!)

After that I got a chance to run the UWP song for Christine before rehearsal, it went okay but I wasn't really warmed up. During rehearsal we learned the parts to one of the gospel songs that the gospel choir sang for us. Then we ran the clown act with some new clowns (I ran a clown workshop earlier that afternoon), and Kurt did the ringmaster once. I came up with a modified version of the magic box because we had people sitting on the sides of us. Instead of having Lena coming out the first time we pulled the cover off nothing was there. So I asked the girl for a new word, and told the audience they have to say it with a little more enthusiasm. It was really successful and was almost better than the normal way.

I'm going to jump back to before the show when we had dinner at Mr. Gattis Pizza (again), and I went back early to call Tina in Tucson and give her the latest report. After a little bit I got into my costume and got ready to sell before the show. Once I got out in the audience I was “HOT.” This was a free show, so as a group we did not sell real well, but I was doing extremely well. By the end of the evening I had sold 4 tapes, 3 records, 2 videos and numerous buttons and programs, and I ended up being the number one seller for the evening! Woo! I had a lot of fun and gave me more fuel for the show. The “new” revised magic trick went extremely well, almost better than the normal trick and we were able to cover all sides of the box. The audience responded really well and seemed to get into it.

After the show, I did an interview with Priscilla and Ty, and we interviewed the black boy that was in the gospel choir. We did not accept him because he was not a very exciting person and didn't come across real interested in the program. Stella picked us up and served us soup when we got home. She was very insistent on knowing how the trick worked. She eventually convinced herself that from the box to the floor was a fake bottom and the girls were hiding in there. I went to bed and she was still guessing, but I never told. (EDITOR: Because a TRUE magician never reveals his tricks!)

BONUS NOTE: (Can anyone help her with this answer? LOL)
From Priscilla
I don't remember rule number 9. Can you review, by number, what each rule was? I think I missed that cast meeting when that handout was passed around ; )

(EDITOR: If I remember right, rule #9 wasn't really #9 is was #7 or something else. How it got to be called #9 I don't know. I may have to try to track down those rules and share. Does anyone have them handy or memorized? :) )

10/16/87 - Friday - Danville, IL

It was almost hard to leave this family, not because I was that attached, but I had learned so much about black family lives. Before we left I sold them two more buttons (right off of Mary Huckins and Brenda Perkins), then got on the bus and headed for Danville, Ill.

Martha, Jeff, Neil and Garrett picked us up and were very excited to see us. I was rooming with Rick. When we got home we were shown our room and then ate dinner. After dinner I packed up the package for home to try and get it ready to send home. Rick wanted to go to the mall, so all of us loaded up and went there and walked around for about 45 minutes. When I got home, Larry was there, so I spent some time speaking with him, and by the time things started settling down, I was too tired to do much writing, so I went to bed expecting to get up earlier and work on it.

10/17/87 - Saturday - Danville, IL

Martha took Rick and I to the high school and we had a fairly long morning meeting plus a presentation by Brenda (Vanilla) and Weini about World Hunger Day. It was kind of weird hearing about Ethiopia and hunger from someone who is from there. Bartles had a rather hard load-in and it was kind of cold. There were a lot of stairs to maneuver around so there was a lot of lifting but I survived. We had Taco Bell for lunch at the high school and I sat with Gretchen and Kelly (sax). Kelly is leaving for a while to go home and take care of some family business (I think a death in the family), but will be back soon. After lunch we had quite a bit of free time and ?Expression Session? rehearsal, so we had a short fishing club meeting with about five of us.

After that I went and did some typing to bring the book up to date on statistics. When I went back, the cast had split up to do their own thing for an hour; some played kick ball and different activities. I went and took a walk with Mary Huckins for about a half an hour and had a great time. We walked by a haunted house that was really scary looking. It was just real nice to be walking in the fall with winter in the air and the leaves bright, beautiful colors. Then at rehearsal we had the opportunity for anyone who was working on something to do it on the mic with the band. I did UWP, but did not do real well with it and ?was a little flat? (is what Kathy said). Kurt ran the ringmaster in rehearsal again, but I did the show. He is getting better, but needs to be a little more comfortable with it. (EDITOR: Sorry Kurt. I guess I kind of felt like I owned that part. I think you did it as well as I hope I did.)

The show seemed like a rehearsal, but was just average which I felt bad for Clay because his family did not see us at our best. Strike went pretty well and we were able to go home with Martha at about 12:15. We basically came home and went to bed, but she gave us some Danville stickers, patches and other paraphernalia.

(EDITOR: Clay, what were your memories of this show? Did your parent's still enjoy it?)

From Tim Dittrick
His take on Rule #9

Hey Grant,

I think Rule #9 followed the last rule #8.
Thus this became the "unspoken" rule..... #9.
Or something like that.

Hope all is going well down there!

From Steve Ellis
Wasn't rule number 9 no chewing on stage... What else could it have been?

Steve Ellis

10/18/87 - Sunday - Peoria, IL

I didn't have to get up until at least 11:00, so what do I do. I get up at 9:30 a.m. Oh well, I was able to get a little bit of writing done. Martha made a whole batch of chocolate chip cookies that I can send to Sharie Gordon (a high school friend) for her birthday. I wrote on her b-day card and stuck it in the box, but did not get it sent off since it was Sunday. We had a really nice brunch, but Larry had to leave to take his sons back home to his wife's house. I talked to him about his 1970 maroon Corvette and about how he refurbishes them (Corvettes), then sells them. The one he is ready to sell will sell for $11,000. Neat family, I wish I would have had a little more time with them.

We left at 12:30, and I was in one of the Suburbans (for the first time on a long road trip) with Priscilla, Val, Helena, Lynda, Lee (EDITOR: the tall PR girl - remember her?), Beth, Steve and myself. Not much was said, but for the last hour we talked about several different things and one of the topics was about gay people. Steve really helped me understand it a little better because his brother is gay and has had to deal with it as a family member. It was a really eye-opening. We stopped by Ken's house on the way and had a great time!

(EDITOR: I don't remember which Steve was in the car. Wouldn't it be funny if it were Steve Riveira as he came out of the closet soon after getting off the road. Steve Ellis, it wasn't you was it?)

(MORE EDITOR NOTES: Ken, thanks again for having us to your home. That is still one of the highlights of my year!)

We had a short meeting at the Civic Center and received our schedules and a gourd to turn into the likeness of Deedra for the guys and Carlos for the girls. We met up with Sharie (I hope that is her name) and Rich; loaded up the car and came home. We had dinner and met the daughter and her boyfriend and after dinner met the son. Isn't that terrible I can't remember their names, oh well! It probably won't be the last time. After dinner, Rich took Kurt and I to the store to make some copies (of the schedules to send home) and get some pipe cleaners to make our ‘Deedra' gourd. When we got back we played a game of Trivial Pursuit with 3 editions: Genius, Baby Boomer, Silver Screen. Kurt, Mom and I were on one team against Bro and Dad (and Wilfred), they won, but we were right behind them. I guess Rich has won trophies for Trivial Pursuit. It was a real nice evening and we ate some awesome chocolate chip cookies. When the game was over we pretty much went to bed. Kurt and I are in the same room and I really am enjoying it. He is a very sensitive, funny guy, but what is really amazing is how much we think alike. We had several good talks while we were together and have a lot of similar likes and dislikes.

(EDITOR: I guess my alternative was Wilfried. :) Kurt and I always made the best of every host and really had fun together. Still do! And we had the best Deedra gourd of anyone in the cast!)10/19/87 - Monday - Peoria, IL

When we got there in the morning, we were supposed to have a short meeting and go downtown to set up the stage because our sound assembly was outside in a park, But? it was rather chilly and trying to rain so we stayed at the high school. We got it all set up and was expecting the High School to be let out to come to the show, but the principal changed his mind. So our audience consisted of about 250 handicapped, elderly and deaf people, which are probably the people who would appreciate it the most, but it would have been nice to have more people there.

When we changed, Bartles took off to the YMCA and changed into shorts and a t-shirt. I grabbed a basketball and went up to the gym and was shooting around with Rick when three black guys asked us if we wanted to play a game of 21. I went first and made my first three free throws and from then on I was hot! I really couldn't remember the rules very well, but went for it and ended up winning! I don't think I have ever won 21 against anyone, let alone 3 black guys (and Rick). (EDITOR: Sorry, Political Correctness was not an issue, and growing up in Colorado Springs, African-Americans were called black. Sorry if anyone is offended.) Then Henry came up and one of the black guys, Henry M, and I played 3 on 3 with the other guys and won both games.

After that I went and played racquetball with Marc (who hadn't played before (I killed him) and Marty who was good, but not that much better than me, however he still won. Then I sat down in the lounge and fell asleep, so I missed the fishing club meeting. I showered, went to wrap-up (which was real heavy/intense about the staff feeling like the cast is not going anywhere), then went home with Sharie. The whole way home Wilfred argued with Kurt and I about how things are handled and being run. It was nice to argue (although he never listens to what we were saying), but in the car with our host mom was probably not the best time to talk about it. We had dinner when we got home and then commenced working our ‘Deedra' doll. Kurt did most of it while I wrote thank you notes to people from church, so I could seal the box that I was sending home to Mom. We had a real good talk with Sharie and Rich with the main topic being about their house burning to the ground on Christmas morning six years ago. It was great to see the great outlook on what happened and how they handled it, and how much they love life now. Kurt finished ‘Deedra,' I finished my notes and went to bed. (EDITOR: Kurt, do you remember that story?)

From Michelle Bauckham-Galloway
Hi Grant and extended UWP family!

We are perfectly fine, in fact...great! Oahu only suffered multiple hangovers from the partying with neighbors due to the earthquake and consequent power outage. The Big Island of Hawaii has more structural damage, but the only casualty being a broken arm. I've been too busy to check e-mail for a while. But thank you for your concerns. We are lucky and know so every day. Take care all! I will be in Tucson next summer! Sandra, it was awesome to see you here recently! Lena and Dean, sorry you won't be able to make it this x-mas. Anyone else wanna come to Hawaii?

Love, Michelle
From Doug Barkley


Thanks again for the updates.? I consulted my journal for entries regarding the ‘Rules' and all I know is that I was checking them off one city at a time. Ha ha ha.

From Ken Frye
I ran across the article that was in the local paper about the casts brief stay at my folks farm just the other day. It was fun remembering that day twice in two weeks. I, too, remember it fondly.

10/20/87 - Tuesday - Peoria, IL

EDITOR: A little pre-note before you read below. Who is Ron Jenkins? My high school drama teacher, my favorite teacher in high school, was living in Chicago at the time and came to see the show. I then rode with him in his car back to Chicago, and then hooked back up with the cast in Chicago the next day.

When we had morning meeting, there were a lot of skits so it seemed like an extra long meeting. After we finished, Jaymes set up the stage and Bartles had a few hours worth of free time. Brenda Borgness (vanilla) asked me if I wanted to go somewhere and get a cup of coffee, so we walked around for a while looking for a place. We finally found a place called (the) ‘Chat-n-Chew' and sat down, and drank coffee and hot chocolate and talked. It was a really nice time and we talked about a lot of things. After that we went up the street a little bit to the library to get caught up on some writing and read the newspaper.

After lunch I sat down to do some more writing and Rene (the red-headed PR girl) came up to me and was obviously feeling down. I asked her if everything was alright and she said no, so I asked her if she wanted to talk about it, and she proceeded to tell me how terrible her last two days have been. She was really feeling down and I just couldn't think of the right things to say. I held her hand, told her not to change herself, but to just be more sensitive to other people and situations. I don‘t know if it did much good because she ran off to a meeting right away, but I think it helped a little.

We had rehearsal, but then at wrap-up P?l told us he was leaving because UWP was not for him and felt he could do more good at home. He is our first person to leave for good, and the cast took real well, mainly due to the fact he really didn't fit in (or even try to) with the rest of the cast. Then we went to dinner at Sulley?s Pub and had spaghetti to eat. I ate with Cassi and two girls from the campus, but they were hungry for ice cream, so they asked me if I wanted to go. I didn't need ice cream, but they said they could drop me off at a Walgreens so I could get something for Rene to cheer her up. I bought a card and stupid little pumpkin that a cat pops out of and squeaks.

Got back, changed and went to look for Ron Jenkins, but he instead found me. I took him to greenroom where I introduced him as my old Drama director working as a professional actor in Chicago. After the guests left Kurt and I presented ‘Deedra,' but she didn't go over as well as I had anticipated. That's okay we liked her. The show went okay, but nothing spectacular (Deedra and I did couple #2). After the show I introduced Ron to Sharie and Rich and they talked while I changed and got myself out of interviews. Jenks and I followed Rich and Sharie home so I could pack my stuff so Kurt could load it in the buses for me. We took off about 11:30 and talked most of the way until I fell asleep. We came into Chicago and got to bed at about 2:30 or 3:00 a.m. We had a great talk and basically talked about everything. His apartment is a typical starving actor apartment with the distinctive Jenkins touch.

From Marty Kottke

Grant -

I remember that racquetball game differently. Hey from Doug's comments it might be pretty interesting to read his journal. It sounds like his experiences might have been a little different then yours.

I am having a ball reading all about your daily adventures almost 20 years
ago. Wow 20 years!

Have a good one,

From Doug Barkley
Marty (or did you sign 'Mary'?),

Due to the varying states' and/or countries' statutes of limitations, I am consulting with my attorney regarding divulging any specific acts or events contained in my journal. I hope you understand that it's not that I won't tell you's that I simply can't.

I will however respond to questions or hints with a nod and a wink.

Thanks...carry on.


10/21/87 - Wednesday - Oglesby, IL

We got up and had a nice breakfast, then took off down Lake Shore Drive towards downtown Chicago about 10:00. Many things I saw for the first time (mainly because I've never been to Chicago): Lake Michigan, the Playboy building, Soldier Field, Grant Park, Sears Tower, a drawbridge, Chicago Sun and Times buildings (right across the street from each other), and a million other things. He took me to the cast drop off point, and within 10 minutes they were there. I hooked up with Matt, Heidi, Lynda and Steve B. and we headed for the Sears Tower. On the way, we dropped Heidi off at a building to visit a friend. The Sears Tower you have to go down two flights in order to go up 103 stories. It took a mean 70 seconds in the elevator to get to the top, and was an incredible view. We went down, picked Heidi back up and went to The Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. Wow! What a place (not bad food either), but I hope I got some good pictures of the place. We tried to go shopping, but did not have enough time before we loaded the buses. On my ride into Oglesby I sat with Tomoko, and we spent the entire 2 hours talking about religion. I tried to explain to her about: God, Jesus Christ, Communism, difference between Protestant and Catholic and many other things (J.C. Superstar). It was the most challenging spiritual experience I have ever had. When I found out my host family's last name was Grant (that would make me Grant Grant in this city!), I was excited, and besides that I'm alone and really enjoying myself. When we got home, we had a real nice dinner, talk, and then did work on my journal. Mark and Mary Kay went to bed at about 8:30 and I stayed up until about 11:00 then went to bed.

I am trying to get Melinda and her family involved in a show my company produces called "FIND AND DESIGN". They are going to be doing "room make-overs" for people in Nashville, so I asked her if she was interested. She has submitted herself and hopefully will be selected. In the meantime, she had to send in a family photo, so I thought I would share it with all of you.
Click here to see the photo.

From Holly Harris
Grant -- I agree with Doug, his journal cannot be shared!! :)
(EDITOR: All the more I would like to see what it says!)

From Brenda Perkins
Hey Grant,
This goes under the heading of "Small World" also...I thought about it last time you mentioned Ron Jenkins in your journal but just laughed it off. Of course since there is a second mention I can't ignore it...our neighbors here in Quesnel are the Jenkins' and yes his first name is Ron!!! How funny is that! Must be something about the name because our neighbors are the nicest people and lots of fun. I'm so glad that everyone is enjoying your journal as much as I am...sounds like it's really working to get everyone motivated for our reunion. I can't wait!

Brenda10/22/87 - Thursday - Oglesby, IL

They only have a bath in the bathroom, so it was quite a challenge to take a quick bath and get to morning meeting on time. Load-in was quite difficult. It is down a hill in, 40 degree weather, and the wind blowing. After we set up, we went to the Senior Center to have lunch with some senior citizens. Lunch was extremely fast, and it wasn't until afterwards that I was told that we were doing the ?Surprise Party.? We had a quick rehearsal and then got ready for our sound assembly for 1200 elementary students.

Many things went wrong with the show, but the one thing that affected me the most was right when they were rolling the box out, the wheel fell off. Talk about improvising! Luckily Kurt was on the ball and got another wheel out of the tool box, and saved the show and me. After the show, the cast (except for the C.I.G.) went to Starved Rock Lock and Dam, while we stayed back, went over the schedule, and rehearsed. We rehearsed until about 5:00 at which time we had wrap-up, and then host pick-up.

When we got home, we had dinner, watched some TV, did some work, then for about an hour and a half Mary-Kay and I stayed up and talked. It was a really nice conversation and we covered a lot of things. She opened up to me about her being married at 17, dropping out of H.S., getting divorced, and then remarried at 19 years old. She was really easy to talk to and I felt like we shared a lot between us. Then we went to bed about 10:45.

From Randy Roach
GA - Thanks for the Melinda family photo. I'll see Tomoko and her family in just a couple of days. Will meet her at a McDonalds in Tokyo at 6pm on Oct. 24 Tokyo time.

The UWP experience continues...partly thanks to all your efforts to keep us together.

Wonder what's in Doug's journal?

10/23/87 - Friday - Oglesby, IL

After the morning meeting we were briefed on the new H.S. project that will be put into action in Batavia, Ill. It was kind of hard to keep my focus up because I knew I would not be there. (EDITOR: Was anyone there that can explain what happened in Batavia?) After two hours of briefing, we had lunch and got prepared for the Expression Session. The Expression Session lasted for 2 hours and for the most part was pretty good, but some things went too long and were kind of dumb. It was really worth it though, I just hope next time, I will be on the ball and have something prepared instead of faking it with Jerko and Kurt.

Right after that, Steve Riveira, Priscilla and I went to Bill's office to get briefed on Freeport. That lasted for about an hour then we went back to the rehearsal (which was real boring and I had a hard time concentrating). It was a short wrap-up so we could go with Terry to call Carlos and sing ?Happy B-Day? to him. Then off to dinner, and after dinner to get ready for the show. During the show I danced with Lena again (at the sound Assembly was the first time and the back rolls and the flips were real sloppy), but this time it went quite a bit better.

For the first time in 7 weeks I didn't do the Ringmaster. That is approximately 25 straight shows in 10 different states. That is kind of impressive! But I can tell you it sure was hard to watch it from the sides! Kurt did a super job though especially since he did not get to run the whole thing in rehearsal today. After the show, Paul took the Freeport team to McDonald's to finish our briefing. Mary Kay picked me up at about 11:45 and I went straight to bed when I got home.

From Leanne Monahan-Voyles
10/23/87- Actually it is the 24th! I'm sitting here at 12:06am celebrating with a dish of ice cream. This has been the most exciting, nerve racking, scary, rewarding, and best experiences in my life. I feel like I have grown in so many ways. I'm an adult and I can work with adults on the same level without any problem. Tonight was a complete success! Actually, the whole city came off beautifully! SOLD OUT! Kelly did great with merchandise. Everything balanced with tickets. Schedules were basically kept and the cast enjoyed themselves! What more could I want? Tomorrow I head off to Muscatine, Iowa. New host family, new stage and a lot more new faces. I'm looking forward to that but I don't want to leave these faces. Today I gave the bear Shannon Sonnon (host-sister) gave me to the cast as a warm fuzzy. I just told them how special they all are to me and how much I missed them. I can't say that enough. Well, I could probably write forever tonight but I better head to bed. Leaving tomorrow. I don't believe it.

(EDITOR: Thanks Leanne for the journal entry. Got any more? Anyone else got anything they want to share? I leave for PR tomorrow and all you will get is mostly news from Freeport, IL.)

10/24/87 - Saturday - CIG to La Crosse, WI

Mary Kay made a great breakfast for Nate and I, then I took off to the school at 9:30. On the way, we stopped and picked up two things of film and Blistex for a brand new cold sore. The C.I.G. group had to come early to rehearse the mall show and some other things. At 12:15 we loaded the buses with our other luggage that we weren't aloud to bring, said our goodbyes, and took off for LaCrosse, Wisconsin. I said bye to Gretchen and Jo who are going to the Mystery City tomorrow. I also turned in my guess for the Mystery City yesterday to Paula. I guessed Algona, Iowa and Bill said I was right, but who knows. I was the first one ever to submit a guess, so if I'm right, Paula takes me to dinner. The van ride was really great! We talked the whole time about what our best trait was, our worst trait, and then the other van and us both wrote down things about people in the opposite van. We discussed how we perceived the other people, what was good to talk about their personality and what could be improved on. It was really nice to talk so openly, and I learned some things about people that I didn't know. To add to the exciting day, Paul got pulled over for speeding and to make it more fun we got out and took pictures with the policeman and of him handing Paul the ticket. To top it off, Christine pulled her guitar out and we sang our first acoustic as a C.I.G on the highway, in Wisconsin, to a police officer. Wow! Only in Up With People.

We were about 2 hours late, so our host families were there waiting for us. We had a short meeting, met the sponsor and then we went home with Dave and Maureen. We followed them in the Suburban, home to a wonderful turkey dinner. I can't wait for a turkey sandwich. After dinner, we watched Police Academy 4 on VCR then went to bed about 10:00. Actually 11:00, but we gained an hour because of daylight savings.

From Darci Buck-Price
Click here to see the photo.

I ALSO wonder what's in Doug's journal!! LOL! But Holly (and Doug) ...I absolutely won't pry, cuz I certainly wouldn't want Dennis' journal entries to get out either (LOL- oh my) and yet it's SO much fun reminiscing! And it was so great to see you and your family Melinda- hope you get on that show- keep us posted!! (and hey, did YOU end up with Dennis? football jersey after all or did I? (smiles!!)

Blessings to ya'll and here's our most recent family photo taken this summer at Young Life's Malibu club in Canada. Can't wait to see ya'll next August!! Darci

From Brenda Perkins

My Diary Saturday October 24, 1987
I found out a lot about myself today. I found out how others see me and how I view myself. See, I am on a special CIG (Community Involvement Group) and we arrived in LaCrosse tonight. The remainder of the cast will be here on Monday night. There are fourteen of us here now and we had an interesting travel day. We analyzed each other and ourselves. It is hard to find out about yourself especially when you know it is true and needs changing. I have a long way to go but I am going to five it my best shot. (Editor: Too bad I didn't mention what was must have been HEAVY though and I sure hope I've changed it in the past 20 years if it was that bad!).

Big news of the day, Paul Kunz got a speeding ticket and we did something really stupid. We all got out of the suburbans and took pictures and made a big deal out of it. Ken pointed out how immature and silly it was to do. I already knew that but I went along because "everyone else was doing it." They say you learn from your mistakes I hope it's true cause boy do I need a lesson. (Editor: Perhaps I could relax just a little, eh?) It was hard leaving the cast this morning. don't think most of the cast cared that much but it made a difference to me. I used to a hundred and twenty five people all around me. They will be putting on a two hour show without me tomorrow evening. I wonder if they will even miss me at all? We'll see. Next stop Mankato. I got a letter from Mom saying that she sent my package there. I am happy. I hope she put halloween candy inside. That would be fun. I am having a major craving for sweets lately. Maybe she'll pack snickers bars and Mars bars and Hershey's. Oh, I had better stop that -- I'll get too hungry. I am going to try to wait for at least three weeks before I call home again. I know Mom says it doesn't matter, but I don't want to be too expensive for them. I hope we find out where we are going soon so that I can make flight reservations for where I'm gonna go. I'm hoping to go home! (Editor: I assume I was talking about the Mystery City and going home for Christmas).

I got several responses to yesterday's entry (10/24) that I felt it worth while to send a bonus note out with some of the comments. They made me laugh so they deserve their own entry/email.

10/24/87 – Saturday – CIG to La Crosse, WI
Cast heading to Muscatine, IA

Grant's journal

To add to the exciting day, Paul got pulled over for speeding and to make it more fun we got out and took pictures with the policeman and of him handing Paul the ticket. To top it off, Christine pulled her guitar out and we sang our first acoustic as a C.I.G on the highway, in Wisconsin, to a police officer. Wow! Only in Up With People.

Brenda Perkins Journal

Big news of the day, Paul Kunz got a speeding ticket and we did something really stupid. We all got out of the suburbans and took pictures and made a big deal out of it. Ken pointed out how immature and silly it
was to do. I already knew that but I went along because "everyone else was doing it." They say you learn from your mistakes I hope it's true cause boy do I need a lesson. (Editor: Perhaps I could relax just a little, eh?)


Ken Frye, thanks for standing up for me big guy. How many pictures did you take by the way?:) Actually there is more to the speeding ticket acoustic. Not only was it my first ticket ever - something I always bragged about amongst my family -- but sometime in December, ...I think it was in Dickinson, ND ...I received some mail after a cast meal. It was the from the Wisconsin Highway Patrol. The letter stated something like this... Dear Mr. Kunz, ""I am writing you to bring your attention to an oversight on my part. During the festivities that took place during your citation, I forgot to have you sign your Visa statement to pay for your ticket. Please send a cashier's check to ...." I'll leave you wondering whether I paid or not.

Paul Kunz

In response to Brenda's journal:

..."We all got out of the suburbans and took pictures and made a big deal out of it. Ken pointed out how immature and silly it was to do...."

I probably felt this way because I couldn't find my camera. I'd love to have a wide shot of the suburban, the cop car, the guitar playing wild woman and a half dozen Cast members shooting like paparazzi. I smile at the visual image.


EDITOR: To that end, I did have a camera and got a wide shot of the suburban, cop car and wild women with the background cast singers. See attached photos.

Click here to see the first photo.

Click here to see the second photo.


From Melinda Connell-Ellsworth
(EDITOR: On the 21st I mentioned that I am trying to get Melinda and her family involved in a show my company produces called "FIND AND DESIGN". They are going to be doing "room make-overs" for people in Nashville, so I asked her if she was interested. Well she has been selected as one of the families to be included in the show. My producers are very excited about how bubbly she is and how great her and Tod come across on TV. They will shoot the production in the coming weeks and eventually she will be the star of that 30 minute show. When I have information as to when it will be on TV, I will let you know.

Hey Grant!!!!!
By now you already know we made the show! WOOHOO!!!!! I'm so psyched and a big thank you to you! and to Darci: I ended up with Dennis's jersey and kept it for years and would stumble across it (feeling guilty I never sent it back!) I even contemplated sending it to him the last time I came across it when we moved. Now, I don't know where it is. Believe it or not, Dennis and I ended up dating long distance until March of 1990. Can you believe it? Ahhhh, young love! The last I heard he got married to a nice lady with two daughters and are living in Omaha, but we haven't kept in touch. So I don't know any recent info. Love the family picture! All the best to you.

10/25 - Sunday - CIG in La Crosse, WI
Cast in Muscatine, IA

The extra hour, plus not having to go to church until 10:40 a.m. sure was nice this morning. Henry, Mark, Brian and I all went to the First Assembly of God church today which is a radical non-denominational church. They had really upbeat songs, a healing session down front, hands being held in the air, and a lot of 'Hallelujahing' and 'Amening'. It really did sound like an auction as my host brother put it.

From there we met the rest of the group at 12:00 at the TV station to go to Norskedalen and look around. We had a film, looked around for 45 minutes, then left. It was neat, but not a place you spend a lot of time in. We left there to go to St. Joseph's Nursing Home and I met a neat man and had a lady tell me I was the best of everyone on the stage. Nice experience. Then straight from there to our mall show which was good, but always hard to reach people. We did, however, sell 4 (four) more tickets than before we did the show. Then we went to dinner at Rocky Rocco's Pizza and ate a lot because it tasted so good.

Then rush, rush, hurry, hurry off to Play-Mor Bowling where we did 'Sunrise,' 50's and UWP and it went over really well. We sold another 15 tickets and passed out a bunch more flyers. My MCs at both places went pretty well, but at the bowling alley I made a couple "punny" jokes about 'sparing' some time, getting to know our 'striking' personalities. After that we came home and watched part of the final game of the World Series (Minnesota Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 and won the series 4 to 3). (EDITOR: How ironic that the St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series again this year - 20 years later.)

I called Mrs. Kafka at 10:00 and she gave me a whole list of possible host families in Freeport. I talked to her for about 25 minutes and finished writing in my journal. I am officially caught up once again!!! Now I'm going to bed so I can create another page, so I can get behind again. No! Not if I can help it!

(EDITOR NOTE: Mrs. Kafka was someone who moved to Colorado Springs from Freeport a year before we traveled. Her daughter and I sang together in choir, so I used their help to find host families in Freeport before we got there.)

I finally got into my UWP "box" today because I was part of the PR team for Batavia and couldn't recall what the "high school project" was. I didn't even remember keeping a journal but did (sometimes) and although I didn't do a good job of it while on PR I did write some pretty informative letters back home to friends and they gave the letters back to me at the end of the year to remind me of what I did. So, according to a letter home ... "We are doing something new for Up With People called a High School Project. Our cast is going into the high school classes and discussing the issues effecting teens like drugs, pregnancies, peer pressure, + suicide. Then we also take them into the community with us to do community service. We have to set all that up and so far we are going to almost 10 different community service facilities." According to my brief journal entry when I first got to Batavia, Laurie should know all about it because it was her job to set that part of it up.

I tell you, it was quite a thing jumping back into all that stuff. I didn't even remember putting together a scrap book and I have one. I apparantly wrote down some things and names to help me remember "moments" but now I'm finding I should have been a little more detailed in some cases because in some cases I'm finding I have more questions than memories about what happened. Like what did we do for Halloween where we our PR team and yours got together in DeKalb? (I'm either getting really old or too much fun was had and brain cells that hold memories may have been damaged) (EDITOR: I do have notes about our fun time in DeKalb, but you will have to wait for Halloween to hear those stories. ;) )

Anyway, thank you for starting this!! I'll be following along now with some of my own journals and am really looking forward to seeing everyone again next summer!

From Darci Buck-Price
Too funny!! Paul- you got a ticket? WOW!? (love that Brian just 'happened' to be with you- probably pressuring you to speed it up or something- LOL) --and Melinda- too funny about the jersey!! Let us know when your show will be aired!!!? And also -who DOES have Dennis Hobson's info? - we'll have to see if he and his cute family can attend our reunion since he couldn't make the last one- would be fun to have just everyone there.? Just think of ALLL of the stories (oh, our poor spouses, LOL!

Grant- thanks for being such a great connector,and PLEASE include this comment in the bonus notes, ok?? (BTW, anyone here have a myspace? I'd love to be a friend).

10/26/87 - Monday - CIG in La Crosse, WI
Cast in Muscatine, IA

We met at the Wesley Methodist Church and had a speaker right off the bat. Mark Frise is a professional cyclist who did a mountain bike race in Alaska on the same terrain as the dog sleds are on. He had a lot of interesting things to say, but was not a very good speaker. He seemed very uncomfortable. Then we were given a quick overview of the day, and headed for Chilida Institute. This is an institute for severely handicapped kids and was really hard for me to deal with these kids. It was pretty scary for me, but we hung in there through two acoustics. The first group of kids were more severe than the second group. After the second acoustic, Ken, Brenda and I went to one of the classrooms together and tried to play toys with them, but they were not very responsive. The girl I was working with was 18, and the boy Brenda was with was 17, and another girl was 20, and what was sad was none of them looked over 12 or 13. It was very hard for
me, but extremely eye opening.
(EDITOR: Remember this story as it will play in another story in about 3 weeks.)

From there we went to Onalaska Care Center where we worked with the older people to draw faces on some pumpkins. One of the ladies sat down at the organ and started to play some of the good old songs, so I went up there and started singing as much of them as I knew. I knew all but one song (not necessarily all the words), so I guess I owe my parents credit for playing, and teaching us those songs (or at least singing them to us). I think I had more fun than anyone else, but I loved singing those songs. I met some real nice folks and the acoustic went real well. We had lunch there, and then went to the LaCrosse Police Station to tour the facilities. I did not like it because we only saw four rooms in 45 minutes [the forms room, the breathalyzer room (minus the breathalyzer), the weight room and the shooting gallery] We spent too much time in the first two rooms answering stupid questions. Oh well, it is all part of the UWP experience. Then we went to work!

We split up in two groups and went to two different grocery stores (Quillin's) and bagged groceries and handed out flyers. We were only there for about an hour before we had to leave to go do aerobics at St. Francis Hospital. Henri and I had a lot of fun. It was a good work out with a cute nurse leading it, so it was all worthwhile. After some exercise, we showered and dressed up to go to a nice restaurant called Michael's. We ate chicken and finally discussed what we had written down about each other when we were on the Suburbans. It was great because we got a chance to tell people the bad things about each other, and everyone just accepted it and plans to work on changing them. Some of us they did not say very many bad things about us. The worst thing they said about me was that I stress out sometimes, but then again who doesn't! It was a really enjoyable evening and discussion. When I came home I was hoping to watch the Broncos, but they weren't televising that show. Broncos ended up losing 34 to 27 to the Vikings and then I went to bed.

From Stacie Welch
Part of my journal (I was on the CIG group as well to LaCrosse) says this:

I had fun because we were in a small group and we really got to know one another.? We did mall shows, a show in a bowling alley. I sang God's Skin, Tootie Fruitie and some ad libs.- And we went out to dinner. The guys bought us flowers and we had a very relaxing, elegant, enjoyable dinner.

I had forgotten about this! I do remember the police ticket and taking pictures ? I have a copy of the one you sent out to the cast with Brian and Paul - very funny!

Then I must have skipped because the next thing I know we are in Mankato and I had to decorate for our Halloween dance. Ha!

I love these journals - you made me have to look for mine and read up !

I head to Brussels next Wednesday (November 1st) and will be visiting Joke in Gent ! I am very excited!


10/27/87 - Tuesday - CIG in La Crosse, WI / Cast arrives in La Crosse, WI
(EDITOR: Make sure you read all the way to the bottom.)

First thing we did was go to Central H.S. and talked to language classes in one big discussion group. It didn't seem to go real well, but you can never tell with High School students. We went from there and did an acoustic for 300 elementary students at State Road School. After the acoustic, Ken and I went to a music class and sang the '13 days of Halloween' and then sang 'Witches Brew' to us. Then I taught us all the song and actions to 'Dum Dum Ditty.' Then that class had to leave and another one came in and we did basically the same thing except I also taught 'Waddiliacha.' I had a great time and for once felt extra comfortable. For lunch, we went up to Granddad's Bluff and ate our sack lunches. We weren't there very long before we went to the TV station and watched the 12:00 (noon) news being filmed live, and heard all the communication that goes on behind the scene. Then we had a short tour before we went to Gerard Hall - a home for unwed mothers. There was also some recovering psychologically-disturbed people at the acoustic, and it was a very new but sad environment for me. I wouldn't want to have to go through all the hard times and decision that those pregnant girls are going through, especially with such a joyous occasion such as becoming a mother. It just is an angle I've never looked from before.

Then at 3:00 p.m. our CIG was over and we met up with the rest of the cast at Heileman Brewery. What was funny was that most of us didn't even miss the cast. After doing a lot of hugging and saying 'hi,' we listing to a boring, hard to understand speaker who was speaking about the Hmong (Mong) people and culture. He was terrible! Then we watched a movie and went on the tour. Steve, Priscilla and I missed most of the meeting (movie) because we were receiving our money for P.R. (all $149.60 of it!) The tour was okay, but didn't get to see much of how it works.

They announced at wrap-up that we were leaving so we said our goodbyes after and during the tour. Cassi said she had something for me so I saved her for last she was also the one who gave me the biggest welcome back from the CIG. Anyway she gave me an envelope with a bag of licorice (cherry bites), which I didn't know what it was until later, and had an inscription on the back that said: 'Here's a barrel o'fun for you on P.R., Every time you pop one in, think of Cassi and smile!! I'll miss U!! What a super neat girl! Who knows what will happen.

That evening we had a nice long dinner with the family and wrote new words to the 50's medley for C.I.G. presentation. I was in bed by 10:00.

10/28/87 – Wednesday – Freeport, IL

At first it felt like a normal travel day until I realized no one else was packing. Then it felt like my first day of school. First we had to take Henri and Marc to the LaCrosse Center, at which time I got to say goodbye to Dennis C. and some others I missed. It was very rushed, but very warm. We were at the bus station by 8:15 and Paul left soon after. Everything was checked on the bus and headed for Freeport by way of Madison, Wisconsin, and Rockford, Illinois. It was a long bus ride, but it gave me a chance to read the PR manual so I would feel like I know what I'm doing. Our welcoming committee consisted of our host dad Randy McFalls, one of the Ambassadors, Jim Graham, and director of the Chamber of Commerce, Connie Sorn.

We dropped our stuff off at the house and went for a drive around the city in the car we will be driving: a 1987 Dodge Shadow and it is nice! (EDITOR: My tastes were much more simple back then.) All three of us are excited just to be able to drive again! We came back home ordered a pizza, and then had our “official” sponsor meeting around a poker table with beer and coolers. They have already done so much that we are only going to tie up the loose ends, otherwise it will be cake! I'm really excited about it and looking forward to these 3 weeks.

Mindy – 14
Shelly – 11

Randy and Jackie McFalls

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Wednesday Oct 28th. La Crosse Wisconsin


After morning meeting today we had a speaker about heart-muscle-training (getting your heart in shape). A very sweet lady from the hospital spoke, after which we (crew 1) had 11/2 hours of aerobics with her. It was good and tough. After that I went for a walk and found a Scandinavian shop with all different sorts of Scandinavian things. It was fun and good for me.

Lunch – after which Steve Ellis and I went for a walk. The weather was so beautiful. I am so happy that we have started talking and hanging out again.
Show prep was with 3 x 10 “stations” + 10 minute jogging. I was sweating like a locomotive and felt so good. After that we went through our sound-assembly show. We have a special program coming up 2 cities from here.
During wrap-up the CIG group (a group that has been here helping the PR crew for the last 3 days) gave a resume of what they had been accomplishing. We walked to dinner where Japanese entertainment and dinner was waiting. They had really planned it well. We sat on the floor and used chop-sticks for eating. It was a lot of fun.
Back for another fun show after which I had to interview. I paired up with Kevin and we interviewed a sweet and very mature girl.
HPU and at home my host family wanted to talk so it was late before we were able to start packing.
I am so happy and content with everything. I have fun doing what we do. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
(editor : It really says HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY at the end of that day. I must have felt extremely good).

10/29/87 – Thursday – Freeport, IL
Cast in Mankato, MN

We went to the office about 9:00 a.m. and had a short meeting with Connie to fill her in on what is happening and what needs to be done. After that we set up our office with what we had then did some errands. We set up our general delivery at the post office, then walked over to get office supplies. We came back to drop those off and Randy took us to Wendy’s and showed us around town some more. We stopped and met our radio sponsor (one of them) WFPS, and stopped by the other one just to see where it was. We also stopped and saw Ed at the bank and cashed a check. When we got back to the office, I set up the doctor and Dentist contacts and started calling host families. It is amazing how much they have already done because it is making our life so much easier. We finished at 4:00 and went shopping and dropped off some film then went back for a great spaghetti dinner. After dinner, we went and saw the movie Dirty Dancing which was supposedly filmed at Lake Lure, N.C. where we stopped for lunch. It was a pretty good movie with some great dancing. From there we went to the Holiday Inn where Highland Community College was having a Halloween Dance. It cost us $4 to get in and it was pretty much a joke. We came home about 11:00 and went to bed.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker

Thursday Oct. 29th. Travelday to Mankato, Minnesota

We left La Cross and on the way to Mankato we stopped at one of the worlds largest hospitals. We had a guided tour which I personally had expected to be much more interesting and informative. All they talked about was the architecture, decorations and nothing about the way they “operate”.
We were early and spent 1/2 an hour at a parking space outside town and then drove back to town for another 11/2 hour to kill (free time). I hate those unnecessary stops and breaks. When we finally were on the way to Mankato HPU bus 1 had a break down and we had to have 48 extra people on the bus. With Dennis on my lab we drove the last 11/2 hour and after some more waiting time – during which we got mail – we were finally ready for HPU. I’m by myself and my host family is very nice. They know absolutely nothing about UWP. So we had a good and relaxing evening. Prepared some fun for my secret spook who I think already knows who I am.

Darci has been doing some research for me and found Kira Marschan, who did PR with Me, Lena, and Meg in Copenhagen and was with us through the Soviet Union. Her info is below in case you want to say hello.
Dear Darci,

It is me! Great to hear from you!
What a wonderful surprise, this made my day, thank you.

Please find my contact information:
Home address: Tahdenlennontie 45 B
FIN-02240 Espoo
Tel. +358 50 5849099

How are you doing?
I am doing fine, working in the hotel business as I have done all my working life.
I will get married in January.
In brief life is treating me very good.

All the best.

Warm regards,

Kira Marschan
Sales Manager in Finland

Reval Hotels Management
Keilasatama 3, 02150 Espoo Finland
tel +358 (0) 9 2510 7250

fax +358 (0) 9 2510 7100
mobile +358 (0) 50 584 9099


OK Grant- Ya GOTTA give me a bigger challenge that that----- Just chatted with Gwyn and she might not be able to attend the reunion because she and her husband Nathan own a ranch and they only have a few weeks in the summer to do all of the ‘haying’. They live in a very rural area and are deciding to homeschool their two daughters this year: Mandolyn-5 and Molly-7. (SHOOT, forgot the bdays again!! LOL!)

Gwyndolyn & Nathan Nicholas
Burns Lake, BC
V0J 1E0
(250) 694-3879


Grant- re: Kelly Koshatka- i saw her at the UWP reunion in 2005 (my 1985 cast reunion) and she is truly just 'on fire' for Jesus. Here is her website....and i attached a photo i found from there-- I copied/pasted what she has written on her website below. Anyway- i just emailed her too to confirm an email address i have for her - and i'll let you know if i hear back from her.

Click here to see the photo.

God is good!! (helping us re-unite!!!)

Over and out for the moment,
Darci Magnum PI (aka Charlies angel)

Hi, my name is Kelly, and I am the founder and director of Fire Ministries. Thank you for taking the time to read our web pages and find out what we are doing! Fire Ministries was birthed in the late 90's out of a desire in my heart to seek the Lord in a deeper way. It resulted in an extensive stay in Ireland . There the Lord did a new work in my heart as well as putting a great love in me for the Irish people. During that first trip to Ireland the Lord moved in a powerful way. The end result has been the birth of Fire Ministries with as many as three trips a year being taken to Ireland. Fire Ministries and all the trips we take have been bathed in the original longing and desire for Jesus that I experienced in my original trip.

About me personally, I have been serving Jesus for close to fifteen years. I have graduated from a three year Bible College and make yearly trips to the mission field around the world. The most important thing that can be said about me is that I Love Jesus. I have no greater desire in my life then to bring Him glory. I hope that you will consider getting involved with Fire Ministries.

10/30/87 - Friday - Freeport, IL

Cast in Mankato, MN

Not too long after we got to the office, Steve and Priscilla went to the Holiday Inn and got some rooms donated for staff. I stayed and retyped a letter to churches, addressed envelopes, getting ready to send them. When they came back Priscilla and I worked on host families. She got a hold of Steve Tanton and he asked if he could take us out to lunch. Naturally we said yes and he came and picked us up. We thought he was just another host family, but later found out that he is an alumni and traveled in ‘72-‘73. Real nice guy and extremely willing to help. All afternoon I worked on calling host families and by the end of the day had 45 beds confirmed.

After leaving the office we went to go judge a costume contest for kids. After we did our judging, they paraded to the playa and announced the winners for each division (under 5, 5-6, 7-8, 9-12). They also had an overall winner that I got to announce because in addition to winning $20, they also won an Up With People album. Before I announced the winner, I gave a plug for the show of when, where and what time. There were about 400 people there so I believe we reached a lot of people. From there we went straight home and got ready to go on a hayride with Randy and Jackie's Sunday School group. It was a little chilly, but a lot of fun. Afterwards we came back home and had dinner and sat around and talked. We gave a plug for the show and asked them if any could be hosts (another 4 beds). Finally went to bed about 12:00 midnight.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Friday Oct. 30th, Mankato Minnesota

We started with a super sound-assembly with an incredible audience. 1200 students who just loved it. It was very energetic and fun. After that some free time before lunch. We then left for another school and yet another sound-assembly. These students were just the opposite and hardly cared to listen and be quiet. It was an amazing difference of children/young people within the same city-limit.
After that we had to leave for a little excursion to the country side and a pumpkin farm. We had a lecture about Halloween and a ride in the fields where we also got to pick our own pumpkin. We sat around the fire and some got to cut their pumpkins. Unfortunately there was not enough knives so I did not get mine done. We had a real good time there and it was interesting to learn some more about this American celebration day. We were late coming back so my host family had left again and I had to wait a little. At home we had a delicious dinner and dressed up and went to the UWP Halloween party. My host family had this very old costume from back in the 1800's they let me wear. At the party there were games and competitions and there was lots of snacks. We danced and had a fun and relaxing time. I wish we could have stayed longer and partied some more. But that's life. Tomorrow is a day off and HIP HURRAE ! I have made appointment to get my hair cut.

Hi Darcy!

Thanks for trying to look me up!
I'm here and there, also on Grant's mailing-list, reading small diary-notes from the year of -87, every now and then. I'm also planning to go to the reunion next august, and can't wait to see all of you!!! Last time I managed to catch up with a reunion was i Brussels at the 5-years, so it's about time I would say?!!!

Before that I'll also be in LA from 18th to 29th of may (2007), touring with my choir SKRUK. I think we'll stay in the Laguna Hills area in Orange County. We have an music manager in LA planning the tour for us, and what I know so far is that we'll have concerts in Chrystal Cathedral, Hollywood Bowl ++ - altogether 10 concerts. We'll also be at "The hour of power" 20th of May. I'll bring my daugter Mari (7 years old now). A few others in the choir are bringing kids as well, so we'll take a babysitter with us. Hopefully I'll manage to catch up with some others from the cast living in the area!!??
What do you say Grant??? Can you give me an update of who? Thank you!

Otherwise I'm still working as an executive project manager in NRK. TV, live drama series for youths . We'll be starting shooting a thriller-series (for youths) in two weeks (11 x 25'), so the temperature is high right now...

Keep up the good recruiting work for the reunion.

Looking forward seeing you

Rita Sarnes

10/31/87 - Saturday, Halloween - Freeport, IL
Cast in Mankato, MN

We slept in until about 9:30 and laid around until noon, at which time Priscilla and I went to the store and picked up my developed film. 3 rolls. The pictures turned out really good, and almost all of them were developed. At 2:00 we went to the mall to judge an adult costume contest. There were over 40 costumes and we narrowed it down to 11 (it was supposed to be ten, but we couldn't decided on which of two to put in so we had them both) then had to rank them 1 to 11. Wow! Was it hard and a couple of the times the audience sighed a heavy 'Aaaah.' We were very aware of where the closest exit was just in case they started throwing tomatoes at us. It lasted until about 3:30, and afterwards we rushed home so we could get ready to go to DeKalb.

We left at about 4:00 and arrived in DeKalb at 5:15 to meet the team from Batavia (Anne, Heikki and Laurie). We all met at Hardee's then went to dinner at Rositas (a Mexican restaurant,) and had a real nice dinner. After dinner we went to campus (all six in a four passenger car) and found the fraternity house of the same fraternity Steve belongs to and asked where the parties were. They told us that they were having one at 9:00 and to come back. So we went to a bar called the Crystal Pistol and had a few drinks. I had two strawberry daiquiris that were absolutely delicious. It was a real nice place, and we sat and talked and laughed for about an hour and a half. About 9:30, we went back over to the party, which cost us two bucks each. It was a wasted two dollars since I didn't drink because I was designated driver but I still had a good time. Anne and I had a nice long discussion about girlfriends and boyfriends in general. We left there at about 1:00 a.m. and went to get some coffee before we headed home. I want it stated now that I tried coffee once again and reconfirmed that I do not like coffee because it tastes like dirty water. Mom would be proud I tried it. (EDITOR: Long story, but my Mom always swore that I would start liking coffee when I got to college. I still can't drink the stuff.) We left for home at about 2:00 and I had an extremely hard time staying awake. To add to it, it was so foggy, I could only see abut 25 feet in front of me which meant I could only go about 45 miles an hour. We finally got home at 3:30 and boy was I tired.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker

Saturday Oct 31st. Mankato. - DAY OFF
I slept until 9 AM and then took a long hot-tub bath. Wonderful. Started some letter writing and did some laundry. At 12 PM I had an appointment to get my hair cut. She did pretty good but the style will not be easy to hold. We shopped a little and had Chinese for lunch. In the afternoon I got my suitcase cleaned up and some more letters written. I also cut my pumpkin and it was placed out side the front door with a candle inside when the local kids started coming to get their trick or threat. It was fun to see all the different outfits they were dressed up in. Later we went to a place called 'the haunted house'. A horrifying place with ghosts and awful decorations. Typical American Halloween my host family told me. It's been a good long day off with interesting things happening and a wonderful family to be with. My host mum even paid for my haircut.
(Editor : Keep in mind this was my (and I guess a lot of others as well) first ever experience with Halloween. Today 20 years later Halloween is also celebrated a little in Denmark but nothing compared to the way America celebrates)


Dear Grant, Gretchen and children

HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all of you !!!

Gretchen, you know that I think of you a lot during this time of the year. I'll always remember my first "pumpkin carving" experience, yeaks !!! Normally Halloween is not celebrated in Belgium, but since a few years we cannot get around it and via shops, movies, etc... we are getting familiar with Halloween. In fact Lore (8) worked around the theme a lot in school. Now today she wanted me to make pumpkin soup and she made a basket full of candies (most of them are candies and cookies that she doesn't like, but hey, it's the thought that counts...)because she wants to be prepared when children come to our door. We had only a few so I guess she will have to eat it all by herself! Lotte (11) is at the moment celebrating Halloween with her friends. She wanted to be "Vampire-ella", I told her she didn't need much of make up, but she didn't agree :-)

So, as you can see I'm digging into my memories of Algona to keep up the Halloween spirit !!! I think by next year I will have to make a complete Halloween lunch, - dinner and party! Lore wanted to carve a pumpkin but I passed for this year - remembering my first fiasco ! But I promise to practice on melons this summer!!!

The day after tomorrow Staci W will visit us. Gosh I can't wait to see her. I will give you a full report, and we will also attend the show in Brussels on Saturday. As I see it there will be lots of alumni there (Jerko and Monique C. will be there for sure) As soon as I can I'll mail you some pictures. I'm so excited I can hardly sleep! (EDITOR: Take some pictures of the three of you so I can share them with the cast, and tell Monique that she needs to make sure she doesn't get lost again!)

Have a very happy Halloween BOOOOOOOOOOOOOH

EDITOR: I need the casts help. I don't have the dates as to where the cast was when I was on PR. Does anyone have a journal/calendar that would say when you traveled from one city to the next? Gretchen was on PR too, so she is no help. If you have a list of our tour by dates, please send them my way.


Click here to choose a different month

11/1/87 - Sunday - Freeport, IL

Cast in Mankato, MN

I didn't even wake up until 12:10, then watched football and sat around all day. I called Mom and Scott (my brother) and we talked for a while. She bought my airplane ticket for X-mas to leave from Fargo, North Dakota instead of Minneapolis. I told her a little about my responsibilities while I'm on P.R. We had an early dinner (4:00), and the family all went to see the movie "Dirty Dancing". I decided to stay home and write my monthly newsletter. Broncos won against Detroit 34 to 0.

From Beth Wahlert-Lohmeier

Dear Grant--
Ahh, yes, I remember La Crosse. My Fantasy: A big neighborhood keg party and rooming with Chrissy and Amy while Shawn and Roger were hosted right next door. My Reality: I was a guest of the "Sisters of Perpetual Adoration" a local CONVENT. No host mom, but a LOT of host SISTERS!
Love to All!
--Beth Wahlert-Lohmeier

From Erin Lynch-Harnish

Hi Grant and Gretchen,
Thanks for the daily messages, I can count on them to bring a little smile. I just wanted to let you and the cast family know we've been going though a hard time lately...

You may remember that we had lots of difficulty having our son, Andrew. We are so blessed to have him after 3 pregnancy losses. (I was very sick with each pregnancy and I also lost the one that I had happily told everyone about at a reunion...)

Anyway, we have spent the last year working with doctors, a surrogate, agencies and even lawyers as we hoped to have a surrogate pregnancy. I had procedures to collect eggs after stimulating multiple ones to mature at once. Everything seemed to be finally working out, but then two weeks ago on the day we were to transfer our eggs to our surrogate (Doctors don't think I should be pregnant again), we were told NONE of our 10 embryos would survive. It was like miscarrying all over again. We are not sure what we are going to do now, but we will be thinking and praying hard to move forward.... They don't think we should try again.

Pete and I both have had the immediate reaction that we are so so lucky to have Andrew and enjoy our family time (even if it is a smaller family than we had hoped.) Next we'll be rethinking adoption or having Andrew be an only child. (we both have siblings and wanted that for him!!) Sorry for sharing bad news, but I wanted to let you know what was going on.

Love, Erin

11/2/87 - Monday- Freeport, IL
Cast in Batavia, IL

I stayed here all morning waiting for a package with the video in it to arrive and while I waited, I finished my monthly report, typed it, and got it ready to send to Mom. (EDITOR: This was to fulfill part of my fundraising to get enough money to travel. I promised those who donated to me a monthly update letter.) Priscilla and Steve came and picked me up to go to the Rotary meeting at noon. We had lunch there and then Steve did the entire speech. From there we stopped by the bank and talked with Ed and picked up the comp tickets. We went back to the office and I spent the afternoon on the phone calling host families. I have secured 50 single beds plus another 9 beds (doubles) if we need them. It was a stressful day because we were all in a bad mood, and we finally came home around 6:00. We ate dinner, and I worked on calling a few more host families, wrote names on my pictures, and wrote a letter or two. It was not a real good day, and I wish I would get along with Steve and Priscilla a little better. I feel I have alienated myself from them a little so I need to work on it.

From Brenda Perkins-Dahmer

I am so getting a kick out of your journals! You must really be enjoying seeing how much you have matured and progressed in just 20 years! When I read over my journal it is so nice to see how far I've come and the much different things I hold as priorities these days! I'll see if I find anything else that is significant and pass it along...that was great to compare our experience of the travel day to La Crosse and Paul's ticket...somehow I know my journal would read a lot different if I had that experience now (no more Miss Goody Goody!!)!


From the Queen of Starbucks Coffee
Holly Harris
Grant -- you are killing me!! "Dirty Water"?? You need to come to Seattle and spend time at the Starbucks corporate office -- I know I could convert you!! :)

From Lynda Cullen-Hall

Dear Grant,

It was exciting to get the news about Staci! I have fallen very far behind in reading your daily emails but look forward to catching up soon. I have NOT forgotten about my offer to send you a journal entry. I don't have much computer access at home as the only one there is Sean's and he monopolizes it.....(just wait for the teenage years to hit!)

Take care and keep praying for me. Things are getting worse instead of better. It gets harder everyday to "keep my chin up." My newest "imagery/comparison" I use is to that off a renovation project. It has to get worse before it gets better. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't!

Take care and thanks for keeping us all together.


11/3 - Tuesday - Freeport, IL - Cast in Batavia, IL

I was up at 8:00 a.m. to get ready for the day, but stayed home until 12:00 waiting for the video to arrive. At 12:00 I went to speak at the Kiwanis Club. We had chicken again, and the speech went real well and they even asked questions after I was done. As an appreciation gift they gave me a Kiwanis letter opener. When I got back to the office, I typed a letter to the alumni, then went to lunch at City Lights. Pretty good food, but expensive. We worked a little longer, then came home and ate dinner. I spent the rest of the evening writing letters.

Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov. 3rd - Batavia

Starting off the day we had a small welcome-ceremony for our cast director 'Mr. Vice President' Carlos to congratulate him with his new title. He was promoted last week. We did set up after which we did the school project we had been preparing. It went by OK but it seemed like the students we talked to had no problems whatsoever, only somebody they knew did. (editor: don't remember what this was - must have been something with kids in trouble). At least we kept them interested for 50 minutes and they answered our questions. After lunch we had premiere on our new sound assembly and it turned out real good. Much better than the old one. We had one hour free time before having a full cast-meeting. Carlos talked a little and then asked what had been happening since he was with us last time, and then he finally broke the news that we would be reuniting after Christmas break in Las Vegas to do a special show, after which we shall tour the US until April. Head for Scandinavia and perhaps end our year in Scotland. So that sounds great to me.

I called Doris (editor:my Tucson host mum, with whom I still have close contact) - she was glad to talk and understood my decision to go home for Christmas. Had a relaxing evening with my host family - pizza for dinner.


From Sandra Jung

The latest on my dad is that he has some kind of scarring on his liver which is a relief that it's not cancer, but we don't know much about this scarring. so far we've raised over $300 from the cast and I'm about $300 short of my goal, but i still have til nov 9 :) The Axton's and I had a mini reunion at my house Sunday and a great time eating in the backyard (it's still warm enough to do that kind of thing in la) and catching up. can't wait to see everyone at the reunion.
love, Sandra

11/4/87 – Wednesday - Freeport, IL - Cast in Batavia, IL

I was up at 6:00 a.m. this morning in order to make it to the 7:00am Kiwanis meeting. This is the one Randy, Ed and Kim Grimes belongs to. I came back home and fell asleep, and eventually went to the office around 10:30. I kind of piddled around and addressed the alumni letters and when Steve and Priscilla came back from their meeting we went to lunch at A&W. Priscilla and I went to the high school and talked with the lady who is helping us with planning a sound assembly. In the afternoon, I called all the churches to see if they were going to put my letter in their newsletter and if we could speak to any of their groups. Most were pretty cooperative. After that we went down and talked to Ted Alber about using some 4-wheelers for cast pick-up. We were hoping for 3 or 4, and he said he had 12 we could use! So we are going to arrange something if we can. At 3:30, we visited the Sleezer Juvenile Home and talked with Roy, the director, ‘til about 4:15. At that time we took off for Janesville and arrived at about 5:30 p.m. It was real good to see them (Roger and Cynthia Lynch), and besides that they had lots of mail for me! We had dinner in Jamesville and got back home about 8:30. Watched the video and went to bed.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 4th, Batavia

An ordinary show-day, with set-up, lunch, show-prep that Carlos and Terry ran (they taught us this small dance-section – quite fun) and rehearsal where we practiced for an acoustic tomorrow. During the afternoon I tried calling home but no one answered and after more missed attempts I was upset with the fact that I could not get a hold of them. I was not in the mood for the show at all, but Brenda P came and grabbed me to tell there were visitors. Surprise – visit you can say – my wonderful host-family from Ogelsby were there. That turned my day around – it was really sweet of them to drive here even on JJ’s (hostson) birthday (EDITOR – another family I still have a little contact with). During strike Ken told me we could not be bus-dates the day after tomorrow anyway, but oh well I guess there will be another time we can manage. He promised to teach me some sign-language. (Grant-So did he ever teach you sign language?)

Hi Grant!
I saw the cast is great!! After all these years, what a pleasure to see everyone back. I just loved to see the family pictures, everyone is looking wonderful! If it wasn't for all those cute kids, I wouldn't realize how much time has actually gone by!

I hereby send you a few pictures of my family; my husband Frederic, and my two boys Maxime (8) and Timo (6) . Maybe you can add some, next time you update the site! thank you for this website and thank you for keeing the cast alive!

Darci, thanks again for finding me back.. I just still can't believe it, I'm very excited about all this!

Click here to see the photo.

11/5/87 – Thursday - Freeport, IL - Cast in Batavia, IL

I had another meeting with the Golden Key Kiwanis, the senior men, that went extremely well. They asked me some great questions for about 10 minutes and were really responsive. When I got back to the office, I confirmed my meeting tonight and sent out the brochures to Dave at Park Hills Evangelical Church. We had a morning meeting and went to lunch with Jim Graham at a nearby sandwich shop. After lunch, I called a few more families and was able to get 5 more beds to put us at 80 beds, which was our goal for today.

In the afternoon, Priscilla and I picked up the VCR and TV, picked up a tape to copy the highlights video on to, and also stopped by and checked about putting UWP on some marquees. After we stopped by HCC, went back to the office to get ready for the sponsor meeting. Randy, Connie, Jim, Ed, and JoAnn (Chamber of Commerce director) were all there. We watched the video and talked about what has happened this past week. I passed out copies of the cast ethnic breakdown, cast goals and pie charts of how our money is spent. When the meeting was done, I came home, ate dinner and went and spoke to the Embassy Church choir. Judy Buus is who I arranged it with, there was only about 20 people, but they were real interested. I also talked a little about the Kafkas and filled them in on their lives in Colorado Springs. (EDITOR: A girl that moved to Colorado Springs and I went to high school with that had recently moved from Freeport, IL.) That was basically my day.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 5th, Batavia

It felt strange that we did not have to travel today and most of all it felt like a day off. I tried calling home again but still no answer. This makes me a little sad. We had C.I.D all day but all met at some facility and before leaving for CID a very kind lady let me borrow her phone and I got my airline-ticket booked to go home for Christmas. That felt good and relieving.

Our first CID stop was a juvenile detention with approximately 270 inmates between the age of 13 to 21. Only 70 selected (the most well-behaved) were allowed to join us in the gym. We talked a little before doing our acoustic. They liked the show and a few of the guys from there also performed a couple of rap-songs that they had written themselves. They were very very good. Then we played some volleyball with some of them which was fun and they also seemed to enjoy it.

After lunch we went to this other place – Mooseheart Institute. Mooseheart is non-religious and non-political institution, where members pay a fee to be a member and thereby secure their kids a safe future should anything happen to the parents. Also there were some kids there who's parents had not been able to take good enough care of them. The kids live there “on campus”, do not get out of there to be with other kids. They are not allowed to get involved/couple up with fellow students and they are all restricted onto where they can walk and be at campus. Some of the kids don’t even know how to call on a pay-phone. But they seemed to be happy to be there. We performed , got a tour around campus and also had some “free-time” to mingle with the kids. They were very open-minded and interested in our presence. Back at the meeting-facility we had a cast-wrapup meeting where we discussed the things we experienced at those 2 places today. At home I helped Diane (hostmum) feed the baby and also did some laundry. I hope I can call home before going to bed.


From Lynda Cullen-hall

Yes, we're going backwards instead of forwards. (Editor's note: I was constantly plating catch up on my journal.) We arrived in Batavia and Aunt Lori picked me up. We went out to Paba Riba for Spanish "tapas." I tried all sorts of new things~ grilled oysters, chicken, shrimp, a beef brochette, duck canneloni in a hazelnut sauce, a cold eggplant salad, and of course~ dessert. I had a really fattening piece of chocolate mousse-type cake with cocoa powder on top. It was wonderful! The 2nd night we went to 2nd City which is a theatre for improvisation. Apparently alot of great names have gotten their start there. Wednesday was show day and Jennifer excused me from set-up so I could sleep late. (Thanks Jennifer!) I also managed to make my flight reservations for Christmas. By the way, Pia decided not to go home with me at Christmas.


From Darci about Kevin Jonas

Hi Grant—
Just had a nice chat with Kevin! He’s sorry he’s been out of touch- lots going on in his life—here’s the update…. Sadly Kevin lost his dad a few years ago due to diabetic complications—and just found out (after much testing) that his mom-Joyce- most likely has ALS (prayers for her!!!) and he is now taking care of her (she basically is requiring 24 hour care). A blessing is that Kevin works at the scooter store and was able to get her one so that she can maintain as much mobility as possible—please keep the Jonas family in your prayers!!

Also- Congrats to Kevin--In August he completed his Masters in Organizational Management—so if anyone has a lead on a job opening—email Kevin!!
Talk soon

Darci has been helping find people and update some information. Below is some of her latest finds.

Steve Bailey website:


You found me Darci! I've been living in Germany for 15 years now playing music and trying to find an excuse to come back and live in the USA. But life is still very good here-lots of gigs and decent money-- it would be a challenge to come back and start from zero. But an UWP reunion sounds like a good excuse to return. I only went to the five-year and that was indeed a blast. My 20 year high school reunion just finished as well. Man did my classmates grow (around the waist to be specific)!

Westin La Paloma-- what is that-- hotel? Nice place to spend a vacation? How many castmembers do you expect? Are there multiple casts coming?

My email:

Very good to hear from you- Greetings for Grant and Gretchen!


Click here to see the first photo.
Click here to see the second photo.

Too cool Steven!! I'm cc'ing Grant & Gretchen too- and YES-- the Westin La Paloma in Tucson is an VERY nice resort!!! Perfect place for a vacation!! And it's going to be a huge cast turnout-- we've heard from just tons of cast members coming- the 15th was an absolute blast!! Just like 'old times' but even more fun.

Hey- I'll have to buy one of your CD's!! I can get them at your website, right? Your music sounds awesome.

Talk soon pal-- and Grant will email you too I'm sure- maybe even today--

Hope to see ya next August!!!



She called me back today and left me a voice message—sounds the same SO cheerful cute Paula!!! She said that they have two boys – 7th grade and 3rd grade—and will probably not be able to make the reunion—but she’d like to reconnect with the cast members and see how everyone is doing….she has lived in the San Francisco area for a LONG time now--- Her email:

Hi Grant!

