2006 Bulletin Board Postings

Gene Hartsock wrote (December 22, 2006)


My son, Rob with his Nancy his wife and Newborn daughter Serenna Grace born Dec 22 2006 at 5:11 PM 7lbs 3oz and 21″

Nancy (Masbruch) Olinger wrote (December 21, 2006)

Holiday Greetings to you and your family, Dave:

It’s always lots of fun to open your emails and read about all the interesting things going on in the world of Class of ’73-ers. I enjoy all the photos, too, and thought I’d send one of our newest member to the family – our granddaughter Miranda. She was born to my oldest daughter. And don’t think she won’t be getting spoiled on her first Christmas!


Got a kick out of Mark’s mystery man. Besides looking a bit like Sam Elliott, I really can’t recall who started out with us and then didn’t graduate. I’m afraid if I venture any guesses that I might offend someone who actually WAS at graduation. As I reflected back over yearbooks, I realize there were lots of our classmates I didn’t know. So I’ll throw out a guess – Jim Lenoch?

Nothing much new here. I see Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon on occasion; Laura (Lacina) Swiser is my neighbor; and I stay in close contact with Sue Davison. Would be nice to have an Iowa City get-together again. That was fun, Dave, when we all got together a year or so ago.

Happy Holidays to the Class of ’73!

Nancy (Masbruch) Olinger

Mark Stasi wrote (December 13, 2006)


So, I’m up in the mountains of Colorado having a glass of wine at an upscale kind of eating/drinking establishment near Aspen, Colorado, one evening this October. It’s a great place to be on the earth. Near the wildness of the West and far enough from Denver to feel like Jeremiah Johnson may be over the ridge roasting that ‘fine rabbit’ that he and Will Geer quickly dispatch.

So, after a few…more…reflections on by contentment, albeit usually brief at 51 with two teen age sons, unfortunately…

And after a few more (many?) Ferrari glasses of good red and World Series on TV… and not much to distract me in the immediate vicinity, as Dave Kacena only can interpret, I’m wondering who is this interesting semi-unkempt, yet maybe semi-out of place, for lack of a better description, visitor to this establishment, and WHY on earth does he seems to be either someone remembered deep in my past or, an actor selling beef, ‘it’s what’s for dinner,’ Sam what’s his name. Wasn’t that guy also in the Patrick Swayze movie, Roadhouse?

Anyway, so, he sits beside me at the corner of the bar, after his hearing that I’d just been to Iowa City to take my son to an Iowa game in which I had the great fortune to not only see a great Purdue Homecoming Victory, but also to see the 9th wonder of the world, Linda Vedepo, I hear him mutter, that he’d once lived in Iowa. Hmmm….

So, OK, I ask where? He says his parents taught at ISU. So, I say, OK. And I ask him, and it’s like prying some of those western cactus thorns out of my ‘parts’ on a hot Arizona golf day when the cart is parked right on top of a deadly ‘buzz killer’ plant, where did you live?

And he says…again like I’m a DEA agent, “Iowa City.” So, I ask, and where did you go to school? And he says, well, Iowa City West, ‘but I didn’t graduate.’

I’m getting it now. I’m remembering the voice, the mannerisms, the sublime and sarcastic yet honest down to earth real person that I remember that could only be the one and only …

Yes, here’ his picture….do you remember?????

He who must not be named

Let the guessing begin! Who do you think this is???? Only David Gerlits knows as I attached the name on the photo file he’ll erase.
[Webmaster note: I’ve changed the name of the file to “a name we must not utter…;-)”]

God Bless Us Everyone…We Had A Great Start There, Didn’t We All?!

Merry Christmas!


Keith Gormèzano wrote (December 13, 2006)

Hi Dave,Happy Generic Holidays, I also like the idea about how people have come together to support one another. In spite of the fact that I don’t feel connected with most of my classmates, I still will make sure that I mention that I went to West High School when I join web sites that allow you to list your schools like LiveJournal, Classmates, Reunion, etc. and to try to come back for class reunions when I can. It is the least I can do. It is too bad that some folks, particularly the missing or less active members don’t feel the same way. Thanks for your effort to maintain the WHS Class of 73 Web site.

