Family, Random DJB Thoughts
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Summer views

DJB Family with TB

From deep in the American West (yes, I’m traveling again), here are some photos and very brief observations from the last two-three weeks that I’ve wanted to post…but haven’t found the time.  And I’ll begin with a few pictures from Tom Brown’s Excellent 90th Birthday Adventure.  (Or the Tom-Tom Palooza, as coined by my niece Rachel.)

Brown Family Singers
The von Brown Family Singers prepare for their big turn in the spotlight at First Baptist Church
Tom Brown's 90th
Candice and DJB with Tom Brown to celebrate his 90th birthday

A vivid memory from family gatherings from my youth were my uncles Joe, Jimmy, and Paul — along with my Dad — sitting together and watching the children play. Here’s the next generation, although the vice has turned from cigars and pipes (everyone but my father smoked) to beer.  Here two of my nieces, their husbands, my brother-in-law Mark, and Candice join me in relaxing by the pool.

The next generation
The DC and Chicago cousins
Claire and Andrew with their Chicago cousins Zoe and Kelsey
TB and his children
Tom Brown with his children (clockwise from upper left) Joe, Steve, Debbie, David, and Carol on July 5, 2015 – his 90th birthday
Tom Brown and Family
Tom Brown (yes, the one with the suspenders) with all his family members to celebrate his 90th birthday

And now for something completely different.

We celebrated the start of the new (fiscal) year at work with that great Southern tradition — seersucker.  Unfortunately, not too many folks at the National Trust own any seersucker (at least not any that they would be caught dead in out in public), so the brave few posed in front of Common Reader by the artist David Salle (from the collection of The Glass House).  And yes, Katherine does look like she has a crocodile dancing on her head!

Seersucker Day
Seersucker Day, with Brent, DJB, Diana, Katherine, Brendan, and Tom

My favorite seersucker story comes from a former board member at the National Trust and one of my all-time favorite people, the late Bradley Hale from Atlanta, Georgia.  Bradley and another partner from the prestigious Atlanta law firm of King & Spalding were in Las Vegas for a convention, and being good Southern gentlemen they went into the bar — wearing their seersucker suits — to get a drink.  After a few minutes, when several waitresses passed them by, they stopped one and asked if they could order.  Her response?  “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were with the band!”  Classic.

And finally.

Our Vice President for Historic Sites knows of our family’s love for Claremont, California – home to Pomona College. Katherine’s husband attended graduate school at Claremont, and she headed there for a conference just a few short weeks after Claire’s graduation.  She texted me and said, “I’m bringing you home something you’ll enjoy from Claremont,” and the next week the following bumper sticker showed up on my desk.

I'm a Crustie
A wonderful reminder of Some Crust Bakery in Claremont, California. One of our all-time favorite bakeries.

I could almost taste that breakfast slider…or a Valentine’s day cupcake…or the cranurkey sandwich…or their wonderful lattes.

Off to more travels.  Look for some updates soon from Cedar Mesa in Southeast Utah.

More to come…


Image: Claire, Candice, Tom, DJB, and Andrew celebrating Tom Brown’s 90th birthday

This entry was posted in: Family, Random DJB Thoughts


I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.

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