Judy (Becker) Bryant wrote (December 30, 2010)
2010 Holiday Greetings from the Bryant Family
The last few weeks have been so busy that we have only now finally found time to write this letter on Christmas Eve.
Our biggest news this year involves Boy Scouts. Just one week ago, Sam had his Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Both of his grandfathers, several Becker cousins, and many friends attended the ceremony at which Judy’s father, Sam, pinned his own Eagle Scout medal (earned in 1938) on our Sam.
Sam’s Eagle service project was a dog adoption event in September. Sam arranged for numerous dog rescue groups and animal service providers to attend and was delighted when four dogs were adopted that very afternoon. He finished his term as Senior Patrol Leader, but will continue in the troop as an instructor and role model. Ben, now a 2nd Class Scout, earned the Cub Scout Arrow of Light and crossed over to the troop last spring. Scouting has become a real family affair with Dave still serving as the troop’s Scoutmaster. The three of them enjoyed summer scout camp in the mountains of Georgia in July where they went white water rafting among other activities.
Judy and Rommel the Rottweiler spent that week relaxing in a local park and then the whole family embarked on an RV journey to the Midwest for a few weeks. Driving through Ohio, we saw Dave’s friend Jamie Livergood. Dave taught a self defense class at Jamie’s judo club before we headed on to Michigan where we greatly enjoyed the terrific Henry Ford Museum and factory tour. On the way to the Upper Peninsula, we spent a couple days with Judy’s childhood friend Amy Ferris and husband Jim climbing dunes, visiting historic sites, and swimming in Lake Michigan. From there we drove north to watch ships pass through the Soo Locks, visit a bear rescue facility, and view artifacts from the Edmund Fitzgerald at a shipwreck museum on Lake Superior. We stopped in Iowa City to see Judy’s father on the way home.
Dave and Sam had visited Sam and taken a short trip up to Minneapolis in April when they drove the RV to the Winnebago factory in northern Iowa for repairs. Our other trips this year included camping on the Braden River over the MLK weekend in January, a few days in San Diego in August while Judy attended the American Psychological Association meeting, and camping on the beach up in the Panhandle over Thanksgiving. Dave presented a lecture on interrogation at a Florida Mensa conference and attended a national polygraph meeting up in Myrtle Beach. Dave’s friend Butch Clark, visiting from Texas, went along on the latter trip. Sam went on his 8th grade class trip to Washington, DC, in June and had a chance to see Judy’s brother, Craig.
Music has also been a big part of our year. Ben played hand bells through the end of 5th grade and plans to take band as his 6th grade elective spring semester. Sam played tuba in the middle school band and also picked up trombone for the jazz band. In preparation for joining the high school marching band in the fall, he attended band camp at the University of Tampa as well as the high school’s band camp. Seeing Sam in his bright red uniform playing sousaphone on the field and in the stands at football games and in competition was really exciting. It proved to be a terrific way for him to meet upper classmen and develop school spirit. Last weekend he again played at a local Tuba Christmas concert.
2010 was a year for awards. Ben’s Odyssey of the Mind team earned 2nd place in regional competition and then 5th in the state. They designed costumes, sets, and a script about bullying in “Phoenix Middle School” that was really creative and fun. Ben also won academic awards and a certificate for perfect attendance at his 5th grade end-of-year festivities and made Principal’s Honor Roll for the first quarter of 6th grade. Sam received the 8th grade award for outstanding performance in history at his awards celebration. Not to be outdone, Judy received one of the University of South Florida’s Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Awards.
Somehow the boys find time to do well in their school work and stay fit in activities beyond scout camping. Sam joined the high school wrestling team two days after his last band competition, and Ben is playing soccer. Dave and Judy need to maintain detailed calendars to keep track of all their work, family, and civic responsibilities. Dave remains busy with his clinical and forensic polygraph business. An interesting case this year was for the National Enquirer testing the veracity of a prostitute who claimed to have a celebrity as her client. He’s added to his skills by attending an NRA Police Rifle Instructor school and an FBI school on profiling and interrogating pedophiles. Judy continues to enjoy teaching and serving as Area Director for the Psychology Department’s doctoral program in Cognition, Neuroscience, and Social Psychology. She sits on the School Advisory Councils for the boys’ schools and the neighborhood homeowners’ association and takes major responsibility for the care of our uromastyx lizard, Saphira.
2011, we expect, will be just as busy and exciting as 2010. We hope this letter finds you healthy, happy, and ready for the New Year.
Dave Gerlits wrote (December 16, 2010)
The University of Iowa’s Spectator@Iowa just published a wonderful article about Judy (Becker) Bryant’s Dad Sam entitled Mr. University of Iowa.
The article starts: “After 70 years on campus, Sam Becker has become an Iowa icon…” read more
Happy Holidays to one and all,
I’m empty nested for two months. My oldest decided to take a full time job offer in Thornton, Colorado until mid January. He’s living with a family he’s known for about 4 years now, working with them at their UPS Store in north Denver, CO. He’s enjoying having the work, but plans to return in mid January when the job is over to keep looking for work here in Cedar Rapids. I so wish it could play into a full time job for him, but he knew it would be temporary, and maybe it will work into something with UPS here in town.
Mike had his car totaled just before Thanksgiving down in the Quad Cities. He’s fine – just some stiff legs. A lady ran a red light. The police report finally came in and proved that she was in the wrong, and luckily, the accident was in a camera installed intersection and the camera didn’t lie – the lady did. She was on a one way street in the middle lane and the person to her right stopped and then turned right. She didn’t think right turn on red and just proceeded out into the intersection and whammo. She told the police one thing and her insurance company another, but they have found her responsible, so Mike is happy about that so he doesn’t have to pay any deductible. They’ll replace his car with money now. My father loaned him his 2nd car which is an old Camry in excellent condition.
Mike had a Ford Focus and had it all souped up of course. Takes after his dad in that department. But he loves the Camry so much, my dad said he might be willing to sell it to him. He’d have over a $1,000 left over from his car and this one that he could pocket and put towards college expenses. Smart kid. Guess we raised him well after all. 🙂
I was a great aunt three times this year. My only niece on my side had a girl in September. My niece was 37 and it was their first. Baby has had a hard time gaining weight, but has finally broke 10 pounds and is steadily gaining at last. My only niece on Tom’s side is 47 and just had twins on Nov. 8th, a boy and a girl – they weighed 6-5 and 7-9! Lots of baby.