One another issue, I am sure that many folks have read about the recent controversy about the taking down of the Christmas, err, I mean the Holiday Trees at SeaTac airport in the Greater Seattle area. Here is a recent letter to the editor of mine http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/295666_ltrs13.html that the Seattle Post Intelligencer printed about this issue.

[Webmaster note: Keith’s letter is the third down on the page]


Becky (Irvin) Daniel wrote (December 4, 2006)

Dear Dave,I went to West High’s production of Les Mis on Dec 2. It was great. As always the music and theater departments have quality productions.


Brenda (Schrock) Bradley wrote (November 25, 2006)


I just thought I would send our most recent family photo that was taken at my daughter Jessica’s wedding on October 28, 2006. It was a great day for our family and everything went as planned. In the photo are Jim and I, my son Adam, daughter Jessica and husband Matt May. 

Holiday greetings!

Brenda (Schrock) Bradley

Bradley Wedding


Sheila (Potter) Cole wrote (September 25, 2006)

Hi Dave,

I just wanted to announce the birth of our third granddaughter Grace Canning Cole. She arrived on Saturday the 23rd. she is the second girl for our middle son Nathan and his wife Melissa. We are very excited about our new arrival. Mom and baby are fine and went home today from the hospital. Her middle name is in honor of Nathan’s buddy Wesley Canning who was KIA in Iraq in November of 2004. I’ve attached a picture of Grace meeting Grandma Sheila for the first time.

Hope all is well with your family,

Sheila and Grace

Dan Hackmann wrote (August 6, 2006)

Hi Dave,

Been awhile since I checked out the ’73 site, and then realized that the reason I have not received updates from you lately is that I have a new job and a new e-mail address. I started a new software company with a business partner last year and am now working for our company full time since January. We develop software and provide consulting for the steel industry.

I’ve included a picture of my wife and I from a ski weekend in Engelberg (about an hour from here), as well as a view out our front windows of fog over Lake Zürich in the fall.

Take care and keep up the good work.


P.S. I was also sad to read the news about Dr. Workman. I too had him as a teacher in the humanities class and really enjoyed his teaching.

Dr. Daniel Hackmann
Managing Director
Change Paradigm Systems AG
Gustav-Maurer-Strasse 9
8702 Zollikon
+41 840 700 400 

Mark Ferguson wrote (July 16, 2006)

Hi Dave,

Just a short note from the world traveler. Here are a few great pictures of our Paris trip. Enjoy!

Larry Lindell wrote (July 16, 2006)

Dear Dave,

Thanks so much for all of your work in keeping us all up to date.  I really appreciate it.  I am sorry I have not kept in touch more with you, but today I felt moved to write.  My oldest son. Josh (23) and his wife just had their second child, a son named Noah Clark Lindell.  So I am a grandfather of two now.  I feeling very old.  I have enclosed a picture of the old grandfather (me) with my son and grandson. 

My younger son, Ben (20) is dating Katie (Collins) Bretz’s younger daughter.  I did not even know that Katie lived in Des Moines.  We have gotten together as families a few times.  It has been great to catch up with her.  Ben will be finishing up his music degree this next Spring.  My oldest daughter, Elizabeth (18) graduated from HS this Spring and will be attending DMAC, our local community college in the fall. My middle daughter, Emily (15) will be a sophomore next Fall and my youngest daughter, Meghan (8) will be starting 3rd grade.  What a spread.

I am still working a Broadlawns Medical Center, which is our county  hospital.  I over see the delivery of the OB/GYn care there.  Well that’s it for now.  I will try to keep in touch a little better.Sincerely,

Larry Lindell


Pat Vaughan wrote (July 15, 2006)

I hope this message finds you well.