Just left a msg. for Ty Thompson- hopefully he’ll call back….and just chatted with Val! She is playing in a band called 9:10 (or nine ten?) – anyway- plays up and down the coast-- She doesn’t have email yet- but hopes to in about a month or so- and then she’ll email you when she gets it –she sounds great – has two kids ages 12 and 6 and wants to take them to the Grand Canyon next summer, so the timing might be perfect for her to be part of our reunion!! Yippee.

I also just called another number you had for Margaret Rodiger and it was maybe her mom (on her voice mail it said Rodiger)- Left her a message to please call me back…. So that’s a good number I think (the 626-794-7542 number)

Called Saori Oda—she said she hasn’t been getting your emails--- but will email you as soon as she’s able to so that you have a good email for her (she told me it was the one you have on file though, so I’m not sure about that one)….i asked if she could email a family photo- she has 2 boys 8 and 11 years old—and she said that she wasn’t very great with the computer but that maybe her husband would do that for us.

k- that’s about it for today!! See ya!



I called John Flores today- you have the correct phone/address for him but he still doesn’t have internet or email. He expressed interest in attending the reunion though—just an fyi!


And one more from Jo Dobbelaere-Mees who went to the UWP show in Belgium this weekend with Stacie Welch and Jerko.

Click here to see the photo.

Hi Grant and Gretchen,

Yesterday we went to the UWP show in Brussels. It was a lot of fun ! On Thursday I met with Stacie, her sister, mum and her mum's friend. We had a great time. After visiting the city we went for dinner and also had a beer discussion. A lot of fun when they ordered a "Kwak" beer and they had to take off a shoe before getting the beer ! You must know that they had been awake for 24 hours by then so Stacie and Co. were very tired so the beer hit twice as hard !!! We talked a lot and Lotte and Lore (my daughters) got a chance to ask everything they wanted to know about the States and how Stacie lives. Dakota (Stacie’s daughter) wasn't there, too bad because we were sure they would get along just great.

Stacie now has her own Gent Fanclub. Lotte and Lore cried their eyes out when we brought them back to Brussels!!! So we decided to meet again on Saturday, had dinner together, and again a lot of fun. The girls had a wonderful evening (so did we).

Stacie’s sister Stephanie traveled a few years after us and she had a lot of stories to tell too. Now she is on the BOG so I got some "first hand" information about Up With People. It also gave me a better idea of where UWP is going from here.

Anyway they were all very, very nice. On Saturday evening it was time for the show. While Stacie and I were waiting one of the cast-members came to her and noticed her alumni tag. The girl came up to her and said : oh 1987, that's a good year!! Stacie agreed, but after a few minutes we found out that the girl was born the same year we traveled!!!!! Ouch! Made us feel ancient that very same time.

Lore (8 years) had never met any UWP people, and she had a very important question to me : mum, do ALL these people have ADHD ? Because they sure act like they do ! :-) We had to agree that it pretty much looked that way. The show was very good. Among the audience there were a lot of alumni , about 1/3 of the audience. You can imagine it was very special, also for the cast. They had to do encores for the first time and everybody was singing a long as soon as a familiar song was sung. We could not get on stage for the UWP song. Normally the alumni are called on stage, but we outnumbered the cast (84 students) and there was simply no room for all of us. We just stood up and sang, clapped and swinged along!!!!

Afterwards we had an alumni reception. There we met with Jerko and his sister (who traveled early 90’s). Monique Carpay didn't attend the show because it was already sold out. We promised to get together very soon. We sad goodbye to Stacie and her family and we might see each other again next week. I just had a great time. Let me tell you, yesterday evening, we thought of you all !!!!!


EDITOR GRANT: This is what it is all about! Getting together with friends no matter when or where.

In case you're wondering what Christine Stevens is up to:

11/6/87 - PR in Freeport, IL / Cast in Sioux City, IA

When I woke up, everyone was gone so I went over to the office and picked up the mail on the way. There was a letter from Denis Cournoyer and Cassi Kuck. Denis postcard was pretty funny, but didn t really say anything. Cassi had a little more to say about the Halloween party and various things. She said it seems like we ve been gone for a long time, and I agree. It has been two weeks since I have been with cast not including that short amount of time at the brewery.

I did some writing for a while then Priscilla and I went to Aquin High School to talk to a couple teachers. When we came back, I wrote out a second news release and typed it, then I wrote a second block letter for tickets and Steve typed it. I also wrote an alphabetized list of the host families and will type it up for Jim by Tuesday morning. I went home about 4:30 and kicked back and relaxed. I started a fire after dinner, and started writing letters. Jackie, Priscilla and Steve went to a wine tasting function at the Holiday Inn. (EDITOR: Since I was only 19 at the time, I was not able to go. :( )

Randy came home about 8:00 and we sat there and talked til about 10:00. It was real nice, and we talked about everything. He said that he thought I was a loner, and just did things by myself. It is ironic, but true while I ve been on P.R. I finished writing a ton of postcards and went to bed.

From Lynda Cullen-Hall

It has definitely been a long time since my last entry. (Editor's note...last entry was 10/23 and made reference to Bill Becker and you two will have to email me personally if you want to know what it said.) Today we arrived in Sioux City, Iowa and of course Holly is ecstatic because Doug is back with the cast! She is so funny! She is head over heels in love with this guy. I just hope she doesn't get hurt.

The 11 hour bus ride was a blast today. Chrissy R. and I sat together. We had a bitching session for the 1st hour; slept for 4; and I looked through a bridal magazine for a while. She is so funny! We were thinking it would be fun to go to Chrissy's house and she and her mom can teach me some trades of Italian cooking. Then Chrissy an I can go to Boston to visit Holly. Then we could drive Holly to Ithaca for school. After that, Chrissy and I could spend a few days at the lake house or in Rochester and she could fly home. What a blast that would be.


From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 6th, Batavia

Before going to bed last night I called home and finally got a hold of my family. They were all there and were all ok. Father was even home from the hospital and felt better. He doesn t need his oxygen-mask anymore but he sounded short of breath and very tired. Poor dad he has to suffer so much but it felt good talking to him. (EDITOR this was the last time I talked to him, yet I did not have a clue that he was in that bad shape at that time)

Another 11 hour travel day that I had hoped it would be by myself but I was not that lucky (editor good thing it doesn t say in my journal who took up that other seat would have made me sound terrible). I did get a little nap and also wrote some letters. I m soooooo tired. My new host-family is so sweet and once again I'm by myself.

Julie's child during Halloween. It made me laugh, so I thought I would share.

Click here to see the photo.

11/7/87 Saturday - PR in Freeport, IL / Cast in Sioux City, IA

After we woke up we went straight to the mall and sat there all day with the video, pamphlets and information. It was boring and I was in a bad mood, but we did sell 8 tickets. Cynthia ( Not Cindy , I am constantly reminded by her) and Roger came to the mall. Roger went home and Cynthia left with us at 4:00 when we came home. We watched the movie Mannequin and got ready to go out. Jim Graham picked us up at about 6:15 to go to Canova s then the Royal Scot s Show Americana 87. It was good music, but kind of corny choreography. I wasn t real impressed, but it was a nice free evening. After that we came back and watched Saturday Night Live, then they left at 12:00 and we all went to bed.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 7th, Sioux City

Super-crew was setting up so we could sleep in and did not have to be in until 9AM. It gave another dimension to this day. We had a speaker about how you can develop and educate yourself. It was very interesting. After that we drove to a girls club where some got involved with some of the girls and taught them a few songs from the show. I was with the group that prepared lunch with some other girls and then we played some games together. It was really neat how open they were. Held our hands and liked to mingle. But I was sooooo tired.

Back at the show-facility we had show-prep with circle-training (EDITOR what was that?) and then some concentration-training. We had to do that with someone we did not know too well so I did it with Jim Ness. First we had to do part-to-part movements (we did nose-to-nose). Then we had to do 15 minutes with total eye-contact. We had to look deep into each-others eyes and then go through different emotional feelings while keeping eye-contact (happy, sad, disappointed etc). It was hard to concentrate in the beginning but after a while it got better. It was a very good exercise and I learned a lot from it. In the cast there is always someone to talk with but from this I learned how to think about my own feelings in a new way. There was a certain atmosphere and everyone was quiet and enjoyed it. Dinner was very delicious. I sat at a 2-person table with Kevin Jonas and we had a nice conversation. I am going to miss him when he leaves on PR. The show went OK. We performed at a ice-stadium, and even though they covered the ice it was still cold there.

From Lynda Cullen-Hall

Well today we did our 1st mall show. It really went well. Bill Welch spoke with us about "elevating" our show with regards to the quality of performance. Basically I think that means they'll keep the same people on dance lines and solos for a while. They won't be doing quite so much switching around. I think that will help the show quite a bit. (EDITOR'S note- spoken like a performer that wasn't looking at the "total UWP purpose.")

11/8/87 – Sunday - PR in Freeport, IL – Cast in Latimer, IA

I slept in Priscilla’s bed, and Steve was on the couch so that Priscilla and Cynthia could sleep together. I got up about 7:30 to get ready for church, and we left about 8:00 for the 8:15 service. It was a boring monotonous service and my mind wandered a lot, but it was good for me to be there. Sunday School afterwards consisted of doughnuts and socializing, and not much learning. We got home and had chicken for lunch and watched part of the Bears game. I made two batches of “No-Bake” cookies that everyone seems to enjoy. I took Shelly and Ed Stukemberg’s daughter, Kirsten, to the church so they could go to a movie by Billy Graham called "Caught!" It was alright, but kind of dull. After the movie we went to the church and had pizza and I provided the entertainment. I taught them Dum Dum Ditty Ditty and Wattaliacha and they seemed to get into it. On the way home I dropped off Kirsten and went to say “hi” to Ed and meet his wife Debbie and daughter (17) Laura. We sat and talked until about 9:45 (almost 2 hours). I really had a good time just talking with them and doing nothing. When I came home, I don’t think Jackie (my host mom) was very happy with me. Oh well.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 8th

Another travel day but only 31 2 hours. We did not have to be at HDO until 1.30 PM so I joined my host-family for church and then we went for brunch at a nice restaurant. They are very nice and comfortable to be with and we had a nice morning. Their older daughter came to HDO and I was very sad to leave. But that’s life. On the bus Ken taught me the alphabet in sign-language. I’m proud to have learned that (EDITOR- if only I remembered better :::J) We had a good bus-date and I also slept a little. My new host-family lives out in the middle of nowhere but they are extremely nice. I’m so tired.

From Ken Frye

I'm still sorry about having to cancel our bus date, Sanne. What ever the excuse was, it wasn't good enough.

And Grant, I believe I did teach Sanne the sign language alphabet. She could even recognize letters with her eyes closed, just by feeling the letter I was making with my hand. I think besides signing happy birthday (and "What Color is God's Skin?"), the alphabet is all I know. I have decided to steal your daily journal update idea for my cast year. I'm entering the journal onto the computer, I plan to start in January. Hopefully we can generate the buzz for my cast year that you have for Cast A 87-88. I sort of wish I had kept journals for the years I was on staff. It would be fun to compair notes.

11/9/87 Monday - PR in Freeport, IL / Cast in Latimer, IA

Mondays have a bad rap because today was really not that bad. I typed a preliminary host family list before Priscilla and I went to Aquin H.S. to talk to two classes with the video. She did the first class which was her first time and she did alright. She has just got to be more in control of her audience. (EDITOR: I guess I felt I was the expert in speaking to kids. Who knew I knew so much at only 19? Sorry Priscilla.)

Then I did the second class which was an all girl's speech class, and they were pretty responsive. When we came back, I did some more typing and went to lunch at Burger King. I went back to the office and started typing allocation cards and sent the rest of the alumni letters. We were at the office until 6:00 p.m. and then we came home and ate dinner and watched TV. We ended the evening by getting a total of 93 beds (which might be all we need) and then Steve copied his demo tape onto Priscilla s and my tape. Went to bed about 11:30.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 9th,
Latimer, Iowa

Or should we say Colter outside town on a farm. Set up , school kitchen lunch, after which I had plenty of time to write a few letters. Our sound-assembly today was not only for the school but also to celebrate that the school had been elected as one of the best in the state. The governor was there, speakers and others and the show was well-received. After that we had a speaker "the hat-lady". She owned 5000 hats and each one had its own history. She was very special and neat. Evening off we had the most fantastic dinner and I ate too much. We had a relaxing time in front of the fire-place, Heidi and I telling about our home city. I also got some letters written. I'm exhausted.

From Clay Stroud


One other note: I noticed in the UWP Report that we received this last week that our cast was not only the largest of the givers in the report, but we had the most people represented too. (I hope that makes sense.) It warms my heart greatly to see UWP becoming bigger . . . the chance for my girls to participate one day!

(EDITOR GRANT: I would have loved to trounced Cast D by doubling our involvement, but we still had a very strong showing. On a separate note, I apologize to the five people that were not listed in the brochure because they donated through me and the cast account. I told UWP, but they must have not listed you in the right place. Sorry.)

By the way, my Hannah (age 13) was chosen by the Assoc. of National Choral Directors to be a part of the National Honors Choir to be held in Miami, FL this next March! We are so proud of her. She will be singing Alto. An Uppie in the making!


11/10/87 Tuesday - PR in Freeport, IL Cast in Latimer, IA

We started the morning at 5:30 in order to get ready to go to an interview at WFPS radio. We were at the station from about 6:30 to 9:00 a.m. and had about 5 ten-minute spots and hopefully reached a lot of people. I went to the office to make a few phone calls and then went straight to Aquin High School because I thought I had to be there by 10:00, but I didn t have to be there until 10:50. So I spent the hour writing a letter. My first speech was for an all-boys speech class (all football players, too) the second was for a sophomore speech class. I stopped and talked to the guy at Service Master (about his marquee), got lunch at Taco Bell, and went back to the office.

Later that afternoon we did an interview with Sue from Savannah for Today s Woman. She was recording it and introduced me to Mary Axton. Hmm, maybe I should change my name. We went home about 5:00, had dinner and then I went to the Lion s Club meeting at the Elk s Club. Before I left I started my tape for Mrs. Miller and the people back home. The Lion s Club tried to feed me dinner again, then I did my speech and even told a joke afterwards. (The To hell with your canoe joke) It went over okay, but the meeting in general was pretty good. When I got home we watched the movie The Warriors, then went to bed.

11/11/87 Wednesday - PR in Freeport, IL / Cast in Clarion, IA

We slept in until about 9:30 then went to Nick s Continental Restaurant and had breakfast. After breakfast, we had a real nice discussion about how things have been going as far as promotion, media, schedule, sponsor relations, team relations, and have we reached our goals. It was a nice talk and we got some things out in the open that have really been bothering me. We were there until 11:45 talking and discussing what has happened so far, and what needs to happen in the next week.

When we got back, I checked on having cast lunch on Saturday at the Golden Corral. It was a pretty good price: $4.25 for a meal, salad bar, soup and beverage. We will have to okay it through Bill. We then put labels on the Chamber of Commerce s monthly newsletter (for Jeannie). After that I called Ted Alber (not there), Dr. Descourourez (not there: checking on a possible career day with him) counted number of beds (103 now) and called on ticket outlets (220 sold all together). Steve and Priscilla decided they wanted a haircut, but wanted me to get it donated. I called Roger s Hair Salon and I offered him two free tickets if he would cut our hair. He bought it, so we ran over there right away and he did it. Although he made me look like Wolfman Jack, he did a good job. We spoke to the Highland Scots and I went with Jim and spoke to the Jaycees and won a six pack of pop.

From Jeff Martinson

Grant-I have so enjoyed reading your journal entries and I finally dug mine up and have typed up some stuff for you. We (Elin and I ) were on PR in Charles City during the beginning of your PR so I picked up on the 11th of November. (I was such a geek :)) They are quite short so hopefully you will get other people to write as well-- One's that are more interesting.

Wed Nov 11th,

Tomorrow the cast finally comes. YEAH!!!!! Elin and I are both so excited!!!!! It seems that after three weeks of promoting the show, etc, that it can't be true-that they are really coming. Today was extremely busy. We had speeches at the junior high school and then we had to finish preparing everything. I know that we have done a good job on PR. The sponsor is very pleased and we have always been ahead of schedule.

From Lynda Cullen

We had our Batavia performance Wed evening and Aunt Lori and Uncle Lee were there. They seemed to enjoy it. My new host family was there and the kids were so cute. Mary was star-struck! Thursday my group went to the St. Charles-Illinois youth Center which is for male delinquents age 12 - 21. We visited with them, did a short show (during which I fell while dancing Mexico) and played volley ball with them. In the afternoon we went to Mooseheart which is a type of orphanage. I spent some time with a guy name Donald. He seemed like a really nice, outgoing 16 year old....I was impressed. We did a quick show and spent the afternoon talking and bowling.

We departed Friday am for Sioux City, Iowa. Cyndi and I were roommates. We stayed with a very nice couple, Cynthia and Randy. Cynthia was telling us about the ghost, Caspar, at the nursing home so naturally we had to see for ourselves. Well, we didn't see it but we heard it in the kitchen...pretty bazaar!!

Sioux City was pretty low key, nothing else happened.

Next stop was Clarion/Latimer and MAN...was our host dad weird. Really!!!

From Brenda Perkins-Dahmer:

Okay know that you now have to tell us the "To hell with your canoe" joke if you remember it!!! I'm on pins and needles! :)

EDITOR: I don’t know if I should tell Brenda, only you and Darci have asked so maybe no one else has read that far yet or are not reading at all. I will think about it. :) -GA

11/12 /87– Thursday - PR in Freeport, IL – Cast in Charles City, IA

I had an early Rotary meeting at 7:00 a.m. at Highland Community College that went okay, but nothing special. Then I went home to get the VCR, but was unable to because the house was locked. So I went to the office to wait for Steve and make some phone calls. After he came I went back to HCC and set up a table for about an hour, but had to be back at the office by 12:00. We grabbed a bite to eat and ate it on the way to Rockford to do our taping for WREX-TV “Take-5”, which is on for five minutes during Good Morning America. I got nervous which kind of surprised me, but it was a neat experience.

From there we went and visited Jackie at her hospital and had a tour of the maternity ward. Then we came back home (to work ) and called back all our messages. We also finished typing all of the allocation cards and called all the host families about the Host Family Meeting on Monday the 16th in the County Court House in the County Board Room. We even made it home before 6:00 p.m. and had dinner. After dinner we watched Bill Cosby, then played Trivial Pursuit until about 11:30. I was feeling amazingly smart, but did not win. But I did have four pies all by myself. I had a great day today! I felt good about everything I did: I looked good (I parted my hair to the side), I did a TV interview, we got things accomplished, we had fun together and I finished the day by feeling smart.

Jeff Martinson
Thur Nov 12th

Well today the cast finally arrived. I slept in until 10:00 am and then got ready for their arrival. We (Elin and I) finished a lot of last minute things. The cast arrived at 2:15 pm---LATE! We both were so excited. It was a strange feeling that I cannot really explain. The day ran really smooth. Host Pickup was a little difficult because it was dark and people had a hard time finding their luggage. Thank God the cast is finally here. (On a side note- I missed the cast so much while on PR and felt like I was missing out on everything. I chose to never go on PR again after that experience. The PR experience was not bad itself, I just felt alone and a bit abandoned in the middle of Iowa. I am so glad I got to spend the time with Elin. We did manage to get to a Kenny Rogers concert in Rochester, MN, and a Whitney Houston concert in Iowa. Elin and I had some good laughs. One thing I remember is both of us hearing a Debbie Gibson song called "Shake your love". Elin thought it was so stupid - meaning how do you shake your love? I think something got a bit lost in the translation. Very funny even to think about today.)

From Lynda Cullen-Hall

Next stop was Clarion/Latimer and MAN...was our host dad weird. Really!!!

Okay, we're going back further in time to Mankato, MN with Monique, Amy, Todd and Lexi.

We enjoyed the Halloween party; dressing up as pregnant baseball players and participating in string licorice races. Saturday was a free day and I loved every minute of it. I slept in, relaxed, talked with mom and dad, grama, Bob and Craig. At night I made my chicken, mushrooms and mozz cheese dinner and then we went to a few bars. Alot of people were dressed up for Halloween. I felt like a normal person for a day!!

The city prior to Mankato was LaCrosse, WI and I roomed with Sanne. They were very nice;real modern home and great meals. We tried to go to a haunted house because Sanne had never seen one but it was closed.

Muscatine, Iowa found me rooming with Gro. I had a jazz fanatic for a host dad which was fine with me. We (the girls) went out and saw FATAL ATTRACTION. We ran into several UWP people....Roger, Bill, Priscilla, Darcy, Dennis, Rodney, Sean (must have been Shawn) Chrissie, Dave O. lots of sun and what a great movie.

I guess that catches me up to date on my journal. Time to go to sleep.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker

Nov 11th, Clarion

This day seemed to start far too early. I was extremely tired. We started out going to a care-center with elderly and handicapped people. We talked and sang songs with them and followed them around. For one hour I had a nice conversation with this very sweet lady. She was half-deaf so she did most of the talking and I just sat still and became more and more tired. I really had to pull myself not to fall asleep. We then did a little rehearsal before lunch. The sound assembly was not all that good. No one seemed to be very motivated. At fitness we had some “relaxation exercises” which helped us get more motivated and focused. During wrap-up I got personal compliments for my interactive participation especially in the “clowns-act”. That felt good. We had a delicious dinner before the show. I feel so tired these days and really need a day off. Not sure if I’m becoming ill. Bill asked if I would do PR in January, with cast arrival January 30th. I will sleep on it and decide tomorrow. I guess my birthday can also be nice just with one cast-mate with me (Editor: the speculation was that my birthday is January 28th and I would have liked to be with the cast on that day. I did not do that city after all due to what happened later in November when my father died.)

Nov 12th.
Our travel day did not start until after lunch, but during the morning hours the staff had a meeting, which made it possible for us to prepare our staff-appreciation-surprise. They were surprised when they came back. We had a small sketch for them, and some had made medals for each of them. Food-crew had prepared a wonderful potato/egg dish and hot chocolate, and we really had a good time there. It was only a 2 hour bus-drive to Charles City. I fell asleep. I did tell Bill I would do the PR in January and asked if I also could do a city in Europe – which he was certain I would. We will see..... but I’m anxious to know who I will be doing the January PR with. Before HPU we saw a movie. My host mum has a granddaughter age 18 who really wanted to take Mary and I out. But we postponed until tomorrow.


From Darci -
Grant--ok...wolfman jack!!! You're killin' me dude!! Yet another 'too funny' haircut visual! And what is the canoe joke? Ya left me hangin' with that one.... Darci

From Richard Stroud (Clay's Dad)
Hey Grant,

Perhaps I am not like most UWP fathers, but I doubt any joke that does not berate an ethnic, racial, sexual preference, etc. group would bother me at all. I'd love to hear your joke.

Richard Stroud

From Ken Frye-

I'd like to hear the joke, but I would also like to guess the punch line. Is it "To hell with your canoe, where did you stick the paddle?" or "To hell with your canoe, that's not how I rang your door bell." or "To hell with your canoe, and the horse you paddled in on." Just guessing.

- Ken

EDITOR: No, on all accounts Ken. For those who can't wait any longer...

3 explorers are captured by head-hunters deep in the jungle. The chief comes to speak with them and says, “I hate to inform you that we are going to have to kill you since we are head-hunters and that is what we do. However, you will be glad to know that we are very civilized savages, and completely resourceful. Yes, we hang your head on a stick to display for the whole tribe, but we will use the rest of your body and put it to good use. You will nourish us and we will even use your skins to cover our canoes so that we might find others like you. Because we are civilized, we will give you the choice in how you would like to die, so you can die with dignity.” The 1st explorer says, “I would like a gun so that I can die quickly without pain.” So he is given a gun and the deed is done. The 2nd explorer says, I would like a knife, so that I may slit my throat and die quickly without pain.” His wish is honored and dies quickly and honorably. The 3rd explorer having witness his two friends die thinks hard about how he would like to die and finally asks for a fork. The Chief is puzzled by this request, but grants him his fork so he may do as he wishes. The 3rd explorer takes the fork and begins jabbing it in and out of his skin frantically, and screams in defiance, “To Hell with your canoes!!”

There you have it... For better or worse. And on with the journal.

11/13/87 – Friday-PR in Freeport, IL – Cast in Charles City, IA

We slept in ‘til about 8:45 then stopped by the office and then went to the radio station WFRL and did a talk show. We did not have any calls, but had fun. After that I went straight over to HCC and set up a table from 11:00 to 1:30. I had a lady stop by and tell me she had a son at Chileda Institute in LaCrosse (where the CIG went) and he really enjoyed us being there. She also said thank you and it was really nice for us to do things like that and she really appreciated us. (EDITOR: This is the story I told you would be coming about three weeks ago. She said that our visit really affected her son, who could hardly speak, but for two weeks would hum the UWP theme song)

After I left HCC, I went home and had lunch and stayed until about 2:30, then I went to the mall and bought some of those amino night pills to see if I would lose weight. I’m feeling really good about every aspect of myself except my weight. (EDITOR: Yep, I am still fighting that battle...) I also bought some Dep hair gel, because I’m going to try wearing my hair like this for a while. (Parted to the side) (EDITOR: 19 years later still parting my hair on the side.)

We had a sponsor meeting at 3:30 (only Ed and Connie were there) and we told them about second week progress. Afterwards, Ed asked if we wanted to go get a drink at The Esquire, so Steve picked up Debbie Stukemberg and we all met over there. Before you knew it, I had drunk 3 Seagram’s Wine Coolers and was feeling okay. In fact I really shouldn’t have driven home but we all had a car so I had to. We came home and got ready to go over to Lathrop’s for dinner. Dave, Jan and Leanne were really nice. Leanne traveled in ’83-’84 and knows Terry Adams. We had a real nice dinner and laugh a lot, then we watched Pee Wee Herman (don’t ask me why), Police Squad, and a tape of Leanne’s show year. We got home about 11:30 and went to bed.

From Jeff Martinson
Fri Nov 13th

Today was a basic day for the cast. They had a sound assembly for the junior high school in the morning. It went OK and then they had rehearsal. The show was good, although the cast is very tired. The auditorium was almost sold out.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 13th..

Mary and I both thought HDO was at 08.30 AM but it appeared it was already at 8. Anyway, we did a sound-assembly for the school students and they really liked it. We had school-kitchen lunch after which I utilized my free-time to go and get a hold of my airline ticket for Christmas. I even got it changed so that I can be home already Dec 21st (against a fee of USD 27). I received a letter from mum – she wrote that father is now in a wheelchair (they did not mention that when we talked last week). I cried a little because it’s so hard to think off when I’m this far away. I also received a letter from Doris with the monthly sponsor-ship (editor: Doris my Tucson hostmum sent me 10 dollars every month through our year – she is now 79 years old and still sends me and my family presents for Christmas and birthdays – she is the grandma I never had ). After rehearsal I found a quiet spot and practiced the “gymnastics”. I can soon do it. After the show we had no strike or interviews so we went to a party at Paula’s place (a girl from cast C who is with us here to be able to perform at her home town). It was a nice party – they did some different games and we had a little beer. Al came over to me and gave me a big hug and told me how energetic and good he thinks I look during the show. I grew about 15 centimeters and it felt so good, especially because I’m only doing my thing and not involved in any dances or songs yet.

From Priscilla Fisher-Madden

I'm SOO confused! Linda says that I was at a Fatal Attraction movie with a bunch of people in Muscatine, Iowa.....did I leave PR in Freeport? My memory is that I was there with you and Steve until the cast showed back up. I don't remember ever being in any of the Iowa cities.... (EDITOR: I don't remember you leaving PR either, but who knows what you were doing when I went to bed.)

So funny, that fate would have me move to Des Moines, Iowa and meet Patrick and eventually get married!


BONUS NOTE from Dean

Super cool of you Ken. Thanks.

It is good to know I have a $ 4.78 residual check coming my way. And just before the Holidays. Perfect timing. Thanks again Ken. And thanks again to all who wrote in way back and tried to get "Bobby Cotton" back on Walker. That would have been cool too.

Hey, does everyone know I wrote a book? I love spell check. I would be jazzed for you to check it out and _*I do not want you to buy it.*_ Happy to give you one.

But I am not ready to pay for shipping everyone a copy. If would would like one, send a check for $ 5.00 for shipping and I will ship you one. It is a upbeat businessy book called *Cracking the Networking CODE: 4 Steps to Priceless Business Relationships. *The book has gotten a nice little buzz going and it is recommended reading by the /United Professional Sales Association/ and /Profit/ magazine.

Info at: . If for some reason, you would like more than one, give me a buzz- 214-457-5656.

Here is my address:

The Progress Agents
1000 Bass Drive
Plano, Texas 75025

Be Progress,

Dean Lindsay

11/14/87 Saturday - PR in Freeport, IL Cast in Charles City, IA

Today was basically a lazy day. We watched a tape of Beverly Hills Cop, sat around, read a little and ate. Priscilla and I finally went out about 1:20 and put flyers on cars then came back. I made an arrangement with Dr. Descourourez to shadow him for a day on next (this) Tuesday.

We left to go to dinner at 5:30 with Jim and Debbie Graham at a bar/restaurant called Flo s. After dinner (Jim picked up the tab) we went to the high school musical Annie get Your Gun. We had free tickets, that Jim arranged, but would have gladly paid for it. I talked with Mugger (the director) yesterday about possibly doing the show for the cast on Saturday afternoon/morning. He is working on it and is going to call Monday. I m also working on a possible chance for a guy to stay at the local fire station. I m trying to get it okayed by the chief and the mayor. We had a real quiet, peaceful day today, and I really enjoyed this evening. I m going to miss all this, but I m looking forward to seeing the cast!

From Jeff Martinson
Sat Nov 14th

Today was the cast's CID (Community Involvement Day). I went with a small group of 8 people to the pig farm and they really enjoyed it. Boy was I surprised. Then I went with the rest of the crew to an acoustic at the nursing home. Everything ran really smooth as we had planned. Elin and I were both very glad about that. The cast was happy to have such a nice schedule. The show was not very good tonight actually but the audience didn't know it. Almost sold out the house again. We are almost done with PR!.

A side-note about the pig farm. While Elin and I were trying to plan things for people to do our sponsor (I think) recommended visiting this real live pig farm. I think Elin and I went out there ourselves to see it and I was convinced it was a bad idea. I (being such an opinionated 18 year old) thought I knew what people would and would not like. We did end up putting it on the schedule and I remember "knowing" everyone was going to hate it and that we (Elin and I) would look like fools for having planned it. When we arrived we all were given these hospital booties to keep our shoes clean. The owners of the pig farm had worked like crazy to clean and were so eager to have us there. It was actually a great part of the day and we ended up being so glad that we had added that to the schedule.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 14th
Charles city

I did not feel well and called in sick. I slept until 11AM. Wrote some letters and cleaned up some books and stuff in my suitcase. Relaxed and enjoyed being home in the quiet.

From Carlos Amador

Click here to see the photo.

As promised, here are the pictures of Us, I want to thank you for taking time to have dinner with me, it was a pleasure sharing good old memories, please try to go to the next reunion, I promise you will not regret it.

Grant, I am the lucky one to find Lea after almost 20 years. Please check the pictures!

Carlos Amador

(EDITOR: Isn't this cool that we are reconnecting all over the world!)

11/15/87 Sunday - PR in Freeport, IL Cast in Charles City, IA

Got up, went to church, came home ate lunch, Dad called, after lunch I called back, and we talked for an hour or so. They got their first snowstorm today (while we were talking) and as a result, a DC-9 airplane flipped over at Denver Stapleton killing 26 people. That makes one feel real good about going home for X-mas and stopping at that airport on the way home. I bet that made my folks nervous. Luckily, I talked to them before it happened.

After that I taught Priscilla the first part of the 50 s dance and then went and played racquetball with Jim Graham (I won one to 15, he won one to 11 and he won the tie breaker to 7) then with Steve Rivera (he won 25-23) it was a fast paced good hard game. Afterwards came home, got showered, and left to go to a bar in Rockford called Blue Suede Shoes. Ed and Debbie Stukemberg joined us (Jackie, Randy, Priscilla, Steve and I) and we had a great time. Steve and Priscilla got carded, but I did not. I don t know whether that s because I look older or because I was at the end of the line.

Once we were in we did some dancing and I participated in a contest. First the girls had to blow-up a balloon with their left hand behind their back until it popped and then the guys. I won against the four other guys, and then it was battle of the sexes: The Woman vs. Man (I was the Man). She won but one more blow and I would have had her. It was fun! With my luck I would have won, and got a free beer bash, and got carded and not been able to use it, so it is probably best that I lost. I also won a trivia contest for answering the name of a song. Steve actually told me the name and I ran down there to claim the prize. It was a neat place and a lot of fun, but we had to leave about 10:15 because of all the adult workers needing to go home. We came home and went to bed.

My provider changed our e-mail address! Please change in your address books and please forward to the cast. Thanks!
Stacie Welch:

From Jeff Martinson
Sun Nov 15th

Today was the cast's "Free Day". I slept in and then met Elin at 2:00 pm to go shopping for our host family's gift and to clean out our office. Then Elin came to my house and we finished the city report. YEAH--- This is finally over!

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 15th
Charles city

Day off. I went to church with my hostdad and after lunch we spent some hours at the mall. Delicious dinner and relaxation in front of the TV.

11/16/87 Monday - PR in Freeport, IL / Cast in Algona, IA - the "Mystery City"

Well, I m actually writing this on Sunday the 22nd because I have been soooo busy and tired that I haven t had time to write. I m going to try to fill-in what I remember.

We spent most of the day getting ready for the host family meeting by typing the host schedule, and making sure everything would be ready. The host family meeting was at the county board room at the Court House at 7:00 and we showed the video and passed out all the papers that they will need. The meeting finished about 8:15 and from there we went over to Jim Graham s house and watched the Bears/Broncos game. It was real nice (especially since the Broncos won 31 to 29), but was supposed to be a Beat the Broncos Party and only one other guy came. We still had a great time though and left about 11:30.


Could please update my e-mail address to Our bank has been bought and our e-mail addresses have all changed. Thanks
Cyndi Yung

From Jeff Martinson
Mon Nov 16th

We finally left Charles City at 9:00 am. It felt SO weird to be be back. I sat with Gro- and she was "Overly Friendly". It felt so odd to be a part of the group again. It is hard to explain. It is almost relief mixed with anxieties. Thank you God for letting our city turn out fine. My roommate in Algona, Iowa is Rasmus. We have the strangest host family. They are so nerdy. NOT what I needed on the first day back.

Side note- I remember this family and the mother in particular deemed it necessary to criticize my choice in "fashion". Back in the 80's it was kind of cool to wear pants with suspenders- but you would actually have the suspenders hanging off of your pants and not on your shoulders at all. I had this pair of "Really Cool" blue pants (Well I thought so anyway) and she would literally make fun of my clothes. For an 18 year old who is finally developing their first taste of independence away from a parent she and I were never going to be close. I don't know if Rasmus remembers this family and perhaps he had a better experience with them.

From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 16th - Travel day to mystery city

On the way to Algona we stopped at this stone-museum . A very religious place where everything was decorated with small stones in a lot of different colors and shapes. It was very attractive but the weather was cold and wet. At arrival Algona we had some hours to kill at the mall before HPU. I m with a wonderful family and we had a nice evening, but I got to bed far too late.

Journal Entry Rated PG-13 - Don't read further if you are opposed to the occasional curse word.

11/17/87 Tuesday - PR in Freeport, IL / Cast in Algona, IA (The Mystery City)

Today was a real relaxing educational day. I spent the morning from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. with Dr. Frank Descourourez following him around while he made his daily rounds. It was interesting, but depressing. I was also hoping for a chance to see surgery, but he purposely scheduled me on a day that he didn t have surgery. After the morning was done I met Priscilla, Steve and Steve Tanton and his wife for lunch at the Unicorn.

After lunch we went back to the office and started typing and allocating. I finished what I was working on and was asked by Steve to help Priscilla allocating students to families. She was already cranky because we wouldn t let her do the bags until later. She was reading the families careers and their cards with special requests while I was checking students interests and who they had or had not roomed with. We took a dinner break (ordered Domino s) and were joking around and teasing Priscilla. When I came back into the conference room I said something like Oh, it s okay dear, and reached to touch her hand and she pulled back and just hit me. Then she said Fuck off and don t call me dear, so I said Okay fine. I sat there waiting for her to go on and finish up allocating and she just sat there and out of nowhere she said Grant, go to hell! So I said fine you finish it, and threw down my pen and walked out. I refuse to sit there and just get cussed out for nothing.

Steve gave me some copying to do so I sat by the copier copying 130 at a time then waiting for 15 minutes. She walks in there and said these had to be typed up and walked out with me holding the allocation index cards. I wanted to say a million things, but just kept my mouth shut. I asked Steve if they had to be typed or if I could write them, he said I could do them how I wanted to. So for almost 2 hours I wrote names and roommates and copied the schedule. While I was in the copy room, I heard Steve and Priscilla fighting. Basically she was just on the rage all night, but finally apologized later. We finally left the office at about 11:30. (EDITOR: So I guess the year was NOT all warm and fuzzy all the time. Luckily Priscilla and I remained friends. Right Priscilla? :) )

From Diane Kennedy-Thomson
Hi Grant, sorry about this but I have had to change my email address:


From Jeff Martinson
Tues Nov 17th

Today was the first snow of the year. It didn't stick but people like Almendra were so excited to see snow for their first time ever. We had a basic day. Then Elin and I wrote letters until noon. Then rehearsal. We were allowed to be in the show but I didn't get to do any dances. I was a bit let down by that because Joy and Marsha had come all the way from Charles City to see us perform. I hope I will be dancing soon. I really miss it. I went home immediately after the show because I did not have to interview.

PR Team Response from Jo:
Sorry Jeff for your "not understanding" host mum !! I have pictures of you and your suspenders , and I think they looked great !! Gretchen and I did our best to find only the BEST hostfamilies, but you know how it goes ... some slip through. I feel sorry for you and I don't think you have ever told me :( I sure you got over it soon !!


From Sanne Jensen-Juncker
Nov 17th - Algona

I was on set-up crew and we did real well I think. We get better each time. During set-up a little snow came out of the sky and for some people in the cast it was the first time to see and feel snow so that was fun. It was a cold and wet set-up.

Lunch and the normal procedures -show prep and rehearsal. People are tired and not very motivated. Perhaps a lot of us are ready for a break and longing for Christmas vacation. It seems like most of us are a little tense and not in the mood. I had some mail from friends at home which felt good. Dinner was pot-luck with our host families, and that was fun and with a good atmosphere. My host family is so sweet. Show was good and after that I got my commission from merchandise selling, - 31 dollars unexpected really made me feel even better. I was surprised I did so good. When we got home I tried calling home but no one answered. Got a hold of my granddad who told me/reminded me that mum is away on a work-skill-training this week. It was good and fun to speak with him. He promised to get a hold of Tina (editor: my cousin who was supposed to move to New York later that month) so that she could call back tomorrow and let me know when she would be here.


11/18/87 Wednesday - PR in Freeport, IL Cast Travels to Freeport, IL

I spent the entire day typing up the final complete allocation list that took me close to four hours to type and copy off. We got to the park (the ice house) and Priscilla was still working on the bags. She was still in a bitchy mood, so I tried to stay clear. We finished everything at about 3:15 and the cast was supposed to arrive at 3:30. Ted Alber had all the four-wheelers off the truck and started showing us how to run them. We had 10 people on the four-wheelers: Ed Stukemberg, Jim Graham, the Mayor, Laurie Scott (director of Chamber of Commerce), JoAnne Knodel (Ambassador Supreme), Steve Priscilla and I and Ted and his son. So basically we rode around and got used to the feel of them while we waited for the cast.

The mayor had a radio and a policeman was waiting at the entrance to the city and told us when they came in town. They had been having bus troubles so that s why they were late. When they finally did arrive it was great! It was funny because I would drive by the side of the bus and see faces just plastered up against the window-smiling and pointing. You could almost hear them saying Look at Grant he has a beard! Needless to say they were surprised. I talked to few right then, but for the most part I waited so we could lead them down to the ice shelter and do our hugging and stuff there. It felt great to see the cast again, and I got a ton of complements on my new look (hair parted to the side and beard). Nanette kept saying Grant you look great! I have never seen you look so good. Kelly said I love it! Whatever you do don t let them make you shave it off! Steve & I got a lot of great positive feedback, which made me feel really good. I had quite a few people say they truly missed me and I really think they did. I m really starting to feel good about myself. We had a little bit of free time, and Priscilla picked up Margaret Rodiger at the hotel and brought her there. This is her first city back, since she left. Host pick-up went smoothly and everyone got a home. So we went home!

From Jeff Martinson
Tues Nov 18th

Today we left Algona for Freeport, Illinois. I was so excited to leave my nerd family, but the problem is that I got the worst family ever. They are huge nerds, the house is a pig sty, she didn't even change the sheets or even make the beds and there were crumbs in my bed. We had to make our own dinner (TV dinners) and there is junk everywhere. My roommate here is David Outterson. PR is catching up with me. I am so tired. My bus date was Leanne. It was good to talk with her after being gone for so long. I fell into a really deep sleep on the bus. I hope my next family will be good.

Side note-- Geez-- I guess I liked the word nerd back then and I was awfully harsh considering that these people opened their home for me. I do have to admit that I am still grossed out about the thought of climbing into a bed with food crumbs in it.

(EDITOR GRANT: Sorry Jeff, that we didn't give you a very good host family. It was such a crap shoot that you get host people that are clean and nice. It is amazing we didn't get more families that were like this over the year.)


From Priscilla

Yes Grant....if you can forgive me for something like that story, you truly are a friend!


11/19/87 Thursday - PR in Freeport, IL Cast in Freeport, IL

The day started at Faith UMC with our morning meeting and even a nice around of applause for the Advance Team! Yeah!! Oh I forgot that before that at 7 a.m. we met with the Ambassador Club and updated them on what we are doing. After morning meeting we had a presentation from the interns on how their internship went and from the staff member that they were under. After that at 10:00 I kind of explained what we were doing and everyone loaded the buses. I told everyone on my bus (Crew One) about the place we were going, the Parkview Nursing Home, and someone said they wanted a joke first. So I told them about the headhunters and To Hell with your canoe!. (EDITOR: This must have been my new favorite joke.) Then we went in warmed up and did the acoustic. About 8 of us went up to the infirmary and sang for some of those who could not get downstairs. after a little while, we ate this tremendous steak and potatoes lunch for about an hour then left.

From there we went to Aquin Catholic School and practiced a little while for the TOA system show. Right before they got off the bus I told them the joke about the two nuns.

(EDITOR: Okay, okay... 2 nuns are walking home at night after midnight mass when suddenly out of the darkness, two men jump out and begin to accost the two women. The first nun looks up to the sky and says "Lord, forgive them for they know not what they are doing." The second one shouts from nearby, "Whoo Hoo! This one does!")

At 2:00 we did an extremely successful show for about 200 students. After we took down the equipment, we went to the Stephenson County Senior Center and did an acoustic then played Bingo. I got to call off the numbers and really enjoyed it. I had told a Polock joke before that place. (EDITOR: Sorry, I don't remember this one.) We had a very calm, unstressful day, and had plenty of time to spend with the people at each place we went to. After the Senior Center we went to the HCC theater and had wrap-up and find out how everyone s day went, and gets some feedback. People seem to have a good day, but very tiring. At wrap-up we picked up the new forms for the new intern.

From HCC we went straight downtown to Luecke s Jewelers for business after hours, which is basically a party (wine and cheese) for Ambassadors. We were there until about 7:30 and then we went to City Lights for dinner and drinks. There was a bunch of us there: Priscilla, Steve, myself, Randy, Jackie, Debbie, Ed, Jim, Debbie, Cassi Kuck, Chrissy Randazzo, (they were staying with Jim and Deb), Joanne and four others that were Ambassadors. And boy did we party! We were there for about 3 hours and I bet our bar and food bill was over $200! We had a super time. From there I took Priscilla, Chrissy, and Cassi to a party and we stayed there for about an hour. Then we took them home and went home.

From Jeff Martinson
Thur Nov 19th

Today was a CID day. We started by going to a facility for mentally handicapped people and then we went to a nursing home. I met two older women. One could not speak because she recently had a stroke. She was so touched she kissed me and cried. It felt really good to make someone happy. Then we went to play volleyball with some kids from a juvenile home. I played awhile but then layed down for a rest because I felt a little dizzy. I am a little worried because I have been feeling this way for awhile. I think it might be a head cold. Well David and I actually got a real dinner tonight. The family is trying to be nice but I can't wait to leave them.

11/20/87 Friday - PR in Freeport, IL Cast in Freeport, IL

Another very low stress day starting at the high school with a short meeting. Then I stayed with Crew One and went to the Stephenson Nursing Center. Once we arrived we did an acoustic and then broke up and had one on one time helping some write letters and just talk. I spent that time reading all of the letters I received the day before. Then we had lunch with the residents and finally left at 12:10. I gave them one more joke to finish the day about a little boy mouse and a little girl mouse. (EDITOR: Sorry, I can't remember this one either.)

When we got back to the H.S. we had rehearsal and show prep, and I took Sandra Jung over to see the kitchen and facilities that they would be using for food crew. After rehearsal we were performed to by Showtime, the high school choir. They did two songs and were really good. Most of them had been in the musical the week before. After that we watched a video of where our 50 s songs originated from. We had the Magic Time workshops and then wrap-up. At wrap-up Cecilia presented me with my secret spook. It was a pair of thermal underwear pants. After that, went home for dinner and back by 6:00 p.m. to get everything ready with the Ambassadors. We introduced everyone at Greenroom and then watched the show in the front row. I had a great time watching it and made a lot of people on stage smile and laugh. It really rejuvenates me to get back in the show. What was funny was that I felt like a proud father watching my kids, because they are still creating a lot of magic on stage. After the show, we went home and some people came over for a little party: Studkemberg s (including Laura), McFalls, Grahams, Lathrops, Paul Kunz, Terry Adams, Chris DeGraff, and us (P.R. team). It was fun, but we were up too late. Terry stayed at the house tonight. Shawn surprised me by having me come on stage to make a presentation to the cast. He forgot the names of the sponsors, so I went up and said them. It worked out fine even though it was unexpected.

From Jeff Martinson
Fri Nov 20th

Today I was on set up crew and then we had rehearsal. Paula called Almendra and I and told us that she was desperate and needed us to dance "Gospel". YES! I was excited but I needed a lot of work. Jerko took Almendra and I and worked us on it. It went GREAT in the show with only a few mistakes. (Kind of an oxymoron?) I also got to perform Scando, 50's and was in the UWP dance line. I wish I could do Black and White again.

11/21/87 Saturday - PR in Freeport, IL Cast in Freeport, IL

Host drop-off and morning meeting was at Faith United Methodist Church, and then we had a presentation by Chris DeGraff about Life in the Fishbowl. Chris is the head of the Tucson Promotion office and will be with us for about 10 days. After that we had an hour and a half, presentation on Canada. It was really informative, but I was extremely tired and had trouble stopping yawning. Right after that I took the cast to the Golden Corral for lunch and we actually got everyone through by 1:00. It was pretty good food, and it was nice and leisurely. When rehearsal started I went home I got some things done and then went to the show at 6:00 and saved some seats. Again a fair audience of about 650 (both nights), but right after Too Many People started, the lights blacked out completely. Without any lights and no spotlight it was pitch black on stage, but the cast just kept going and even sounded better in the dark. Terry then came up on stage and said we were having some technical difficulties with the lights, and the cast will come out and meet you until they are fixed. It was about five minutes before they were ready then they walked on stage like it was the beginning and started with King Richard I. The rest of the show was great. Both nights I had trouble sitting still, and I made funny faces at them the whole time. I enjoyed it but went home completely exhausted.

From Jeff Martinson
Sat Nov 21st

Today we had presentations from Chris DeGraff (promotions in Tucson) and the Canadian students. It was a long morning. Then we all went and had a great meal at the Golden Corral. Then we came back for rehearsal. Elin and I were debriefed finally. That went well and I told Bill my problems with PR. Then I went and talked to Brenda LaMica about them. We talked for a long time. I told her she needed to take a break from all of her work. The show went well. I performed the same numbers as last night. Strike was SOOOOO cold.

(EDITOR GRANT: I thought it was just me, but I have noticed it in Sanne, Jeff, and Lynda's journals too. Almost every day I mentioned what the meal was or what we were eating that day. I guess food was a big deal while on the road.

11/22/87 Sunday - Janesville, WI

We slept in, then got up and did laundry, taped the Take-5 and the video on to my blank tape. Anne Stainforths folks brought her over to my house right after a great breakfast. We then all took pictures and loaded up our suitcases in the truck. Needless to say host drop-off was very hard especially seeing Jim, Randy & Ed almost in tears (not to mention us three) It was a nice send off though, with all our new friends. It is hard to believe just three short weeks ago, I had just met these people. Who would have ever thought it would have turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences in my entire life.

I was supposed to bus date with Cassi, but somehow we lost our seat so we sat across from each other and talked a lot. It was only an hour and a half long bus trip. It was a nice way to ease back into the cast. I got my first new host family since October 28th. It is kind of weird getting back into the swing of things, but Stan and Sue had a real nice dinner prepared after watching the Broncos stop the Raiders 23 to 17 with their daughter and son-in-law. After dinner Dec, Bill, Ty, Stan and Sue went on a tour of Janesville but I decided to stay home and catch up in my journal. Im almost there!

From Richard Stroud

Hello Grant,

I was audio-taping the Freeport show when the lights went out. I recall Crissy was introducing cast members at the time. Apparently, a fuse let go that was powering the lighting control panel. This panel and it's operators were sitting right in front of me. I still had power from another outlet, so I offered to share. They accepted and one of them held the plugs tightly together for the rest of the show!

Fun times,
Richard Stroud (Clay's Dad)

To all those who are celebrating today, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

11/23/87 - Monday - Janesville, WI

After the morning meeting, Steve and Priscilla and I went to the Janesville Gazette (where the P.R. office is) and worked on our city report until late afternoon. There was only one typewriter (and one prehistoric one) so it took longer than I expected. I ate lunch at little restaurant/bar by myself, but had a great hamburger. We finally decided to call it a day about 4:30, and Roger took me home. We had dinner about 7:00 and went to the movie ?Fatal Attraction? afterwards. It was a pretty awesome movie, very suspenseful. When we came home Stan had his living room turned into a photography studio so we were up ?til 12:30 taking pictures. Kind of not that big of a day, but I?m enjoying the relaxed schedule because when I get back in the cast I?m going in head first!

From Linda Cullen-Hall

Okay, okay~ so I'm a bit behind again. Time is going so fast.

Charles City, Iowa treated Pia and I quite well. We stayed with Lori, Wayne and their 4 children. We had such a good time!! Sunday was such a family day. I got up late, went to noon Mass with Lori. (Ran into Dek and his mom.) (EDITOR'S note...Dek- Do you have ANY IDEA how big my crush on you was???????) We spent the afternoon playing with the kids. In the evening we ate lasagna and I fell asleep in front of the TV for a while. It was really hard saying goodbye to them; they're such great people.

In Algona, Weini and I stayed with Denny, Rhonda and their 2 girls. Denny and Rhonda are really nice but Rhonda obviously doesn't discipline the girls at all because they basically run her. They don't do anything around the house!!! (Editor's note: Oh I knew how to parent back then...sometimes I feel like I still don't know how to parent! judgmental...ugh!)

Next stop was Freeport, IL with Holly Harris as a roomie. What a blast we had, definitely a tension releasing city. Randy, Sue and Jason were so much fun. Jason is THE most mature 7th grader I've met in my life. He's a definite candidate for UWP. Sue is the dean of students at the Jr high and Randy works for a plastics company. They couldn't be nicer and couldn't do enough for us. Holly and I sat up late talking and drinking. The last night Jason told jokes and did a Reagan impression. They had some friends over and we all had a GREAT TIME.

I left early Sunday for PR in Swift Current, Canada. We spent the day (from 7am - 12 am....17 hours) in the air, airport and station. We also were majorly harassed in Winnipeg @ customs. They were going to tax us in excess of $1000.00 for our publicity materials. once in Regina we got our materials back, which at that point were bonded. Today we spoke @ the rotary club and went to the high school to check things out, along with several errands.

From Paula Leland-Kent

Hello Grant,

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your entire family!!

It was nice to hear Darcy's voice and to remember such wonderful memories from years past. She also sent a picture of herself and her family and she is beautiful as ever and looks exactly the same. Beautiful smile.

Thank you for keeping track of individuals and keeping us all posted as to how everyone is. I was so sad to hear about Brenda..I think of her often.

My life is very full and warm. 2 boys; Robert(12) and Peter(9) that I adore to the moon and back. We are looking forward to ski season and love to be on the mountains for the winter.

Just a drop in the bucket but I wanted to say hello.

Take good care,
Paula Leland Kent


Dear Grant!

I hope you and Gretchen and all the kiddies are well! You have been such a blessing to our cast and I am so thankful for all you do to keep us all in touch! I have a request. This email site ( is really small and I travel alot. Many times people can not get through because I don't have time to delete messages and clear space. Would you be able to email me at (It is the same except for there is no "s" after love). Thank you so much. I am also searching for any current information concerning Monique Carpay. She was such a good friend of mine, and I travel to Holland quite often and would love to visit her. If you have any information concerning her address, etc.. I would be so grateful.

God bless you all!
Love, Kelly

11/24/87 - Tuesday - Janesville, WI

For morning motivation I had to sew a cloth heart on Kelly Bates butt blindfolded. I did pretty good, in fact I even won. Before all of this happened, when we arrived the girls escorted us men to the foyer and had doughnuts and juice for us. Today is 'guy appreciation' day so they (the girls) did various things for us all day. After morning meeting we had a little bit of time to sign 'Leaves.' The leaves are thank you leaves for Thanksgiving to write what you are thankful for about others in the cast. It is a great idea, but I didn't get to sign everyone's before we left. Right after that we watched a movie by Leo Buscalglia and then went back to the office to finish our report and evaluation. At noon we went back for lunch because we were basically done except for typing the evaluation. After lunch the entire cast went to the YMCA for 1 1/2 hours of fun, I basically just wandered around because I didn't have any exercise clothes with me.

From there we went to the high school and the stage was already set up. The girls had set it up the day before and it was a surprise for the guys. They came out on stage and sang 'We love you Guys, oh Yes We Do' and that was about it. Sometimes I really wonder why girls do nice things for guys at all, because guys never appreciate what girls do for us. Well I appreciated what they did.

Unfortunately, all this happiness was quickly dowsed with sorrow, because Sanne announced to us that her father had died just hours before. I have never heard Cast A be so deathly quiet before. It was really kind of scary because even when we are supposed to be quiet there is always rustling or whispering or something but there was no sound period. It was like walking into a room with no people in it except yourself. Needless to say, the dress rehearsal of the second half had no energy at all. (EDITOR: I never fully understood the scope of this event in my young naivety until I lost my own father. I can only guess how difficult this was on Sanne.)

Then at wrap-up we found out that Steve Riviera would not be going to Las Vegas with us, but is instead leaving Sunday for another cast. Then Rene stood up and told the cast that she would be leaving early Friday morning and that this was basically her last show with us.

So after this abundance of sad news, we ate dinner. I went and reserved a seat and when the house opened I went and sat down. I heard a girl talk about interviewing behind me, so I turned around and talked to her until the show started. I was really afraid the show would be a real downer because of all the news we received today, but it was surprisingly good. Heikki and I sat near the front and were bouncing around and laughing and enjoying the show. After the show, I talked with Chrissy for a short while about Steve but left soon after that. When I got home I went straight to bed.

11/25/87 - Wednesday - Northfield, MN

Stan and Sue dropped us off at about 8:00 and all the girls loaded the luggage in the buses. The guys all signed up for a seat on the bus last night, and the girls got on the bus in the morning and put their very own designed men's underwear on a seat. They did not know who was sitting there in the seat until after we sat down. It was our first mystery date of the year and mine was Leanne Monahan. She had ruffles on 'My' underwear and had stitched in 'Up With People' Stud-Cast A '87-'88. We had a good time listening to a tape of Broadway Hits, but slept most of the way. We saw snow on the way to Northfield, and it had snowed in Janesville but there was no snow here in Minnesota.

We had super allocation bags with a cookbook in our bags, but that is to be expected with Lee Snider. It is too bad to that she is leaving on Monday. Speaking of goodbyes, today was the last day we will see Rene Swallie. Susan picked us up with her mother (Joann) and took us home. Home was 45 minutes away in Minneapolis/St. Paul which is kind of neat being in a big city. The house is almost 100 years old and is really nice. I spent the evening copying Kurt's video tape of the show in Oak Ridge, TN that Steve had taped. I also called Wayne and then Kara and talked to her for a while (both good friends), and spoke to her mother just a little bit. She told me a lot of gossip. It was nice talking to her. I miss home a little bit.

There is an UWP show in Bern, Switzerland on December 2nd at 7:30pm. Make plans to be there if you are in the neighborhood!

11/26/87 - Thursday - Thanksgiving - Northfield, MN

We didn't even get up until after 10.00 and I pretty much lazied around until I had to get dressed at 12:30. I was able to get some writing done and I made some phone calls. I tried to call (my best friend) Russ, but not even his parents were there so they must be with Russ in Kentucky. Then I called Cindy Geanetta, but she was in the shower so I called back an hour later. She was really surprised to hear from me and we had a nice talk for about 30 minutes and we blabbered on as usual. I miss her lots!

After all my phone calls, I got dressed and went downstairs and met Prince (Sierra Leona) and Him (Malaysia) who joined us from an exchanged program from the University. Then we spent most of the day watching TV (football) while the women were in the kitchen finishing the cooking. We ate dinner at about 4:00 and they asked me to say the blessing. It was an incredible dinner, but there was no cheese whiz on the celery. (EDITOR: Ah, the important things in life. Cheese Whiz!)

I called home at 7:30 and talked for about an hour to Mom and Dad about everything that has happened in the last week. They decided to have Thanksgiving tomorrow because Brett and Scott were goose hunting and Penny couldn't get off work, so thus they postponed it a day. We watched some more TV and I did some writing and that was basically Thanksgiving 1987, my first away from home.

11/27/87 - Friday - Northfield, MN

We had Susan take us to Northfield and we met at St. Olaf College and had a short meeting discussing everyone's Thanksgiving. When the crews split up to CI and set-up Priscilla, Steve and I went to debrief with Bill Parker. It was good and made me feel very complete because I was able to talk about things that I wanted to say, but not had the opportunity to.

After we finished, I worked on some of my thank you notes for Freeport. That didn't last long before I was asked if I could help with setting up quick change. So I helped with that until we went to lunch and the Laura Baker School where they served us a really nice Turkey dinner. We also had a skit from the Thanksgiving crew about the beginning of the holiday. After lunch we had a speaker who is also the father of three UWP alumni. He talked about 'The no fun town' which is what our tour supposedly was. He started out by giving us some important dates from our year so far. He had some really neat things to say that really made one stop and realized how much we have already accomplished.

After the speech we went back to the school and had a quick rehearsal until about 5:00 at which time they had wrap-up. At wrap-up Steve Rivera mentioned that this was his last show before he left for another cast. They also announced the new interns for the next session and to my surprise I was chosen to be the new merchandise intern with Elin. I was really excited to find out, but I thought my first choice was Admission (John Morgan corrected me; it was my second choice). After the meeting was dinner, but I took that opportunity to call home and talked to Scott, Brett and Penny. We talked for about 30 minutes and I really enjoyed it. I actually miss them. (EDITOR: Spoken like a true teenager.)

This was my first show back with the cast and I performed both ringmaster and couple #4 in 50's dance. I really had a good time and I reconfirmed that I really did miss performing. Ringmaster was a little rusty, but we also only had two girls come out of the box, and they came out the first time instead of the second. I said 'I just wanted to share that with you, and enjoy the rest of the show.' I was a little bit sore after the 50's number, but had a super great time. After the show Pierre and I got permission to leave early since we had such a long drive back to Minneapolis. I went straight to bed when I got home because I slept most of the way back anyway.

11/28/87 - Saturday - Valley City, ND

We left about 7:00 a.m. in order to get to Northfield by 8:00 a.m., and it is a good thing because the roads were extremely icy because it had been raining all night. I tried to sleep because the driving was making me very nervous, so I figured if I didn't watch it wouldn't be as bad. I helped load the bus while it was pouring down rain. I was soaked, but no one else was helping Kurt so I helped him load (even though he was not even supposed to be loading). My bus date was Cassi and we had a really nice time, and talked about a bunch of different things. Brenda La Mica was right in front of us and turned around to talk to us and I found out so much about her life that I never knew: she didn't speak until she was ten; she is half Japanese and half French; she throws a dart at a map and that is where she goes on a trip for her birthday; she has been to Venezuela, Italy and many of the United States; she wants to finish school in Italy; and numbers of other amazing things that I never knew. It was great and I learned a lot.

We arrived in Valley City at about 3:30 and went on a hay ride and froze our rear ends off. It was kind of a drag and has taken the fun out of a hay ride to do it in such cold weather. We finally ended at the city auditorium, got our allocation bags, found our host and then had a pot luck dinner. I really was not in the mood to go through the whole host family thing again, which is the first time I've ever felt that way and unfortunately it showed. After dinner we went home for a while and I was very tired and was not very talkative.

From there we went back to the field house ('the bubble') where we set up the stage until about 9:30. It only took us about 2 hours, then straight to bed when we got home.

From Beth Wahlert-Lohmeier

I remember Northfield... I was invited to stay at the Staff House for the holiday weekend, but the host family we had in Makato (Halloween) wanted us back for the holiday. They called CARLOS to get permission to have us back, then picked Rika and I up in Northfield and took us back on Friday and we stayed in a hotel that night. I truly believe they would have contacted BLANTON BELK himself to get permission. We had a great dinner, took a nice walk, and helped decorate for Christmas on Merry Avenue ( they changed the street name to "Merry Christmas Avenue" every holiday season). Trust me I was definitely not a great house, but THEY were great!!! I still think of that host family in the Fall...And I STILL wish that I had been able to stay at the Staff House in Northfield. Sigh...

Ahhh, "Mem'ries, like the corner of my mind. Misty water colored mem'ries..."


Click here to choose a different month

12/2/87 ­ Wednesday ­ Dickinson, ND

Terry decided to let us sleep in today because there were a lot of people sick yesterday, so they cancelled some of the activities in the morning. We came in at 9:30 a.m. and left at 9:45 for an hour long trip to Roosevelt National Park. It was interesting, but I'm glad we weren't there for 3 hours like originally planned. Then for lunch we had soup and sandwiches in a saloon and Gretchen, Heidi, Lena and I had fun taking some crazy pictures. Then Gretchen, Heidi and I went across the street and played on some awesome playground equipment.

We finally got back around 1:30 and the band gave us a concert for about an hour to raise money for the X-mas banquet. It was 50 cents and your ballot for semester awards to get in and it raised about $55.00. I don't know how or why, but we are now over $1,000 because they did several fund raisers and Bill donated (or UWP did) $6.00 per cast member. After the concert we had show prep (the mic groups got together again,) rehearsal and magic time (workshops). I got Christine's tape and tape player and worked on King Richard I; Gospel: and Black and White all for about 20 minutes each. From what I understand they really want me to do it, but Doug Barkley is working on it also. At wrap-up they made sure that we knew what time we were leaving in the morning and that we needed our show costume for a mall show in Saskatoon on the 5th. We were only allowed an overnight bag and had to make sure we had everything we needed including our passport.

During the show I did ringmaster and 50's with Melinda (#6). I practically destroyed the ringmaster and for the first time really messed up. I went to call Antoinette and called her Cuco from France, then Jeanie from England and after struggling a little bit finally remember her name. I had to look off stage to remember Deko was next. After that it went okay and I had the cutest little girl help me out. She didn't know a magic word, so while waiting for Cuco to tell her a word, I said to the audience, 'This is what you call a station break.' I didn't realize how many people heard it until the next day. I guess it just amazes me that people pay that much attention to me.

For the 50's, Melinda and I ran off because we didn't think we could do the lifts because of room on the stage, but we did finish the dance.

I was on interview crew and did an interview with Priscilla and we interviewed a real perspective young man (Greg Schmidt) who will graduate in May and wants to travel in July of '88. We thought he was real good, but Paul did not think as highly of him, although he still accepted him (accept 3) we accepted him as a high accept 2 (90). We finally left about 11:30, went home and packed and went to bed at about 1:00am.

12/3/87 ­ Thursday ­ Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada

Host drop off was at 6:00 a.m. and we left for Canada at 6:30. My bus date was Anne and we talked a little about not much, but ended up sleeping most of the way or did some reading. We arrived at the border at about 11:30 and it was pretty exciting. They had some problems with the students from the Netherlands (Whynot, Ruud-Jan and Monique) because they did not have the correct papers. They were given a two-week visitor's pass, but after all of that, 2 hours had passed away. It was 1:30 before we left the border, and we finally arrived in Swift Current about 7:00 p.m. We had a real nice beef stew dinner at 7:30 and host pick up was at 9:00 p.m. After almost 13 hours on a bus I did not feel like doing to much and my family was real good about letting me do some writing. Actually our host families are called billets while in Canada. We are in a different country for the first time, my first time out of the U.S. and for the first time I am a foreigner. Wild, huh!