We’ll just be 4-5 for Christmas this year. Mike asked if we could have a holiday without Tom’s side of the family. We’ve included them since Tom was diagnosed in 2004. They don’t get along well, and I”ve been their glue since I met Tom back in 1981! If not for me, they wouldn’t keep in touch with each other at all or see one another much at all, but it does get tiring. We hadn’t had a Jurgens holiday only for years so I told Mike we could. My mom broke the news to the Noths – I don’t think they liked it much, but they’ll have to put their grown up pants on and like it or lump it – if they can’t get together on their own at 46+ years of age and older, it’s not my problem. So two decided to leave the state for Christmas and the other two will go to another’s home in Wisconsin, but not on Christmas day – they were told they could go the next day to celebrate. His family has never been close and I truly got the cream of the crop in that family!
I’ve accepted a position on a board recently. It’s the Churches of Marion Senior Living Foundation. The churches in Marion have all gone together and built three low income apartment complexes for seniors – two are HUD and one is not. They needed someone from our church to serve on the board, and the exiting member was the corresponding secretary, so I accepted and they voted me in. It’s only one meeting a month for maybe an hour, and then sending out thank yous to people who donate to the foundation, and then after the first of the year, tax letters for those who had donated the previous year. Not much work at all, and it gets me out doing something out of my box and around people in the community. It’s good for me – it’s too easy for me to stay at home and not be involved much outside of school things that I do outside of my normal work.
Well, all for now. Hope this finds you and yours well. Doing great here. This Christmas will be bit tougher – the 2nd year without Tom and now Chris being in Colorado, but I’ve got his box all packed and wrapped for UPS to deliver it to him at the UPS store he works at, and he’ll have a taste from home soon to put under the tree.
Take care Dave. Hi to the family as well.
Here it is!! Barbara Crandall Prosser ’73 and Brittani Prosser Koeppen (Mrs Adam Koeppen) ’04 West High School……I don’t know what to do with it, so you do what you do best!! Wedding was 9-18-10, at Danforth Chapel In Iowa CIty!!
I just wanted to pass along that my Mother died on October 1st from aplastic anemia. The memorial service for her was on October 10th.
Greg gave us permission to post his mother’s obituary on our site, as a tribute to her life.
Ruth (Earnest) Leichty, 75, passed away on Friday, October 1st with her loving husband by her side in their Coralville home.
Ruth was born January 7th, 1935 in Milford, NE. She married Lowell Leichty on October 10, 1954. They raised their family in Coralville.
For many years Ruth worked as the office manager for the family firm: L.J. Leichty Construction. Ruth was deeply involved in the life and work of the First Mennonite Church in Iowa City. She had a vibrant network of friends and she had a special place in her heart for her grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband of 55 years Lowell Leichty; their five children Greg (Kathleen) Leichty, Phil (Kim) Leichty, Kathy (Loren) Sands, Ruth (Brad) Giesking and Mark ( Kristen) Leichty; 13 grandchildren, Jana Leichty Meyer, Kari Leichty, Daniel Leichty, Paul Leichty, Joseph Leichty, Sarah Leichty, Amanda Kaefring, Jeremy Kaefring, Ian Sands, Suzanna Giesking, Desiree Giesking, Erica Giesking and Ella Ruth Leichty; and 3 great-grandchildren, Ivan Giesking, Matthew Giesking and Brayden Giesking; her siblings, Arlene (Bernie) Kremer, Ina (Firman) Rediger, Don (Karla) Earnest and Ron (Kelly) Earnest.
This link http://www.denverpost.com/krieger/ci_16053937 is to a Denver sports writer’s column on Sharm Scheuerman who recently passed away. A lot of us remember Sharm from Young Life and Hawkeye sports (and hazing his son Tom!).
Ever a fixture at the local sports bars in IC in years past. He moved to Denver and impacted many here, around the country, and internationally with his faith and service to others.
But as in IC, he became a fixture at the Sports Column here for every Hawkeye FB and BB game for decades, and was always a smiling, living remembrance to our years growing up in IC.
We will miss him.
God bless Sharm,
I was perusing the Iowa-City Press Citizen site and noticed an obit for Florence Coapstick and thought the name was familiar. After checking the ’73 yearbook I found her I remembered that she had been a secretary in the office at West High, the attendance secretary as I remember (since I had some dealings with her over a skipped class or two). Just thought the West High “family” might want to know.
Sheila (Potter) Cole
Webmaster’s note: We’ve linked to Mrs. Coapstick’s obituary on the Lensing site here.
No rest here, Dave. Where I cut down all of my trees, I’m now tilling up all the ground and seeding it with grass seed. My neighbor loaned me his tiller – a little 20 lb. Mantis that you pull backwards. For an 80 x 14 ft. area, that’s tiny. It took me 6 solid hours to till and my hands got horrible charlie horses in them most of the night after dinner, but I survived. Today it’s laying the seed, working it in with a garden rake, covering with straw and then water, water, water as needed.
Since I seeded the front year in 2009 after Tom died and did a great job, I decided to widen my talents to a much bigger area. I’ve attached pics of the tree project. My 25 year old and I did it all – yes, even cut them down ourselves in pieces. Cut off the branches, gave away the big wood and all the mulch. It was going to cost me over $5,000 to have this all done – by the time the grass is growing and all is done, I will have spent about $400 total, and the exercise certainly did me good. What an accomplishment though! My neighbor thought I was crazy as it could have been done much quicker by someone else, but I couldn’t afford spending the money on this project.
Many ask, why the heck did you cut THOSE down? Well, they were dead a foot back, overgrown into one another, killing off the neighbor’s trees, and were horrible to mow around. I own land on both sides, and my shoulders just couldn’t take the mowing around them, in and out and in and out. I will be planting new more manageable trees that will be much easier to mow around, and a couple of bushes as well.
As you can see, we only had one mishap during the whole process. I think my parents thought I had gone out of my mind with the picture of my oldest in the shredder. Of course, it was turned off and not running at all. Our only regret is that he wished he had taken hold of both of my arms rather than one, and we should have had a shoe coming out the chute. Oh well – I thought the picture was hilarious – still have my sense of humor. 🙂
Hopefully we’ll have the seeding done today and I can have at least one day tomorrow to rest before heading back to work. 🙂 Take care, Feel free to share.
Piece of news to share with the class. Granddaughter #2 was born this week on August 3. Her name is Audrey and she is a new cousin for Miranda (now age 4). LOVE being a grandma!!!
Hope all is well on your end.
a brief update about the important people in my life:
- my oldest daughter Tania graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston. IL this June. She has a dregree in Communications.
- my son Eric graduated from High School and will be attending Columbia College in Chicago and majoring in dance. Dance is his passion, especially hip hop.
- That leaves one son, Ryan, at home who will be finishing his last year of high school this upcoming year.
Thanks again for all the news gathering/web-mastering, etc. that you do for the Class of 1973 Site. Somehow we always seem to miss each other when you’re over here on meetings, but maybe we will get it together sometime/somehow. You can certainly let our classmates know that if they’re remotely in the area (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Italy or so), that they can feel free to give a call or mail. We can always at least provide good tips for restaurants, hotels, things to see and do, if not providing overnight accommodations for everyone! Now that things have started to pick up again economically there may be more classmates thinking about trips to Europe or coming over for business than during the last 18 months or so.