I wanted to let you know that I’ve joined ITN Source (formerly ITN Archive).  We license footage to media producers for documentaries, feature films, educational programs, online resources, advertising and new media.  We own or represent over 20 archival libraries including Fox News, Reuters, ITN News, Granada, Channel 4 (UK), British Paramount and Fox Movie Tone.  Our content covers almost every conceivable subject and historical event including famous people, war footage, nature scenes, animals, comedy, drama, music performances and much more.  We can license footage as far back as 1896 and as recent as yesterday.  In total, we represent 700,000 hours of footage!

Some of our clients include the History Channel, Discovery, EMI and Amazon Links.  And we have supplied footage to films like Matrix Reloaded and Superman Returns.  We are also the largest supplier of video clips to Google Video and some links to a few of those videos are below.

Kind regards,

Patrick Vaughan

George W. Bush meets Vladimir Putin

Beluga Whale blows Bubbles: ITN

Hurricane Katrina Survivors In Mississippi 

Flying Rocket Man

Christmas 1963 Japanese Underwater Party

Christmas 1926 Kings Christmas Pudding

Kim Persons wrote (July 7, 2006)

Deb and Kim Persons have a grandchild

Sophie Debrah Richardson arrived at 6:45 pm Wed July 5

She weighed in at 8 lb 9.6 oz and has a head full of black hair.

Sophie Debrah Richardson

All the staff on the nursery unit said she had the best hair of all the babies on the floor this week.

Mother, father, and baby are very tired, but doing fine. They will stay with us for a few days until Jane is getting around better.


Becky (Irvin) Daniel wrote (June 29, 2006)

I have been in training and have not answered my email.  It made me feel very sad to hear of Dr. Workman’s passing.  He was very young.  He was my favorite teacher.  I still use his theory.  Its not what you know but if you know where to find it if you need to know.

Becky Daniel

Mark Ferguson wrote (June 26, 2006)


It is with great sadness that I found out about Dr Workman. I had him for a Humanities course, and he was one of a couple of instructors that encouraged me to go through Architectural couses at Iowa State. Although I am not a practicing architect, but still an Engineer for Ryko Manufacturing, a carwash company, I remember taking an architectural tour through Wisconsin to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin and the House On The Rock. It helped me decide to go into Architecture classes.

It is somewhat a fitting coincendence that I write you this message from Paris (my wife and I are here on holiday with some friends from England), since I probably would not have had the chance to travel internationally if it hadn’t been for instructors like Dr Workman who encouraged us all to follow our dreams to the ends of the earth. I would bet quite a few of us have traveled the world using lessons learned in Dr Workman’s Humanities class. He enjoyed architecuture, art and cultural. He made you research different aspects of a culture (even before the internet made it possible to easily research and map out your destination).

I will always remember Dr Workman. I had always hoped he could come back to a class reunion, like some of the other instructors have. He helped me have the courage to discover the world (the little I have seen of it).

Mark Ferguson

Keith Gormèzano wrote (June 22, 2006)

Ah, more news from Keith (last couple of paragraphs)


Keith Gormèzano wrote (June 19, 2006)

Sorry to hear about Brooke Workman. He once told me that he didn’t think that I would graduate from college and wouldn’t let me in to his advanced English class in my senior year. So I graduated from college just to prove to him and others like him how wrong they were. I guess you could say that he provided some negative encouragement but it was encouragement anyway. Dr. Workman, I salute you.