BONUS NOTE: From Lise Steensland hi grant guess what? i gave birth to a little baby girl 6 weeks ago - one month before she was due. it has been rather caotic since then- this is my first time on the pc since pre-baby. :-) i'll send some pictures once they are ready. her name will most probably be sophia... she goes by that until now. maybe she'll have one more name. all is well w us, except for her having major stomach pain 24 hours a day. (kolikk? colic?) - so sleep has become a rare commodity. anyway, just wanted to tell you this (before she reaches puberty). :-) please give gretchen my best, and i hope everything is well with you both. hugs and kisses lise

12/5/87 ­ Saturday ­ Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada

I spent the morning with Joel on a career day at the newspaper. He is 25 and works in advertising at the paper and he gave me a tour of the facilities. He also showed me the process an ad goes through i.e: sales, layouts and printing. He took me with him to talk to one of his clients, the marketing manager at the mall. After walking through the mall a little bit, he took me back to the high school around 11:15. For lunch we all met at the curling rink and the group called the Kinsmen (kind of a service club) fed us lunch. Curling is kind of like shuffleboard with large marble balls, but on ice. It was interesting but kind of not very exciting to watch for very long. We had a short show prep then rehearsal at which time they ran me once in King Richard and I did okay with the words, but had no clue where I was walking on stage. We had about 30 minutes of magic time, when Paula helped me with where to go on stage.

At 3:30 we had a special presentation from the European students about Sinta Klaas. We had to draw pictures and write notes to him and my group wrote a song to the song 'Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.' I got spanked by his helpers for talking in my sleep, but I still got goodies.(EDITOR: Huh? Don't quite understand this.) Jerko put it all together and I really enjoyed it. Wrap-up was short and then off to dinner. At dinner I was showing this alumnus some swinging dance steps that I was doing with Cassi earlier this day. I was trying to teach him the pretzel.

We went back to the high school to get ready for an early show at 7:00 p.m. I was given the responsibility of doing King Dick tonight so I got into the costume early before the show, so I wash sure I was ready. It was funny to see myself because I really did look like a King! Actually I looked more like King Henry VIII than King Richard I. I was extremely nervous which was surprising, but I got out there and started out real good, but lost the words. I ended up skipping the last couple lines altogether because I jumped ahead to the end of the second verse. Luckily I didn't freak out, and was able to do all of the second verse, but I felt terrible afterwards. It was real hard to be happy the rest of the show. Everyone was real consoling but I finally told someone that I needed to be told that I really blew it. And someone did and that was all it took to start laughing. I was still upset about it, but not as bad. It was not a very good show because a lot of things went wrong, but that is now old news. After the show, I was on strike crew and we finished about 11:30.

After we were done we went to a place called WK Kitchen with Abe, Sonia, Albert and Randy and had some drinks and dinner. I did the Cha-Cha with Sonia and impressed Anne and Julie who were there with their billet. We also met four girls, one named Michelle with red hair who Randy and I danced with. We laughed a lot and had a nice time, and did some dancing in the mean time. We left about 1:30 and went home, and I went straight to bed.

12/6/87 ­ Sunday - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

We got up a little late, but showered, finished packing and made it to church by 11:00. It was a real nice service with a lot of singing and a great sermon. It was a beautiful Pentecostal church and we even had communion there. Sonia handed me a folded up bill and said 'Here take this for spending money.' I said that it was not necessary, but she said 'Just say Thank you!' So I stuck it in my pocket and said Thank you! We took pictures at the church of the family and then went to a freezing cold host drop off. I really enjoyed the family, but was surprised when they did not force a little of their religion on us. They are planning on coming to see the show in Saskatoon. We'll see if they make it.

When we got into Saskatoon, we went clear through to some riding stables, where we did a hayride, roasted marshmallows, and watched roping bulls. Kind of a waste of time to me, but I guess it was okay way to spend a free afternoon. It was a different afternoon.

We went to where host (billet) pick-up and had a short meeting. This was how we met our family because they wrapped our allocations in this wrapping.(EDITOR: I put a piece of the wrapping paper in my journal.) Clay and I were a little worried about the inscriptions on the inside of the paper about "3:00 a.m. feedings and changing diapers". We didn't know what to expect because he was also a Reverend. Well, we found a lady with a baby and that was her, and she too is a minister. From one church family to another. We had a nice dinner but spent most of the evening just talking, and oogling over Alyssa (7 months). (EDITOR: Who is now probably 20 years old and in college. How weird is that to think about?) The bed and the room are pretty small and they were expecting girls, but I think they are pleased.


12/7/87 – Monday - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

  Free Day!!  Yeah!  Clay and I didn’t get up until about 10:30 or 11:00.  At around 12:00 we went for a walk to a nearby mall and did a little shopping.  I bought a frog for Penny (my sister) for Christmas made of shells melted down and molded. It is real ugly, but exotic.  We came back at 2:00 and sat around for about 1/2 of an hour then took off to a mall in downtown Saskatoon. It was a pretty big mall and of course we saw a bunch of Uppies there.  We shopped around and I finally decided to buy a sharp looking golf shirt with the Canada maple leaf on the left chest.  I also bought a bumper sticker, a patch, an American/Canadian flags pin.  We finally went home for dinner at around 4:30 and stayed there until 8:30.

Word was out that a lot of people were going to a bar/nightclub called Confetti's so we decided to check it out.  When we arrived, Clay and I met Matt and Wilfred’s host mother, father and sister (Michelle). There was no cover charge before 9:00 and she got us all a free drink.  The drink had to be a highball so I got a rum and Coke. She had reserved a table because her Dad works there.  After I introduced myself, I asked if she liked to dance because I was ready to boogie all night long.  (EDITOR: Good heavens, what a geek I am.)  We hit it off really well and before 10:00 had exchanged addresses and home phone numbers, and talked about at least becoming pen pals.  I really had a great time and I danced every dance with her except about 4 or 5 songs that I was with other people.  They also had a swimsuit and lingerie fashion show. It was kind of funny to watch and we were making it a big joke.  I started waving a dollar bill out at these girls and holding it in my teeth. It was okay, but most of the models were kind of slutty, you know what I mean, eh?  It makes me laugh when all you hear all the time is eh?  Anyways, Michelle and I had a super time, and I did find out she has a boyfriend.  I guess this guy doesn’t like to do a lot of the things she does.  She seems like a really great girl, but who knows if I will ever see her again after we leave Saskatoon.  She is only 5 foot tall, and I would sure like to make an effort at seeing her again.  This is my first on the road, out of the cast, semi-love affair. (EDITOR: So apparently dancing with a girl all night long is a "semi-love affair".)

Clay and I finally got home about 12:30 by way of Chris (a girl who had a crush on Clay) and Susan ( a friend of Chris and Michelle and she had red hair).  We laid there in bed and talked about dark, deep secretes until who knows when, probably about 1:30 or 2:00am.  I slept terrible again on the small bed, and thought about Michelle most of the night.

  P.S. I fed a baby for the first time ever. Alyssa and I (both redheads) relate on a very good level. (EDITOR: As much as a 19 year old and a 6th month old can relate, I guess.)

BONUS NOTE From Cyndi Flynn-Yung:

It's funny you mention about your host family's 7 month old daughter now being 20 yrs old. I'm so excited about going to Tucson in August that I searched and was able to track down my host family there. They still live in Tucson and we will be seeing each other during the reunion. And since I worked with UWP for two summers after our year, I stayed with them during those times too. First time I stayed with them their youngest child was only 8 months old and now she is a sophomore in College and their oldest son (at the time was only 4) has since graduated from Colorado State University and now lives/works in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is funny how time does fly and boy I'm starting to feel old. It's so great to be able to get back in touch with them and seeing the picture of their kids and how they have all grown up.

Thank you again for all your journal entries. They really make my day... I'm enjoying all of them and reliving our time on the road again. I've actually pulled out my journal and was reading some of the things I wrote about. It is pretty funny to re-read all the stuff that I said and the things I thought about back then is pretty funny....

Say hello to everyone for me...Have a wonderful day!

Cyndi Yung


12/8/87 – Tuesday - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Connie dropped us off at Mount Royal collegiate High School at 7:30 a.m. and we had the normal morning meeting.  Crew one started setting up the stage at 8:00 and had it set up in time for show prep at 9:00.  We were having a few problems with the TOA, but seemed to have them fixed by the time we did the show for 1500 students.  It went over pretty well, and afterwards we changed clothes and split into crews again.  Crew two struck the set and one went to classrooms to talk.  I went with Kelly K., and Woody and we had a great time because we got them laughing and asking questions. From there we had lunch until 1:00 at which time we went to the Parkridge Center.  It is for handicapped kids and adults, as well as senior citizens.  We changed back into our costume and had a short presentation on the facilities. After that we helped bring the residents to the show from their rooms.  We did a TOA, but had to lengthen it under the contract, so he (Terry) flashed us signs telling us what songs we were adding at the last minute.  It was kind of funny.  From there both crews went to St. Joseph’s Rectory/Church for a surprise!  We were all just exhausted and piled on each other and went to sleep once we got there.

  At 5:00 p.m. the staff greeted us with little red bow ties and told us it was Cast Appreciation Day.  When we got downstairs they had hors d’oeuvres for us, sang songs and then fed us dinner.  Bill Parker cooked the beef Stroganoff, and was not all that tasty, but it is the thought that counts.  They had mistletoe placed all over the room, so I situated myself under one (near the sewing table) and waited.  It worked so good that people started stealing my idea and standing with me. I was getting smooched all over the place!  (EDITOR: What a horn dog I was/am?)  After dinner, they put on some soft Christmas music and a lot of us danced.  It was a lot of fun, but it was cut short due to the fact we had to go caroling.

  Laurie Wralstad and I had a good long talk about missing home before we started rehearsing the carols.  We divided into seven groups and went our separate ways.  My group was made up of Kelly K, Clay, Woody, Lea, Rita, Jerko and a couple of others.  Our first house we told the lady we were collecting canned food for the Salvation Army Food Bank and she gave us a $50 bill.  It was incredible! We actually only went to about six houses and received 2 bags of food and about $56.

  When we got back, each group sang their favorite song and told about any special experiences.  We told about the money and sang “O Come All Ye Faithful” with the chorus in Latin.  The staff started the 12 days of X-Mas and gave the cast an X-mas tree named Sven.  The host families brought desserts and we stuck around to talk to Michelle’s mom for a while and showed off Alyssa, but left by 8:45.

  I called Sonja and Abe (Prince Albert hosts) like they wanted me to, and later on called Michelle.  When I called she seemed real cold, so I kept it short, but I asked her to buy me a University of Saskatoon notebook for my next journal. That was about it, but she called back later and told me her boyfriend was there when I called the first time. So we talked for a short while and she told me she thought I was a sweet guy, but just wanted to have a friendship relationship with me right now until we got to know each other better. I don’t know what brought that on, but she obviously had been talking to Matt.  She is a real nice girl, and is a great ego booster (especially for me).

  Not too much longer after we hung up I went to bed.

Guess I was more of a lady’s man than a dancer that night, huh!?  I remember that host family and getting to know you.  That was definitely one of the best roommate situations of the trip!

  Thank you for sharing.

From Mary Huckins

Hi Grant!!! 

I’ll email more later… but I think I do know what historical date is coming up in 2 days because if I am thinking correctly, I remember the exciting phone call we got in North Battleford while I was on PR with Mok and Shinichi.  Hmmm…  Thanks for these.  They have been fun!  Love ya!  -Mary J  (hi to Gretchen too!)  XXOOXXOO

12/9/87 – Wednesday (Historic date in cast A Up With People 1987-88) - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

  The day started out average, but ended in a climax!  We had morning meeting where Carlos Acevedo was introduced as being with us until Christmas break. I basically just sat around and worked on my pictures until we left for Vanier Fine Arts Elementary School. We did a TOA there (I sang Johnny B. Goode along with my normal MC)  and afterwards, I taught them the vamp to Up With People.

  Right away we had lunch when we got back to the Centennial Auditorium over at the YMCA.  After lunch we had show prep, rehearsal, the magic time. During that time I helped Michelle B, Cindi F, and Laurie W. with the ‘50’s number.    

At wrap-up is when it happened!  It started out very innocent with announcements and then Carlos was asked for his announcement.  He started reading a letter about how “Up With People has received an invitation to go to the Soviet Union and are really excited to go. Although all the casts are a great representation of the UWP program, we feel Cast A…”  I didn’t hear the rest because the whole cast jumped in the air and was yelling, screaming and hugging for five minutes.  Needless to say we were a little high strung for the rest of the evening.  After we calmed down a little he told us that the dates are tentatively set for June 7th to June 21st and we would do a three city tour: Moscow, Leningrad and one more.  We may even have the possibility of doing a show with Stas Namin (writer of We Wish You Happiness).  He also said that we will be acquiring several staff members for our Russian tour.

  After the exciting news we went to dinner at the Swiss Chalet Restaurant, then back at 6:00 to help set up the audience sellers with Eva.  I also was doing King Dick, so I had to really run around a lot, then right afterwards change into ringmaster.  While waiting for the ringmaster, I restocked the merchandise bags so that they were ready for intermission.

  After the show I did as much of the paperwork that I knew, but at 11:00 they still were doing interviews so they asked me to help.  I did an interview (Jim; Kurt and John’s host brother) with Anki and I did all the paperwork, so she could do another one.  During the show Michelle and company held up signs that had our names on them (Matt, Wilfred, Clay and I).  I almost lost it when I saw it during King Richard, but really brightened my day.  Michelle interviewed after the show but got an interview later, and did not get a second. She seemed upset after the show, so she must have known.  She also gave me the notebook that I asked for and she wrote in the front page.  

  We went straight home and went to bed.

From Brenda Perkins-Dahmer

....must be the day we found out our tour didn't really SUCK after all!!! :)  Oh, come on...we all thought it that day in Tucson when we saw cast A staff!!!!  Anyway, here's my journal entry for that day...

  My Diary Wednesday December 9, 1987

       Okay tonight goes down in HISTORY. You will not believe what Cast A found out today.  Tonight at wrap up Carlos read a letter from Mr. Belk to Casts A,B,C,&D concerning the invitation to the Soviet Union.  Guess what?  CAST A IS GOING TO THE SOVIET UNION!!!  I am very excited.  Actually I feel a lot of emotions.  I am very happy to have this opportunity.  I am scared that it is all just a dream and that it will all be taken away in the morning.  I haven't called home yet.  I don't plan to do that until Minot, ND.  I know Mom will be just thrilled!  I am actually rather speechless about the whole deal (Editor: imagine me, speechless...I bet Kelly wishes that would happen again!!).  I cried when Carlos told us this afternoon.  I hope that the other casts will be happy for us and support us.  That will mean so much to me (Editor: gee, I wonder why that was...anyone else remember my ridiculous crushes on Johan and Joe from Cast B??  Garth Brooks had the right idea...Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers....)


Brenda Dahmer
BONUS NOTE From Stacie Welch:

December 15th reservations open up for the Reunion!  Do we know who is coming?!  I may be going in early – not sure when you are planning on getting there – I do know that whoever books the most cast members (my sister says that Cast D Tommy’s cast has been going hard core about getting everyone to Tucson) gets something (I believe a suite) for the $99 rate for the entire reunion to hang out in, etc.

  Hope all is well with you guys!  I tried looking at my December 9th but I didn’t date it – I know I was in Saskatoon and Corinne was my roomie – and Monique and I were having to finish our reports and were able to be in the show there – but that’s is all I wrote!

Oh yes and I went to Confetti’s too!

Hi awesome cast A!!!

  I think that WE can be the cast with the MOST in attendance at this reunion--- let’s go for it!!! Even if you book your reservation but your plans change, usually you can cancel your hotel without penalty (but be sure to ask when you call as it depends on the hotel &/or event policies). 

So, mark your calendars for Friday morning December 15th (the first date that we can call and reserve our rooms!!!!) and call the Westin LaPaloma!! (520) 742-6000 is the number I have (grant- is that what you have too? please correct me if I’m wrong) and let’s all book our rooms that morning and ‘represent’! It’s going to be a ‘not to be missed’ event.  I also think that the hotel will be sold out soon—so the sooner we book, the better.

  And please give an e-shout out to grant after you book your room so he can keep track of ‘who is in’!!!! That would be fun to keep a running count on all of us who are attending.

  See ya’ll there at our 20th reunion in Tucson, AZ at the Westin La Paloma August 8-12th --- the more, the absolute merrier!!!

  Darci (Buck) Price


I just realized the cities I listed as Swift Current were actually Prince Albert. Ooops. Sorry.

12/10/87 ­ Thursday - Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada

We were dropped off at the Best Western Yellowhead Inn and said goodbye to Connie. Michelle and family arrived right after we did with Matt and Wilfred, and we took a few pictures. I gave her the cast photo that I had brought for her, and by this time she was kind of teary eyed. I tried to say my goodbyes quickly so I wouldn't get caught up in the crying.

I got the mileage reading off the buses and went up to morning meeting. Most of the meeting was spent discussing Russia now that it has had a chance to soak in. Most people were genuinely excited, but some were afraid to tell their folks, and some had mixed emotions. We talked about how the other casts would/are handling it and how we should act towards them. It was a good follow-up discussion to get an idea of how people felt.

Following that, we had a presentation from the CIG and they explained about all the things they did as if it were a movie. The Suburban had broken down and a rental car had a blow-out tire and got rear ended, that is how it all started. They did, however, have a good time and enjoyed the experience.

For the next hour and 15 minutes we had a picture exchange. That means that about 8 of us brought in our pictures, numbered them and people came by and ordered from our selections. I have over 60 people who want at least one picture, and over 200 pictures to have made over Christmas break.. I'm going to be busy!

After that I loaded on to the Suburban with Kelly, Eva, Joerg, Elin and myself (the merchandise crew) and Bill and Wilfred in the front seat. Kelly briefed Elin and I on most everything we wanted to know about the merchandise intern. After we talked for a long time we put all the seats down and stretched out and went to sleep.

When we arrived in Swift Current, we unloaded the buses and put all the luggage into one little room. We then changed into our costumes while half of us cleaned up the mall with UWP t-shirts on, then we did an acoustic at the mall. They had me do the opening MC, international, and closing MC, but Ken cut me out of the closing.

I saw Marie Anne while we were performing so right after our meeting I grabbed her and then my luggage and got out as quick as possible. When we got home, I got settled, had dinner and worked on my pictures to get them organized.


BONUS NOTE AND PHOTO From Leanne Monahan-Voyles

Hi Grant!

Last weekend Dean gave Lena a 40th birthday party and he invited us to join them! It was a lot of fun to see them and their two beautiful daughters. Lena's mom was visiting from Sweden and she baked the cakes. YUM! Lena looks awesome- which isn't a big surprise! She is running marathons and recently won an aerobic competition. Lena said "I have known Dean for half of my life!" Wow!

On Sunday we came home from church to a big surprise. Their were news crews and policemen in our front yard. We looked again and someone had driven their truck into our house! We live on a dead end street in a quiet neighborhood! Thank God we were not home and we are all safe. She ran into the "toy room" so we were able to seal it off with tarps and stay in our home. We were on all 3 major news channels for about two days! We are famous!

Just thought I would share that little story with you! Thanks again for sharing your journal! I can't wait for Carlos to tell us we are going to the Soviet Union!

Your Cast A red headed friend,


Click here to see the photo.
12/11/87 ­ Friday - Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada

What a crappy, terrible day! I got up about 5:00 a.m. and took some Pepto-Bismol and went back to bed. At 6:30 it hit! Jo was in the bathroom, so I grabbed a trash can and had a little talk with it (in Technicolor yawn). I wasn't feeling good, but I went in anyway because I had commitments. (EDITOR: Sorry I get a little descriptive sometimes. I don't know why I couldn't just say "vomit.")

The staff did 2nd & 3rd days of Christmas. First they pegged us with apples and oranges, and then chocolate kisses. Sven, the Christmas tree, was sick. Then they told us that we would not be able to get into the facilities until after lunch. So instead we divided into groups of four, sat in a circle, asked a question and everyone went around and said their answer. I really enjoy those times, but I enjoy them better when I'm feeling good. At 9:15, we went to the Wheatland Mall to shop. Elin and I sat down with Kelly and went over some Merch forms. We were there almost the whole time.

I didn't do much shopping, but did pick my secret Santa (Deedra) and went straight to the bus to lie down. When we arrived at the school, the staff had already set up the stage, and they passed out candy canes. Then we had lunch, which I couldn't even stomach the smell, so I asked Terry (after some coaxing) to go home. I was pretty pale by now, so I was rather convincing.

I called Marie Anne and she came and picked me up (we also picked some Sprite up on the way home). I went pretty much straight to bed once I got home, and slept from about 12:30 to 4:30. When I woke up, I felt a ton better, so I called Al to make sure that they didn't need me to come in to do the show. It was a real restful evening after the family left, because I just wrote and watched TV. (Charlie Brown X-Mas Special and How the Grinch Stole X-Mas).

I finally went to bed around 11:30. That was the first show I have missed while with the cast.

BONUS NOTE From Lynda Cullen:


Thanks for sharing this entry (Soviet Announcement). I was on PR and got a call from Bill rather than hearing the news with the cast. I hope more people share their entries on the Soviet announcement.

I had a big concert Friday evening and another one (same one, same venue) tonight. Today will be spent attempting to get a few holiday decorations up. I am a little behind the 8 ball on that one this year but not very concerned.

How did the girls fare in the dancing competition?


(EDITOR: They did very well as a matter of fact. Janelle got a 4th and a 6th place, and Jeanna received a 1st place and a 4th place. They dance about 5 or 6 dances each. This is one of the bigger competitions in the area and both represented themselves very well.)

12/12/87 ­ Saturday ­ North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada

Since I was gone yesterday, I got the only seat available. It was in the very back next to Christine and Dek, but it really wasn't so bad being in the back seat that does not recline. When we arrived we did a little shopping (for Deedra ­ my secret Santa) and then did a mall show. I was not in it because I didn't have my costume, so I passed out flyers.

We had to make two trips home because we had so much luggage with five guys. When we got there, we split up into our rooms and I got the single room by myself. Walter is a reverend and Gay is from New Zealand and has a cool accent. We had a free evening and just talked until 7:30 at which time the guys met at the school and set up the stage. It went really fast. I set up the display with Denis C. for the first time, and then walked home a half a block away after we were done. My bedroom was freezing but I survived with my long underwear.

12/13/87 ­ Sunday ­ North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada

When we met in the morning, we pretended that the girls had set up again and we appreciated them. What was really funny was that all the stuffed animals that had been stolen were all hanging from the trust. We had the 'True colors' from Dek and Gretchen and then the Scandinavian gave a presentation on St. Lucia (Santa Loocia) which is their Christmas holiday. It was really neat and I learned something I never knew before.

Elin and I worked with Kelly while the rest of the cast made decorations and ornaments. After lunch (that I didn't have) we had another meeting about going home, and re-entry with our families. Then show prep, rehearsal, wrap-up, then to dinner (that I didn't go to) so that I could get familiar with the display merchandise. While setting up Michelle and her family came from Saskatoon to see the show again. I did not do King Richard, but did do ringmaster and Œ50's and that was hard enough. We sold an incredible amount both in display and audience.

After the show, I said goodbye to Michelle and packed up the display and we went home.

12/14/87 ­ Monday ­ North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada

We came to school in our costumes because we did not have much time in the morning, so we had a quick warm-up and rehearsal. At 9:15, we did our sound assembly for the high school, and after that we had time to work on the expression session. At 11:00 we started the second annual (semester) Expression Session. It was pretty fun because I was in several things. I was a last minute help for Birger and stood at a mic and said 'Bounty.' It was kind of dumb.

The second thing was a big hit with everyone. We did an imitation to King Richard, but it was called Queen Richard (or something like that). Nanette wrote it, Melinda sang it and Kurt, Jerko and I danced to it. We three learned the girls' dance from King Richard and did it behind Melinda. We forgot a lot of it, but still we were pretty close on being exact, and the only thing we wore was jeans, a sports coat and tie. It was really funny and went over really well.

The last thing I did was with Heidi; we started out waltzing and then I said ŒNo, no stop. Let me show you how we do it in Colorado. 'Then we broke into country swing to the last (fast) part of Mountain Music by Alabama. We got going really good at first, but then she tripped over my feet and hit hard on the ground. They cheered us on and told us to give it another shot, so we did and we did okay the second time.

After school, we set up the display to sell to the students, just for the heck of it, and ended up selling over $300. That is including a $142 purchase from one man.

I ran the audience sellers, and did King Richard, Ringmaster and danced '50s and in the show. Things went pretty well, and we were out of there by midnight. I also started handing out the slips for paying me for the duplicate pictures.


Today is the first day to reserve a room at the La Paloma Resort.  Our goal is to get the most cast members registered so that we can have the presidential suite available to our cast for the duration of the reunion.  This could be used to help those that are considering not coming due to financial concerns.   Registration for the reunion will begin on March 15, 2007.  They will have a contest to see which cast has the biggest registration during the month of March.  The cast with the largest registration will get additional discounts or rooms which also might help more of our cast attend the reunion.

Reunion information can be seen at:

Information about the resort where the reunion will be held is at:

And everyone will want to try the Slidewinder, the 177-foot waterslide!

Some have asked to find out the interest level of having a Cast A only gathering a day or two before the reunion begins either at the La Paloma or at another Tucson location.  If we can get enough people committed to the idea then I will come up with some solutions.   • My suggestions is that we meet at the La Paloma resort beginning on August 6th and have two days of Cast A only events.   • Opportunities for Cast A only events during the reunion will be limited as they have a special event planned for the current Cast A07 to perform for alumni on the night we would have available for a cast only dinner.

Please let me know your interest level to attend a Cast A only reunion for two days before reunion begins.

Either way, make plans NOW to attend our 20th Reunion from August 8th – 12th, 2007 in Tucson, Arizona.

12/15/87 ­ Tuesday ­ Minot, ND

We had another wonderful host drop off time at 6:00 a.m., and boy was it ever cold!! We stopped in Saskatoon, at 8:00 a.m. and it was still -17°C (below 0), so I am convinced it was really cold at 6:00 a.m. My bus date was Cassi and she had asked me, because she didn't have one. I originally signed up for a van, because I couldn't find one, so I switched to the bus with her. Ken and Paula were right in front of us and we were the only four awake all the way to Saskatoon. We had a real nice ride and talk, but she was pretty upset about something.

We arrived in Minot about 5:30pm because it did not take long at the Canada/U.S. border. They gave us the info we needed, then we went to a cookies and punch reception. Our host families wrapped our allocation code, so we had to open a present to find our code to find our family. This lady I was talking to about getting mobbed by being near the Christmas tree ended up being my host mom. Colleen took us to Jerrod's choir concert where we caught the last song, then we went on a search for my luggage. We stopped by the hotel and checked the buses, then went back to the school and it was there up by the school. Then we went home and had dinner and afterwards I taught them how to fold origami birds. Shinichi just looked at me because it was a different way than what he was used to. I tried to go to bed as soon as possible, but I ended up writing my monthly (Nov/Dec) newsletter.

BONUS NOTE from Michelle Bauckham-Galloway:

Aloha everyone,

As our move back to Arizona approaches, we are growing in both pure excitement and sorrow. We can't wait to return to Greg's family and our Flagstaff home and ohana, but leaving my family in Hawaii is unthinkable. We are practically moving out Saturday (Dec. 16) when we sell everything in our garage sale. After that we will be in the process of moving and without much access to e-mail. If you need to reach us, please call (808-235-5459) or at my parents' (808) 261-1489. We'll surely have a "See You Soon" party in Hawaii before we leave for those of you who live here. We leave the Islands Jan. 8, arrive in Arizona the day after! We'll be back in Flagstaff Dec. 16!

I just passed an awesome night with Whynot as he was out here playing with Gavin Degraw. We had so much fun hanging out and talking on the phone on the days I couldn't join him.

Have a very Merry!

Love, Michelle, Greg, Alana (6 3/4) and Ian (2 3/4)

P.S. Our address is Flagstaff will be the same as before (no phone yet), but of course, we'll be forwarding our mail:

22 E. Ridgecrest Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

BONUS PHOTO From Clay's Dad, Richard:

Hey Grant,

This is a photo (file size reduced) that Jon Clay sent to us. I thought it was good and wanted to pass it along.

Clay and wife Wendy are on the right and left, 13.5 year old Hannah is next to Wendy and almost 8 year old Abby is next to Clay. Abby must be standing on something, or you'd see only down to her chin...

Click here to see the photo.

12/16/87 ­ Wednesday ­ Minot, ND

Host drop off was not until 8:30 but we were there by 7:30 because Jerrod dropped us off on the way to school. We basically sat there until morning meeting, and afterwards the high school band played a few songs for us and we had a question and answer session following. When the students left we had a full cast meeting with Carlos about re-evaluating our goals that we had set at the beginning of the year. It was a nice lengthy session and plenty of time for discussing and inputting our opinion. We did an exercise where we told the person next to us how we perceived them at the beginning of the year and how it is different from now. Melinda was next to me and was really surprised of what I thought about her in Tucson. It was a real good healthy discussion session.

When we were finished, we had lunch and then Amy took Elin and I to the office so we could do some paperwork and count the order from Tucson that merch received. We were there all afternoon and everyone else reconvened at the auditorium, so we met Jerrod there and he took us home. We also took Anne and Laurie home with us so they could shower and get ready. On our way home, we stopped at Target to exchange all our Canadian money. We left for the Christmas banquet at about 5:45 after taking pictures.

It was incredible seeing everyone dressed up and looking so nice. It was almost like going to Prom or Homecoming. We had our individual picture taken, and eventually were allowed to go in and sit down. We were assigned to a table and had a bunch of stuff at our place like: program, address book, Christmas in other countries and candy cane grams. We had an opening invitation and did the prayer for dinner. Then I went around and took pictures for people of their table. It was a buffet meal and was pretty good, and after dinner Carlos and Terry said a few words. Then they called out the staff and they all brought out a bottle of champagne and we had a toast to Cast A. After that we did the cast awards which were everything from nicest tush to best smile and everything in between; it was really funny. Leanne and I won cutest couple (that is not a cast couple) and was cheered on enthusiastically. When we got to the podium, I told everyone we were going to start a redhead colony.

After the awards Clay put on a fantastic slide presentation, and one of the funniest pictures was of the Japanese students and me on that travel day in the Suburban with all the Japanese students. People really laughed hard and I didn't know why until afterwards, but people were saying (singing) 'One of these things is not like the others,' because I was the only American in the picture. I laughed later when I understood why they were laughing.

We had a presentation for Kathy and Bill to kind of formally say goodbye. It was kind of a sad moment, but we followed it up with dancing with music from the high school band. Gretchen and I danced the last slow dance together and she cried some more about Shawn. (EDITOR: Hhhmmm, a foreshadow of things to come?!? Now I get the last slow dance EVERY time.) Then right after that we all stood in a circle with candles and sang Silent Night and they played Love in Any Language. It was really hard for me to sing with a lump in my throat.

Jerrod picked us up at 11:00 and we pretty much went straight to bed.


Brenda B. and I have our room!!  Overlooking the pool :)


Well, isn't this special???? I just made our room reservation for our 20TH reunion next year!!! Talk about quick and easy...(alright, Ellis, I'm talking about making the reservation!!!). They don't charge a deposit until 7 days before the reunion starts so don't worry about plans now, better to have a room than be stuck out in the heat (remember Tucson?). Well, I just wanted to share how simple it was to get a room booked and I'm so looking forward to the suite upgrade because I know Cast A is going to have the best turnout!!!!




Hi Grant!

Just wanted to let you know that I've just booked a room to share with Helene and her sister at Westin La Paloma 8-12th! We're in!!!



I just got the official announcement today.  Don’t delay in holding your room reservation.  They will certainly go fast! - Grant

Reunion 2007 hotel reservations at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa are now open!

Go to  and click on the Reunion 2007 page to find the link for reservations at the UWPIAA Reunion rate of $99/double and $115/triple or quad (plus tax). This special rate is available for all attendees of Reunion 2007, August 8-12. The rate will also be extended for UWPIAA attendees as early as August 6 th until August 15th if you wish to stay longer. You can also call for reservations: (520) 742-6000 - mention the UWPIAA Reunion and your desired dates.

All suites at the Westin La Paloma Resort are being offered as prizes in our Reunion 2007 Registration contests:

* Your Cast Rep can win an upgrade to an incredible suite through our "Suite Life Cast Contest" .  * The "Presidential Auction" will offer the use of the Presidential Suite to the highest bidder( hint..consider joining forces as a cast for a specail location for a cast gathering).

Details of these contests will be posted at along with Reunion Registration information - so keep checking back!

Reunion Registration will open online March 15, 2007 . See our web site for a schedule of activities and don't miss Reunion 2007 in Tucson, Arizona!

12/17/87 ­ Thursday ­ Minot, ND

Drop off was at Minot Auditorium and we were there early so I put out my pictures again for those who wanted to order that did not get a chance to. After morning meeting we went right to work on merch. Stupid me forgot to count display after the last show, so that is what I spent all morning doing. It was a very frustrating day because I could not find $27 in the books anywhere. This actually happened after the cast sale, at which we made almost $1300. That along with making quota both nights in N. Battleford, we are doing really good for the week. Elin and I made over $8.00 in commission both nights, but no commissions for cast sale! After cast sale, I stocked back up when I shouldn't have and forgot to count what I put in. Needless to say, I was batting a thousand. I spent the whole afternoon getting even more frustrated with the numbers not working out. I skipped dinner and got ready for the show and went out to set up the display. Lynda Cullen sold with me and we did okay, but for a crowd of 2100, we missed a lot of people. Once again Grant, the brain, forgot to count display before it was all packed away. This time it was okay because we were going to take inventory in the next city anyways. We made another $9, but overall a very frustrating day.



Hi Grant

I have booked a room for 4 persons today. I have it booked from the 6th to the 12th.

Thank you very much for your wonderful work.

Very best regards

Birger Husted



From Julie Burgan

Hi Grant,

I am formally announcing that I booked a room Friday at 8:02am overlooking the pool at the La Paloma. If Brian decides not to come (which I suspect will be the case, but he hasn't formally decided yet - I think he's afraid of Tucson in August), someone is welcome to share it with me.




Gretchen and I are set with our "mountain view" from August 5-12. We can squeeze extras in our room too if you need a place to be. Anyone up for a Cast A game of golf on August 6th? Let me know and maybe we can get a tournament together.


12/18/87 ­ Friday ­ Whapeton, ND

Once again we were the first ones dropped off in the morning because Jerrod had to go to school. We left for Whapeton at 8:30 and I was riding in a rental car with Carlos driving, Marty, Cindy, Amy and myself. It was a nice ride and I learned a little more about Carlos than I knew before, and he now knows some about me. We stopped in Fargo at this mall because we were about one hour and a half ahead of the cast. When we stopped we soon found out that the buses decided to do the same thing.

We arrived in Whapeton about 8:30 and stopped for some ice cream. We left to go to drop off at 5:00, and I was the navigator. I took us directly to the high school with no problem. The only problem was that drop off was at the community bank. Oops! We were only about 10 minutes late, and Tim had already found our family.

We had a real easy evening, but I spent most of it typing the new statistics report. I did however, call Mom and Dad at about 10:15 to make sure we were on the same mind set. I went to bed about 12:30.


Hi Grant!

We made our reservations for the hotel for the reunion! I think they actually gave me two confirmation numbers, but I will keep both room in case we need it. (Maybe we can get a grandparent to come with us.) I will let the cast know before we cancel it just in case someone needs it (They only had King bed rooms available.)

Here's our Christmas card and picture. Please send it on to the cast for me. (Hard copies available upon request.) See you soon...Aug.

Love, Erin

Click here to see the photo.

12/19/87 ­ Saturday - Whapeton, ND

We had a morning meeting at 7:45 and then they handed out are evaluations of ourselves that we wrote in September in Bartlesville. We talked with Terry for about an hour on how close we were on reaching our goals and have they changed. I realized that I didn't reach any personal goals, but other goals that I had not planned on like King Richard and merchandise intern. When we finished with that the rest of the cast set up while Elin and I worked on paperwork. Lunch was rushed and I picked audience sellers at the last minute because we had a matinee show at 2:00 p.m. We did a pretty good job selling ($10.00 commission for us), but I don't know how the show went as a whole. That is one bad thing about this internship is that I miss the whole show except for what I am in. I did King, Ring and 50's. Afterwards I counted the money (the cast struck the set) and got everything settled for Denis. I also was in a strip show for Cynthia's birthday ($14) and heard a little bit of a cassette tape Cast B sent us. We finally went home about 6:30 with Linda and Tim's family came with us. We had a nice lasagna dinner and went to the Casino Night at about 9:00 p.m. It was okay, but kind of dumb. I did however deal Black jack for about 30 minutes, danced a little then went home.

We stayed up and talked for a while and finally went to bed about 12:30.


I just wanted to let you know that I just booked my room for the reunion. I'm so excited and look forward to seeing everyone in August!


Cyndi Flynn-Yung


Room booked overlooking pool!

Randy Roach


Steve Ellis called today saying he has booked his king sized beds party room over looking the pool.


His birthday was today and I sent him a note. He sent back this sentence and photos.

Dear Grant,

Thanks. My daughter is still sick. But we are fine and I have a great day.


Click here to see the photo.

12/20/87 ­ Sunday ­ Whapeton, ND: End of first semester

We had a small breakfast with Tim's family then went to drop off at 7:00 a.m. We said our goodbyes to Norm's bus going to Minneapolis and Norm said bye to us. All the host families had happy hankies like the Twins had in the World Series. I sat with Bill Graul, but walked around and talked for the short hour or so trip. Those of us who could, checked our luggage in, but Beth and I had to wait; no one was at our counter. We sat in the lounge until the first batch of people left at 11:30. At that time we got up and moved in front of gate 3 (out of 4 gates) where Beth's and I's flight left from. We played cards for a little bit, but Beth and I stretched out on the floor and fell asleep. Second batch (Randy, Steve & Bill) left at 2:40 (to Denver) so it was just Beth and me. We went and had lunch and then got cleaned up and ready to go (or wait another hour in this case). We finally left at 5:55 p.m. from Fargo to Bismark (or Bisquick as the stewardess said), and had a 45-minute delay because their #1 tank fuel gage was not working. I arrived in Denver at 8:20 and was supposed to leave at 8:30, but was delayed until 9:25. I'm anxious to get home and it is really hard to sit here and just wait. Beth and I had a nice talk on the plane. She is the last connection I will have with any Up With People people until January 4th in Las Vegas. Kind of weird that I have not been home or in Colorado for 5 months. It is weird feeling to be home. Kind of empty, but kind of exciting.

When I got to Colorado Springs, I was greeted by Mom, Dad and Scott, and a few minutes later by Kara, Russ, Cindy and Kristina with confetti and everything. They came home with me and I showed them my stuff and did what they told us not to do. Oh well. (EDITOR: I don't remember exactly what this is. I think we were instructed to not force our whole tour on our family and friends with pictures and stories all in one sitting.)


Hi Grant,

Just wanted to let you know I've booked my hotel room for the reunion. Do you think I have a chance of winning the prize for traveling the furthest distance? :) We're talking a good 15 minute drive...sometimes 20-25 depending on traffic.

Denis Cournoyer


If you are coming to the reunion, call five people and tell them you would like to see them at the reunion!

Darci had sent me an email awhile ago, but I didn't quite know how to send it out, so I decided to save it until Christmas break.  See some of her journal thoughts down below.  

I hope everyone has a great holiday season, I may resume my journal emails on January 4th.



BONUS JOURNAL From Darci Buck-Price:

Hi Grant!

Just found MY journal—and thought I’d give a few highlights from it from Sept ‘til now--(however, much like Leanne, mine too should just probably go back up into the attic!!!).  I know this is LONG—so feel free to use or not.

  Sept 1:  The cast is taking charge of themselves and it’s super! Ras, Randy- “good eggs”.  Amy Roth is helping me out with Ed. Stuff and Roger and Anne want to help too!

Sept. 4:  Doug Barkley is VERY funny and Amy Roth is great!  White Sands monument was fabulous- we had a great time at the dunes.  Heikki is a lot of fun too.  

Sept 8: Borger, TX. Met with the Mexicans and Kurt/Leanne re: amigo secreto & Mexican Independence Day. Sept 10 & on… (…I write a lot about Dennis- we decided to be a ‘cast couple’ but our jobs were to come first and that we’d need to be very approachable to everyone in the cast- and while I hope that was true, I mostly journaled about ‘us’).

Sept 15: today’s priorities: stats with Grant; Ed reports-Dale; Mexico-trivia; Planning session; Amy Roth- surveys; Education open house- explain ‘career days’.

Sept 18: Riding in the van to El Dorado, KS with Steve Ellis (who is now sleeping on my shoulder), Elin, Rita, Bill G, Dennis, Denis, Gro, Jeff M, Jo and Cassie- FUN Group!

  Sept. 25:  Al Bias wants to know how to make production time more educational in nature- very cool!  All of the staff is very educationally inclined- love it.  

Sept. 26: Bill Parker gave Dennis a hard time tonite and said he ‘dressed up’ because he’s in love.  Dennis’ parents are at the show….his mom took a picture of Sedrick, Dennis and me.  Kathy Lee and Bill give Dennis a hard time about me (teasing). Rodney Blake said that he & Leanne dubbed us a cast couple.  I don’t mind, but I want to make a conscious effort to sit by many different people on the bus, at meals, etc. and make work my #1 priority.

  Sept. 29  Jeff and Dennis unloaded the whole truck by themselves tonite…I knew they’d do that.

October 1:  October goals: Ed crew formed and specific jobs delegated; Canadian Thanksgiving; Halloween Party planned; Birthdays delegated; News- Ras; 2 B/W discussions; High School Project; Amy- that she knows her job; Ed box.  

  Anyway—it’s fun reminiscing—

  Talk soon!



Reunion Excitement is building!!

If you have not booked your room yet call the LaPaloma Reservation line toll free at 800-325-3535.

Sometimes their website says they are full so double check by calling if you find that out from their website.  I have heard that 66% of the rooms are booked, so don’t delay, you can always cancel later.

Watch for Christina Stevens on a float in the Rose Bowl New Year’s day parade and if you missed Melinda on Find & Design on A&E she was awesome!  I think it is going to be on again this week, but I am not sure and I can’t find the information.  I will try to find a way that you can log on and look at it.

Have a Happy New Year!


Here are some comments from those that are coming:

Grant I just booked a room too.  I'm going alone and have a room with two double beds so if there are any ladies looking for room mates send them my way.  I heard from Laurie too and although she's not planning to stay at the hotel, she is planning on attending as many of the events as possible, traveling from her Dad's house in Sierra Vista..

Looking forward to this summer!!

Anne (Stainforth-Dearrington)



Your email messages have met your goal of getting everyone excited about the reunion.  I say keep sending your journal notes if it isn't too much work for you.

Happy Holidays.

Denis Cournoyer


Hey Grant,

   First of all, thanks for all of the memories with your journal entries.  It is great to relive those moments when life was simple and exciting. Not that it isn't exciting now, but definitely not as simple.

   I have not made my room reservations for the reunion yet. How much interest has been generated regarding the Cast A mini reunion and which hotel is everybody booking? (EDITOR:  Quite a few have said they will be there as early as the 5th or 6th)  I would like to get this part taken care of asap before I get stuck in a Motel 6 twenty miles away from the cast. I can't wait to see everybody. I'll send out an update on my family and some pictures in the next few days.   

I hope that you and Gretchen and the kids have a very Merry Christmas.


   Kevin (Jonas)



I am hoping to come...(planning on it despite financial concerns) but would welcome the opportunity to room with whomever in an attempt to cut costs.....don't care if there are several people in the room either....BUT....if it's with Ellis and Merriman....make sure they know that there will be no sexual favors!!!

   Lynda Cullen-Hall


Hi Grant,

    If you are not getting sick of distributing your journal, please keep on typin'!  I am thoroughly enjoying the memories...your journal is so detailed of the activities we did compared to mine (which mainly reads like an ode to Cast B...once again I say thank God for unanswered prayers!).  Anyway, I'm sure it's working to spark excitement for our reunion.  I talked to John Flores last week and he's still planning on coming.  I can't wait to see everyone!  


Brenda (Chocolate)


My 13 year old son just found all my UWP tapes of various performances and the ones put together for the cast. He's blackmailing me and it's HILARIOUS.

(Shawn) Patrick Faucher BONUS PHOTO

Heikki’s daughter Tilda

Click here to see the photo.


dear grant,

keep the journals coming :) it's great to read about what we were doing 20 yrs ago. thanks for all you do ! looking forward to seeing everyone in august :)

love, sandra


Click here to choose a different month

1/4/88 Monday - Las Vegas, NV

Well here I am on the airplane to Las Vegas, Nevada and I already feel like I'm back. While waiting in the Denver airport I ran into Brett and Heidi so I didn't even get to Las Vegas before I saw people. In the Colorado Springs airport, I ran into Brenda Reed (a high school friend) who was going back to Seattle, so when we got into Stapleton airport in Denver, we had lunch together and a real nice talk.

I had a real nice break, but Mom as usual did not think I spent enough time at home. I got a chance to see just about everyone I wanted. Sunday I finished seeing my close friends and then went home and finished packing. All in all it was a great break, but I'm ready to get back with it.

It was nice to have the whole family home for one more year. It was a pretty good Christmas for me, but for everyone else it was an Up With People Christmas. (EDITOR: In other words, everyone received some kind of paraphernalia with Up With People written on it whether it was a mug, a tie, a...)

I called Laurie Wralstad to tell her my flight plans and called Michelle Carlson (host friend from Saskatoon). Hmm very interesting way to start out a New Year!

It is impossible to believe 1987 is gone and 1988 is here. I have a lot to look forward to in 1988 and it will be action packed year. This is the year I lose my teenagehood. Wow, I guess I'm not a kid anymore.

When I got to Las Vegas it really was great to see everyone and everyone was talking a mile a minute and very excited. We had a short meeting to meet the PR team (Alamendra and Whitney who is new), and both Terry and Carlos welcomed us back. We went home with the Blodeauxs who lived in Henderson, NV, and later that evening we drove to Vegas. We first went downtown and then to the strip. Once at the strip, we parked at Caesar's Palace and went on the people mover into the casino and looked around for about an hour and a half. We finally got home around 11:00 p.m. (EDITOR: I would have never known then that 17 years later I would find myself back in Caesars Palace working on a tv show for 6 months. It is funny how things come full circle.)

1/5/88 Tuesday Las Vegas, NV

We had our morning meeting and then a cast meeting where we spent 2 1Ž2 hours talking about the break and what we did. I brought up the fact that people/friends asked me if I was scared to go to the Soviet Union. Several people in the cast said that they too were asked that question, and like me had not really thought about it. After getting mail, a little basketball and lunch, we went to the community Center and rehearsed. We had our first rehearsal with Lindsay which I missed most of because Elin and I were with Kelly going over merch. Later we had wrap-up and then I got dressed so I was ready for the display.

Lisa Solomon (a friend) showed up about 5:00 and we talked for about 45 minutes while I was getting the display ready for the show. We had Kelly, Elin, and I there so it was not that big of a deal, but I felt very uncomfortable while she just stood around. It got real busy, real quick so we said our goodbyes, but she still stayed and watched about 30 minutes of the show. It was nice to see her again. The show was not very good, but immediately afterwards I got directions home and then changed into nice clothes for my 'date' with Paula Leland. (EDITOR: This was my prize for guessing the Mystery City, (Algona, Iowa), which ironically was my wife's PR city. So in essence, my wife earned me a date with Paula. Hhhmmm, that is weird.)

Our show ended at 7:30 and "Ain't Misbehavin'" began at 8:00 at the Sahara. Bill drove us there and dropped us off on the wrong side of the casino, so we had to run from one end to the other. When we found the theater, we got into this line and asked the man in front of us if this was where we purchased tickets for the show. He said 'No, this is the bar line, but here' and he turned around and gave us two free tickets to the performance.

The maitre'd asked us where we would like to sit and Paula said as close as possible because she forgot her contact lens. They put us one table way from the stage in the dead center, the hot seat for audience participation. Sure enough one of the ladies came off stage, played with my beard and asked me if I was alone. It was a great show, and the whole cast and band was black. (EDITOR: Sorry, I don't know why this comment was made. I didn't have much "color" in my world growing up, so this was still a novelty.) Afterwards we had our picture taken in several poses that she picked for us. We later bought two of them: she bought the one of her up against my chest with my arm around her and I bought one of us kissing. We purchased those after a nice buffet dinner at the Sahara and we had a real nice talk during dinner.

We finished the evening by playing a few slots and poker machines and then walked back to Circus Circus and ran into Kelly right away. We stopped off in her room for a minute then she drove me back home. Kelly and I had a great talk on the way to my host home, but got a little lost because we couldn't find the right street. We stopped at a 7-11 for gas and directions and eventually got home about 12:30 at night. Don was waiting up for his wife and heard me come in; I felt a little bad but the evening was well worth it!

FUN FACT: Did you catch the UWP reference on page 8 of next weeks TV guide?

1/6/88 Wednesday Las Vegas, NV

We dropped off at the Henderson Convention Center and then were bussed to Caesar's Palace. We tried several times to have a morning meeting but were uprooted several times until the third time we finally got a room (they did bring in a fork lift to move the piano though). We just discussed how the day would work and what our responsibilities were and to make sure we were flexible. After the meeting we went on a tour of Vegas and they told us quite a bit about the different casinos. Then we saw several 'stars' homes: Liberace, Wayne Newton, Bubba Smith, Michael Spinks, John Denver's old home, Paul Harvey, Redd Foxx, Phyllis Diller and some others. After seeing the homes we went to Ethel M's Chocolate factory and saw how they made chocolate and got to sample some. It was a well arranged tour and very informative. We were then dropped off at Caesar's Palace and had lunch across the street at McDonalds downstairs of the Barbary Coast.

After lunch it was back to rehearsal full steam and boy was it a long one! They demonstrated several of the fireworks that they would later use at the end of our show that evening. It was a seemingly stressful and extra long rehearsal, but probably good for us to jump back into it with both feet.

After rehearsal we had wrap-up and that is when we gave our presentation about Paula's and I date the night before. I told them generally what happened, and then Paula said 'This is how the evening began.' And showed her picture (of her leaning against me) and I said 'This is how it ended!' and showed my picture (of us kissing). They of course responded typical of our cast by ooing and aaahing at the first one and whooping and hollering at the second one. It was fun to share.

From there we went to Circus Circus for dinner at the buffet and then some free time around the casino. I played some more poker and slots and finally got the courage to sit at a blackjack table. The dealer kept yelling at me because I was doing several things wrong. I lost about 48 dollars, but was up four dollars at one time. It was kind of fun to know I was only 19 and looking 23.

We went back to Caesar's got ready and sat around and waited. It was really weird because I would walk by a machine and practically be drawn to it. Then put one quarter in and walk away with five (except I always put it back in later), but it happened a couple of times. Weird!

It was a good show, and it was quite a spectacular finale with all the fireworks at the end. After the show the director said that we were last because Fats Domino could not do a show that was able to follow ours. As soon as we could we took down the equipment (before the union workers came) and had it ready to load into the truck so that was all that was left to do. The reason was because there had to be one union worker for every one of our workers and it would have taken forever for five people (that knew what they were doing) to do the job of 40 people. We were done at 11:00 and I put another $10 into the poker machine before we left at 11:30. Pick up was at the Henderson Convention Center at 12:15. When I got home Amanda and I stayed up and talked until about 1:30.

1/7/88 Thursday Flagstaff, AZ

We left at 8:00 and arrived at the Hoover Dam about 9:45 and stayed there for about 30 minutes and did some fun poses on the border. Somebody took a picture of Margaret and I kissing but each in our own state. My bus date was Beth Wahlert, and kind of boring because all we did was sleep. We stopped at a McDonalds and most everyone went to see the Grand Canyon at $2 a person. Several of us who had seen it stayed behind and sat around and talked. Laurie, Kelly Bates, and I were sitting at a table talking when Kelly tried to suck water through her straw with her nose. She succeeded and I don't think she meant to and about drowned. It was absolutely hilarious, and Laurie and I must have laughed for 10 minutes straight.

We arrived into Flagstaff around 6:30 and got our schedule as we got off the bus. We found our family right away and went home to a great spaghetti dinner. I read the newspaper and tried to watch TV but fell asleep in the process.

1/8/88 Friday Wilcox, AZ

John took us for a doughnut before host drop off and then we took off at about 8:00 for Wilcox. On our way, we stopped in Tucson to spend about 3 1Ž2 hours there. Some people met up with their old host family and others (like myself) walked around and did nothing. Cassi, Julie and I really had a good time just walking, talking and spelling. (EDITOR: Yeah, we were crazy rebels.) On our way out of Tucson the bus I was on broke down for about an hour and that made us an hour late for pick up. We never did hear what had been wrong with the bus.

We met the Wackerlys, went home, had dinner and watched an old video of Up With People and it just so happened Carlos Acevedo was in it. We laughed a lot and enjoyed watching him.


From Kelly Bates-Kinch

too funny! man, I did not even remember that! Hmm...sucking up a drink through a straw in my nose....maybe subconsciously I was trying to forget that incident! hahahaha

Thanks again, Grant, for all you do. The journal entries are GREAT!

Hi to Gretchen and your girls.



From Sandra

well gang, i've finally hit it big :) i was at a swing danceathon in november raising money for cancer research and was dancing with someone new. he had someone video tape us dancing (i think he was using his camera phone), but i totally forgot about it. last thursday, that guy (chris) came up to me and reminded me of our dance and said he posted us on youtube. here's the link. now you know someone famous (okay, not that famous) online :)

have a great new year,


1/9/88 Saturday Wilcox, AZ

This morning is the beginning of a crazy couple of days because we have many people from Tucson coming to teach us more and fine tune us. The whole morning was spent talking about Las Vegas and how things were going and how it felt to be back. After that we then met all our visitors from the staff of Cast E and new staff members of all the other casts. While the stage was being set up, Elin and I organized the truck and logged everything.

During lunch, I finally met Kelly from Cast E (merch. Manager), and Pat who is from the Tucson office. Then after a very short lunch we had the rehearsal we had all been waiting for with Lynn Morris. It actually was not that bad, but it sure started out like staging in Tucson. We walked on the stage for the beginning of Sunrise five times before we even started the music. The rehearsal was long, but good and effective. After the four-hour rehearsal, a rushed dinner, and a quick change into my costume, I ran to get things ready for the audience sellers. By the time I got there, the Kellys had already put the bags together and were set. The only thing I did in the show was the Ringmaster and Pat came and watched me do it. It is nice to know her face now instead of just a voice on the phone. The evening was relatively early because Kelly Bates offered to take it home and finish it for us. Besides that it was an early pick-up since we have two shows this city.

1/10/88 Sunday Wilcox, AZ

We were able to sleep in for a while, had a nice breakfast and then I walked to the school at about 11:00 a.m. The rest of the cast came later about 12:00, but Elin and I counted the display and did some other work. When the rest of the cast arrived we had a morning/afternoon meeting and at the end of it, we watched part of the video that Carlos was in. Elin and I then said our goodbyes to Kelly Bates and then worked on the paperwork.

When we joined fitness, Lynn was leading it doing crazy things with the cast. Something about getting your energy from the center of the earth and the center of your body. I don't know, it was pretty weird, but it was kind of neat to see that side of Lynn. Then we went straight into rehearsal and did different songs, some using different people. I got the chance to do King Richard and we only did it once unlike almost everything else that we did twice (except Ringmaster) I don't know whether there was too much wrong to correct it, or to good to have to do it again. I would like to think that I did it flawless and need no work on it. At wrap-up Lynn and Herb did not really say much, and it was pretty much your basic wrap-up. Kelly had already announced the day before that she was leaving to go on PR and so this was our first wrap-up as a staff/student cast member.

We went home for dinner and had a nice dinner, but very short because I had to go back to set up the display. When I was trying to turn on the lights, and tried a breaker because I couldn't find a switch and turned on the fire alarm. Ooops. It was kind of funny but no one came to turn it off for about 15 minutes. I did not do much in the show except for King Dick and Ringmaster, otherwise I was off stage the whole time. It was kind of neat to watch the second half because Ross did the sign language to God's Skin and it was incredible! My host dad was filming the show, and of course the batteries went dead right after 50's so he missed Ross and God's Skin. I was pretty much bumming but at least I got to see it. We did as much paperwork as we could before we left, but did not balance. We basically survived our first night without Kelly.


Bill Becker's kids at Christmas. Check out his son's expression. I laughed out loud. Thanks for sharing Bill!

Grant - let me know if you get the golf tourney set for the 6th - I'll try and make it. Right now, though, we're booked in from the 7th to 12th. Happy New Year to all from the Beckers in snowy Maine, attached is a pic of the kids on Christmas Eve... Bill

Click here to see the photo.

1/11/88 Monday Socorro, NM

Gary had to drop us off early so he could make it to work on time, so Jerko and I sat in the Safeway parking lot until 8:40 a.m. Everyone else came about 9:00 a.m. and we left at 9:30.

When we arrived in Socorro, we had a parade through town to the college where we were going to perform. I rode in an old car and threw candy at people and when we arrived we had to set up before host pickup. Elin and I built a super structure display with an extra three metal screens. It looked really good but was pretty big for the number of boxes we had. We got free popcorn and pop while we were there. We (Heikki and I) found our family right away and went home, and for the first time I got a good-looking host sister. It turned out our original host had to back out because a relative had become very ill, so they asked Fabbie if she could take us. We told about where we came from and our background and I learned a lot about Heikki I never knew. They told me they had a daughter in Colorado Springs at Fort Carson. We had a nice dinner, took some pictures and went to bed. We didn't see much of Judy because she was gone then went to bed early.

1/12/88 Tuesday Socorro, NM

At morning meeting, we finally got a schedule for second semester and heard officially about a private show in Washington D.C. for some senators. We talked a long time about where we are headed this semester. Right after that we sat down with Lindsay and she told us about herself and her background. It was really nice until she dropped the bomb on us. She said she wanted to keep basically the same line up for the next 6 weeks, so she could start fine tuning things. She was going to concentrate on the soloists so that she could finally work on the chorus. Needless to say most everybody was pretty upset, and I was the first one to stand up and say something. I said "I hate to be the bitcher or ass, but I want to be frank; I personally have just lost all my drive to learn anything new because I won't be able to perform it anyways." For the most part I think people were behind me and what I was saying except those who already have big parts (or lots of them). She reneged and said no, that was not what she was saying, but trying to get so much emphasis off of the show and on to the experience as a whole. I think by this time people felt like the damage was already done and wouldn't help to say anything. The mood was very somber and was hard to get through rehearsal, and hard to get psyched for the show for middle school students (about 400 of them). The sound assembly went really well, but a poor audience (you know kids).

After the show, we had an admissions presentation from Henri that was pretty informative. Then we went to wrap-up where Terry told us that we were all going to get to go to Washington D.C. for a public show and a private show in March. I think that eased the tension about only 40 being able to go. (at least for me)

We had dinner, did the show (I did audience) I also did King Richard & Ringmaster, I was off a little bit of money, had strike, went home and talked for a while then went to bed. We had a real nice talk with Fabbie.


Dearest Grant,

If you stop this journal-thing I will find some unreasonable reason to accuse you of something. (That's a stereotype about America we have over here - "there's no limit to what you can try in a court of law") !! I will hold you responsible for not persuading the last 5-10 people to come to the reunion. (EDITOR: Okay, I will get the last few stragglers to Tucson. :) )

Because I strongly believe that most of cast A 1987 has been inspired by your journal entries to give our 20-year reunion a top priority on the "expense-list" of 2007. Your daily E-mails have reminded me of the unique experience we had together, and it defenitely has made me convinced that I want to go back to Tucson and re-unite with the 130 special friends I have from cast A 1987.

2 weeks ago Birger visited me and my family one night, while he was in Billund to do some coaching at Lego. We had a great time catching up and talked a lot about the impact your journal entries have had on us. So if you can find the time (because I know it takes a lot of your time to type them) please keep going. I'm sure everyone would understand if you took a break now and then, and I also think the guest entries would be interesting. I just hope you/we(the cast) can keep them coming all the time till the "end", so that we can "start" at the beginning when reuniting at La Paloma.

I got e-mail from Tomoko saying that she plan to bring her family. And just a few days ago Elin changed her mind and have now decided to come.

Thanks for all you do Grant - you deserve a lot of credit. Tell your girls hello from Denmark. Sanne


Click here to see the photo.

Click here to see the photo.

Brian Merriman

Hey grant..thanks for updates .Plan to spend reunion poolside in my Euro designer swim shorts, along with my friend, Captain Morgan. Does anyone know of a Liquior store in the area? A friend of mine would like to know. Hope all stay safe from now till then. Hi to all across the world, and have a peaceful year!

p.s. no screaming kids poolside, I will be nursing a cold beverage. SHOW UP EIDE dont be a Puss. *********

1/13/88 Wednesday Socorro, NM

This morning drop off was not until 12:30, but some guys were meeting at 9:30 to play basketball at the college. There was eight of us who came to play and after one game with them, I went and played a game of racquetball with Meg (I won.) After that I showered and got ready to leave. We arrived about 5:30 and unloaded our luggage on this mountain and got our allocations. I guess Kurt and Brenda had quite a few problems with the sponsor and had to change sponsors a couple of times. So to make it even more confusing, they threw out little ping-pong balls with a symbol on it and the families had the meaning, but there was no connection in between.

Oh well, we found Luis and Janice and loaded all our luggage in the truck and went home in the car. We had a nice dinner (chili/stew), and a quiet evening. I spent about 30 minutes pulling off Pepsi tabs for Laurie Wralstad because she is collecting them for someone who needs a kidney dialysis machine. I pretty much went to bed after we took some pictures.


Happy New Year Grant!
I just wanted to let you know that I made my room reservation for Tucson. I also asked the resort to reserve additional parking spaces in case someone needs to set up a tent.

Thanks again for another great year of keeping the cast together. All the best to you, Gretchen and the girls.

Douglas Barkley

1/14/88 Thursday Socorro, NM

After morning meeting, Elin and I set up merch and finished the paperwork. Right before lunch we called Kelly and Pat. We talked with Kelly for about 20 minutes and I told her about my first merchandise nightmare. For some reason we were back in Las Vegas and we were selling like crazy. People just kept coming back and needing more and more to sell, and I lost track of how much I was giving out and at the end of the night we were thousands of dollars off. It was scary, but she just laughed (because it was pretty funny). After lunch we had fitness with Dolly which I was really not in the mood for and was for some reason really dragging. After that we had rehearsal, but Elin and I were working clear up to and through dinner. Sales went okay, but not too good. Heidi, however was fun to work with.

The usual happened, we struck, went home had some cookies, talked for a while and went to bed.

(I forgot to mention Pat was really nice to talk to.)

1/15/88 Friday Farmington, NM

Luis basically dropped us off and left. There was a lot of focus on Bill because the night before he gave us his farewell speech and was in tears the whole time. It was a sad, touching moment for all of us. I signed up for the bus alone, but then Lindsay asked if she could sit next to me and said yes, but she stood me up anyways. I did get some reading done that I wanted to do, so I accomplished some things.

My family was late in getting there because their son had a basketball game, so Al and I were almost the last ones to leave. We went straight from there to Godfather's Pizza and met a whole bunch of people who were hosting and we all had dinner together. I had a real nice time, and on the way home we stopped by where my real family was staying to see if they were here yet. They weren't so I left the tickets and the phone number where I was at the front desk and went home. They called about 9:30 that Mom, Scott, Penny and Michelle were there and Brett and Dad arrived while we were talking. We made arrangements for tomorrow and hung up. The evening was real relaxed and comfortable. I basically just did some writing and watched a little TV.

1/17/88 Sunday Farmington, NM

I was still in bed, but Mom called to say they left about 10:45 and said she had gotten a hold of the Sawyers and I should try and call Jim. I tried later, but he wasn't home. I don't know what I would have said to him if I would have got a hold of him after 13 years. (EDITOR: This was a childhood friend that lived on my street that I had not seen in 13 years.)

When I did get up, I spent the whole day watching football games. The Washington Redskins beat the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos beat the Cleveland Browns 38 to 33. So it is the Broncos (again against the Redskins in the Super Bowl. I sure wish I was in Denver again with all the Super Bowl hype going on. The rest of the day was spent vegging on the couch eating dinner, watching TV, and Mom finally called about 9:00 p.m. saying they were home. We stayed up and talked for a while then went to bed.

1/18/88 Monday Carlsbad, NM

We got dropped off at the mall at 7:30 and were going to leave at 8:00, but with all the snow we had last night the roads were closed outside of Farmington. To waste time we walked around the mall, and we met back together at 9:00 a.m., at 10:00 a.m., and at 11:00 a.m. while they would fill us in on whether or not we could leave yet. We finally took off at 11:30 a.m., I had a good ride with Denis, and we got into Carlsbad at about 1:00 p.m. we didn't meet, we just found our family and left.

After we all got situated in our rooms, we sat out in the living room and talked with Mary for a while. About 10:30 we walked over to John and Marty's house (one house away) and several people were already over there (Mary, Pia, Gretchen, and the sponsors as well as all of us). We sat and talked for a while then went and played Pictionary in a back room. We had a really great time and was over there enjoying ourselves until about 10:00 a.m

1/19/88 Tuesday Carlsbad, NM

When we got to the Carlsbad Civic Center, I picked up a package for me from Pat that had the cast achievement awards in it. We had our morning meeting then set up the display and worked on paperwork. We didn't have to come in until 10:00 so we were a little bit rushed but got everything finished although we worked through lunch. During rehearsal we worked on the "Time for the Music" vamp and practiced our Spanish. Our warm-up and fitness was video taped along with a bunch of various other things we did and people talking so that we could send it to Cast B.