Apropos business activity: I founded my own consulting firm in January here in Switzerland, and have also joined oprandi & partner as a partner in the management consulting, strategy and recruitment business. After almost half a year behind me I can only say how happy I am with the decision to go in this direction. The almost five years running the software company were good, but involved an incredible amount of travel out of the country‹was often ca. 6 months a year overseas. Am now enjoying the “smallness” of Switzerland and my network of contacts here and finding that the decreased amount of travel has improved our quality of live immensely.
This coming weekend is special in Zurich as well‹it’s the “Züri Fäscht” (Zurich Festival), which only happens every three years on the first weekend in July. Fireworks and classical music in the harbor on Lake Zurich both Friday and Saturday nights, many food and entertainment booths, lots of music. The city’s expecting around 2 million visitors!
Take care and have a good 4th of July weekend!
I’m gearing up for a massive garage sale next week. It’s the second since Tom passed away. I keep going through the same closets and drawers and storage areas and each time have a new outlook on “stuff”. You spend half a life time collecting it and half a life time getting rid of it. LOL I’ve got everything from a trailer hitch ball, to an anchor mate never used, to a full bottle of chloroform (good heavens), to faucets, PVC pipe, wine making kit, old (1940’s) electronic equipment, and the latest I found on the storage unit – over 100 1950’s Hot Rod and like magazines. Those will be Ebayed as some sell for as much as $9 an issue.
As I’ve said many a times, I’ve had more surprises regarding Tom in his death, than in the 28 years I knew him, and all good surprises and memories thank goodness.
I sold my pick up truck. It was a sweet little red 1993 Toyota, one quarter sized piece of rust and only 37,000 miles. I had to cancel the ad 6 days early and stop the phone calls. A lot of guys hated the way I sold it, but I didn’t care. I sold it the way Tom would have. After letting a couple of dozen guys test drive it with me, I picked 5 that had interesting personalities who I know would take very good car of the truck like we did. Then I let them start bidding against each other. The truck sold for $800 over blue book value and for $300 more than what I paid for it back in 2007 from the original owner. Tom was beaming that night from above I’m sure and I could let go of his precious baby knowing I sold it the way he would have and for the price I got for it. Outside of gas costs, I basically had a truck for nothing for three years. Not bad at all.
My oldest has re-entered college which I’m very grateful for. He’s had a tough time since 2008 when Tom got so sick and eventually died in 2009. He’s slowly re-engaging in life and that’s good to see. Bit by bit. He’s majoring in network administration. Might not be all that bad that he took some time off with the economy that way it’s been. He’ll graduate in about a year at last at 26.
My youngest moved to Davenport and has been working for a large AT&T call center full time, saving up money to help finish his college education. He’s majoring in criminal justice and also had to take some time off. He’s breaking most of the service and sales records there and recently was taken to a restaurant of his choice by two managers for his excellence on the job. He chose a sushi house.
This weekend my folks and I and my oldest will go down and visit him. He’s in a new, beautiful loft apartment near the river, all nicely and modernly remodeled. We’ll also be taking his kitty, Raz, back to him. I’ve had Raz for 4 months now while he found a new place to live and got settled and was able to afford the downpayment to have him at the new place. We’ll miss Raz – he’s a young, very polite kitty. One of my two cats will miss him – one won’t. So it goes.
I got all of Tom’s firearms sold at an auction house here in Cedar Rapids not long ago. It was nice to have them out of the house and I got a good price for them overall. A couple of them sold high (M1 military rifle and Colt 45) and a couple low, so it all evened out. I bought a nice piece of furniture for my entry way with some of the money. I’ve attached a picture. It’s a beautiful antique walnut halltree. I’ve always wanted one but didn’t want oak, and walnut ones don’t appear very often. The rope is off of it now. It’s so tall and not that deep, that it was top heavy, so my father had to anchor it to the wall in the back to make sure it wouldn’t tip over.
Well, had better get at this garage sale sorting and pricing. With all I’ve stacked in the family room, it will likely take 3 days alone to sort it into categories and get it all priced. The neighborhood wouldn’t have the sale unless I was in on it. I’m rather known around here for my organized, huge sales. It was a bit early after finishing up the school year, but I said yes, so now I’m busy 7am-9pm with it all. My dear Tom was such a pack rat and I have no need for so many things and don’t want to leave it all for my sons to deal with in decades to come.
I hope this finds everyone well.
Wow, I just got done catchn’ up on our 73 website.
I guess, I better say something interesting, to keep your attention, I see the many stories, of families, kids, jobs, travels, and I can feel the excitement, and accomplishments.
Since 08, I have been living the life of a kidney transplant patient, (got the new transplant Feb 09) had to say good bye to my fathers life, and just finished helping my mom transition into her new life in the Washington Iowa Presbyterian Home. She had a small house, but the room at the care home is even quite smaller than that house. Lots of things to sell, give away, claim for me, etc. It was a long Mother’s Day weekend! I got some help from another self employed fella from church to drive me down so I could drive her car back to Minnesota!.(93 Deville!) Only driven to church and doctor appointments!(?)
Seeing Jackie’s Post about singing w/some guy is nice… My wife was in a Christian folk gospel trio before we got marrried 35 years ago. (May 31st!)… I still play the piano for her solos at church, and I also still play the Hammond Organ for our church.
My oldest Son, Rob now has 2 Girls! His oldest is 3 and youngest is 1! His wife is still a social worker for the autism field. They work opposite times of the day, but we still get to baby sit Serenna and Lillian. Rob is still the camera man for FoxSports which televises the local Pro Sports teams in the Twin Cities, *Twins, Vikings, U of M sports, Wild, Timberwolves, Links, Fox games of the week, etc plus the many freelance gigs.
My Youngest son Andrew has still to get the job he wants. He also went to school for Journalism but due to the economy, has been laid off a couple of times. Lately, besides the job he kept at SuperValu (Cub) he has been a school tutor, recently for the kids in the 3-5 grades, many of them English second language students, that need help catching up with reading, and writing. He has thought to become a teacher, if he keeps liking this gig.
I still am the “ole” shoemaker on the corner. I have outlasted many shops here in the twin cities…only about 20 left in the entire Metro Area.! I am a member of the national shoe repair association, and participate in their “ask the expert” bulletin board, and get lots of referrals that way. I still have hobbies in photography, and music.
Sometimes, looking back, I know I got married too young, but I am now still young enough to enjoy my grandkids lives, Son’s lives, and my life with my wife Anne.
