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2009 Bulletin Board Postings


Meg Eginton wrote (December 21, 2009)

Dear Family and Friends,

Holiday Greetings! I believe it is 4 years since I last sent a holiday card and that's far too long. To catch up: We still live in Sarasota, Florida where I teach at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory, a graduate acting program of the School of Theatre at Florida State University, and also at New College of Florida, which is the honors college for the state of Florida. I enjoy my students at both institutions and consider myself lucky to teach at a conservatory and a liberal arts college both so highly ranked.

Robbie is 15, soon to be 16. He goes to Booker High School in the Visual and Performing Arts Program where he takes 4 academic and 3 theater classes each day. He decided he wanted to do something fun with high school (I approve). He's getting very good grades and taking AP Language and Composition. He's made friends both within and outside the VPA and recently went on his first date. He also sings with the Sarasota Youth Opera. Robbie is very interested in writing and more recently has become interested in photography. He is currently writing a story about an old enchanter and his younger assistant who are building a clock to measure the heartbeat of the universe.

Last summer we moved to a house in Sarasota that we love. It was built in 1955 and lovingly restored and remodeled by a friend of mine. We have plenty of space, a big yard, and a guest room. (Escape the snow, come visit!) Each room is painted a different color and the whole house seems full of energy and focus. I am looking forward to learning how to plant a Florida garden around what we already have: two orange and grapefruit trees, lots of 'air plants' and a seagrape tree, to name some.

We miss being able to go to Iowa City in the summers since I last wrote, though we have visited my parents twice a year. The sad news is that I mostly work. The happy news is that I mostly work. In the last 4 years I've traveled to teach Eginton Alignment, present papers, and to perform. Robbie has almost always come with me. We have been to Paris, the Cevennes, Vermont, New York, Elsah, New Orleans, Washington D.C., and Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Yaroslavl, Russia. The non-working highlights of the Russian trip were a tour of the 13th century Tolgski Monastery and the drive through the burned-out countryside between Moscow and Yaroslavl, which was a shattering experience. The past three summers we've met up with friends from American Repertory Theatre Institute and Atlantic Theater in Burlington, Vermont. While I teach Robbie is a junior counselor at Camp Greylock, on the shore of Lake Champlain. This year I co-wrote a play, Rat Race: The Secret Life of ThemePark, co-composed a music/movement/text piece, Living and Dead: The Gettysburg Project, and directed and choreographed a playwright's workshop of David Smith's Man with a Blue Guitar, for which Robbie researched and created all the sound cues.

The most memorable event of 2009 for me was participating in Merce Cunningham's Memorial celebration at the New York Armory in October. Along with the current company and 21 other alumni, I danced in his honor. The oldest of us was 72, and the youngest 23. All the musicians were there, even John Cage, whose laughing voice (on tape) suddenly filled the huge space. It was both a deeply moving tribute and a family reunion. That time I went to New York alone. I spent a lot of my two days walking many half-forgotten streets, and realized how many layers of life I have lived. Robbie says his year didn't really have a highlight; it was all pretty cool. He particularly enjoyed it when his grandparents came down to Florida to see us and his uncle's family, who were visiting from Germany.

Here's hoping that the past four years have brought you and your family joy, interesting experiences, and new ideas to pursue ­ and that 2010 will be a safe and universally healthy year for all!

Best wishes,

Margaret and Robbie
Glen Colver wrote (December 6, 2009)

Happy Holidays Dave

I was sitting here after completing my morning chores-feeding the horses and chickens- in the -1 temperature reading the class e-mail and I thought perhaps I should correct my wording.  Yes, Pat and I do a little farming but it's mostly novice at best.  After having a number of various careers during my life, upon returning (semi retiring) to the "family farm" I decided I'd like to share many of my occupations (stories if you will) with students.   I graduated from Northland College, Ashland Wisconsin in 2002 with a BS in Secondary Education, majoring in Broadfield Social Studies.  Being in Northern Wisconsin and trying to be a farmer, I find this a great fit due to the nature of the Agrarian theme established in the Public School system, not to mention the fact that my wife teaches fifth grade in Mellen also.  My father passed away three years in April leaving my Mother with the farm of which Pat, my son-in-law, and I have been, can I say dabbling in custom cattle ranging during the summer and freeing up basically the school year enabling me to teach as a substitute in the four local school districts, allowing me to continue dabbling/farming. 

As for Pat, he spent twenty-seven years with the U.S. Navy and retired in 2001. He has a place here on the farm also and my mother has settled in with him after my father's passing.  Pat is a bachelor and lives to golf, he helps out with the hay season unless there's a golf tournament.  He also enjoys hunting here on the farm.

Back to your e-mail, I recalled Bonnie Tappan right away as if it were yesterday from her waitressing days in the restaurant (Country Kitchen) for my parents.  I couldn't tell you much about what she wanted to do back then, just that she was one of those bubbly people who got along well with everybody.  I can't recall Keith Gormezano though, I draw a blank.  Over the years we'll pass through Coralville / Iowa City on our way to visit others westbound points, just because it kind of became a gateway to my future and give thought to a time that seems like, another life ago, pausing for a moment reflecting on the changes that have taken place there as well as in my life and then 'like time', I'll move on down I-70 in a westward direction.


Don Rinehart and Jeff Bagford wrote (November 23 and 25, 2009)

Don and Jeff had a great "Small World" experience.

Don wrote:

Hi Dave:

Had a fun "West High Experience" this weekend, quite by accident.  Went to pick up Tami's dad at the airport here in Phoenix and started talking to a couple with Iowa Tee Shirts on who were waiting for parents.  Turned out to be '73 classmate Jeff Bagford and his wife!!!  He works at the Phoenix Veterans Hospital and moved to Phoenix the same time we did...only we didn't know it!

Also, turns out that Tami's dad and his folks have been Iowa football season ticket holders for decades and sit near each other at Kinnick Stadium!  Jeff and I also frequent the same adult beverage establishments here in Phoenix as well, but have never run into each other there!  Small world!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Don

Jeff added:

I was so pleasantly surprised, and Don is one of the West High School students that I got to know during my senior and only year at West High.


Mark Golden wrote (November 12, 2009)

Dear Dave:

After high school, I spent 1 1/2 years living in South Africa and then returned to the US to go to college and graduate school at the University of Chicago.  I then completed medical school and residency in St. Louis and returned to Chicago to join my father and sister in practice.  After a few years, I left the practice to specialize in laser refractive surgery which has been my primary pursuit for the last ten years. 

