This Edition is Dedicated to Sue Bennett and Terry McCann

December 24, 2010



May This Christmas Reflect Good Memories


          I originally started the newsletter to notify our family and friends about Shawn while he was in Iraq.  I never meant for the newsletter to give bad news, because the original idea of the newsletter was to bring comfort and happiness to everyone who receives it.  When our mother passed away, I felt compelled to dedicate a newsletter to her.  With the losses we have had this year, I want to make sure everyone remembers the good times we have all had with these wonderful people.  Christmas is a time of cheer and good feelings, and I don't want to bring bad feelings to your home on such a holiday season.  So even though I have included some bad news in this edition, please remember the fun times and how they were, as life is precious and needs to be cherished and remembered.


We never truly lose someone unless we forget them


A Company Christmas Party


          We went to Marisa's company Christmas Party early this month, (City of Pantego Texas).  I was the Santa Photographer for all of the kids.  I was taking the pictures and Brandon was printing them out.  All of the kids got a free photo with Santa.  The city of Pantego paid for everything, except for the printer, that was purchased by the Police Department, and of course we were volunteers.  The department bought a small printer that printed 4x6 photos in about 40 seconds.  If you are interested, see the Computers section below.



          We didn't make it to my company's party this year.  It was in Roseville and that was just a little too far to drive.  They all understood.


          We hope you all enjoy any parties you attend and please be safe and remember the Designated Driver.

2010 Flashes by


          I don't know if everyone feels the same way but 2010 went by way too fast for me.  The spring came and went and before I knew it, it was summer, then my neighbors were asking if i was planning to decorate for Halloween this year, Oh my, it's already the middle of October and before I could get all of my Halloween decor put away, Thanksgiving is over and all my neighbors are hanging lights.  Wow!


Good riddance 2010 - come-on 2011


Shawn heads for Iraq for Tour number 3


          Shawn is scheduled to go to Iraq for the 3rd time early next year.  As I have mentioned before, I originally started this newsletter, and the original McCann Family Web Site was for Shawn to be able to communicate with his family, and then use the newsletter to report what was going on.  This time he will be working in a more of an office job, with his own computer with Internet access, a phone and will be able to keep in touch much better than back when the U.S. first invaded Iraq.


          When Shawn went to Iraq the first time, he was with the 101st Airborne, and he had no way of contacting me for several weeks.  One night I got a call and it was him, he said we are going in tomorrow and you won't hear from me for awhile.  It was about 3 months but felt more like 3 years.  He spent some time in one of the most dangerous towns in Iraq, and he could never really tell me exactly where he was due to security reasons.


          On his second tour he was on a base, had an office and was able to send me pictures and keep in touch better.  That tour didn't seem as long, but we all still worry every minute he is there, but if we really think about it, he could be in danger where ever he goes.  He is also surrounded by military personnel and everyone has everyone's back.


Stay safe son, please keep in touch!

The College Kid


          Brandon has made it through his first semester of college.  He is going to the local community college for the first 2 years so he can decide what to major in later on.  He has been thinking about computer work, like software engineering, but after his first semester of college, he is also thinking about graphics and art.    He had an art class his first semester, and we got to go with him to the Modern, an art museum in Fort Worth. It sounds like to me, he would like to get into the development of video games.  He is sure into playing them.  He knows this day and age that computer knowledge is very important, and the area of computers is one thing he has taken after me.  He is at a point now where he can help me when I run into a problem.



Merry Christmas to All

from Gary, Marisa and Brandon



Submit Your Own Story


          If you know of some family news, either on the Bennett side or the McCann side, or Malone, Taylor, Castleberry, Gibson, friends, etc., etc., or some guy you ran into on the street, and want it included in the next newsletter, send it to me.  You can submit it using the feedback form Here, or Email me the information.  Include some pictures if you have some.  Get the word out, inform the masses...


The more news I have, the more often I will send these out...


If you don't see any pictures, Click Here

2009 was a White Christmas


2010 Christmas Party

Inside of a Flash Drive

at Ripley's San Antonio


Shawn and Rachel





If you want copies...


          Pictures on my Web Site are low resolution, (very small pictures) so they load in your browser faster but they are not good for printing.  So remember that any picture you like in any news letter or on the Web Site, you can have (in full resolution) for free.  All you have to do is Email me explaining which picture it is you want.  Let me know what type of internet connection you have, and any Email file size limits.  There is no limit to the number of pictures you can have.  Email me at;



Can't see the pictures?