Dinner was Taco Bell and then I rushed in to get ready for sellers greenroom. I was hardly on stage at all because all I did was Ringmaster and one of the later couples in 50's. We were pretty close to balancing, but still had work to do the next city. After we got home, we went over to Mary and Gretchen's family (across the street from John and Marty) and had pizza, beer, and coolers. We walked Pia home and went to bed about 2:00 a.m.

From Heidi
Hi Grant,

This travel days was one of my favorites - I was with Jen, Priscilla and Paula with Jen's family in Durango, CO for the Farmington stop. We got snowed in and couldn't meet the cast on travel day. We had so much fun playing in some of the deepest snow I'd seen (almost beating the Bliazzard of 1978 in Boston) and jumping off Jen's home's balcony into deep drifts. We drove down to Carlsbad in the Suburban the next day and showed up during the show.

Hope all is well - Hugs and Kisses to Gretchen and the girls (and for yourself if you can manage that feat)


1/20/88 Wednesday Big Springs, TX

We all thought drop off was at 7:30 so we were half an hour early for drop off. We put all our luggage on the bus then took a tour around the town and saw points of interests. We left at 8:30 to go to Carlsbad Caverns and arrived there at about 9:30. We had a short presentation about the caverns, and then watched a six minute film about bats. After that we spent two hours down in the cave itself, and I was really amazed. We had about a four and a half hour long bus ride and I really tried to use the majority of it to find out more about Staci Brockman. I really feel like I know now where she stands on how UWP operates. It was a very nice bus trip.

When we arrived, we had to wait for a while but finally met up with our families. We also had some country music and we had to dance with our host. Well my host was a single man in his late 20's, so I danced with Cassi instead.

When we got home, we talked, had dinner and rented a movie called Angel Heart. Kind of a weird movie, but a real nice evening which ended in a king-size bed to myself!

One I thought worth sharing from Randy Roach:

My Carlsbad host sister had been severely beaten by her natural father and was permanently in a wheelchair as a result. She wasn't even 4 years old. She was a foster child of my Carlsbad host family, and newly adopted by a family in (of all places) Farmington, NM, from where we had just come.

I will never forget that beautiful little girl's smile as she sat in that wheelchair. Another of many UWP lessons, this one more heartbreaking than most.

Randy Roach

1/21/88 Thursday Big Springs, TX

We had a real nice breakfast, then went to the high school. After morning meeting we were taken to the Southwest Collegiate Institute for Deaf and were given a lecture on the deaf and misconceptions about deaf people. It was very informative, and he was a fantastic speaker.

After that, we met together with some deaf students and teachers and together they taught us the sign language to Up With People. It was very tiring and cramped my hands. I supposed I would loosen up after doing it for a while.

From the college, we walked to the Federal Prison Camp, signed in, and went straight over and performed because we were running late. What an incredibly receptive audience, and were very curious. We ended out in the audience after the show and they were so thankful that we came. After the show, they gave us a little background on the camp, and then we went to lunch. I sat down (by myself) with a couple of the inmates and had a nice talk with them. One left, but I had an intense talk with the others about God, and his beliefs and convictions. I was able to be very frank with him, and ask him if he was such a good Christian why was he there. He became a Christian while at the camp and has plans to go to Japan to be a missionary. When we finished lunch, we took a brief tour of the factory, the greenhouse and dorms. It was a good look at a Federal prison.

I spent the rest of the afternoon farting around, working on the display, filing the M1, talking to Laurie and trying to call Kelly. For an afternoon treat we had Swedish cinnamon rolls and Coke. At wrap-up, we gave out the awards for surpassing a certain volume of sales. During dinner the fishing club got together to listen to a Christian comedian. Henri brought the tape in and it was a nice change of pace.

I ran display with Laurie and kept up with our show budget. We figured that we have to make $737.00 for each of the last shows in January in order to make budget. After I had everything put away they asked me if I could do an interview because they had so many. I did one with Saori and she was good, but young and only got an accept 3 from us. That made for a long evening, but I pretty much went straight to bed when I got home.

1/22/88 Friday Midland, TX

Kyle dropped us off at the college at 7:30, but when we got there, he realized he forgot to grab our lunches, so he went back to get it after he dropped us off. He seemed real pleased that he hosted us, and I'm sure will do it again.

It only took about an hour to get to Midland so we arrived at 9:00. I had a short and uneventful bus ride with Erin. I'll need another time when we have a little longer to spend together.

They briefed us very briefly (no pun intended) and then we were off to our specific location. I was on the Super Tex (crew) so I went straight to the high school. On our way we dropped off a few people at their career choice. Set up went rather well considering there was so few of us. While I was setting up the display, I walked by a locking clip (that are on all the boxes to keep lids locked down tight), and it reached out and bit me. It ripped my jeans in an 'L' shape 4 inches by 3 inches and scraped my leg. It is one of those scrapes that doesn't look bad, but stings like Hell. Besides the fact that it hurt, I ruined a good pair of jeans. Oh well, I have to admit it looked kind of funny with this flapping hole in my pants. Someone made the remark that if I would just rip it in a few more spots it would be fashionable.

We went to a petroleum museum to look at for 2 hours, which I have to admit I was not looking forward to (because I was exhausted) but it was not as bad as I thought it would be. We did have a boring, monotone speaker, however, to put everything about petroleum into perspective.

We went from the museum to the Midland Center to meet our families. They had packs of gum with our name and code word on it. And then we looked for our families. We found Rick (Enrique), Olivia and Marc and headed straight for the food. After we ate, they gave away some t-shirts, and then had some Spanish/Mexican dancers do some songs. While they were changing, we attempted to do Up with People in Spanish. I don't know it, and I don't think many felt comfortable with it, so it was not that good. After the fiesta was over, we went home and got situated. Later in the evening, some people came over so Matt and I spent most of the evening talking about ourselves and the program. We wrestled with Marc for a while, but hit the sack relatively early.

1/23/88 Saturday Midland, TX

Henri and I signed up to spend the morning with this advertising company as a career morning. I was pretty disappointed (as was Henri) because we were told it was an advertising company, and my preconceived idea was of an advertising agency. They were nice people, but I was bored and talked more about Up With People than they did about advertising. The type of layouts they did were no different than what I did in high school for the yearbook. Their computer did make it 10 times less risk free, and was neat, but that was the only highlight. (EDITOR: Wow! A computer. That sounds cool. I wish I could use one of those.)

We went to the college and looked for Henri's bag that he left there and we got to the mall at 12:00. First thing that was said to me was that I was doing the MC and to change and get the information I needed. Luckily, I had plenty of time because they were still in the middle of the fashion show.

For not having done it in a real long time I did rather well without stumbling. After we finished the TOA during the last (closing) MC, Carlos and the sponsor came on stage because she had something to say. I handled it real cool and it went over just fine.

After the show we were getting ready to leave and this girl called my name. It turned out to be Karen and a couple of her friends. One of them (Michelle) also knew Kara (a good friend from high school). I was real surprised to see her, because I didn't think she would even consider coming. She couldn't come to the show, so that is why she came to the mall show. She has changed and seemed very stressed out, or bored, or something, but she is still very pretty (as were the other two). I'm glad she made the effort to come see me.

Then we went to Lee High School for rehearsal and I finished merch. For dinner we went to a nice Mexican restaurant called La Bodega and had a great meal. This was a great show, well the quick change was great anyways. We only had one room and the only thing to partisan it off with was boxes that were shorter, than me in height. The guys only got a small portion of the room compared to the girls, but it sure gave us a great view of the girls changing. I think there were more guys in quick change than on stage, in fact at least one guy missed an entrance due to the distraction. It reconfirmed the fact that we have some fantastic looking girls in the cast! (With great bodies!) (EDITOR: What a bunch of horn dogs we were, but the statement still stands that we had the best looking girls in UWP. So good I married one!)

Merchandise went pretty good, but the good news was that I balanced the first time and finished all the paperwork and truck loaded by 11:50. I was psyched and feeling really good about myself. When we got home, we talked for a while then went to bed.

From Erin

Hi Grant! Well, I finally make the infamous journal and my debut is " I had a short and uneventful bus ride with Erin. I'll need another time when we have a little longer to spend together." Not what I had in mind. Mostly I remember wild bus rides that included lots of laughter...perhaps someone playing a little guitar and singing (something not from the show), learning other languages, Church Chat or other Sat. night live imitations, snappy come backs, heartfelt confessions and deep advice about at home romances left behind. Where were you! Actually, I think I rarely rode in the vans and it sounds like you did often...and just for the record....the friendships weren't just formed over that first year we got to know eachother!!! That was just the start!

Your life long friend and admirer, Erin (wish we had an hour bus ride to chat today.)

EDITOR: The lucky few that made the journal unfortunately didn't get any say in what was written. I too wish I had an hour bus ride to share with each everyone of you now. I would use it much better than I did with Erin that one fateful day. - Grant

1/24/88 Sunday College Station, TX

I didn't realize how much we had affected Rick until we were getting ready to leave. He said he always makes the sign of the cross on his friends or children's forehead to wish them well and safe journey. He wished us the best and asked that God watch over us while we travel around. He was extremely close to tears, because he sure had a lump in his throat and had to keep clearing it.

We designated one Suburban for the fishing club, and although there were several people upset because there was not enough room for everyone, I think it was very beneficial for us. We (Monique, Gwyn, Tim, Leanne, Henri, John M., Mary and myself) didn't really do anything special until about an hour and half before we got to College Station. Someone asked how we would change or react if we knew Jesus was coming in five years and that started the ball rolling. It was an intellectual and expanding discussion. The Suburbans came later, but the whole cast was early anyways.

To meet our family, we had to find the equation to match our answer. Luckily we found ours relatively easily and met up with Nancy, Bob, & Jennifer. We went home and ate dinner, and sat down and talked a lot. They are very involved in FCA (Federation of Christian Athletes) and so is Sedrick, so they hit it off right away. I could tell this would be a really good family from the beginning because: they were good Christians, Nancy was an alumnus of UWP, it was a good-looking house, and it was full of good-looking teenage girls. Shannon and Jennifer freaked out when I told them I was only a year older than them (and two years for Jennifer). I was even younger than her boyfriend Corbin. We had a real nice evening talking and watching "Back to the Beach" with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. Good Golly, was it dumb! We went to bed around midnight.


I am getting ready to go out on PR again to Brownsburg, Indiana. Would you mind looking in your journal and see if you have something you want to share from February 22nd to March 13th. I missed the following cities:
Neosho, MI
Canton, MI
Effingham, IL
Kokomo, IN
Plymouth, IN
LaGrange, IN
New Albany, IN
Clayton, OH

I would love to get some journal entries from that time because my journal gets a little thin during those weeks. Thanks for the help. I hope you are all still enjoying the journey with me.

1/25/88 Monday College Station, TX

I finally got to take the day off for merch (Elin too), so I slept until about 10:30, got up, showered and wrote in my journal until about 12:30. Then Nancy came home and took me to lunch at a steak house. And we had a great talk. We came back around 1:30 and then Corbin and Shannon took me over to the Texas A & M campus and showed me around a little bit. After that we drove around a rather rich settlement to look at the houses. We also stopped by a bookstore to look around. When we got home we had a real rushed dinner and then off to an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) meeting. It was a nice meeting and they gave us about 15 minutes to talk to the students. I spent about 5 minutes talking about the UWP program and Sedrick spent the rest of the time telling about his life and how FCA had affected him. I think they could really relate to Sedrick well, and he really influence some people. When we got home, we sat around and talked for a while and then Corbin, Sedrick and I went to the movie "The Princess Bride". We got home about 11:30 and went straight to bed.

1/26/88 Tuesday College Station, TX

We didn't do much in the morning except set up and do a little paperwork for tonight's show (since all work from last show was already done). We also gave Kelly a call and talked for a while about nothing in particular. Mostly about her not having a job when she came back and that she was going straight back on P.R. when she got back. She also quizzed us on all the things we like to eat and drink. Hmm, think she is up to something? We went to lunch and then I went and bought some B-Day cards for Margaret.

Rehearsal was really beneficial because we finally took time to work on clowns. We split into three groups (clowns and me, band and everyone else) and all concentrated on our own individual things. The clowns worked on what their personalities are, the cast learned how to load and set all the tricks, while the band worked more specific sounds. Then the clowns and the band put it together while the cast worked the vocal parts. Then finally we put it all together and it really is making a difference. The clowns now bow at the end of the act which really makes it finished instead of just ending.

After rehearsal and wrap-up, we had a presentation from the Texas people. They taught us some of the lingo and history from Texas. We then went to dinner (actually I did not because I didn't have time) and then the show. We did not sell very much because they told us there would be a lot more people there than what was there. So we did not make budget like we were hoping to do in this city but we will still make it.

They kicked us out very quickly so we were not able to finish the paper work before we left.

From Ken Frye

"The Princess Bride" what a great movie. I saw it with John Morgan in Chicago during one of our free afternoons.


1/27/88 Wednesday - Brownwood, TX

We didn't have to leave until 12:00 so we were able to sleep in for a little longer. Nancy let the girls "oversleep" so that they could see us off and have breakfast with us. We went to drop-off at 11:30 with Nancy Corbin, Jennifer and Robin and was kind of hard to say goodbye when it was time to leave.

We arrived in Brownwood to a posse and several of us being 'arrested.' It was nice but anti-climactic. I found my mom and brother right away, and was able to get my luggage quickly. I was really not looking forward to being by myself but tried to make the best of it. We went straight to dinner at the Golden Corral and I had a salad. I didn't know how much to order because I couldn't figure out their income status so I ordered what they did. We then took a tour of the town and they showed me every important or non-important building in town. I was not really interested, but pretended.

When we got home, we talked (because she loved to talk) and I played a little guitar. Which led to a drum solo (Jingle Bells) by Chris, the host brother. I wanted to laugh so bad, but didn't. I went to bed as early as I could.

1/28/88 Thursday - Brownwood, TX

We had a very early morning because we had to do a show for the Chamber of Commerce during breakfast. I got dropped of at 6:45 a.m., we had breakfast, Terry talked for about 25 minutes then we did a TOA (1/2 of us). Afterwards, we had a cast meeting then went to the high school to set up. Elin and I finished our work early so we had plenty of time to mess around. We did, however, call Marty and talked with her a while and told her what merchandise we needed. Then we were switched over to a girl named Kelly who took all our statistics. During rehearsal, we worked on clowns a little more and the whole cast watched and critiqued us. (For lunch Saori, Elin, Denis and I (and Jon) went to Burger King so we could spend some of Kelly's budget.)

After rehearsal, we had a little free time when I just vegged out and then dinner. I skipped dinner and went and worked on the audience bags so they would be ready. We had a pretty good show and was picked up about midnight.

1/29/88 Friday Boerne, TX

Charlotte and Chris dropped me off and went off to school. I was on the bus by myself so I slept most of the way. It was good to see Kelly again. Because that means we survived the three weeks. They had interesting allocation cards on the bags, because almost all the guys were rooming with Kelly and almost all the girls with Brett. It was funny, but the hard thing about finding our code word was that we had to meet 5 host families do something for them, then collect a toothpick. After we collected 5 toothpicks, we could get our allocation code. We got our code and found out from Roger and Marty's family that they would be a little late.

Once we got all our stuff loaded we went home, got situated, then took off to dinner at The Alamo in San Antonio. (not the real one just a restaurant) We had dinner with the families of Jeff Van Zyl, Cyndi Flynn and Brenda LaMica, and Roger and Marty. It was really ironic that Kurt and I were roommates because we just spent all day together in San Antonio at the Alamo and about 1 1/2 hours at the wax museum and walking along the river walk together. We had a really good time together especially in the museum quizzing each other. After dinner we went to Wal-Mart to get a movie and ice cream and headed home to watch it. Most of the family fell asleep except for Carmen and I watched all of "Light of Day".

1/30/88 Saturday Boerne, TX

After morning meeting, Elin and I found our merchandise room in the back. It was kind of hard to miss because of all the decorations and snacks inside. Wow! We were loaded down with food. In between snacking and relaxing we (I) set up the display, and then went to lunch with the cast to PoPo's Restaurant. I sat with Mary Huckins on the bus and then at lunch. We also had entertainment from this country singer who played some swinging music for me and I grabbed Lynda Cullen and went for it. Then I asked Cassi and she was able to keep up with me a whole lot better. She is naturally very good at it.

Our show was kind of weak in the afternoon and the crowd was not the best. We lost our lights because we were running on a generator and had a power surge. We had wrap-up and during wrap-up all the Coloradoans got up and did a little song and skit about the Super Bowl. It went over very good and was a lot of fun. We sang the Colorado song with a few different words. We went straight into dinner and I got ready for my plans with Margaret. I made sure everything was set and ready to go (Kelly was not back with the candles or wine coolers but went for it anyways.)

Lynda escorted Margaret to the band room and sat her there until I was ready. When I came in she knew something was up, so I took her outside and explained to her about having a romantic birthday. I was sent in the place of her boyfriend and was trying to the best I could. I led her over to this fence and we stared at the sunset for a half a minute, then I led her into the truck and she just started laughing. I sat her down and told her to tell me about herself, so we sat there talking until Lynda came with our meal. She was dressed up and wearing a bow tie and cummerbund. First she brought us cocktails (pineapple juice that Michelle's parent brought from Hawaii), then our meals and drinks. At that time, I told her to get "the other thing" (Steve). I'm surprised Margaret didn't figure it out because Steve stood outside and tuned his violin. She did say once "Did I hear music?" but that's when he quit. Not long after that he came in playing nice, smoothing, romantic songs. She was loving it and really impressed, but he stayed a little longer than I expected him to. Oh well, I can't complain, he was doing it on his own time. We took several pictures and had a really nice time and she spent the rest of the night bragging about it. People really complimented me on such a neat idea. (EDITOR: Thanks Lynda for helping pull that off. It was fun!)

To add another feather in my cap and oversized head, I had Brennen's (from Cast E) brother and father come up to me separately and told me how much they were looking forward to me doing King Richard tonight. That was before I even saw Brennen! They said he had told them how good I was and since they had seen him do it, in his cast, they were excited to see the difference. Unfortunately I had already told Doug he could do it because he had a cousin in the audience. The night ended like all the other show nights we have had.

From Leanne Monahan-Voyles
Here is my San Antonio Riverwalk memory... I spent most of the day walking around with Jeff M. but we had lunch at Schlotsky's with Julie. We were sitting eating outside and a bird pooped right on my arm! The ironic thing is I was there 7 years later with Trent and he got pooped on too! Aren't you all glad to know that little bit of trivia!?

Thought from Jeff Martinson:
Leanne, I still remember the birds pooping on you and thinking it was so damned funny. ;-). Those Texan birds must have it out for you.

1/31/88 Sunday Super Bowl Sunday Brownsville, TX

We said our goodbyes to Carmen then stopped and got a couple of egg burritos and took off for the high school. We arrived about 15 minutes early so I could decorate our (Margaret's and I's) bus seat. I enclosed it in garbage bags then hung streamers around it that said Happy Birthday on them. It looked pretty cool, but I knew it wouldn't last the whole bus trip. After we did that we got working on decorating the buses and Suburbans with shoe polish saying Go Broncos and various other pro-Bronco sayings. It looked neat and people sure knew where we stood on who we wanted to win.

When we arrived, it was beautiful weather and started us all thinking warm. During the meeting, Susie did a B-Day song for Margaret to the Adams family song. It was very creative and on that note, we were sent out to meet our host families. I thought my host was not there, but we just kept missing each other. His code word was on his t-shirt and I never thought to look for a shirt with an allocation code on it. When we finally found each other, we went home and talked for about an hour and tried to find out a little bit about each other. Then was able to watch a little bit of the Super Bowl. It was looking really good because the Broncos scored on their first possession the first time they touched the ball. They scored a field goal on their second possession, but second quarter came and the Redskins scored 35 unanswered points. Which was a real dilemma for me because I didn't know whether to root for the Skins to score another touch down which it was 28 to 10. Well, they did anyway which was good for me because I won $25 in our Super Bowl Lottery. Then since the 3rd quarter was the same I won another $25. Not a bad days work for not doing anything. I didn't even see the 3rd and 4th quarter because I went to dinner with Daniel, Irressma (his girlfriend) and Ray (a friend).

The restaurant we went to was in Mexico (Matamoros) and called the Drive Inn. I really had a good time and a fantastic dinner. What was really interesting was the whole new world of Mexico. Once you cross the border it is a whole new atmosphere. It was weird (and they drive crazy). After dinner we went straight home and to bed.

From Kelly Bates-Kinch
Hey Grant,

Just wanted to drop a quick note to say "thanks again" for all you are doing to keep the Cast connected. It is a LOT of fun reading through the journal entries. What GREAT memories it brings back.

There was an UWP Alumni reception last week here in Denver. Amazing! So much fun to see people, some I have not seen in almost 20 years......It is awesome the connection and bond there is because we have a shared experience.

I would encourage everyone who has a chance to attend an Alumni reception in their area to do so. Tommy Spaulding is an incredible man with a passion for Up With People, a passion for impacting people and communities and a true heart to see young people become all they can be.

They are still asking the Alumni to help them in recruiting qualified students for the upcoming casts. Their goal is to have TWO casts on the road this summer, and there are many positions still available. We heard from two students who just recently finished their tour, and MAN.. the amazing difference in the Up With People of TODAY.....vs when we traveled. Many of the things we wished were different....ARE.

The casts will also be spending time in under developed countries......soon to be going to Thailand. The students need to experience ALL of the world, not just the "wealthy nations". It's great stuff!!!

Please feel free to pass this on to the cast. The changes are really exciting!!

Hi to Gretchen and the girls for me.


PS. I've attached our family Christmas photo if you want to pass that on as well. Thanks Grant!

Click here to see the photo.


Click here to choose a different month

2/1/88 Monday Brownsville, TX

We got up a little early so we could go to breakfast at the Holiday Inn with Daniel's girlfriend. He dropped me off about 7:30 so he could make it to school on time. During morning meeting, we did a thing called "Taking Sides," and what it is, is two things (usually opposites) and you have to choose what is best for you. For example: cake and ice cream: capitol punishment no capitol punishment; etc. It was kind of interesting to see who took what side. They also announced the winners of the Super Bowl Lottery (Paula 1st quarter, me 2nd and 3rd quarter, Randy 4th quarter). After that, we set up our office and worked on paperwork. When I set up the display Michael Liedecker (Ringmaster from cast E, new PR for us) was out there and we talked about technique and what he does compared to me. It was nice to get another perspective. Right after that, before lunch, Paul Kunz asked me to go on PR again to Brownsburg, IN with Anne Stainforth. I of course said I would think about it, but was pretty sure I would want to. I think I will really enjoy working with Anne.

From lunch on was pretty average (working on paperwork and fooling around) then after wrap-up, we had Julio Lozano come talk to us about Mexicans and this area of the nation. It (and he) was rather boring, but then we were off to diner at Antonio's (Mexican food). We had people waiting in line and no one to sell or take tickets, so I was in a panic. Luckily I didn't have to do display because I would have gone crazy. I was cranky as it was. Daniel came at midnight.

2/2/88 Tuesday - McAllen, TX

We were dropped off at 8:00 a.m. and were allowed to spend four hours in Mexico. A bunch of us got on to a van for 25 cents and went to the market. We had a great time bargaining and bickering with the Mexicans. I ended up getting a snakeskin belt for $13 (from $18) and 2 t-shirts for $10 from ($13). We had money to eat down there but waited Œtil we got back in the U.S. It was a good time, but eye-opening and sad. I felt really rude walking by people talking to me but you had to in order to get from one store to another. And the kids down there begging for money, fake crying, then would turn around and laugh.

My bus date was Julie, but kind of uneventful because it was only an hour and a half. Once we got there, we had a little time for sports after a cast meeting (I was washing the bus windows).

We were having a potluck there at the boy's club and my family was late. When they got there, we ate dinner and then we went to Mexico for a while. Not much was open or happening especially for a Tuesday night, but we had a Coke and a nice talk. Then we went home and talked for a little longer and I called home. I talked with Dad for a while, but Mom was at sorority. Finally went to bed about 11:30.


From Beth Wahlert-Lohmeier

I remember Brownsville... Roomed with Kelly K. Host Family fed us GOAT. Went to across the border to Matamoros (sp?), Mexico. Drank YARDS of BEER.

My Poodle skirt fell off during the 50's slow dance!

Grant you sure did go on PR a lot! (EDITOR: This is just coming up to my second time. I did a third time in Copenhagen. Yes, I spent a lot of time on PR)


From Jeff Martinson

Hey Grant,

Leanne's comment about San Antonio also got me remembering how really neat that day was. Walking along the riverwalk and it was such a nice day. One thing that I can still see from that day is Rita Sarnes getting up and singing Summertime at some outside bar in front of a bunch of us and the whole restaurant. Her beautiful voice sang out and it was awesome to see her performing like that on the riverwalk.

I hope you are enjoying your exchange student. That is a great thing that you all do and I imagine the girls must be fascinated to have someone from China in the house. (EDITOR: We are hosting 2 13-year old Chinese girls from an exchange program with us. It is always fun to learn about new cultures and share our with them. They will get the whole Super Bowl experience this weekend.)

Hope all is well.


From Brenda Perkins-Dahmer

Hey Grant,

I had these thoughts after reading Kelly's note and looking at her family Christmas photo, so I decided to send them along instead of keep them to myself.

First I thought, well of course she is excited and has a great connection with Alumni and vision of UWP...I remember Kelly as being one of (if not THE) most down to earth, honest, compassionate, caring, and fun loving people I'll ever know. (Who could ever forget her rendition of "You've got spinach between your teeth"?)!!! Then I opened her family about aging GRACEFULLY...Kelly looks beautiful and what a great looking family!

This makes me even more excited to see as many as possible in August! Each time you attach a photo, Grant, I am amazed at how little everyone's changed over the past 20 years!

SO looking forward to Tucson,

Chocolate (Brenda)

From Tim Dittrick

S**t, I don't remember Brownwood....where the H*** was I? I vaguely remember the hill country...I had an allergic reaction to something up there....maybe it affected my memory.

Anyway thanks for the, errr... reMINDers.

Tim is @##$#@ COLD up here!!!! (-34C with the windchill!)


From Grant:

To tell the truth, I can’t remember Brownwood either. I do remember Brownsville, but if it were not written down I would have never remembered.

Wow! That is cold. I won't complain about my chilly 55 degrees. :) Grant

From Tim:

Are you sure we visited Brownwood, or were we just supposed to visit it. I know there where a lot of towns in Texas that we were suppose to go to, but ended up not going to. But, if you still insist that we went then perhaps that was when I was distracted by Monique B.

What is worse about this cold is today I learned it is caused by (two words I hate to hear together) an ARCTIC VORTEX!!! These things once they get in place, don't move! So, it is predicted that the cold will remain for as long as they can predict...which means at least two weeks. (If I could get the time off, I would not be staying here!.... It's painful to go outside.)

2/3/88 Wednesday McAllen, TX

The usual morning stuff: i.e. morning meeting, paperwork, setting up etc. for lunch we went back to the Boys' Club for McDonalds, then afterwards back to the Civic Center. Elin and I worked all afternoon, went to wrap-up, then to McAllen Athletic club for 1 1/2 hours of fun and exercise. I played Mega a game of racquetball and won 21-12; Michelle (me 15-6, and beat Jeff Hanson 21-6. Matt & I were leading in a doubles match against Jeff and Paula, but had to go eat. I wolfed down dinner and went back to get ready for the show. I did display, but we did not do very well because of our location and a considerably older crowd. The show went well and we had a nice early evening and like most families they were surprised at Kurt and I's role in the show. We went to bed about 11:00 after talking for a while with Tom and Donna.

2/4/88 Thursday McAllen, TX

Our planned sports day was changed to an optional drop-off at 10:30. Kurt and I decided to go to Tom's High School and talked to his class (Health) and a drama class. His class was dead and the drama class was doing paperwork while we talked to them and was very distracting. They were, however, much more into what we were saying. We met everyone else at Pan American University for a great chicken lunch. After lunch, we went back to the Civic Center and had to do all the counting and paperwork from the night before.

We were having a Yugoslavian presentation, but Elin and I still had work to do. We worked clear through dinner in order to get it done. We made it and I worked audience, which was really convenient because I was right next to the stage. In fact, I missed my entrance for '50's, but made it on stage only a step behind Deedra. The show and sales went well, but balancing was a little off. We were picked up at about midnight and straight to bed.

2/5/88 Friday Beeville, TX

Once again we did not have drop-off until 10:30. Then at 11:00 we had a version of the newlywed Game with cast couples. It was funny and something that broke up the routine of road life. However, we were back into the swing of things by 1:00 (after eating our sack lunch) and back on the bus (or Suburban in this case). My official bus date was Erin, but on the Suburban you are just kind of with everyone. We really had a good conversation about drugs and I learned some things about Brenda Borgnes and Ty that I never knew. (EDITOR: I don't think what I learned about Brenda and Ty had anything to do with drugs. Sorry, no word as to what I learned about them.) We had a good time and Erin made one heck of a bus date. She has great built-in pillows. (EDITOR: I almost took this out, but laughed out loud and figured "pillows" was practically a medical term and Dr. Erin would appreciate my knowledge of medicine.)

We were early so we just stayed in the Suburban and slept and talked. Very interesting situation. My hormones are acting up... (EDITOR: Ahhh, to be 19 and surrounded by beautiful women...)

We had our usual cast meeting and city briefing and then went to meet our families. Well I waited and waited and ended up being the last one to leave an hour after host pick-up. They were called at 6:30 and said that they would be right over. It took another 30 minutes for them to get to the school and they only live 4 blocks away. Needless to say I was not a happy person and was heading into this family very negatively, not to mention not being by myself. We had a nice dinner and watched some movies ("My Science Project", and "Special Delivery") and then went to bed.

2/6/88 Saturday Beeville, TX

I slept until about 10:30 then got up, took a shower and watched Space Hunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone and Places in the Heart. Finally I left my couch potato position and went and played some racquetball for about an hour. I was crushed by Ken and Marty but killed Birger. I got a ride home from Ken & Birger’s host mom. When I got home, I showered, ate dinner, and wrote in my journal. Mike’s niece from across the street came at 9:00 p.m. and took me with her boyfriend, and her sister and her boyfriend to a movie. Sure enough half of the audience was Up With People. The movie was Wall Street and it was kind of dumb and didn't go anywhere. We cruised Main Street a few times until I started falling asleep, so they took me home. I went straight to bed.


From Stacie Welch-Swinney

I do remember these places - but I also have pictures of Grant Gretch and I wearing sombreros in Mexico - a picture I just ran by of Gretchen and I by palm trees and then a picture with Jon Cormier, Marty, Cyndi, Gretch and I by the Alamo. Anyway, Tim says it's cold - it is very cold! Up here in Minnesotah- the high was like 7 degrees with a windchill of well - minus 30 or something this morning. It's supposed to be like this all weekend -

2/7/88 Sunday Beeville, TX

We had morning meeting (during which Kurt did his true colors), then set up, while we worked on paperwork. Kelly started showing Michelle about display and told us Moku was the other intern. We had a great all-you-can-eat barbecue fajitas and boy were they good. Following that, we had a cast meeting mostly on trust and how we deal with it in our group. It all eventually came down to trusting us in Dallas at the hotel, but yet on a broader sense too.

We missed rehearsal so that we could concentrate on getting everything inventoried and straight on the truck. After wrap-up, I came home for dinner and a half an hour nap then back to set-up display. Sales went okay for such a small audience. We packed everything up and I went home with the Willows about 10:00 and I was in bed by 10:30. It was great.

2/8/88 Monday Beeville, TX

During morning meeting Sedric gave his true colors then everyone left to visit the Navy Base (except for the dedicated merch). We spent the morning counting and doing paperwork from the night before. We did, however join the cast at the base for lunch and after lunch Anne and I had a nice discussion. She is still very stuck on John, and I wonder if we could carry on a conversation without him being a topic. Kind of scary, but it will be interesting to see what becomes of it.

When we got back we were supposed to rehearse, but I went to the back of the auditorium and wrote in my journal. I just couldn't handle being in rehearsal today. For some reason this is my time of the month and my mood swing is real low right now, but it feels like it is on its way up. To top it off, I lost my keys which just did not help things. Most of wrap-up was Willis (from Tucson Technical Director) explaining to us some concepts for the new 1989 show. It is hard to absorb the fact they are already writing a new show and this one just came out. It was rather interesting.

After wrap-up, we went to this church for dinner and we had a presentation on Ethiopia by Wieni. After her talk we all went outside and when we came in we picked a number out of an envelope. This determined which social class you were in depending on one being high, 2 middle, 3 low. We were fed proportionately depending on our social class (I was a 2). All one's got waited on and fed salad, steak and potatoes. The two were served second and received rice and beef stroganoff and the three's got rice and water. It was eye-opening to see how people reacted and how it really relates to life. It was a good exercise.

Back early for the show, but Kelly and Michelle did a lot for me because I was King Dick, Ringmaster and couple #2 in '50's. I was busy but I enjoyed it. That is about the second or third time, I've done couple #2 and still have never done couple number #1. I talk to Lena about it, and she was going to see what she could do.

Sales went really well (display and interns made quota, $1.75 per person) and we had all the paperwork done and merchandise on the truck, door locked at 11:30. That sets a new record, beating the previous record of 11:50. By coincidence I was doing paperwork that night also. Steve Ellis (PR) brought me home at 11:30, so here I sit finally caught up in my journal! Hooray!

2/9/88 Tuesday Harlingen, TX

After I took my shower I went back to my room and found a bag with a Beeville, TX t-shirt and a box of candy on my bed. I put it on over my dress shirt and wore it the rest of the day. They gave it to me so I wouldn't forget them. It was my first real host family present and I was really touched. I really didn't think a whole lot of them, but I guess I made an impact.

From HDO, we went to the American Legion to watch The Color Purple for the Black American Awareness month. I wrote host family thank you notes while I was watching so I felt very productive. We left at 12:30 after eating lunch and we made one stop. Later on about 22 miles from Harlingen our bus broke down because it was loosing water. Kelly and I used somebody's phone to call Tucson so as to get the PR team's number. By the time we got back they had put water in and left not much later. We broke down right as we came into town again, but not as long. We finally made it to drop-off, had a quick meeting, then announced the new interns, and finally went home with our families.

There to meet us was three guys in military uniforms and Lorraine. We loaded all the luggage in the van and went back to the military academy. First thing we did was go to mess (dinner) and eat, then we came back and unloaded the luggage. The weather was really crappy, drizzly stuff, but we didn't melt. The cadets carried our luggage for us and we went off in twos into four different barracks. Jerko and I ware in Echo Company and being treated real well by the captain. His name is Brad Hawkins and he is only 18, but he carries some weight around here. After we dropped off our bags we went to choir rehearsal with Prowell and they were working on There Ain't Nothing like a Dame from South Pacific. They were really undisciplined and unorganized which was kind of funny considering where they are (a military high school base). This is a high school though and some of these kids are as young as 9th grade. I know I couldn't have done it in 9th grade let alone now.

After rehearsal, we came back and Hawkins showed us around and then we talked until about 11:00, and it was really informative. I think they have changed my whole opinion of cadets, but I still have no desire to go into the military. It is really weird how this particular academy is very similar in values, rules, and structure as Up With People. Maybe UWP is really a form of military with an international twist. Hmm?

2/10/88 Wednesday Harlingen, TX

Our first morning at the base they didn't have PT (physical training) because it was too cold, so we fell out at 6:20 and went to breakfast. The biscuits and gravy were surprisingly not half bad. We came back at got ready and at 7:30 we all met the Commandant. We talked with him for about 5 or 10 minutes then took off to the auditorium where we were leaving from. The bus was still having troubles but we finally got on the road and headed to the beach. It was about an hour long drive and I had the best time with Paula during that hour plus. We had a super good talk about dating, and life, and marriage and other stuff.

The first thing we did when we went to the island was to go to Sea Turtles, Inc. and meet the turtle lady. She was kind of weird, but at 83 full of life and love. It was pretty educational and we were there for about an hour and a half. From there we went to go on a cruise, but it was having mechanical troubles so was delayed an hour and a half. Randy and I walked down to this ice cream and fudge place and got some ice cream. Cassi caught up with us and we all had lunch in the parking lot of the car wash. When we got back to the boat we had to wait still yet another hour, but the sun broke out for us for a while. We were content lying in the sun. At 1:00 they told us it would be another 30 minutes before we left, so Paula and I took off to the beach. When we got over there, there was nowhere to change, so we went into the laundry room of a beach front hotel to change. I was a watch out while she changed and vice versa.

We ran to the beach and ran into the water and it was freezing! We ran back out, and did this routine about 4 times. We dried off and went back to the Isabelle Queen tour paddle boat. We had to wait almost another hour before we left at 2:30, when they gave us the option of going or staying on the island. About half stayed on and half went shopping. I stayed and enjoyed a fuzzy naval and just relaxed. The tour lasted almost 2 hours and we got back at 4:30 and left to go back home about 5:00. We got back to the auditorium and Lorraine was there to pick us up to take us straight to dinner. After dinner, we talked about going out tonight and decided to go to a movie. We found out there was a theater within walking distance and what was playing. So we all met out by the telephones about 9:15 and set out. Well we got about half way and got a ride from someone on base the rest of the way. We saw "The Serpent and the Rainbow" and then jogged most of the way back home. I was in the back of the back because my back was killing me. We got back about ten Œtil 12:00.


Calling ALL the reunioning casts of reunion 2007 this summer!

Picture this... It is 9am on Friday August 10th, 2007 we are at the Westin La Paloma Hotel main ballroom.... reunion 07 opening session is about to start... the 1000 plus expected alumni and family members in attendance take their seats.. lots of mingling amongst the many familiar alumni in attendance from 7 different eras spanning the 42 years of Up With People... all of the sudden lights dim down and familiar music fills the air... then in the sides of the dark stage on the large projection screens a magnificent sequence of images from that special year in your life come alive to make you laugh, shout and cry and and reminisce while you are seated next to your buddies from from your cast from way back then...

Sounds good? well, for that to happen I need YOUR help!! As in the last several years, I'm working on putting together few special multimedia segments for the reunion for your enjoyment, it will be a big task to produce it and so I need your support...

I need a good selection of pictures from each reuniting cast, good quality shots, preferably [200 dpi plus] of your tour, pictures from staging, travel days, host pick up / drop off, community service & Involvement, rehearsals, special events, international presentations, expression sessions, show, set up & strike, banquets, bus life, speakers, merch sellers, greenroom, silly ocations, the band at work, the staff, scenic travel shots, dressing rooms, back stage! etc... [what kind of great pictures from your yearbook would you like to see in a huge screen?]

I need shots preferably of groups of people instead of individuals as to try to include as many people as possible... please take sometime to look in your scrapbooks and photo albums [and shoe boxes!!] and I hope most of you have already scanned some of your pictures if not please do for this cause and send them to me!

If you don't have a way to scan your pictures and you still want to help me, please contact me directly to give you a mailing address for you to send and I promise to take good care of them and return them promptly...

I look forward to a fantastic reunion this summer and I can't wait to see very many of you there enjoy these audiovisual presentations.

*** Important notice ***

By sending me your pictures, you authorize me to use your photographic material not only in the multimedia presentation itself for reunion projection, but also for a possible use of the produced multimedia presentations in a reunion highlights DVD for sale after the reunion to all of you as a momento of the Reunion 2007.

Please send pictures and comments to:

I will appreciate your support in this project, please forward this message to your castmates, muchas gracias!

Eduardo Aguirre [edú] 84E and few more

For Reunion 07 info go to:

2/11/88 Thursday Harlingen, TX

We are in the military now! Up at 6:00 a.m. breakfast, then leave at 0730 hours. Kind of interesting, but I sure would like to sleep in longer. During morning meeting, we discussed The Color Purple for a while, and at the end of the meeting announced that this was sweetheart city for the girls and the guys would set up. So we got everything set up and I worked out at the display trying to teach Moku what to do.

We had lunch at the auditorium and then had rehearsal which was my first whole rehearsal to attend in a long time. I had a real bad attitude because I really felt like people couldn't really care less about responsibility and UWP in general. After wrap-up we had Dean's host father who is a professor and has been over to the Soviet Union. He speaks the language and really answered a lot of trivial question we all had. After he was done, we drew names to see who our sweetheart is and who we would be treating special for this city. My sweetheart is Weini. From there, we all dressed up (the guys) and went to the elementary school for dinner. We had about 1 hour Japanese presentation then we served them a Japanese dinner. During the presentation, they showed us a typical tea ceremony that had us all captivated. Then we served our sweetheart dinner and after I had done that I sat down and bitched at Kelly for a while. I feel good telling her things because she always seems to be non-partisan when it's the right time. I just rambled about how I thought people were being really irresponsible and how some staff listen through one ear and out the other. It was good to get some of it out of my system. I went back pretty soon after that, and I got dressed and set up the display. I was working with Moku and training him on how the display runs. Sales went pretty well and the show went great. I did King Richard, Ringmaster and '50's #2 and it went really well especially with about 50 guys from the academy in the audience . They were wild and sure made life on stage more fun. After the show, we stopped by McDonalds and had a bite to eat then back to the barracks. We stayed up until about 12:30 talking to Brad and then went to bed (Brad gave Jerko and I an Echo Company shirt).

2/12/88 Friday (Historical Day in UWP) - Harlingen, TX

We started the morning by going to the PX and checking out the good they had for sale. I bout a couple of patches to go along with the shirt Brad gave us last night. We were only there about 10 minutes and when we left to go to the auditorium, Lorraine gave us each a Marine Military Academy t-shirt. These people are ready and willing to get us whatever we want. We are getting spoiled that's for sure.

All the guys arrived early so we could open the girl's doors and carry their bags inside. They all waited out in the lobby until everyone came, and then we escorted them in to sit down. We had three lighting boxes on stage and you could see people behind them but could not tell who it was. The music started and Al announced each person and they stood up and showed their wares. They each wore just shorts (or bikini briefs) and oiled their chests down. It was pretty funny and the girls went wild like they had never seen a man before. I wanted to do it but I would have been too embarrassed and would not have looked good. The finale to the guys was Sedrick, who else? After the skit, we started morning meeting with announcements and then morning motivation with Greg and Margaret. Morning motivation was doing the Time Warp and was a lot of fun. Everybody took off for their tours while the band, staff and us merchandise people stayed to do work. We counted the display and did paperwork. After that we all went to lunch at Pizza Hut while the band went to a Mexican restaurant. We had a long, relaxing fun lunch and after we were done Kelly and I ran to the H.E.B. across the street. I bought some sweetheart candy for Weini, Kelly and Elin.

When we got back, we were supposed to do a circuit warm-up where each station was doing something for the girls, i.e.: neck massage arm & back massage, feeding them grapes, kissing booth, and a couple more stations. But it was cancelled for some reason and we went straight into warm-up and rehearsal and worked on Black and White.

Our rehearsal was abruptly interrupted by Terry, so we knew something big is up. It was especially obvious when all the staff came on stage with us, so I knew it was serious. I thought he was going to tell us Russia was cancelled, but luckily he didn't. The big news is that Margaret is being asked to leave the program and Steve Bailey is suspended for four to five weeks. People were just stunned and dead quiet. We were not told what they did, but one could guess pretty close based on their personalities. With Steve, I'm sure it was an accumulation of things because he has been talked to several times already. I personally didn't feel any emotions except confusion. It doesn't make sense to me because I would think one warning would be more than enough. It was enough for me, and I wasn't even the one warned. I went off to be by myself after a while and do some writing. It was a good thing because I would have just gone off on a tangent. I think I was also angry because it is not fair to us (the cast). While I sat outside, Paula came and sat by me, but we didn't talk. Paula left and Kurt came and we walked around and worked on Ringmaster because he was supposed to do it tonight. After 45 minutes the cast regrouped together and talked about how we were feeling with Terry. There was a wide range of emotions, but most everyone felt like Terry did what he had to do and we trust his decision. We talked for about 30 minutes then we ran Black and White only and then went into wrap-up.

Most of wrap-up was filling us in about the Corpus Christi schedule and making sure we understood how busy we would be so we would be prepared for it. It sounds like a really busy city but fun busy. A lot of what we are doing is different forms of community involvement, so it should be a lot of performing but a lot of fun. Terry had to call Carlos in Oslo twice mostly about the situation with Margaret and Steve, but was also told that the schedule is looking very exciting. There is now a possibility we may be doing a quick trip to Switzerland for four days. It is not written in blood yet, but looks really good for it. We as a cast went through a wide range of emotions today.

For dinner, I was in the crew that went to Bonanza after which I worked with Kurt a little more on Ringmaster. Then it turned out they were short on Gospel dancer so he had to dance instead. I suppose the show went okay under the circumstances, but I don't feel like I did very well with King Richard, Ringmaster or '50's #6. Oh well. A good point about the show was that we (Moku and I) finished all the paperwork before we left.

After strike (which the guys did) those of us at the Academy (plus two cadets who interviewed) went to Whataburger on the way home (Whataaname!) When we got back to the barracks, there was a note on Hawkins door to wake him up when we came home. We did but he was really out of it, and then we went to bed.


Hi Grant this is a picture of Brenda and I last week. She came into town for a long weekend. Lot's of fun, shopping, eating and drinking, (drinking for me, Brenda is pregnant).

See you in August!!

Click here to see the photo.

2/13/88 Saturday - Harlingen, TX

We slept in until 11:30 and at that time I got up and showered then went to lunch. We spent all afternoon in our room writing and reading until dinner. Jerko left at 7:00 to go with Shawn to Beth, Weini and Lena's house (Dean went too). After much collaboration with Laurie and Anne about trying to do something, we decided to do our own thing. She, Anne, Jeff V.Z., and Carlos were going to a pizza party and I didn't feel like going. So Lorraine took Matt, Woody, Ruud-Jan, about 6 cadets and myself to a party at Brian Eide's house. It looked like it was going to be a real bummer party, but it livened up about 9:30. We left at about 12:15 and that was probably good because one more glass of champagne and I would have been buzzin'. I had a real nice social time there and on the way home I took a picture of the Iwo Jima Monument. We got in and to bed by about 1:00 a.m.

From Paula Leland-Kent
OH my goodness! I love those memories! Such fun and silly all the time. Yes, I remember the bus ride and the beach. What a great day!Thanks for the Email so good to get the nice memory blast.

We three Kent's (my boys and I ) just got back from Tahoe skiing. We trudge up there almost every weekend in the winter to ski and my boys love it as much as I (thank goodness). I really feel very strong about skiing as a family. I did it growing up and I believe it brought us very close because of the long drives and the family dinners and the cards and chess games that fill the weekends. We invite anyone and everyone over for dinner who wants to sled and throw snow balls and I just love it.

FYI....I have a very wonderful man in my life...about time... I'm kidding...worth the wait...and you won't believe it but he is from my hometown..he dated my sister (one date) and our parents know each other from home. I did not know him growing up because he is 7 years older than I...but I knew of him..kind of. Yes, he lives here and he is a skier too...yep, an Olympic skier joke... love that! He is much more than that but I just had to write that because I find it so unbelievable!

OK, Thank you for the Email and the thoughtful memories.

Take good care,

2/14/88 – Sunday (Valentine’s Day) – Corpus Christi, TX

Lorraine dropped us off at the auditorium and we said our goodbyes quickly and gave her a sweatshirt. The buses were late getting there, so we were rushed when they came. All the girls gave the guys Valentine bags, and the guys finished off the sweetheart city by loading the luggage. My bus date was Weini; I gave her a heart with candy hearts in it. She was a good date because she told me her whole life story that I missed during her true colors. It was a really fascinating story and gave me an idea of what kind of life she has led. It would make a pretty good movie if you ask me.

When we got to Corpus Christi, we had to unload the bus that was going back to Harlingen. From there we got briefed on the city, and then I had free time while others either set-up or played volleyball. I mostly threw a Frisbee around and just laid out. It was really relaxing and was a nice day to let your mind go out to pasture. I watched a little of the volleyball and then “Bash on the Bay” began at 2:30. The performance went okay with a fairly good crowd out in the lawn in the front of us.

After the show they did a mock disaster drill using about 20 cast members smothered with fake blood. We watched that for about 15 minutes then struck the stage. While we were striking, the volleyball team continued to win and ended up the champions. We received our allocations and got briefed on the city and then met our host families. My host dad was dressed as a clown and playing with the kids up on the hill. Hmmm! Definitely a situation I have not been in before, and to share this lovely experience, I have Wilfred and Rick with me. We will be here for a whole week! When we got home, we had dinner and a quiet evening in front of the tube.

On the next few pages, I would like to include some of the nice Valentines I had in my bag that the girls gave me. (EDITOR: Sorry, you won't get to see those.)

Reunion 2007 is around the corner!
Registration for Reunion 2007 opens March 15! Go to for full reunion information. OVERFLOW HOTEL ADDED – MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW AT WESTWARD LOOK RESORT for Reunion 2007

The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa is currently fully reserved by “early bird” alumni and we anticipate an exceptional turnout for Reunion 2007! A second Reunion 2007 hotel has been added and reservations are already filling fast, so hurry and make your reservations at The Westward Look Resort, located only four miles / 6 minutes drive from the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. This premier resort offers fantastic amenities and a shuttle will be available for transportation between hotels for Reunion 2007 events. Registered Reunion attendees who stay at the Westward Look will still be welcome to enjoy the pool and all Reunion 2007 activities at the Westin La Paloma – no worries!

To reserve your room, call Westward Look Reservations at 1-800-722-2500 (in the U.S.) or (520) 297-1151. Or email Identify yourself as part of the Up with People International Alumni Association to receive the special rate of $99/night (plus tax). A credit card number will be required at the time of reservation. For general info see

Please note that you can be put on the waiting list for a room in case of cancellations at the Westin La Paloma by calling (520) 742-6000 ext. 7845. We highly recommend you get on the waiting list as cancellations may occur. Our group agent will monitor cancellations and call the waiting list based on a ‘first-call’ basis.


2/15/88 – Monday – Corpus Christi, TX

Danny dropped us off at the high school and we had morning meeting. After the meeting, Crew one had free time and workshops. Mia and Bill took us and showed us parts of Cast E’s Dress Rehearsal and showed us the changes they have made in the show. We did that for about an hour, and went right to work cleaning up clowns/ringmaster. I feel very rushed, but it will definitely keep it moving along.

At 11:00, we went to the Starr Street Café for lunch, and then back to the high school after lunch. For rehearsal, we were working mostly with Mia and Christine. First we learned the new jazzed-up Too Many People then ran Time for the Music which is sped up and sang by a guy only. Then we went off with Christine and worked on parts for Can We Sing a Song of Peace? And these are changes that will be implemented into Saturday night’s show. Then we came back and worked with the band on those changes and a new ending to Unfinished World.

During wrap-up, Paul started an Olympic watch to help people keep an eye on what was happening. It was really informative and will help me stay up to date. After wrap-up, we went to dinner at Snoopy’s Pier and had shrimp and oysters. After a nice dinner (as far as seafood goes) we went to the beach for a bonfire. We made some s’mores and then Meg and I went walking along the shore and had a really nice talk. It had the potential of being really romantic with our shoes off, squishing sand and foam between our toes under the stars. We walked and talked for almost 2 hours and when we were done we got on the buses and went to our shuttle locations.

Danny picked us up at Dillard’s and we went home and had another nice evening to ourselves.

From Stacie Welch-Swinney

I am going to the reunion - and I will be there early - are you planning on a road trip again or will you just fly out? If you need a place to stay you can stay with me and my sister if you come in early. I have a 6month old boxer puppy - who is also going stir crazy from not being able to play outside.

My parents will probably be at the reunion as well -

My father retired a couple years ago and is on the Board of Directors for the Haualapai Indian Reservation - this is the tribe on the north side of the grand canyon - grand canyon west - they are putting a clear glass walkway out over the grand canyon - not sure if you've seen any information on this or not yet - it's very impressive - I guess the grand opening is sometime in March -

Dakotah is playing Club Volleyball for a group called Club Tonka - she is on the 14 black team (14-1's team) they took second place in the Crossfire Tournament at Bethel University - next week - or this coming Friday we drive to Omaha, Nebraska for the President's Day Tournament - many college recruiters and college volleyball players that coach various teams will be there - it should be very enlightening -

Keep warm up there - and keep in touch!

2/16/88 Tuesday Corpus Christi, TX

At morning meeting, I stood up and announced about Danny being a professional clown and that people should come to Dallas (the club) on Thursday. Also if people were interested in learning country swing that I would be teaching people during lunch on Wednesday. And lastly that I was reading an article about Curly from America (the clown in the Ringmaster segment of the show) who was a retired assistant police chief from the Freeport, Ill. Police department and is now living in Tucson. (EDITOR: How ironic that I did PR in Freeport, IL) After mentioning it to Mia, she said Curly had come and worked with Cast E during staging. It was kind of an interesting coincidence. We had a quick show prep putting two students in our show, and then got dressed for the show, then off to mingle. The sound assembly started at 10:30 and went real well, and was a very responsive audience. After the show, we had lunch then free time Œtil 1:00 and that is when I copied the Swedish Ringmaster and King Richard and listened to Anki's tape, she made for me. I definitely started having second thoughts about doing this after hearing the tape.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon running all the changes and we tried to run the whole show. After we finished rehearsal, we went straight into wrap-up and towards the end of the wrap-up, the PR team did a little skit. It started out with Dee talking to George Winston's agent about us promoting our show at his performance. They had also asked if he might be able to come to our show or at least our green room, but he was not able to. George did, however want to plug our show and would also like to give us 120 free tickets to his performance/concert. Talk about people going crazy. It was almost like we had been told we were going to Russia. So on Friday night we are all going to the George Winston concert together. After the news, we had a full cast strike, and then host pick-up. Paul asked me to do the Olympic rundown so I stayed up to watch the pair's figure skating.

From Christine Dorn-Freitag

Hi Grant, hi Gretchen, hi everybody,

Thanks a lot for all your emails and all the information about the cast members to keep in touch. I'm doing very well, my family also. The kids are growing, Melinda is now 16 years old she is becoming a beautiful lady, Desire our clown is 14 years old and the youngest Dominik will be 13 next month. I'm very involved in the dancing, giving classes in new dance and contactimprovisation also sewing dance dresses in good quality of natural eco fabrics.

My eldest daughter Melinda is very interesting in learning English and French. She wants to go abroad to live in USA for some weeks. This Eastern she has the opportunity to fly with her girlfriend to Florida. Her girlfriend is half American and she is visiting her father together with Melinda. Melinda's English-teacher has recomanded that it would be a good chance for her to stay in USA more than the two weeks of vacation. So now my question of all of you: Are you interested to have Melinda for maybe 2 to 4 weeks at your home? Or do you know friends who would like to have a german girl in their family? That she can learn American lifestyle and talking. She doesn't need to go to school but if it is possible to visit a school it would be good.

Christine Freitag

2/17/88 Wednesday Corpus Christi, TX

We had direct drop-off at Roy Miller H.S. and went straight into morning motivation/meeting. The cheerleaders and drill team had learned the Black and White dance and performed it for us. They were pretty good, but they said they thought they were better than us, and they definitely were not that good. We have been doing it 7 months compared to their 3 weeks.

Crew 1 then began setting up the stage with full sound in time for show prep at 10:00 and get dressed and ready to perform by 11:00. They were a very radical crowd and really got into what we were doing almost to the point that we couldn't hear ourselves. This school was 99% Black & Hispanic and it definitely gave me kind of an eerie feeling. (EDITOR: Keep in mind that where I grew up there were only 3 black kids in my elementary school and maybe two dozen in my whole high school and about that many hispanics. UWP was the first real eye-opening multi-racial experience in my life. Seeing that much color was completely foreign to me and this experience was the first chance to BE the minority.)

After the show, we had created a sense of peace and excitement about life, but that was put back into perspective when I saw a fight on the way to lunch.

After lunch, I came back early and taught some people the Cottoneye Joe, the Shasa , and some swing moves. I had a good time getting hot and sweaty, but I got tired. At 1:30 Rear Admiral James H. Scott briefed us on the U.S.S. Lexington and answered questions that we had, and then showed us a video tape.

Most of the stage was already down so most everyone had free time from 2:00 3:30. At 2:00, however, I had a meeting with the sunshine committee which I guess I volunteered for. It is a committee to keep an eye on people who are having a bad day, homesick, or just sick. It is a good idea, and what is weird is I was just thinking about doing that. At wrap-up, I did the Olympics rundown and we talked about making money from winning a gold medal, and Val talked about figure skating. The team then briefed us on what yacht we were on and who our captain was.

We loaded up the buses and headed to the dock, while the DC-40 went to the auditorium for rehearsal then to the athletic Club to stay the night. The 11 of us found L'Esprit Libra and waited for the crew to show up. Once we got going it was very slow because there was no wind, so I felt guilty not doing anything, but it was sure relaxing. It was kind of neat because the fog rolled in and we couldn't see anything so it added a new dimension to sailing. We came in late and from then on, it was very rushed everywhere we went. We got on the bus and went to the Bay Front where we had a dine and dash. The PR team was on skates and greased back hair, and served us pizza and Coke on the bus. Then I got on the Suburban and Denis took me to Moody H.S.

Danny picked us up, took us home and I went straight to bed after a little confrontation with Wilfred about religion and weight. What a combination of topics! Probably the two worst things to confront me on in an argument.

2/18/88 Thursday Corpus Christi, TX

We had direct drop-off at 8:30 at the hospital and we left immediately to go on an interview crew. There was 13 of us in the Suburban (I was stuck in the back with the luggage) and it was a 50-minute drive to Texas A&I in Kingsville. Chrissy and I were an interview team and we did one interview in the morning that was really good. Then we all shoved down a Burger King lunch and drove back to Corpus Christi to go to another college called Del Mar. We did another 6 interviews and only one was even a little bit good and she was a 17-year old white American Female. So at 5:00 we finished, and Rolando (an alumnus) took me to my drop-off/pick-up location. When we got home, we ate pizza and got ready to go to the nightclub Dallas. We got there about 7:00 and they asked for I.D., but Lanky (my host Dad's clown name) got us in. You kind of feel weird walking in with a clown. It was okay, but I was disappointed in the music because they hardly played any fast swinging music. Cassi, Ken and Meg showed up so we danced a little and drank a lot (Lanky was picking up the bar tab). We left about 11:00 and I went home and went to bed.

BONUS NOTE from Paul Kunz

Grant, After reading Paula's e-mail, it reminded how much I treasure our family vacations.Typical of our vacations, we spend a lot of time driving, staying with friends, visiting educational sites, entertainment sites, and sites of natural wonder. This past summer we drove from St. Joseph, MO up to Chicago, Cleveland, Southern NY, Cooperstown (Baseball Hall of Fame), camping outside Lake Placid Olympic Sites, Montreal, Ben& Jerry's, camping in Acadia National Park in Maine, a Puffin Nature Cruise off the Maine Coast, Springfield, MA (Basketball Hall of Fame), Long Island (Bridgehampton), NYC, Washington DC, Lynchburg, VA (my wife's hometown) and St. Louis, MO and back home. Approximately 4500 miles and loads of lifetime memories. Since I haven't sent any family pics in a couple of years, I've included a few shots from the vacation. We probably won't make it to Tucson since we were there in 2005, but maybe we can make it part of our swing out west - the kids want to go to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, and I want to go Northern Idaho (my first teaching job), Portland, OR and Redwood National Forest in Northern CAL. Swinging south may be too much.


2/19/88 Friday Corpus Christi, TX

We had a wonderfully relaxing morning and didn't have to be there until 12:30 at which time we were dropped off at the park where we had our first show. We first had to get our picture taken for yearbook then ate lunch in the outdoor theater. After lunch, they (Christine and Al) got right down to business and tried to fill us in on what was happening for the day. We were going to implement some of the changes plus add, learn and memorize "Anchor's Aweigh", the Navy fight song. We worked on it for an hour then we had to leave to get to the aircraft carrier on time which was a 45-minute drive away.

When we arrived, the USS Lexington was not even there yet, so they told us that none of the equipment was on the ship and we would be delayed by at least 2 hours. So we basically sat around and did nothing for the next 45 minutes and then at 3:30 they decided we would set up the stage in the road and bring the sailors to us. So we all got busy doing that (with full sound) and did it remarkably fast. We were ready to perform by 5:00, but they said 5:30 we would definitely start the show. On the original schedule we should be completed with striking and eating dinner on the ship not just performing. We finally started the show at 5:45 (*which we should have been touring) with sailors still getting off the ship. There were maybe 1/3 of the 1500 sailors supposed to be there. We finished about 6:15 and were given the option between seeing the aircraft carrier and missing the first half of the George Winston concert, or seeing all of the George Winston. Most everybody voted for the concert, but a few of us did get to go on the ship for a very short while.

When I ran off the ship, they were still loading the truck, but also loading the bus. We were still waiting for the other bus (any bus) to show up and never did. So somebody decided that everyone should get on the bus which took about 15 minutes. Once everyone was on, 'they' decided it was too full and half the people got back off. So a whole half of an hour was wasted just getting on and off the stupid bus. The bus took off to the concert while the rest of us waited. It looked like the bus would not be back until 9:00 p.m. and it was only 7:30, but another bus came to pick up some sailors and we all got on. We made it to the concert about 8:30 and went straight up to the balcony and stretched out to relax. George Winston is mostly mellow type of piano music that puts you to sleep, but it was a nice change of pace. At intermission we ran down to the parking garage and shoved down a burger and fries, then back up for the second half of his show. Towards the end of his show, he gave a good plug for our show. Danny came to pick us up about 10:30, and took us home to go to bed.

From Beth Wahlert-Lohmeier

I will always remember Corpus for the George Winston show! How wonderful it was!!!

I remember watching you and Susie and others dancing ON STAGE while Winston played the Peanuts theme song...I think of it every time I hear that piece of music. Cool memory!


2/20/88 Saturday Corpus Christi, TX

The morning started out normal with morning meeting, then I had free time. During the morning meeting Carlos talked to us about our overseas tour, Switzerland and our flight back. There will only be one flight back to the U.S. on June 29th and that is the end of our year. He also told us that he had the staff applications with him and they needed to be turned in by March 1st, so that is how I spent my free time filling out the application.

Halfway through set up/free time Paul wanted to brief Anne and I for PR, and we went over the basics and it went pretty quick since we have both been before. After getting some names, numbers and facts we needed to know about the city, we went to lunch at Pizza Hut. After lunch we had our rehearsal, and while rehearsal was going on, Anne and I got briefed by Mia on the operations of Brownsburg. By the time we were finished, it was time for wrap-up. Danny was supposed to do something at wrap-up to show us how to make our tricks more showy, but we ran out of time, because everyone had announcements. That was also the time Sandra explained to us about the Chinese New Year, which was on February 17th.

We had to then get into our costumes right away to go to dinner with VIP's. People who were there paid $40 to eat with us and see the show. During dinner, they made a presentation to us as a whole and we each received a t-shirt and coffee mug.

After dinner, I left right away to go sell for the Olympic selling event. We met in the merchandise room and exchanged fighting words and high expectations. We were each given numbers and had to come up with the winning Up with People selling pose. After Kelly took some pictures, and at the count of three we were off! Six different countries vying for the individual gold and three different teams. Alamendra - Mexico and Tim Canada team #1; Joerg - Germany and Eva Sweden were team #2; and Elin from Norway and me, the only American were team #3. I immediately conquered the balcony and no one else was able to sell there if they tried. Every time someone bought or inquired, I announced what we were doing and that they had to 'buy from the redhead.' I ended up winning the gold by selling over $280 (2 videos and 5 cassettes after the show alone) and Elin won the Silver and I think Joerg won the Bronze. I earned over $25 to add to my other commissions from January and February which should come close to or over $100.

I helped strike because I didn't have interview clothes, although I wasn't on strike crew.


Cyndi Flynn said that Southwest Airlines has posted their lowest fares available for August. She was able to get a killer deal for flights to Tucson. You might want to jump on it soon and book your flight. Reminder that reunion registration begins on March 15th and if we can get a large number registered by the end of March we get something cool. ( I can’t remember what, but it will be worth it.)

2/21/88- Sunday – Corpus Christi, TX

We loaded up at 8:30 and took off for Dallas. I was in a Suburban with Kelly and Ken driving and we had a real nice time. The Washington DC-40 is gone and I won’t see those people until March 13th and some I won’t see until April.

We arrived at the Grand Kempinski Hotel in Dallas in late afternoon, moved into our rooms, changed into nicer clothes, ate dinner and performed next to the bar, where just hours before they were having a fur sale. The show was a joke and unorganized but the hotel is fantastic! Rooms are normally $150 a night at least and it has everything you would want. I called home and then spent most of the rest of the evening at the bar with a wine cooler, and strawberry daiquiri. I did visit Laurie’s room for a while and took a walk with LeAnne. I was back to my room by 11:30 (with roommates Paul and Dek) to finish filling out my staff application and go to bed.

I remember the Winston concert well. The music was so mellow. I took a great nap. I woke up during the Charlie Brown Theme Song to see those with more energy that me on stage dancing their hearts out.