I have been married for eleven years and have a ten year old son, Harrison who is in 5th grade and working on his second degree black belt.  We live in downtown Chicago on the 86th floor of the John Hancock Building which has a spectacular view of the city and Lake Michigan.

For fun, we like to travel and a few years ago, my son and I took ten weeks to drive Route 66 to California, then Hwy 1 to Alaska and back for a total of 16,000 miles.  As a hobby, I have taken up cooking and my next trip is to San Francisco to attend the International Fancy Food Show. 

You are welcome to add my contact information to your web site.

Mark
Mark Ferguson wrote (November 6, 2009)

Dave,

Well, after only 4 days on the job, and 47 hours later, I came home on Thursday night so I could pack on Friday to fly to Pamplona, Spain where Acciona parent company is located.  10 day of training with my counterparts in Spain.  Whoosh, what a ride!  And to think a week ago Tuesday, I was still officially still unemployed for the past 10 months.  I have a new work email that can reach me anywhere in the world, as it goes right to my new Blackberry.  Ah, technology!

I am planning to live with Mom until we sell the house in Clive, Susan finds a job in the IC area, and maybe even start looking for land to build a house I designed last weekend.  This is going to get exciting quickly.

  Mark
Alan Huey (November 4, 2009)

Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon wrote to let us know that Alan's father had passed away.

Here is his father's obituary, offered as a tribute to a wonderful man:

Gaylen Huey

Gaylen C. Huey, 77, formerly of North Liberty, died at the Solon Care Center on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, following an extended illness. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Solon United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Scott Meador officiating. Friends may call Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Iowa City Hospice, the Solon United Methodist Church or the Activity Fund for the Solon Care Center.

Gaylen was born May 27, 1932, on a farm near Sutliff, Iowa, the son of Forrest and Marjorie (McNeal) Huey. He graduated from Lisbon High School. On Aug. 19, 1951, Gaylen married Orlane White at the West Branch United Methodist Church.

Gaylen retired as manager of the University of Iowa, Oakdale campus maintenance department. He enjoyed traveling, camping and was known for his cooking, especially barbecue chicken. Gaylen was an honorary member of the North Liberty Legion and a member of the Solon United Methodist Church. He enjoyed spending time with his family, bird watching and was a tremendous handyman and builder.

Survivors include his wife, Orlane of Solon; their four children, daughter, Brenda (Jeff) Bly of Cedar Rapids, and their children, Kellie, Tina, Jessica, Jamie, Josh and Michael; son, Alan (Janelle) Huey of Wichita, Kan., and their children, Nate, Peter, Lizabeth and Meg; daughter, Jean (Darrel) Brothersen of Cedar Bluff, and their children, Josh, Joe, Jon, AJ and Jess; and daughter, Virginia Watts of Tiffin, and her children, Kurtis, Sam and Jenna. Also surviving are nine great-grandchildren; his sisters, Janice Hunter of Iowa City and Ruth Sweet of Sun City, Calif.; and his sisters-in-law, Vivian (Keith) Howard of West Branch and Phyllys Huey of Marion.

Gaylen was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Robert Huey; his brothers-in-law, Forrest Sweet and Walter Hunter; and a son-in-law, Michael Divoky.

Online condolences and memories may be left for the family at www.lensingfuneral.com under obituaries
Betsy Hale wrote (October 30, 2009)

Dear Dave,

Thank you for tracking me down.  Yes,  I am the Betsy Hale who graduated from West High in 1973.   I have lived in Seattle since 1977.  I currently work at Casey Family Programs, a foundation that is concerned with reducing the number of kids in foster care nationwide.

My parents moved to Seattle four years ago and since that time I have not been back to Iowa City.  My dad passed away a year ago.  I have such fond memories of growing up in Iowa City.

Sure ­ add my email address to your website.  My mailing address is:  530 Wellington Ave.  Seattle, WA  98122.

Great website!!  Seems really effective in forming an online community.

Thanks again ­

Betsy Hale

[Webmaster's Note]: Keith Gormèzano forwarded us Betsy's Dad's Obituary from last year, and you can view this tribute to her father's life here. It is a pdf file.
Mark Ferguson wrote (October 28, 2009)

Dave,

Susan and I had a chance to see "Wicked" over 8 times at the Civic Center of Des Moines over the past two weeks as ushers.  We had a chance to take both our mothers to see the show, too. 

Fergusons and Moms at Wicked

One of the lines, "There's no place like home", originally from the "Wizard of Oz" is repeated in the play by Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.  WELL... I have news from the Fergusons, "THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!" 

I have been searching for 10 months for a new position after being laid off from Ryko Manufacturing Company after 31 years of service.  I have just accepted a position with Acciona Windpower in West Branch, IA. and only 14 miles away from my mother's house in Iowa City.  I start on Monday, Nov. 2 as their Technical Services Manager of Post Sales Service.  They build the large wind generators and has a Spanish parent company that has supplying this design for over 30 years in Europe, even though this division was started only 2 years ago.  I am very excited to join the team.

Susan and I are leaving for Iowa City for the weekend, sending my mother and aunt off to London, England on Thursday on a U of Iowa trip, and staying the weekend to reacquaint ourselves with the area, and maybe taking in the Hawkeye game on Saturday.

Susan will stay behind for a while until we put the house on the market in the Spring and secure her a new position in the area.  But we will be excited to eventually move to the Iowa City area, maybe even building a house of my design in the process, who knows.

We'll keep you abreast of any other developments.  Guess I might just make the 40 reunion, since I will most likely be in the area.

  Mark Ferguson
Keith Gormèzano wrote (October 17, 2009)

Hi Dave,

I thought that my fellow classmates might like to know that my business has been nominated for the City of Seattle Mayor's Small Business Award and the local Better Business Bureau Business of the Year Torch Award.

Keith Gormèzano
Mike Russell (October 1, 2009)

Deb (Nortmann) Tyer and Karen (Villhauer) Michalec wrote to let us know that Mike Russell's dad had passed away.

Karen wrote:
Dave - I was with Mike last night and mentioned having you put info on our website about his dad. Mike's Dad died on Wednesday, September 30, 2009. Mike's home address is 3185 Dubuque St NE, Iowa City 52240 if anyone wants to send a card.

Thanks.
Jennifer (MacQueen) Hamilton (September 25, 2009)

Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon wrote to let us know that Jennifer's father had passed away.