My wife is from a smaller town in Minnesota, and loves visiting Iowa City Area, and wouldn’t mind moving there! ( Do they need another shoe repair shop in Iowa City?)
Good Luck, and God Bless,
I am retiring from teaching high school Social Sciences and head football, wrestling and asst. track after 31 years at the same school. I was inducted into the South Dakota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009 . My teams have won 185 wins in football with 2 State Championships and 6 semi-finals. I loved every moment of work. Even when I graduated with our class I have been in school all this time.
Great to hear from you. I truly enjoy the Class of ’73 updates and appreciate the effort you put in to the newsletter. A lot of memories are sparked hearing from – and seeing – past (I refuse to use the word “old”) classmates.
My wife Nancy and I relocated from Cedar Falls to North Carolina in 2004, where there is plenty of sunshine on the beaches and moonshine in the mountains. We live just outside Greensboro. Our children are grown, with the oldest daughter working for Google in San Francisco, our son working as a hardware/software designer living in Minneapolis, and the youngest daughter finishing up school. Time has flown by pretty fast.
I work for Syngenta as National Account Manager for our golf business. A bit of a stretch from my row crop agriculture days, but as long as I am helping clients grow something-in this case turf-I stay satisfied. Not every course can be Augusta National, but well maintained golf courses do attract golfers and are a pleasure to play. Nancy works at a dog daycare business and also does agility training (not for her, the dogs). We have 3 black labs as part of our family.
My parents are doing well and still live in Coralville. I get back occasionally and still feel like Iowa is home. I must confess I don’t miss -20 degree weather however.
Feel free to use this as a post, and re-engagement with classmates.
Keep up the good work.
(Mark connected via Facebook)
Job is going well. WE FOUND A HOUSE in Coralville – going back home. It is just north of the Coral Ridge Mall. Move in June 1.
We saw Bill Ackerman at the Riverside Casio a couple of weeks ago. He called up Bonnie to play a trick on her, told her there was someone who she owed money to at the casino with him. I got on the phone and said, “Hey I just lost everything, can I get that $20 you owe me?” We had a good laugh.
I have some good news, too.
Justin Alan Anspach has been named a finalist in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship! That means $30, 000 of research money and $10,500 of tuition each for three years, plus access to any certified university in the World.
He has developed a new approach to archeological sites.
In simple form:
He plans to learn Chetchen and to interview native Peruvians as to how they view the Inca archeological sites.
He will do a literature review about the Inca (which could include travelling to Spain to review documents from the time when Peru was “colonized.”
Then he plans to probably dwell at one of the sites as if he were an original resident (my guess is he’ll pick some place more remote than Machu Pichu).
Since he was attacked last summer in Peru, I told him I was going along as a personal body guard (there is no wrath like that of a mother who’s child is endangered). He told me he had this vision of me in a flack jacket with an M-16 and a t-shirt reading “World’s Greatest Mom”. A little too militaristic for my preference, but I have asked him to check into whether he can carry pepper-spray or whatever is legal to protect himself (since he was attacked while hiking back into Cuzco after visiting a dig- last summer).
When his younger brother found out that the funding would allow him to study up to six more years, his reply was, “Who would want to study for six more years?!?!”
I will be retiring from full-time school nursing in just 59 calendar days!!! I have lots of work to do though in the meantime and it seems like I take two steps forward and three back some days.
I was elected to be a Director at large for the California Institute of the Arts Alumni Association Board of Directors in December. The Board has assigned me to help plan the 40th Anniversary Reunion for the Founding of CalArts. I am also doing a little reunion within the reunion for my class which will have its 35th Anniversary as being the Inaugural class for the Disney Character Animation Program at Calarts which I attended briefly but was too grief stricken with the loss of my little brother Gerard the year before to stay. I was guest lecturing for the art of animation class at UC Berkeley last year in the computer science department with people from Pixar which is nearby in Emeryville, CA. The last class was the presentation of the student’s works. I shared guest lecturer duties with Dr. Alvy Ray who was one of the early co-founders of Pixar. They canceled the art of animation class this semester due to budget cuts so helping at Calarts seems like what I was supposed to be doing this year. The Reunion date is John Lennon’s birthday. Just a coincidence but it has given us a sense of purpose for an art school. We might commemorate him in some way. He was an artist too you know.
The Reunion planning has been a lot of fun so far. It will be a lot of work later. I was co-director of Refocus one year. I was thinking of having a mini film festival for all the graduates to show their work. We had four nominated for academy awards this March. Two received awards one for directing “Up” and one for editing “The Hurt Locker.” My two classmates that were nominated were shut out. Oh well. Maybe next year.
My youngest son Thomas made it to the State Science Olympiad competition which will be held next Saturday at Valencia High School in Placentia, California. They have a north and south competition with around 26 schools competing at each. Out of each competition there is only one winner who then goes on to the national Science Olympiad in Illinois. They have 23 events and Thomas’s Cerro Villa Middle School Science Olympiad team only has 12 or 13 student participants so each has to do two or three events as most of the events are two man teams. It is kind of neat. They have a website with all kinds of good advise and you get to see what other students are doing all over the country. Makes you feel like you are not alone!
Thomas and his team has me helping with the bridge building event. He won with a 30 gram bridge at the regional competition held at Santa Ana College three weeks ago. He also thought he broke his pinky finger horsing around but the xrays said no break, just a lot of bruising. He jammed it hitting a stair railing running to get an ice cream cone during one of the intermissions. I was proctoring Orinthology and wasn’t with him. His team’s bridge was just good enough to squeak out 6th place. And the team squeaked out 5th place to make it to State. I was at a Board meeting at Calarts that evening so I didn’t see the award ceremony but I texted back and forth and Mrs. Jennifer Wong the teacher was elated. They managed to pull off a squeaker!!!
So we have been working three days a week and next week it will be four days a week every afternoon to get ready, with the Easter recess. Thomas picked up two more events, Orinthology and a Junk Yard Challenge I think, if I have the name right. He gets to use Peterson’s Field Guide for birds and he has to fill a box of 60x40x40 centimeters with junk and then assemble it and have it set off four mouse traps in 60 seconds. I am corn-fused as to how they score the junk yard challenge event. They have one golf ball that is supposed to trigger other stuff to set off the mouse traps, kind of like a Rube Goldberg contraption if you all remember Mr. Rube Goldberg and his newpaper strip. My kids don’t!
Jeffrey will be 20 April 18. He is technically a senior at Berkeley this year with 2 years of AP credit. He was able to transfer into Bioengineering and has been working his rear end off with that. Robby my 18 year old is at UC San Diego and he is technically a junior with 2 years of AP credit also. He is enrolled in economics. David my 24 year old is at UC Irvine in Digital Media. He is close to home and I have him working on projects. He helped me with a clean room for Christie Digital which makes the Digital projectors that are in the movie theaters. They are building a large facility in China now and are from Canada.
