February 2024
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Frank To Celebrate Brother’s 72nd Birthday

by Frank Stoddard (ACS)

Hi Folks,

As you many of you know, we will meet my brother in Cody, Wyo (where we wereCody, Wyoming kids at Heart Mountain in the 1940). We will see him on his 72 birthday of which I have already made reservations at the “Cody Cattle Company” for his birthday.

It is a surprise. Listen to the music the band will play. Can anyone not like Cowboy music?

My brother and I have for many years struggled to understand one another. We will visit him for three nights and I really want to be good. I have a strong feeling we may never see each other again.

This will be John’s week.

By the way, my first memories are of Wyoming. Of course I do not want to live there, but I really love that State. It truly is the last frontier.

Shot my first big game there (near Powder River in 1963) … in fact, I also hit an antelope with a rock when I was 5 years old (did not kill him though — LOL). Had my first fight(s), girlfriend kiss and seeing death when Skippy (our dog) got ran over by a neighbor.

We will visit the “Jap Camp” where we moved into after the Japanese-AMERICANS left. We also plan to go to the Cody Buffalo Bill Museum. Believe me, it is one of the best museums in the world. Go there and you will know what I mean!

We plan to visit Parkside Elementary School where I started the first Grade. Only went there for half the year before we moved. So many of my friends growing up overseas experienced that same thing.

11 comments to Frank To Celebrate Brother’s 72nd Birthday

  • Ruth Matteson Blackmore

    Hope you have a great trip and time with your brother. My late husband’s family was from Lusk, WY and his mother’s from Moorcroft. Been to Lusk many times for Bill’s family reunions and now to visit his grave site. I must say I love driving in WY because of the wide open space and the feeling of freedom and peace that it brings to me.

    If you are driving and get near Boulder, CO, give me a call.


  • H. Clark


    Hope you have a wonderful week with your big brother John; he is your Anh Hai!

    Life is full of coincidences. My husband’s name is John and is the #1 son; therefore, he is also Anh Hai in his family.


  • Frank

    Ruthie, I have often thought about the pain you and your son went through (never ending)since your husband was killed. You are such a strong person, which we all admire…Oh my gosh, such an understatement.
    I remember stepping on your foot on board the “Paddle Boat” in Nashville and I also remember stepping on your toes on top of the Majestic Hotel in Saigon. Oh my gosh! so embarrassing on my part… but loved the memories…Wyoming means a lot to me…not enough words to explain..very pleased that your late husband was from there.
    Did you know that Steve Johnson was the minister that helped Matthew Shepard’s family through his death?

    Just posted this for the Cody Chamber of Commerce…There is a question I have however, when the family lived at Heart Mountain (locals called it the Jap Camp), my mom and Dad had a son, that was born between myself and my little sister Mary Lu. My Mom never spoke of it…she was one of those folks that kept some stuff private. He was either still born or died shortly after. I do not know. That would be somewhere between 1947-49…I think. His name was Stephan Stoddard. I would like to find his grave…O.K., I do not know why, but it is important to me. I have so far failed in finding it. Is he in Cody or Powell? Can anyone help?

  • Frank

    Huong, John and John…I was once told that a string or a piece of yarn) ties people together. It may go in several directions, but it all comes back to one spot! Go figure!

  • Frank

    O.K., I think several folks cut that string between me and them. Of course one of those times is when Gale Ann Peterson broke up with me on Valentines Day, 1964….I quickly got over that! Have not been bothered since! Really! Why don’t you believe me? She was a Mormon farm girl for Gosh sake…what is the big deal!!?? Come on get over it! I did!!

  • Ruth Matteson Blackmore


    Hope you find the answer to your brother’s grave in WY. Has to be recorded somewhere.

    I do know Steve Johnson and that he assisted Matthew Shepard’s family. Read the story some time ago.

    Hey, you may step on my toes any time you want! Just means we must have been dancing and that is also a good sign.


  • Frank

    What a wonderful time my wife, brother and I had in Cody. We seemed to put bygones behind us and just enjoyed the moments.We went to the “Jap Camp” where my first memories began. We visited Park Side school where I started the first grade.We had a drink at the “silver Dollar Saloon”, although I think a previous owner sold all the dollars because there were none there.We ate very good for Cody has all kinds of cosine from upscale to local breakfasts. Yes it was emotional, but very pleasant. The Cody Newspaper interviewed me which brought about a fellow that is eleven years my elder to call me. He and his brother remembered my Dad, My Dad had taught his brother boxing (which I remember going to the Gym to watch and have an 8″ x 11″ picture of him). I asked him if he was part of the teenagers that build and put a dummy into the boiler room furnace that was where the women of the families did their wash. (rumors were that the Japanese Americans burned their dead in it.) My Mom walked in and saw the dummy and let out a scream that was heard throughout the camp.He said he and his brother had made it. We both laughed so hard on, really, the phone. By the way he and his family had moved from Anaconda to Heart Mountain. By the way, my family had done the same.. Small world!

  • Frank

    OOps I think there was a “Freudian Slip” in my above comment!

  • frank

    Just received a letter, and pictures from an 81 year old guy who lives on the coast of Oregon. When he was a teenager, my Dad taught him how to box. He first taught him in Anaconda and then at Heart Mountain. This was over sixty years ago. I know that Suzy Q and I will carry on conversions with him and his brother for years to come. They are both such positive folks.
    I often went with my Dad to the old “Japanese American Relocation Camp” high school gym. I would see him training Curt Hunter. I learned to “jump rope” like a boxer.
    Tomorrow is my Dad’s birthday. I have read that when someone dies they are only remembered for 50 years. On the 20th of August my Dad will have been dead 51 years! So much for that! I still get a tear in my eye!

  • frank

    I think us older (mature) folks get to say what is on our mind, and to heck what others think. Still waiting for a bigger response about a reunion…
    In the mean time I most express that I was actually in love three separate times. O.K., I am not talking about lust, or those times I thought I did not measure up, so did not pursue my desires….I can certainly think of a time when a French girl seemed outside my reach!

    Three ladies and songs that meant a lot to me.




  • frank

    My son, who is very good friends to one of Candy Crowley’s sons. Her son is a band member in what is called Vinyette. I ordered a cd from Amazon today. Our son designed the Cd Cover.

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