Here is her father's obituary, offered as a tribute to a wonderful man:

John MacQueen John MacQueen, 92

Dr. John Charles MacQueen, former President of the American Board of Pediatrics, Associate Dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Iowa, a man instrumental in the creation of Head Start, Women/infants and Children (WIC), the physician assistant program, the nurse practitioner program, a man who championed some of the first laws against child abuse, and an innovator in legal mediation died Wednesday at the age of 92.

Born to John Charles and Nellie Mae (Wright) MacQueen in Salina, Kansas, he completed his medical school at Kansas University. He married Gertrude McLaughlin in 1944.

During World War II, Dr. MacQueen served in a front line hospital during the Battle of the Bulge. His medical unit was the first to enter the Dachau concentration camp, an experience he was very reluctant to speak about for the rest of his life. During the occupation, he ran an officer's club in Munich, Germany.

After the war, Dr. MacQueen became a staff physician at the University of Iowa Medical School where he practiced and taught medicine. There he established the department of Pediatric Neurology and wrote a landmark paper on the neurophysiology of crippled children. For many years he served as the director of the Iowa State Services for Crippled Children and ran numerous clinics that brought health care to children in rural Iowa.

Dr. MacQueen developed a multi-discipline approach for children at risk, and was instrumental in developing the Tertiary Care system -- both are medical systems that have been copied throughout the United States. He championed some of the first legislation to criminalize child abuse.

In 1974, Dr. MacQueen was elected the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He also served on Presidential committees for improving health care for children in the United States. Among many stories about Dr MacQueen -- he single handedly lobbied the United States Senate to protect children's health entitlement programs -- making those programs the only ones that were not cut during the first year of the Reagan administration.

He was also the first person to ever return unused Federal grant money, causing confusion in Washington.

To honor him, the University of Iowa Medical School created The MacQueen Lecture, an annual lecture series. Dr. MacQueen was famous for introducing the speakers using limericks that he created on the spot.

After retiring from the Department of Pediatrics at age 70, he became adjunct professor of law at the University of Iowa School of Law where he taught mediation as a "win-win" alternative to the "winner take all" judge and jury court system.

Long an avid gardener, Dr. MacQueen built a greenhouse onto his house that was green and blooming in the dead of winter. Dr. MacQueen was constant traveller, reader, and a sometimes photographer who built a darkroom in his basement.

He died Wednesday September 23rd at Atrium Village in Hills, Iowa. He is survived by his wife of 65 years Gertrude of Iowa City, IA; his children Susan Hartman of Boone, IA; Debra MacQueen of Arcata, CA; John MacQueen of Des Moines, IA; Jennifer Hamilton of Farifield, IA; and Brian MacQueen of New Haven CT; as well as 4 grandchildren (John Hartman M.D. and wife Lori of Bettendorf; Gabriel Hartman of Iowa City; William Hamilton and wife Lizzie of Brattleboro, VT; and Mila Hamilton of Minneapolis, MN) and 3 great grandchildren (Emma Elizabeth, Christin Candace, and John James Hartman of Bettendorf). He was preceded in death by his oldest daughter Candace MacQueen, his parents and his sisters Nell Ruth of Boulder, CO; and Mary Evelyn of Medford OR.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Iowa City Hospice and the Hiefer International Project.


Don Rinehart wrote (September 17, 2009)

Hi Dave :  Thought you might want to check this out or post it on the Class of '73 website.  Not often that my band shares the same bill with someone like the Dali Lama!

Don

----- Original Message -----
From: comebackbuddy@earthlink.net
To: West High Class of 1973
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 6:07 PM
Subject: Headlines

Check us out!
http://www.visitlongbeach.com/articles/index.cfm?navid=30

  Come Back Buddy
www.comebackbuddy.com  
Mark Ferguson wrote (August 24, 2009)

Hi Dave,

As promised, here are some pictures of Alex Willcox competing at the Quad Cities Highland Games, placing first place in the "Super A" division.  Alex and my daughter Valerie have been dating since high school, and Alex is currently one of the Hawkeye Football coaches.  His mentor and also a coach (the bald one), Chris Doyle, also won first place in his division, the Masters (over 40). Please feel free to post these on the website if you like. 

The final picture is of the Ferguson Clan, pictured from left to right, Mark Ferguson, Norma Ferguson (Mom), Cathy Horning (my cousin), Sarah Horning (my cousin), Susan Ferguson (my wife), and Ellie Horning (my mother's sister, my aunt).

As you can see, it was a great day for the competition, and the bag pipes were a-wailing.

Mark Ferguson
Bagpipes

Highland Games Pipes
Hammer

Alex tossing the Hammer
Caber

Alex tossing the Caber
Kids

Valerie and Alex, ala Grant Wood
Mark Family

Mark, Norma, Cathy, Sarah, Susan, and Ellie
(Click each picture to enlarge)


Jackie (Dague) Nicholson wrote (August 18, 2009)

Hi Dave,

I'm forwarding the poster about the play in which our very own Paul Roberts is performing in, to share on our West High site.   Thanks!

Best Wishes,

Jackie

(Editor's note: the link above will download an ~ 2.8 MB pdf file)
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (August 16, 2009)

Started back to work this past Thursday. Bitter sweet, as the last two years in a row I've been in Rochester, MN with Tom at Mayo Clinic. You miss so much if you aren't here for the beginning of the school year, so a good thing for me this year. I'm sure my boss is glad as well.It's been a rough two years for her.

My arm is getting bad again. Not sure if it's all the computer work or what, but had to have my father come over and help me trim around my evergreens in the back yard - too much pulling on the mower handle involved which has to be done left handed, and it's my left arm that's bad.  Will have to call doc Monday and see what we can do next. The initial injury stemmed from taking care of Tom so long by myself. He was 6'6" and a lot of man to handle.

I've only had 2 new cashiers in the past 13 years to train, and this year, have 5, it will be a busy Monday morning. Students start coming on Wednesday. Have to head into the building to get some things copied off my computer that wasn't on my flash drive. Also will post our new prices for lunches in the staff lounge - they always complain when the prices go up, but they get up to 5 items on their tray for $2.90 - can't do that at McDonald's!

Anyway, had an awesome summer. My trip to CO and CA went very well. Mixed feelings about the Amtrak portion, but would try it again with new knowledge. Glad Bobbi is doing well and the fam is home and OK. Take care.

Ruth
Heidi Galer wrote (August 13, 2009)

Guten Morgen,Dave!

How pleased  I was that you and Bobbi  sent us a beautiful anniversary card and an E mail! You are so thoughtful. Dankeschoen!

