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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
by Antonio Prokup
Christmas Letter 2011
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By Antonio Prokup
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April 17, 2014 11:27 a.m.
April 4, 2014 5:33 p.m.
March 12, 2014 12:01 a.m.
March 5, 2014 5:31 p.m.
Feb. 4, 2014 9:20 p.m.
Feb. 15, 2013 11:17 a.m.



                                                                                                                                        
Dear family and friends,<>
          I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of snow.  At this time last year we, in Bevier, had bunches of the white stuff, and many snow days.  To students and of course teachers, nothing is more pleasing to the ear than “No school; it’s a snow day!”  So far it feels almost like Florida weather.  I say that because I know that will be the only way my grandparents who live in The Villages, Florida will come up to visit during the winter months.<>
          I am a sophomore this year and absolutely love attending school.  I have great teachers and good friends.  Some of my teachers have gone beyond teaching.  Gayla Pappenfoht, my English teacher is not only a brilliant instructor but a true friend to me and my mother.  She recently researched the use of Ipads with children with autism and found out that was the technology I needed.  Once again, our superintendent Joan Patrick wrote a grant, and just today we found out it was approved.  This should make my school life so much easier especially in algebra.  Recently I was given the honor of being accepted into National Honor Society; a dream come true for me.  I continue to love swimming, being outside and traveling, however I aspire to become an author someday; one other thing Mrs. Pappenfoht is helping me pursue.<>
          One of the people I want to write about as soon as I have been published, is my sister Dominica Jean.  She personifies goodness in every aspect of her life.  She is a senior, president of student council, member of National Honor Society and class vice president.  She has always loved playing the French horn in Bevier’s concert band and plays beautifully.  This year I am sure she would say music has moved up on her interest scale.  For the first time in her school career, there is a jazz band class, which she loves.  She plays the trumpet and has proven to be quite the musician.  For a small school they have an amazing sound.  They have been playing for many different events and are enjoying their success.  She still loves all sports and has been honored accordingly; 3rd in state in 100 meter hurdles; first team all conference, district, and region in basketball; and first team all conference, district and region in softball as well as second team all state.  Her team surprised everyone and made it to the quarterfinals.  She was thrilled, as was the whole town.  She has signed with William Woods University to play basketball and track.  For those of you who know, yes this is where my mom went to college.  However, there was no pressure- Dominica fell in love with the school on the first visit.  I am glad she is so close.  We will be able to see her games and meets.  More important to me, than her accomplishments, is her integrity, loyalty and compassion.  She is thinking of majoring in special education.  She has the love and compassion and strong work ethic to be a great teacher.  I hope she finds the happiness she deserves.<>
          Janet, my mom, is still my right-hand man.  However, following me around is not all she can do.  Always thinking of my future, she designed an apparatus that I use when taking most of my tests.  Instead of hand to hand facilitation, this apparatus was designed to eliminate the body to body facilitation, making me more independent.  So, last summer before school started, she talked over her design with Gayla Pappenfoht, Joan Patrick, and another friend and welder, David Cheever.  After a lengthy discussion, David and his friend Kyle constructed six of them that are now placed on every desk I use, in every classroom.  I affectionately named her design, “Big David”. Not only to show my gratitude toward David Cheever, but for those of you from Bevier, I’m sure you get my drift.  For those of you who are not; that was the name of the big coal shovel when Bevier was a booming, mining community.  So now my mom can add technical designer to her list of accomplishments.  She continues coaching Dominica’s basketball team.  However, she says this is her last year so we can go watch Dominica in college.  I’m sure she will miss it, since we seldom see her watch anything else on TV except women’s basketball.  She also loves the St. Louis Cardinals, with or without Albert Pujols.  She laughingly says, “I have never had a Pujols shirt, but I own a World Series, Matheny shirt!”<>
          Jamie, my dad, has had an extremely hard year.  I, for one, have realized the love and loyalty toward his family is immeasurable.  Operating and being the sole owner and pharmacist at Laplata Pharmacy, is now a smaller part of his day.  Last March, his grandmother was placed in Loch Haven nursing home in Macon and has remained there since that time.  We celebrated her 94th birthday in August in her room at the nursing home.  Daddy along with Noni’s (as Dominica and I call her) husband, Pa, visit her every day.  Daddy has taken full responsibility for their care and comfort.  He provides for their needs and transportation without complaint.  Every day either Dominica or my mom takes Pa to the nursing home and every night, Daddy goes to visit and bring Pa home.  He has decorated Noni’s room with pictures and now, even a Christmas tree.  I am honored to be the son of such a person.  His time is not his own and yet he believes he is repaying his grandparents for all the time they helped him in the past.   He has very little free time, so when he has down time you can find him in his “Harley room” at home, watching TV, and rocking away his stress.<>
          As the year closes, I hope all is well with you.  As for the Prokups we still have our door open for anyone who may want to visit.  We all love company and have plenty of room for overnight visitors.  Don’t be bothered by the enormous lab (Sparky) outside, the yapping schnauzer (Eddie) inside, or the three-legged cat, Jeannie.  They too love the constant excitement of our revolving door bringing one party or another.  Come in and enjoy with us!<>
Love, Antonio<>
Merry Christmas From:<>
Jamie, Janet, Dominica, Antonio, Eddie, and Sparky<>










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