GA - Remember the "D.C. 40" group? I was part of that little break off and I think we left from Corpus Christie to go to D.C. Once there, it was the only time all year I performed in the Do-Wop quartet for 50's. That costume smelled to high heaven! Did you go on that jaunt? (EDITOR: No actually, I was getting ready to leave for PR, so I did not go with the DC-40. I would have loved to hear you do the Do-Wop though!)

2/22/88 Monday Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Neosho, MI)

We all met down in the lobby at 8:30 and waited around for breakfast. As soon as it came, we grabbed what we needed for those in the Suburban and zoomed off to the airport to drop Tim and I off. They dumped us off right at the baggage check, we said our goodbyes and they were on their merry way. Our plane didn't leave until 11:15 so we had about an hour to wait. Once we landed in Dayton Tim's sponsor was already there waiting, so I said goodbye and left to find my connecting commuter. I left about 45 minutes later in this toy airplane with only about 20 seats. When we arrived I grabbed my own bag (which was a no-no), kissed the ground (okay not really, but the turbulence was really, really bad), and headed inside. John Mallott was waiting at the top of the stairs with his UWP badge on and that is how we met. We talked while I waited for my luggage, and then we took an impossible way to Brownburg from Indianapolis. Our first stop and my first PR duty was to watch his son in a talent competition play the marimba. From there we drove through downtown and out to our office at Mid State Bank. At the bank, I met Don Peoples, the manager, and sat down to have a Coke and talk until my host dad, Dennis Dawes came to pick me up.

Dennis took me straight home to meet his wife Yao Xshin and son, Christian. I had a relatively quiet evening trying to explain Up With People to them (who never heard about it before sponsoring). First thing I did was hang things up and put things in drawers. I tried to hit the sack pretty early.

2/23/88 Tuesday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Neosho, MI)

We picked up the car yesterday so I had the ability and time to do some things like set up the General Delivery mail, turn in my film, drive around and get my hair cut. After doing all that it was time to go get Anne at the Indianapolis Airport. Her flight arrived at 2:10 and she said everything went great in Washington D.C. while we were waiting for her baggage. When it finally came and we headed home, I got lost coming home, so it took considerably longer. I'm excited and ready to get to work and I think we will work well together. I filled her in as much as possible before meeting Don, and after a short meeting we were off to do our first speaking engagement. It was at the Green Street Station at 6:00 p.m. for the Chamber of Commerce. I did all the speaking except for Anne introducing herself. After the meeting we got swarmed with host families, contact, names and numbers. It was great!!

Needless to say, we left with big smiles on our faces and a lot of determination. We went straight to Dawn's to get Anne situated, met Peg, talked for a while, then went home.

When I got home, I called Jeff to see what arrangements could be made to go to Kalamazoo. Of course, he said I would stay with him and it would be no problem at all. After talking with him I went to bed.

From Paul Kunz


After reading Paula's e-mail, it reminded how much I treasure our family vacations.Typical of our vacations, we spend a lot of time driving, staying with friends, visiting educational sites, entertainment sites, and sites of natural wonder. This past summer we drove from St. Joseph, MO up to Chicago, Cleveland, Southern NY, Cooperstown (Baseball Hall of Fame), camping outside Lake Placid Olympic Sites, Montreal, Ben& Jerry's, camping in Acadia National Park in Maine, a Puffin Nature Cruise off the Maine Coast, Springfield, MA (Basketball Hall of Fame), Long Island (Bridgehampton), NYC, Washington DC, Lynchburg, VA (my wife's hometown) and St. Louis, MO and back home. Approximately 4500 miles and loads of lifetime memories. Since I haven't sent any family pics in a couple of years, I've included a few shots from the vacation. We probably won't make it to Tucson since we were there in 2005, but maybe we can make it part of our swing out west - the kids want to go to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, and I want to go Northern Idaho (my first teaching job), Portland, OR and Redwood National Forest in Northern CAL. Swinging south may be too much.

Click here to see the first photo.
Click here to see the second photo.
Click here to see the third photo.
Click here to see the fourth photo.

From Kurt Larson

Where didn't you do PR? If memory serves me right, didn't you have three trips? I was happy when they told me Brenda and I would get to go out, but the only time they would let us was during Christmas break. Guess I was just a home boy. But I did enjoy Brownsburg. Thanks for the updates. They are great. For those of us from DC-40 sleeping in a fitness club on mats left a little to be desired, and carrying our luggage through the subway was interesting with costumes and stuff. Thank heavens I spent most of my summers there so we didn't get lost.

Thanks again.

EDITOR: Yes, Kurt, I seemed to have been on PR more than with the cast. I have another stint coming up in Copenhagen for 6 weeks. I think my year was significantly different from yours. :) Sounds like I didn't miss much by not being part of the DC-40. Thanks for reading the journal and sending a note. - Grant

2/24/88 Wednesday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Neosho, MI)

No sleep for the weary! Up and at Œem to do a 6:45 a.m. Kiwanis breakfast (which I was late for), but being the nice wonderful person I am, I let Anne sleep in. After the meeting, I picked her up and we planned our attack. We decided not to split things up so we could more effectively cover everything. I don't quite understand that philosophy, but we will give it a shot. We spent all morning at the office and Rita called to make sure everything was alright and see if we sent in all our forms and such. At noon we were kicked out of the office because that is when they close, but had plenty to do around town like getting supplies and the like. Around 4:00, we went back because they are taking pictures so the office is opened and worked 'til 7:00. At 7:00 p.m. the committee and Dennis showed up so we could discuss what the plan was for the next 3 weeks. We were there 'til approximately 9:15, and from there went home to hit the sack.

From Beth Wahlert-Lohmeier

Ah yes, the DC 40...
Luggage loaded with all our individual costumes for the different parts of the show. Walking for BLOCKS with all our worldly belongings in tow. Got so tired of walking and carrying my junk I started DRAGGING my garment bag and ripped huge holes in it.

Shawn and I finally hailed a taxi, gave the driver the name of the hotel only to find that we were a block and a half away. No big deal, EXCEPT that the taxis in DC are all zoned and so a ride across town costs as much as a ride one block away. Yikes that was an expensive ride! Good times...


EDITOR: These came from Jeff Martinson. I wanted to catch him up to my journal so I thought I would send these few days separately and then I will begin adding him to my PR journal entries. Thanks Jeff!

Feb 21st

Today began VERY early. I had to get up at 3:00 am because my parents and family had to drive all the way back to Houston to catch their flight back to Idaho. They dropped me off at 3:30 am at the Hershey Hotel (Corpus Christi). My mom didn't cry too much which was good. I had to wait in the lobby with my luggage until the bus arrived at 5:00 am. Then we picked everyone else up and went to the airport. We got into DC about noon. We took the subway to our hotel and had to walk with our luggage for about 6 blocks. (GRANT- I have heard this story now from 3 of the 40. It must have been a very memorable subway ride and walk.)

We ate lunch and then took the subway to rehearsal. It was at a beautiful museum building with huge pillars and was being restored. We rehearsed over and over again. It got to be very frustrating. Then at 7:00 pm we took the subway back to the hotel to eat dinner. Our show was at 10:00 pm. By the time everyone got there we went straight into the show. It was very rushed but turned out good. I danced 50's with Cynthia and Gospel. After the show we were allowed to try the food. I tried sushi (only one bite) for the first time. It was OK but rice, raw fish and seaweed just don't sound that appetizing to me. We then went back to the hotel and my roommates were Reudi and Declan. I went to bed only to find about 12 people jumping on me--- I don't remember everyone who did it because they woke me up but a few culprits were: Doug, Roger, Shawn, Kurt and Beth.

Feb 23rd

I slept in and then Staci, Cassi, Rita, Motoko and I went shopping in the small stores. We ate at an Italian restaurant and I really had an enjoyable afternoon. At 3:30 we all met at the airport to fly to Kansas City. When we got there we then boarded the bus to go to Neosho,. We arrived at 11:30 pm. My roommate is Dean and this family seems very nice.

Feb 24th

Today we got to sleep in until we met at 11:30 at the grocery store parking lot. We then drove to the grade school where we broke into small groups with the 4th and 5th graders. We played games with them which was fun. We then went to three different facilities to take a tour. My crew went to the fish hatchery, and the George Washington Carver museum. We then went back to the school for wrap-up and we picked up staff applications. We went home to our host families for dinner. Dean had stayed home the whole day. Our host father took us around town and then we went to see the "Spooklight". Supposedly this is a light that just appears out of nowhere. No one knows why. It has been studied. We saw it but I had a hard time believing in it. (Did anyone else see this?)

Feb 25th

Today Dean and I were late getting to the Morning Meeting. We walked in late while Brenda Perkins was giving her "True Colors". It's weird but every time someone gives their true colors they cry. The next thing we did was Crew 1 had a discussion about the international fair that will take place in Ohio. For rehearsal we did 1 1/2 hour of aerobics. Blah! For dinner we had a great meal which was donated by Tyson Chicken. It was Chicken Cordon Bleu and it was so good. The show went well. I danced 50's with Rita and Beth and I both got to dance Black and White. I also sang Hawaii with no mistakes. We had someone throw flowers up on the stage during the show. That was new. I interviewed with Cyndi Flynn. I thought the girl we interviewed was great but Denis and Cyndi thought she was just so so. When we got home I repacked my suitcase as it was a mess from DC. All day today I felt a terrible urge that I wanted and needed to go on PR (I don't really want to go, I just feel I need a break from the cast). Leanne, Ziggy, Corrine, and Gretchen are all leaving soon for Norway. I am happy for Noriko. Dear god, please give me some sanity. (OK-- I was REALLY dramatic for an 18 year old-- these journal entries always make me cringe and laugh).

2/25/88 Thursday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Canton, MI)

Your basic working day, but I went to the elementary school (White Lick) to sell tickets from 11:30 to 1:00. It went relatively well, 35 tickets, and I wrote Mom a letter and got my newsletter done so that was nice to finish. I worked mostly on news releases and anything else I could think of I also starting planning the Pizza/ticket-a-thon and calling people. My idea being that for every Up With People ticket you buy you receive a discount on a pizza. I don't know if it will work, but it may draw some extra attention to our news article. Who knows? We did work extra late again (until 8:00) so that we could get as much done as possible before we left this weekend for Kalamazoo. Then we went home and to bed. Not together, alone.

From Jeff Martinson

Feb 25th

Today was our travel day to Canton, Ohio and my bus date was Cecilia. It was a 9 hour travel day. Cecilia is SUCH a great person. I got compliments from everybody on the new sweater I just bought. It felt nice to be told that I looked good. My roommate is Heikki and our family is nice but different. We then watched some of the winter Olympics on tv which was interesting and fun to watch.

RECAP - ... We then went back to the hotel and my roommates were Reudi and Declan. I went to bed only to find about 12 people jumping on me--- I don't remember everyone who did it because they woke me up but a few culprits were: Doug, Roger, Shawn, Kurt and Beth.

Response to Jeff's Bonus Journal from Kurt Larson

Loved the bonus entry. But, you need to know, why was Jeff sleeping? I wasn't asleep why was he? He was young, male and....? Boy some people's kids. Kids, never mind. But in DC. Of all things. It was fun jumping on his bed, softer than mine and he had to remake it. Besides, he could "sleep next year".

2/26/88 Friday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Canton, MI)

Yes sir, you gotta love those early morning. We were at the Waffle House by 7:00 a.m. (on time) to speak at the Sertoma Club meeting. It was a terrible breakfast, a small crowd of 20, but full of questions. I think it was one of the best interactions I have ever had with a club. At the end of the meeting we talked with Bill, who was the one who set us up for the Sertoma and who owns Green Street Station, and we told him we would like to come visit him and check out his restaurant. And he said "You will come to the restaurant on me and I will pay for it." I obviously did not put up a fight, and graciously accepted his offer.

From there we took an announcement to the junior high with posters, so that we would have announcements running at both the junior high and the high school. Anne dropped me off after picking up some flyers from Turpin printing, so that I could make phone calls. I made arrangements to get our picture taken at the Danville Pizza Hut and the Plainfield Noble Roman's pizzeria. This covered both the guide and the flyer and hopefully will reach a lot of people. We passed out some posters in Plainfield, then went home to turn around and go to the basketball game to sell tickets and put flyers on the cars. We went home after half time because we weren't doing any good selling tickets.


From Jeff Martinson
Feb 26th

Today my crew went to a nursing home. We played games such as volleyball with a balloon, wheelchair races and such. We then did an acoustic and ate lunch at the back of the auditorium. For rehearsal we worked on Gospel. The workshop was OK but too short. Gro made my day. She said she was talking with Paula and that Paula had said that Weini and I were great because we really got into the spirit of the Gospel number. I was surprised to hear that as I thought Gospel was the dance I did the worst. (I am laughing now today as I know I didn't do this number when the show finalized for Russia :-). ). For dinner the theme was Mardi Gras and during Green room the black students gave a presentation on the speech that Martin Luther King gave. I did interviews with Cyndi and then Heikki and I went to a frat party after midnight. It was fun and I got a buzz. I met a girl named Kim who was real cute and we talked all night from 12-3. Before I finally went home I kissed her (french kiss even) but I know that I will never see her again which is ok.

2/27/88 – Saturday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Effingham, IL)

Another morning where we get up and get right to work. Don picked me up at 8:15 a.m. and we picked up Anne and headed to Danville for a radio interview. We were listening to the station that we would be interviewing on, and those who were also listening were probably asleep. We arrived on the location at Cindy’s Hamburgers ready for our interview in casual clothes and realized as we walked in that we were probably over dressed. It was a scary place not to mention the looks of the two ladies (?) interviewing us. The interview lasted about 15 minutes and went smoothly, so for those six people who were listening, I’m sure they liked us. One lady, the owner of the restaurant, fell in love with Anne right away and was very “huggy” about it.

We had breakfast following, and then Don took us home by about 10:30. I picked up the car, grabbed my stuff, picked up Anne and was on the road to Kalamazoo. I was in headed the right direction initially, but was gun shy after getting lost once, so I turned around, then back the right way eventually which was the original way I was heading. (EDITOR-I should explain that my best friend Jeff from Colorado Springs had moved to Kalamazoo, MI which is also where Anne's boyfriend (now husband) and sister were attending college. We took a weekend trip to Kalamazoo to visit and this is our journey.)

It took us about 4 1/2 hours to get there with not too much backtracking, so we got there about 3:30. I let Anne take over when we arrived in Kalamazoo which was a mistake! She was anxious to see John and was driving crazy, but she found the dorm. He gave a cold welcoming, which bothered me, but I don’t have to deal with it. I headed off in some direction and miraculously found the street I needed to get to Jeff’s house. I finally found the house after some circling around, and he had just gotten home. So we sat around and talked and waited for Anne to call to explain what we were going to do. When his folks came home, and Anne had called, we drove around Kalamazoo and eventually went to the grocery store then home. We then went swimming for an hour, came home ate dinner, left right away to pick up Scott (Jeff’s friend) and went to McGonagles which is a bar. Anne and John were there, so we sat down and waited for her sister.

Jenny (Anne’s sister) came not too much later and brought her roommate Jen and her boyfriend Steve. We had a nice time (at least I did), but didn’t get into the group dance scene. I think Jenny Stainforth is a very nice, fun, attractive girl, and I enjoyed spending time with her. I taught her the cha-cha and before the night was over, I taught Anne and Jen also. Jen also learned the Tango because she is a dancer (and how!) and picked up the moves very quickly. She has definitely got the sway and feel of those very romantic dances. We ended up leaving about 1:30, dropping Scott off and going home. We stayed up and talked for a while and Jeff gave me a Hard Rock Café sweatshirt that was too small for him. It was still in the package, and from Chicago so how could I lose.

From Jeff Martinson
Feb 27th

Today was our bus day to Effingham and my bus date was Valerie. It was great to see Tomoko again and she really enjoyed being able to do PR. She didn't get my letter though. Hmmm. My roommate is Michael Leidecker again. It is funny how I keep getting roomed with staff members. Our family is GREAT. We watched the Olympics and in skating Debbie Thomas ended up getting a bronze. We then went to a party with our host brother. Melinda, Brenda, and Ruud Jan were there. It was OK, I got a buzz again. When we came home I went straight to bed. ( Gosh, I didn't remember drinking that much in UWP).

Brenda "Chocolate"

Hey Grant,

I am submitting this entry because Effingham was one of the best cities for me...last year I reconnected with them and talk about no time passing...Melinda, you might remember them as well...we had a birthday cake for you and they had the little dog named Tacky! Funny story there, when we were unloading our luggage at the house just as I was setting my bag down the dog came out of the house and Mrs. Hartke says "Oh, that's Tacky"...I said "well I don't have to bring it in"....she says "Oh, no...I meant the dog, the dog's name is Tacky"...we all had a good laugh!!! Anyway, here's my entry:

My Diary Saturday February 27, 1988

What a city! What a family! I am having a fantastic time already! I had such a great time laughing and joking with my family. I have three host brothers and one host sister who stayed at college this weekend. My oldest host brother, Tony, is home just until tomorrow because he has to go back to school as well. We had a blast tonight. Tony took us (Melinda and me) out to a party and I had so much fun. We met our cousin Jeff (Thomas)- he's really a neat guy. Really beautiful voice - super bass. This is going to be another Batavia or Peru for me - if not even better. I feel so at home in this family. I am really getting along fantastic with the whole family. They had bridge here before we left (Editor: for the party I suppose) and all the people were very friendly. I am looking forward to putting on a hell of a show for this city (especially my family!). I guess Tony is leaving for school again in the morning. That's too bad because I was hoping to talk him into interviewing. I think he would really enjoy UWP. Boy his friends are a riot. The only thing is I think his girlfriend was a tad upset with him- oops. (EDITOR: the Hartke's really turned out to be a perfect UWP host family!!! Twenty years later Mrs. Hartke sent pictures and time flies...the kids are all grown up and Tony and his wife just had a baby boy last September. Turns out my host sister Amy is a breast cancer survivor, that was nice to hear after losing Mocha in March. I definitely encourage anyone who isn't still in contact, to write to a favorite host family, they'd probably LOVE to hear from you and still think of you after all this time!).

This trip down memory lane is beyond words Grant....what a FANTASTIC idea!!! Keep on writing!!!!

2/28/88 Sunday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Effingham, IL) Kalamazoo, MI

I got up to go to church with the Thompsons (Jeff had to go to work), and it was an incredible Presbyterian church made to look old and gothic. The church was almost 100 years old, and had incredible acoustics. The choir did a couple two choir numbers, and was really neat to listen to.

After church, we went home and had a wonderful lasagna lunch, and basically sat around and talked for a while. Then Jeff and I took off to the beach at the lake (an hour away), walked around on the icebergs and talked for a while, then drove home. When we came back in town, we stopped by the university to see Jenny and for me to look at the rooms. We (Jenny, Jen, Jeff and I) talked for a while, but then went home and made it an early evening.

From Jeff Martinson

Feb 28th

Today I went to church with my host family and it as a catholic church which made me feel at home. We then came home and had brunch and then were dropped off at the hospital. We toured the cancer facility and mingled with the patients before doing an acoustic show. We then met as a group and the black students did a presentation on black history month. It was very good and we had a great question and answer period after it. We then had a southern meal and they showed the movie "Soulman". Leanne, Julie and I went downtown instead of watching the show. At 7:00 pm some of us left to do a TOA show at the catholic dinner. It was so funny. We began to do Japan and the whole stage started to roll. It was on wheels. I laughed through the whole thing. I sang UWP and when I grabbed the mic the cable fell to the ground and the wrong tape was playing. It was very funny.

2/29/88 Monday (Leap Day) - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Effingham, IL)

I slept in for a while and when I woke up, I just talked with Mrs. Thompson and did some writing. Jeff got home about 12:30 and we went to Wendy's Hamburgers with a friend of his. After lunch we walked around the mall for a while, and did scamming mostly. (EDITOR TRANSLATION: Looking for Chicks!) After a lot of running around and checking out where he works, we went home to make plans for the evening. We called Anne and was going to do a movie and dinner with her and Jenny, but Jenny had homework so we just did dinner. We went to a pizza joint and had a nice time. We went back to his house to get his car, and we waited as long as we could but decided to use my car. He put his fuzz-buster in my car, (EDITOR TRANSLATION: Police Radar Detector) and we headed out to pick-up Jennifer (Jeff's girlfriend) and Andrea. (There are definitely too many Jenny's / Jen's/Jennifers in this story and Kalamazoo for that matter). Anyways, they live clear out in BFE, (EDITOR TRANSLATION: Bum F***ing Egypt - Sorry but true) and it took 30 minutes to get there. We did, however get to the movie ('Three Men and a Baby') early and sat in the car and talked. I kind of felt like I didn't fit in, but tried to be a part of the conversation as much as possible. Of course, I ended up trying to explain Up With People.

After the movie, we went to Big Boy's to have a shake and talk. We headed for home about 12:00 midnight so we could take them home and still get home at a reasonable time. On my way out there, I got in too much of a hurry, and feeling confident that I had the police detector on. I wasn't paying attention to how fast I was going, the detector beeped once, and I slowed down almost to a complete stop because I had to turn left. Well after I made the turn, he turned on his lights and pulled me over. He asked me to step back to his car, and speak with him (after giving him my license and registration). I explained to him that I didn't know the area and didn't know where I was going, and told him about Up With People, and tried to be as cooperative as possible, but none of that worked. He did, however, lower it from 76 in a 50 to 60 in a 50 which is a difference of a $40 fine. He asked if I had $25 to post bond for my license otherwise he would have to take my license. At first I told him I didn't hoping he would drop it, but he didn't so I 'checked my checkbook for some money.' After we did our 'business,' he told me what I needed to do to pay the rest of the money and enter my plea. Jeff came back to the police car to ask why I had to pay and the policeman thought he was accusing him of bribery. It was kind of funny actually. I really wasn't too upset about it, maybe because I'm an old hand at it, but it bothered me that I don't have time or the ability to represent myself to get it talked down. (EDITOR: There goes my squeaky clean image. I am a fugitive in Kalamazoo, MI.)

We talked about on the way home and a little bit when we got home, but then went to bed. That is how you celebrate Leap Day!

From Jeff Martinson

Feb 29th

LEAP YEAR. Also one month until we leave for Europe! Today my crew had our first setup with the new system. We did really well and setup didn't take that long. For rehearsal we didn't rehearse. YEAH! Instead, we discussed our past 6-8 weeks and critiqued it. I think we all agreed on one thing-- We spend TOO MUCH TIME on rehearsal. For dinner we had a great meal that was cooked by a church (Turkey, potatoes, etc.). We came back and Al and Paula were working on Black and White with Gro. Gro got to perform it tonight which was great. I still don't agree with any of us being taken out of the dance. It makes me so mad.

EDITOR: I would love to hear from those who lived in Kokomo to get there impressions of being home while in UWP. Care to share? - Grant


Click here to choose a different month

3/1/88 Tuesday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Kokomo, IN)

I left the Thompsons (Mrs. and Jeff) at about 7:15 a.m. to meet Anne (John and Jen) at a Big Boy's, and that's where we left from. I told Anne about the ticket and she was a good listener (I debated about telling her). She slept most of the way, but the drive went a lot smoother on the way back. When we got in town, we went straight to the office to try and finish off the day. I was not in a very good mood because we had problems with the facility that were not making John Malott or John Sharkey very happy. Plus we missed Paul's call four times while we were gone. I was glad the day was over!

From Jeff Martinson

March 1st

Today was our travel day to Kokomo. My bus date was Leanne and my roommate is Jeff Hansen. I called home and talked to my mom and Al. They have done so much for me this year.

Dear Cast -
Please look ahead to your journal entry for March 4th in Plymouth and LaGrange, IN. I have been made aware of a story that I had never heard before and I am curious to know if others wrote about it in their journals. If you did, please send it to me today or tomorrow so I can include it on the March 4th entry. Thanks. Grant

3/2/88 Wednesday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Kokomo, IN)

We had a tight morning since we had to leave by 12:00 noon today. I got 10 or 12 news releases out to surrounding communities and cities. Brett called right before lunch and Bill Graul and his mom stopped in on their way to Kokomo. He was checking out schools in our area and thought he would stop by. He is going to Norway so we won't see him for a while.<

We left at noon with Don Peoples to go to lunch and look around Indianapolis. We had a great lunch at a nice delicatessen (that Don paid for), then stopped at the Children's museum, pointed out radio and television stations a long the way to Union Station and downtown. We packed a lot in, in such a short time. Don gave us a pretty good tour of the area.

We got done about 4:30 enough time for me to get to Danville. It had been raining all day and was starting to freeze, so I was not looking forward to driving there and driving back after it was really frozen. Wait this is tomorrow when it was raining. Okay forget it and transfer that to tomorrow. (EDITOR: I am sorry you get to see what a Geek I was. I obviously was trying to "catch up" in my journal and put the freezing rain storm on the wrong day. I don't know why I didn't just do it instead of talking about moving it. Weirdo.)

Because I put it wrong in the news release it said the Pizza/ticket-a-thon was at the Brownsburg Noble Romans on Wednesday March 3rd. So Anne and I sat in the Noble Romans in vain and did some writing. They didn't even know we were coming. At 8:00 p.m. we left and went home to go to bed.

From Jeff Martinson

March 2nd

Today was a relaxing day. We had our morning meeting and then we learned some sign language as Ross is coming to join us today. We then broke into groups and started to discuss plans for Prep Europe. Our group spent the whole time discussing stupid things such as how to eat. We then went to the mall for lunch and shopping. Then back to the YMCA for games and to work on the international fair. I looked up information for colleges and I think the University of Wisconsin sounds like a good school. I am a bit worried about what I will do after this year is over. Tonight Amy had a party at her house. It was fun and almost everyone was there. I got feeling really good and kissed Gro. Then I began feeling guilty as I know she likes me and I don't have the same feelings for her. I finally told her and at first she was angry and then I got upset. We went upstairs and talked for a long time about a lot of things. She has had such a hard life. I really feel bad for her that way. Anyway we are really good friends. It was really a strange evening. It is Katherine's Birthday and 3 of us (Sedrik, Kevin and I) had whipped cream on our bare chests. Very fun evening overall.

3/3/88 Thursday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Kokomo, IN)

We started the day with the Brownsburg Student Council at 7:15 in the morning. They were half dead and didn't respond very well, but we ended up getting two host families as a result. This was the day that it was rainy and yucky and cold all day. We were in the office for the whole rest of the day.

By the time it was time to go to Danville, the roads were getting bad and about an inch of ice had completely covered my car. In fact I broke the ice scraper trying to get it off. So I had to wait a while for the defroster help me get it off. I drove real slow, and got there about 5:30 p.m. As I pulled up to the restaurant, the whole street's lights flickered on and off, and stayed off for about 5 minutes at the most. I ended up leaving around 7:45 because I was in the dark as much as I was in the light.

I took it real slow all the way home so the roads were not too bad. When I got home all the lights were off. It was actually kind of fun, and reminded me a lot of when I was little and the lights would go off and Mom would pull out the candles. All four of us sat by the fire and talked and just enjoyed the moment. Eventually I went up stairs to go to bed. I had to put on my long underwear, sweats, a sweatshirt and had an extra blanket figuring the power and heat would come on sometime in the night. Well, it did not and was off until 7:00 a.m. 13 hours! The longest I have ever been without power that I can remember or knew about is 2 or 3 hours. These ice storms (my first one) are powerful.

From Leanne Monahan-Voyles
Hi Grant!

Last weekend Cast A was in the Dallas area. The show was so much better than I imagined! It seems like they took the best parts of UWP and made them even bigger and they got rid of the less important things. I loved it! I wasn't sure if I should go interview or go to the alumni reception! Since all my old friends were going to the reception, I thought I would follow them! Laurie, Dean, and Doug were there! We missed Sedrick and Lena! Terry, Bruce E., and Kim Clark (my old PR boss) were there too. Fun time!

On that same day, we found out that we were chosen to adopt a little girl! Her name is Mary Beth Grace. She was born on Oct. 22nd weighing 2 lbs, 10 ozs. Now she is about 9lbs. and she will be coming home to us in a few weeks. She has been through a lot and she has a lot ahead of her but we are excited that God has chosen us to watch her blossom!

That's the news! Attached are pictures!

Click here to see the first photo.
Click here to see the second photo.

Love you guys!

EDITOR- It is so good that I have trained you all to take a picture and send it to me. I love seeing these little gatherings. It makes me feel like I was there. Sorry Lena, Sedrick and Meg were not there. We have a gathering of our own coming up next Saturday with Sandra, Jeff Martinson, Whynot, Gretchen and I. Does anyone else want to come over for dinner? We are just missing Suzie who is in town with her production this weekend, but has to leave on Monday night. We will send pictures next week. -Grant

I am putting Brenda Perkin’s journal entry ahead of mine and it is much more poignant than my day in Brownsburg. I had never heard this story until now. - Grant

Hey Grant,

I thought I'd send along this entry hoping that others do too...interesting to see what others' take on this city was...I'm sorry that you missed this city because your journal entry probably would have been outstanding since you are so detailed. This is the city that Sedrick was refused service at the high school basketball game the night before our show....

My Diary Friday March 4, 1988

Today has been a really interesting day. We left Kokomo and about 5 inches of snow and came to Plymouth and La Grange, Indiana --no snow. But the weather is still cold! It turns out that when I get here I have no allocation bag. So I don't want to stay by myself because I have a bad feeling about this city. Anyway I end up staying in the house that Amy and Gro were supposed to stay in, Gro didn't come because she has a cyst on her tailbone which needs to be operated on. I am staying with Staci Brockman. I was upset about that at first because Staci is leaving on PR on Sunday and I'll be by myself. I felt a bit uncomfortable about that because the Plymouth information pamphlet says "There is no Negro or foreign element in Plymouth. This is naturally favorable due to the good schools." I was very upset and a bit angry about that. But I ended up staying in this situation --it is easier for Monique this way. But Nancy was a total BITCH about it. (Editor: sorry doubt I was truly shaken and nervous about the Negro comment...I'm a little tougher these days). I apologized to Staci for being kind of bitchy earlier. I didn't mean it towards her. That pamphlet kind of took me by surprise and I just cracked. Michael (Liedecker) and Dean said goodbye today. I am really going to miss Michael. I got kind of attached to him (Editor: don't know what that's all about, but I do have a picture of Michael, Ty, and I dressed up at the party in Kokomo...).

P.S. Grant, I talked to John Flores Sunday evening...he's certainly planning on coming to the reunion and is quite excited about it. While we were talking, he got a call from Steve Ellis, so I let him take it...can you believe I got pre-empted by Ellis? Anyway, it sure seems like we'll have a great turnout...can we party with you and Gretchen in the Presidential Suite when you get the upgrade? :)





3/4/88 – Friday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Plymouth, IN)

I got up to call Anne about 7:00 a.m. right after the power came on and they said (the Sharkeys) that school was closed. I stayed up for a while, Anne called and we discussed what we were going to do (we were supposed to speak to classes today), and decided to go in to the office around 11:30. So I went back to sleep.

We went to the office for a while, but at 1:00 I went back home for an interview with the flyer. It was a good interview session and took a great picture. Then back to the office to check in and then to The Guide to be with Dawn Sharkey while she interviewed. Straight from there to Varsity Gym to talk with Buddy Imhouson about the set up and what we needed. After that we were not able to do much more at the office, so we went home to make plans for the night. Dennis was able to get two free tickets to both of the major cinemas in town, so Anne, Dawn and I decided to go to a movie. We went to the “big city” (Indianapolis) to see Good Morning, Vietnam with Robin Williams, and learned that it was abased on Pat Sajak’s life. It was a real good flick. It was late so we ended the evening and went home to bed.


From Erin Lynch-Harnish

I finally have a day off! You would not believe how hard it is to be a pediatrician in the winter unless you have children of your own who have been sick this winter too! Pete has sent me out of the bedroom on a call after hearing the beeper countless times and yelling "are all the children in Longview sick???!!!" He had been trained to sleep through it, but it has been a little crazy.

Well, a day off and seeing "the Smiling Americans" (as my friends in College used to tease me as part of our segment of Up With People) from the Dallas gathering and hearing the Good news about Leanne's little girl Mary Beth Grace have lifted my spirits!

Much love,

PS: "The Smiling Americans" was from either David Letterman or The Simpson’s (or both) disrespect to the international folks....actually, I guess it is infact, just making fun of the Americans in the group.


From Kurt Larson

Great pics of the Texas crowd. But who is that old guy next to Dean? I yeah, that’s what its like to hit a tree, get hit by a car, and then "leave the building" and be able to tell about it....... Best wishes to Elvis! The rest look great. Did they just get off the road?

3/5/88 – Saturday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Plymouth, IN)

We could only work ‘til 12:00 noon, so we did what we could do and then left to go to Union Station and look around. We had lunch there, and did some shopping. I bought a poster for Kristina Kafka with a collage of Judy Garland, I also got some postcards, and a couple Irish/St. Patrick’s Day buttons. I didn’t spend much on myself mostly on other people. After dropping some news releases at the Indy News and Star, we went home. We decided to use the other two tickets to go see The Last Emperor. We missed the first part of the movie because I got lost, but it was kind of a confusing movie anyways. We got home around midnight or 12:30.

Okay Cast A , the time is coming near. I haven’t been sending you this stuff every day for the last 9 months just because I like to type. It was because I want to see you at the reunion! Reunion registration starts in 10 days. Please consider registering during the month of March. Even if you are on the fence about attending, go ahead and register, and you can always get a refund up until a month before the reunion. However, once you see how many of your cast friends are going to be in Tucson, I am sure you won’t want to miss out on the fun. I already have over 40 people said they were planning on going and that is not including staff or others who have just not told me yet. Put March 15th on your calendar so you can be one of the first to register! - Grant

3/6/88 Sunday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in LaGrange, IN)

I went to Sunday school and church with the Dawes, and found it very hard to concentrate for some reason, not to mention I was somewhat tired. After church we went to his brother's house for lunch with about a dozen other people. It was a great turkey dinner, but I got bored quickly.

When I got home, I called Penny (my sister), but she was not home. She wrote me a letter telling me to call her and also contained $10 and some stamps. So I called Mom and Dad and talked for a while and Mom told me I was an Uncle! As of last night. Topaz (Brett's dog) had 14 puppies. Wow, 27 puppies in 2 years (last year on St. Patrick's Day and then this year almost on his birthday). When I talked to him a couple days ago, he said she was about ready to pop. Mom said all of the pups were black but if they lighten up and turn brown it is a difference in price of $150-$200 for a black lab compared to $500 for a chocolate. If they are all chocolate labs he will make $7000 which will be paying for a two week trip to Hawaii in June for my brother.

We talked for about an hour, but didn't say much really. Later Penny called me back and we had a nice talk. She is going to visit a friend in Virginia, but was going to go to Washington D.C. and try and see the show while she is there. It turns out she is going there the same day we perform. Cool huh.

The rest of the evening was pretty quiet and uneventful.

Sun March 6th

Today crew 2 left for Plymouth at 10:00. When we got to Plymouth we had lunch then rehearsal. After rehearsal we had a Belgian presentation then dinner. I was supposed to sell display but instead I will have to wait until tomorrow. I felt really sad today, for no real reason. I think my closest friends are gone and I felt that I had lost the friendship with Roger, etc. (Hmmm.... Not sure what that is all about. Roger any clues?)

From Julie Burgan

Brenda's funny story about the dog named "Tacky" reminded me of my host family in the northern-most Canadian city we did (I can't think of the name, but it was snowy and cold). They had a dog named "Julie". A great family, but a little nerve racking with all of the "Julie, go outside!", "Julie, NO!", "Julie, stop that!". Fortunately, most of the reprimands were for the dog.

3/7/88 Monday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in LaGrange, IN)

Anne spoke to jr. high classes most of the day while I stayed at the office and typed and made phone calls. In the afternoon, I went downtown to get some maps of Indianapolis, get boxes and do general running around. Then I went back to the office and we worked Œtil about 7:30. I stopped by K-Mart to get a few things then went home for a restful evening. Anne and I went to Green Street Station for dinner. Free!

Monday Mar 7th

Today my crew had setup. Then I worked on dances, wrote, etc. At rehearsal I got to sing Unfinished World and Lindsay said that I was ready to perform it. Yes! (hmmm never did sing that :) ). After the show I was chosen to interview with Holly. Then we all sat around the table filling out our cards (Shawn, Deedra, Cyndi, Carlos, Holly, Mary and I).

3/8/88 – Tuesday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in New Albany, IN)

Another one of those work days, but tried to get more marquees, and I got marquee commitments at Wendy’s, Dairy Queen and Toddy Liquors. I also got more boxes. Paul called today and we talked quite a while about everything, but especially sponsor relations. At 5:00, I went over to Noble Romans and at 5:30, we had a sponsor meeting and really stressed that we needed more host families. We did, however, sell two tickets so this whole Pizza/Ticket-a-thon is worthwhile now. The rest of the evening I did not sell anymore after the meeting. It was a good meeting and filled them on what was left to do. I went home right afterwards and tried to relax.

Tuesday March 8th,

It has been a terrible day. It started out fine. We left La Grange and drove to Louisville, Kentucky. There we had some free time and I went shopping with Julie and Brenda LaMica. We got to talking and Brenda told me that Rasmus doesn't like me. This really bothers me as I don't think I have ever done anything to him. Then to top it off Brenda also told me that past roommates I have had told her that I take too long in the shower. Right now I don't really know or feel like I fit into the cast. I feel rather lonely-- this is something that I didn't think could happen to me but it has. I am sad, angry and hurt. My roommates here are Matt and Dennis H. We have an OK host father but the whole house has a terribly disgusting smell of cat shit. Gross! Our host father made chili for dinner and when he went to set two of the bowls down I saw the cat jump up on the table and eat from one of the bowls before he returned with the other two bowls. I did not tell Dennis and Matt but I can tell you that I definitely did not eat from that bowl! (Sorry Matt and Dennis).

From Mary Huckins
Hello Grant!

I LOVED the little extra note from Julie about "Julie the DOG". Made me laugh! I really enjoy reading everyone's extra notes! :) I have been reading through some of my journal entries (although, I did a lot of catch up and didn't write every single day)... I have a lot of additional memories regarding the DC group, etc that maybe I'll send later. Often humorous, but also insightful observations of a 21-22 year old. So much of it really makes me laugh but also reminds me what an INCREDIBLE life-changing and life-shaping journey that was for someone of that age (& from SD). It is one of those years that will never happen again and I cherish it and all the people who made it so special & memorable.

**I just opened up to a random date in late January in my journal, the cast was in Carlsbad, NM and the entry reads, "I had kind of a bad night tonight with a cold only to get home and hear that the dog dragged ALL my socks & underwear outside through the puppy door and my suitcase and toiletry bag were FULL of ants from the brick floor it was laying on... But I stayed up late and played some piano duets with my host sister, taped some music and read an essay she wrote on Mayonnaise, Mustard and Ketchup personality types (a H.S. survey). It was neat and very interesting." -Mary Huckins

From Cynthia Lynch-Winn

Hi Grant and Gretchen,

Thanks for saying Hi, I have missed everyone. But it's just so time consuming being on this computer. My computer and I have a love/hate relationship, because it seems every time I do try to use it, something goes wrong. Hope all is well with you. Holly keeps me informed on EVERYTHING THAT GOING ON WITH UWP. You really are the best for keeping us all stuck together and we love you for that. I'm looking forward to the reunion. Take care, Cynthia (see Email List for Cynthia's new email address)

Today is the one year anniversary of Brenda June LaMica-Hoge's death. Think of her when you read today's journal entry.

3/9/88 Wednesday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in New Albany, IN)

I unfortunately have gotten behind and I am going to try and remember the happenings of this past week. We spent the morning in the office and spent the afternoon dropping off posters at the high schools in Danville, Avon, and Plainfield. This was after picking up some boxes in Indianapolis. By the time we did all of that it was time for me to go back to Plainfield to Noble Romans. I didn't sell anything and had to leave by 7:30 to get back for the host family meeting at the Brownsburg Library at 8:00 p.m.

The host family meeting went pretty smoothly and was able to take pictures of about half of the families. (EDITOR: That was our host pick up was providing each cast member with a photo of their host family and that was how you were to find your family.)

We only showed about half of the video so that we had plenty of time to plead for more beds and families. We left about 9:30 and I went straight to bed.


FYI: The Simpson's referred to UWP at "Hurray for Everything" on their Super Bowl spoof. And they sang: "doot dat doot dat doot dat do, doot dat doot dat doot dat do, dancin', dancin', dancin!'" I still chuckle about that one.

Wed March 9th

Today 1/2 of us went to the Louisville bat factory and then to a tobacco plant. Then my crew went to a facility for emotionally and mentally handicapped children. It was really an emotional place to be but I really put forth an effort. It felt good to be in charge as a crew leader. We then came back to the school and did some fun drama exercises. We got mail today but I did not get the mail I was expecting from my parents. Damn! I sold display but only made $2.30 with over 500 people in the audience so that was not good. I called home at night and things are fine. Oh this year has gone by fast.

3/10/88 Thursday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Clayton, OH)

Your basic work day, getting the last few boxes, type some of the city report, and I left a little earlier so that I could drop a package off for Kris Kafka (a poster of Judy Garland collage). Noble Romans for the first (or second) time paid off because I sold 3 tickets.

Thur March 10th

Well today we left for New Albany (Thank god to get away from that stinky house) and we came to Clayton, Ohio. My bus date was Saori. We stopped in Cincinnati for some free time and I walked around with Liesbet, Diane, Woody, Jo and Sanne. When we got into Clayton the sponsor gave us a speech of what she expected from us. She made me so mad! I am alone here but I have a very nice family. We went to dinner at Arby's and then to my host brother's soccer game. We then talked for awhile before watching the movie "Black Widow". It was a good movie!

3/11/88 Friday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in New Albany, IN)

I spent from 7:45 to 12:15 speaking to Brownsburg High School students, and then I went to lunch and back again for another hour from 1:30 to 2:30 for a total of about 300-350 people I spoke to. Then after my last class I did an interview with the school newspaper. I had to be at Danville at 3:00 and got out of the Brownsburg H.S. parking lot at 2:55. I arrived in Danville at 3:15 and the teacher had just started the video. The class was loud, rude and didn't pay attention to me hardly at all. All my other classes were fine except for the one in Danville. By the time I got back to the office it was 4:30 and closing soon, so I left soon after. I was going to have a quiet evening at home, and I did for a while, but eventually checked out a citywide Sock-Hop at the gym that part of Hoosiers was filmed in. After meeting Amy, Chad, Toni and some others I decided to go. I was hoping to go out with Amy, but she called three times before I came home and didn't call back after I got home. Anyways, the dance was okay; great music, but I felt out of place. I stayed Œtil about 1:30 and went home and talked with Dennis for a while. He told me about him biking from coast to coast when he was younger and just really enjoyed each other's company.

March 11th

Today my crew had classroom involvement. As a crew leader I was in charge of the group and it felt nice. My group spoke to 3 classes. It was a bit boring really. After lunch we learned a new warm up dance. Then Al and Jennifer told us about the new changes for the show. We will cut King Richard, Russia, Clowns, and the LOAD! We will add La Bamba, Roads, Man in the MIrror, a Russian Song, UWP twice and a few other things. I am really excited about the changes. We then broke into squads and played some games. During this time the crew leaders had to separate everyone into separate crews for CID tomorrow that this sponsor planned (rude). For dinner the band parents prepared a pot luck for us which was very good. My host family gave me a t-shirt and a 35 mm camera tonight. (does anyone remember this sponsor and why I have written such bad things about her?).

3/12/88 Saturday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast in Clayton, OH)

We finished up most of our copying and stapling the schedule together in the morning. I went home for lunch and Anne brought her boxes over. Talked a while with Dave Fountain a friend of the Dawes. I spent the rest of the afternoon putting allocations in the boxes until dinner. Right before we left, Meg called and gave us about four allocation changes. So I was upset that we had to make so many changes, but went to dinner. We picked up Anne and took her car, and went to this real nice Italian restaurant. I left a little earlier to go to the airport and pick up Steve and Doug. After I found them and their luggage I took them to the Red Roof Inn and got them checked in. I was supposed to call Amy when I got home and she was not home. When I hung up the phone, Anne called me with more changes from Meg, so by the time we could have gone out it was getting late and I didn't feel like going anywhere. I stayed home and discussed my frustration with Dennis and Yao-Hshin and went to bed.

March 12th

Today we had the CID and were divided into four focus groups. My group went to a retirement home where the people were expecting a show. We had no idea that they were expecting a show so we did the best that we could do. When we got back together we had a meeting on what exactly we are going to do when this year is over. It was interesting to see what people plan on doing. After lunch we had the expression session. It was good but I think the second one was better than this one. I did the squirrels act with Motoko. It actually turned out well. We also did and act with Gro with Junk Jam but this was with Junk Food. Very fun. We then has a short rehearsal where we learned the new magic dance. Dinner was chicken pie, etc. My host family from Effingham came tonight to the show and both of their children interviewed. Crew 2 won the sales competition. Yeah!! To end the night Ingi and I did an interview.


hi Grant and Jeff,

Clayton was one of my best host families. We are still in close contact, and when I visited them 3 years ago with my family, I remember we talked about the sponsor and my host mum also remembers her as stressed and not very polite. In my journal it says " In Clayton a very strange sponsor gave a welcome speech. She was almost hysterical and pleaded us to stay with our Host families at least for the first night. Then we could "goof around" the other 2 nights. She has done most of the set-up herself and the PR-team have not had a chance to do much or have a say on things.". On March 12th I wrote "our lovely sponsor had arranged CID for today. She did this in a rush yesterday when she found out we had some free time......... (and later)....... After many discussions with the sponsor we were allowed to have "expression session" in stead of rehearsal. She must have made quite some impression...... Wonder who the poor PR-team was ??!!

Thanks for keeping us "on tour". Can't wait to reunite in Tucson.

Love Sanne

I am always telling you to make sure you take pictures and send them when you have little get togethers that I am embarrassed to say I didn't follow my own advice. Gretchen and I had Whynot, Sandra, and Jeff Martinson over for dinner on Saturday, and the wine was flowing and we totally forgot to take a picture. We hope to all get together on Whynot's birthday and see Rita Sarnes while she is in LA performing in May. I will try to remember during that time to take a photo. However, I will say that Whynot looks great and Sandra and Jeff are as busy as ever.


3/13/88 Sunday - Brownsburg, IN (Cast arrives!)

I slept in this morning and when I got up I finished arranging the pictures and allocation cards Œtil after lunch. I left to pick up Randy at the airport because his plane was supposedly coming in at 1:10, but did not come in until 3:10. He misread his schedule and 1:10 was the departure time from St. Louis. So I left from the airport to go get Steve and Doug at the hotel at about 1:30 and they weren't even up yet! I couldn't believe it!

By the time they were ready and I dropped them off at the high school, it was 2:15. I rushed home to load the Eurosport with boxes.(My car was loaded already and sitting at Anne's house, and Dennis had already taken one load.) After we got all the boxes unloaded, I left Anne to worry about putting pictures and allocation cards on the boxes.

I arrived to pick up Randy at 3:10 and his plane was delayed until about 3:50. While I was waiting, Mia Hauser and Scott Dickey came off the plane one gate down. I offered them a ride to the hotel, but they decided to take the shuttle instead. Finally by the time I got Randy to the high school with his luggage it was 4:45, which was 15 minutes after the cast was supposed to be there. They weren't there. We waited and waited and as soon as I took Randy to go get a hamburger they pulled around the corner.

We got all the luggage unloaded and there was mixed emotions about getting allocation boxes. Some really enjoyed them and would use them, others left them at the school for us to take care of. We had a nice reception welcoming us back, although I'm sure we didn't look too happy when they arrived. We were both to our limit on frustration. It was a really short meeting and introductions then they went home and everyone got somewhere. I was able to leave by 6:30 to go home for a real nice dinner with Ras, David, and host family Dennis, Yao-Hsin, and Christian. After dinner a girl down the street called (Laura) and asked if I wanted to meet them (her family) for dinner at Pizza Hut. I told her we had eaten but Ras and I would come and say hi and maybe we could go to a movie or something.

When we got there about 8:30 we talked and had a Coke with them, and decided to go to a movie (with her mother's third degree and finally her permission). Ras went home with her family and I took Laura to 'Frantic' with Harrison Ford. It was okay, but we (or I at least) had a real nice time. She was a good conversationalist and I felt very comfortable around her.

After the movie, I took her home, we talked for about five minutes in the car in front of her house. All in all it was a hellish day, but a real nice evening.

March 13th

Today I slept in as I didn't have host drop off until noon. Then we all met as a group and had an evaluation on the USA. It was kind of neat and I can't believe that we leave for Europe in only two weeks. I am so excited. We then left for Brownsburg and I rode in the van with Gro. We had to stop at the Indianapolis airport to try and find the other suburban. We had a hard time finding it and were late for host pick up. I am alone again and we are about 20 minutes outside of the town. This family is very nice and they love to talk.

3/14/88 Monday - Brownsburg, IN

We started off the day with morning meeting and then went right into set up and got the day rolling. After things were starting to happen, I took Tim and Lena to the office, made some copies, went back to the school, dropped off all the copies, asked Randy if he wanted to go with me to "The Big City." So he joined me going into Indianapolis to get a performer's permit (whatever that is). On the way back, we turned on a couple wrong one way streets to add a little excitement. We made it back for lunch to make sure that it ran smoothly and after lunch I was around for most of rehearsal to try and catch all the new things they are adding. Rumor had it that clowns was being considered to be cut, King Richard was cut, and so I was not feeling real excited about coming back.

After rehearsal we had wrap-up and I discussed the possibilities of what to do on their free day. Right after wrap-up we went right into Donna Brown speaking to the cast while I took Deedra to McDonalds to get part of dinner. We got everything set up and I still had a chance to see the last 20 minutes of Donna.

After dinner got going, I went home and changed and got ready for the evening. I was back at the school by 6:30 and trying to look as busy as possible meeting alumni and making sure everything went smoothly.

In greenroom we had a ton of alumni! Probably a dozen or 20 alumni plus sponsor host families, real families and everyone else . The show went okay with not too many problems with the new stuff although not perfect. I did not miss the show as much this time as I did in Freeport, I think maybe because I don't feel like I have anything to look forward to production wise.

After the show, I talked with Bob Veatch, an alumnus, for quite a while about life after UWP. I also talked with John Malott about whether he would sponsor again or not. He said yes, that even after loosing $2,000, he got a lot of advertising out of it and was over all pleased with the show. He said he would sponsor in the future because he thinks it will be more profitable the second time. I stayed around to participate in the tape peeling party in my suit and tie. I made sure everything was cleaned up, took Scott and Mia to their hotel and went home. (EDITOR: I am not quite sure what a "tape peeling party" is or was. Sounds fun though. :) )

From Paul Kunz
Replying to Sanne's comments... Clayton, OH. I remember that I couldn't believe that at 27 years of age, I was having to counsel a sponsor contact my mother's age on human relations skills. I remember Tim Dittrick had about lost it with the sponsor, and Tim did not seem to be the type to get easily agitated ( unless the Canadian curling team was losing in the Olympics).. We all talk about the skills we learned in Up With People and how they have helped us in our lives. This is the type of situation that benefited me most - dealing with difficult people --especially in the teaching field. I'm sure many others run into this daily, too. I bet Laurie Wralstad Lacy could share a few memories from her Rolling Rock Springs, PA (or is that a beer company?) set-up.

Paul Kunz

Thank's a lot. Just watched it and downloaded it for inspiration for remaking of my living room.

Take care, I am ready for the registration for the reunion.

Very Best Regards
Birger Husted

I can't wait! My sister just got back from a BOG meeting she called on her way back from Vancouver anyway, she asked if our cast was psyched and ready to register on the 15th I said of course so we can get Grant and Gretch the party suite! So everyone book Thursday!

Stacie Welch

Hey, Grant - on that you go! UWP was in the suburb right next to mine in Feb. for a week. We were able to host 2 girls from Rhode Island and China - a REAL treat! Except I do have to tell you, I NEVER in my right mind dreamed that someday I would be the "host MOM"! Very strange to be introduced in Green Room in that capacity! At the show we were well represented as alums with Doug, Leanne, Dean and I there as well as Terry Adams (here for a Board mtng.) I think we're all headed to AZ in Aug. w/ only Leanne iffy. Was fun as it always is to see old friends. Laurie (Editor: Leanne sent me the same picture, but in case someone missed I have attached it again. - Grant)

3/15/88 Tuesday - Brownsburg, IN

Today was a cast free day, but I told Anne I would work on the city report today so we could get it done as soon as possible. Her family is coming to see the show in Orville, Ohio, so she wants to finish the report so she can be in the show.

I worked on cleaning up the office and typed a little bit of the report until she came in. I came in at about 9:45 and she came in around 11:30. We got quite a bit done and cleaned out the office then went to lunch about 2:30 at Taco Bell. We kind of thought it was symbolic because that was where we had our first meeting.

We had a fantastic talk about how we thought things went and both basically felt really good about our outcome. We finished our talk with an evaluation of team relations, and must have talked for 45 minutes or an hour on this subject alone. She really laid it out to me about how she felt about me. She gave our relation a 6 and I gave it an 8, and our main problem was communication. I very much dominated her and did what I wanted to do with or without her approval. She had a lot of good points, but don't think it was completely my fault 100%. I think it is a two way street and we should have talked about it a week or two earlier. After lunch, I went and bought a puzzle with Colorado Columbine in front of mountains and looked like Colorado. I also shared all my Colorado/family pictures and info with the Dawes (my host family). Nice evening at home packing.

Paul is very right I was really loosing it with our contact in Clayton! I remember Brian Merriman offering the best description "Dragon Lady" and that so fit!

Hey we need a blog! This email thing is great, but still limiting. Any chance?


EDITOR: We have a cast message board that rarely gets used. I don't know how to set up a blog or have ever used one for that matter. Anyone care to try to get one going and explain to the rest of us how to use it?

3/16/88 – Wednesday – Circleville, OH

Welcome back to the real world! I originally signed up for the bus by myself, but Gro ended up joining me and we had a fine time. We arrived really early and we had a quick meeting and at that meeting Terry and Lindsay announced their engagement! I knew it was coming, but it was really exciting and fun. After that we had two hours to work the International fair, which I was not a part of so I did all my P.R. thank you notes and some postcards. It was convenient because I wrote about 6 or 7 cards and got rid of some of my old ones.

At 2:15, we had our official cast meeting and in our bags was a Smuckers t-shirt. (Ooops, This all happened in Orrville, Ohio and not Circleville!)

Anne and I finished typing our city report in the typing class. Elin was able to arrange it even though she was really sick. We were all done except for the evaluation needed typed.

3/17/88 Thursday, St. Patrick's Day Circleville, OH

I had a real relaxing morning after morning meeting. During morning meeting, we celebrated Lindsay's birthday with help from Kelly (Irv), and Diane told us a little about Ireland and St. Patrick's Day. After that I finished up my last few thank you notes, and wrote the evaluation. I then gave it to Anne while she practically rewrote it and typed it while I took a nap.

After lunch, I was kind of in rehearsal, but was not real active. We worked mainly on learning Where the Roads Come Together, and the parts for it. Before you knew it, it was time for dinner. After dinner, we had one show at 6:30 p.m. and one at 8:30 that each lasted 1 hr. 15 minutes. They both were poorly attended considering it was such a small auditorium anyways.

I helped strike the stage even though I was on interview crew because I didn't have interview clothes.

We went home at midnight and I stayed up and watched a little basketball.

3/18/88 – Friday – Orrville, OH
(Received a cool Smuckers shirt)

Drop off was kind of wet and muggy, but I had a good bus date, Kelly Bates, and she is always good for a long talk. We arrived around 2:00 and had a quick meeting and that’s when Terry announced his engagement to Lindsay. Half of the people then went to set up the stage and the others worked on the fair. Anne and I got debrief by Paul for about an hour and then I went to work on writing some letters. (EDITOR: Sorry to be confusing. Sometimes I would write in my journal a few days later and try and catch up so I had something for every day. By this point in the year I had something for every day so I was trying to maintain that record.)

We had an auction for host pick up and I was the auctioneer and I sold everyone for a certain price. Nancy was there to pick Moku and I up and took us home where John had dinner ready for us. They sat with us for a while, but had to go to a dinner party, so they were gone most of the evening until about 11:00. Their daughter came home to get ready to go to New York with her boyfriend. I watched some basketball for a while, but went to bed real early.

3/19/88 – Saturday – Orrville, OH

We had an incredible breakfast and then John took us in at 8:00 a.m. After morning meeting, Bruce Earley spoke to us about life in a fish bowl. Bruce graduated from CSU and is the VP of Corporate Communication for UWP. It was a really nice talk and I think opened some eyes in the cast.

We had about 2 hours of rehearsal with Lynn, Mia, and Scott Dicky before lunch and then another 3 hours after lunch. We made a lot of changes in the show so that Ralph Coldwell could see them. He talked to us for a short while about the Soviet Union and the signing of the contract in Washington D.C.

Then your basic end of the day stuff: dinner, get ready, band time, greenroom, show, then early pick up at 10:00. I’m feeling it is really hard to get motivated since they took King Dick out, I’m only being used as a fill in for the 50’s principal dancers, and clowns is possibly going to be cut and I won’t do it in Europe anyways. So I need to get out of my post PR, bad mood.


The question was posed to me “What do I get for my registration?” Well, lots. See the proposed schedule below, plus you are supporting the UWPIAA. I also hope to plan a Cast A party if I can find time in the schedule and figure out how to get all of us to a party location. I will keep you posted.

What Your Registration Fee Includes

Questions? Email

Registration will include access to all the following UWPIAA Reunion Events (schedule subject to change):




Extras included:

EDITOR: Every once in awhile you get a real sense of my life in UWP from these journal entries. Today is one of those days.

3/20/88 Sunday Orrville, OH

We woke up to about 8 inches of snow on the ground, and when we got in, we had a very short morning meeting so Bruce could speak to us on USSR. He really laid it out for us and said it was our responsibility to know about the Soviet Union and people because if we didn't want to do the research, he could find a lot of alumni who would gladly take our place.

He really laid it out to us and spoke quite serious in comparison to his speech to us yesterday. After he was finished, people were let go to get prepared for the International Fair. Since I didn't have anything to work on, I spent most of the time writing and just vegging. After lunch, I walked around the fair for a while. The best attraction was the Midwest "pull and learn" box with Ken inside doing his animal impressions.

Since I wasn't doing much, John asked if I would do an interview, so Weini and I interviewed this girl. She was pretty good and we gave her a second with John. By the time we were done, so was the Fair, all the old and current merchandise interns went out to dinner at a place called The Barn with Kelly Bates. The interns: Tim and Almendra, Joerg and Eva, Elin and me, & Moku and Michelle all chipped in money to get something for Kelly, but everything was closed, so Moku's and mine parents bought some flowers for Kelly. While we were at the restaurant I had to call home so I could find out about Penny's plans in Washington, D.C. When I got back, we had a great dinner and conversation and was a lot of fun.

As we were finishing up, I gave Kelly the flowers and when I sat down, and the moment was real nice, the waitress walks up to me with a dish of ice cream with a candle in it. They all broke into Happy Birthday, and I think I got more flustered than I have been in a long time. I didn't know if they knew that it wasn't my birthday until after the waitress left and they all started laughing. It was fun and I don't get caught off guard very often but they got me this time. We took some pictures, but had to leave in order to get back in time to get ready for merchandise. I was selling tonight so it was good for me too. I ended up top seller, but the crowd was very small.

The show was put back the way it was before they made all the changes because they decided they didn't like them. I had worked on "Where the Roads Come Together" yesterday, but it was axed. Oh well. All that rehearsal time for nothing!

I was on strike crew tonight and was trying to have as much fun as possible. Well, I was riding one of those flat dollies down this little hill and came up behind Lynda Cullen. Her foot got stuck and when she turned around, she kneed me right in the right eye. She was hopping around saying how much her knee hurt and I was playing it up making sure her knee was okay knowing very well that I had a tremendously black eye forming. When she finally looked up and saw my eye her eyes just widened and she said "Oh my God, put some ice on that quick!" When I looked at it, it was worse than I thought, but just kept working figuring the bump would eventually go away. It did; the next morning it turned from bump to black eye.

From Jeff Martinson

I HAVE REGISTERED. :) Can't believe we are only a few months away!

Thanks Again for everything you and Gretchen do for the cast. You DESERVE that room. Come on Cast A. Apparently there is a bet going on that Cast D can get more people there this year than we can. Hmmmm---- I say--- "No Way"!

Jeffrey Martinson

(EDITOR: We already have a fair amount of people registered with families and spouses. I will start sending updates next week as to who is registered and who needs to be convinced to come.) --

These people have already registered for the reunion. What are YOU waiting for???

3/21/88 Monday Roaring Springs, PA

John and Nancy drove us to host drop off and we had to say our goodbyes quickly because I was on luggage crew.

My bus date was Jo, but we slept most of the way. We went to Pittsburg and had about an hour and a half to spend at the old train station which as been converted into a shopping mall.

We finally arrived in Roaring Spring at about 3:30 unloaded the luggage, had a meeting with all the introductions and was finished by 4:30 standing out in the cold waiting for our host families. While I was waiting, I introduced myself to the mayor and had a reporter snapping pictures of us. He took my name down but I never saw it in the paper. When we got home, we had dinner, watched a little TV, worked on a puzzle and went up to bed.

From Staci Brockman

Dear Grant,
You are absolutely the greatest ! Thank you so much for your birthday greetings. Hearing from you has made my day, even more so than most of the other days when I receive your emails with memories of Cast A. I really look forward to reading them every day!

I must admit that I have been doing a bit of soul-searching about coming to the reunion. I have been feeling most unworthy of being there. I did, however, speak to Holly on the phone just before Christmas which was wonderful, and she did her very best to convince me that I must come, including offering to let me room with her and Brenda B. Seeing all of you again has been on my mind ever since I first spoke to you in November. And so, after hearing from you today, I have made up my mind to register for the reunion. I will get back to you as soon as I do. Time goes by way too quickly (40 years today!), and I'm sure that I will be kicking myself for the next 40 if I don't come...

Love to you and to Gretchen and your family, and it looks as if I will be seeing you soon! Thanks again for your nice message.


p.s. Would you mind passing the word along for anyone that has sent me a message and hasn't received a response, that as far as I know I have answered everyone, but sent most of them to my home email address which is displayed in my husband's name, and realized after sending alot of them out that my non-descript messages like "Hello!" were probably being thrown away by people not recognizing the name. Please let me know if you haven't heard from me, and I will re-send the messages! Love to everyone! I have missed you all and can't wait to see you again!

I was out sick in Orrville, OH. My host dad was a doctor. We got a Smuckers T-shirt in our allocation bag which I later gave away in the USSR. I missed the Int'l fair completely. That is all I recall of Orrville! Nice to read your more fulsome recollection of the day.

3/22/88 – Tuesday – Roaring Springs, PA

They dropped Rodney and I off at the school, we had morning meeting, and then started setting up. After set-up we had lunch in the cafeteria, but still had to finish some of the set up afterwards. During rehearsal we tried to do some involvement with the students watching rehearsal, but they weren’t very responsive.

We had about an hour-long talk with Terry about Washington D.C. and some of the plans for our flight to Norway, but his talk was mostly about next year. They are considering having a sixth cast for a while so that they can eventually have 2 casts in January and 3 in July. He was interested what we thought about it and what our solutions might be.

After our talk we had a potluck dinner in the cafeteria with the host families and after dinner we got ready for the show.

We had an outrageously long introduction while we just stood on the stage at our microphone and listened. I think this is the night that I decided I didn’t like being on a mic anymore because I am too limited and I am not having fun. When I am not on a mic, I just cut loose and have fun. Ideally I would like to do King Richard, Ringmaster and ‘50’s and just be on stage the rest of the time, but I doubt that will happen much.

We enjoyed strike or I enjoyed strike as much as possible because I put on GREASE and everyone started jammin’ out. It was fun, but a little slow.

This picture is Miss Pennsylvania whom we met in greenroom. I tell you she was pretty scary in person and had a comatose personality. Don’t let the picture be so deceiving. (EDITOR: The picture was in my journal. Sorry it is not included here.)

From Stacie Welch-Swinney

I will be having a booth which my mom will be handling for me when I am busy – I make purses (mostly knitted and then felted) – I don’t know if I have mentioned this but when I do sell some of them – a portion of the price goes to the UWPIAA and a portion goes to the Brenda June La Mica Endowment Fund. I will want to do a bit of advertising of this – maybe set up a poster of Brenda June and a bit of information regarding the Endowment Fund the cast has created in her name. Since I am paying a fee which goes to the UWPIAA – the other percentage will go to our own cast account. So hopefully I can sell (well my mom will) to make Cast A and our scholarship fund some money!


3/23/88 Wednesday Washington DC

My bus date from Roaring Spring, PA to Washington, D.C. was Elin and we had a nice talk, but mostly slept. There is something brewing between us, but I can't quite tell what is going to happen.

We arrived in D.C. about 2:30, so we had an hour and a half before we had to meet as a cast. A bunch of us walked over to the National Archives building where the Constitution is kept. Not too exciting, but something worth seeing. On our way back to the Washington Monument, where we were supposed to meet, we walked down the middle of what is called The Mall. It is basically a park that stretches from the Capitol to the Washington Monument and is in between all the Smithsonian Institute and Museums. I always thought there was only one museum for the Smithsonian.