I had a robot that I wanted a friend at Pixar to write the control software for, that I have been slow to get patented. Actually it is one and four spinoff robots of varying sizes. It is an assistant for construction workers. One is an oversize printer that prints the whole floor plan full size on each floor in about two hours. You can only do it once when the building doesn’t have walls up so it may not be that practical, but it could be used for large billboards and art events on a large scale. The other three use the same platform mechanisms for propulsion, wheels, batteries, and add hydraulics to lift small medium or large sized items from ten to fifteen to thirty feet in the air. I think these will have more use. They translate instructions in a CAD drawing to do the construction work. So if they are fitted with a screw driver they screw drywall in. If they have a nail gun, they nail 2×4’s according to the instructions in the construction drawing. Each robot uses a global positioning device to get a 0,0,0 coordinate for the entire building and just run around nailing a screwing screws to their little heart’s content! There is a sensor so they don’t accidentally nail or screw into a person!!! Ow!!! I sadly have a few time wasters ongoing at present that are eating up my time and have kept me from getting more done with this. Sorry.
My sister in law Patty Peterson, went mountain climbing recently in Venezuala or Argentina, I can’t remember which, when they had the earthquake in Chile. My nephew John Leonard and his wife are with the Peace Corp in Tahiti. They had a typhoon recently. My mom Micky or Mildred Peterson is still ticking away. She will be 80 on August 14. My dad Willard, passed away nineteen years ago on the Wednesday after Palm Sunday so we had a little commemoration for him. He was 61 when he died and would have been 80 now. Take care of your tickers!!!!! He was waiting for a heart transplant in Arizona, but couldn’t hold on.
My brother Joe developed an App for the Ipod. It is some kind of a joke App giving advise to Nerds on what to do in a Nerdy fashion. Has he made his first billion yet. Ah, don’t think so. My brother Brad is a pastor now at St. Agnes Parish in Phoenix. I think I already told you that. It is the Parish he grew up in after my family moved to Phoenix in 1974. My sister Kerry won a scholarship at one of the colleges in Phoenix and is attending graduate school to work on mural painting. My brother Brian is a sound designer for the Arizona Theater Company in Tuscon and Phoenix. He works on plays for his day job and plays on work at night recording albums for local bands. He had a hit tune that made it for a while on the radio in Mexico a while back.
My uncle Dean and Aunt Judie come out from Johnston to stay in Phoenix for the winter. He likes golfing. He was a quarterback at Iowa State in the 50’s. He has a ton of patents. I have to go see him about what I am up to. Joe and I and my dad used to help him build his inventions when I was a little shaver.
I have been trying to put together a family tree for my sons. On the Swedish side of things, Joe and my aunt Caroline put together something that goes back to 1611. I guess they found a cemetary in Sweden with a lot of old relatives there. On the Welsh side I had a great aunt that put together a family tree for the Davis family back to 1740. I am just trying to get the current family stats together. I have 34 cousins and they all have a ton of kids that I have been remiss in keeping up with.
We need a website!!! Got any suggestions Dave? I told the Calarts Board to have a reunion website. That was a big hit. Oh, it is the 75th Anniversary of the founding of UCLA and it is my graduate class’s 25th Anniversary this year at the UCLA Anderson School. They have their reunion a week after the Calarts reunion. I am reading the Princeton Reunion Guidebook that I found on the Internet for advise. God Bless the Internet!!!
All for now.
On my way to Myrtle Beach for the week. golf, food, golf, myrtle! after my appearance on Martha Stewart’s blog, I got to touch base with her a couple days later at Macy’s. I did some of Martha’s early how to videos at her house at Turkey Hill in Westport. We caught up and now you can see the commercial we did with her. go to Macys.com /Fashion Director The others are pretty funny also. Check out the Donald! Hope everyone is as happy for spring as I am. Got to work outside on every storm we had, ah, the glamore of show business. will give you a update when I get back. all the best, Mike
Dave and all,
We had a wonderful Easter at my house this year. Just our local family. Our annual Easter egg hunt was a big hit again. The kids are 10, 11, and 16 but all still love to hunt the eggs and find the surprises inside. This year we put out nearly 250 eggs. Every one was found. Hope you all had nice holidays.
Becky Irvin Daniel
I wrote an obituary about my parents’ life and their accomplishments in the world of medicine, which was published today in the Iowa City newspaper, the Press-Citizen. Their research and findings in the medical field were significant and I could not let their passing go unnoticed. Iowa City is where they lived for most of their professional lives, and the University of Iowa Hospitals where they conducted their research. They always loved the professional and cultural environment there and made many friends.
Could you, please, post it to the West High school website?
Here is her parent’s obituary, offered as a tribute to a wonderful couple:
Rebecca Ionasescu, 86; Victor Ionasescu, 83
Dr. Rebecca Ionasescu, also known as Gabi, passed away suddenly on February 12, 2010, at age 86. She was a vibrant woman, with a keen intelligence and a generous heart, whose dedication to her work and the people around her made her very special.
Her death was followed by her husband’s, Dr. Victor V. Ionasescu, 83, just 12 days later, on February 24, 2010. He had sensed her death even before he was told, and his condition worsened after a long illness. He was a driven scientist with an inquisitive mind, a captivating storyteller and teacher with an exquisite sense of humor.
Theirs is a love story that spanned 63 years. Victor and Gabi met in 1945 in medical school in Bucharest, Romania, shortly after the end of World War II. A colleague introduced them so they could find comfort in each other after the death of Gabi’s father and Victor’s sister that year. They started dating in 1947, married in 1951. Their relationship was founded on their shared love for medicine, and desire to help and heal people.
Dr. Victor Ionasescu specialized in neurology. The Romanian scientist, George Palade and his discovery of ribosomes, which led to a Nobel Prize in 1974, inspired him. Victor began his own research in muscular dystrophy using ribosomes extracted from muscle biopsies of patients with the disease. His research was soon limited by the technological and economic means of Romania, which was a communist country at that time. His research required the use of a refrigerated centrifuge, which was not available. It was then that he decided to come to United States to pursue his research ideas. His wife supported him in this endeavor and, when he left in 1968, she stayed behind with their two daughters. They eventually were able to reunite in United States three years later. So began Victor’s professional career at the University of Iowa Hospitals, in the department of Pediatric Neurology.
