Saturday, September 22, 2012

Student Body Prez Takes the "Haupt" Train

The European Train Enthusiasts set up their exhibit. My high school friend, Stretch Andersen, is at right turning his head to the left.

I stopped by the Los Altos History Museum last evening to have a chat with a friend from high school. He and his friends at the European Train Enthusiasts are setting up a world of wonder. 

I would call it an exhibit: but it is too cool for that. It is a collection of tiny European villages connected by train tracks, on which the European trains will be running all this weekend. (Of course they will be on time, being European.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Life Lessons And Assets At a Little House

An asset can sometimes seem like a liability.

My sister and I are beginning the work of rehabilitating the little rental house we inherited. When we extricated the last tenants, whom we also inherited, it was a mess. 

No use recriminating about that. Now we are in the "going forward phase" and hoping not to foul up doing that.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Surprise Package From Ascension Island

From Long Beach, Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean.

Today, I got a surprise package from a woman I know--but whom I've never met. She and I have emailed one another quite a bit since my father died.

She was stationed on Ascension Island serving with the USAF when Dad died--and with me here and she on Ascension, she helped me arrange to donate my father's World War II Ascension Island papers to the Island Heritage Society.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dad and his Sister: Paying the Taxes Due


My father and his sister Helen in Homewood, Alabama, 1944.

My father and his sister Helen looked enough alike to be fraternal twins--tall, skinny people, they had long skinny feet, eyes the color of the sea off the coast of Scotland where their forefathers came from, and dark, dark hair that turned white, white as they grew older. They had similar, quirky senses of humor and both were stubborn. And both had very kind hearts. But not when it came to the IRS!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Perils of Public Art (by Committee)

This is "The Creature" sculpture on the lake near my aunt's Oregon home. Taxes on new construction in the area paid for this.

I've long had a concern about public art, chosen by committee and paid for with tax dollars. I have this concern not because I hate art, but because I love it. Art, however, is subjective. One's man's treasure is another man's trash.

Thus, I think it is especially difficult for people on political committees to select appropriate--not to mention really, really good--art for public display.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Being Thankful and Saying Goodbye

Devil's Lake, Oregon, with my Uncle Joe, Aunt Ruth and five of my ten cousins. About 1981, I think.

I sometimes enjoy remembering my years in Oregon. And I sometimes don't. People were wonderful to me in Oregon. My career took off like a rocket in Oregon, and I was married in a Portland church. But there were sorrows in Portland too. Then. And now.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Start Profiling: End Jam Confiscation Now!


I had lunch with a family friend last week, an 84-year old grandmother, born in Germany, who as a child fled the Holocaust with her family and came to America just before the outbreak of World War II. At lunch in Mountain View, I gave her a couple of jars of my jam.

I urged her to eat it with her grandchildren in California before she got back on a plane and returned to Florida. "It won't make it past the TSA," I told her.