When we met back as a cast, they basically told us where we needed to meet the buses at and what time, and pointed out points of interest. We first walked to the Jefferson Monument (Elin and I hand-in-hand), then over to the Vietnam Wall where I found an Axton from California, then Elin and I walked over to the Lincoln Memorial which overlooks the mirror pool between there and the Washington Monument. The whole thing was breathtakingly awesome.

We loaded the buses at 6:00 to go to Gallaudet for city orientation and host pick up. They explained to us how to use the subway and sent us out to find our host.

Sedrick, Marty and I were with an alumni and four screaming kids. We didn't say much on the way home, but we did stop in the club for dinner where we talked. Joan spent most of the evening speaking with friends of hers. We stopped at Baskin Robbins (31 Flavors is what they called it) on the way home.

When we finally got here and got settled, we watched a little TV, I tried to call Penny but she was not there and then went to bed.

3/24/88 – Thursday – Washington DC

To show you how interested they were in us and us in them I don’t even know my host father’s name, but anyways (Larry, maybe,) took us to the shuttle bus location at Union Station. I was actually kind of depressed we didn’t get to ride the subway, but was assured that I would ride it sometime.

During morning meeting we had a translator, Tina McCarty, who signed everything that was said because we had about a dozen of the students sitting in on our meeting. After finishing all our business, Tina briefed us on the situation at Gallaudet and how we can best communicate with the students. When we got really heavy into what happened with hiring a hearing President the week before, we got the inside scoop. It was a peaceful demonstration not a riot like I had heard, and actually was a blessing in disguise. It really united the campus and they felt that they really accomplished a lot. They explained to us that it was almost a week to the hour from the time she was appointed to the time the hearing impaired president was inaugurated. One girls stood up and said “That if God can create the world in seven days that it surely can be changed in seven days.” I think that is a quote that will stick in my head a long time.

After our discussion, we broke into three groups set-up (with the help of some of the deaf students), non-set-up, and education group (who went to have lunch with some senators at the White House). I was in the non-setup crew and we split up where three of us went with each student. Most of them were from Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) and not Gallaudet, but it was all one campus with an elementary school as well. The girl who took us around was somewhat handicapped also and was hard to understand at first, but Whynot, Melinda and I got better as we went along. She (I can’t remember her name) basically just gave us a tour around the school. It was really strange. Most of the classrooms were open not enclosed, and you realize that they don’t have to worry about noise from other classrooms. The music section was actually part of the library, but just upstairs from most of the books. The music rooms would never be next to the library in a regular school. It was a whole different atmosphere. We went to lunch in the cafeteria and it was basically quiet except for the clanking of plates and silverware. If my cafeteria were that quiet at CSU, it would have meant someone had died.

After lunch I was on a panel of about 8 Up With People and four student council members and Kelly from cast E ’88-’89 interpreting. We talked about deaf civil rights, the recent problems at Gallaudet and misconceptions about deaf people. It was really informal, but informational. It was fantastic and I was really getting into it.

That lasted about an hour and then we went back for rehearsal, I wasn’t there very long before I was asked to do an interview with Ingi. I think this girl was one of the best perspective students I’ve have even interviewed hearing or deaf. She made me feel very warm because she came across so sincere. We definitely passed her on for a second with John Morgan.

By the time Ingi and I got back in rehearsal it was mostly over, but they had to run a couple things with the deaf students. They also decided to put King Richard back in the show for good/now. Al did it, and although I’m probably prejudice, I didn’t like the way he did it. He moved real well and I think I can learn from that, but his voice stayed on one irritating pitch. (EDITOR: Sorry Al. :) )

After dinner, I got ready to sell for the show. I would say it was about 50/50 hearing and hearing impaired. Selling didn’t go real well, but it was fun trying to communicate on another level. I ended up selling more than the other three sellers combined which I thought was pretty funny because I thought I was doing poorly.

The show went rather well and I think we got our message across. We had two interpreters and a lot of big wigs in the audience. One thing that was rather strange was that they don’t applaud, but instead shake their hands in the air. They did applaud for us some of the time which helped keep our intensity up. What Color is God’s Skin? was incredible and definitely gave me goosebumps (or chicken skin). I think it was the longest, most sincere standing ovation we have ever received.

We had another girl from Cast D joining us (Jacqui Keller) and I don’t think I liked her personality very much. Anyways, she performed with us, and after the show I was on interview crew. I interviewed a hearing impaired guy that didn’t impress me too much. Priscilla was there for a short time, but wrote out the card on him. We gave him an accept 3, and were finished about midnight. It took Joan about 40 minutes to finally get there. When we got in the car, we asked her how she enjoyed the show, and she said she didn’t go. I really couldn’t believe it. I don’t think of all the families I have had this year that I have felt so unattached before. Oh well.

3/25/88 Friday Washington DC

Larry (?) dropped us off at the park across from the Congressional Rayburn building where we were meeting to start the day and walk over as a group to the meeting. We had to go through a security check and metal detector.

Our speaker was Steven Rhinesmith who was one of our speakers back in Tucson. He is in charge of the President's U.S./Soviet exchange, and was kind of boring. Some of us left early to go on a career day at an advertising agency. There was me, Kelly B., Elin, Susie, Tim and Ingi who took a taxi and subway there. (My first subway ride, and it was a clean, safe atmosphere.)

This guy who let us come, Allen, is an alumni, and he introduced us to another lady who showed us some slides and answered questions for us. They talked mostly from the side of what they do as a company and who they serve, rather than what does it take to be in the advertising business.

We called a taxi and by the time they picked us up we were really pushing time so we went straight to the White House to meet the cast. We arrived at the same time they did and waited in line for about a half an hour. They shut the public line down, and then let us go through on a VIP tour, so Up With People were the only ones in the White House. Ron and Nancy were upstairs, but could not come down to speak to us. Can you believe it?

We went to the State Department and had several boring speakers, one of which was Susan Eisenhower who is Ike's granddaughter. Many people had a hard time staying awake, and so afterwards Carlos chewed us out pretty good. He was very disappointed in us, and we needed to make the best of our opportunities.

After getting chewed out we were taken to Georgetown to spend the evening, and that is where I met up with Penny (my sister). It was amazing we found each other, but they pulled up right behind the buses. I hopped in the car and we went straight to the hotel to get Debbie, Rene, and Penny checked in. We changed and, and went a restaurant called Fillamena with incredible Italian food. It almost felt like it was a mafia run restaurant, but it was a real nice place with great food. It turned out I shouldn't have taken my tie off. Anyways we had a nice conversation, and after dinner, we walked straight to the car without stopping. I thought we were going out to party, but I guess not. We went back to the hotel and I opened some gifts from Mom: one for Easter, those marshmallow chickens (EDITOR: If you know what Peeps are I used to LOVE these and my mother still sends me a packet every Easter. I can't stomach them any more, but don't have the heart to tell my mother.), and one for my birthday a new yellow shirt and tie. Perfect. Plus her and Penny each gave me a card with $10 in it.

It was real nice, but when I was done, they whisked me away to the car and took me home. When we got home, it was only 10:00 and Sedrick and Marty were not home yet, so we tried every door because I couldn't get in without them. We struggled and brainstormed for about 20 minutes and they were just getting ready to leave when Marty and Sedrick walked up. So I hurriedly put things in a bag for Penny to take home, because Debbie and Rene were already upset about waiting so long.

It was a nice evening, but I felt like I was mostly a burden rather than being there for them to enjoy my company. Oh, well.

We stayed up for a while to talk, but went to bed relatively early.

3/26/88 Saturday Washington DC

Penny (my sister) had suggested that I spend the night with her and her friends, then I could join the cast in the morning. I asked Terry and he strangely suggested I be at the morning speaker and when Terry strangely suggests anything, you should always do it. I have to admit I'm glad I went. All this took place at Fort Myer Army Base right next to the Arlington Cemetery.

The speaker talked about the To Do Society (Americans) and To Be Society (Japanese) and how to try and adjust to each. We did an exercise in 6 small groups where 2 people left and when they came back it was their responsibility to find out about the culture they were in. The rules for the culture was only females could speak with females, and males with males; if they smiled while asking a question, the answer was always yes, and if they frowned while asking a question, the answer was always no in all occasions.

It was a really good seminar. They even did a role play with a real foreigner named Mr. Kahn and Dean and Kelly each had to try and get a point across with this guy. It was quite a challenge for them and very interesting for us.

After lunch, Kurt and I walked back and changed to get read to go to the circus in Baltimore. We left about 12:30 and drove about an hour and a half and got there around 2:00. That gave us about an hour and a half to meet some of the clowns which was really fun to know someone, so we could watch for them during the show. I had forgotten how much fun circuses can be, but I also figured out why I didn't like them much as a child. As an adult, I had a hard time concentrating on one thing, so I can imagine how a child must feel. At intermission we went back and talked to the clowns some more and met the ringmaster. He was a nice guy, but I wasn't too impressed with his character in the show. He didn't sound as exciting as he looked.

We left the show a little early so that we could get back in time for the show. We made it and John host brother Ed went and got us Wendy's to eat, and brought it back for us to eat.

The stage was extremely small, and was only a mediocre show. Everyone worked on striking Œtil 11:00 then a lot of us left to go home. The bus took us to the subway and we headed home, and while on the subway we were singing songs. It was kind of fun. When we got to our station, we called our host dad to pick us up and we went home and went bed.

3/27/88 Sunday Lynchburg, VA

I got up early enough to go to Palm Sunday services at National Cathedral, and Larry took me right there. It was a nice service with communion and I wore my new shirt and tie from my B-day. The bus picked us up there and took us to Gallaudet for the official host drop-off. From there we were taken to the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian for 1/1/2 hours and walked around with Elin, Diane, Sanne and Kurt, Steve Ellis and Julie. We watched a movie called Flight and it was on huge screens. It was kind of a dumb movie, but they did some filming on the Lexington aircraft carrier and that was kind of neat.

I was supposed to ride with Moku, but he was supposed to be on a Suburban so he got off. Elin got on and sat with me, and then Moku came back, but sat in another seat. We had a nice, relatively long bus ride together, and had a nice conversation. It makes me more confused about what our relationship is, but I am enjoying going with the flow. It is kind of nice and there is no commitment.

I was really looking forward to seeing Cassi and Michael. I really missed having Cassi around to talk and laugh with, and when we arrived Mike was in a tux and Cassi in a nice dress. We each got a Burger King crown, and bag with an UWP sweatshirt, a double deluxe pack of cards and some shampoo. Staff was all in a Suburban that was late, so we started without them. For host pick up, we had the first host family pageant where they (Cassi & Mike) introduced each family and the country code word. We also had entertainment from the high school show choir. Then they crowned a king and queen of Lynchburg, which was Steve Bailey and Melinda. After all this we finally talked with our family and I was with George Washington. You can't get too much more famous than that, and he was even really a distant relative of the original George Washington.

The four of us went home that evening had dinner, watched a little TV, I called home, and then went to bed. Dek and I stayed in our own little apartment attached to the house. It was a very nice and comfortable place.

From Henri Moreau

Hi Grant,

I wanted to let you know that I registered today. I can't wait! Thanks for the reminders!!!!!!!

Talk to you soon!


Hi Grant & Gretchen!

I am so excited! I registered just now for the reunion! (I also emailed Henri to see what his plans are for attending). THANKS SO MUCH for the gentle nudges! AND for EVERYTHING you continue to do for all of us! WE ALL LOVE YOU BOTH DEARLY!

So excited to see everyone! Love ya! -Mary (Huckins) :)


3/28/88 – Monday – Lynchburg, VA

I was on the set-up crew so after the usual morning start we got to work and I got a chance to finally work on truck crew. We had lunch outside and just laid out for an hour because it was a beautiful day. At 1:00 ‘til 2:30 we had some classes join up for a discussion on world issues. It started out real slow and finally I asked a question, which started a string of questions, which made it somewhat more interesting.

After this summit we had rehearsal and to start out, we went out and had a relay race around the track. It was different and fun. During rehearsal we talked about the To Do and To Be Societies and how they relate to our show. We did a role play of a cynical old man (played by me) and a young person trying to change his attitude (played by Kelly Koshotka). It was fun, and I realized how much I miss acting, but anyway, I played a real old jerk and was down right mean. Several people stepped in and tried to help her out, but it wasn’t until Ross stepped in that I was influenced. I mentioned something about him being deaf hoping he would take it and turn it good, and he did. It was really fun and made some good points.

Dinner was a potluck in the cafeteria with our families, but I had to sell so I left a little early and found the drama room and read a couple little quips from plays. Then I got ready and sold. I didn’t do real well because I left to go see the group perform in greenroom. They did a version of God’s Skin that I don’t think I liked but enjoyed the performance as a whole.

The show went well and a good size audience. Truck crew again for strike. A bad day to start because Dean and Priscilla had a fight in the morning then Dean told Jeff off at night, but Dean, Dek and I had a lot of fun. Probably too much fun. Jeff didn’t think we were working, but just goofing off, however we were getting the job done. George picked us up and we had a snack talked a little while and went to bed.


Finally my evil plan is working and my minions are joining me in Tucson! Bwwaaaahhhhahaha


I just registered for the reunion....So, now you can take me off your hit list...

Thanks for everything….
Cyndi Yung


Hey Grant,

Just dropping a line to let you know that I registered myself for the reunion today...I was hoping I could convince Kelly to join me, but at this point it seems he's a no go...still trying to convince him to at least come to Tucson.

I am completely enjoying these latest journal entries because I was on PR in Arendal, Norway with Birger and Sandra. It's nice to read all the things the cast was doing and finding out all the cool things we missed! :) Actually, I had a really good time in Arendal, so no complaints!!! Plus Henri and Monique Carpay were in the city after ours so we got together for Easter if I remember correctly...guess I'll have to check my journal!! (EDITOR: I missed Arendal so maybe you can send me journal entries from there so I can hear what I missed.)

I just took the time to watch the Melinda video...had no problem getting to it...this was fantastic! Melinda looks great and Tod seems like a really fun how cute are their girls!! Once again, twenty years have gone by and it seems just like yesterday...amazing how none of us are aging!!!

Brenda Perkins-Dahmer


Hey Mr. Axton,

We are in.

Lena and I have registered (making the March Madness deadline).

Sure hope Cast A87 wins. YOU DESERVE IT. Big big thanks to you for keeping Cast A87 tight.

We look forward to seeing everyone.

Dean and Lena (and Sofia and Ella) Lindsay


FROM Steve Ellis - Texted to my phone

Ok, I’m now registered. Now I will get more people. I serve at the pleasure of the president.


COME ON GANG! Don’t be left behind. It is going to be a doozy of a party.

3/29/88 Tuesday Warwick, NY

We had a quick breakfast, and then went to drop off. As soon as George left I remembered I forgot to take a picture. Now no one will believe that I stayed with George Washington.

Kelly Koshaka was my bus date and she slept the entire time we were on the bus, so we spoke nothing to each other.

We arrived in Warwick about 5:00 and had our wrap-up, which was led by Carlos. Things are starting to wind down and finish up in America. People are starting to realize that this is our last city in America for our UWP experience as Cast A.

Once again I am with alone, but I decided I would try and make the best of it. I started getting angry when I couldn't find my host family sign because that seems to be what always happen' when I'm alone. Just as I was voicing my disappointment to Denis, Doug (my host family) taps me on the shoulder and said I was to go with him. On the way home, I found out that the rest of the family had eaten and were in a meeting (at the house), so I would be eating by myself. When we got there he explained that they had several acres of land and boarded horses there. Once I got moved in, I sat down for dinner and Doug stayed in there and talked while Betty popped in and out. I did some writing and called Tim and Elin called me. I couldn't reach Tim, but Elin said she would be at the bus stop in the morning. I went to bed relatively early, so I could still get up and have enough energy for tomorrow.



From Brian Merriman

I remember this town, I think I was roommates with Shawn and Brett. Did the show, got really drunk, stayed out way past curfew with a host sister, hit a few bars, slept on the bus and was onto the next city just to do it all again. What a year!


From Paul Kunz


This is from the "Whoddah thunk it" Category

When reading your journal about Lynchburg, VA, I couldn't remember it being on our schedule and then realized Terry & I went over to Europe a few days before the cast, and I went out visiting PR teams. Two years earlier, I missed Lynchburg during my cast year because I went to Europe early to do PR. I guess I wasn't supposed to go to Lynchburg.

Well, in the summer of 89, I was in Tucson training new PR staff, and I saw this young lady during an ice-breaker session who reminded me of Melinda (cute, vibrant, intelligent, Virginian accent, vertically challenged:), same sort of clothes) and she just happened to be from Lynchburg, VA. So I asked her in front of the whole group, "Do all girls from Lynchburg look and dress the same?" It worked, because now the girl (Debbie Niles) is my wife, and I have a permanent host family in Lynchburg.

Even stranger ... the summer before in Tucson (right after our Soviet Tour) , Kurt Larson and I did PR in Des Moines, Iowa for Cast C. We left the Tucson airport with another PR rep (Julie Simard from Quebec). She brought her UWP student roommate with her to the airport, a girl from Lynchburg, VA, who was your typical excited UWP student. During our first year of marriage, I realized that girl was Debbie.

Happily Married for 16 years, Paul

Hi Grant -

Done - I'm in. Thanks for all of the prodding. Just needed to get a few minutes to sit down and do it! We've got to be on track to win - you earned it. Everyone else - you've still got about 72 hours - lets try to get us over 40 people registered. I understand that we are pushing 30 right now??

On another note, I flew in and out of Washington, DC yesterday (in sunny Florida today). Your recent journal entries about our time in DC in March, 1988 brought back so many memories that I had really forgotten. Since our Cast stop there in 1988 when I was on PR during the Gallaudet protests over their President, I've lived and worked in DC for two years, Beth and I got married there (Clay was in our wedding, and Erin attended), and I am there about five times/year now for my company. And yet, I had really forgotten all of the excitement around our stop there and the different activities that our cast did while we were there in 1998. As I flew over the city, it was interesting to reflect on your journal entries and see the city from that perspective once again. Thanks for taking the time to put your year-long adventure in words, and to share it with us.

Grant - how do we access the list to see who is attending - I can't find it?


Thanks for the note. You can look at who is attending by clicking on fd11db503b48

Or go to the registration site to check your registration, then somewhere around there you will find a tab that says information. If you click on that, you will see the headings:


Click on Attendees and you can see everyone that is registered for the whole reunion. 342 as of right now.

As for everyone who is not on the registered list, you can expect a phone call from someone. NO ONE is immune!

Get er done!

So far I have the following people registered:

Grant Axton
William Becker
Brenda Borgnes
Darci Buck
Denis Cournoyer
Lynda Cullen
Steven Ellis
Helene Engstrand
Priscilla Fisher
Cyndi Flynn
Dean Gaboury
Holly Harris
Mary Huckins
Birger Husted
Sanne Jensen
Sandra Jung
Lena Lindsay
Dean Lindsay
Cynthia Lynch
Erin Lynch
Jeffrey Martinson
Henri Moreau
Elin Ovreeide
Brenda Perkins
Randy Roach
Rita Sarnes
Dale Shaver
Anne Stainforth
Motoko Ueyama
Gretchen Van Dusen


Reunion update: New people registered –

Carlos Amador
Doug Barkley
Bill Becker
Elin Ovreeide-Kulas
Julie Burgan
John Flores
Michelle McLoughlin
Marty Kottke
Tomoko Hara and
Motoko Ueyama from JAPAN!
Stacie Welch
and even the lost Staci Brockman from FRANCE!

We have 38 cast members and at least 14 family members.

This is going to be so awesome. I am getting very excited. Don’t miss out on the party and help Cast 87A earn a free party on August 9th!

Okay, back to the daily journal.

Sorry , it is a long one, but kind of fun to read.

3/30/88 – Wednesday – Warwick, NY

I got up and got ready by about 7:45 a.m., even though the shower had no curtain on the back. When I arrived, Tim, Dek and Jerko were already waiting, and Elin, Diane, Sanne and Jo came soon after. It cost $6.45 to ride to the Port Authority in New York City and I had pretty much figured I would be spending about $50 today whether I wanted to or not. Even though, it was very bumpy, it was a pretty productive bus ride because I wrote all of my overdue thank you notes.

We arrived at about 10:30 and it was really strange because we had absolutely no idea which way to go. We finally got to the Ticket/ information counters, bought our ticket home and found some maps of New York City. The night before they had drawn me a map (which I forgot at home), but had an idea of where I wanted to go. (I left my wallet at home and brought only my license and money, so I felt pretty safe about getting pickpocketed.

We found 8th Street and 42nd, went into a bank first, then walked towards 7th on 42nd Street. It was very nostalgic, but sad because all of these once great movie theaters were now only showing porno flicks. I felt relatively safe walking around as a group even though the majority of people around us were black and we stuck out like a sore thumb. When we got to seventh there was a tourist information booth that we got some more maps and stuff from. They told us where we could buy tickets at so we headed that way. (EDITOR: Geek alert!) We walked down Broadway to this ticket booth, and let it be said now that I sang New York, New York, Broadway Melody (from Singing in the Rain), and any other Broadway song I could think of. Anyway, once we got there the group decided that they did not want to see a show as bad as to stand in such a long line. I did, but they did not have tickets to Cats available, so we decided we would go back to the theater later and see if we could get tickets at the door.

From there we split up: Dek went to visit a friend; Jerko had an interview to go to later; and the rest of us went to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on the subway. Once we figured out which way to go it took about 30 minutes to get there. It was kind of fun and had a sense of adventure about it. When we were coming to our destination, the engineer(?) told us to move to the front cars. Well, we couldn’t figure out how to do that so we moved to the front of our car. When we stopped, however, there was no way to get out, and panic set in. We struggled with the door and got it open and ran through about five cars ‘til we reached the point that we could get out. It was scary but exciting. I felt like Miami Vice or something running through those cars like it was a chase. (EDITOR: Man, what an 80’s comment.) When we finally reached solid ground, we went upstairs and started walking hoping to find it and we did. We took a couple pictures and for me, that was enough to say I have seen it. I was more interested in seeing a Broadway show, and it will give me an excuse to go back some day to actually go on the island.

Elin and I wanted to see a show and the rest wanted to go on the ferry, so we left them to go back on the subway. Most everywhere we went the rest of the day we were holding hands. It was a nice feeling.

We got off the subway at 50th and Broadway which is the same corner as the theater Cats was showing at; it was very convenient. When we got to the window, they informed us that there was no tickets available to for the show and our only chance was waiting at the cancellation desk. We stood around for a while hoping to find someone with extra tickets, but couldn’t. So we decided to head over to Chorus Line and see if we could at least get tickets to that show. It was 1:30 so we’re going to have to haul ass to get there in time. As we were leaving this man asked us if we needed tickets. I was of course hoping to run into a scalper, but had decided there weren’t any around because we had not been approached and didn’t know how to look for one. So when he said he had tickets we were very excited, but then he said $60 a piece, and I laughed. I said if you had any standing room or anything we would be willing to pay $25 or $30, but we didn’t have $120. He wouldn’t lower his price, but said he had a friend who might have some and to meet him on the corner in a few minutes.

We waited for about five minutes and he came back and said to follow him, which made me very nervous, but did anyways. He took us about two blocks to the Radio City Music Hall across from the NBC building (where his “office” was) and told us to wait. I probably wouldn’t not have seen those two places otherwise, so that was good. After about 10 minutes he came back and said that the best he could do was $75 bucks for the pair. At first I said no, but Elin gave me a look, so I asked to have a minute to talk with her. He said “yes, but hurry up,” because it was not good for him to be standing there. He was a very suspicious guy and had asked us earlier if we were cops and I said no, but how do we know you are not a cop? He said, “I wouldn’t be taking you with me to my office if I was.” I thought that was a pretty dumb answer, so he must be pretty legitimate. Anyways, Elin decided she wanted to do it and pulled out her money and he got very nervous, and screamed at her to put it away. I think she had no idea of how illegal this was, and was just kind of playing a game. We agreed on the price and asked to see the tickets, and he said he had to go get them. First of all I couldn’t believe he didn’t have the tickets after all of this, and then he has the nerve to ask me for the money and tell me he would bring the tickets back. I said “No way, bud. We want to see the tickets first.” Right then another guy asked him for some tickets, and followed him into the building. By this time, it was 1:55 p.m., and we were really pushing time. We waited across the street for fifteen minutes, and I was getting nervous not to mention we were missing the show so we left. Now it was 2:15, we checked back to see if they had tickets, they said no, and by the time we would have gotten to A Chorus Line it would have been 2:45 and missed half of the show if we could even get in.

So we walked uptown on 8th all the way to Central Park which was at 59th from 50th. When we got there, we walked through a little, sat on a bench for a while then walked to 5th Avenue and headed downtown. I wish I would have counted how many limousines I saw, but it was amazing. We walked by Saks 5th Avenue, the Trump Tower, and many ritzy hotels and stores. Our eventual destination was the Empire State Building, but stopped and got some lunch on the way. Mostly we just walked on the street in amazement, but did walk into Saks 5th Avenue, looked at a couple price tags, and walked out again. When we finally reached the Empire Building, we bought our ticket to the top and stood in line. We rode up to the 86th floor, but did not have time to wait in line for the 104th floor. The elevator ride to the top was the epitome of New York City, America’s melting pot because we had four other languages besides English being spoken. It was a precious symbolic moment. While at the top I read a brochure that there is electricity created at that height when you kiss someone. This was not a come on, but we tried a quick peck anyway. No out of the ordinary electricity happened. Just your average peck. We had to leave so that we had enough time to stop by and see the Rockefeller Center on our way back to the Port Authority by 6:45 p.m. Besides I wasn’t too sure I was ready to handle nighttime in the Big Apple. On our way back the electrical boards were lit up, and we stopped and got some souvenirs. (I got a t-shirt.)

Surprisingly enough we met up with everyone and made it on what we thought was an express bus home, but it took 2 1/2 hours to get home. We all slept most of the way. I got off with Dek, Tim and Jerko and called for my ride from there. Doug picked me up, had dinner, and went to bed after a long day and many miles walked!


The High School basketball team that Sedrick helps coach went 39-0 and just won the state championship. Congrats Sedrick!


Hey Grant,

Lindsay and I will be attending the reunion. We may not appear on official registration lists yet as we will be a part of the Board of Directors registration group. Feel free to include us on the list as we are very excited to see Cast A again.

Terry Adams



I have to admit it was funny reading your email about Lynchburg because it was such a big deal to me (obviously,it's where I grew up)! But to hear Brian Merriman talking about hitting a few, he got a lot of action in Lynchburg. I'm not proud to admit it, but cruising the McDonald's parking lot, and parking out in the boonies and drinking beer was the most exciting it got when I was growing up there! Fortunately, my skills of peeing in the woods have come in handy a few times in my there you have it!!

Melinda Connell-Elsworth


Well, despite gas prices, it appears I will be able to afford transportation to and from the reunion after all, so I am in!!!!! Just completed my registration!!! Looking forward to seeing everyone there...

Happy, happy, joy, joy...

Michelle McLoughlin, LCSW


Deedra is all registered also!

...And we return to our regularly scheduled journal entry...

3/31/88 Thursday Warwick, NY

Betty took me to drop off in her fun little 1970ish Mercedes sports car. I don't remember anything big happening in the morning except set-up. I was on truck and I logged what was missing in the men's costume boxes (accessories). During lunch in the cafeteria, we watched a video of the show in Washington D.C. It was a pretty good show, and I had asked for a copy from Jeff Van Zyl but decided I didn't want to pay $15 for it and I only wanted clips from it. As we were watching it '50's came on and Julie Burgan was doing Earth Angel and while she was stretching her gum it popped out and landed on her cheek. We must have watched it four or five times, and I think I have not laughed that hard in a long time!

After lunch, Carlos talked with us about our trip and other stuff about our tour, but starting it off was Denis with exact details of our flights and when we get there. There was also a lot of real family there so there were many introductions. Something like 90 family complimentary tickets and 70 reserved by family to be paid for. Then to end this little meeting we said our thanks to Larry and gave him an UWP coat, said goodbye to Michael Liedecker, and Anne Franco, and the shocker for the day was Dennis Hobson's announcement that he was going home. He said that he was just tired and ready to settle down for a while but I guess he has really not been working well with Jennifer. Jennifer supposedly gave Carlos the ultimatum of either he leaves or she would. I was blind to the whole thing, but was really not upset and non-committal about the subject.

After this we had about 30 minutes until rehearsal started, and then rehearsal was a total whacked out, wild scene with head banging music, slam-dancing, fitness and monkeying (mirroring Christine) all in different stations. It was wild and different.

Then dinner after wrap-up was at a firehouse and the Randazzo clan made us dinner. All of Chrissy's family and friends chipped in to pull a delicious meal together.

Greenroom was a million introductions, and a great psych up including the oldie, but goody "Go Bananas." I was really ready until I saw that I wasn't doing King Richard, and then I was really bummed. I was hoping to do it the last time in the U.S., and I think my show was affected by it because clowns did not go very well for my last time ever! (probably)

I did dance 50's though, but during the flip Paula, who was dancing with Al, landed wrong and really messed up her knee pretty bad. That was really sad. What was weird is that I had the thought pass through my head that "wouldn't it be really sad if someone got hurt and ended up missing all of Europe." This is the icing of our tour and would be a bummer to work 8 months then miss it. Of course, I would never have remember that thought had passed through my head if nothing would have happened. Sometimes I wonder if I have some kind of psychic powers?

The show was over and that was the last time we will ever perform in the U.S. and then we set out to do our last U.S. strike. After loading the truck , we put some balloons in there for the cast who gets our truck. I collected my red bag with costumes in it that I was in charge of getting to Norway, and went home.

Stayed up and talked for a short while, but went to bed pretty early.


Click here to choose a different month

Looks like we had an AWESOME turnout for our cast! It looks like we have double the closest cast to us of any year. I will let you know if we officially win the party. I should know with in a week. I will send out a current list of registered later today or tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for their help!

Also, my lovely wife's birthday is tomorrow if you want to wish her a happy birthday.

4/1/88 April Fool's Day Good Friday Warwick, NY

I got up about 11:00 got ready, wrote the newsletter, and left with Betty about 2:00. We went to the bank, then to make copies of my passport and schedule, then to buy a new pair of slacks (my pair wore clean through in the inside seam below the crotch.) (EDITOR: More information that you or I would need 20 years later.) We found a great pair for $8 so I bought a grey pair and a khaki pair (tan) and I also got a nice pair of slacks for special occasions.

We got back around 4:30 5:00 and had dinner. After dinner, I showed them my family and brochures from home. They had to go to an event of some sort, Doug had his girlfriend coming over, Rob went to play hockey and so I decided to go to a party at Laurie, Beth, Katrin and Anne's host home. Doug took me there about 8:30 and I drank Strawberry and peach daiquiris and sang with the player piano. When I got bored with the piano, I started talking with a parrot and we eventually ended up playing charades. All this without even having a buzz. It was not a real exciting party, but a nice chance to get together outside of an UWP function. Doug and his girlfriend came about 11:30 and we went home about 12:00, dropping Jerko, Dek and Tim off on the way. I called Mom and Dad to say goodbye

4/2/88 Saturday Travel to Norway

I got up around 10:00 to finish packing and get some letter writing done and take a box to the post office to send home. I walked down there and was able to use all my spare 22-cent stamps because as of tomorrow the price of stamps go up to 25 cents. (EDITOR: And now it is going to 41 cents!) It was a nice little walk to just kind of relax and contemplate life. When I got back, Betty had hemmed all my new pants, folded my laundry and made me breakfast. She was a pretty amazing woman. We left at 12:30 because Mom and Dad gave me the go ahead to buy new shoes. We tried three stores and when I found something I liked they didn't even have my size and so I didn't end up getting any. When I left, I wrote them a thank you note, and left them my double deck of cards from Lynchburg. I really liked them, but didn't have room in my suitcase, or a need for them back home.

It was a quick goodbye and load the bus and leave. It was weird but quaint having only half of a cast there. We left at 2:30 for John F. Kennedy Airport and I sat with Julie, but also had a nice conversation with Chrissy.

We arrived at about 4:30, took all our luggage off the bus, got our boarding passes, checked in our luggage, and had until 7:30 when we started boarding the plane. I pretty much sat in one place writing postcards to get rid of all my stamps until it was time to board. We each were assigned seats by alphabetical order, but was soon switched around because Holly wanted to sit next to Doug. I was moved to behind Elin and when Suzie (who was sitting next to her) got up I moved into her seat for the rest of the trip. We didn't talk much, so I listened to the headphones and watched the movie: The House of Games.

From Beth Wahlert-Lohmeier


I think the ENTIRE cast must have been on the New Jersey Transit busses to and from the city on that free day. I remember seeing A Chorus Line, eating at a cool Italian restaurant, and seeing the way Times Square was back in those days. Our host mom was a little nutty, but the house was AWESOME! The party we threw was not bad either...



From Chrissy Randazzo-Horgan

Hey there Grant!

So glad to hear from you ! I am so remiss in thanking you for all your awesome efforts in keeping a pulse going on Cast A! Thank you very much!! Sorry I missed your call...we moved a few months ago. Life is great here in Connecticut..we have 2 kids..ages 3 and 1! I retired a few years back when the first was born. I am an old fart Mom so keeping up with them is an adventure!
I hope you and your family are well..tell Gretchen Hello from me..we most likely will be coming to the reunion...just working on the logistics! I so look forward to seeing everyone ...what great memories to share! Your journal has been a refreshing reminder of what our life was on the road 20 years ago! Here is a recent picture of the kids...Warm thoughts

Chrissy Click here to see the photo.

4/3/88 Easter Sunday Helsinki, Finland / Moss, Norway

'The House of Games' was kind of a dumb movie, but I stayed up and watched it. Went to sleep as much as I could for a while, but before you knew it the sun was coming up. We finally arrived around 12:00 noon which was 5:00 a.m. in New York. Some of us after changing our money to Finland's currency or at least enough for lunch, set out to find a church in Helsinki. We found this beautiful church that was built into the rock and was having a service at 2:00 and it was in English! Just our luck! The eight of us (Dek, Jerko, Tim, Bill Christine S., Lynda, Carlos and myself) sat and enjoyed our surroundings for half an hour before the service. I enjoyed the chance to be in church on Easter, and was a nice service, but I found it very hard to stay awake after being up so long.

It was kind of a mixture between Catholic and Protestant. The preacher was not real exciting to listen to, but seemed like a nice guy. Afterwards, we found our way back to the bus station, and there was a bus just waiting to go to the airport. Dek, Lynda, Carlos and I got on and went back to the airport. When we got there we split up, they went to sleep and I found Priscilla, Roger and Kurt and had a coke for lunch. I was tired, but figured the more I could stay awake the better I would sleep that night. We waited a while and boarded our plane, by way of bus to the runway at 6:45, but didn¹t take off until about 8:00. We arrived in Oslo about 8:15 (1 hour, 15 minute flight) gathered all our luggage, exchanged some money to kroner and headed for Moss at 9:00 p.m. We arrived in Moss at 10:00, unloaded luggage, had a meeting, welcomed back Pia and Corrinne, then waited for pick-up at 11:00.

I was actually pretty upset that I had just spent five days by myself, and being an American in a strange land by myself for another six days was not looking very appealing to me until I saw my host sister Gorild. I decided it might not be so bad after all especially after meeting her friend, Hela ("My personal taxi") that I never used) and her boyfriend (damn) Thomas (but a nice guy). Even made it better when they were all 18 or 19.

When we arrived at home, Gorild pointed and said "You will be sleeping in the garage." Ooooo, I suddenly didn't like being alone again until she showed it to me. It was very cold, but a nice one-bedroom apartment style garage, but I still had to go to the main house for the restroom (or W.C.). It wasn't so bad as my first impressions were when she said garage. After I dropped my stuff in my room, we went inside and I met her mother and we all talked for a while Œtil about 12:30 then I went to bed.

From Brenda Perkins-Dahmer

Hey Grant,

I am getting more and more excited for our reunion and each time the list grows I get happy to think of everyone I'll get to see again! Chrissy's kids are SO cute!! Then again they are Cast A kids so it follows they would be adorable!! Anyway welcome to the Old Fart Mom club Chrissy...I've been a member for four years! :) But isn't it the BEST!!! See everyone in Tucson!

Jo - since I know you have a good reason for missing the reunion I am taking you in my heart...and I am going to tell funny stories about us the whole try not to laugh during First Holy Communion!! :)



4/4/88 Monday Moss, Norway

I slept until about 1:00 p.m. at which time Gorild came and knocked on my door to wake me up. I got up, showered, ate lunch, and then went out with Hela, Thomas, Annamaria and Christine to an art gallery. The exhibit was of TVs and video machines showing different forms of ³art.² We went through it very quickly, but saw many UWP people. We sat down for a while and had a Danish and a Coke, while they all smoked like chimneys. We asked Jeff Van Zyl to join us in whatever we had planned for the evening. When we left there, we went downtown Moss, and they showed me their school and the shops downtown. We finally got back about 4:00 and I was able to spend the next hour and a half writing in my journal.

At dinner, I received the usual question session and was reminded to always say thank you after the meal. After dinner, two friends came over and we played Genus which is a Norwegian game very similar to Trivial Pursuit. They translated the questions into English so that I could try and figure them out too. Jeff eventually came over and Pierre and his host sister came with us and we all went bowling. I didn¹t do very well although I had the best score. We really went fast, and didn¹t get a chance to just have fun. They spoke Norwegian most of the time so we ended up talking amongst ourselves a lot. After that we went to a local pub and had a beer and sat and talked. It was a nice little place, but they said it was mostly for older people. At about 12:30 we took a taxi home, and Gorild and I stayed up and talked Œtil about 2:00 in the morning.


From Lynda Cullen-Hall


I was happy to read this about Mass on Easter Sunday. I remember the church and how we heard the sounds of water dripping along the walls. It was really neat. Of course I couldn't remember who went. I'll have to check my journal and see if I wrote anything. I REALLY regret being a horrible journal writer because now I have no memory!

Take care and enjoy your day.

PS: I DID access Melinda's video, thanks to you. It was fun to watch.

Lynda Cullen

(EDITOR: This church was a highlight of my whole year! It was beautiful. Glad you remember too.)

4/5/88 Tuesday Moss, Norway

It took me twice as long in the bathroom because I had to figure out how everything works. The toilet is what stumped me the longest because it is a knob that you pull up from the top of the tank instead of flushing on the side like I¹m used to. Other things that are different are the light switches, the door handles and the shower has two nozzles one for regulating the temperature, and one that turns the water pressure on. Most things are the same, and not too different from the states. The house overlooks a huge lake or fjord and is just beautiful.

For breakfast, I had corn flakes which was nice because there were some other substances I couldn¹t figure out. I rode in with John Cormier and Pierre to morning meeting, and at the meeting we spent some time talking about our first impressions of Norway. I told the cast about my experiences of sleeping in the garage and not being able to figure out the toilet flushers. It was a lot funnier now than when it first was happening. Others talked about hair dryers and curling irons blowing up or smoking. It was a fun meeting filled with laughter.

From there we broke into four groups and we all went to different locations. I went to a nursing home where they gave us a short tour of the facility and then did an acoustic. One old lady thought Carlos was a real cute, and I think kissed every guy in our group. Interaction was very difficult because they could not speak English and we (most of us) could not speak Norwegian. Once they brought out refreshments most of us kind of sat in small groups. Rasmus did help me talk to one lady and she asked who I thought would be next President and what I thought about Reagan. She also said thank you for helping out Norway in WWII. I guess USA was an ally with Norway and I felt really ignorant about how much more she knew than I. We sang another song then left to go back to the gallery for lunch.

After lunch I went to the squash and bowling center, and basically sat there and talked with Heidi for a while. We left at 3:30 and basically had free time until 5:00 which was HPO. I sat in a café and Kelly K. proceeded to tell me she had a small case of manic depression. I said that I thought she didn¹t show her personality very much and this was her reason why, and why she had missed so much of the tour. It was a nice open talk, but I have a hard time believing in manic depression. (EDITOR: I guess I was pretty young and naïve. I had never heard of manic depression at the time. It is a good thing we all grow up eventually, huh?)

Pierre¹s host family picked us up and took us home. Gorild had a friend over and a ton of plans already planned that cost a lot of money for that evening. I eventually decided that I was going to stay home and take a nap and join them later in the evening. I¹m really glad I did that because I did some writing and got some sleep. They came and told me they were home, and I met them next door about 30 minutes later. We watched "Private Benjamin" and went home to bed. Not together unfortunately. The ³garage² would have been a perfect place to take a girl, but I will stay angelic this time. (EDITOR: Good golly, those raging hormones were out of control!)


From Erin Lynch

Hi Grant AND Gretchen!

Thanks for the list of the people registered! I know Leanne would likely love to be there, but they just adopted a little girl I am guessing you heard. I will ask her as we get closer and they get settled with her at home. (She just got out of the hospital I think...she was premature.)

Also, I wanted to let you know I saw Micheal Lidecker at an UWP gathering and he says Hi to cast A. We will be trying to get a Portland UWP alumni chapter going and he hosted the first event at Reed College where he works in Student Services I think. I think he is in Psych. I will take a picture next time we get together. Sorry, no camera last time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Gretchen!

Love, Erin

4/6/88 Wednesday Moss, Norway

Just an average morning meeting, then I volunteered for helping crew 2 set up, so I worked on the truck for the first European set-up. It actually went pretty quickly, and the lights are built into the trust so that helps a lot. I helped Clay put up the flats, but then we were done quickly, so I even had a little free time. We went back for our second ham and cheese sandwiches food crew meal. If this is a typical Norwegian meal, I haven¹t missed anything in America.

I walked back early and spent some time talking with Laurie. For the first part of rehearsal, those who were working on MCs in Norwegian got together for about one hour and said them to Cecile (the scheduler for Norway). Then we ran them in rehearsal, and both Rasmus and Rita ran the ringmaster. They did well, but both expressed how much they hated doing it. I have to admit, I really don¹t miss doing it, but wish that I could do it again before the end of the year. Unfortunately that will probably not happen. I even got a chance to do Curly once, and it was kind of fun to see it from another perspective. I don¹t think I will ever do it in a show, but at least I have done it.

After rehearsal, we had wrap-up and Terry announced that UWP has been asked to perform at the European Soccer cup Final game. It is televised all over Europe, and he said that right now casts A, B & C are being considered. Of course everyone was very excited at first, but I don¹t think they realize how much work it would take to pull it off. I have mixed emotions about it. We were finished after that and went home.

Gorild was not feeling well, so we stayed home and watched TV. Then later in the evening she tried to teach me how to say the King Richard speech before the song. She needless to say got a kick out of it. While we were working the next door girl (Pierre¹s host sister), and her friend asked me for an autograph. I, of course, was flattered, and happily obliged them. She stayed (the little girl) for a while and watched me try and learn. After a while she went home and we got tired. Gorild taught me one last phrase so that I could greet these two women her mom was entertaining. When I introduced myself and said this they just stared at me, and Asa asked me what I said, and I said again. She assured me not to trust Gorild anymore, that I was not saying nice things.

After laughing about it and talking a while, and feeling very uncomfortable, we went in another room. Gorild told me how I had just said ³Hi, old asssole ladies,² or something close to that to two of the most prominent women in Moss! Great! What a nice impression I left.

After that we talked a little longer, but went to bed soon after the incident.

4/7/88 – Thursday – Moss, Norway

I volunteered the night before at wrap-up to start off morning motivation again, so I did some preparing, but sang The Rooster Song. I called Jenks from Orville to get the chords and words because I knew I would do it eventually. Just me getting up there with a guitar was pretty motivating in itself, but I started off by playing all the chords I knew, so that they didn’t think I only knew four chords. (I know at least double that!) I added a little story before the actual song about how this song had been passed down from generation, and I learned as a child from my father. I was really getting into it because the cast was getting into it. It was a smashing success and everyone seemed to really enjoy it, except some of the foreign students who didn’t understand some of it (which was to be expected.)

After that we left right away to go to the paper mill (the other crew went to the glass factor). It was not too far of a walk, but it was a yucky day outside. When we got there, we saw a short video, told us the process, and then actually toured the mill. He said they were not yet again at full capacity after Easter break shut down. It was interesting but it was hard to understand what he was saying because of the noise. We went back to where we started and had some danishes and a Coke and asked more questions.

For lunch, we walked to a pizzeria where we had all you can eat not-too-good pizza. I walked back to Mosshallen early so that I could work on my King Richard MC. When rehearsal rolled around, I did it, but had to have the paper in my hand. Lindsay ended up changing it to having the person who does the opening MC stop me and say give it a modern touch. I thought it was a lot of work for nothing, but figured I would get it down by the next show. (little did I know she was going to keep it that way for good.)

After rehearsal, wrap-up, then a weak dinner then about 30 minutes of sex talk in the men’s dressing room with four guys and Brenda LaMica. Interesting to say the least. Finally I got dressed so I could go sell. We have brand new bags, some different merchandise, a new currency and the first show in a foreign speaking country. I was psyched! It was kind of hard to communicate to people, but we had the prices in Norwegian written on a piece of paper so that was a good icebreaker, trying to say how much things cost. I felt like standing in front and saying “buy something and hear the man speak your language!” I didn’t think I was doing so hot because I was in 2nd or 3rd after the opening, but moved into first by intermission, and kept it through ‘til the end. Suzy and Jeff Martinson were starting this evening as new interns (just announced at wrap-up), and I think they will do okay.

The show was pretty good; clowns went well with Rita, King Dick went fine with me and only one “MC-Casualty” with Michelle’s intro of Gospel.

After the show, I grabbed Kurt and he came home with me to help celebrate my birthday tonight. We rode with Hela and Thomas, but she took Thomas home then went home and waited for Gorild to come home. When she got there, we took a couple pictures and she gave me a gift (which I knew what it was before she gave it to me), but it was a Norwegian girly magazine and two suckers. (Okay I didn’t understand the reason behind the suckers!) Then we went in the other room, had some delicious ice cream cake, some coke (I know, I know), some other munchies and talked. (Gorild, Gro [different from our cast], Pierre’s host sister, Hela, Kurt, eventually Pierre, and me.)

It was a good time laughing a joking and I was starting to get on a roll when they all had to leave. After they left we stayed up (Gorild and I) talking mostly about my psychic powers (if I really have them), and about Alphabet, my Ouija board. She was getting kind of freaked out about it, but I talked about experiences with some of my friends. We talked until she was good and into it then went to bed around 2:00 a.m.

4/8/88 Friday Askim, Norway

Today I lose my teenagity (it¹s like virginity but you can¹t get V.D.)! (EDITOR: I even tell myself stupid jokes. Good heavens.) I left the U.S. a teenager and return a man. I hope by saying these things I will start believing them.

Actually the morning started off pretty much the same as any travel day. We said our goodbyes and loaded the luggage into Pierre¹s host¹s car, had a quick goodbye, waited for the buses, loaded the buses and left. The bus ride was with Woody who slept the whole way (all 1 1/2 hours of it) and was there by 9:30. Some people said Happy Birthday mainly after hearing Cassi say it. She was great about it and made me feel good that someone remembered.

We had a quick morning meeting, then the television crew took off for Oslo and the rest of us stayed to set-up the stage. I was on truck again, but learned a little about the band pit from Jeff Van Zyl. We had lunch in the cafeteria, and then I took a 30-minute nap. For rehearsal, we did a short physical warm-up, a little vocal work on the French of ³Vrolica² then took a nap until about 4:00. It was only supposed to be until 3:00, but the TV crew was late. We only ran a couple of things then right into wrap-up at which time Tomoko officially announced my birthday. She then presented me with a box of corn flakes?! Don¹t ask me why, but I think to be funny and different. It was different. Then we met our host families and had a picnic in the performance hall with our families. It was something we had never done before, but it was kind of awkward not having the evening to spend with them and then doing the show. This way they had to try and remember who you were and get to know you later. We had a nice dinner, and then left to get ready. This was an important show because we had people from Europe scheduling, Hans Magnus, and supposedly people from the Russian Embassy, but they never showed up. The show was definitely not one of our best, but not that bad. Afterwards we had a full non-TV crew strike and was finished by about 11:30 at which time Hilde took us home for the first time.

When we got home our host mom had a whole meal prepared for us, so we ate a little and drank a little and went to bed. Dave and I roomed together and Denis and Jon.

4/9/88 Saturday Askim, Norway

The day afterŠ well, we were able to sleep in, so what do I do but get up at 7:30 a.m. to call home. We talked about useless stuff and when I hung up, I forgot several things. Oh well. Went back to bed and missed the TV show the rest of the cast was on which I regret, but enjoyed the extra sleep. We were supposed to be at HDO at 10:00 a.m., but we left the car at a tire center and walked about a mile so we were 20 minutes late. This did not start my day off well, so to make it better we went to a nursing home. I really didn¹t mind nursing homes in America that much, but I would be content to not do another one the whole time in Europe. The show was terrible, but there was one old man who was rather inspiring and I really wanted to communicate with him. I tried for a while but we both became frustrated after a short time. Then I went upstairs and did a few more songs in stereo, because there were two sitting rooms 50 feet apart and a piano in the middle. We eventually ate lunch and then went to an aerobics class.

It was a hard work out and our instructor was an Amazon! I think her name was Helga! We all thought it would be 30 minutes and it went on for 1 hr & 15 minutes. It was good for us, but we were completely exhausted.

We went back for a wrap-up and discussed how rehabilitation centers in other countries worked. That is where the other group went this afternoon. I was having a hard time staying awake, so I missed a lot, but then Terry asked us our views on Munich, and most every one was ³Yeah go for it, let¹s do it.² Staci Brockman mentioned that it was a concern of hers to end on such a high without really having time to slow down at the end. She was quickly blown off by Suzy saying how great it would be to end on such a high. Most of the cast agreed with her, but I was with Staci that I don¹t want just to finish, and have them say ³Goodbye, thanks for traveling in Up With People, have a nice life.² We didn¹t solve anything except realize that if we go back to Helsinki to finish the year that most of the central Europeans won¹t go because it would be much more expensive to fly from Helsinki than Munich. I don¹t think any of us would go for having the final banquet minus 20 people.

After a little discussion , we finally went home at about 3:45. On my way out, Darci asked me if I would be interested in an Education Internship. I told her that I was flattered, but would feel bad getting another intern over someone who has never been one and really wants it. It made me feel good that she asked though.

When we got home we had an extremely relaxing evening watching Heide¹s video of a group she was in, writing, eating a delicious lamb dinner, sitting in the sauna for about 30 minutes relaxing then going to bed.

4/10/88 – Sunday – Drobak, Norway

Another great “sleep-in” morning, a great breakfast/lunch then off to drop off (in the snow) at 12:00 noon. We all very quickly got on the bus out of the cold. I sat next to Laurie which is who I wanted to be next to because I spent the morning talking with David about Baylor and I wanted her opinions. She definitely filled my ear about Baylor and her opinions. She says she could see me attending school there, but anyway, we had a fantastic talk for the whole trip, all 1 1/2 hours of it.

We had our meeting and information on the city then met our host families around 2:00 p.m. The code words were all dates of performances we have done and the family had the city. I didn’t have to think too hard because my show was only 3 days before. I wasn’t too excited about rooming with John and I got the same feeling from him about me. Oh well. He was late as usual and I had already met them. Hermann did not speak any English so we communicated mostly through and to Gro. He understood some English, but not much. Good thing this wasn’t my first family. We had a nice relaxing evening showing them our pictures and facts about home, then dinner. After dinner John left to go back to Askim to visit his family for the evening. I stayed and had coffee/Coke with their son and daughter in law. I talked here and there, but for the most part just sat there while they spoke Norwegian. I eventually excused myself and left to write in my journal. I spent the rest of the evening doing that until John came home. We talked for a while then I went to bed.


From Beth Wahlert-Lohmeier

Does anyone remember--was the TV crew the one where we performed with the horse that peed all over the set?!?



Happy Birthday, Grant!!

I'd sing, but I wouldn't want to ruin a good day for you! hahaha

Hey, I didn't respond to an earlier email regarding the staff. I am really hoping to be there. We are going to be in AZ for two weeks in June, so we will see what comes up in Aug. If I come, most likely it will just be me. I'll keep you updated as time gets closer.

What an INCREDIBLE turnout! Good grief...that is awesome!

Hope you have a great day!

~Kelly Bates-Kinch

(EDITOR: If you would like to see Kelly at the reunion, send her a note at:


From Darci Buck-Price

(in response to us winning the March Madness Contest)

WOOHOO!! Way to go Grant for continuing to ‘unite’ and RE-unite all of us! So to those of you (who by the way-- will absolutely be MISSED if you aren’t there) who haven’t registered quite yet, you will not want to MISS OUT! The last reunion was SUCH a great and fun success simply because there were just SO MANY of us (you) there – there is no such thing as TOO MANY PEOPLE—and if YOU are not there—it will NOT be the same. …What… a…. BLAST!!!

The awesome resort, sun, pool, weather, fun times with friends; room parties, reminiscing and reacquainting with amazing people, and reliving and remembering what a great MISSION & value that Up With People captures (along with those throwing out our shoulders with those crazy swing claps!) are ABSOLUTELY worth it ALL!! Will YOU be there? It’s TIME FOR THE MUSIC! It doesn't really matter if King Richard can't attend, just come and enjoy the Tucson SUNRISE (and/or…a Tequila Sunrise!) and come play! MAYBE you feel like your ‘load is getting heavier’-- that just doesn’t matter—this is TRULY a time that will completely LIFT YOU UP!

So let’s continue to RALLY Cast A!!! …because it will just be an UNFINISHED WORLD and NOT the same without YOU!!!

See you in sunny Tucson by the pool!


(ok, I know, very corny but I just had to put it all down in BLACK AND WHITE!! So pack up your JUNK and let’s JAM!)

4/11/88 Monday Drobak, Norway

John moved slow, as usual, and we got there about 5 minutes late. When we arrived they had not started the meeting yet, so I found a pay phone and called Michelle Carlson (a girl I met in Canada). She was asleep so our conversation was not real exciting, but we talked for about 5 minutes.

I was part of the non-set up crew and we went to a rehabilitation center for people who have had strokes or bad car accidents. We watched a good video about the hospital, asked some questions, then toured the center. It overlooked a fjord and was just breath taking. It is indescribable the beauty of the scenery here. I just hope my mental picture never fades. (EDITOR: no such luck there. Mental pictures have been mostly deleted from the hard drive.) From there we went to lunch and ate spaghetti and this Italian restaurant.

For rehearsal, we worked a lot on the clowns number and Vrolika. I think it was pretty frustrating for those running the rehearsal because there was a lot of goofing off.

Rehearsal ended a little early so that we could spend an hour with Hans Magnus President of Up With People Europe. He told us about how Russia became a reality, how he started in UWP and a little about our Toyota tour. During this time we were also having our first interview day, but only a few showed up. After Hans finished by giving us as much as he knew about Munich, we had dinner in the cafeteria.

While we were eating, Terry came up to me and asked if he could speak to me after I was finished. Of course my first reaction was to wonder what I did wrong, but I know that I was okay in that area. Secondly, I thought he was going to offer me a job, which I did not think I was able to deal with that important of a decision right now. When I was finished, I told him I would be in the guy¹s dressing room and that¹s where he could find me when he was finished with his dinner. He came and got me at about 6:00 and we went and sat down in the hall on the floor. I first asked him if each country would meet together and talk about issues that concern our country so that we are better informed for Russia. He said yes that was a good idea. ³Now it¹s my turn². (in not so many words) He came right out and asked me if I would go on PR again in Copenhagen. (quoting) ³Lindsay and I both looked at this 8 member list that Paul gave me, and agreed that you were the best qualified to go. I don¹t enjoy asking you and there is no pressure from me for you to go, but we need someone to go badly.² I asked when would I leave and who I would go with and he said ³Tomorrow and Meg and Lena.² Wow! So in other words you need to know by tonight. ³Yes, I will give you until after the show to decide, but I need to know as soon as possible so I can ask someone else if needed.²

Well needless to say, this is not what I was expecting to be asked. First of all because I said I didn¹t want to go again, secondly because I thought they had already picked the team. I asked him what I would be missing and he said about half of the Danish tour or a little more. I also shared with him my concerns about being left out of the production. Then Lynn and Mia will come, make the list for the Soviet Union, come to Copenhagen and say ³Oh sorry, we forgot all about you. Oh well!² I told him I needed to think about it and would report back to him. (EDITOR: For what it is worth, this is basically what happened. Completely left out of the show in the Soviet Union, but it was a fair trade I think.)

First I kind of walked around in a daze and finally sat down and read the Toyota Denmark scheduling plan book to try and get a feel for what it is going to take to set up. I decided I needed to talk at someone to hear what I am thinking. I decided on Cassi and I found her talking with Meg (about P.R. in Copenhagen). I asked if I could borrow Cassi a minute and we sat down and talked for about 20 minutes. She basically said what I needed hear, that if I really wanted to go I should, and if I don¹t want to go I should not feel pressured just because Terry asked me. I think what I really needed was when I asked her what she thought I should do she said ³Well, I don¹t want you to go, but I think you should do what you feel is right.² That¹s what I needed to know; that I would be missed. As we finished our talk and walked down the hall, I put my arm around her and said ³Thanks for being a friend.² And she said ³Thanks for letting me be one.² I think it was a definite milestone in our friendship. (EDITOR: So darn dramatic...)

When I was done talking to her, I found Terry and told him I would go, so that I wouldn¹t have to think about it during the show. Before and during the show, I took a picture of me in each of my costumes which is something I have been wanting to do for a long time. Then I went out and just rocked out for King Richard and had a blast. I also danced couple number 2 which was nice because I don¹t think I will get to do it too many more times when I get back. I had a really fun show all in all.

After the show, the three of us got together and talked and got our money ($2000 kroner), but basically just hung around. I told Kelly and talked with her a while, and spent a little time with Elin. Herman picked us up and when we got home, we had a snack and went to bed.

4/12/88 – Tuesday – Oslo, Norway – Cast continues on to Hamar, Norway

The three of us (Lena, Meg and I) rode on the Suburban/van with Katrina so that we could be briefed. We didn’t even hardly talk about it because she had an interview in Oslo and her head was there instead. We were leading the buses to the Soviet Embassy and got lost as well as lost the buses. So by the time we got there, it was time for the whole cast to be there. The rest of the cast finally got there at about 11:00, an hour after we were supposed to be there. We sat down quickly and they talked to us a little, explaining mostly who they were. Then we spent the next hour and a half asking questions. Then when they were finished they showed us these two Russian cartoons that were really off the wall, powerful messages. The first one had some political overtones, but was about friendship and helping one another. The other was about two different color stick matches and having what was theirs. The boundary line was moved and eventually one match got killed, then three backed him up to kill the other one, then ten matches backed that one up, and so on and so on until the whole armies were facing each other. One sent “the bomb” which was a box that lit all the matches on fire, then the fire spread and the other army caught on fire too. Then it showed the aftermath of what it looked like in the end. It was pretty heavy, and most everyone sat there not knowing whether or not to clap. (EDITOR: I still remember this video. It made a big impression on me. Does anyone else remember it?)

After that we had free time in Oslo to walk around, so what did we do, we went for lunch at Pepe’s Pizza with Bill, Leanne, Meg, Ty & Elin.

After lunch, we walked around for a while and bought a couple souvenirs, but before you knew it the cast was loading up to leave and we had to go with Terry to the office. He dropped us off with all our luggage and took off.

We meat Alan Grige who in charge of Up With People Denmark and has been working with Toyota Denmark on the tour. He gave us some background information on the tour and on Toyota, then briefed each team. The Holbaeck team (Beth, Heikki and Magnus) were with us and after they were briefed took off to catch a train to meet the cast in Hammar. When we were finished, we went across the street to a nice café and had dinner and shared a bottle of wine. It was a nice conversational meeting/dinner.

When we were done, we called a cab to pick us up and take us to the train station. It was a nice female driver and we had a good conversation on our way. When we arrived, we took our luggage and put it in two lockers, and then bought our ticket. After thinking we were shorted money (which we were) we went back and got too much; we stopped while we were ahead and went walking around town until our train came. We made it to the train with all our luggage and that’s where the adventure begins.

It all started with some girl sitting in our seat so we moved up one and sat in the two seats that faced each other. No big deal and besides we sat next to this girl who was from Wisconsin, but was studying in Spain and for her break, she bought a Euro-rail ticket and had been traveling for 27 days. Her name was Anne. So we sat down and got ready for a long train ride. Right before we got ready to leave the station, this Norwegian man (we will call him Bud) stumbled on to the train and told Lena that she was in his seat. We asked him if he could sit in our seat because we were all traveling together and would like to sit together. After Lena was practically out of her seat, he finally gave in and sat down next to the German girl (we will call her German Girl) who was in our seat in the first place.

The train started and we were enjoying our conversation for about one hour, then out of nowhere Bud (obviously very drunk) stood up and demanded his seat because German Girl wouldn’t let him drink next to her. So Lena moved out to across the aisle from me and Bud sat down next to me across from Anne. We decided we would ignore him because he was being very rude and disrespectful. He had his legs, with his shoes off, on Anne’s armrest and I tell you his feet didn’t smell like roses where I was sitting so I can imagine what Anne was smelling. She and Meg were reading and I was writing and he kept interrupting us. He asked me if all these girls were with me and I said “Yes, didn’t he know that it was not uncommon for American men to have 3 or 4 girls at any one time?” He dropped the subject.

After a little while, she finally asked him to put his feet down or move or something. I was being very sarcastic towards him and this English guy (Kent) didn’t think it was very nice of me and thought I was the one being rude. Finally we got him to move back with the German girl so that he could stretch out his 6’7” body (approximately). We had her move where Lena was sitting and moved Lena back to where she was in the first place. By this time, several of the passengers had moved to another car so that the seat behind Bud was now empty. He pulled a lever that swung his seat around so that it faced the seat behind it (similar to our seat) and stretched out his legs. Kent went back and joined him and they drank beer and whiskey and talked, which was fine with us. Occasionally Bud would turn around and make a comment, but we ignored them except when he got right in our face. Kent left to go smoke and then ended up getting yelled at for having so many girls around him. He didn’t talk with Bud the rest of the evening. (EDITOR: Sorry, don’t quite understand what I was trying to say.)

4/13/88 – Wednesday, approximately (on a train somewhere in Norway or Denmark)

Eventually he mellowed out a little enough that we could try and get some sleep. First thing in the morning, he had two beers in his hand. He was acting pretty cool this morning and was playing cards. Then he approached me with a card trick and challenged me to figure it out. It was a good trick, but I was able to figure it out in about 30 minutes. I felt very accomplished that I had not been fooled by a drunk. So I then challenged him with my rope trick which he could not do, but he gave up relatively soon. Anne decided she wanted a shot at it, so I was laughing at her when “it” happened. Out of nowhere, he (Bud) started acting like he was going to hit the German girl. Doing Karate, flexing his muscles and swinging over her head, he looked pretty ridiculous and I expressed my thoughts to him. He was extremely mad at this girl for some reason and was not actually hitting her, but being drunk and on a moving train and made him very unstable on his feet. Finally, he stopped, turned around, walked to the other end of the box car, yelled at these Korean-looking people (who probably didn’t understand English) for laughing, then turned around and ran at this girl and grabbed her arm. He was really holding on hard, so I grabbed his other arm and said “Hey Bud (this is the reason I gave him this name) let go.” He did, but was ready to take me on and in fact take all eight of us on. It was kind of stupid because I didn’t know what I would do if he decided to beat me up. I was hoping that the others would back me up. Eventually he backed down and took his seat, and fortunately we stopped soon after this occurrence. The other English guys kept an eye on the German girl ‘til her train left.

When we got off the train, this strange girl asked me if I was in Up With People, then she introduced herself as Kira Marshan. I thought she was an alumni, but she said Paul would be here to pick us up in a little while, and sure enough he was just walking towards us. We took our luggage straight to the car and I realized on the way that this was the P.R. staff that we would be working with. After we loaded everything, we exchanged our money from Norwegian Kroner to Danish Kroner then sat down to have a little breakfast. We talked mostly about our experience on the train, but eventually talked about what needs to happen during this set-up.

When we were finished, we decided to walk to the office so that we could start getting a feel for the city, and besides it wasn’t that far. Kira drove the car and met us there. Our office is at Toyota City and was very nice. It was pretty obvious we were all tired so Paul took us to Alan’s apartment and an alumnus who lived upstairs from him. The girls stayed there and I stayed in Alan’s place and took a nap until about 2:30.

Paul picked us up and we had made the decision that we wanted to go to our host family instead of an alumni meeting planned for that evening. So Paul took us to our office and Kira took us to another Toyota dealership to meet our host families. Originally we thought we would be in 3 separate families, but they changed it because one of the families was a single man with a son. That was the man who worked at our office, Claus. It did work out, however, because one family wanted the Swedish girl because they had children and the other wanted the American so they could practice their English.

Lena went home with a worker named Bjanne Larsen and Meg and I went home with Anne Nielsen who is the girlfriend/live-in of our host father Bjorne Daugaard. Our Bjorne is the owner of the dealership we were at and the one where our office is.

When we arrived at the house about 30 minutes later, I knew this was going to be an okay time. Anne showed us our rooms and gave us a tour of the house. They have a new wet bar, next to the swimming pool, everything had just been remodeled and an upstairs added. (It was just finish one month ago.) They have a guest home connecting with the house, but that is used mostly for the workers while they are still landscaping the outside. It is a very modern, up-to-date house. My room has a lot of closet space, but Meg’s room has a sun-tanning bed. I let her have that one knowing that she would use it much more than I.