In 1969, Dr. Victor Ionasescu initiated his research in the Duchenne type of muscular dystrophy, which was published in 1971 under the title “Ribosomal Protein Synthesis in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy”
Dr. Rebecca (Gabi) Ionasescu, who specialized in internal medicine and conducted research in immunology back in Romania, joined Victor in the 1970s in his neuromuscular laboratory doing tissue cultures in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Gabi became an expert at tissue cultures of muscle cells and studied media formulation in the lab of Dr. Richard Ham, who developed many of the serum-free media formulations used by labs today. Gabi then went on to learn the special techniques required for research in a type of genetic nerve disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy. In 1982, Victor and Gabi began their work with Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy and spent 15 years searching for the genes that cause the debilitating disease. Victor along with his wife spent a sabbatical year at Oxford University in the lab of Dr. Kay Davies learning the specialized recombinant DNA techniques, which allowed them to carry out this research. Victor had one of the largest databases of patients afflicted with this disease in U.S, which was the foundation of his genetics lab.
Both husband and wife eventually traced the disease to several faulty genes by means of a technique called genetic linkage using recombinant DNA. Their findings were published in medical journals throughout the world. Their research in Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy led to the discovery of at least four defective genes including what is now called the Ionasescu Syndrome, an X-linked form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome. Dr. Victor Ionasescu became Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic at the University of Iowa. From 1990 until he retired in 1997 he taught an annual postgraduate course in adult neurology called “Genetics of Inherited Neuropathies and Genetics of X-linked Recessive Muscular Dystrophies (Duchenne and Becker).”
Dr. Victor Ionasescu belonged to the first generation of the Romanian School of Neurology, founded by Dr. George Marinesco, which had epilepsy as one of the central themes of clinical research. Victor Ionasescu published his first book in Romania in 1957, entitled Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. A second book followed in 1967, Metabolic Disorders in Neurologic and Psychiatric Diseases, also in Romania. In 1983, he co-authored a book with Dr. Hans Zellweger at the University of Iowa Hospitals, entitled Genetics in Neurology, and which they dedicated to their mentors George Marinesco and Guido Fanconi. This book emphasizes the genetic aspects of neurological disorders.
Victor and Gabi’s thirst for knowledge never stopped. They loved their profession, but also traveling, learning foreign languages and meeting people. They worked at the University of Iowa Hospitals into their 70s. For the past 12 years, they lived in Stamford, Connecticut, close to their older daughter, and all the cultural attractions offered by New York.
They are survived by their two children, Anisoara Kavalan of Stamford (husband Joseph, and children Cristine and Nicole), Rodica Ionasescu of La Canada, California (children Philip and Stephanie Anderson), and Gabi’s sister. Victor’s sister and brother preceded him in death. David Anderson, their son-in-law, died in 2001.
Funeral services were held in Stamford, Connecticut, on February 17 for Gabi and on February 27 for Victor.
Thanks, Dave, please do pass along info about the visitation, funeral and obituary. Thank you to you and Bobbi for your kind and warm words.
Here is her father’s obituary, offered as a tribute to a wonderful man:
William P. “Bill” Gilpin, 81, longtime Iowa City businessman, died Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at Mercy Hospice of complications related to dementia.
Bill was born December 14, 1928 in Highland Park, MI, the son of Earl and Novella Bradley Gilpin. The family moved to Iowa City in 1929 where Bill graduated from City High School in 1946 and later received his associate degree from Iowa City Commercial College. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1946 to 1947. On February 5, 1951 Bill married Joan Hotle in Iowa City.
Bill owned and operated the family business, Gilpin Paint and Glass, which was located at the corner of Market and Gilbert, until his retirement in 1988. The business was founded by his father, Earl, in 1940.
Bill was civic-minded. He was past chair of the Iowa City Riverfront Commission and past president of the Iowa City Jaycees. His memberships included St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, lifetime member of the American Legion, past member of St. Thomas More Church (where he served as chair of the parish council), past chair of the Mautz Paint Dealer Advisory Board, and founding member of the Bored Meeting.
Bill was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. His humor, friendship and leadership will be greatly missed.
Bill is survived by his wife, Joan, and their seven children: Patrick (Sandra) Gilpin and Victoria Gilpin, both of Iowa City; Rebecca (Bruce) Milne of Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Bradley (Deborah) Gilpin of Iowa City; Jay (Staci) Gilpin of Duluth, MN; Jean Gilpin (Todd Gillihan) of Iowa City; and Elizabeth (Don) Bernard of Whitehall, MT; nine grandchildren: Alysha, Meghan, Katie, Abbey, Andrew (Sarah), Nathan, Kenna, Tessa and Koby; his sister Dorothy Connell of Iowa City; brother-in-law Thomas (Millie) G. Hotle; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Earl and Novella Gilpin; and sisters- and brothers-in-law, William Connell and Dr. Richard and Jean Hotle Liebendorfer.
Rodica Ionasescu wrote (Feb 25, 2010)
Dear friends, My dad passed away yesterday, February 24, just 12 days after my mother had died. He sensed her passing even before we told him and his condition worsened after a long illness. He took his last breath at home. My parents were together for 65 years. They met in medical school. Their love for medical profession and the belief that their research in muscular dystrophy could help people afflicted with this disease is what brought us to US from Romania. My father ran a genetics lab and a muscular dystrophy lab at the University of Iowa, where my mom performed with him the research that was published in journals throughout the world. Their thirst for knowledge never stopped until their death. They loved their profession, but also traveling, languages and meeting people. They worked into their 70’s. The last 12 years they lived in Stamford, Connecticut, close to my sister, and all the cultural attractions offered by New York.
My sister and I are still in shock by my mother’s sudden death followed after such a short time by my father’s. Our hearts and minds are struggling to cope with their loss. Their burials are just 10 days apart.
That was nice of Pat to post, however, I doeth protest. Our hair is not that silver. It was the sunlight!
Very bright and sunny that day in Denver! (300 plus days of sunshine each year!) HA!
It is with great sadness that I inform you of my mother’s death on Friday, February 12. My heart is indeed very heavy. My mom struggled to get better since her surgery in December, and both my sister and I took turns at taking care of her and keeping her positive. She was an M.D., and yet a great patient as both my sister and I tried our best to do everything possible to get her back on her feet. She died suddenly of a ruptured aorta. We’ll miss her intelligence, her kindness, and the way she’s always reached to others and gave herself with so much generosity.
Mike Reed wrote (Feb 11, 2010)Check out the themarthablog.com and click on my trip to staten island. Go to photo 13 and, lo and behold, who is it? Me! we were doing a Macy’s job with Martha. all the best to all.
[Webmaster’s note: I went to Martha’s blog and retrieved the picture]
Mike’s P.S. It was a turkey bacon, blt wrap.
Hi Dave and Class of ’73
Our lives here in South Florida remains steady and for the most part uneventful. Julie and I still have our same jobs and will probably retire in those positions. We both would like to do something different to finish out our working careers, but due to the obvious economic situation, we most likely will not make any change.
