Sue-On's Annual Hillman Log-In 
2006 Edition

Robin ~ Bill ~ Sue-On ~ China-Li ~ Soulin ~ Ja-On ~ Angela
More Photos

School’s out! Now it’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas. Before we get knee-deep in shortbread, mince meat pies, butter tarts, fruit cakes, shopping, and wrapping, our family wants to wish you and yours all the best for the Christmas season, and 2007.

I feel like my annuals always start off with the same ole, same ole: “It’s been another busy year for the Hillmans!” But, it’s so true. There have been a lot of changes within the family, so assuming that you already have your cuppa in hand, I will proceed!

Ja-On and Angela Patton have finally set THE date! We are all excited that they will be getting married on August 18, 2007. They and Soulin make a wonderful team, and we’re glad that they are making the all-important step. It’s also been a busy fall for Ja’s orthopaedic massage therapy business. Wellington College, where Ja trained, approached him to open a satellite clinic in Brandon. After a month of renovations, painting, shopping for furniture, REACTIVE Therapeutic Massage Clinic opened on Rosser Avenue. All members of the Hillman and Patton families can lay claim to some part of the clinic! Ja has five rooms where he can provide treatments, as well as space for any regional massage therapy students to fulfill their practicums. He will be supervising these students for Wellington College as well as administering exams when they complete their courses. We’re very proud that the college recognizes Ja’s skills and potentials, and are backing him in this new business venture. 

Angela continues to work at Hillcrest Seniors facility, maintaining top grades in her courses towards her nursing degree, and taking care of the two guys. Between Ja and Angela, Soulin is growing up to be a very caring and considerate boy. At the moment, he’s taking a break from Ta-Kwon-Do to take swimming lessons. Like any other boy, he’s got all the gaming machines, but that box of Legos still comes out whenever Soulin is here at the “big house.” He can also whop Grampa in a game of chess once in a while! Angela’s parents, Hugh and Maxine, have built a cabin at Clear Lake, so Grampa Hugh was providing some “sailing activities” during the summer. Soulin’s becoming bilingual in the French immersion program at New Era School. I think this Grandma needs to pull in some Chinese lessons! Soulin is 8 years old, and in grade 3.

It’s so good to have Robin closer to home. He still enjoys his work as a software developer with DMT in their new technology facilities at Smart Park on the University of Manitoba campus. As some of their clients are Jaguar, Mitsubishi, and Volvo, I’m waiting for the day when one of the companies gives a car to each one of their website/data base developers! To date, he’s had great job reviews, movement up the salary scale, but no free car. The Indy music band he works with, Fisher Kane, did several gigs in Winnipeg as well as a band competition. They made it to the finals, which is quite an achievement for a newly formed group. He’s been coming home frequently to rehearse with us for gigs – the next one being in Miami – Manitoba, that is ;-). This community was one of our regular bookings in the '70s and '80s. It is a wedding dance for former Manitoba health minister Don Orchard’s daughter. It will also be like a community-band reunion. We’re looking forward to working as a family band and seeing some of our fans from the past!

China “has left the building”, and we have an empty nest – sort of. We still have Atticus, her dog.  In May, China graduated from Brandon University’s BSc. program with honours.  She won the Silver Medal for Excellence in Zoology, as well as the award for the highest marks in third year biochemistry. There must have been a science gene hidden in the family bloodlines that skipped Bill’s and my generation. Bill, being a professor with the Faculty of Education, had the privilege of presenting China with her degree. It was a walk down memory lane as he also had presented Robin with his degree. China was accepted into the Faculty of Medicine at University of Manitoba. She’s the youngest (at 21 as of Dec. 5) of her class of 101 students. She’s doing very well in the exams, maintaining marks in the top 5% of the class. This is excellent considering that many of her classmates already have their masters degrees. 

Bill and I are both working at Brandon University. He’s back full time with the Faculty of Education teaching technology courses. In addition, he’s also created many web pages for the faculty, a daily EduTech zine, etc… etc… etc… as well as maintaining all his Burroughs sites, his weekly webzine, and his multitude of volunteer websites. The weekly jams at the Cantina keep his musical juices flowing and his fingers mobile for the gigs that we do. These jams also justify any guitar purchases he might make! Health-wise, he’s fine although he can’t understand why he’s not as energetic as he was 15 years ago!

I am still working with the EAP Dept. at BU – teaching writing skills to international students. It was an interesting year as I had students not only from China, Korea and Mexico, but also from Libya, Turkey, The Ukraine, and Georgia (formerly part of the USSR).  Tues. and Thurs. evenings, I have a lively group of adult immigrants, mostly from El Salvador. They talk more than I do (Is that possible?), but I only understand half of what they say! LOL! 

Po-Po Choy is still mobile enough to navigate the stairs for Sunday suppers at our house. We anticipate a big 98th birthday celebration in August, 2007. The highlight of her days is seeing all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The adventure of the year came in May when we were invited by Danton Burroughs of ERB, Inc and Disney Productions to attend the opening night of Tarzan the Musical on Broadway! ( Bill had written ERB’s bio for the playbill and promotion material for the Disney Website. We stayed in the Merriott Hotel right next door to the Richard Rodgers Theatre where the play was held. It was great to see Danton, Linda, Dejah Burroughs, as well as Janet and Cathy from the Tarzana, California offices of ERB, Inc.  Being a play about Tarzan of the Jungle, the green carpet was rolled out for director Thomas Schumacher, writer David Henry Hwang, Phil Collins who wrote the score, the cast, and of course, Danton Burroughs. The evening was capped by a huge party held in the Marriott ballroom where Bill was able to chat with celebrity guests and Phil Collins. Bill Morris, another Bibliophile was also in attendance, and we all joined Danton for the late night forays for ice cream and viewings of the many giant Tarzan banners and electronic billboard screens on Broadway. Bill and I hope to attend a second opening night in Amsterdam in April 2007. Other highlights of the NY trip were the evening at the Iridium Jazz Club to see the legendary Les Paul perform with his trio, and visits to the David Letterman Show, Chinatown, United Nations, Ground Zero, etc. We didn’t make it to either of the official Edgar Rice Burroughs conferences this year, but we kept in touch with fans and writers worldwide, and even had a great visit with Joan Bledig, who flew up from Chicago.

Our family has had an eventful and happy 2006. We take a breather at this time to wish you all much happiness and good health in 2007. We look forward to news from you, so keep those cards and letters coming! 

Visit our Website for photos of family and China’s grad:
and the Hillman Nostalgia Christmas Project online at:



Christmas Greetings 
from the Hillman Family
Christmas On The Web
Histories ~ Trivia ~ Scripts
Archive of Annual Newsletters
 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09
A Coca Cola Christmas
Over 40 Sundblom Santas
 Inspiration Pages
VICTORIAN XMAS 3-D Stereocards
I | II | III | IV
.Norman Rockwell
Christmas Mosaic
A montage of Christmas album covers
Christmas in the Good Old Days
by David Adams
Classic Old Time Radio 
Christmas Shows
A Science Fiction Xmas
Nostalgia Xmas Comics
Magic Lantern Christmas Slides 
from the Victorian Era
Hillman Family Newsletter
Xmas 2009
Xmas Song Book
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