I was totally shocked and surprised at my children's planning a party for us. All went well and we had a great time. At first I was speechless-that's hard to believe, nicht wahr?-but I got over it and enjoyed myself thoroughly. Thank you for being a part of this celebration.Oh yes, Laura Walters Anspach came from Des Moines to the party!!It was so good to catch up on her busy life.

How are you doing? Is the pain of losing your Dad lessened a tiny bit? Thank goodness we have many wonderful memories of our loved ones that do sustain us.

Tell Bobbi hello and thanks again for your thoughtfulness.

Schoenes Wochenende!

"Frau" Heidi

Heidi Galer in her wedding driess

Heidi Galer in her wedding dress
Ernie and Heidi Galer

Ernie and Heidi Galer
Ernie and Heidi Galer and Grandkids

Heidi, Ernie, and their Grandkids
Ernie and Heidi Galer and Kids

Ernie, Heidi, and their Kids
(Click each picture to enlarge)

P.S. Ach ja, you mention the wedding dress !!! I was too poor in college to afford a wedding gown, so a friend of mine loaned me hers. 40 years later she comes to the surprise anniversary party and brings the wedding dress along for me to wear!!  Is that not an incredibly thoughtful person??


Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon wrote (July 4, 2009)

Dear All,

This is a good friend of ours , Eric Madison's web site.  Another good friend, Kevin Burt is the writer and singer of the song.  If you live in the Iowa City area, I know you have heard or seen their band.   Kevin and Eric's band is BF Burt and the Instigators.  Larry had played with them when they needed a bass player.  Eric Madison put the song to pictures.  He included Larry's picture in it as someone that helped him in his  life.    Thanks to Eric.  It means a lot to us. 

Please listen to the song.  It is excellent!

Thanks

Bon
Tom Filer (July 4, 2009)

Bonnie (Tappan) Weldon wrote to let us know that Tom's mother had passed away.

Here is his mother's obituary, offered as a tribute to a wonderful woman:

Evalyn Filer

Evalyn Rink Filer, 89 of Iowa City died Monday, June 29, 2009, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Memorial services will be held at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, July 18, 2009, at the Oaknoll Retirement Residence in Iowa City. In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made in Evalyn's memory to Hancher Auditorium or Dr. Lloyd J. Filer Annual Lectureship Fund both in care of the University of Iowa Foundation. Online condolences may be sent for her family through the web at www.gayandciha.com.

Evalyn Mae Rink Filer was born November 22, 1919, in Butler County, PA the daughter of Frank T. and Margaret E. (Hilliard) Rink. Following graduation from high school as Valedictorian, she attended and graduated from Grove City College in Grove City, PA. She married her childhood sweetheart, Lloyd J. "Jack" Filer who happened to be the class Salutatorian in their class, a fact that was never forgotten! After their marriage on May 29, 1942, the couple moved to Rochester, New York where Jack attended medical school, and Evalyn taught French and Latin in schools there. From here the couple and now a family moved to Columbus, OH where Jack was on staff with OSU, and with Ross Laboratories. Upon moving to Iowa City in 1965, Jack accepted a professorship in the College of Medicine; Evalyn began working in the library of Central Junior High, a position she cherished for many years.

Evalyn had many interests and passions. She was a member of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, the University of Iowa Athletic Club, 43 year season ticket holder at Kinnick Stadium, strong supporter of Hancher Auditorium, volunteered many hours at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, enjoyed tennis, in fact she was quite the sports enthusiast, still had her subscription to Sports Illustrated! She was a 47 year breast cancer survivor; something that enabled her to support those fighting this disease. She loved to cook, entertain, and travel with Jack. They lived life together to the fullest.

Her family includes her children, Margaret Taylor and her husband, Dr. Tom Taylor of West Hartford, CT; and Thomas Filer and his wife, Barbara Filer of Des Moines; nine grandchildren, Dr. Thomas Taylor (Sarah), Dr. Emily Taylor, Michael Fox, Dr. Cody Fox, Emily VanZante (Brandyn), Melissa Conlon (Dr. Sean), Matthew Filer (Kristen), Marc Filer (fiancé, Carla), and Jessica Filer; great-grandchildren, Shannan, Megan, Jack, Kevin, and Thomas Conlon, Madelyn, Morgan Filer, Bray-Lynne VanZante, and Graeme Taylor.

She was preceded in death by her husband "Jack", son, Lloyd Filer III, and brother, Barclay Rink.

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service is caring for Evalyn's family and her services.


Jackie (Dague) Nicholson wrote (June 30, 2009)

Hi Dave,

How have you been?  I haven't heard any West High news lately and I was hoping all is well.  I plan to be back in Iowa City end of August.  Paul Roberts is in a play called "Smoke on the Mountain" and I was hoping to meet up with some West High people and go to the play.  I saw the play last Christmas and it's REALLY good!  Paul does a great job playing his banjo, singing and acting. The play is put on by the Iowa Theatre Artists Company in the Amanas.  Their web site is:  www.iowatheatreartists.org  or itac@southslope.net  Anyway, I was planning on going to the play the weekend of August 28th or 29th (fri or sat)  I haven't ordered any tickets yet.  Let me know your thoughts and again, I hope all is well!  Take care.

Best Wishes,

Jackie
jnick AT wi.rr.com
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (June 28, 2009)

Thanks for all the news. I've just finished a three day garage sale in this blessed 90+ weather. NOW it's cooling down a few degrees and less humid. I had a 50+ lb. disc flop over onto my foot the day before the sale while I was setting up, so I have a swollen right black and blue foot. Of course when it happened, I had flip flops on. The left one happened to be in the sun unbeknownst to me while I was sitting at the money table, and now is swollen and purple and very sore. However the good news is that the sale was a great success. I had put very large items on this sale of Tom'sto really clear out some room in the house  -nothing small really outside of 130 VHS tapes with movies on them that I had converted what I wanted, over to DVD. I only brought 5 items back into the house after the sale which isn't bad. Made $421 which I'll use to have more fun in California when I reach my niece's place in Aptos. Let's see - I made $21 per hour and I don't make that at work, so that was OK, too.

I sold a room full of lumber from his shop to one individual. He took the whole works and it filled his pick up all the way to the top of his topper. I was very glad to be rid of that before winter so that I can clean that room and start organizing things and putting together a nice set of tools and supplies for each of my sons. The rest will be sold next year. I found he has a wood plane worth at least $500 so I'll be sure to have an expert take a look at things before I price them. I have a good friend from school who knows quite a bit about tools and all and also a friend from church who will help me out. They are good honest guys.