Last summer we did the RAGBRAI. Julie driving our gear and me riding with the other 10000 riders. For the most part it was a “Bucket List” item for me but we both had a great time meeting people, seeing all of our family and relaxing without TV phone or other electronic interruptions.
Living here in South Florida has had its advantages, we get to go bowl games without a lot of travel. This year the Orange Bowl and we had lots of visitors. Seven guests stayed with us and 8 others visited. Fun times and a great game. The bad part, unseasonably cold. 47 at game time and 38 and the final buzzer. Of all the times Iowa has been to Florida we have only missed one game.
Well, keep up the great work on the webpage. It is nice to read how classmates are doing.
Nothing dramatic going on here my wife and I stay busy with our medical practices (she is a reconstructive plastic surgeon) and our 9 year old son is getting interested in lacrosse and ascending to higher levels of accomplishment in various video games.
I have attached the photo from our Christmas card this year. The dog is real (part German shepherd, part Australian shepherd and part Catahoula) , it just looks stunned.
Thanks for maintaining the icwh1973 material.
Douglas Hetzler, MD, FACS
You continue to do a great job, Dave. Even though I don’t keep in touch really with anyone from our class, I do look forward to your email updates and find myself checking the bulletin board a couple of times a month. Thanks for your efforts, and, if I ever learn to upload photos to the computer, will send you some for the gallery!
I’d be happy to do a podcast with you. I’ve done a couple on some Chamber of Commerce management training seminars….fun! Just let me know.
The band [Don’s the drummer in the band “Come Back Buddy“] just played in front of 35,000 runners here in Phoenix for the PF Chang’s Rock n Roll Marathon. Will send you the nice article they wrote about us as we are one of the original bands that started with the event. We also auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” tv show this past weekend in Los Angeles. What a zoo! Nine hour wait to audition….but finalists get contracts in Vegas and other big entertainment venues…..so who knows?
Hope all is well.
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (Jan 24, 2010)
The first anniversary of Tom’s death is fast approaching (Feb. 5th). I decided that while most of my “firsts” have been more apprehension than anything, I’m taking the day off. I just don’t want to get caught off guard or have to work at holding my emotions in check all day. Plus, it’s a Friday and it will be nice to have a three day weekend. I can hardly believe I’ve managed for nearly an entire year already. The time has gone by so incredibly fast.
One of the last precious gifts my Tom gave to me, was to tell me that when I was ready, he sincerely wanted me to find another love of my life for the rest of my life. So, I’ve started looking around on eHarmony to see what’s out there. I think it will take a good amount of time to find another great man, but believe it can happen and will be hopeful. You know me, my glass is always half full.
My house remodel is nearing its end. All of the painting is done now. Every room and every ceiling was painted. I broke my painter’s last record for number of colors. His last record was nine, and I’ve put 14 colors into the house. He doesn’t think that will be broken any time soon. I had one color, plus two rooms that were wall papered. There is no wall paper anywhere anymore and so much life in the house again. It feels so good. I have a few window treatments to do yet and then will be done.
My dad just yesterday, finally figured out my circuit breaker problem and got it fixed. I haven’t had lights in the hall bathroom, my sons bedroom, and no juice to the plug ins in both upstairs bathrooms since just before Thanksgiving. While changing all the beige outlets and switches to white ones to modern things up, something went haywire and the electricity was lost there. Dad, jack of all trades and master of all as well, kept at it and finally found where the problem was and got it fixed. Not an easy task to be up in my attic with 12 foot vaulted ceilings at age 79. I knew he would keep at it until he got things fixed. Of course the last room he tested and rechecked things in, was where the problem was. It may have taken quite a while, but he got the job done without calling in experts.
My boys are doing pretty well. When Mike, my youngest (23) moved out, Chris (my oldest, 24) moved home, so I’ve had company all winter long, this first winter without Tom. It’s been nice, I must admit. Chris helped out a lot with moving things for the painter as he went room to room, and my father taught him all about working with electricity. He also helped my dad remove the toilets when the new flooring was laid in two bathrooms, saving me boocoo bucks having a plumber do it, and also learned how to hang medicine cabinets. He helped dad wire and put in all new lighting in all three bathrooms, and put all new towel bar holders in all three bathrooms as well. The house looks pretty different and full of life and color. The kitchen got new flooring and counter tops, along with the new paint. I’m really enjoying it all.
My work at school is fine, managing the computerized lunch system for Linn-Mar Schools. With the state budget cuts, many hourly people are concerned about their jobs for next fall, especially if you are full time. I can see most being cut to part time work to save money. I’m taking a few classes now to have my resume beefed up after all these years so that if I have to go looking in the job market at 55 this summer, I’m prepared and have a good background to start with. Just beefing up some computer skills and all. While I can’t worry about things to come, I can be prepared as best I can.
My folks are in good health and keep very busy. My mom has exceeded 20,000 volunteer hours now with UIHC in Iowa City, and has over 7,000 hours here in Cedar Rapids through St. Luke’s and Linn-Mar. My dad helps many people in their church with their computer problems, and I keep him pretty busy taking care of things at my place when they crop up from time to time if it’s something that I can’t do. Chris and I are so grateful to have someone we can learn from who is so knowledgable. I’m lucky to have my parents yet and feel so for the many classmates who have lost theirs.
I’ve got a few neighbors imitating me now on light snow days. A year ago I got the idea that when it snows lightly and is powder light, to just put ear protection on and blow it off the drive with the leaf blower. I’m sure that first year the neighbors thought I was out of my mind, but now two others are doing it. It’s great for cleaning off a car outside in the snow without touching it with anything to harm the finish/paint. And two neighbors have borrowed my roof rake after I’ve used it, who have problems with ice dams if they don’t clear some of the snow off their porch roofs before a good thaw in mid winter. Nice to share with neighbors and learn from each other.
Well, tomorrow is Monday and back to work. Stay warm and healthy and I wish everyone the best.
I’d like to share my web site with our class: www.jackieandsomeguy.com
It’s been a fun musical journey, especially when I get to come back to Iowa and get together with Paul Roberts and play the hard-drivin’ bluegrass we both love!
Thanks for keeping us connected and take care!
Mark Stasi and I met up in Denver the day after Christmas. Thought our classmates might enjoy seeing us in our “silver years.”
Yes, we had a great time together. Mark and I’ve stayed in touch over the years but only had a few occasions to meet up in person. He’s really been successful with his orthodontics practice in Denver and is enjoying raising his two sons. My sister lives in Denver and she hosted our first Christmas without our mother. Sally did a great job and while it was bitter sweet to all be together we enjoyed being with my father.
And as many have expressed in the past, I want to thank you again for doing such a great job of keeping us all up to date with our classmates.
Mark and Pat the day after Christmas
Sally, Pat, and Francis Vaughan
Some things never change…
Thought I would let you know there was a nice article on Billy Ackerman in the Press Citizen today.
