Month: December 2008

A Derby Winner in Life

Editor’s Note:  My wife Candice wrote and delivered the following eulogy for her father at his funeral at the Church of the Resurrection of Our Lord in Dania Beach, Florida on December 30, 2008. My father – Andrew Charles Colando, Sr. – was born in 1922 in Lodi, NJ to Joseph and Esther Colando.  Pop was the middle son, with Steve his older brother and Joe his younger one.  He was named Andrew after his maternal grandfather as was customary for a second son in an Italian family.  His parents were hard working and he carried with him a love and respect for them throughout his life. While in high school Pop began to race trotters at Yonker’s Raceway in New York on the weekends and his love affair with horseracing began.  He moved on to thoroughbred racing when his father bought some race horses. In 1950 he married Irene Holsey and his 58-year love affair with my mother began.  A few years later they moved their young family to Florida seeking a warmer climate, …

The Last Sunday in the Year…A Ritual

In our household (even transplanted to South Florida) there’s a ritual that is as sure as opening presents on Christmas Day:  Andrew and I will read, laugh loudly, and quote liberally for the rest of the day from Dave Barry’s Year in Review.   This ritual drives Claire and Candice up the wall.  Claire just stormed away from the breakfast table as Andrew read, In non-economic news, a Las Vegas jury convicts O.J. Simpson on 12 counts of being an unbelievable idiot.  He faces more than 60 years in jail, which could end his relentless quest to find the killer of the people he stabbed to death in 1994. “Stop it,” she cries.  “Dad’s already read it and I don’t care!” but he continues on with, Meanwhile John McCain, still searching for the perfect running mate, tells his top aides in a conference call that he wants “someone who is capable of filling my shoes.”  Unfortunately, he is speaking into the wrong end of his cellular phone, and his aides think he said “someone who is …

A Full Life

My father-in-law, Dr. Andrew Colando, passed away last evening.  All members of his immediate family were with him on the day he died, and he went peacefully after a short illness. His obituary details the key milestones of his life:  a proud graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; a founding board member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; a 71-year association with the horse racing business as veterinarian, breeder, trainer, and owner.  He began racing trotters at Yonkers Raceway on the weekends while still in high school and trained Uncle Miltie among other horses in his father’s stable before beginning his equine veterinary practice. I first met Dr. Colando after he retired from his practice and had returned to the training he loved with his own stable of horses.  Being the first in-law in a New Jersey Italian-Irish family was full of new experiences for a Southern-bred fellow.   I didn’t have the years of experience with family banter that made the dinner table discussions so exciting.  The closest I’d been …

Hope for Passenger Trains?

I love riding trains.  On my business trips between Washington and New York, the train is always my preferred mode of transportation.   So I’m glad to see the pundits like Neal Peirce commenting on the train ride that Obama and Biden are taking to Washington for the Inauguration as a positive metaphor for passenger rail. Rail enthusiasts, for decades spurned by presidents of both parties, were elated by the news that Barack Obama will travel to Washington for his inauguration by train from Philadelphia. “The symbolism is magnificent and the message very positive for all of us who for so many years have labored to create a more balanced American transportation system,” said James RePass, president-founder of the National Corridors Initiative that’s pressed since 1989 for upgraded rail passenger service in America. Rail service is wonderful.  Compared to air travel, getting on a train is about a simple as stepping in  your car.  On a train you can plug in a laptop and work uninterrupted and with sufficient space.   From the first second to the …

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from More to Come… to all our regular readers and to those who find us by accident on that great information highway.  We’re with family this year, which is always a bonus since we don’ t have immediate family in the Washington area.  The presents are out, the calls from all parts of the country have already started, and we’re working on a great Christmas morning breakfast. As a Christmas gift, here’s a video of Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe singing one of our favorite seasonal hymns, In the Bleak Midwinter.  Enjoy, and best wishes for the holiday season. More to come… DJB

Hot Stove League (Continued)