There is a lady who I have emailed for 19 months now, through the American Cancer Society's caregiver and bereavement forums. She and I hit it off well right from the start. She's from North Carolina. Neither of us cared for the bereavement group once our husbands passed away, so we mavericked and started a small group of our own outside of the Society's rules and regs and we are now 5 widows emailing daily. We've grown quite close. Anyway - this one from N.C. is currently visiting family in Sioux Center, Iowa and on Tuesday, will drop down to Cedar Rapids and spend two days with me before heading home. I can't wait to meet her in person. She'll stay with me here to save money. I am so excited to be able to meet one of these ladies in person. To think we've emailed our deepest fears, joys, and cancer experiences to one another for nearly 2 years and we will finally meet this week.

Well, thanks again for the news, Dave and glad Bobbi is doing better and we'll pray for a continuance of that for sure!!!  This news is OK for anyone to see. I"m continuing to keep very busy and am doing well. I can't believe it will be 5 months on the day after the 4th of July. Just hardly seems possible he's been gone that long, but I'm doing good. My sons are doing better as well, and I'm grateful that they both have permanent full time work. Always, Ruth


Pat Vaughan wrote (June 22, 2009)

Hi Dave,

After three weeks in Coralville & Iowa City with my family following my mother's death my wife and I have returned to Burbank, CA.  I was overwhelmed by the kindness and sympathy expressed by many of our mutual friends and classmates.  In particular, Dave Kacena, Bonnie Weldon, Missi Strub, Kevin Kelly, Karen Liebold, Bill Ackerman, Ted Hyde, Tracy Hirt and Mark Zanger.  It was very comforting to have their support.

On a lighter note through my wife's search for vintage fabrics (in particular cloth seed bags) we were able to take time to explore Iowa.   We went to several auctions (thanks Bill Ackerman!) toured the amazing State Capital, enjoyed the "Antique Walk" in Walnut, Iowa and battled the mosquitoes and bumble bees at each of the Bridges of Madison County. 

Attached is a photo of my wife and I at the Hogback bridge.

Best,

Patrick

 Pat and Selina at Hogback Bridge 2009

(Click the thumbnail for a larger picture)
Arnie Moore wrote (June 20, 2009)

Dave and Class of '73,

Summer is finally upon us and those of us in the education profession get some well deserved time off

First I want to thank you Dave for doing a superb job of keeping this site going.  I know from my past and current experiences that this is a major labor of love.

This past year for me was one of the worst I've had teaching.  After 22 years in this profession, it was suppose to easier instead it was quite the opposite. So many kids with great potential but no desire to succeed, it was a real struggle just to get kids to come to class and be prepared for the daily lesson.  My upper level programming kids were great, but one class out of seven made it a personal struggle to want to do my job.  To top it off a student threatened to stab me, that just sort of set the tone for my year.  But I survived and am enjoying my time off doing many things that I should have done but blew off waiting for summer.

Sorry to see some of out members have lost family and loved ones this year, but we are at that age where we not only lose our parents but members of the class.  Granted there are a few class members who's location is lost but we are so lucky to have had very few of our class members pass.  For as crazy as our generation was, it seems pretty amazing that we have lost so few.

All is well with my family.  Our oldest son is in DC working as an Engineering Specialist for the FDOT.  He lives in Arlington and loves the job and location.  Our youngest is currently finishing up at the local community college then plans to transfer to UCF in Orlando.  He still says he wants to be an engineer, but his desire and effort needs to take a big leap up.  Julie is still at the same hospital that she started at when we moved down here.  Recently she was promoted to the assistant director of her department.  She is not sure she wants the responsibility but as she was told, she can do every job in the department and  is a great asset for her skills and temperament.

For those that care, Julie and I will be in Iowa the last two weeks of July.  We will spend the first week visiting friends and relatives.  We are sort of planning to go to the C/O '74 reunion on Friday night, but that depends on events that may be planned after we arrive.  The second week we are doing RAGBRAI.  She will be driving the gear and I will be riding my tail across the state.  I currently ride about 100 miles a week and hopefully will be in good enough shape to make the distance.  If anyone from the class is riding, let me know and we will see if we can hook up.

Well all for now

Arnie, Julie, and The Gang from Florida

Arnie and Julie 2009

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Martin Andersen wrote (June 2, 2009)

Dave,

I thought I'd pass this news on to you if you want to post it.

Sheldon Smith, who some classmates might know, lost his father last weekend. Sheldon, like myself, attended West the first semester of our senior year in order to be able to take fourth year Latin. He works for HP and lives in the Twin Cities area with his wife Corrine and two (now fleeing the nest) children.

Anyone wishing to get in touch with Shel can do so at sheldonesmith AT juno.com

Thanks,

Martin


Pat Vaughan (June 2, 2009)

Dave Kacena wrote this morning to let us know that Pat Vaughan's mother passed away Sunday May 31.

Here is his mother's obituary, offered as a tribute to a wonderful woman:

Suzanne Vaughan
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Suzanne J. Vaughan, 78, of 902 14th Ave., Coralville, passed away Sunday, May 31, 2009, at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, of pneumonia and other complications. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Iowa City on Thursday, June 4 at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at St. Joseph's Cemetery. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, 605 Kirkwood Ave., Iowa City, where a rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Patrick's Catholic Church Building Fund or The American Lung Association.

Suzanne was born in Kansas City, Mo., and moved to Ogden, shortly after. Her parents were Ray and Gladys Mill. She married Francis Vaughan of Ogden on April 11, 1950.

She is survived by her husband, Francis Vaughan; and four children, Matthew Vaughan (and friend Chris Parker) of Wellman; Patrick Vaughan (and wife Selina) of Burbank, Calif.; Timothy Vaughan of Fort Collins, Colo.; and Sally Vaughan of Denver, Colo. Suzanne was preceded in death by her parents.

Suzanne enjoyed many activities, among them: sewing, bridge clubs, the Old Capital #136 Questers, volunteering at her church and she loved music.

Suzanne will be sorely missed by everyone.

Online condolences and memories may be left for the family at www.lensingfuneral.com under obituaries.


Meg Eginton wrote (May 28, 2009)

Margaret Eginton is teaching workshops in her alignment work this summer in Sarasota, FL st the FSU/Asolo Conservatory and with Atlantic Theater in Burlington, VT. Eginton Alignment is a method of helping people learn about their body's structure and movement patterns.  It helps people to develop freedom in motion, elegance of posture, and to avoid and heal injuries.  Principles of Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais Work are foundational to Eginton Alignment.  To learn more about it go to Egintonalignment.com.

