Setting the Record Straight (Or When “True But Not Always Factual” Won’t Do)

Tom Brown transition

My father, the fact checker!

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a visit I’d had with my dad.  When it comes to writing about family, I tend to follow the dictum that I first used in It’s a Wonderful Life (For Tom Brown on His 90th Birthday) back in July. In that post, I listed 90 things about the wonderful life of my father and included the caveat that these were “all true, even if they are not all factual.”

Well, I guess that wasn’t good enough for my father!  As an engineer, he likes things precise.

So earlier this week I received an email from my dad entitled, “More to Come, editing.”

I had recounted a story I’ve heard many times before.

My parents were part of the post-war (WWII) marriage boom that begat the well-documented baby boom.  Both were from the small town of Franklin, located about 20 miles from Nashville.  My father had just graduated from Vanderbilt and he and my mom were married in the First Baptist Church in Franklin.  Before beginning his life-long career with the Tennessee Valley Authority, my father and his new bride had a honeymoon to take.

Luckily, they had relatives (my father’s sister) in Chicago, so they came to Union Station – like so many honeymooners, soldiers, businessmen (in those days), and families before them – and boarded a train bound for Chicago.  I’ve heard stories my entire life about the plays they saw in the city, visiting Wrigley Field to see the Cubs (that must have been how I got those baseball genes), and so much more.  But the stories always begin with that train ride from Union Station.

I got the story wrong (at least factually) on two counts.  Here’s the edit from my father:

David, I began working for TVA before Helen and I married. (Mother pounded in my head “you don’t get married until you can support a wife.”)  I was in a TVA  training program first in Chattanooga when we got engaged, and then in Columbia for field training when we got married.  Our first apartment was in Columbia at Mrs. Cooks on 7th Ave., now torn down. We did go to Chicago on our honeymoon.

Mary Dixie’s (my father’s sister) next door neighbors, the Standards, took us to Cominsky Park, on July 4th to see the White Sox play the St. Louis Browns. It was windy and cold.  Mrs. Stanard made some newspaper capes to break the wind. We went to Wrigley Field on later visits to Dixie & Howard’s. The Stanards also furnished us a meal.

I love both of these accounts.  My Grandmother was a very smart woman, and to tell my father that you don’t take on responsibilities until you can handle them adds to my understanding of her worldview. And then to hear that mom and dad went to old Cominsky Park to see a team (the St. Louis Browns) that had players named Ribs, Snuffy, Cuddles, and Stubby takes me back to another era.

So – in the spirit of Joe Friday – there you have them:  Just the facts, ma’am.

More to come…


Live Blogging World Series Game 3

BaseballHere we are – ready to watch World Series game #3. The Kansas City Royals are up 2-0, but these series don’t really get interesting until someone wins on the road.  Citi Field is excited. Let’s do this.

8:08 p.m. – First pitch – at Escobar’s head.  Typical New York reaction.  I think I could lip read Mike Moustakas after that pitch at the head, and he wasn’t saying “good job.”  Next batter up, Zobrist, provides the best answer to a knock-down pitch with a one-out double.

8:16 p.m. – Well, it took 15 pitches and 8 minutes for the Royals to score as only they can.  Check swing instead of a strikeout is key.  Ian Desmond, are you watching this?

8:21 p.m. – Yordano – what a great name!  I’m going to find every chance I can to use that name.

8:24 p.m. – The Mets obviously enjoy being home.  If Wright and Murphy get hot, we’ll have a series.  Wright homers and Mets go up 2-1.  But Yordano Ventura bounces back to get the next three.  Game on.

8:29 p.m. – Well, it didn’t take long for the drug commercials to show up.

8:33 p.m. – What’s up with Mike Piazza’s hair?

In the second, it takes about two minutes for the Royals to tie it.  Then Yordano Ventura puts down a perfect bunt, and “Thor” Syndergaard throws the next pitch away, and the runner who moved up on the bunt scores from third.  Thor is starting to have the same look that deGrom had in game 2 when they put together back-to-back-to-back hits. He’s like, “Hey, I’m throwing 100 mph and these guys don’t care.”  He may come back and regret that first pitch at the head.  The Mets have their bullpen going in the second. 3-2 Royals after 1 1/2.

8:46 p.m. – Can I say that these Direct TV ads with football players and their “effeminate” alter egos are stupid and insulting. I use to like Peyton Manning, but after hooking up with Papa John’s (I can’t afford to pay my workers a living wage or health care) Pizza and Direct TV, he needs a gut check and a new agent.