Click Here to view this newsletter online


Picture Archives





One of the Worst years in history


          2010 has got to be one of the worst years in our lives.  With the loss of a friend, a cousin and 2 aunts, we can't wait for the year to end.  I apologize for not sending out more newsletters this year, but I can say I started a few and just couldn't continue.  I would start typing and get watery eyes and couldn't type while wiping my eyes dry.  It's sad to lose a loved one, and especially hard for the immediate family who remember every Christmas before, and now there is this emptiness...


An Emptiness this Christmas


Sue Bennett

December 7th, 1939 to July 5th, 2010


          We lost 2 Aunts on the Bennett side of the family this year.  Our Aunt Sue was one of my favorites.  Although I love and loved all of my aunts, Sue was close because I spent a lot of time growing up around her.  She was like my mother away from home, all the way over there in North Highlands.  I spent a lot of time there at Aunt Sue and Uncle Carl's place.  You see my cousin Doug and I were close during our kid phase, I stayed the night at his house and he would stay the night at ours.  I still remember many of our adventures, and how little cousin Davie followed us around, David is not so little anymore, he is actually taller that both Doug and I.


          Sue past away after a long battle with a dreadful disease called MSA (Multiple Systems Atrophy) that is similar to ALS.  Sue is in a much better place now, and I think of my Uncle Carl everyday.  He has a bunch of grandchildren to keep him occupied, and that is sometimes the best medicine.


Rest in peace, our wonderful Aunt!


You are greatly missed...





This is Very Strange!


          What makes this year so bad, is that we lost a good friend and a wonderful aunt, both from breast cancer within a couple of months of each other.  Then aunt Sue passed away from MSA and just a week after her passing we lost our cousin Terry of ALS here in Texas.  Symptoms of ALS and MSA are very close.





Terry Lee McCann

August 5, 1958 to July 12, 2010


          Terry McCann was the son of Frank McCann, my father's brother.  Frank has several kids that all live locally, and Terry had a lot of support and close family ties, and he was surrounded by them when he passed.  I didn't get to meet Terry, but I wish I had.  I would have liked to have had the opportunity to spend some time with him.  Terry was a family man and left behind his wife, Lisa, 2 sons and 2 daughters, and a few grandchildren.


Rest now dear cousin, you are in a better place!


Remember the good times.  Never forget, for we never truly lose someone unless we forget them.




Carl and Doug

and the Grandchildren

(Doug's kids)



  This is not a paid advertisement  

Good Prints Fast!

Canon Selphy CP800


          When the Pantego Police Department asked me if I could take the Santa pictures at the annual City Christmas party this year, my only concern was the printing.  With my current printing technology, it would take me at least 5 minutes per picture, and we were looking at taking more than 50 pictures that evening.  After doing some research, I found the perfect piece of equipment.  Although it's a little pricy, the pictures turned out great.


The finished prints are 4X6 borderless


          Strangest thing I've ever seen.  The way this machine prints a picture is very strange and interesting to watch.  It uses a thermal ink system and prints each color with a separate pass, printing yellow first, when I saw it I thought, "that looks like crap!", but with each pass, wow.  The last pass was black and by that time, the picture was really nice.


Prints directly from the memory card - no computer required


          You purchase Ink and Paper in a kit, which prints about 108 pictures per kit, for about $50, and the printer itself is only $89 retail.


Canon Selphy CP800

Compact Photo Printer

Comes in Black or White

and is barley larger than your hand


See it here!


          Our privacy policy is very simple.  We do not give out information to anyone unless they are an immediate relative.  We do not give out personal information to anyone.  We will not post addresses or phone numbers unless specifically asked to do so, and then only within the secure section of the Site.


Sign someone up to Receive our newsletters


          Sign someone up to receive this newsletter.  If you find a family member or friend is not on our mailing list and you know they would enjoy receiving it, sign them up.  Go Here to send a request.  Or if you are sick and tired of getting this newsletter, use the same form to cancel and remove your name from the list.


          Don't forget about my Downloads Page on the Web Site.  I will try to place links to important programs and utilities from time to time for you to download.  I know some of you still have dial-up access so I will try to make things smaller to download faster to your machine.


          I have added some links that I think some of you will enjoy, if you haven't checked them out before, check them out now.  Especially check out Google Earth.  If you haven't seen what it is, download it and install it, you can zoom in on anyplace on earth.  It also includes Google Sky, which shows the night sky and all of the stars.  You can see what the sky looks like from your house, right on your screen.  My Links Page...  I found out recently that it also has a flight simulator which is hidden like an "Easter egg" (a small program or movie hidden in a program or utility).


          Missed a past edition of the newsletter?  You can view past issues on our Web Site.  Some are actually printable, you'll need Adobe Reader to download and print them.  Go Here to view past issues of our newsletters.



Gary McCann



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