Anyway, here is a recent comment of mine on a Web site about how to deal with folks who think the streets belong to them and don’t move their cars so the rest of us can park: http://www.lifeslittleannoyances.com/node/301#comment-41 (second paragraph)

Patty (Kennedy) McBride wrote (June 19, 2006)In Memory of Dr. Workman

If I had to choose one teacher that made the most impact on me in my younger years, it would be Dr. Workman. I took three classes from him: World History, American Literature & Humanities. If I could have taken more, I would have. He was the most inspiring, and dedicated teacher who was passionionate about teaching. When I took the World History class, it was in the summertime and it was held at City High. His home was not far, and a few times we actually held class at his house. He invited us into his home and taught us in a casual setting and captured our attention with his stories and his knowledge. I felt that he put his heart and soul into teaching and it showed. He was awesome. He loved his family and often talked about them fondly. When he talked about his wife, it was with an incredible respect and love that was impressive. I learned lessons about history and literature, but what I remember is the life lessons he taught us……taught from a man of character, integrity, intelligence, love & passion for learning, a man who was willing to share that with his students. I only wish I could have let him know how much his teaching meant to me prior to his passing on. Perhaps you can pass on these notes to his family.

(Webmaster’s note: Dr. Workman has a “Memorial” on the Lensing funeral home site where anyone can leave a note to his family.)

Thanks, Patty Kennedy McBride

Gene Hartsock wrote (June 12, 2006)

Dave, I have another announcement…

My son Rob and His Wife Nancy are expecting…

Somewhere around Jan 5th 2007

I don’t feel old enough to be a Grandpa! 

(does having a root canal done today count?)


Dave Kacena wrote (May 15, 2006)


There has been a lot of water over the dam or under the bridge since my days as a tractor salesman. I left there amidst the divorce in 1991 and re-entered the Real Estate business. (I had gotten my Real Estate license in 1988 )

I have 3 kids. The twins Ash and Abby are 22 and should have been done with undergraduate work this spring but I have been informed that because of changes in majors or just in direction they will each need an additional semester. What the heck it’s only money. Abby goes to Winona State in Winona MN and has just completed her career as a softball player there. She was on the State Championship team in 2002 at Clear Creek. Ash and their younger brother Cam who is 20 go to the other school in Ames. They share an apartment there with 2 of their friends. After seeing it I’m glad they are not my tenants.

My Real Estate career evolved into property management in the mid 90s. I have a company called Kacena Real Estate Management LLC < http://www.k-rem.com > that manages property all over Johnson Co.. I have another company called Building Systems Management Inc., a small construction company that mainly does maintenance on properties that we manage. Outside of work I enjoy a lot of the same things I always have. I belong to the Carthage Lake Club which is a private hunting and fishing club on the Mississippi River near Burlington IA where my parents have lived since 1974. I spend most weekends in the fall there duck hunting with my father. Several times a year I make it up to the Boundary Waters to hunt, fish, canoe and kick back with many friends I have made around the Ely,MN area. I am going to miss my annual spring trip there this year because my office manage of nearly 7 years has decided she is tired of the property management business and has changed careers. I am in the process of replacing her. Some people have no respect for the important things like fishing.

I have been involved in Martial Arts since 1982. In the past year I have taken over the Shorin-Ryu Karate program at the UI. You can get a look at < http://www.shorinryu-iowacity.com > . I am in the process of trying to restore the dojo to it’s former glory. Both of my sons have made black belt and during the school year they train in the dojo at Iowa State. My daughter has indicated that she would like to start when she comes back to town this summer. Iowa City is considered the hub of this style of karate and has produced most of the black belts that have established American Karate Federation dojos across the country. The dojo at UI is the oldest continually operating school of this style in the US. I am pretty honored that I was chosen to take it over.

I would appreciate it if you posted both of those websites. I still have the same PO Box 2929 for business but my home address is 605 Westgate St. Iowa City, IA 52246. I do still consider myself a Coralville kid.

It has been too long without contact with many of the people we grew up with and I hope to remedy this. It was good to hear from you, stay in touch.


Rich Altmaier wrote (April 15, 2006)

Hi Dave,

I have this to share.Our older daughter, Elizabeth, has been accepted to Harvard, to start in the fall of 2006. Very exciting news for us! She wanted a small liberal arts school, and this is sure a good option! Additionally Liz will play basketball on the Harvard women’s team. In her senior year in high school, Liz and team won the California D-5 state championship in girls’ basketball. This is Liz and team’s second such title, which did help with getting noticed by the college coaches.

