Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our holiday newsletter

ANNO TWENTY-TEN turned out to be another huge, huge year for the magnificently overachieving Kisors, enabling us to issue still another unbeatable holiday brag sheet.

As always, retirees Debby and Henry spent half the year in Evanston, half the year in Upper Michigan and half the year traveling, during which they photographed rocks in Utah and whales in the Gulf of Alaska.

Henry managed to slip through the entire year without acquiring new replacement hardware for his aging carcass. He published a second and updated edition of What's That Pig Outdoors? in August and was insufferable for weeks afterward. He also waited and whined while his publisher weighed the fourth Steve Martinez novel, Hang Fire (and at this writing is still waiting and whining).

Deborah (The Lady Friend) forged ahead in her newfound mission to save the world one library at a time, while learning a new art, the mysterious one of glass beading.

At the Department of Justice in Washington, elder son Colin continued to encourage felons on new career paths in their countries of origin while also herding stray swabbies into the brig as a reserve Navy prosecutor. Verily he is the instrument of the Lord’s wrath.

Spouse Melody added full-time student to her motherly duties while wearing out two laptops taking online graduate courses from Albany Medical College in search of a M.S. in Bioethics.

Their son William, 8, went to court to have his name legally changed to "Willy," all the while plowing through his father's old Tintins while keeping his flying-superhero emergency room visits to a minimum.

His sister Ellie, 4, taught herself to read and was soon soaking up Wuthering Heights while studying the trade of a ballerina en pointe.

In Edison Park, the Far Northwest Side Chicago neighborhood where cops and firefighters live as far away from City Hall as they can get, younger son Conan flight-tested B-17s for Boeing and persuaded Marketing to dub them “Flying Fortresses.” In his spare time he directed the Bears' resurgence from his nosebleed seat at Soldier Field but met a little resistance in his campaign to whip the Cubs to another pennant.

Mama Annie continued to mother-hen misplaced but still famous authors around town for the Chicago Public Library while coaching outgoing Mayor Daley in instructing the entire City of Chicago on the subject of what to read.

As soon as he turned 4, young Emmet told everybody he was “almost 5” and founded a contracting firm in the basement, warning his clients not to cut corners with hinky Chinese drywall.

Sister Alice, 2, moved from defensive end to weak-side linebacker to make better use of her closing speed. She also showered remarkable Zen wisdom on everyone within earshot.

And finally Hogan, 77, racked up a score of 123-0 against UPS, a world record for both his species and his age group.

So there it is. Eat your hearts out, underachievers, and enjoy your extended tax breaks for another year. If there are any.

Credits: The text is by HK for a change, aided and abetted by CAK and CHWK. The photo of our Lake Superior cabin in winter is by our Ontonagon chum David Braithwaite. The photo of the extended family below is by our Evanston pal Craig Peterson.


  1. Merry Christmas!

  2. You did the art of Christmas letter writing proud Henry.
    Best for the coming year!

  3. Thanks Henry for another fun year of sometimes controversial but always thought-provoking pieces. Hope the whole Kisor clan have a wonderful holiday season. Now get back to work on your next novel! Best wishes from across the pond.

  4. Only *sometimes* controversial, Stephen? That is your holiday greeting to a lifelong self-styled would-be bomb-thrower? Hmph!

    All good wishes for the holiday season over there in the Mother Country. At Christmas dinner we'll toast the Queen.

    Same to you, Onion and Frank. Be seeing you soon.

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