Over the weekend, I went to Carole’s house in Lula to spend the Fourth of July with my sons and their families. On Saturday they worked pretty hard in trying to get things cleaned out at Carole’s house and then late in the afternoon Mike and Connor went for a ride on Jeff’s Artic Cat. Here is the video I shot with my new iPhone of that event. And yes, it will shoot in landscape mode, but because this was my first real attempt at a video, I didn’t think to turn it that way. As I become more accustomed to it, I’ll get better. Everybody has a first time.
After a long struggle with cancer, Carole left this life last night at 9:45 p.m. EDT.
Though I miss her already, I’m glad she has gone through that necessary door and is now past the pain. For those of you who didn’t have the privilege and joy of knowing her personally or of seeing her very often, this 3 minute montage will suggest something of what we all loved so dearly about her. She was a beautiful woman in every positive sense of the word.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday June 10 at the Living Mission Methodist Church at 7289 Belton Bridge Road in Lula, Ga. The family will receive friends today (June 9) from 3 to 5 and from 7 to 9 at the McGahee-Griffin and Stewart Funeral Home (706 778-8668) at 175 VFW Post Road in Cornelia, GA.
The contract I was managing in New Mexico ended on May first and I got back in town on the 15th. I’ve been shuffling the junk around my condo into meaningful groupings in what passes for my idea of a “decorating scheme.” I’ve begun printing some of my pictures from New Mexico to display around the house and I have a plan about what to do in the coming year that I’ll say more about as I go along.
Today I’ll be going to visit my ex-wife Carole in Georgia. Mike and his children are there (Kaitlin is at least) and of course Jeff lives across the street from her. During my time there I’ll be out of regular and consistent contact with the Internet so updates, though infrequent in the next few days will be a lot more frequent than during 2008.
I purchased a new HP Mini computer, a so-called netbook, to replace the company laptop that I had. So far I give it mixed reviews. It’s like having a new puppy. Everybody stops by because they think it is cute, so it’s a great way to meet “chicks” as some would say. That’s provided your idea of a “chick” is a geek, master’s degree candidate desk clerk named Shiva from India in Oklahoma City. At any rate, the “cute” computer attracts attention.
I’m sure I’ll wax eloquent at great length over the next year about how I felt about my experience there, but I’ll sum it up for now by saying this. I spent a year out there being a Tennessean in New Mexico, but when I got into the U-Haul truck to drive it back to Tennessee, I knew in my heart that I was New Mexican headed back to Tennessee … temporarily!
The bottom line is I have returned. I will be posting again as the spirit moves me and as I have something I want to say. Stay tuned.
Leaving Las Vegas is going to be a whole lot harder than I thought it would be!
And I’m not referring to closing the business or even to packing up the clothing and personal goods for the trip home. I’m talking about leaving the life I have here, the friends I have here, the freedom I have here and the fun I have here. Knoxville is where my younger son and his family live. My other son and his family have a home north of Atlanta.
Of course, I own a home in Knoxville and that has been the place I call home ever since 1979. By default it seems, because so many of my possessions are there and because some of my family and friends are there, and maybe just because I have been around there for so long, Knoxville is my home. And that’s where I’m headed, come Tuesday morning (the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!). I’ll be going back to Knoxville towing my car behind me.
But in many ways my life in Las Vegas was more fulfilling than my life in Knoxville. Brodie has said that the alternate name for the “Land of Enchantment” is the “Land of Entrapment.” In some ways I can see what he means, because New Mexico is Enchanting to the point that one could become Entraped here. I’m feeling a connection to New Mexico that I didn’t expect to feel, and that is causing me to wonder how I could start over, since I’m going to have to do that anyway, but from here.
It is for me an interesting twist to this saga that I didn’t expect to have to deal with. Maybe it’s only a tremor; but one never knows which tremors are the beginnings of upheavals.
If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any time at all, you’ll have seen me mention my friend Paul Moor, whom I have known now since the early 1990s, almost 15 years.
We met, originally, on a Writers conference, back before the World Wide Web even existed, during a time when we used Bulletin Board Systems to interact with the world electronically. Paul was, and still is, a professional writer, and at the time we first met, he was living in San Francisco. After having exchanged a few messages with him on that Writers conference, I called him one Christmas eve, just to talk to him in person. One thing led to another and as a result, through the years we have become fast and very close friends.