Our younger daughter has found an interest in sports photography. Her shots of the state championship game can be seen here: http://www.sportsflashtech.com/photos/P-05-06/HS-g-basketball/CA-state-champions-vsPacH/index.html

Liz is number 22 in white.Rachel also has her own web site on sports photography, here, http://www.sportsflashtech.com/

I have borrowed a bit of it for some of my own sports video work,http://www.sportsflashtech.com/video

A set of shots from the state championship game can be seen here: http://www.sportsflashtech.com/photos/P-05-06/HS-g-basketball/CA-state-video/CA_state_Pinewood_vs_PacificHills.wmv 

FYI, Rich & Paulette Altmaier

Edith Seig wrote (April 15, 2006)

Hi everyone,

I’d like to share some very exciting news from our family.

Our daughter, Tania Lyerly, has just signed a National Letter of Intent with Northwestern University in Evanston.

Of course we are very excited about her success. She has been working very hard on taking challenging classes in High School and getting very good grades. Her sophomore year she picked up the sport of diving and fell in love with it. She has been working very hard to come from behind in her chosen sport and “make a splash” 🙂 She was recruited by several good colleges with various scholarship offers, but in the end the nod went to Northwestern. She’ll be studying History and Mass communications. 

If any of you want to see a couple photos of Tania diving, 

go to my website www.esFoto.com

then select “sports”then select “Tania” from the events list. Zoom to enlarge the photo montage.

Edith Sieg, photographer

On April 13th, starting about 8 PM and lasting for about an hour, strong storms that included tornadoes struck Eastern Iowa, with the worst weather hitting Iowa City and causing widespread damage. The Iowa City Press Citizen provided excellent coverage for the storm and it’s effect on Iowa City.

Some of our classmates shared the following stories with us the next day, April 14th.  These are their stories.

Rich Newell wrote (April 7, 2006)

Hi classmates,

I am writing to report a recent job change. I am now a senior electronics engineer at Zonare (www.zonare.com), a start-up in Mountain View, CA in the heart of the silicon valley. We have recently announced our first product: a “convertable” ultrasound machine that can either be docked into a cart or undocked and run off of the internal battery. Because of advances in technology, we are able to get nearly the same quality image as previous high-end machines by GE or Siemens, but at a fraction of the size, weight, power consumption, and cost. I hope to contribute in both hardware design (analog and digital) and with my knowledge of digital signal processing.

I saw the U of Iowa on our list of sales prospects, so perhaps we will have one or more machines there in Iowa City in the next quarter or two!

In my non-work life, I have become very active in the Libertarian Party. Before I left Iowa for California in the early eighties I ran for State Senate. Upon arriving here in California I ran for U.S. Congress (1982). Having gotten that out of the way, I now just work behind the scenes. I am currently a member of the fifteen-person Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of California, where I chair the media relations subcommittee. Besides writing and distributing press releases for the LPC, I also publish weekly an op-ed column written by a distinguished California Libertarian. This is sent to over 2000 members of the print media in California, and posted on our web site at www.ca.lp.org. I am also national Vice-Chair of the Outright Libertarians where I contribute to our blog (www.outrightusa.org), and am Chair of the state chapter of Outright Libertarians.

I have been living with Benjamin Chavez for over 20 years. We were married in San Francisco city hall on President’s day in 2004, but it was anulled by the state Supreme Court in August that year – a big disappointment for me and Ben. Those 4000 or so marriages between Valentine’s day and President’s day were pretty well covered in the news.

My mother is doing well, now long retired from teaching elementary school in Iowa City, and living in Florida. My sister, Jacqueline Spaulding, another West High grad, died at the young age of 30 from a brain tumor. Our father was already deceased by the time we moved to Iowa City in 1968.