Margaret (Meg) also writes:

I continue to teach at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory and New College of Florida and to direct plays.  This year I am co-writing and directing Rat Race: The Secret Life of Theme Parks, with performer Eric Paul Jakobsen.  The show has had three in-progress performances in the Tampa Bay area, with good reviews -- and we continue to refine the writing and performance with an eye to taking it to London in 2010.  I'm also working on a new play about Wallace Stevens, as director. 

My son Robbie, now 15, is growing up -- now taller than me! He is dancing in classes at the Sarasota Ballet, singing with the Sarasota Youth Opera, and doing well with his studies.  He homeschools using the  Florida Virtual System which is excellent.  He also studies history with his grandfather, Bill Eginton, and language arts with me -- mostly Chaucer, Shakespeare, and creative writing. The homeschooling allows him enough time for other activities, and to volunteer at a retirement community.

This summer we are taking our first week-long non-working vacation in Vermont after I finish teaching, and in August, moving from our tiny 1920s apartment to a house.  It has a yard I hope to turn into a Florida friendly garden.  We've finally, after 7 years, adjusted to the weather but are happy to travel to cooler climates, like Vermont, Iowa, and next year, Paris and London -- where I will be again teaching.  All best wishes to all West High grads, and I do so hope that the next time we have a reunion that I can come!


Laura (Walters) Anspach wrote (May 5, 2009)

Dave,

Today is our 30th wedding anniversary. Happy Cinco de Mayo. We served cake and punch to our church on Sunday. Hope to go out for steak and lobster tail (once a year I can swing it). We've had that every anniversary except one since we were married.  We told our church members that the first 30 was just practice for the second 30.

Laura
Janelle Gibson Huey wrote (Apr 26, 2009)

Dave,

Have a good trip (to Paris)! Alan and I are certainly ready to get back to Europe for a visit. We lived in England for five years and Morocco for two, during Alan's years in the Air Force.

We have enjoyed all of your communication through our West High website and now facebook. You have truly facilitated encouraging keeping our class in touch with one another. Here is an update on my family:

Alan is working at Bombardier Learjet in Wichita and I work part time for a meeting and incentive travel company.

We have four children. Nate is an attorney with Sidley Austin in Chicago. His wife is finishing up her second year of residency in internal medicine at Rush. We have a beautiful granddaughter who turned two in January. Peter is a construction engineer and also lives in Chicago. He will be married this May in Birmingham. Lizabeth is in her second year of law school at Iowa and our baby, Meg, is a first year at Grinnell. One of her closest friends she has made at school went to West!

Our family has been our greatest joy and we do feel so blessed. And again, many thanks for what you have done. The gift of friendship and fellowship is truly irreplaceable.

Safe travels,
Janelle
Mike Reed wrote (Apr 11, 2009)

Hope everyone has a Happy Easter! just got back from a week of golf in Myrtle Beach. True Blue, Caledonia, TPC were three of the courses we played. Weather was great, courses beautiful, couldn't ask for more. Hope all is well with everyone.

Take care,
Mike
Ruth (Jurgens) Noth wrote (Mar 28, 2009)

Ruth sent me a link to her husband Tom's obituary, and we're posting it here as a tribute to him.

Tom Noth

Thomas C. Noth, 69, of Cedar Rapids, died Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, at his home surrounded by his family after a 5-year fight with several types of cancer. Tom was laid to rest at Zion Reformed Church Cemetery in rural Sheffield, Iowa. A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Marion at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Arrangements by Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home.

Tom is survived by his wife, Ruth; their two sons, Chris and Mike; Ruth's parents, the Rev. David and Dixie Jurgens of Marion; sister-in-law, Emile Jurgens and husband Simeon Dzamov of Dayton, Nev.; niece, Rebecca Dzamov and husband Alexander Lomvardias of Aptos, Calif.; brother, George Noth of Marion, and his children and their families - David and Dorey Noth of Bettendorf, Cathy Noth and Eldonna Hazen, and their son, Spencer, of Madison, Wis., and son, Charles Noth of Marion; and two sisters, Sister Ana Marie (Geraldine Noth) of San Marcos, Guatemala and Carla Littlefield and husband Neil of Denver, Colo., and their daughters, Sharon and her children, Stephen and Kate, Debra and Jennifer.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister-in-law, Joann Elizabeth (Deters) Noth of Bettendorf; and several aunts and uncles on both sides of his family.

Tom was born Oct. 5, 1939, to Carl H. and Jeanette (Petersen) Noth of Davenport. Tom attended St. Joseph's school in Davenport, graduated from St. Ambrose University with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, and received a master's degree in environmental engineering from the University of Iowa in 1962. He spent his entire working career of nearly 40 years at the city of Cedar Rapids Water Department plant at J Avenue NE. He began as the laboratory supervisor and retired in 2001 as the Water Quality Assurance Manager. Tom had great passion for his work and always kept a keen interest in the field, staying current with water quality publications even after retirement, and was a long-time member of the American Chemical Society. Staff members in the water department labs, Roger, Barbara and Amy, were like a second family to him.

Tom met his loving and devoted wife, Ruth Jurgens, at the Water Department office. Their first date was to go fishing; something they enjoyed doing together. Ruth always says that she caught a real keeper that day in 1981. They were married on Sept. 1, 1984, and to their marriage two sons were born, Christopher Thomas in 1985, and Michael Thomas in 1986.

The Noth and Jurgens families wish to thank Tom's specialists, Dr. David W. Zenk, hematology, of Iowa Blood and Cancer Care, and all their loving and caring staff; and Dr. Francis K. Buadi, hematology, of the Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minn. Tom had the highest admiration and respect for these professionals who cared for him so well throughout his long journey with the cancers. Also special thanks to Hospice of Mercy for their dedication in his final days, and to Linn-Mar Schools and many friends and neighbors who so unselfishly gave such incredible support to Ruth and her family.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established and contributions should be made directly to the family in care of Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home, 4200 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 and will be distributed to charities of Tom's choosing.

Please leave a message or tribute to the Noth family on the Web page, www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.


