Snyder Christmas Letter 2005
Forty years ago, on January 22, 1965, we got
married in Boulder, Colorado. It was a simple
wedding, to say the least: a judge performed the
brief ceremony, with two witnesses. Our friends
threw us a small informal reception. Nobody was
older than the age of 30 and the basic attire was
hiking boots and blue jeans. A friend made an angel
food cake and someone broke open one bottle of
champagne. Now, 40 happy years later, we
decided it was finally time to have a really big
celebration! So this year began with an anniversary
party at David and Patty’s newly remodeled house.
Liska actually fit into the navy blue suit she wore on
that long-ago wedding day. A “Step Back to 1965”
Room had displays, magazines, and photos of life in
1965. A scrumptious Mediterranean buffet fed our
guests. It was truly a special and joyous event with
our many Anchorage friends.

On April 3, we went cross-country skiing in the
mountains behind Anchorage. A beautiful crystal
clear day… perfect snow conditions…. Dick
decided to go up one last steep hill. On the way
down, he tripped, fell, and dislocated his shoulder.
It was painful, but he managed to ski the 5 miles
back to our car. Five days later, Tazlina’s sister,
Marley, was born. How lucky we are with two
healthy granddaughters!  

A couple of weeks later, Dick had rotator cuff
surgery and his arm was put in a sling. A week after
the surgery, we picked up our “travel car” in
Phoenix and met some friends in Utah canyon
country. It was a bit of a challenge for Dick to
climb in and out of our tent with one arm, but he
managed just fine. We did not go on a planned
backpacking trip, but did do a lot of hiking in

We keep busy with volunteer jobs and playing with
our granddaughters. Liska’s new volunteer job is a
Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for
abused kids. We have also done a lot of work at
our cabin this fall. Our kids are busy too. In
addition to his computer mapping job, David
teaches geography at University of Alaska. Patty is
a hearing officer for the disabilities section of Social
Security Administration. Gary is teaching high
school math and Heather is a busy mom. She also
works a few hours a week consulting on health and
social service projects.

The following paragraph is Dick’s:

While enjoying a beautiful Alaskan view with our
friend Libby, we were telling stories of interesting
things of nature we had seen. I told her about the
time I saw a pair of peregrine falcons fly up high to
an eagle and suddenly kill it. We also discussed life
in tidepools where one thing eats another, which in
turn is eaten by something else. Libby described
that while watching brown bears feeding in a
salmon stream, she realized that the bears were not
even safe from being killed, despite being at the top
of the local food chain. At the fishing grounds
where the bears congregate, the cubs often get
killed by being flipped by the male bears. The
female bears get hurt trying to protect them. The
males get hurt fighting each other. After a slight
pause, I said “You would think that mankind should
be able to rise above the other animals by
eliminating all that fighting and killing, especially in
this day and age with our knowledge and
technology.”  Then Libby said sadly “That has been
the biggest disappointment of my life.”

It is our fervent hope that peace will come to the

2006 letter

Liska's home page