In 1995, he decided to move back to Berlin, where he had spent about 30 years or so prior to moving to San Francisco in 1980, to live out the remainder of his life there primarily because of the extraordinary cultural climate in that city. You could search this blog for references to Paul, but I’d specifically commend to you this running account of my visit to his home in late September of 2003, which begins with this entry and continues forward in time through the next eight entries and ends with this one.
Since December of 2004, when I convinced him to install Skype, we have talked almost daily for a time varying from a few minutes to more than an hour each time. During those conversations he has shared some extraordinary stories about the people he has known and the adventures he has had. I look forward to talking with him each day, and as I told him recently, I may talk to him more often than to any other member of my family. We’re that close, and he is like a member of my family to me.
Paul is a man with catholic interests and a propensity to share anything he thinks merits attention with a large circle of email contacts. The contents of those emails might be links to specific things he has found on the Internet or delightful stories of his encounters with an incredible number of famous and significant people of the last half century, all told with a storytellers skill, wit and charm. I’ve long thought that he was delivering the kind of thing that might show up in a well-written blog, except he was doing it by email.
Well, I’ve finally convinced him to create a blog of his own, and because he has done that, you too can now enjoy getting to know him. The blog is called Ich bin ein [Texas-Born] Berliner, and already it contains some fascinating content. I encourage you to sample it, visit it as often as you can, and/or subscribe to the feed. I think you’ll find it to be a source of constant enjoyment and possibly even of education. Leave a comment on any of the posts, and you can begin your own dialog with the incredible Mr. Moor. But even if you never comment, your life will be enriched by reading the stories he tells and hearing what he has to say. At 83, Paul disproves the old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
This is one of a number of outstanding pictures Mike got during his recent trip to the Grand Canyon. I particularly like this one, when viewed in a larger resolution (which you can do on his Flickr site). If you haven’t yet checked out this series of photographs, I recommend it highly. You can click on any individual picture there and once the somewhat larger thumbnail of it is displayed, you’ll find an “all sizes” link above it. Clicking that will display the picture in a large size, and quite a few of them deserve to be seen that way.
Also if you’ll click on the picture at the right, it will display that photo on Mike’s site. Look for the all sizes link above it when you arrive there and check out this photo in the larger size.
On Monday, October 2, I left town to visit my family in Georgia for a couple of days, but the two-day visit I had planned originally turned into a four-day visit, and I didn’t get back to Knoxville until Friday around noon. That’s why there were no blog posts last week. I thought about announcing this visit in advance but I generally don’t want to make it known that I am out of town for home security reasons.
The primary purpose of my visit, aside from seeing the family, was to deliver the Yamaha NS-10M near field monitor speakers (pictured at the left, showing them as installed at his house) to Jeff for use in his basement recording studio. Several years ago, I had purchased these speakers to use with the midi studio I was setting up. But as with too many things, my willingness to buy exceeded my capacity to understand, and I eventually became befuddled by all the various links and routings of the midi signal. When I gave up on that pursuit, I had loaned Jeff these speakers, and he used them for a year or two. About six to nine months ago, I asked for them back so that I could use them with some other pieces of gear that I had purchased back then, but this time I wanted them for use in producing podcasts. I realized, after a while, that I really didn’t need them, and Jeff did. Hence my trip to Georgia.
While I was in town Carole and I had a chance to attend a concert by the East Hall Middle School choral group on Thursday night at the Airline Baptist Church, in which my 13-year-old granddaughter, Maegan (in the middle in the photograph) sang. I was glad I was able to get this photograph of the family together in the auditorium. Pictured from left to right is Deanna, Maegan and Jeff.
More photographs from my visit can be found on my Flickr site. They were the ones uploaded on October 6, 2006.
And on the same day I left for Georgia for the week, my friend and former associate, Don Vernine, and his friend Don Robaldo left from Tampa for a 16 day trip to Europe (primarily to Italy) to investigate purchasing a sail boat so that he can decide whether he wants to spend the next couple of years or so sailing around the Mediterranean. This morning I received an email report of his trip thus far, and it sounds like he is really enjoying the scenery and the travel. Both of the Dons are of Italian heritage, so the trip is especially meaningful to them. They will return on October 18, 2006.