Archive | December, 2012

B side. NRA Kills Kids

17 Dec

Well, yes, we may be ready to speak truth to power.


1 Dec


E & G in the Huntington Gardens
It’s hard to believe that our year began with Max and Dottie travelling to Australia for their delayed honeymoon. That seems SO long ago. They flew out on Christmas Eve, and came back at the end of January. They had a wonderful time, which you can read about on their blog, On the day they returned, we learned that our insurance company declared our 1930s garage a total loss–the result of the horrific wind storm that Pasadena had on December 1, 2011. We got a check to replace the whole thing! We thought we had escaped relatively unscathed (we never lost power, and lost no trees), and we didn’t even realize the garage was tilting over until weeks later. Duh! Anyway, we got a nice new room out of the deal, and experienced the joys of negotiating with workers who always get their way. Now George has a new workshop room/man cave, since it never functioned as a garage anyway.
On the scholarly front: in April, I gave a talk about my book at the California Historical Society in San Francisco. Last week I was present via Skype at a conference in Melbourne, where I watched the audience watching a disembodied voice reading my own words–ah, technology! In June, we made a little trip to Sacramento (research in the State Parks Archives) and got to meet our friends the Detwilers’ beautiful grandchildren. Max learned in July that he did receive the 3-year SPIRES postdoctoral fellowship to the University of North Carolina’s genome sciences lab. He & Dottie bade farewell to Seattle and set out across the country in their Ford, stopping in many a national park along the way and travelling some 5,000 miles by the time they got to Chapel Hill. We met up with them in August in Greeley, Colorado, so we could all be together with George’s dad and brother.
The happy surprise of September was a trip to my 45th high school reunion in Santa Barbara. It was such fun, and I have Facebook to thank for that. I have been chatting on FB with so many of my high school classmates, so the event was a real pleasure, as we got to meet after months of corresponding. We had a blast: a nice walk around the UCSB lagoon, a lovely barbecue, and accommodation through the kindnesses of Tom Liebengood. For 63-year-olds, we’re all in pretty good shape! A few weeks later, having bugged George for months about taking some weekend trips, we finally got up to San Luis Obispo and environs, staying in the funky little beach town of Cayucos. It was the first time in a long time that we just pooted around our neck of the woods–it was so relaxing. You can still find remnants of exquisite beauty in California–this place is my geographical template.
In October, we travelled to New England, where I did some research at Yale’s Art Gallery Print Room (found a real trove of Australian photographs), then went up to Greenfield, MA, to see my 88-year-old aunt (my mother’s sister). We were able to visit Amherst and Emily Dickinson’s house, and go up the Mohawk Trail in all its fall foliage glory and over to the Clark Institute in Williamstown.It really was lovely to be there. Then George flew home, and I went on to North Carolina to check out Max & Dottie’s new digs. The one place in the country we have never lived is the Southeast, so it will be a new place to explore for us. They are renting college friends’ house while they are away in Japan for a year. The house even comes with cats! Chapel Hill is very impressive, and I had the added pleasure of seeing our old friend Sarah Schroth, curator at Duke’s Art Gallery–we hadn’t seen each other in some 25 years! The day after I returned to Pasadena, Dottie found out she had been accepted into the accelerated nursing program at UNC. She worked so hard for this, and we’re so happy for them both. It will be a rigorous year–but then she’ll be an RN, with better job prospects than most graduates nowadays. Max is well-ensconced in his new lab now, they can both ride their bikes to work, and they’ve already joined the food co-op. They’re happy!
Other old friends visited: Ron Cohen from U of Iowa, Ed Morman from Baltimore, Kalee & David Shearer from Seattle, and Mitch Bernard & Jane Edmonds from Toronto. We expect more houseguests in the upcoming weeks: Chiaki Ajioka from Australia, and the Lessers will come out from Colorado. And finally, the election and its endless campaigning have come to an end. For that we can be truly thankful, no matter what side one was on (and I’m sure most of you will know what side we were on!). We are also grateful to have such kind friends, such good family, and to live in a sunny place. We would desperately love to retire, but that’s not looking likely for a while. On that note, we send our best wishes to all of you, and look forward to hearing of your adventures and exploits. We’re here in Pasadena for the foreseeable future with Zuma and Kolo!
LOVE AND PEACE, ERIKA & GEORGE– 450 N. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101, 626 744 0208,,,