Rich Newell

Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon wrote (April 7, 2006)Dave,

I was reading your blog and was glad to see you are back safe and sound. I have some news for you, some good some bad. I got a new e-mail address for Julie Rogers. It is Julie-rogers@uiowa.edu

I had lunch with the girls last Saturday. It was Deb Persons, Deb Tyer, Julie, Brenda and Karen Michelac. nice to get together every month. We haven’t done so all winter as Deb Tyer lives 2 hours away. Now we are back in business.

Also, Liz Skaugstad is back in town. I will try to get a hold of her and get an e-mail address. I heard that her family is building a house in Iowa City and she is currently at her parents house while the house is being built. Slow but sure we will get everyone.

The bad news is Debbie Bulechek’s sister died last week. Also, Mike Young’s dad died on the 5th. Mike is my cousin (as was his dad) . Sorry for so much bad news. It seems as though I am always the bearer of bad news.

I will as always try to get more e-mails and help out.

Talk to you later.


We have skype too. Got you on my list. next time I see you on, I will skype you!

Paul Olin wrote (April 4, 2006)


Mark and I and our wives are skiing in Aspen. We thought you might like to post this picture. Maybe you would like you to post this on the website. Hope all is well.


Mark and Paul

Click for the larger image

Keith Gormèzano wrote (March 30, 2006)Hi Dave,  

This just came out yesterday. Do you think it is something to mention on the WHS bulletin board or your weekly newsletter?

To Sit and smell the Roses

Pat Vaughan wrote (March 20, 2006)Hi Dave,

Below is our Las Vegas address. And attached is a photo of Kevin Megan and his wife Lynne with us at the famous conservatory in the Belagio Hotel. We met up with them a few times while they were visiting in Vegas a few weeks ago. It was really great to see Kevin again and meet his lovely wife.

4201 S. Decatur Blvd.
Apt. 2057
Las Vegas, NV 89103
(Webmaster note: I’ve updated Pat’s address in the directory)


Patrick Vaughan

(Click the image to enlarge)

Sheila (Potter) Cole wrote (March 2, 2006)Hi Dave,I’m back in cold and cloudy Iowa City for a sad occassion. My father passed away a couple of days ago after a long battle with heart diesease. It was expected but as everyone knows one is nver ready. As my family is gathering to mourn and celebrate his life a message to all my classmates…take care of your heart. My Dad’s problems started in his 50’s, just about where we are now.My condolences to Gaye’s family, my heart and prayers are with her and her family at this time.I was back on Iowa City 2 weeks ago during that ice and snow storm and the FREEZING days that followed. I’ve never been to a reastaurant that had to close because their gas meter had frozen and they couldn’t cook until then(the Red Lobster at Coral Ridge Mall). And as I listen to the wind blowing outside the Hampton on the hill on 1st Ave in Coralville I am reminded that while I am proud to day I was born and raised in Iowa, I am also reminded of why I live in the desert!Blessings to all,

Gene Hartsock wrote (February 19, 2006)My wife Anne, and I celebrated our 30th anniversary while attending our Son’s wedding Jan 20th in Ocho Rios Jamaica with them. This was the first time either of us have been outside of the US. Two days were hot, and two days were cold, but we enjoyed every minute of it. My son Rob is a TV Camera man for Fox Sports North, and his wife just finished college with a degree in the Autism Field. It was close to one hundred temp when we left, and got back to the Twin Cities where the temp was 11 above. I think I will have to do that again sometime.(click the thumbnails to enlarge)

Rob and Nancy
Hartsock’s Wedding
Rob and Nancy Hartsock Wed Gazebo
Rob and Nancy’s
Wedding Dance
Rob and Nancy's Wedding Dance
Gene and Anne Hartsock’s
30th Anniversary
Rob and Nancy's Wedding Dance