We basically got settled and waited for Bjorne to come home so we could eat dinner. They don’t eat until 9:00 every night (or later) because they usually don’t get home until 8:30 or so. We hadn’t eaten anything all day so when we did finally eat, Meg and I devoured it. I’m not too excited about P.R., but the relaxation will not hurt me in such a beautiful home.


From Jeff Martinson April 13th Hamar, Norway

Today began with morning meeting. Cecilia Bjerkland gave her True Colors. She doesn't come across as real to me but instead a bit phony. Then Susie and I began our Merchandise work. It is Kelly's day off and we did it alone. I was in charge of display and chose my sellers Doug and Diane. Sales went really well and merch went well except that Michelle counted the money wrong. New interns were announced today. Dance interns went to Jerko, Kurt and Melinda. I wonder if I would have gotten dance if Paula was still with us. Oh well, I am happy with the decision. Tonight the cast finally got Encores for the first time ever.



Congrats. You¹ll be great. As for Beth, how could she forget the TV show. We were immediately after the horse. Yes, it pee¹d but what most remember was laughing so hard we could hardly sing. You see as we were entering the stage the horse was coming off. OK don¹t take that wrong, but the camera was at knee level and got a picture of Š be the judge. An excited horse, and all of us losing our composure.

So much for the simple life.

Kurt Larson


YES _ I am coming to the reunion. Can't wait.

Christine Stevens


Hey Grant!

Yes, I too will be on the premises for the reunion. However, I will be rotating between three casts and possible duties on the reunion committee. I promise to poke my head in at some point to try and see everyone. I do still have to register but will do so hopefully this weekend.

Looking forward to this summer!

Kathy Lee


"Laurent Debons" writes:

Hello Jeff

Thank you very much for your mail, but I won't be able to be at the reunion.

We are going to France in june to the beach after that we stay july and august in our little chalet in the mountains. My family is doing well and the children are getting big. We are skiing a lot but winter is almost over and we will start playing golf. I hope you will have a nice reunion and say hello to everybody.

Best wishes



Saori Oda writes:

Thank you for your e-mail. Actually, I live in Phoenix, Arizona now. During summer vacation, I am going to my home town to escape from the heat of Arizona with my family, so we are not able to meet in Japan in April. I'm going to Tucson only one day because my sons' school will start on 6th of August, so I am going to peek the reunion. I hope to see you then. Motoko and Tomoko will visit me after the reunion.

I don't know Noriko's e-mail address. Maybe, Tomoko knows that. Please enjoy your travel in Japan, and come back safely.

Saori Oda


Hey Jeff,

God how time flies by. 20 years already! Today my husband and I were brainstorming over our birthday party we're throwing in June. We'll both become 40! My God, 40! And no, I'm not that happy about it, but I can't stop time even if I wanted to. On the other hand, I'm blessed that I've gotten to this age in good health and I believe that it is the most important.

Anyhow, the reunion. We were planning to come over as a family, but the expenses are too high. If it would have been Boston, it would have been better? Flying to NY is less expensive than flying to Arizona. So, we hope that with the 25th reunion the location will be more interesting to organise a trip with the entire family. I do feel sorry not being able to attend. But I hope you all will have a fun time. And, I will attend the 25 year reunion, even if I need to come alone.

Besides that I'm doing fine. I'll be graduating this June as a high school teacher. In the meantime I'm still working part time as marketing manager for the French car constructor Renault. After working 17 years in advertising, I was looking for a part time job in the same business. I wanted to spend more time with my girls and now I love every minute of it! They are two amazing and lovely girls. I attach a few pictures, proud as I am....

How have you been? I check the website now and then, but there are so many pictures on it, that I can't always remember which kids/wife belongs the whom! Do let me know what's become of you.... I will always remember you as a very sweet, gentle and talented young man. You were always so nice for everyone. Of course also your dancing skills were outstanding! Such warm memories come over me when I think of our UWP year. If one could do it all again, I would definitely do it differently and would try to get more out of this amazing experience. But, I was exhausted most of the time and had to put so much energy in moving forward that I missed on a lot.

Well, got to go. I really appreciate you sending me this message. Thanks Jeff. Take for good care. Hope to hear from you again.

Greets, kisses and hugs,




Thank you for doing diligence....I will not be able to make the reunion...I am sorry to say. Keep me posted as to how it goes for you all and let me know the funny dirt.

Paula Leland



Congratulations to you for all your efforts in getting the cast to register. Your daily journal memories were a big part in making this happen.

Denis Cournoyer


Hi Grant,

Thank you for remembering my birthday and indeed had a great day.

I will not be able to join you guys at the reunion because my wife is pregnant and due to give birth at the end of june. I hope you all have a great time together and maybe we'll be there in 2012.

Take care and say hi from me and my family,

Marc and Coretta de Groot(and kids)


Hello Grant and Gretchen,

Thanks a lot for your help and also for offering your home for Melinda. I havn't heard anything from a Cast member. And I thought she is to young to let her travelling alone from Florida to your place. Now she can make the experience of American life style at least this 2 weeks. Melinda is now in Florida. She will come back this Friday 13rd April. It was probably too late with asking and it was just a quick idea. Maybe it works out next year so we have enough time to prepare.

Also I cannot make it to come to the reunion. thanks for all your work. It probably will be great fun with seeing so many from our CAST. The reunion is one week before I am performing in a big event in my city. (Look at the web: That time we will have rehearsal every evening. Since I am the Choreographer of two dance that take place in that theatre, I cannot drop at all.

lots of love and thank you for being aware of all of us. You will always be welcome to my house.

Christine Freitag


From Jeff Martinson

April 14th

Today was our travel day to Fagerness. We had the opportunity to go skiing and a lot of us did. It was really icy but it was a lot of fun. Doug got hurt really bad, he ran into a tree. My roommate is Bill Graul and we have a nice family with a beautiful home. I tried to call home tonight but I got the answering machine. I think my aunt Pammy should have had her baby by now, also I need to find out when exactly my parents are coming to Denmark.

4/14/88 Thursday Copenhagen, Denmark cast in Fargerness, Norway

Kira came and picked us up and we met Lena at the office. We spent most of the morning splitting up responsibilities and just talking about ourselves and the cast. Paul came in about noon and made copies of a pamphlet that he would be handing out at the Toyota Denmark meeting tomorrow. That is when the dealers find out that they are participating in the sponsorship. So they asked us not to promote until Monday.

We went for lunch while Paul worked, and went to Pepe¹s Pizza for an all-you-can-eat. We sat there for an hour and a half before we started walking back to the office. The afternoon we pretty much just sat around and talked about what we should be doing. We finally left about 6:30 to go home.

After we had dropped, Lena and Kira off, we (Meg and I) got home around 8:00. I don¹t think I am going to like these late evenings and having at least a 45 minute drive every night. (EDITOR: How ironic that I now commute 45-60 minutes each way every day for work.)

The evening was peaceful. We wrote in our journals until they came home, talked for a while, ate dinner, then went to bed. It is kind of strange, but we go to bed early which is good because I¹m sick and feel like dog doo doo. (EDITOR: This is a medical condition. Probably only doctors like Erin and Mok can fully appreciate my medical diagnosis.)


From Jeff Martinson

April 15th

Today was a CID day in Fagerness. Basically we had a lot of free time, I wrote letters, etc. Later after wrap-up we had a Denmark presentation about our tour. It looks like a lot of fun. We are going to visit a lot of the tourist places. After dinner we had to go the the auditorium and build a stage. It was OK but it would have been nice to have had a free evening. Oh well!. Tonight I and Lea Barnes also talked with a 7th grade class.

4/15/88 Friday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Fargernes, Norway

I woke up feeling even worse, and could hardly talk. We already have a good morning system: she (Meg) showers then wakes me up when she is finished and that usually gives me time to shower and eat breakfast before she is ready. We have the car because we live the furthest away, so we pick everyone up on the way to the office.

I couldn¹t really call the schools today like Kira wanted me to, so Meg and I looked into possible CIG activities while Kira did some calling. Yesterday an alumni, Thomas, stopped by with a bag of candy that is made the old fashioned way by hand, and the store where they make it is just around the block about 1/2 mile. When we went for lunch, we went there first to watch them make the candy. It was kind of interesting, and they give you a sample before it is actually made into individual pieces. It is very small so it is something the whole cast couldn¹t do, but I think it would be good for the CIG. It only took 30 minutes, so I¹m sure we will be able to fit it in our schedule.

We had a nice walk through the park on our way back to the office, but the rest of the afternoon, we talked about what we wanted to do that night and tomorrow. We were going to go see a movie but decided not to, so instead I went home and wrote a letter home telling my family that I am in Copenhagen. (Oh yeah, we went to this mall to shop. I bought Dad some of those magnetic soap holders.) We also got tickets to see Manhattan Transfer at Tivoli Gardens. (EDITOR: I recently found one of the two soap holders that I bought for my dad (the first one is still hanging in my parent's shower). It was still in the package, and decided to use it in our newly remodeled bathroom. I still contend it is the greatest invention ever! No goopy soap, EVER!)


From Marc deGroot

Hi again Grant,

You'll be the first to know when our new baby arrives. Our three guys are gonna have a little baby sister to protect and to serve.

The first picture is our last born named Fygo Daniel (a pure red-head, hmmmm Grant!!!), born the 2nd of April 2006.

The second one are Joeri(glasses),Twan and Fygo. Joeri is 9 years old, Twan 7 and Fygo just turned 1. Next update within 2 months.

Hope to hear from you,



From Jeff Martinson

April 16th

Today Susie and I worked on Merch until lunch. Then we were in rehearsal but rehearsal turned out to be a big discussion about production. Al really got burned on this discussion because he was leading the discussion and he was doing it in a condescending way. After it was over everybody seemed happier with production so I guess that is good. Tonight I was an audience seller. It went really well. We had a 45 minute intermission because the power went off so our sellers did really well. Susie and I each made $19. ( I have to laugh at this today but I am sure that was A LOT of money back then).

4/16/88 Saturday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Fargernes, Norway

We all met together (Lena, Meg and I) to go to the walking street and do some shopping. I bought a Danish flag pin, and some patches but that was all. At noon we went to see the Queen¹s Palace and hoped to see her because today was her birthday, but we didn¹t because we were too late. We did see the changing of the guards and that was kind of cool. We stayed for a while taking some pictures, and then went back to the walking street and bought a couple bottles of wine for dinner that night.

We met Paul around 1:00 and also met an alumni then Paul went shopping and we went and sat in a pub and had a Coke. We met back up with Paul at the office, went and picked up the food at his place, picked up Kira, and went back to our house.

When we got home, Anne and Bjorne were still home. They were going out and we decided to come over to our place at the last minute since they were going to be gone and there was more room. They didn¹t look too pleased, but said it was okay for us to be there. We waited until they left before we started cooking dinner, then we all went to it and before you knew it , we were sitting down to a delicious spaghetti dinner.

Kira wasn¹t real excited to be there so we tried to make it as lively as possible. Towards the end of dinner, I started quizzing her about her past and why she joined UWP, why she came back on staff and all sorts of juicy questions. It was just like a true colors, but really informal and nice. After we got cleaned up, we watched the movie "The Goodbye Girl" with Richard Dreyfus. It was Neil Simon movie so it was pretty good as his usually are.

By the time that was over it was about midnight and the crew was getting tired. Everyone left and Meg and I changed into more comfortable clothes. When we got changed we each did two shots of cognac (whatever that is). (EDITOR: I read this and can only shake my head at how young I was...) We were going to get drunk, but it was getting late and by the time we got drunk, we would have to go to bed.

I was able to stay awake and watch "Platoon", but Meg fell asleep. I remember almost exactly a year ago I saw that movie with Craig Plohocky in Fort Collins. It still made an impact on me the second time around.

Bjorne and Anne came home about 2:00 a.m. and the movie finished about 2:30.


From Jeff Martinson

April 17th

Today was our travel day to Arendal. It was our first long travel day in Norway. My roommate is Brian Eide. We have an older couple for a host family. She speaks really good English. He doesn't speak very much but he tries. They are very kind and nice and they live near the coast so we took a walk after dinner through the woods. It was so beautiful and I will not forget it. I found a starfish even. Norway is so pretty. The ocean, the forest. Its GREAT!

4/17/88 Sunday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Arendal, Norway

I slept in Œtil about 11:30, showered, and sat and wrote in my journal most of the afternoon. Bjorne¹s 16-year-old daughter, Lena, was over for her birthday, so I just let the three of them spend time together. I didn¹t want to be a nuisance, and had work to do anyways. They played games and did their thing until about 3:00, when we all (including Eric, Bjore¹s stepfather) sat down for a piece of cake and hot chocolate. After a while Anne, Lena, Meg and I went for a walk around the lake. It was a real nice day and nice opportunity for conversation.

When we came back, we played a dice game called Mier for about an hour, then Meg and I started dinner. We made taco salad which is relatively simple, but kind of an American dish. Kind of?! We had the wrong chips, but luckily Anne had some nacho chips, so all was not lost.

After dinner, we sat around and talked for a long time. Anne was real good about translating for us what was said in Danish, and translating for Erik what was said in English. (He spoke no English.)

Eventually everyone went home and we went to bed.


From Jeff Martinson

April 18th

Today was a CID day in Arendal. The cast split into different crews. My crew went to a junior high school where we taught dance classes. We then had lunch then we all went back into town and the PR team had planned a scavenger hunt. It sounded a bit boring so Gro, Weini and I went to a cafeteria and had tea and talked. I finally did it (and fell for the new cast fad) and I bought yarn to knit a sweater. I know it is CRAZY but I think I can do it. When we were walking down the road I accidentally hit and knocked down a little kid. Oh I felt so bad and couldn't apologize to him in Norwegian. At night we went to Leanne, Kelly Koshatka's and Nanette's host family for tea and dessert. Then we walked down by the ocean. It is so beautiful here.

(EDITOR: The thing I took away most from my UWP experience is that there was nothing I couldn't do. All I had to say was I was in UWP and I felt like I could do anything. Here is a good example of that.)

(EDITOR: One more side note, Gretchen & I had a surprise visit from Marty Kottke yesterday and were able to hook up and have dinner with him. It was sure great to see him and made me even more excited for seeing everyone in Tucson!)

4/18/88 – Monday - Copenhagen, Denmark – Cast in Arendal, Norway

First thing at the office, I had Kira and Lena sign a letter that Meg and I composed to give to the group Manhattan Transfer somehow. It basically said who we were and what UWP was, and that we would like to talk with them for educational purposes. We were really excited to see them although we only had standing room tickets. I started calling schools this morning, but with no luck because they are all getting ready for exams and cannot fit us into their schedule. I also called Novo (Drug Manufacturer) to see if we could set up a tour, and possibly do an acoustic at their business. The guy I spoke to said a tour would be no problem, but their was no reason for an acoustic. The reasons we want to do one there is because they are potential sponsor. He gave me another name to contact about it so we’ll see what happens.

At lunch, I gave in, I couldn’t hold out any longer, I had to go to McDonalds. It tastes pretty much the same, but they sell beer there. I sat there for a while trying to plan out how I am going to get in to meet Manhattan Transfer. I walked over to Tivoli and asked where the theater was because I was going to the show and didn’t know where it was. He directed me to the other side of Tivoli, which was also where the officers were. I walked over and pushed the bell that rings the secretary. She came on the speaker and asked who I was (first in Danish then in English after asking her if she spoke English). I said “I’m Grant Axton with Up With People,” and she said “Come on up.” I thought shoot this is going to be easier than I expected, but I really didn’t think I would get this far so I really didn’t know what to say next.

After going too far up the stairs and ending up on a balcony, I came back down and found the office. I introduced myself and said that I was in the neighborhood, and thought I would stop in and introduce myself and say “Hi”. This way they would know who they were speaking to in the advance team. The secretary said that the lady who was in charge of the groups was pretty busy with the Manhattan Transfer show this evening, but would try to find her. I told her that I realize this was unexpected and that I could come back some other time. “While I’m here, however, I was wondering what the possibilities of meeting some of the people involved with Manhattan Transfer. Being an educational group, it is up to us to make our own opportunities, and we don’t have the opportunity to meet or deal with professionals very often.” She said “Just one minute let me check with the Production Manager, Mark Hogue.”

When she came back, she said that he had about five minutes that he could talk with me.

I met Mark (a redhead, definitely a good start and help) and he asked me to sit. I explained I was in UWP and he was familiar with the group. I told him how refreshing it was to speak with an American who spoke English as a first language. He explained that he was from Greenfield, IN and used to be a racecar driver, and got into the business about 14 years ago after he wrecked his car. He liked it and has worked with various big name groups: Van Halen, AC/DC and many others I can’t remember. He just got off being home with his wife for 3 months and is doing several countries before going back to the U.S. for a big MTV special in June.

I told him I did advance work in Brownsburg (Greenfield was where we were going until they cancelled and then it was replaced by Brownsburg) and was somewhat familiar with the area. I told him some of the places we had performed at and where our tour was taking us. He had driven on the track at Charlotte. We talked for about 30 minutes about how to start in the field and what it takes to move up once you get in. He said that there is a small circle of people who are in the business and they like to keep it that way. You have to start at the bottom and work your way up. (EDITOR: Yeah, I have since learned that lesson first hand...)

We had a real nice conversation and I met a couple other people, but I knew he needed to get back to work so I asked him if I would be able to meet some other of the people who are behind the scenes later that evening. He said sure and gave me one backstage pass. I told him that I had three others coming with me (3 good looking women) to the show, and he gave me three more passes. I asked what the possibilities of eating dinner with them, but he said they were usually busy around dinner. He said, however “we do have a day off tomorrow here in Copenhagen, so here is the number to our hotel, give me a call and maybe we can work something out to get together.“ He also gave me his home address so I could write or call him.

He was a real nice guy, and I left there feeling pretty high. I walked through Tivoli this time, instead of going around, like I was important and was on special business. As I walked out the gates I made sure I stopped and talked to the guard and asked him when the gates close. That way he knew I was already in and to remember what I looked like.

I couldn’t walk fast enough back to the office, but was really disappointed to find only Lena in the office. I told her about my exciting afternoon, and waited for Meg and Kira to come back. I was too excited to work so I just paced back and forth until they got back at 4:15. I told them about the passes and they didn’t believe me. I also told them that I was going back for the sound levels as close to 4:30 as I could. Kira said that she made arrangements with Alan to come to the office and tell us what happened at the Toyota meeting, and at the meeting he had today with the Toyota marketing people.

Meg was really excited about the show, so after some deliberation, it was decided that Meg would join me to go watch their sound levels. We walked very quickly and had no problems getting through the Tivoli gate so we were there by about 5:00. For the next 30 minutes the band just played songs and that was how they did their levels. At 5:30, Manhattan Transfer came out in sweats and jeans and t-shirts and ran a couple songs. They were still going when Meg decided it was time to leave at 5:55, but were close to finishing.

When we got back to the office Alan was still there and he filled us in quickly on the highlights of his meeting. We left about 7:00, found a good parking spot, and waited for the doors to open at 7:30. When we got in, we had something to drink, which is what everyone was doing (that and smoking). We then staked our claim to the standing room rail, and waited. It amazed me that people just waited until 8:00 to go in and find their seat. Definitely a different atmosphere than in the United States where they would have found their seat and then waited while sitting. Anyways the show started about 8:15 and was incredible how they perform their songs. A lot of the first songs I didn’t know. Some, however, I recognized from the Vocalese cassette tape, and towards the end of the first half they did: “Operator,” “Baby Come Back to Me,” “(Dance the Night Away),” and opened the second half after intermission with “Birdland.” Then they did songs from their new album that I wasn’t to impressed with, but I was still very pleased. The audience went crazy and they came back for 3 encores! By this time we were standing at the front of the stage.

When the show was finished, we went backstage and found Mark, but he was busy and asked us to wait just a minute for security reasons. So we waited in the stairwell and three of the four of the Transfer walked by us. I told the redhead that it was sure nice to see another redhead on stage. Kind of a dumb line now that I think about it. We said “Hi” to the bald guy and the other girl stood and talked to Joe Kocher’s sax player less than 2 feet away from me. It was exciting, but kind of anti-climactic. Lena had to meet her new family so we left about 11:30, dropped her off and got home about 1:00 a.m.


From Jeff Martinson

April 19th

Today was a show day in Arendal. We were late for morning meeting again. Then Susie and I helped do setup. During set up Katrin asked me if I was a virgin. I didn't give her an answer and I let her take her guesses. That should be each person's own business! Then we did merch stuff. Then we had a fun rehearsal where we worked on emergency situations in a show and what to do. We then had a presentation from the Admissions lady in Oslo telling us about Goals and Interviewing in Europe. We then had wrap up and a presentation from an alumni who traveled in 1968 (before I was even born). He was a bit boring though. Tonight for selling I counted the money.

4/19//88 – Tuesday - Copenhagen, Denmark – Cast in Arendal, Norway

We went into the office at the normal time, but didn’t get much accomplished because we were all so tired. For lunch, we went on the walking street Meg, Lean and I kind of handed out flyers while we were walking, but basically just walked around. When we got back to the office, we all practically fell asleep (well we actually did fall asleep).

Kira finally came back around 4:30 and we went home shortly after. We had a late dinner, but quality conversation as usual.


From Darci Buck-Price

Hi Grant!

Just found a couple of great pix…I’m scanning quite a few to email to Eduardo for the reunion—recently your journal mentioned Doug’s skiing accident—I knew I had a picture of it somewhere—here it is! I remember taking it and saying ‘one day you’ll want to see this’…(and pictures are still my life!) and another fun one of Erin, Brian, Anki, and Brian…

Doug- love ya man!! I have a few other fun ‘blackmail’ pix too…(smiles!)--- oh, and a few of the run that you and Dennis did—how far was that? (when Holly and I rode in the suburban and you guys ran like from one town to the next or something crazy) Oh memories!!

Keep signing up for the reunion, Cast A!! What a GREAT fun turnout so far!




From Brenda "Vanilla"

UWP on you tube video. Thought I would pass it along...



From Brenda "Chocolate"

Hey Jeff...nice to know that all the time and effort Sandra, Birger and I put into that scavenger hunt went unappreciated...JUST KIDDING!!!! Actually, I don't even remember the scavenger hunt so it seems you all spent your time wisely!!! :) Looking back we should have just given you all free time to enjoy such a beautiful city!! Norway still remains one of my favorite places on earth because of Arendal!


From Jeff Martinson

April 20th

Well today was our travel day to Kristiansend and we really did almost miss the bus. It wasn't our fault though. Our host father drove all the way to pick up Leanne but she had already left. I was nervous but we barely made it. On the travel day I sat next to Corrine and Ziggy (Noriko) and they both helped me get started on this sweater. I hope I can do it. Before we left Arendal we all had our pictures taken to make visas for us to go to the Soviet Union. When we got into Kristiansend we took the best tour we have had all year. We toured an ice cream factory where we could have all of the ice cream we wanted to eat. It was great and I actually ate 4. (oh my gosh I feel embarrased typing this up 20 years later). Then we went to City Hall where we were presented a blanket made by Norwegian youth to give to the Soviets. We had a presentation from the mayor then we went to a hotel with Henri's host father (also an alumni from 1968) gave us a speech about World Politics and situations. We then had some free time where most of us knitted before we met our host family. My roommates were supposed to be Brian E and Chris G but as it turned out our host family had only requested two so Brian offered to go to a different family. We live in a really nice home and the family is great. Before we went to bed we had a sauna. Boy was it hot!.

4/20/88 Wednesday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Kristiansan, Norway

I really don¹t remember anything exciting happening today. I was supposed to call Mark (from Manhattan Transfer) yesterday, but couldn¹t find the telephone number until today.

Meg and I were home by 6:30 and we stopped by to get a bottle of wine and a movie. We got home, made a hamburger and watched the movie "Match Made in Heaven". It was okay, but didn¹t go anywhere really.

<> We talked for a while then went to bed.


From Jeff Martinson

April 21st

Today was the CID day in Kristiansend. We all met, had tea and then we opened the letters that cast B had written to us about their trip in Scandinavia. Then a cast discussion which Kelly ran. Personally I didn't get into it too much because I am tired of all the discussions that we have. After lunch there was a scavenger hunt but instead Susie, Kelly and I went to Kelly's hotel to discuss everything that needs to be done tomorrow as it is Kelly's day off and the end of our Norway tour. We then talked about funny things. I then walked back to the hotel and Gro was knitting my sweater for me . At night we went to see "Empire of the Sun". It was good and neat to see a movie in Norway but I was a bit confused by the movie. I should like to see it again someday. After the movie we went to the cafe for a beer and then home to bed.

4/21/88 – Thursday - Copenhagen, Denmark – Cast in Kristiansan, Norway

Today was supposed to be the big Media Day! Toyota Denmark and Up With People press conference at 12:30 with Alan, Kira and Martin and Christine from Toyota! Unfortunately, no one told the press to come, or at least they didn’t show up. What a joke!

While that was happening, Meg and I went to a Toyota dealer to give them posters and they were pretty clueless as to what we were doing. It was really encouraging. Not! Then we met an alumni, Marie France, who works at UNICEF and wants us to bring the CIG to visit. After sitting with her while she made copies, we met a guy who was going to show us around. We talked in his office for about 45 minutes about what he was going to talk to the cast about. (good sentence, huh?) Meg and I were pretty bored and feeling like the cast would lynch us if we brought them here.

When we were done, however, we watched this movie on their operations as a company, and it followed one box from warehouse to use in Africa. Then we toured the warehouse that is 3 football fields long. It was incredible and had gotten interesting starting with the movie. They had the best forklifts to drive with cameras at the top. When we were finished, we went to lunch and talked about UWP.

We left there approximately 1:30 and on the way home saw a bibliotech (library) and stopped to put up some posters. As we came out, I looked across the street and there was the American embassy. We talked about visiting there yesterday, but never did.

We walked over there and told them that we were interested in visiting the embassy with a group of young adults. This American guy quizzed us, put us through metal detector/security check and told us to sit until he called someone. Eventually Kim came down to talk with us, and he is the manager of information or something like that. We told him all the facts, we knew about the cast and the availability of what dates. After we asked many questions, he went and got another girl to help with some ideas. They were very helpful and eager to do anything they could. We left there feeling very accomplished, so we decided to go back to the office.

The rest of the afternoon just kind of finished. Alan came by and told me I couldn’t invite the Queen of Denmark to the show. A letter I started yesterday to invite her and the Royal Family was axed. Only our official UWP contact with the Royal family could invite her, and this contact would be very offended if I invited her. Alan went on and on about how we wouldn’t even be considered and they would just throw away my letter. I said if it is not going to make any difference why can’t I write it anyways. He knew that there was a remote chance that they might say yes, and this contact would get pissed if some little peon succeeded in what he gets paid to do. (EDITOR: So my retaliation was to try to invite Mikail Gorbachev to the show if I couldn’t get the queen of Denmark. I sure showed them, didn’t I?)

Meg and Kira had already left to do a speaking engagement before this conversation and Lena and I had one to do, so we had to leave. It was a good thing too because I was getting very angry about the whole thing.

Lena and I met Steen (an alumnus and her host father- 26 years old) at his credit card company (Fairfax) where he works. Some of the workers come together every month and eat a little and play Trivial Pursuit. We talked about UWP, but tried to stress host families. Then sat down after about 10 minutes, and one of the ladies who has hosted said some good things about hosting.

We stayed until they were getting ready to play Trivial Pursuit (in Danish) which was 7:30 p.m. I took Lena home, then went home and wrote letters and in my journal. Meg got home around 11:00 after I had gone to bed.


From Darci Buck-Price

Don’t you wish you could see the fun people in these photos again? Well you CAN!

Register today for the reunion in Tucson in August.



From Woody Talbot

(EDITOR: How appropriate to get a note from Woody on the day Darci sends a photo of him. Send him a note and say hello. )

Hey Grant,

I'm sorry for not having taken the time to respond to any of your e-mails. I have truly enjoyed all of the journal entries that you have posted and I would like to thank you for all of the hard work you have put into keeping the lines of communication open between cast members since our departure. To tell you the truth things have been quite hectic for me since I have been doing a lot of traveling for work. I am a sound engineer working with a wide variety of national acts that are out on tours and when I am in town I do sound system installations for Schools, churches and federal government establishments, so things are always jumping for me. I don't have internet access at my home and haven't had the chance to see what the costs are that are involved with going to the reunion. I would like to attend and will look at the information you have sent in regards to the reunion today. Again thank you for all of your time and effort in handling our cast reunions and I will be in touch with you soon.

Charlie’s birthday is January 5. He is 2 years old now and my has the time flown by. I am including a picture, which I am sure you will love, especially his hair and Yes I am bald and beautiful. LoL

Take Care,



From Jeff Martinson

April 22nd

Today was our show day. Susie and I spent most of the day doing the work that we had to do. Annette from the Oslo office called and asked us to leave a box, etc. Susie and I made our own decisions. Tonight I was the money counter and I had Michelle on display with Dale. We had a presentation from Cecilia Bjerkland on the Norway presentation. Everything went well selling wise except that the display counted wrong. They said they sold 86 programs when they didn't even come close to selling that many. We had a hard time getting everything done because of that so I took everything home and worked on it until 2:00 am. Tomorrow we leave Norway and go to Denmark. I have really enjoyed Norge!

4/22/88 Friday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Kristiansan, Norway

I don¹t remember too many exciting things that happened today. We spent most of the afternoon talking with a pre-accept girl, answering her questions and reminiscing about asking our interviewer the exact same questions a year ago. Eventually Friday afternoon jitters set in and we all started getting wild. I was interviewing Kira about the UWP cult then broke into a Hari-Krishna revised for UWP version of Sunrise using Coke bottles as instruments. We laughed hard, and scared the hell out of the girl. We went home soon after before we cracked up (mentally). (EDITOR: Sorry, I don't really know what was going on here. Apparently it was pretty funny.)

The rest of the evening was very relaxed, writing and just relaxing.


From Birger Husted

Hi there

My memory is apparently not want it has been, as I cannot remember the scavenger hunt Brenda, Sandra and I planned in Arendal. I remember that we had a fantastic time doing PR and especially I remember my two girls, Brenda and Sandra, growing a lot as they went through the PR experience. I remember that we had sold out the hall a few days before the show, so the day before the cast came we had a GREAT party with journalists and photographers from our sponsor, the newspaper in Arendal. With severe hangovers I remember coming to the the site where the cast arrived.

On the day of the show it rained and a lot of people tried to get into the show, even though it was sold out. I have a wonderful picture of Marc de Groot and a few other larger guys from the cast working as crowd controllers. We ended up talking to the head of the fire brigade in town and was allowed to sell tickets for standing room only in the back of the hall, but still did not get everyone in.

I have just been Host Dad for a week for a member of a so called Rotary GSE team member from Village Grove Colorado. Four Rotary members from Colorado (Durango, Village Grove, La Junta, and Grand Junction) has visited my Rotary Club, Praha Classic for a week and will stay another 5 weeks in the Czech and Slovak Republics. Today we visited the American Ambassador, Richard Graber from Wisconsin. A real Republican and Bush supporter. It has been a fantastic experience to be a host dad again, and I hope it gave a bit of inspiration to my kids to one day travel the world.

Well All for now. Hope to maybe catch a short meeting with Marc next time flying over Amsterdam on the way to my client LEGO in Denmark, and meet up with my Danish and maybe also Swedish Uppie friends in Denmark on the 12th of May, where UWP performs in Denmark and the European Alumni Clubs have their annual meeting in Roskilde.

Take care and see you in Tucson. I have ordered a four bed room right next to the pool, and have still space for anyone who needs a bed. I have booked the room from the 6th to the 12th of August ( my birthday) but will actually first fly back on August 13th. So if anyone need a bed, write me.

Big hugs from sunny Prague. I am just attaching two photos. One of my dear family: wife Jana, and Daughters Nina and Anna, and one photo of my and my staff from my company UniqueConsult.

See you in less than four months from now.



From Jeff Martinson

April 23rd

Today we didn't have Host drop off until 3:30 so I slept in until 11:00. Then we ate, packed our bags, etc. When we were getting on the ferry I felt as if I was on the "Love Boat". (Oh my I am soooo laughing today at that comment). It was very exciting and a beautiful day. We all took pictures, knitted, etc. I finally advanced to the big needles. (GRANT: What the heck was the deal with all the knitting? I left for PR and when you all got to Copenhagen everyone was knitting! How many of you still knit?)

The boat ride did make me a bit sick. All of the interns had a meeting. When we arrived in Denmark Pia and Rasmus's families were there. Then we were greeted by Paul and Jo and Medobak (The admissions Rep for Cast C last year) and they were in Danish costumes. They did a folk dance and then we had a toast of Gameldansk-- A red liquor that was really gross. We then loaded the busses and drove to Ikast. We didn't meet our families until 12:30. I am alone and I visited with the family and then went to bed.

4/23/88 - Saturday - Copenhagen, Denmark / Cast in Ikast, Denmark

This is the day the cast starts the Toyota Denmark tour in Ikast although it does not effect me at all. We met Lena at the office at 1:00 then went to the grocery store to buy food for dinner this evening with the Holback team (Heikki, Magnus and Beth). We spent 775 kroner which I thought was way too much and we bought things we did not need. I was trying to share my point of view with three women! Completely Useless!! So I gave in quickly. I was kind of angry, so I had them drag me off to the office so we could wait for the rest of them to come.

They arrived at 2:40, talked for a short while, then went and picked up Kira from the tanning salon and headed over to Lena’s place. When we got upstairs, we decided three bottles of wine was not going to be enough. So we left the girls to smoke and talk girl talk and us three guys went on a wine hunt. I told them about my exciting time with Manhattan Transfer.

We found a place who would sell us a bottle of wine although it is very illegal. (EDITOR: I don't know why it was illegal. Any Danes want to tell me why? Maybe because it was Saturday?) So after our little exchange we went back to the apartment. We sat and talked about everything and started on the wine. I started making my homemade wine coolers and they were tasting pretty good. (EDITOR: White wine with lemon juice, I think. Makes me sick just thinking about it now.) We ate some cheese and crackers and drank wine and talked and laughed until who knows what time. I hadn’t anything to eat most of the day so the wine started hitting me on about the third glass. I lost track of how many glasses of wine coolers I had, but had to have been at least 7 or 8. I don’t know, but I was conversing real well (I think), although I had a hard time concentrating on what others were saying.

I don't know what time it was, but I started blowing chunks, (TRANSLATION: vomiting) then we had dinner and I think it stayed down for 15 minutes or so. I was feeling pretty bad and pretty drunk. I missed almost all of dinner of which I paid a lot of money for and for the little time I was there I was completely out of it. I just remember that I was pretty frustrated because I couldn’t see my dinner. Partly because it was dark and we only had five candles and partly because my wine goggles were fogged and tinted quite a bit. After about an hour and a half of resting we left to go dancing at 11:30. (EDITOR: There goes the angelic image you all had of me...)

We took the bus into town and went to a place called Anabell’s, but only members could get in. Then sat in a jazz bar for 5 minutes, Lena and Beth stayed and the rest of us (Heikki, Magnus, Meg, Kira and I) went to the Three Musketeers bar where they play Dixieland Jazz. It was great music, but we just sat there and watched this drunk lady most of the evening until they threw her out. Then we laughed at the way people were dancing on a non-existent dance floor. We left about 2:00 a.m., danced a lick in the street, then left, caught a bus and Kira finally dropped Meg and I off at 3:00 a.m. After midnight is much clearer for me than before, so I hope That’s accurate. (EDITOR: Who knows what REALLY happened? Maybe Meg, Lena, or Beth could tell me what they remember of the evening as I am sure Heikki was as drunk as I was.)

BONUS NOTE From Tomoko (EDITOR: Jeff Martinson has been in Japan for about a week and a half, and is managing to see 3 of the 4 Japanese that still live there while he is Japan. Saori is living in Phoenix.)

Dear Grant,

Hi from Japan! Thank you very much keep sending journals everyday. Each town reminds me of my memories and host families! Arendal in Norway,I really remember our host family, Gretchen! Do you remember our host family there? They are nice people though the house was very dusty!! After we had dinner ( I guess) we took a walk to breathe!! Yes, they are nice people!! But I learned a lot!!

This Tuesday I met Jeff Martninson! It is 19 years since we saw last though when I saw him at the lobby, there was no time for spending 19 years. It was great day to bring my town and introduce my family!! Noriko came to see him on Sunday from far from Tokyo! It was only 30 minutes to talk him though. Mok left the message at the hotel! Today Motoko spend time to show around Kyoto!!

I just send this quick note today. Our family are very looking foward seeing you and the cast in Tucson.

Lot of smiles from Japan



From Jeff Martinson

April 24th

Today was our first show day in Denmark. After the morning meeting my crew watched interesting and strange tricks from Birger's friends. Such as walking on glass, eating fire, etc. Then the cast tried it. Then I re-counted the display while Kelly and Susie counted all of the merch that we received in Denmark. Lunch and then to the auditorium for rehearsal. Then we prepared the merch sheets. We all agreed that Display had not sold 86 programs but it was correct in the counting. For dinner we went home to our families which was great because it gave me more time to talk to them. I sold display tonight with Rika. The show went well but during the 50's dance my shirt (the peach one) totally came undone. Roger got mad at me because I was wearing the Junk Jam costume that he had already pre-set; however, it wasn't my fault. Kurt threw it at me and told me to wear it (Honestly Kurt-- How could you do that to such a nice 18 year old kid? :) After Black and White was over Kurt told me that they were filming tonight's show which kind of makes me mad because they didn't tell any of us about it. I keep telling myself not to let production bother me, but it does sometimes. We did get encores tonight which was nice.

4/24/88 Sunday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Ikast, Denmark

I obviously slept in as much as possible, but was up around noon. Meg got up an hour later, we wrote letters and in the journal, but got bored. We called Kira if she wanted to go to a movie and said yes, so we hurried up and got ready. We decided on the movie "Fatal Attraction" in Lyngby, and I have to admit I didn¹t want to see it again, but was good the second time around. I think had it not been for them two jumping and screaming I wouldn¹t have had fun but they (Meg and Kira) made it fun and scary. Afterwards we went to a little café and had a drink (coffee or orange juice) and bread with cheese.

We got home around 7:15 and Bjorne and Anne were back in bed. Earlier they didn¹t come downstairs until 2:00pm, went to the boat, and came back and went to bed. Definitely still in love! So Meg and I took some frozen Danish meatballs and added barbeque sauce to make them Danish/American meatballs. We didn¹t see them the rest of the evening so we went to bed. (separately)


From Jeff Martinson

April 25th

Today was our travel day to Odense. We stopped at Sanne's for lunch, sports, etc. We also stopped at a Toyota warehouse and took a tour. At HPU we met our families and I am alone again. ( I am seriously wondering why 20 years later? ) I have a really nice family and after dinner my host brother took me down to the bottom part of this island to see the country. It is beautiful and Denmark is soooooooo green! We saw a castle, the harbor, old windmills, and old homes with grass roofs. Very neat. When we got back we had tea and cakes and talked some more. I then went to bed. Thank you God for this wonderful opportunity this year.

(GRANT: So Sanne, what does your journal say for this day? Any memories you care to share?)

4/25/88 Monday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Odense, Denmark

We talked about what we want to get accomplished today then Kira took off with the car. We did some phone calling, then Meg and I went to the Tourist center at Tivoli to try and get some more ideas for the CIG to visit. After talking with this guy for a while we stopped to check and see how much the Tussaud¹s Wax Museum cost to get in. It was 37 kroner each, 28 kroner each for 20 or more and over 100 people they would let a whole 8 free! We asked him if we could get in to see the museum to check to see if we want to bring the whole cast or not. It was an okay museum (we got in for free), but a few things I really liked were: they had bunches of world leaders (past and present) in the same room together interacting; they also had an old man taking a picture of his wife and the flash goes off right when you walk in front of him. Meg and I stopped by Burger King for lunch and I had a nice interaction with the girls taking the order, about where to go in Copenhagen. One of the girls was from France and was pretty cute. She had asked me last time I was there about my pins, and this time remembered who I was and I¹m glad I recognized her.

We took Lena some lunch and went at about 1:00 to go meet the Vitlander, Sweden and Helsingor teams along with Alan at the train station. Their train was delayed 30 minutes so we waited and at 1:45 it came in and the Vitlande team (Cyndi Flynn and Saori Oda) had to be on a boat at 2:00 so they were in a hurry. Cyndi didn¹t even say hi she just said ³We have to hurry because we have to be on a boat in ten minutes,² and walked on by. So we got them in a taxi and on their way and started to figure out what to do with Dean and Rita. Alan had to be at an interview of some sort, so he took the train and we took Rita and Dean back to the office because Kira needed the car. We sat and talked the rest of the afternoon and got updated on the cast. We finally left to take them to Helsingor around 5:15 and didn¹t have too much trouble finding the Toyota dealer.

After we dropped them off, we went home. Kira dropped us off then took the car. The rest of the evening was just writing, dinner (only 3 of us: Anne, Meg and I), then in bed early.


From Jeff Martinson

April 26th

Today was a CID day in Odense. We began the morning with Denis C morning motivation (finally). He did all of the MM like the Tonight Show which was funny. Then we all filled out our visas to enter the Soviet Union. We then went over the Soviet schedule. It looks great and we have a lot of neat activities and free time. I am really excited but NOT about Germany. I don't want to go and I feel like UWP is jerking us around a bit and it makes me angry. As it turns out we will have our last show in Moscow, we will have our banquet in Germany the same day as the show and then do a little host family show in Finland with 25 or more of the Europeans missing. I am so angry. ( Does this make sense to anyone cause 20 years later typing it I have no idea what I was writing about?). (GRANT: I think we were still going to finish the year at the World Soccer Cup in Germany at this point.)

After the meeting we went to a glass factory then split into two groups. One group did CID and my group went and toured a garden and museum which was a bit boring. Then back to the auditorium for wrap up and HPU. I spent the evening catching up in my journal and once again ate cake, pop, etc. I hope I don't gain weight. After dinner we went to the movies and saw Saigon. It was violent but rather good. Then back home, visited with the family and off to bed.

4/26/88 Wednesday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Odense, Denmark

Alan was in the office this morning and we talked the entire morning away until Kira, Meg and I had to go for a lunch appointment. (Lena wanted to stay and work) We just talked about a bunch of reevaluations of ³where we are headed,² and ³what our attitudes are² during our morning meeting. We talk way too much and have no action. For lunch, we met Bente Neilsen at the SAS Hotel where she works. She is an alumni and knows several of our staff. She was super nice and really willing to help in any way possible. After a nice lunch (which she paid for) and an hour and a half of conversation, we left her some posters and went on our way.

On our way back we stopped at a newspaper, checked out the Porcelain Factory but after a lot of running around to find it, it was closed. We also stopped in at this music Library and a quick walk in the park (like 200 meters).

When we got back, Alan had completely cleaned up the office and organized everything to the point you couldn¹t find anything. We weren¹t too happy that he just came in and started cleaning everything but we laughed it off.

I thought of a couple ideas (a tour at the chewing gum manufacturer), but couldn¹t do much about it because it was after 4:00 and most things were closed. We actually went home relatively early after discussing a few things with Alan. I also told Kira that I respect her for her work and that I would try and change my attitude towards the set up (because my attitude has been shitty along with everyone elses). I think she appreciated me thanking her, or at least I hope so.

I spent most of the evening seeing how feasible it is to go to Germany and where would we go if we went down there and how long would it take and so on and so on. Went to bed early again.



From Sanne Jensen about the cast visit to her home.

Dear Grant

When we first was told that we would tour Denmark for 5 weeks I think us 5 danes were all disappointed. But my memories of our Denmark tour are filled with joy, friendship and happiness, nice weather, wonderful tours of places I had not been to before. It was good for me to be home and I enjoyed being able to show my country. I also recall it as Denmark "blooming" and showing itself from the best side. But maybe that was not all days - it's just what I remember. (I do recall it raining when we went to Legoland). I remember my mum touring with us for some days (in Copenhagen) and also recall a great visit to Rasmus' parents some days later. Staying with Danish hostfamilies was not as special as being in other countries. some of them seemed disappointed to get a Dane (which I think I understand), but then again I did take some extra time of and went home in between showdays, so I only had 4 or 5 danish hostfamilies.

anyhow, my journal from April 25th says: "I got up at 6AM to prepare for the cast arrival. Went home to have breakfast with Diane, Elin and Brenda (they stayed at my house). The cast really enjoyed the stop. Some played basketball, others wrote letters in the sun, slept, knitted etc. Some also went to see our house. Jo's parents came - it was great finally meeting them. and Birgers parents were there. My former boss Hans and his wife came (editor: they had sponsered a lot of the food we had for lunch) and the cast got together and sang for them. It seemed like everyone had had a good time and relaxed. After they left I helped clean up and then went back home and took a nap for 4 (!!!!) hours. Cleaned out my suitcase and relaxed the rest of the day."

Greetings from Denmark.

Love, Sanne



From Darci Buck

Hi Cast A 1987 friends!!

There are SO many of you (us) going to Tucson this summer-- too fun! Just wanted to email out a couple more photos (don't think I've sent these yet) from my STACK of lots and lots of fun Cast A memories and memorabilia. What an amazing group of people you are!

I hope that YOU will be thereŠ.i don¹t think you¹ll regret it (but you MAY regret NOT being there).!

Blessings to you all --- and see you in August!!

Darci (Buck) Price


From Jeff Martinson

April 27th

Today we had morning meeting then Alan ( the guy who scheduled the Denmark tour) began to give us a speech on Denmark but it was so noisy from the orchestra that we had to postpone it. Then we had free time to walk around town. I bought little souvenir items, and then we went to Hans Christian Anderson's house. Lunch then Leanne and I went to a cafe for tea. We talked about a lot of things and it was really nice. Then back to the auditorium where Susie and I prepared Merch papers. Then dinner and I had to rush back to get everything ready. It was unreal. Susie and I didn't have anything prepared. The whole night was stressful. During the show I was dancing 50's #3 couple with Cynthia Lynch. I cut my arm pretty bad because during the flip her belt dug into my arm. Whew I am getting a bit excited for this intern to be over.

4/27/88 Wednesday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Odense, Denmark

Today was my first semi-busy day. It started out by Meg taking me to Ordrup Gymnasium at 9:00 a.m. to do a speaking engagement. I walked in the door and kids were smoking in the hallway. I, of course, had no idea where to go, but I finally found the office. I knocked on the rector¹s (principals) door and he showed me the way to Mrs. Sanderson. She took me up to her classroom, and I felt very nervous about doing this. I started very shortly after I arrived by giving a quick background then putting in an 8 minute promotional video so I could collect my thoughts. I felt like I was struggling the whole time and not getting anywhere, but they did ask some questions and that helped. I used a line that Scandinavians are scared to ask questions because they think their English is poor, and that seemed to prod them to ask questions. When I had finished, I put out some pamphlets and brochures that got swallowed up quickly.

I had 20 minutes to get across town to the next school at 10:00. Meg was supposed to have returned with Kira and pick me up to take me to Ingrid Jespersen¹s Skole. At 10:00, I called the office and Claus said a lady called from that school wondering where I was, so I told him that if he heard from Kira on Meg to tell them I took a taxi.

I was lucky enough to grab a taxi and made it to the school at 10:20. (89 kroner later) By the time I found the classroom, it was 10:30, so I had 45 minutes, and I still felt completely unorganized. I talked while Ruth Ulstrup set up the slides in the projector. When we started showing them they were upside down, so I had to stall a little longer until she got it right.

It went very quickly and afterwards, I apologized my butt off for being so late. She took me up to the break room/ teacher¹s lounge where she gave me half of her sandwich and a beer. We had to be quiet for the most part because they were having a teacher¹s meeting. After lunch, I showed another class plus part of the last, the 8 minute promotional plus some highlights, then talked about it the rest of the time.

Kira was waiting for me this time, so we headed off for Kildegard Gym, which is the old school of Alan and Nanette. We were still 45 minutes early when we found it so we went to a bakery for a little lunch. When we went back, we talked with Lotte Fredrickson and she informed us that we would be speaking to 250 students. She was all concerned about a microphone and the video machine was broken, but I told her not to worry about it. After talking with Kira about it, we decided that I would speak and she would hand out the flyers.

I was finally psyched because I enjoy speaking to large groups especially without a mic. I feel like I have complete control over them. They all sat down away from me (of course) so I moved up and just went for it with a young, here is what I¹ve got to say attitude. I was very comfortable and I definitely held their attention (with the exception of a few). (EDITOR: I was so humble back then...)

Kira was pretty impressed and we had several people ask for more information. From there we stopped at several schools to hang posters and also buy a newspaper.

We went back to the office about 4:00 p.m. and Meg told us about Alan, Paul and Katrina calling to check and see how we were doing and getting along, and if our morale was okay, all within an hour of each other. We all laughed because we are getting along fine, the fact is we just don¹t want to be here anymore. We wrapped things up and went to dinner at the Copenhagen Corner. It was an okay meal for a large price. We finally got home about 9 p.m.


From Jeff Martinson

April 28th

Today was our travel day to Fredrikshavn. On our way we stopped at the beach at the most northern part of Denmark. It was so beautiful. My roommate in this town is Brian M. Our host family in this town is an 18 year old girl and her 20 year old boyfriend. During dinner she burned herself and spilled grease all over the floor. It is strange to think that they are my age and living alone together. At night the 4 of us went to a bar and drank. I couldn't believe the name of one of the drinks was called the All- American Thunderfuck. I drank way too much and I spilled a beer on Brian. What a night.

4/28/88 Thursday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Fredrikshavn, Denmark

We had to be in by 9:00 a.m. so that I could meet Lars (alumni) so that we could check out a possible Host Pick up site. We dropped off Meg and Lena and the porcelain factory for a tour, and stopped to look at the facility we are performing at (Falkonertestret), then went to this place. It has a nice large parking lot and Lars spoke with the lady and reserved us a café for 60 kroner.

I dropped Lars off to go to his old school to try and arrange something and went back to the office. Alan¹s mother came and we met her and she took Meg and I to the Rosenborg Castle. The castle belong to Christian IV, and was nice, but not something we would pay to have the cast do. I wish we would have had a guide or English translations for everything. There was English on some things, but none of the history of what we were seeing was in English.

We stopped for lunch on the way back, but we did not talk about much. She was not in a very good mood today until we got home and relaxed. It helped to know we were going on a trip tomorrow, and it was even okayed by Alan and Paul.



A note from Val


It's so nice to hear from you. I'm not really good at answering mail, but I like to read it, selfish, huh? Anyways, I type 1 letter at a time so.......All's well, I have 2 children, Anastasia is 12 and Travis is 6. I've been married 9 years, training to be a CNA and have a rockin' band(9_10 rocks@my space) with an album recently completed and we're shopping it with indie labels. How are Gretchen and yourself? I hope all is well, stay in touch and I like your journal entries.

Peace out,


(EDITOR: Send her a note and say hello!)


From Jeff Martinson

April 29th

Today was the show day in Fredrikshavn. Susie and I spent the am preparing all of the papers and then we went to lunch. For rehearsal we talked about how we felt with the new people coming to our cast. Then we watched the video of us in Ikast and Odense. For dinner we went home with our host families and we had hamburgers and french fries and oooh they tasted good. Then I went back early for merch as it is Kelly's day off. Selling went really well and we made budget for the month until we did display and the balance sheet came in 1000 kroner off. Oh I about lost control. We recounted the programs but the number was correct. So there was nothing we could do except put everything away in Merch 1. Then to make things worse I locked Brenda Perkins wallet in M1. Oh this has been a terrible day. I am now sick of this internship.

4/29/88 Friday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Fredrikshavn, Denmark

Today starts the adventure! Today is a holiday so we were unable to do any work, so we made arrangements with Dean and Rita (the Holback team) to go to Germany for the three-day weekend. We picked them up at the train station at 9:30, took some pictures and went on our way towards the ferry that would take us from Rodby Have to Fehmann Germany. It started to rain, but by the time we got to the ferry it had stopped and was sunny again.

It was a nice ferry ride, and we spent most of the hour eating lunch. When we arrived no one checked our passports so we went clear through to Lübeck. We arrived in Lübeck about 3:00 and it was great. The churches and old buildings, and a different language were all things that were making it exciting.

After we found a parking place we went to a walking street where we found an information center. Rita mentioned that she knew someone in Hamburg that she would like to see and would check with him to see if we could stay at his house. We all split up and went our separate ways: Dean and Lena went shopping; Rita and Meg went to call and then shop; and I just went. I wasn¹t in the mood to spend time shopping nor did I have the money, so I headed to this nearby church. I am so glad I saw this church because it really had a lot of nostalgic, authentic Germany inside. The church had almost been completely destroyed during WWII, and they have since remodeled and refurbished most everything. They had little rooms blocked off by iron gates that you could look in and see parts of the original statues, and one room held the bell that used to hang from the bell tower. In 1942, when the church was virtually destroyed the bell dropped and broke into about 3 or 4 large pieces, but it is so heavy that it imbedded itself into the ground through the brick floor. I was really enthralled about what I was seeing and wished my mother could see it.

From there I walked down to the structure that is in the left side picture (a reference to a postcard in my journal). I don¹t know what it is, but it was neat looking and very omnipotent. On my way back to meet the others I stopped and got a sundae at McDonalds. I¹ve made it a mini-goal to eat in McDonald¹s all over the world. (EDITOR: Well now I know why my body looks the way it does!) I also grabbed an international newspaper and read that Dukakis was leading Jackson and Bush had finally received enough electoral votes (EDITOR: This was for the Presidential Primary Elections in the US. It ended up being a race between George Bush, Sr and Michael Dukakis). I had just heard about Dukakis the day before, but it was a complete shock still.

Once we all met again, we took off for Hamburg on the Audubon Highway. We got there about 5:30 and walked around by City Hall and took a bunch of crazy pictures in the square. After Dean talked with a girl from Chicago studying in Hamburg about what there is to do, we sat down and had a drink while Rita called her friend. She came back with directions to a McDonald¹s we were to meet him at around 9:00 p.m. We found it after a lot of wrong turns and sat down to wait for a curly, blonde-hair guy named Matias.

Well he turned out to have brown hair, but was still a very nice guy. We went home first to get settled and meet his parents. They were fantastic people. When we arrived, they served us coffee, juice and cheesecake and although we tried to escaped it, we ended up speaking about UWP and even playing a tape. We stayed there until about 10:30-11:00 at which time we headed off to a bar. It was kind of like an outdoor café, and we sat there and had a drink.

After our drink we took off to this famous (I had never heard of it) street that was like a miniature Las Vegas/New York City combination. It had all these sex shops and casinos on this street, but mostly only on one side. However, when you go on the other side that is where you find all the prostitutes. So I guess on one side of the street you buy it to look at it, and on the other side you buy it to do it. (EDITOR: Yes, I was this naïve, but boy was I profound!)

After checking out a casino real quick, we stopped in this bar for about five minutes, then went upstairs to this girl¹s apartment. She answered the door stark naked, (so Rita said) we went inside introduced ourselves (after she was dressed), then left. It was really strange. We walked on some more, and walked right by a line of prostitutes who were probably 15 or 16 years old. It was really fascinating to me because I never stood so close to someone that I know is selling their body for money. (EDITOR: We didn't have that in Colorado Springs. To cold to walk the streets I guess.) All of a sudden I was in the real world enveloped by reality. Following that we walked down ³drug-pushers row² where I felt very uncomfortable. At the end of this row was a nice theater where Cats was playing. When we were finished walking, we went to another bar where they make their own beer, but it was closing down for the evening so we left and went home. (Kathy, Matias¹s girlfriend came with us.)

When we got home we spread ourselves on the floor (I was on the couch) and was asleep in no time.

This evening reminded me of a great idea I had for a poster. Picture this: A see-through, glass toilet with a goldfish swimming around in it and the caption at the bottom says: Reality Sucks!! I think I¹ll sell the idea. I know I would buy one! (EDITOR: Still a good idea. Maybe I should market it?)


From Jeff Martinson

April 30th

Today was our travel day to Aalborg. Before we left Kelly talked to Susie and I about our problem. She was not happy but I don't blame her. At the same time I want to know where this keeps happening. I felt disgusted by it all day. Later in the day I went up to Kelly to tell her about how I was feeling. Susie thinks it might be a miscount on records. I sure hope so. When we got to Aalborg we had a two hour bus tour then we were dropped off at an amusement park called Tivoli land. This was really beautiful. Then we had HPU and my roommate is Birger. We are staying at a friend of his. At night we watched the European Music Championship. It was very interesting. Also today we almost got into a bus accident. We were going through a tunnel when a car in the other lane came at us head first. We slammed on the brakes and swerved around it as it hit a wall. Nobody was hurt. Thank God. (GRANT: Wow! I never heard that story. Does anyone else remember that?)

4/30/88 Saturday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Alborg, Denmark

In the morning, we had a real nice breakfast waiting for us downstairs, and had great conversation. Matias had to leave early, but we left shortly after he did. They stood on the porch and watched us until we left completely. As we walked away from them we all agreed that that was one of our best ³host families² and some of the most kind people we had ever met. We all felt very lucky knowing that we will be the only ones from our cast to have a German host family. It was rather sad, but very refreshing.

When we left there we went shopping in downtown Hamburg. I only bought a patch and a lapel pin (I held out and found exactly what I wanted), but enjoyed watching bands and street performers while I walked. I also bought a wedding card for Bjorne and Anne that I didn¹t know what it said, but it played the wedding march song when you open it. When we all met back together we ate lunch (bought a bottle of champagne for them too), and wrote on postcards to tell people we were in Germany.

I was done early so I went to listen to the French Army Band in City Hall Square. They were between 18 and 20 years old and played mostly Big Band Era music.

About 3:00, we went on our merry way to Tonder, Denmark, with no troubles at the border to see Joerg and Erin. We arrived at about 5:30 and luckily there was a gas station open that is connected with the Toyota dealer, that is connected to their house. We definitely surprised them, and stayed and talked for about an hour. I think it did us all good. (EDITOR: Do you remember this Erin?)

From there we went through Kolding and stopped for a while to walk around this castle then back on the road to Fredericia where we decided to stay the night. We first checked out a youth hostel, but they said you had to have a membership card of some sort to stay there. So we got the name of a cheap motel down by the dock called the Seamen¹s Hotel. We were able to get a room for 440 kroner for the five of us which was the cheapest in town. We were all very tired and hungry so we went to the closest place we could find which was Baffo¹s Italian Restaurant. It was pretty good food for a good price. We didn¹t stay too long, so we could go back and get settled in our room.

We checked in, got our key, got into our night clothes and then started drinking Bailey¹s Irish Cream liquor. We stayed up for the next 2 hours talking about society, and whether or not you should buck the system and try to change it by being who you really want to be. Dean had some very valid points and I was following him, but the girls didn¹t like it, especially Lena. She was really amazing to listen to because she has really become a victim of society, meaning she will do nothing that does not have a reason or a purpose in life. Everyone has a purpose and has an obligation to society to fulfill that purpose. It was incredible what an extremist she is and it definitely something I never knew about her. I thought it was a great controversial conversation (and so did Dean I¹m sure), and it did me good to argue, but the girls thought it was a waste of time. We went to bed about 1:00 or 1:30 a.m.

(EDITOR: And to think they ended up married to each other with two beautiful daughters. I figured after this conversation, Lena would have booted both Dean and I out the door. Sorry Lena about arguing with you so much. :) )


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From Jeff Martinson

May 1st

Today we finally got our well deserved Free Day. I slept until about 10:00. Got up ate, showered and then sat in the sun. Later in the day we went canoeing. Very fun and relaxing. We came home and had dinner and then our host sister took us to a concert. Val and Susie were also there. This concert was for the Kommuniste Party in Denmark. I can't believe I paid to help communism. The first band was really scary bad, the second was very good. We danced and then came home and to bed.

5/1/88 Sunday (May Day) - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Alborg, Denmark

We all got up around 9:00 a.m. to get ready and eat breakfast, and I tried to figure out how we are gong to get there (to the ferry). After breakfast we started the complicated process of paying for the room. The girl at the desk gave us the option of paying for the room in German marks or Danish kroner, so to get rid of our marks we decided to pay that way. She wanted us to pay the whole thing with bills because they can't exchange the coins and I told her that was the reason we wanted to get rid of ours was because we couldn't exchange them either. I was kind of upset, but content that we succeeded in getting rid of the coins.

We made it to the ferry in plenty of time, but this ferry was strictly for riding. No luxuries this time. On our way to Copenhagen we went through Kalundborg and Holbock to see if we could find the PR teams, but the two teams were together in Copenhagen. We dropped Lena off around 4:00 and were going to visit the castle in Helsingor, but by the time we got up there it was after 5:00 and we were all very tired, so we decided to just go home.

Meg and I got home a little after six to find that the table was all set up for a party, and got the subtle hint that we weren't invited. We told them we would leave and come back later so we went to see the movie "Three Men and a Baby", even though it was my second time Meg had not seen it yet. Afterwards we had somewhat of a dinner and went back home around 1:00. We met their friends and went right to bed. (EDITOR: It turned out that our host parents got married while we were in Germany. After living together for almost 20 years, they picked that weekend to get married and have a party. Meg and I were definitely not on the guest list. It was kind of a weird uncomfortable moment.)

From Erin Lynch-Harnish
HI Grant!

I sure remember the great time I had on PR in Tonder Denmark with my buddy Joerg. And yes, our home was connected to the Toyota dealership right there just across the German border. Now, the nice thing is a lot of people knew German so Joerg could talk to them, but if they only spoke Danish he handed me the phone! I crammed every day to teach myself as much Danish as I could while we were there. One morning at breakfast as I had our host mother correct something I was working on for a talk I think we were doing (in Danish!) at a service club our little host sister let out a big sigh and told me "you should really go to school!"!

As far as your surprise visit...hmmmmm I can’t really remember it! I will definitely have to find my journal eventually and check that date! So when do we get to Tonder? Soon? I went to Tivoli with the cast and to Legoland (I helped arrange that!) Didn't someone already mention those? (Also, I left a phone message for Ty, no call back yet...he must be trying to come up with some good excuses!)



FROM Jerko
Hi Grant,

The update sounds exciting.

Was in Montreal last week and caught up with Alain Verret from cast C. He's French Canadian. We spent an entire evening together, and even though we didn't travel in the same cast, yet it felt very familiar. It was also nice to hear their inside stories and compare them to ours (e.g. rule n° 9 J). He was very impressed with the number of our people attending the reunion, and also about the journals.

Also want to thank you for putting the original family names to the cast members in the list below, now I have a clearer view on who is coming, and who I can still give a call.

There are 2 people don't know, is it my memory or something else. Can you clarify?

Dean Gaboury
(EDITOR: I think he did PR with us and so he is listed as part of Cast 87A)

Jerry Lindsay
(EDITOR: Sorry, I forgot to change this. You all know him as Dean Lindsay. I guess for that matter Patrick Faucher should have been changed to "Shawn", Jonathan Stroud to "Clay", Charles Talbot to "Woody", Elizabeth Wahlert to "Beth", Allen Ness to "Jim", Cassandra Kuck to "Cassi", and Elisa Barnes to "Lea/Lisa,Sybil". I hope that helps clear things up.)

Jerko Bozikovic

From Jeff Martinson

May 2nd

Today was the show day in Aalborg. It was also end of the month for merchandise. We had to count and do all of the merch and papers. Also Tucson arrived today. (Hmm I have to laugh today. Imagine the whole city of Tucson arriving). They had a workshop on the new 80's number that will be put in the show. Rhythym of the Night, How will I know, La Bamba, and Footloose. It was fun to learn new stuff. For rehearsal we continued to work on new things like the new Russian song, etc. It really looks like the Soviet Union is a reality. For dinner we all had pizza at Pepis which was good. Then I walked back to the auditorium to get ready Things went really well on end of the month things and we found out that we were not ever missing ANYTHING! YEAH YEAH YES! Tonight was Lise's training night and Kelly still doesn't know who her other intern will be. Hmmm.

5/2/88 Monday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Alborg, Denmark

We of course, had "post adventure blues" but tried to get things accomplished. The day started out slow because Meg and I had to take the train in to work because Kira needed the car. We didn't get to work until 10:30 and I worked on CID stuff most of the day. We had an extremely late lunch and while we were sitting there we discovered that we were supposed to do a Toyota speaking engagement in 10 minutes across town.

Needless to say, we missed it, and Kira called to tell them and they had all the employees gathered and waiting on us. Ooops! Oh well we'll talk twice as long as the next one.

We went home after that to an eventless evening.


Tim Hoge, Brenda La Mica Hoge's husband, is once again doing the relay for life for the American Cancer Society. He has a donation page set up in memory of Brenda. If you would like to donate in her memory, click on the link below. Thanks. Grant


Can you believe that more than 1.3 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year? Those are staggering statistics, but there is hope. Each of us can do something to save lives and help those already fighting this disease. That’s why I’ve decided to take action against cancer by supporting the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

Relay For Life is an overnight event that brings our community together to help support the American Cancer Society and its lifesaving mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. The Society works hard every day to prevent cancer and save lives by supporting groundbreaking research, affecting public policies that protect us from cancer, and educating people on how to prevent or detect cancer early. The Society helps people with cancer right here in our own community. And our efforts at Relay For Life can help the American Cancer Society to keep working toward a cancer-free future.