In an earlier post I got it half right.  Despite a good effort by the Nationals and their owners the Lerners, the big free agent catch Mark Teixeira got away…but to the Evil Empire (a.k.a. New York Yankees) instead of the Boston Red Sox.  With that signing, the Yankees now have the four highest paid players IN BASEBALL HISTORY on their team at one time.  What recession?  Jeez… But I’m going to take the positive view about this from the Nats perspective.   At least they finally decided to play in the big leagues of free agency, and they went after the right player this time as well.  I think in my heart of hearts I knew the Nats were on the margins in the Teixeira chase even with their strong offers.  But they can’t stop here.  A career 48-59 pitcher with a 5.05 ERA for the Orioles can’t be the big news out of the Hot Stove League for our Nationals.  Fans deserve more than a Triple-A team playing in a major league ballpark.  That’s my Christmas wish …

16 Wonderful Years

Time passes too quickly.  Sixteen years ago our twins were born and life in our family changed forever.  I have been enriched by their beauty, inquisitiveness, talent, laughter, tears, art, openness, and love.  Having just spent yesterday afternoon with the two of them, I was reminded of why the last 16 years have been such a joy.  I posted three of my favorite pictures from when they were young. But the day was also a reminder of why we strive to live in the moment.  Long-time friends spent the weekend with us.  We shared stories, jokes, and laughter and made new memories.  We talked about the upcoming birth of their first grandchild.  But as they were leaving, they received news of the death of a dear friend.  At about the same time, an email from work told me that a colleague’s sister had taken a turn for the worse and was very ill.  We also had a lovely visit with a classmate of Andrew and Claire’s who stopped by with her Mom to surprise the twins with 16th …

Scandinavian Christmas Closes Out IMT Fall Season

Strings, strings, and more strings were the order of the evening as the Institute of Musical Tradition closed out its 2008 Fall Season with a Scandinavian Christmas concert tonight in Rockville.  Before a full house of Swedes and Norwegians (or so it seemed), Andrea Hoag, Loretta Kelley, and Charlie Pilzer were joined by Bruce Sager for a night of polskas, waltzes, walking tunes, and other music from the north.  The evening opened with triple fiddles backed by Pilzer’s steady bass, and throughout the night the four musicians played wonderful music as soloists, duets, trios, and a quartet. The dance polskas (not to be confused with polkas) were great fun, but I especially enjoyed the walking tunes such as Solskenslaten (The Sunshine Tune) and The Bell Tune, where the bells on the reins of the bride’s  horse were tuned with the fiddle to ring in harmony as the fiddler led a traditional wedding procession. Loretta Kelly (left in the photo above) played two different hardingfeles (or Hardanger fiddles) with their sympathetic vibrating strings, while an energetic Bruce …

Hot Stove League

It is 30 degrees outside, we’re approaching winter solstice, so naturally a young man’s thoughts turn to…baseball! Yesterday at work I used the term Hot Stove League in a memo to some colleagues, referring to rumors about projects that were heating up.  A friend who loves baseball said she wasn’t familiar with the term, so as is usual I sent her the link from Wikipedia.  According to that source of all knowledge: The Hot Stove League is a baseball-related term, referring to the off-season. Therefore, it is not actually a “league”, but the term instead calls up images of baseball fans, anxious for the start of the new season, gathering around a hot stove during the cold winter months discussing their favorite baseball teams. The term has also come to refer to the wave of off-season player transactions (trades, re-signings, free agency, etc.) that occur between seasons, especially during the winter meetings.  Since most free agent signings and trades occur during the off-season, this time of significant player transactions (including rumors and speculation about possible trades), is …

Save Mid-City New Orleans

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is working with the Foundation for Historical Louisiana and other partners to try and stop the demolition of significant portions of the historic Mid-City neighborhood in New Orleans.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Louisiana State University recently announced the selection of the Mid-City neighborhood for the site of their new hospitals. As the National Trust website PreservationNation.org states: The new hospitals would needlessly destroy the historic neighborhood around Charity Hospital where residents have been rebuilding and restoring their community since Hurricane Katrina. We believe this decision was a serious error and urge LSU and the VA to explore the alternative sites that would restore needed health care facilities faster and at less cost, while preserving much more of the historic Mid-City neighborhood. The video below is just one of several prepared by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana where the affected residents talk about the decision to demolish their neighborhood.  Click on the link above to see more videos and learn what you can do to try and reverse this …