Keith Gormèzano wrote (Mar 25, 2009)

You can mention on the WHS web site that I recently passed certification in Intuit's QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions software for mid-market businesses as well as the company's Point of Sale (POS) software for tracking and managing sales and inventory in retail like operations.
Barb (Chapmann) Siemann wrote (Mar 25, 2009)

(Judy (Becker) Bryant wrote us to let us know that Barb's mother had passed away on Monday, March 23. This is Barb's reply to our expression of sympathy on behalf of the class)

Dave:  Thank you so much for writing.  As you well know losing a parent is very difficult no matter what the circumstances.  My mother had a great life and was only really ill the last few months.  It is a very bittersweet time for me - sad for the loss but so grateful to have had such a wonderful, strong woman for a mother.  I would appreciate your posting this to the class and once again let me tell you how much I appreciate all that you do to keep us updated on one another.  The thread to the past that you provide is very special - you are really so kind.  I know that you have had some rough times with your own family lately and while I haven't responded I want you to know that you have been in my prayers.  Fondly, Barbara

Here is her mother's obituary, offered as a tribute to a wonderful woman:

Corinne Chapman
Corinne Harriet Wohlner Chapman, 83
Born: May 26, 1925
Died: March 23, 2009
Services: 1:00 pm Thursday, March 26, 2009 at Agudas Achim Congregation in Iowa City, 602 East Washington Street with Rabbi Jeff Portman officiating. Burial will be in Agudas Achim Cemetery in Iowa City.
Visitation: There will be no visitation.

Corinne Harriet Wohlner Chapman, of 1 Oaknoll Court, Iowa City, died Monday, March 23, 2009, in the Oaknoll Health Center, following a brief illness.

Corinne was born May 26, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Albert and Molly (Horwich) Wohlner. She was a 1943 graduate of Central High School in Omaha, came to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa, where she met her future husband, and remained an Iowa City resident for the rest of her life. Corinne married Ansel Chapman in Omaha, on April 14, 1946 and celebrated 59 years of marriage before his death in 2005.

Corinne was an active member of the Iowa City community. She served as president of the Johnson County League of Women Voters and vice-president of the Iowa League of Women Voters. She was involved in activities for her children, such as scouts and PTA, and was an active member of various organizations and activities through her affiliation with Agudas Achim Synagogue.

Corinne will be remembered by many for her exquisite art and her beautiful voice. She was a fiber artist who wove many beautiful pieces on her loom and was an inspired weaver with a wonderful eye for color and fiber combinations. She was an enthusiastic member of The Voices of Experience, the chorus at the Johnson County Senior Center. Her beautiful soprano added dimension to every performance. Her years of singing with The Voices gave her great pleasure.

Corinne is survived by her three children, Nathan (Cynthia) of Pine Mountain Valley, GA, Katherine (Dwight) Keller of Leawood, KS, and Barbara Siemann of Cherry Hills Village, CO; 9 grandchildren, Joy (Luke) Eisenhower, LulaMae, John and Charles Chapman, Dorothy (Tim) Lambert, Ethan and Ashley Keller, and Alexander and Molly Siemann; and three great-grandchildren, Sierra Lamb and Paige and Tad Lambert, her sister, Phyllis (Sidney) Schwartz, and many nieces and nephews.

Corinne is preceded in death by her husband, Judge Ansel Chapman, her parents, Albert and Molly Wohlner, and her step-grandson, David Lamb.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Iowa City Hospice, The Voices of Experience, the Ansel Chapman Memorial Scholarship at the University of Iowa Foundation, or a charity of your choice.

Corinne's family wishes to thank Iowa City Hospice and the staff of the Oaknoll Health Center for their care and support.


Gene Hartsock wrote (Mar 8, 2009)

Dave,

I am writing this Sunday nite from HOME.   They released me from the hospital late saturday afternoon...It is nice to be HOME.  They say my kidney prognosis is good, but it isn't "awake" yet.  I guess that means I have to try to find out how to wake it up!   All that means is I will have to be on dialysis for a while, until they decide I don't need it anymore. I have to do two more days of Anti-rejection infusion treatments, which means by Wed I hope to be done with that phase of the recover and begin starting to work again at the shoe shop.   I am hoping that the shoe elves might have done some of the  big jobs, but I will believe it when I see it.

I will let you know more when substantial updates are availiable.

During this whole 2 weeks, we also have been waiting for our Son Rob's wife Nancy to deliver their baby.  What A Week!

Gene
Keith Gormèzano wrote (Mar 5, 2009)

Hi Dave,

Thanks for sharing both the good and bad news of your family with the rest of us. Sometimes bad news is good news in that you get to find out who cares.

As for me, I was featured in a local TV story about my being a consumer pit bull activist.

http://www.king5.com/localnews/getjesse/stories/NW_030409GJB-free-gas-promotion-SW.3023a63.html

KG
Nancy (Hug) Montier wrote (Mar 4, 2009)

Dave,

Thanks for sending this (reference to the story about the Hug House fire) .  I looked at the photos on the Press Citizen website ­ wow, how heartbreaking to see Mom and Dad with their dogs, and their / our wonderful home on fire.  Yes, it's OK to let the class know.  It's comforting to know that people care.

I got a call from my sister this morning that the house was on fire, and everyone was OK.   My Dad was the only one home when it started ­ Mom was out on an errand, my brother who's been staying there was also out.  Dad used the fire extinguisher but it didn't extinguish it, so he and 3 dogs got out.  The medics checked him for smoke inhalation and he is OK ­ just minor.  He's 81.  I don't know how much damage to the house there is - but it's extensive.  When my sister left it had been burning for 6 hours and there was still live fire.   This house is one of the original Coralville homes ­ built by the owner of the paper mill.  It's at least 130 years old. 

Their church,  Coralville United Methodist, has offered places to stay and love and support which just fills my heart with gladness and my eyes with tears.  Mom and Dad and Gary have taken care of so many people in so many ways with much generosity, time ,spirit,  love and money.

I spent several hours on the phone with relatives today assessing and relaying information, so it just hit me seeing those photos on the Press Citizen website that my favorite place in the world burned and my parents have lost the home they've loved for 45 years.  I was there at Christmas and Dad showed me their Christmas tree ­ there were branches of decorations dedicated to branches of the family ­ ornaments from California from me, from their parents, and those made by decades of children and grandchildren.  Maybe they didn't burnŠ.

If anyone of you know about grants to restore historic homes, that would be useful, if it's restorable.  Or just about recovering from something like thisŠ.

Thanks.

Peace,
Nancy

Nancy Montier
Celebrating International Coaching Week Feb 1-7, 2009
www.emergingbrilliance.com  
Martin Andersen wrote (Jan 3, 2009)

GOBAMA.