[Webmaster: We read the nice article and enjoyed it so much we reproduced it here to save it]
A not-yet-antiquated hobby
Ackerman’s business continues to grow after more than four decades
Iowa City Press-Citizen
Buying and selling antiques started out for Bill Ackerman as something to do when he was in grade school, he said.
“It started as a hobby, and pretty soon, it became a disease,” he said.
Forty-one years after he formally started Ackerman’s Antiques and Estates, the business is still going strong, he said.
“It’s fun to do,” said Ackerman, 54. “You go through a house, and you never know what you’re going to find next.”
Ackerman said he originally got into antiques thanks to neighbors who were in the business. The interest grew from buying and selling old milk bottles and fruit jars into focusing much of his attention on furniture from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Furniture is an area, he said, that has grown much more attractive to buyers who continue to skew younger than the senior citizens with whom he had mostly worked.
“People have gotten more into furniture,” Ackerman said, adding that his average customer is now 25 to 45 years old. “They’re more into things they can use rather than collect. They can relate to what their grandmother had. The 1960s and 1970s things will be collectible.”
The business has expanded over the years from buying and selling antiques to now doing estate appraisals and tag sales, which involve selling individual items in a house rather than the entire estate as a whole. Since 1986, he also has managed the Iowa City Noon Kiwanis antique show, scheduled this year for March 6-7 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. He also organizes the Ralston Creek Flea Market that takes place each Labor Day behind Uptown Bill’s Small Mall.
The tag sales, he said, have become more popular in recent years.
“I price things for what I think will sell,” Ackerman said. “This gives the seller a fair opportunity to know what they’ll get for their items. We had four tag sales last year. Every one of them was a success.”
Ackerman said he has made sure his appraisals are fair, saying he does not believe in overcharging people. He said his appraisals have saved his clients from throwing away items that later proved to be valuable, including one who nearly threw away $400 worth of historic University of Iowa homecoming and campaign buttons.
“About the time you think you’ve seen everything, you find something new,” he said. “It’s too much fun. The fact that you don’t know what’s coming next keeps you going.”
“May you live in interesting times” is supposedly an ancient Chinese curse. Some would say that life is a little too interesting right now; and people are coping with recent events in different ways. Has the world changed permanently?–and is that necessarily bad? Another question arises: what in this life and this world is really important? Especially in America, many have found that answer in material success and worldly fame. But perhaps an economic crises reminds us of things more important than the usual pursuit of mamon. The beauty of simply resting in the present moment with our friends, our family. Of finding worthwhile goals, larger than ourselves, worth working towards. Taking action to preserve our earth, as well as to benefit the larger human enterprise. A time to prioritize. Criticism coupled to hope for a better future. Stuff like that.
To bring you up to date with this year’s activities:
Christina Andersen Floral Design, after eleven years, is now an LLC, even as business has slowed down in response to the recession. In mid October Chris opened the doors of her studio at Monroe Center for the annual Hoboken Artist Studio Tour. She once again volunteered to help plan and execute the decoration scheme and floral design for the Hoboken YMCA’s annual Taste of Hoboken gourmet food and wine festival. She also provided flowers for the Mayor’s inauguration in November (see below). A long term project, now reaching fruition, that has kept Chris busy and preoccupied, is the slow and deliberate redecoration of our home. Planning, selecting, and installing new wood flooring and carpeting, a cherry shaker bed, custom built hutch, and a soon-to-come living room wall unit, has been keeping her off the streets. She has also returned to singing in our church’s choir.
Besides the usual New Jersey Symphony activities, and teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology, Martin has been busy working on the NJSO musician Orchestra Committee (some of the time as Chair). As in all larger orchestras, NJSO musicians are unionized; the Orchestra Committee negotiates labor contracts with our management. This has proven to be a supreme challenge during the current economic crises. The performing arts in general are taking a real beating, and our group is no exception: the Symphony is proposing significant cuts to our season. The players have already rejected one proposal; at this moment they’re voting on a second offer. One principal we are adhering to is that the musicians deserve a fair proportion of the budget-whatever the size of that budget–and if cuts are made, there must be an equality of sacrifice. Martin has let himself feel a lot of stress and angst doing this work but at the same time is stimulated by the task and thinks it a worthy use of his time.
Chris and Martin
Martin’s parents, Ira and Ruth, celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, made a wonderful gift to their family: a week long scenic cruise in July from Seattle to Alaska and back again. Aboard were Martin’s brother Michael, Mike’s wife Roseanne, and their daughter Jessica (who turned 21 on the voyage); sister Ingrid, her husband David, and their son Sean. Our ports of call were Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria. But the highlight of the trip was aboard ship as we explored the Tracy Arm Fjord, arriving at the Sawyer Glacier early one morning-a wall of blue hued ice a mile wide, and as tall as the Empire State Building. Periodically a huge mass of ice would plunge, as if in slow motion, down into the frigid waters of the bay. Forbidding mountains of austere beauty loomed thousands of feet above. We will never forget the visage of inaccessible, untouched nature witnessed that day.
At voyage’s end in Seattle we spent a nice weekend with Chris’ cousin Anne; and got to hear two fine performances of her husband Dennis’ indie band Moraine (check out dennisrea.com). We then traveled to Jackson Hole for Martin’s 18th season performing at Grand Teton Music Festival.
Chris and Martin (especially Chris) have been involved since the Spring in the election campaign of Hoboken mayoral candidate Dawn Zimmer, who ran on an open government, anti-corruption platform in corruption-famed Hudson County. Against the odds, outspent but with a large team of volunteers and grassroots support, Dawn was the top vote getter in a field of seven candidates; her three council seat running mates were elected outright. In the subsequent mayor runoff against the Hudson “political machine” candidate, she “lost” by 166 votes (there were election irregularities.) The machine candidate was declared the winner and was sworn in on July 1. Barely three weeks later, while on our cruise to Alaska, we heard that the newly elected mayor had been arrested by federal agents on bribery charges along with 145 others, in a sweeping raid based on a two year investigation. In the wake of these events the mayor resigned, and a special mayoral election was held in November, which Zimmer won by a huge margin. We happily attended the inauguration, which featured, among other things, Chris’ flower arrangements. Dawn even mentioned them in her inauguration address.
We are now in Chris’ hometown of Rockford, Illinois, for the holidays. For the first time her mom Gini’s home is not the central gathering place for all the visiting relatives-because Virginia is now in assisted living and the house is up for sale! We are all having to deal with the emotions and the practicalities of these changes. Chris’ sister Janet in nearby Roscoe graciously hosted 27 for Christmas dinner.
We will be back at home in time for the New Year.
Hoping everyone is having a fine holiday season!
Martin and Chris