Greg Leichty wrote (January 20, 2006)Dave,It was good to hear from you! It is hard to believe, but I’m now half a half century. Time sure flies! I am even contemplating retirement and my second career after retirement. Kari my youngest is going to college next year, so we will have an empty nest soon. When she gets through college, I am planning on becoming an “online professor”–teaching online but giving up the rest of my faculty responsibilities. I am contemplating doing some other things such as getting pursuing local political office or perhaps getting more deeply involved in some nonprofit work.Hope that things are going well for you.Here is my updated email. It is pretty easy– greg.leichty AT louisville.edu. They changed email systems last year and I had to change my address to conform with the new standard.Sincerely,Greg LeichtyGreg Leichty
Professor of Communication
Department of Communication
University of Louisville

Martin Andersen wrote (January 1, 2006)Bringing you up to date with our (good news only) highlights for the year: Christina Andersen Floral Design is in its seventh year of operation at the Monroe Center for the Arts in Hoboken. Largely a one-woman operation, Chris provides weekly fresh arrangements for several local restaurants, a wonderful new shoe boutique, has a regular account with a Manhattan rare stamp auction house, and continues to provide just the right “look” to corporate events and the Theatre Square Grill at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. She also does private events and parties. In April she delivered 26 arrangements to a gala banquet for 500 on board a large harbor-cruising ship celebrating the City of Hoboken’s 150th Anniversary. And her flowers graced the Bat Mitzvah of one of Martin’s violin students. Along with other artists in her building Chris continues to have monthly “open studios”, as well as being part of the city-wide Hoboken Artists Studio Tour in October.Martin is in the midst of his 27th season performing as violist with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. June 21 (truly the longest day of the year) found him 50 years old and truly surprised at a party thrown by Chris at home, surrounded by good friends. In November Martin was a delegate to the Mellon Foundation’s Orchestra Forum, an organization dedicated to facilitating the health and relevance of symphony orchestras in American society. He has had the opportunity to teach more college students this year, presently instructing six at Stevens Institute of Technology as an Artist in Residence-plus of course many other private students. Plus the usual freelance work in area orchestras and chamber groups. Martin traveled to the Chicago suburb of Glendale Heights in June to attend the high school graduation (with honors, and a year early) of his brother Mike’s daughter Jessica. (She’s now a chef-in-training at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago). We were in Rockford, IL (Chris’ home town) in July for a wedding shower for Maria Peroulakis, the bride-to-be of Peter White, Chris’ sister Janet’s son. While there Martin pal’d up with brother Mike for a day trip to Chicago. Tried durian in Chinatown for the first time: definitely an acquired taste! The next time we saw Pete and Maria was at their wedding in September in Springfield, MA. Between those events we returned in August to Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming-Martin’s 14th year performing in that remarkably beautiful place (do drop by and visit-seriously). Besides two day trips to Yellowstone, one welcome surprise was for Martin was running into a violist colleague, Philip Tietze, whom he originally met at another summer festival in PA exactly 20 years ago. It was nice to get caught up with Philip and his wife Carol. A highlight of our stay for Chris was an evening cookout with musician friends. Building a fire, we grilled our supper in a picnic area near String Lake at Teton National Park. Enjoying roasted chicken and salmon, the day slowly changed to dusk, then night. It was very dark, with no city lights or street lamps to pollute the blackness or water down the sky. Looking up, we saw the many thousands of stars that aren’t available to us back home, framed below by the silhouette of the Teton mountains and the towering pines all around. Friends, good food, nature-a moment to cherish. After Wyoming we flew to California to visit our friends Tom and Annette Illing in Santa Cruz. We also saw Chris’ girlhood friend Robin Lysne and her husband Ernesto-whose wedding we attended when we were last in the area seven years ago. Our hosts and friends helped us to enjoy city sights and wonderful natural beauty of the middle California coast. The holidays took us back to Rockford. Now we’re home for New Year’s. On January 5 we celebrate 15 years of marriage. Blessings to all for the season and the year to come.Martin and Chris