That was the title of a rather messianic portrait of our now president-elect, painted by an artist friend of ours during the heat of the summer campaign. No matter what your political views-no matter who you voted for (or did not vote for)-we believe that this young, energetic, intelligent man must be given a chance to wade into the morass of bewildering dilemmas facing our nation and the world and try to make some sense of it all. I don't know of anyone who would desire such a task. But it is our hope that if we can all think more civically--considering the betterment of society as a whole-then we have at least a chance, together, to begin bringing mankind to a better place. One gets the feeling that we are at a critical point in human history; that we have an ever diminishing number of chances to get things right. Each of us is, Dostoyevsky declared, ultimately responsible for every other, and must, each in our own way, try to make our lives and the lives of our fellows better. Looking beyond personal needs, as difficult as that can be, becomes not an altruistic luxury but a plain necessity.

Chris:

In the middle of her tenth year running Christina Andersen Floral Design, she had a busy spring and a less busy fall. She continues to provide flowers for New Jersey Symphony events, such as the AIG sponsored gala NJSO fundraiser in May. For the second year in a row Chris was the main decoration and floral designer for the Taste of Hoboken fundraiser for the local YMCA. Over 60 restaurants, caterers, and wine and spirits vendors participated, and a crowd of 600 enjoyed their wares. Chris has been going to her home town of Rockford, Illinois fairly frequently in the last year, mainly to spend extra time with her mother, who is beginning to lose her short term memory. She celebrated Independence Day with her mom, five brothers and sisters, and their families, in Rockford. (Martin was busy playing patriotic songs for outdoor throngs.) One of those "blast from the past" moments occurred this spring when Chris ran into a young woman, Kate Klenfner, who Chris had cared for as a child of eight; she's now 29 and works at the Jubilee Community Center in Hoboken. Chris did quite a lot of pavement pounding canvassing and cauliflower-ear telephone bank talking for the Obama campaign this fall. She and Martin spent a part of Election Day evening at the Hoboken Obama HQ with a large roomful of energetic, enthusiastic, hopeful partisans. When Ohio was called for Obama, the room went wild.

Martin--

--is in his thirtieth season as a violist in the NJSO, and fourth year teaching violin, viola, and chamber music at Stevens Institute of Technology. As head of the string area at Stevens, Martin is happy to report that there are now two string quartets under his guidance, with a small string orchestra on the horizon if growth continues at the present rate. He is particularly happy with his college and private teaching; always a challenge to try to find the right approach for each student. What has been taking up most of his free time in the last six months, however, is as Chair of the NJS Orchestra Committee. The OC is in the midst of long, and now contentious, contract negotiations: like most major orchestras, NJSO is unionized and negotiates its wages, benefits, and working conditions with management. Martin finds the work both stressful and fascinating. He's fortunate to have fine colleagues on the Committee, as well as creative, expert legal counsel in the person of Barbara Jaccoma.

In February Martin was able to get away to Palm Springs to visit his parents (Chris was busy with work.) While there he was able to take a weekend camping trip at nearby Joshua Tree National Park with his old bud Jeff Thayer, who drove up from his home in San Diego. Hiking on high desert trails, they had spirited discourse and witnessed beautiful vistas. Some places looked like old western movie sets-and probably were.

C & M

Martin's sister Ingrid's (and brother-in-law Dave's) oldest son Ian Wulf became an eagle scout at a ceremony held in Princeton, NJ in May. We joined Ian's grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends to celebrate his big accomplishment: over 50 merit badges, including a "leadership project"-his consisting of helping to restore a public park in Princeton. We are very proud of him.

We spent a fair amount of time in the last year with our friend Annette Illing, who was diagnosed with lung cancer about two years ago. She passed from this world in March. We will always remember her kindness, her tangy ironic humor, and her commitment to civic causes.

Our usual trip to Grand Teton Music Festival in July had a welcome prelude: Martin's 35th High School Reunion in Iowa City. We stayed with Martin's Uncle Walt and Aunt Bev; and were able to catch up with Martin's bosom buddies Kelly Ross and Bill Savage, among many others. Iowa City (along with the whole Mississippi basin) had just suffered its worst flood in recorded history. Martin was particularly upset to see the University of Iowa Music Complex (where he spent much of his time as an undergraduate), on the banks of the Iowa River, in a state of sog and chaos. His dad's company had been the mechanical contractor when the complex was originally built in the '70s.

As usual we had a good time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming-four weeks this year, Martin's 17th season at GTMF. Chris took on some more ambitious hikes than usual, but still prefers to hang out in the lobby at Jackson Lake Lodge, with its huge wall of glass vistas. Here is an open invitation: come out and visit us! After the festival we drove to Carbondale, Colorado to visit Chris' Aunt Wini and cousin Tom Joiner and family. Wini had been in grave condition earlier this summer but was doing better by the time we came by. She has lupus, plus a neurological condition that affects her ability to use her limbs. Wini currently resides in an assisted living situation, confined to a wheelchair; but she was in very good morale when we saw her, and had hopes to eventually return to her home.

On the way to Colorado we visited Dinosaur National Monument in eastern Utah. It was fascinating to see the large number of fossil exhibits excavated from the fertile ancient river beds which has concentrated more bones in one place than any other known location on earth. We also took an all day white water trip through the Split Mountain area of the park. Breathtaking scenery and some exciting rapids made for an unforgettable day. Thanks to our boatmen! An added pleasure was seeing thousand year old pictographs and petroglyphs-paintings and etchings on rock surfaces left by native peoples then living in the area-some of them of a distinctively austere beauty, others seemingly like ancient graffiti. Then, on the way back to our plane in Salt Lake City, in one too fast afternoon, we took in the amazing sights of Arches National Park, including the well known Delicate Arch.

We enjoyed a long weekend drive up to Cape Cod in September to visit our friends of many years from Jackson, Wyoming-the Reads: Ben, Anne, and son Owen, at their second home in Truo. There were several trips to the beach, where Martin rode the waves on a borrowed boogie board so enthusiastically that he got the worst sunburn of his life before even noticing it. Provincetown was a fun and gay affair.

In October Martin's brother Michael and Mike's wife Roseanne came to Manhattan for Roseanne's accounting conference. The four of us met at Chris' studio for the annual Hoboken Artist Studio Tour , after that having a nice meal together. The next day Martin and Mike walked around lower Manhattan and talked about the last time they'd hung out together in New York-28 years ago. Mike particularly liked the Edgar Allen Poe house in Greenwich Village.

We spent the week of Christmas in Rockford, then got back home in time for a New Year's Eve celebration with friends.

Hope your year and holidays have been good. Sincere best wishes for 2009.

Martin and Chris

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Chris and Martin 2008

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