I want to invite you to show your support in the ongoing fight against cancer by joining us for this year’s event. Please click on the link below for more information, including details on the inspirational Survivors’ Lap and the moving Luminaria Ceremony. We hope to see you there! If you can’t join us, will you please visit the site and make a donation to support our efforts? Either way, you will make a real difference in the lives of people facing cancer – and in the lives of the people who love them. Thank you!

For state fundraising notices and the American Cancer Society’s Privacy Policy, please paste this link into your browser:

Follow This Link
to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support RFL of Monterey Peninsula

From Jeff Martinson
May 3rd

Today we left Aalborg and we all went to Rasmus's families house. This was really a lot of fun. Leanne and I walked along the beach and I jumped my feet into the mud. I found a dead little crab and put it on Almendra's bus seat as a joke. (Oh my gosh I was really onery back then. Sorry Almendra for that joke). Then before we got to Tonder we all bicycled into the town. It was a perfect day and I had so much fun. My roommate is Marty. The family doesn't speak a lot of English but they are very nice. I called home tonight and things are great. I am very excited for my family to come to Denmark.

5/3/88 Tuesday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Tonder, Denmark

I stayed home today because Bjorne told Claus yesterday to take one of the phones out of our office because he couldn't get through when he wanted to, so I stayed home to use our phone. I'm really glad I did because it was a low stress day and I only worked when I wanted to and besides that, too many things went on at the office that I'm glad I missed. I actually accomplished quite a bit because I confirmed Novo, arranged to play wheelchair basketball with the CIG and a local wheelchair team, and made a deal to see a movie in exchange for 15 complimentary tickets to our show. (I talked him down from 20 tickets.) All in all it was a great work day for me. However, Alan came in to chew out the team for missing the Toyota presentation because that owner had arranged for all employees and some media to be there. He called Morton, Morton called Alan, Alan chewed us. Then Bjorne called and bitched at Kira for not keeping the office clean and if we wanted to keep it, we had better keep it clean. Kira then left with Søren to go deliver some media stuff and on her way ran into another car. I guess the other car was not too bad, but our car got it pretty good. The grill was smashed and the hood was pushed up and bowed in the middle ("a safety feature Toyota has added" we were quoted later by Morton). (EDITOR: Ooo, the Toyota people we sure not happy about us wrecking their brand new car. Tee Hee.)

I am really glad I missed all the action because Meg came home frazzled. She debated for about 15 minutes whether or not to come with me to some plays, but decided against it so she stayed home. I took off to attend two English plays at the Windsor Theater at 8:00 p.m.

The first play (which started 20 minutes late) was called The Browning Version and was extremely hard to hear and hard to understand. It was not a very good play anyways, but the actors were not good either. I was really unimpressed, but was amazed at the audience response. The actors/actresses took at least 8 bows in 2 or 3 curtain calls and they definitely didn't deserve it!

The second one was much better for me. It was a Harold Pinter play called The Lover and was pretty off the wall. The first line in the play was "Are you going to see your lover today?" and from there it followed this married couple throughout several days, and how they both openly talked about their affairs. This went on for a while and the husband decided that she should quit having her affair, and he would stop seeing his whore. Soon after this confrontation you find out that their affairs are with their spouse, but their spouse is just playing a different role. It was really strange, but I enjoyed the uniqueness and humor. The audience did not seem to enjoy this one as much as the first, but I sure enjoyed it more.

After the play, I went with the Australian ambassador and his wife backstage to meet some people and have a glass of wine. I met the school master from the first play and the wife from the second and the ambassador's wife and friend, however I spent most of the evening talking with an 18-year old girl in the exchange program here in Denmark that is from Denver (more specifically Northglenn). We talked quite a bit and I eventually offered (and she accepted) to take her home. We had a real nice talk and exchanged addresses and telephone numbers. It was nice to speak English and kind of exciting. (EDITOR: There seems to be a theme in my journal about me and cute 18 or 19-year-old girls. Anyone else picking up on this?)

After I dropped her off, I drove through the "red-light district", but saw nothing out of the ordinary, then I went home.

From Jeff Martinson
May 4th

Today was the show day in Tonder. We worked a lot on the 80's dance number. We also finished our papers and training. Kelly chose Brian as her intern so I trained him at display. The way Kelly introduced her new interns was great. Brian told everyone he would be going home because of his leg. Then Elise came up and said: "No no I don't want you to go-- If you go then I will go too". Then Kelly said: "Now wait a minute, you know since I am in need of two new interns why don't you two work with me?" It was very funny. I am glad that I had the opportunity to do this intern but I am really glad that it is over. I will have a bit more free time and I won't be so stressed out!

5/4/88 Wednesday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Tonder, Denmark

With me driving home, I had to park in our normal place. When Anne got up she looked at the window and told Bjorne about the car. By the time, he came down, we had already explained to Anne what had happened so when he came downstairs , he asked us what happened and we thought he already knew. I replied, "Well you know it was wild last night and things got out of control" but he wasn't laughing, so I quickly explained that Kira was looking in the rearview mirror and didn't see this guy backing out of a parking spot and hit him. He was not happy to say the least, but seemed relieved it was not one of us.

During the day, I met Søren, who is coming to help us with promotion work, and finished and solidified my contacts with the embassies (USA & USSR)

That evening we celebrated our third week anniversary and their wedding with the bottle of champagne we bought them in Germany. It was a nice evening and we didn't even talk about the car. (Thank God!)

From Jeff Martinson
May 5th

Today was the travel day into Arhus. On our way we stopped at Legoland. Wow! I was so impressed. Whoever created these things put so much time and effort into them. They had everything! Then we arrived and had host pickup. I am alone again but I have the best host family. The mother is American and the father is Danish. They have 2 boys ages 4 and 8 and they speak perfect English and Danish. It is amazing. For dinner I had lasagna. Ah Yes!

5/5/88 Thursday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Arhus, Denmark

We spent most of the morning talking, but I hopped on a bus about 10:45 a.m. to go to a ladies' house to speak to the American Embassy Wives Association. It is a group of about 20 women whose husband works at the embassy. It was nice because the first thing they did was take my coat and hand me a glass of wine. I met a few ladies then started my speech, and when I was done they had an awesome lunch with incredible desserts. While we sat around and drank wine, I met several really interesting people. One lady was Nancy Reagan's interpreter at Geneva and they all talked about Ron and Nancy (Reagan) and George and Barbara (Bush). It was kind of strange to sit and listen to them talk. This lady also had gone to dinner with Walter Cronkite because he is in town for the Hans Christian Anderson Ballet awards at the Royal Theater, so I set that as my new goal to try and get him to come speak to the cast.

Following the meeting one of the ladies took me to the embassy, past security to try and talk to someone who might be able to help me. It was, however, pretty useless and I got nowhere. I went back to the office around 4:30 and not much had been accomplished. They were still typing the host family schedule and copying it and writing allocation codes on the back at the same time. We went to the facility which cost us an arm and a leg (375 kroner which now that I think of it we never paid) about 15 minutes early to set up, but there was some bongo-dancing club made up of 4 bongo players and about a dozen large-chested, braless women doing some weird African tribal dance. It was strange and took all my energy to watch and not laugh. We asked them if we could start setting up and they said no because they still had time. They ended up finishing 15 minutes late, so we started setting up the chairs and I turned around and they just were changing their clothes in front of everyone as the host families came in.

We tried to get things going as quickly as possible and set up the slide projector while Lena made introductions. Then I started in with this slide production I had never see before. I was making up what I thought the pictures were of and guessing what they were doing in the slides. It was pretty ridiculous and way too long and made me look stupid and unorganized. The slides were Lars and mostly of things he visited while he toured.

When I was finished, the rest of the meeting was in Danish, so I really don¹t know what was happening, but it didn't seem real smooth. As a closing word, I mentioned that we had lists of the host family and addresses that they could pick up and Alan's mom stood up and said she had flyers and posters in the car she could go get. It made no sense to me why she said that, so I figured something was said in Danish that I missed.

After the meeting, we were invited over to Alan's for coffee and cake. It wasn't as bad as I had expected, but I was ready to leave after about 1 1/2 hours. We (I) had picked up the car that afternoon so we were able to go home after that. They didn't fix the car much just pounded down the hood a little.

From Jeff Martinson
May 6th

Today we had morning meeting then a tour of the old part of town. Instead of the tour, Leanne and I walked all over looking for a cafe. We couldn't find one so we went back and had lunch. Then to the mall to do 2 full sound assemblies. I bought deodorant and hair gel and it cost $10! Wow. For dinner we had tacos and then we went to see the movie "Moonstruck". It was a great movie.

5/6/88 Thursday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Arhus, Denmark

Not a whole lot of action happened in the morning, but Alan came in the afternoon to talk with us. He started out in a very harsh tone of voice telling us how irresponsible we are and we need to get our act together. I listened for a while and then finally just laid it out to him how I felt. I told him that I didn't want to be here, but I was the one who made the decision and I had to stick by it. However, I was going to do my fifth of the work and expect everyone else to do theirs, and if they didn't and it didn't get done I wouldn't sweat it. I didn't speak in a loud voice, I just told him how I felt. I'm glad I said it, and he quieted down quite a bit, but eventually let us know why he was he was mad at us. (He said it indirectly, and probably by accident.) He told us his mother was disappointed in us because wedidn't have posters and flyers with us at the meeting last night and that it was very unprofessionally handled. The old witch has complete control over her son. (EDITOR: Ooo, ouch. I guess I didn't like her too much or this alumnus Alan for that matter.)

When we were finished Kira, Meg and I decided to go to dinner and Alan invited himself to come with us. Actually I didn't mind too much and we actually had a nice dinner and he even offered to pay so we could order whatever we wanted. So we did and when the bill came, they wouldn't take his credit card, so Meg ended up paying the almost 700 kroner bill. We laughed about it and decided to go grab a drink somewhere.

Alan said he knew where some good places were so he led us, by walking 50 feet in front of us, to this Podunk bar where he hung up a poster. We walk a little farther to this square that has four different bars around it and he started passing out flyers to people at the tables. We were so embarrassed that we told him we were getting tired and thought we would head home. I couldn't believe what he was doing. I definitely think there is a time to do promotion and a time to have fun. Alan obviously doesn't know the difference.

From Jeff Martinson
May 7th

Today at our morning meeting Moku announced that he will be going home after Copenhagen as his teacher's will not allow him to stay any longer. I am really going to miss him. I am really realizing how fast this year is coming to an end. After a workshop we all went to Pia's house for lunch. It looked like it was going to be a rainy day but it turned out to be a nice sunny day. Then my family picked me up and we went to Randy's house for dinner and then out to the stables to look at horses. I am excited for the summer to come as I love the sun. P.S. We found out today that Paula is coming back (picture of a smiley face).

5/7/88 Saturday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Arhus, Denmark

We spent the morning and the early part of the afternoon putting flyers on cars and hanging up posters on the walking street. Our specialty was decorating trashcans. Rita came down around 6:00 p.m. after we were finished, and went to dinner with Kira, Meg and I to a nice little Italian restaurant. Afterwards we walked around looking for a good disco/bar, but couldn¹t find one. We ended up at an okay bar called Peder Oxe and had a couple drinks. While Kira, and Rita were able to meet people, Meg and I just sat around. I had my first wine cooler (homemade) that I have been able to find at bars in Denmark or Norway. We went home about 1:00. (EDITOR: Wine coolers were my drink of choice back then. Still can't stand to drink beer, but have graduated to wine. Boy have I matured or what!?!)

From Jeff Martinson
May 8th

Today was the show day in Arhus. We began with morning meeting then Mia had an EXTREME aerobics class. Then the 80's people worked some more. For lunch we actually had McDonalds. Then we learned a new dance to "Back in the USSR" which was very difficult. For rehearsal we worked on the new stuff and I really like the new Russian song.

5/8/88 Sunday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Arhus, Denmark

Today was a nice relaxing day. We spent the morning meeting some of the alumni and watching them learn the Congo dance called "Brazil" that was in a show several years ago. It was funny to watch them and meet some of the alumns. From there we went and hung up posters, and flyers for the afternoon, had dinner at Alexandria's Pizza, stopped by the tower and looked off the top then went home.

I didn't do much when we got home, Meg and I sat around and played solitaire. Bjorne and Anne were not home, so it was kind of nice to just relax. I called home about 10:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m. Colo. Springs) and got the answering machine. Mom, Dad and Penny called back about 11:10 and we talked for about 30 minutes. It was great to talk with them and tell them everything that has been happening. It was weird because there was an echo in the phone from when I spoke until they heard it, and I could hear myself when they heard it. And to think it was 11:30 and I'm going to bed, and they are in the middle of the day. It was great talking to them, but when we hung up Mom started to cry (I could hear it in her voice), and then I was unable to go to bed until 1:30 a.m., because my mind was going a mile a minute. I know it was not a sad cry, but I hate ending the conversation that way.

From Jeff Martinson
May 9th

Today we got to sleep in a bit before leaving for Holbæk. We had to perform on the ferry and I did not like performing on that boat. When we arrived we got to see Beth again and my roommate here is Carlos. We have a very nice family and spent the evening watching tv.

5/9/88 Monday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Holbæk, Denmark

I arranged the day care center and finalized the plans for the cast to watch the movie (Three Men and a Baby) with Lars at the Nordic Film Company for the low, low price of 15 tickets to our show. I'm writing this two weeks later and don't remember any other exciting stuff that happened. (EDITOR: Sorry, I obviously hit a patch of not writing in the journal. Anyone else care to share stories of Denmark that I may have missed. What about you Beth?)


This is something that was emailed to me last week. - Grant

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word "refrigeration" mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , "How about going to lunch in a half hour?" She would gas up and stammer, "I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain" And my personal favorite: "It's Monday." She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because we cram so much into our lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on," and "Someday, when things are settled down a bit."

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

From Jeff Martinson
May 10th

Today was the election day in Denmark so instead of a show day we had a total rehearsal day. We began with morning meeting then Lynne Morris gave her True Colors. She is a very interesting lady. Then we worked on Scandinavia and the room we were in was an oven. We had to do those jumps over and over and over again. Then we worked on the 80's numbers. Beth saw it and wasn't too happy that she had missed the 80's workshops. For rehearsal TC was there and both Beth and Dean were in rehearsal. You can tell that these lists are definitely becoming finalized. During the 80's number in the show I totally fell off of the riser and ruined my pants-- Split them right up the crotch and back. I am actually lucky that I didn't get hurt. I am a bit scared to think that this year is so close to being over.

5/10/88 Tuesday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Holbæk, Denmark

Again a boring day working on allocation bags and last minute running around. We came up with our brilliant idea for host pick up. (EDITOR: Unfortunately I did not write down what that brilliant idea was. Meg or Lena do you remember?)

We also got the news that we are not going to Munich at the end of the year because Mercedes Benz backed out of the sponsorship. I personally don't mind that much, although I would have enjoyed going back to Germany.

From Jeff Martinson
May 11th

Today was our travel day to Copenhagen. When we got to town we toured a beer factory then went and saw the Little Mermaid statue. My roommate is Whynot and both of us have our real parents arriving on the 13th. Our host family is real young and fun and they have a tanning bed which I used and I loved it. I called home and spoke to Al and they are getting ready to leave for Copenhagen. I am so excited and I really need to talk to them.

5/11/88 Wednesday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast arrives in Copenhagen

When we got in to the office around 9:00 a.m., we didn't have much to do so we all sat around and got on each other's nerves. I decided to leave to go get what we needed for cast arrival and on my way out Paul came in and said the cast had arrived early for some free time downtown. Since I had to stopped in McDonald's to check on some allocations, I decided that I would walk on the walking street to the flea market. It was one of the best things I have ever done because it changed my attitude for the rest of the day. I really didn't see that many people, but enough to cheer me up.

When I got to the flea market, I bought 2 pineapples (annas) and on my way back I found a place that had flowers (paper) that you put in drinks (similar to umbrellas). I also bought something to drink then went back to the office. I scraped out the pineapples then waited for Meg to come back.

While I ws waiting Mia, Mary and Brenda Perkins came to the office because they missed the bus, so on our way to the Groøondal Centre we dropped Mary, Brenda and Søren off at Tuborg Brewery.

Meg and I set out all the bags and had everything ready to go and all we had to do was get dressed up in our Hawaiian outfits. After much debating we ended up sitting on the back of our car with a sign that said "Please Do Not Disturd (not disturb!) the Tourists."(EDITOR: It was misspelled, but we didn't realize until later when it was pointed out to us.) We had about 15 minutes to spare to wait for the cast to soak in some sun and drink out of our pineapple cups. Well, 15 minutes turned into an hour before they pulled up in the buses. Lena had spent the bus ride over telling them how hard Meg and I worked.

When they pulled up, we pretended we were asleep except Babi (Boobie), a host family, made sure we were awake and knew what was going on. Our reception was very warm and as I expected, we had a barrage of picture taking. It helped put people in the fun frame of mind.

In the staff meeting there were few problems and not too many allocation changes. Meg handled that well, and cast meeting and everything else went relatively well without too much problem.

Once everyone got home, we took Ken and Pierre to the church they were staying at, and from there picked up Cassi and Jennifer. Jennifer, we took to Lena's for dinner and Cassi we brought with Meg, Kira, Ken, Pierre and I to dinner. It was a nice evening and we got caught up on some much needed conversation.

We took everyone home (picked up Jen too) and went home ourselves.


Thursday, May 10, 2007 8:05 AM


It is with extreme honor to announce that we have conducted a search for our vacant head boys track position and have found the best candidate is already a Duncanville ISD Athletic family member. Coach Sedrick Love will be promoted to replace Coach Zane Reeves, who is retiring from coaching.

A tireless worker with a big heart for kids, Coach Love has been coaching for fifteen years and has been in Duncanville for ten years. Prior to Duncanville, Coach Love coached at Irving MaCarthur High School, the University of North Texas, and Lubbock Coronado High School. Coach Love was selected by his peers as the DHS Boys Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2005-2006 school year.

Coach Love's passion for coaching and helping kids will continue to benefit Duncanville ISD. The rapport that Coach Love has with the kids is phenomenal and he serves as a tremendous mentor to our student-athletes.


Kevin Ozee Director of Athletics

EDITOR: Unfortunately this may mean he will not make it to the reunion as he will have started track practice by then. If you would like to send a word of congratulations you can send it to:

EDITOR: Written in my journal on this day was the following note from Mok since he was leaving the cast early.

Hi! Grant!!

My name is Mok from Japan. It is too sad to say "Good bye" But a meeting people is also the beginning of "Good-by" Well, I have to go back to Japan. This is my university's request also my choice. Now, I'm very exciting about next my steps. My family, friends, studying, Japanese foods, etc.

During this year, I've learned a lot of thing from watching people, talking with people, laughing, crying with people and from you, Grant!

Grant, you are such a unique person. I like you very much. Well now, I'm trying to have beards and mustache. So we might be able to be brothers. So, beards brothers!! Anyway, thank you very much for everything!! I had a great memory with you. Also we were merchandise intern!!

Grant, Good luck in USSR and good luck in your future. I don't want to say "Good-by" I say "See you later so, please come to Japan, anytime. Let's have fun!!

See you!!

Love a lot!!

Your Mok!


5/12/88 - Thursday - Copenhagen, Denmark

Today is the cast's free day, however, the work of a P.R. .team is never done. Marie (an alumna) and two of her friends came down from Norway to see Meg again, and they met up with us at the office. From there Søren and I picked up Denis Cournoyer because he offered to help us hang posters. We hung posters up until about 1:30 then I took Denis back to the hotel.

(EDITOR: I debated about including this next paragraph as it is one of the first times in sending these out daily that I was actually embarrassed. I don't know why this one embarrassed me, but I decided I have shown you all my flaws during this year long journey, so why should I stop now.)

On the way back to the office to meet the girls, Søren and I took a walk through the park to check out the sights. I had to get out and walk around because I almost had an accident trying to drive and look at the same time. About 80% of the girls were sunbathing topless! What a cultural experience! I have to admit after a while, I looked past the chest to see if they were pretty or not.

When we finally made it to the office, Michelle McLoughlin and Katrin were waiting with Meg, Lena, Kira and Marie and friends, so we all went to Nyhuan to walk around. We saw a bunch of people there and stayed for about an hour and a half before we left to go to Bakken.

When we got to Bakken, we rode a rollercoaster and another ride (which Marie got sick on) and walked around. During our travels, we ran into Alan's mother, the wicked witch of Denmark, and she asked me why I didn't have any flyers with me to hand out. I told her "No, today was a fun day." And she said "Still you should have brought them."

I walked away from her because I think I would have shot her. Later we found a discothèque in the park and no one was in there so we created our own party. We had a great time and Shawn's host dad bought me a drink. I danced harder than I have in a long time. It was a fantastic time!

After Bakken, we went to dinner with Marie and friends and the English Pug in Lungby and then they took Meg and I home.

From Jeff Martinson
May 12th

Today was a free day. We slept until 10:30 then had breakfast outside. What a beautiful day. I then laid around outside and wrote letters and such. We had hamburgers for dinner then went downtown to an area called Nyhavn (New Town). This place was just full of people drinking and such. Major party place. Afterwards we went to an amusement park called Bakken. It was a lot of fun. We gambled a bit, went on rides--one of the best was the fun house. We got home around 11:30 pm and then both Why not and I took turns using the tanning bed some more. (Yikes thinking of this today is so scary). Well I guess my parents should be on the plane now on their way here. I am very excited to see them.

5/13/88 Friday - Copenhagen, Denmark

We had morning meeting at the Palads Theatre, and after making our announcements, and making sure the movie got started, we all took off to do our own thing. I mostly was a taxi with Sanne and Chrissy to the office, but I also went on a scavenger hunt for some two by fours to put our large signs on for Strøgett. I went back at the end of the movie (Three Men and a Baby) to make sure the cast got to lunch okay.

After lunch, we met back at the Theater to break into three groups. Group one: went to the U.S. and USSR embassies; Group two: went to Novo Industries Inc.; and Group Three: went to a Day Care Center. All three were arranged by me but I chose Novo because it sounded the best and I had the most contact with them. It was kind of a bomb. Most of the workers were off due to the fact the day before was a holiday, and so when we went into a building there was not much happening. I felt bad because I led people to believe that this was the best of the three. Sometimes it was interesting and there were many facts about enzymes, and diabetes shots that I didn't know, in fact too many to remember. Mr. Furro would still not call me by first name even after we met. At the end of the tour, he did, however, provide us with a drink while we watched a slide show.

The whole cast met back together at the SAS Hotel to discuss how things went. The day care center turned out to be the surprise success, and the embassies were equally as successful. As a matter of fact, we (they) arranged for the CIG to go back to the Soviet Embassy.

When we were finished, the P.R. team gathered together to pull our heads together. Then while Meg and Lena had a drink in the bar, I took Kira back to the office to get her things and have a "little talk" with Alan. Well, I missed part of it, but she really told him how she felt. She told him that his mother stuck her nose in our business too much (which he didn't like too much). She also laid out to him that things were not communicated well and what the team as a whole felt about him. I just tried to stay in the back and listen, but occasionally felt compelled to make a comment.

When we were, finished we went back and picked up Marie, Meg and Bill and we all went to visit Christiania. Christiania was started in the 1960's as a society derived from the "flower power" people, where they could do their own thing. Now it has become a place where people can sell and buy drugs on the street. It was interesting to walk through but I felt very out of place being all dressed up.

When we left there we went to dinner at a Mexican Restaurant and after waiting forever for our food, we went home around midnight.

From Jeff Martinson
May 13th

Today we began our Morning Meeting and then we watched the movie "Three Men and a Baby". Then I took the SAS bus to the airport to meet my parents. I waited for a long, long time. When their plane landed I watched, and watched and watched and waited. I began to worry that maybe they missed the plane. Finally they showed up. We rented a car that was WAY too small. We drove to Helsingor and it was very crowded. We got our hotel room and had dinner and then we went to the Bakken Amusement Park. I took everyone one on the fun house amusement ride and it was the biggest mistake of my life. Grandma got so scared and Grandpa fell down, my mom fell trying to help him and I turned and saw her with such huge eyes full of fear. They actually had to stop the ride so grandma, grandpa and my mom could get off. I felt so bad. (I have to comment on this today-- My grandfather and Al have since passed away but my mother and Grandmother STILL talk about the day that I tried to kill them all in Denmark. I can close my eyes and still see the scene. It was terrible and thankfully no visible scars came home from Denmark). After the ride fiasco we played the slot machines and then my family tried to drive me back to my host family but we got terribly lost. I had to call my host dad to come help find us. What a day. (And now that I look at it---- The 13th was on a Friday that year).

5/14/88 Saturday - Copenhagen, Denmark

Yesterday Cathrina asked me to find a facility that we could meet in at 10:00 so Eva Thimstrand (the Sweden tour scheduler) could do a presentation. So that's what the cast did after morning meeting. I left and met them at Strøgett with some signs for their 2 toa shows.

The shows were a big success and we were able to draw a large crowd at each of them and pass out a lot of flyers.

When we were done there, we went to Kildegard Gymnasium for this big alumni carnival. Trine was not real happy when she found out most people did not have costumes to wear. She, however, had troubles of her own because the street performers never showed up, so the cast just laid outside and soaked up the sun. In a way I think it was better this way, but I was sad for the alumni who put a lot of work into making this run well. On the other hand, I was glad because Thomas and Alan were so worried about our schedule, they didn't work on the own project. The alumni did their little dance at 4:00 then we just waited around for dinner at 6:00. After dinner they had a five piece band play and we all danced. They played fantastic music from the '50's and'60's , especially a lot of Beatles. Then for their second set they played mostly Western music to which I had a line of girls who wanted to swing with me. It was kind of nice with all the attention around me.

After the dance, and everyone left, a bunch of us crammed into our car to go out. We (Meg, Mary, Rita, Michelle, Randy and I) ended up at the train station bar because we had to wait for Ty's train to come in. When it finally did we talked some more then set out to try and get every one home. By the time everyone got home including us it was 1:00 a.m., but the night was well worth it.

From Jeff Martinson
May 14th

Today we did two acoustic shows on the fountain square in downtown Copenhagen. This was really fun.. Then we took a bus to the carnival celebration; however, this didn't turn out to be much . We all laid in the sun, watched the alumni do a dance, had free time, ate and then we all danced around. Later Why not's family took us out for a drink with Chrissie Randazzo and Jerko and then we went home.

5/15/88 Sunday - Copenhagen, Denmark

Up bright and early to get to Tivoli on time. We started staff meeting without Alan (who was the only one of the team that had any contact with Tivoli) and it went rather well. However, there was a comment that really summed up the cast/staff relationship right now. I mentioned that a cast member had brought up the fact that one crew was setting up the whole stage and striking the whole stage, and the other crew just had to do the stage. I asked whether or not anything could or should be done, and I was just passing on their concerns. The staff just laughed and said they didn't care about the casts concerns. They were joking, but still it really represented the cast/staff feelings towards each other. (EDITOR: It was right around this time that there was some unrest in the cast if I remember right. I would love to hear Terry & Lindsay's memories of this time of the year or any other staff member and what was REALLY going on.)

While the cast set-up, I went back to the office to get some merchandise boxes for Kelly Bates, but after that I sat in Tivoli the rest of the day. The first show at 3:00 went really well and after the hour long show, we (they) struck the stage in record time. I didn't see Alan most of the day and he was really the only one who knew about any logistics. He had not arranged any security for our equipment at dinner, so Jeff Hansen sat and watched it until I could shove down my food to go relieve him.

I walked around for a while before the show at 9:00 that lasted 40 minutes. We had to wait almost an hour before we could actually load the equipment. We had to strike it right after the show, but there were some problems with bringing in the truck while the park was still open. Eventually they did and we left about midnight.

From Jeff Martinson
May 15th

Today was the show day in Tivoli. Why not and I missed morning meeting. My crew then had some free time. I went in to gamble on the slots and when I pushed the button to get my winnings, 400 coins started coming out. I was excited but very nervous. I kept stuffing them in my pocket. It was about $20 worth but you could only use them at the amusement park. Later we had rehearsal and lunch at Pepi's Pizza. At 3:00 we had our show. At Green Room Leanne, and Erin gave me a balloon and a sucker and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. I didn't even realize that my birthday is tomorrow. After my crew struck the equipment Leanne and I used the coins I had by riding rides, playing games, buying ice cream, etc. For dinner we ate at a nice restaurant here at the park and then a few people gave little goodbye speeches to Moku. Today was Moku's last day with us. He will be in Copenhagen on the 21st but I will be in Germany on that day. I went to say goodbye to him I didn't cry until later when I was with my parents. Then I really cried on on off for at least an hour. It was just the realization that the end is really here. Wow I think I really woke up to reality tonight. (Oh my gosh.... More crying from me. Looking back now I wonder when did I become such a cryer? Well at least I can laugh at it today but I really did have a tough time letting go of that year-- as I am sure a lot of you did as well).

5/16/88 Monday -- Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Kalundborg, Denmark

Cast leaves today and the CIG starts! The CIG met at Toyota City to run through their show before they went to UNICEF. Once at UNICEF, we took the tour first then came back and watched the film. We also had questions and answers then lunch. The morning was okay, but not real exciting. From there, we went straight to Strøgett. The police told us we couldn't be there doing what we were just finished doing because people we complaining that our music was too loud. We had some running around to do, so we left the CIG and met back with them again at Lena's house for dinner. She cooked it all by herself and it was very good.

After dinner, we went to play wheelchair basketball with a local professional team. It was one of the best community involvements I have ever done. I had a great time trying to play and we had some great interaction afterwards in the cafeteria! That is something I would enjoy doing even after UWP.

When we were finished, we took Rasmus home and Mary home, but Mary couldn't go home until 12:00 (midnight) so we sat in a bar called Confetti's and had a drink for about an hour. When the clock struck 12:00 we headed home.

From Jeff Martinson
May 16th

Today is my 19th birthday. It has been a strange day. It didn't really feel like my birthday. I slept in a bit then we went to tour Kronberg Castle (with my family). We then went to a grocery store to buy some food for dinner. My mom and grandma made a really nice beef stroganoff meal for my birthday. Then we went to a bar and had drinks. It was a strange birthday. It feels like I am so old now. (haha-- I wish).

5/17/88 Tuesday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Kalundborg, Denmark

Today the CIG went to Helsingor for some CI, so we stayed at the office and typed most of the City Report, and even got to go home earlier than usual. Meg and I cooked dinner for ourselves and watched the movie Outrageous Fortune. It was a pretty good movie, and afterwards I called Dad for 2 minutes (literally) and asked him if he still needed the wood drill bit because I was having trouble finding the exact size. He said ³No,² I told him to tell Mom I loved her, and that was the end of the conversation. It was definitely a much needed relaxing evening.

From Jeff Martinson
May 17th

Today I slept in a bit and then we drove down to Kalunborg. I was dropped off and when I went in with the cast everyone was eating lunch. I felt so alienated just being away from the cast. It as a strange feeling since I had just been with my family. Finally things felt normal again during rehearsal. Afterwards Leanne and I took a walk down to the beach and talked and I felt much better. My family enjoyed the show we did tonight and I got to sing Up With People which was nice. For this night I stayed with a host family and my roomates are Clay, Jerko, Why not and his sister. It felt very weird to be in a host family for only 1 night.

Hi Grant!

First I would like to say that I really enjoy reading your journal! Even my wife sits down and reads them too.

Last week my daughter and I went down to Southern part of Sweden to see the new Up with People show. It was pretty good! They have taken several songs from other shows and maybe a couple new ones and put it all together. They were selling T-Shirts that say CAST-A 2007. I felt soooo old !!!!.. My god they were kids!! Several students were born after our tour ended!!! My has time flown!! BUT::. It was fun seeing Helen again too and her daughters.

As for the reunion, I will not be attending this year. I coach soccer here in Stockholm, and the team has been very successful. Anyway, we have been invited to take part in an international invitational tournament in Holland about the same time the Reunion is. (Only elite teams from all of Europe will be participating),so I will not be able to attend.

I will look forward to reading you reports from the reunion and from Helen when she gets back..

Take Care


5/18/88 – Wednesday - Copenhagen, Denmark – Cast in Kalundborg, Denmark

Today was a very productive, educationally fun day. We met at the SAS hotel and four people stayed there for a career day, the rest of us went to the Soviet Union Embassy. We had an hour with Mr. Zolnoff to ask questions which I took full advantage of. I really got involved in the discussion. By the time the beer on the table had been drunk, everyone of us had asked a question or made a comment. I think that is a real accomplishment.

From there we went to the candy factory where they made hard candy the old-fashioned way. When we got there, we were either late for the last batch or early for the next, so we had 30 minutes to walk around. It was well worth the wait, however, because they made the same type of candy we had in our allocations bags. It was great the way they pulled it out on the giant hooks, and how they “made” the Danish flag with each different strip of hard candy. Then they pulled it out and just chopped it much more exciting than the first time we saw them make a batch.

The CIG then went to a nursing home, and the P.R. team went to lunch at a Chinese Restaurant. The service was terrible, but the food was good. After lunch Kira finally talked me into being a sandwich board man. We went to Strøgett and passed out flyers, and I felt utterly ridiculous wearing the sandwich board. After a while, I took it off and we just stood next to it handing out flyers. It was amazing how many people would not take flyers. We only stayed there a short time, because she knew I was not real thrilled to be there. We talked on the way back to the office and she asked me why I didn’t like it and I told her “Because I thought it was not an effective means of advertising, and we could be doing better things.” I then named off a few other suggestions which made her really mad because I had not suggested them earlier.

We finally got back to the office cleaned things up and called it a day. From there, straight over to where the CIG was having their sleep over. They were in the middle of their wrap-up meeting when we arrived.

The evening was pretty relaxed while some people made dinner, and the rest drank beer. I grabbed a couple people (on Terry’s approval) and went and picked up two videos and a machine. After a home-cooked Japanese meal, I got elected to do dishes, but after I was done we watched the movies. They were Radio Days and The Emerald Forest, both were not that good so I didn’t get any credit for good entertainment.

A lot of people slept through both or one movie, but all woke up to get ready to go to bed when the second one was finished. I slept terrible, but found out that Terry snores loud because he woke all of us up. (EDITOR: Sorry Terry for letting out the secret.)

From Jeff Martinson
May 18th

Today was the show day in Holbeck finally. My crew did setup and at night I sold merch and was the top salesperson. After the show Al, Mom and Grandpa picked me up which was nice.

5/19/88 – Thursday - Copenhagen, Denmark – Cast in Kalundborg, Denmark

I started out the morning helping Jeff Hansen and Matt with breakfast. It looked terrible, but actually was not that bad. After everything was packed up in the van, and we took a group photo shot in front of The Partridge Family Wagon, we went to the porcelain factory. It was an okay tour, but more interesting than just watching them paint the same thing over and over. Most of the stuff was just gorgeous, but also very expensive.

After the tour was over, we went to a gift shop of Bing & Grøndal, where people had the ability to buy something if they wanted to.

Most everyone was pretty tired, but we dragged them from McDonald’s to do a couple Toas. We did one outside on Strøgett, ate lunch, then did another one inside. Definitely a different situation. When they were finished they went off to a nursing home, and the team went back to the office.

Thomas had asked us if we wanted to go to a musical called “Sweet Charity”, but I turned him down. (EDITOR: How ironic that to this point I had never heard of this show and two years later I was acting in “Sweet Charity” in a college production.) The other three decided they wanted to go, but by this afternoon Meg, Lena & Kira change their mind. It was in Swedish and Meg didn’t think she wanted to go because she wouldn’t understand. Lena just didn’t want to go because we weren’t, so Kira and her host Mom decided to go. The reason I wasn’t going is because I had already made a commitment of going to an English play. One of the girls from DIS, Lauren, called me to invite me to the play. That sounded really fun to me, and Meg decided she would rather go to it instead of the musical. Kira, Meg and I went to dinner at this nice Italian restaurant, then we dropped Kira off and went to our play. Meg tried to talk me out of going and just going home, but I really wanted to go. We actually had a fun time waiting for the play, The Penthouse Legend, to start 8:15.

When we walked in the theater, they asked us if we wanted to be on the jury, and we said sure even though we didn’t know what we were getting into. Well, as fate had it, we were selected to be on a 11 man jury, so we actually were a part of the play. The play was about a woman who was on trial for murdering her boss, and we had to find out whether or not she was really guilty. We actually decided her verdict at the end of the play. Not Guilty! (unanimous)

After the show we stuck around to say hi to Lauren, and she was really surprised to see us there. Also the guy that played the city district attorney was a guy who had met Darci on the train and only lives a mile away from her home in Washington.

After about 30 minutes, we went home, and Meg admitted that she was glad she came.

From Jeff Martinson
May 19th

Today was the casts travel day to Helsingor but my family instead drove to Sweden. It was a nice and relaxing day. Sweden is very pretty and clean. My mom and I got into a stupid argument over something really dumb. We are so close and yet we argue so easily. (ahhhh growing pains).

5/20/88 Friday - Copenhagen, Denmark Cast in Helsingor, Denmark

We really didn't have anything to do at the office and Meg and I really want to take the day off, but we went in and finished the city report completely. We were all getting on each other's nerves, so it was good when Meg and I had to leave to go to Helsingor. (Lena didn't come because she decided she couldn't afford the train ride.)

The reason we went to Helsingor is because the cast was holding a mock wedding for Terry and Lindsay. The girls took Lindsay to a bar/restaurant to throw her a shower, and the guys took Terry on a scavenger hunt to find Lindsay. We took him to the walking street and made him ask in certain stores if they had seen Lindsay? Each time they said "No, but she left this for you." And they would give him something to wear. In order it was: 1) a sign saying "Help! I'm getting married!" in English and Danish; 2) the Curly wig from the American clown; 3) a devil's tail; 4) lipstick; 5) a pig nose and funky sunglasses. It was a lot of fun even though it was a yucky rainy day.

When he finally collected all his things, we took him back to the hall and got him dressed for the wedding while the girls dressed Lindsay. When they were ready, Christine played the processional, Terry and Lindsay walked down the aisle separated by the banners. They met eyes for the first time on the altar (stage) and that's when "Rev." Paul Kunz said a few choice words. It was really a neat, fun thing that could not have come at a better time. Earlier that morning (as I was told) the cast had a 2-hour long discussion with Terry to let out some bad feelings that had been building up. He stood in front of the cast and said "Let me have it; I want to hear everything that is being said." So the cast did, and I think it made people feel a whole lot better.

Anyways, when the wedding was over the "bride and groom" went for a ride in the Partridge Family Wagon while the rest of us waited for them to come back to have a reception (which was dinner). Dinner was really good food with real plates and silverware. After the "reception dinner" Terry and Lindsay officially invited us all to their wedding. It was kind of a touching moment, and when we were finished being sentimental, the band started to play and we danced and rocked out for about an hour. We had to stop at 7:00 because they had to open the house. Meg and I hung around, cashed a check and got our receipt envelopes before the show started. We watched the first three numbers because I wanted to see John do King Richard. Christine had just told me that I would not even have a chance of doing it in the Soviet Union, which really bummed me out. It was good to have Meg around because she helped my ego by telling me I did it better. (EDITOR: I guess I was a little bitter...)

After doing a lot of waiting, sitting on trains and waiting some more, we made it to Kira's station. We called her, and she came in the car. We took her home, and went to the DIS party that Lauren invited us too. When we finally found how to get inside, the music was loud and had a great American atmosphere at the dance. We didn't stay long, but enjoyed it why we were there. We made it home about 2:00 a.m.

5/21/88 Saturday - Copenhagen, Denmark

Today is the last day I have to worry about anything and I was in a pretty good mood. We picked up Kira and we were on our merry way into downtown, when someone was sent to try and ruin our day. I was sitting in the right hand turn lane behind this van, and out of nowhere his back-up lights came on and he floored the gas pedal. Needless to say, he hit me and I proved to myself that laying on the horn doesn't help. The first thing I said as I got out of the car was "What the hell are you doing? And of course he starts jibbering away in Danish. I quickly realized that getting angry at him was going to be pointless since he spoke very little English.

Luckily we had an experienced car-wrecker in the car, Kira, so we exchanged licenses and I got his name and address. I kind of enjoyed it because it was exciting, it was not my car, I didn't have to worry about it and most importantly I didn't have to pay for the damage and could forget the whole thing when I left Denmark.

After about 20 minutes, we were back on the road, but we had to stop and pick up Lena. When we got there she was already gone, so we went to Falkonerteatret. We got there a little bit before the cast, stayed very shortly then became a taxi service.

I really did not do anything of importance the whole day. I did go to rehearsal eventually when Lena finally decided to come pick us up. She was in a mood today because she never gets to drive the car, so she was rebelling. Christine wanted me to work on the DooWop quartet, but I missed it due to Lena.

At dinner she was really mad because no one helped her get the dinner ready, so when she asked to help clean up, I said sure, but I had to set some stuff down. She must have asked four more times in less than a minute for help. I told her to calm down and quit stressing out and she blew up. I just kept my mouth shut until something she said pissed me off, and I tore into her. I told her to quit her bitching and I only needed to be asked for help once and I didn't deserve the way I was being treated. She said "I set up the whole dinner and no one helped me." I asked her "Did you ask me? No! Had you asked I would have gladly helped, so don't go yelling at me for not being there to help when I was not even asked" We didn't talk the rest of the evening.

At greenroom, we all presented our host families and to Morton (who took the news about car wreck #2 very well) and Bjorne we presented a cassette and a picture of the cast.

The show was really great and was well received by the 1500 (approximately) people in the audience. I liked most of the changes and we got to see the encores for the first time. In fact at the end of the second encore the lights went black, so they turned on the house lights and did one more verse of Up With People. I'm glad it was such a success because we had Mr. Zolnoff (1st secretary) and a friend from the Russian Embassy sitting right next to the American Ambassador and his wife. It is too bad the royal family was not sitting next to them.

Afterwards I had a few rum and cokes in the bar with some of the cast and staff. On the way home Meg and I went downtown to see Carnival, but it was too wild and we were too tired.

On the way home, we talked about what we are going to do at the end of the year. Terry told us today that they could not find a place for a final show, so they were giving us from June 24th to June 29th off on our own. UWP, however, is obligated to provide us with a family if we can't afford to be on our own. The first reaction of most people was "Alright! Free days in Europe!" But for me, I felt I was getting gypped out of another week from a one-week shortened tour already. As reality set in more people realized they couldn't afford it. They are going to send a letter home anyways because I'm under 21 to get an okay from my parents, but I already made the decision I can't afford it. Well, anyways that is what we talked about in the car on the way home.

5/22/88 Sunday - Copenhagen, Denmark

I got up around noon, and wrote letters while I did laundry. Bjorne and Anne were not around and as far as we could tell had never come home. So, about 4:00, we went and rented a video to watch (Sweet Liberty) since it seemed as if they were not coming home. When we got back they were home and asked us to join them on a yacht and go to dinner. We decided sure, and hurried up and changed clothes.

It was an incredible yacht, and we ended up at a restaurant in Helsingor. Meg and I were having trouble reading the menu, so they sent out an American waiter. After I ordered, I asked the guy where he was from and he was fro Colorado Springs! He lived near Murray and Pike's Peak Blvd. I knew these streets! It was really weird.

The meal was not that great, but I had S-Cargo for the first time that was really pretty good. (EDITOR: Yes, that was how I spelled escargo.) After dinner, we sailed back and Meg and I went home so we could get packed and watch the movie Sweet Liberty. Made it to bed, ready to go around 1:00 a.m.

From Nanett (Vinther) Brodam

Hi Grant

I finally decided to come to the reunion and now I am totally excited about it. It was a hard decision to make due to the cost USD 1527 for the airfare and due to the fact that I will not be able to accompany Margit to her fist day at school as I cannot reach to be back in Denmark Monday morning 13. August.

What helped me decide to go was Jeff, Sanne, Julie and your encouragements and then attending Cast A 2007 UWP show last week-end. I was called up on stage with all the other alumni for the EAM reunion in Roskilde to sing Up With People at the end of the show. Amazing how we just did it - got into the rhythm, improvised the movements, remembered half the lyric and felt right at home on stage. After the show Margit wanted to register to go. Almost all the show she was dancing and singing in the aisle.

I will be arriving in the evening of 7th August and departing 12th August very early morning. So I will be looking to room with someone. I am communicating with Julie about it. If that does not work out maybe I should contact Birger since he will be there early too. Do you have any other suggestions?

I pulled out my old books from 20 years ago. I have one book where some of you have written something for me; quite a few people did not have the chance to write anything. That made me think about a nice story Julie told me about what she remembered about me from our year. I was thinking that if we remember a little story/thing about a cast mate we could write it down and give it to the person at the reunion.

I would really like to see Ty at the reunion; do you have contact to Ty? He is not on the mailing list. Do you know if his address is valid?

And what about Leanne, has anyone encouraged her to come? I would love to see her.

Actually, I would also really like to meet Alain from Canada (I cannot remember which cast he ended up in) Ansgar Sickert from Germany (cast ?), Francis Daniel (cast ?) and Joe from cast B. But I see that not too many from the other summer casts are coming.

I am enclosing some pictures. One is of Margit in her carnival dress being a princess which I used quite some time to sew. Another is from a walk in the forest with Margit and her friend Isabella. The last is from our skiing holiday in Norway this March.

Please give my regards to Gretchen and the girls - looking forward to seeing yall :o)


5/23/88 – Monday – Vetlanda, Sweden

We drove up to Helsingor in our smashed up car (we found the passenger side mirror smashed this morning) and it was a beautiful, peaceful drive. It was weird to think we had been in Copenhagen almost six weeks. We didn’t even see Bjorne this morning because he stayed on the boat that night. We got up there in plenty of time and stood around and talked while the luggage was being loaded. When the two buses and two vans were leaving, Kira’s family and Anne were standing there waving, and she almost looked sad! I have to admit I won’t miss Copenhagen that much, but I think I will miss Anne.

I was on the van, so I really didn’t have a bus date, and besides I was doing my receipts during the trip. We first took the ferry then had about a 4-hour bus ride to Vetlanda. When we arrived, we ate lunch then had about 2 hours free time. The interns got together right before the city briefing to discuss a skit idea for staff appreciation day tomorrow.

After the meeting, I was involved in a quick go around with the Doo Wop Quartet. Don’t ask me why.

Randy Roach and I spent most of the evening sitting on the deck outside, enjoying the weather. The house was right on the edge of the forest and looked very much like Colorado. It was definitely a very relaxing evening with a neat host family.


(See even our parent's know how to enjoy our fellow cast mates! Don't miss your chance in Tucson. Grant)

Hello Grant,

Really enjoyed meeting Jerko in Belgium. Jerko is quite a big deal there, and I and friends saw his TV billboard (with lovely Miss Belgium). He and my host family (Van de Perres) and friends enjoyed a little Moroccan food together in Antwerp. When we told him we had seen the billboard he went out to see for himself. He is one neat guy and seems to really have his act together.

Jerko, Richard and Pol.

I think Pol was in 87C, and he and son Clay knew each other in Tucson. Later, we were Pol's host family when UWP brought "Rhythm of the World" to Kokomo.

Take care,

Richard Stroud


Hey Grant,

I actually registered the family on Monday, booked the hotel room in early March and plan on booking the flights this week. ETA is uncertain. Do we have anything planned for the cast before the actual reunion events? You may have already answered this in previous emails, but I have not checked my home emails for a couple of months now. Please add my new email address to your list. This is my new work email which I check continuously. Looking forward to seeing everybody in August. Please give my best to Gretchen and the children.

God bless,

Kevin (Jonas)

From Diane Thomson-Kennedy

Hi Grant,

sorry that I've been behind in keeping up. Unfortunately I will not be at the reunion. At the start of the year it was looking as if I was going to be there but the company that my husband works for has rejigged their holidays and he is now off the 2 weeks leading up to the reunion. This means that we can neither come out as a family nor can I come out myself as there would be no one to look after the kids (as much as my 7 year old would think that this would be ok but knowing her, it is NOT a good idea!). It sounds as if it is going to be really great and I am so sorry/mad/annoyed/infuriated (you get the idea) that I will miss it all.


From Anne-Cecilia

Hello Grant,

I appreciate your effort, Sanne also called a few days ago. With our youngest son only 9 months old, and two other girls at 6 and 3, we would love nothing more than 4 days at a spa, but I don't think that will happen this summer, at least not in Arizona!

I know the reunion will be unique, so the best wishes to all of you! Maybe I'll send some pics, either by mail or with Rita. A hug from Anne-Cecilie

5/24/88 – Tuesday – Vetlanda, Sweden

Today is “Back to Tucson” theme day, and the morning meeting was led by Denis Cournoyer wearing the same thing he had on in Tucson. He started the meeting by introducing himself and his position on staff. Each person had to stand up and say his name and where he/she is from. We also reenacted many of the things that happened in Tucson, such as: “slow down,” “talk louder,” “stand up;” Pittsburg, PA (Susie); “Laurie from Albuquerque” and “I really feel I can be myself for the first time in my life.” Paul Kunz came in and did his impression of Mr. Belk. I think I have not laughed so hard in a very long time.

We tried to follow this theme throughout the day, but I was on set-up crew on truck so we couldn’t do too much. While we were setting up, we managed to hog tie Jeff Hansen, Jennifer and Ken. (EDITOR: I think Jeff is STILL mad at us!)

I was pretty much in all of rehearsal (my first rehearsal back) because they ran me in King Richard so that I could do it for the last time at the show tonight. During rehearsal, Lindsay and John Flores did the transition of The Picture into Time for the Music with a unique touch. They were displaying the new costumes and sang the songs the way they look (Laura Ingles “Valley Girl,” and “Master of the Love Slut”). (EDITOR: Not so sure what this means? Does anyone else?) It was kind of fun, but I was definitely rusty from not being on stage so long.

At wrap-up, a bunch of the interns portrayed all the staff and how they will look in ten years and what they will be doing. A few characters: Me- Paul Kunz, Cassi-Lindsay, Shawn-Terry, Susie-Kelly, Jeff M.-Cathrina, Brian M.-Denis C., Henry-John M. and many others. I was the one who tried to instigate the conversation, and sometimes it was a little slow, but for the most part was accepted real well.

When we were finished, we went home for dinner for a really nice dinner with good conversation. They are really kind people, and I enjoy their company.

In the show I did King Richard for the last time ever! And danced 50’s with Gretchen. (EDITOR: I guess this was a little foreshadowing...) I did, however, have a lot of fun bouncing around on stage. I won’t get to do it too much more.

During strike, I was on truck crew, but we had a lot of fun after I jumped off (due to too many people on the truck). Stacie, Kurt, Linda and I instigated a lot of singing and I really had fun. We went home around midnight, after an exhausting day.

We stayed up until about 1:00 a.m. talking about everything. I really enjoyed their company and was a good “first family on the road again”.

5/25/88 Wednesday Stockholm, Sweden

After breakfast, Marianne and John gave Randy and I a really nice folder with their picture and some nice sayings along with a Swedish flag. It was really neat and very touching. After taking some pictures (because Randy and I matched wearing our 'new' UWP sweatshirt that we got yesterday) they took us to host drop off. They stayed around until we left in our new double decker buses. Real Cool!!

My bus date was Cassi and we had a real nice conversation. We actually didn;t sleep the whole way, and we even got to watch some videos on the TVs in the buses. We watched "Letter to Breshnev" and "Shanghai Surpise" on the bus. We arrived in Stockholm about 2:00 p.m., sat around for a while, then started a tour; first by foot then by bus and we even stopped and ate the same ice cream that they eat at the Pulitzer Awards banquet. We drove a little longer and then took a ferry across the bay to a museum that held the ship WASA that sank on its maiden voyage in the early 1600's. They raised it from the bay about 10 years ago and have restored it as much as possible. It was really neat, but we didn't get to stay long.

From there we went to the gymnasium where HPU was at, had our city briefing (which took a long time), and met our host families. The host families were wearing brown bags, I think trying to create the effect of an "allocation bag." Charlotte was there to pick me up and took me home.

My bed is actually in the living room of the apartment of two 24-year-old girls. Definitely a situation I have not been in yet this year. I took a shower and then we left to go pick up Susanne to go to dinner. Another girl from her work joined us also and we went to dinner at an Italian restaurant. The service was terrible and when we finally got our food, I didn't like it that much. They served the three girls and never came with my dinner, but gave me a salad to compensate my waiting.

Feeling a little tipsy and very tired we headed home about midnight.


I am registered! . . . even bought a t-shirt. (Now, that doesn't mean that you guys have to stop calling me. I enjoy the conversations!)

Look forward to seeing you all there!



In reference to the hog tying event from yesterday's journal Ken writes:

Ken is STILL mad about that, too. Although I have mellowed a bit.

TeeHee - Sorry Ken, Jeff, and Jen - Grant

5/26/88 Thursday Stockholm, Sweden

We left early so she could take me by car although I did not mind taking the subway, she would not let me. I got to Bewaldhallen about 8:50 a.m. and waited in the beautiful pentagon theater. Morning meeting was short then we broke into our groups. I was in an interview crew and the five of us (Pia, Chrissy, Henry, John M. and I) went back to the school were we had HPU. By the time we found it (Kelly Bates was driving) we were about 15 minutes late. Eventually some people came in and we ended up doing five interviews (one each).

When we were finished, we made our way to Skansen for lunch and even made it before they started serving the food.

After lunch, we had a short 2 hour rehearsal to go over the show that we will be doing tomorrow evening. Charlotte picked me up and we drove around a little bit showing me some of Stockholm, then we went home. (I think. I actually don't remember the rest of the evening, but I'm sure I went home eventually)


From Meg Cashman-Brown

OK!! I'm registered" finally~

I was snowed under with a huge project so it knocked me off track a bit but it's done and I am so excited!

I have had a blast reading your Copenhagen journals. You were way more detailed than I was-it's hilarious! In reading my journals I mostly talked about how miserable we were..just out of the normal UWP routine I guess. I remember that was a very challenging task.. and really missing the cast. My consistent entry was "Thank God Grant is in this with me". (EDITOR: My thoughts were similar in the fact that I was glad you were there with me helping me get through it.) I wrote a lot about Alan and his mother too. We sure went to dinner a lot?? And stayed out late! be young again! I do remember sitting around the house and drinking our host families booze! Ha! They were partiers huh?

I am so excited to see you in August. Do you know where everyone is staying???? (EDITOR: Most everyone is staying at the La Paloma. There may be some people that need room mates if Dave does not come. I am going to start compiling that info soon. Let me know what you want to do.

Meg Cashman-Brown


AND Clay's Dad Richard...


I'm registered. I am joining son Clay for another UWP experience. You may see yourselves as ordinary "it's just me" folk. I see you as very special and when you hit that stage, the best that's in me comes out to rejoice!

Jerko, this time I'll buy, as my credit card will work here.

I'm excited. And yes, I got a T-shirt too...

Love to all,

Richard Stroud


Hi Grant

I just called Ty Thompson. He is doing well and is living with his partner Joe. They have been together for 12 years and have two children of 7 and 3 years.

I got his e-mail address: So now we can add him to the mailing list.

Take care


5/27/88 Friday Stockholm, Sweden

She took me in to the stadium in the morning which I was ready to take the subway but again she wanted to take me in the car. It takes twice as long by car because the lines (cues) on the highway are very long.

The stadium is an old one, but very pretty, and the sun was nice and bright, so it started out a great day. After morning meeting, we went out on the field and started doing formations for Sunrise. It was actually kind of fun to be doing something of this magnitude and something totally different. After only 1 1/2 hours we went back to Berwaldhollen to rehearse for tonight's show. We had to totally switch gears after being on a football field all morning. Rehearsal lasted only one hour, then off to lunch at Skansen again. Same place, same food! We ate with our newly formed squads for Russia. I'm in #1 with Shawn, Roger, Chris, Doug, Ross, Ken, Jon C., Wilfred, and Carlos Acevedo (Big Carlos).

After lunch, we went back to the stadium to place the second half of the show for 2 hours. The back again to Skansen for dinner for basically the same food except meatballs instead of meat patties.

We also met as a group again so that we could have wrap-up while we ate. We also decided at that time to ask group 10 to be our sister group. We were going to ask #7, but they dogged us for group #2. To officially ask them Shawn and I took the flowers from our table to them and asked them to be our sister group. It was a lot fun to do. We told them to think about it and they could answer later. As we walked away the rest of our table/group stood up and toasted them. (EDITOR: I don't know what this is all about, but I just want group #7 to know that I am still very hurt about being dissed. I don't think I can ever forgive you.)

After a while, Doug went down to talk to them and they said they wanted to be serenaded, and if we did "the right" song they would say yes. He came back and told us that we would go down and sing "You've Lost That Loving Feeding." As it turned out that was the one song they were thinking of, so they said "Yes" right away. (EDITOR: Doug do you remember what this was all about?)

I don't think this will amount to anything, but it was fun to do. From dinner, we went back to the hall to get ready for the show. We were pretty much on time for the first 8 minute segment, then off and back on again for Happy Birthday. We came back for 10 minutes after intermission then had to wait until the finale so we could sing a La La song. The whole evening was nice, but a lot of waiting around. For the birthday song, we had candles and sparkler/fireworks, and that was kind of cool. (EDITOR: Sorry, I don't really know what this is all in reference to.)

I took the subway home and got home about 12:00 midnight. This was the first time I had taken the subway, so I really didn't know where to go, but I made it home.


From Amy Roth-McMillion


I can't say I've ruled it out (coming to the reunion) completely. I may end up with a few days off over that time period and be able to find space on a flight to come for a night. I'm extra motivated to do so now that my Goddaughter will be joining the next UWP cast and in Tucson then. Pretty cool!

An additional kink has been thrown in the mix, though. In late March, they found a cancerous tumor on my husband Jim's kidney that also grew into a main vein and into his heart. He had surgery in April to remove the kidney and open the chest to get it out of his heart. The surgery was incredibly successful (miraculously so), and he is recovering quite well now. They have determined he has no more cancer in him and only needs to be checked on a regular basis now. Praise God! This has put us in a different financial position than we thought we would be in this summer, though. Jim hasn't worked in months and I had to take about 7 weeks off work, too. If I did come, I could not afford the registration and would need to crash on someone's floor. At least my flight would be free. So, I'll just have to wait and see what happens.

God bless,


EDITOR: It sounds like a few extra prayers for Amy and her family would be appreciated and maybe a few emails of encouragement to get her to the reunion.

5/28/88 Saturday Stockholm, Sweden

I took the subway to the stadium today because we had to be there by 7:15, so I had to leave at 6:30. We talked a little, and rehearsed a little until 9:30, but from then until 12:30 we had free time to sit out and enjoy the sun. We ate lunch, and waited some more while a "pre-show" was going on from 1:00 until 2:00, at which time the "real" show started. UWP was not until 3:30, so we laid out some more, took pictures (I performed some rare footage for Birger for Banquet- the Bulldog for 15 seconds without my shirt on!), and just tried to take the full advantage of the great weather.

The performance started right at 3:30 with all of us coming from the 4 corners of the stadium, exploding out on to the track. Then we went into our formations and pinwheels and ended up in the form of a sun. It was actually a lot of fun, but that is when the running started. We ran to the audience for Mexico, then back to the stage for Gospel, bounced around in the front row for Japan, and then clear to the other end of the stadium for Œ50¹s. I have to admit I was bumming because I wasn't dancing '50's on stage, but I actually had more fun on the track with Sandra and Julie. When we got out there, we had our own cheering section! They went wild when I went down for the Gator and Julie had captured many guys with her "shimmying". When we finished, they really applauded and cheered for us, and waved as we left to go to the circle for Unfinished World. We went back to the same crowd for Up With People and when we were finished we waved to them and enjoyed our popularity. A little later when we had to help sing the La La song, we sat in the same section.

When we were done they had people parachute down to the field. It was a neat finale and it was a weird feeling to think I was a part of the whole production.

After we changed, we met together for warp-up and they told us that we were not going to be having dinner together so we could go home now. I met Susanne and Charlotte at the front gate and we went home first, so I could take a shower and get ready to go to dinner. We went to a girl's house that was an exchanged student in Texas, but her sister was an exchange student in Colorado Springs. She also has visited her sister in Colorado Springs since then, and she wanted to meet me. We spent most of the evening talking about perceptions of Sweden and of the U.S. They also asked me about my political feelings and ideals. It was weird having to defend my country for the first time. I became very defensive and even things I didn't agree with I started to defend. It was good for me so I can get in practice for the Soviet Union.

We went home and went to bed around 11:00.

5/29/88 Sunday Stockholm, Sweden

I had to be at Skansen (a zoo) early because I was on set up crew. I helped where I could but ended up on the truck. Right when we finished loading the empty boxes on the truck, Paula came, so most everyone stopped what they were doing to go give her a hug and say "Hi." It sure was good to see her again and she was almost in tears to see all of us. It is good to feel complete, even though Rita went home for a few days, so we are not completely all together.

We had only 30 minutes for rehearsal and sound check, but then had to be quiet. That is when we had our wrap and they told us they still don¹t know much about Switzerland, and we welcomed back Paula. She was very sentimental and saying if it wasn't for us writing, calling and asking about her she didn't think she would be with us today.

After wrap-up, we had lunch got ready for our show, greenroom was pretty basic with a hello in Swedish from a man nicknamed "Flower" then waited for the show to start. I was dancing with Lena and she wanted to switch, so I would dance with Heidi and Lena dance with Ras. Ras and Heidi both had a fit and said no way. We practiced the flips once and it went okay so we did the show together.

The show lasted an hour and went pretty well but for some reason I was not into it real well, so I put on my plastic smile. After the show, I saw Charlotte and told her to come back around 4:00, then saw Laurie Wralstad's parents and talked for most of the strike until they were ready for me on the truck. I really enjoy working on the truck because I feel productive and I don't have to worry about finding work to do.

We finished about 4:15 then walked around Skansen for about 45 minutes. We went straight home from there and I took a nap while they ordered pizza. I was totally and completely exhausted. The pizza was one whole pizza per person which was different. I went to bed right after dinner.

OH, MAN, I am soooo going to have to sleep on the couch tonight after she reads this...

5/3088 – Monday – Stockholm, Sweden

I slept in as late as I could until about 10:30 and took my time getting ready. I finally left about 12:00 noon to go downtown and walk around until I found someone. The first someone I ran into was Gretchen and she invited me to go on a picnic this afternoon. Since I had the intent of taking the first offer that sounded good, I decided I would go with them. We did a little more shopping for food to take on the picnic, then loaded on to a bus.

We got off at this castle and boy was it beautiful. We went to a large grassy area next to the lake/inlet. (It was actually an inlet of the Baltic Sea.) We all sat there and talked and sang songs and just enjoyed each other and the weather. (It was Clay, Erin, Leanne, Gretchen, Michelle, Birger, me and Whynot came later.) Gretchen and Michelle had gone swimming earlier and decided they wanted to go again. I wanted to go, but did not have a suit, so we decided to go skinny dipping. I got in the water in my underwear then threw them on the dock. Gretchen, Michelle and Clay got in with their suits and threw them on the dock too. The water was very cold, but I adjusted quickly. We swam out to this boat and hung on the anchor so we could rest. Gretchen and Michelle were right next to me. As we swam, Gretchen’s butt and my hand met each other several times; first without trying then by “accident.” The water was not clear, but Gretchen was close enough to see... (EDITED FOR THE SAFETY OF MY HEALTH AND TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT)

After swimming around for a while and each doing one butt roll in the air, we swam back. Michelle’s host mom was there and took a picture of us all doing a somersault with our butts in the air at the same time! (EDITOR: See corresponding photo.) It was a lot of fun, and I don’t think there are too many people in Colorado Springs that can say they skinny dipped in the Baltic Sea! (EDITOR: It is still one of my most favorite pictures from the year!)

The rest of the evening we talked, sang and played Frisbee, but eventually left around 9:00. Gretchen and I walked around for a while until I walked her to her train station. Spring fever hit me hard today and I was one horny dude! (EDITOR: Thank goodness I married this hot babe. She still makes me horny, baby! -to quote Austin Powers)

When she left, I bought some postcards and sent one to Russ, Cindy and home to tell of my adventures. (EDITOR: Ooo, bad mistake. Russ ended up being the best man at my wedding and decided to bring up this story as part of his 1st toast. Needless to say, Gretchen's family "saw" a whole new side of Gretchen. What a way to join the family.)

I sat in the middle of Stockholm at 11:00 p.m. in 65 degree weather to write these postcards. It was one of the best days I have ever had! (EDITOR: And 20 years later still holds up as one of my best days ever. A day with great friends, food, in a beautiful country and with my future wife. Who could ask for more!)

5/31/88 Tuesday Stockholm, Sweden

Today starts our "official" Soviet Union prep. I was able to take the subway in for morning meeting which was very short so as to leave enough time for a speaker on Swedish National Defense Systems. There were two different speakers and they were okay, but especially good when answering questions. Immediately following, most of us went to the Russian embassy to listen to a speaker and ask questions. I always find these hard to stay awake, so I didn't get into it, but I asked a great light-hearted question about McDonalds being open, yet.

We worked mostly on the Russian for the songs after lunch and all afternoon. After wrap-up we took a subway to the Hard Rock Café Stockholm for dinner. I was kind of disappointed, because Chicago's is so much better. I talked with Laurie's father for a while (I really like her parents) and then Charlotte was there to pick me up at 5:30. Traffic was terrible so we went to old town and walked around for a while and saw the castle of the King. I was very tired, and was in desperate need of doing laundry, so that's what we did the rest of the evening. Started reading Steven King's "Roadwork".