9:00 p.m. – Just one out in the 3rd and Syndergaard is already at 50 pitches.  But Harold Reynolds thinks he’s masterful.  Can we get some new announcers?

9:08 p.m. – Yordano makes a mistake to Thor and he pays for it as Granderson homers.  Now 4-3 Mets.  Yordano comes back.  I think we have a lot more to come before this is over.

9:17 p.m. – My friend Tim McClimon is posting selfies on Facebook from the World Series.  Candice responds that “David is jealous.  He’s watching the game on TV.”  As I see Tim all bundled up and the wind whipping the flags, I’m pretty happy to be watching from the comforts of home.

9:18 p.m. – Now I think you can talk about Thor getting stronger.  That was an impressive inning (even if the ump missed the call on the low ball on the 2-1 to Alex Gordon).  Then we get Best Buy:  “When you give tech, people just won’t love it, they’ll love you.”  Please.

9:26 p.m. – Ventura starts to lose it, and he doesn’t cover first.  Of course, the FOX announcers say that this is the first baseman’s fault.  Wake up. 5-3 Mets and the Royals have to worry about the wheels coming off.  But just as the announcers say, “Watch out for that inside fastball, it is his nitro zone,” Yordano gets the batter to pop up.  Still, Yost comes with the hook. Good move, from my perspective.

9:30 p.m. – GEICO scores again with the “Final Countdown” commercial.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the pitch sessions when the ad agency comes up with these things.

9:36 p.m. – The Mets may regret not getting more in that inning.  Let’s see.

9:56 p.m. – Almost two hours in, and we’re through 5.  Mets up 5-3.  And yes, I hate the Master Pass commercials.

10:08 p.m. – Moustakas finally breaks the string of outs by KC batters.  Thor is pitching well, but he is also up in the low 90s in number of pitches thrown in less than 6 full innings. The next batter walks.  Hope the bullpen is ready for the Mets. (Of course, the Mets have shown that they really don’t care about the arms of their young guns.  Can you say, “Mark Prior and Kerry Wood”?)  After loading the bases, Thor gets out of it with a grounder.  Well pitched game.  Now we’ll get a look at the Mets bullpen.

10:28 p.m. – We are into the bullpens and the game has slowed to a crawl.  Just pitch it, already!  He finally does, and Uribe does a great job of professional hitting to drive in another run.  (And yes I wrote “professional hitting” before the announcer said it…but it was pretty obvious.)  KC better stop this soon, or they’ll be too far back.  We may just have a series here.  Whoops!  Morales has a brain freeze and they lose the chance of the double play to get out of the inning. Instead, the bases are jammed with Mets.

10:43 p.m. – Mets blow it open with a 4 run 6th after Morales’ brain freeze.  That’s what usually happens when you give up extra outs.  9-3 Mets and it looks like it will be a 2-1 series lead for KC when this is over.  But…it ain’t over ’til its over.

10:50 p.m. – Uh, Harold Reynolds.  The Royals were actually trailing in the 9th inning in Game 1.  How can the Mets have been “dominated” by the Royals “since pitch 1” in the first two games of the series when you trail going into the bottom of the 9th.  Jeez, FOX, I know that facts don’t mean anything to your news division, but have you now thrown them out in the sports division as well?!

Okay, Mets…if you’re going to hold serve, let’s do it quickly.  We’re coming up on 3 hours.  (And everyone knows that 2 hours and 20 minutes is the perfect length for a baseball game!)

11:13 p.m. – Gee, I remember those nice, clean 8th innings setting it up for the closer.  Thanks a lot, Mike Rizzo.  You trade away Clippard and he’s pitching in the World Series while the Nats bullpen imploded this year and we end up with the closer choking the franchise player.  Don’t get me started.  Let’s wrap this puppy up.

11:20 p.m.  – Nice.  We get to hear Piano Man, while watching Billy Joel listening to the fans sing his song.  But of course we also have to listen to the FOX announcers make inane comments.

11:30 p.m. – And that’s a wrap.  9-3 Mets.  We have a series.

More to come…


Before World Series Game 2 begins…

BaseballBefore tonight’s Game 2 of the 2015 World Series begins, just a couple more random thoughts to add to last evening’s post.

First of all, do yourself a favor and read Joe Posnanski’s column about Game 1. Posnanski worked for a long time in Kansas City and he understands the Royals.  Here are the first three paragraphs to whet your appetite.

The Royals lost Game 1 of the World Series to the New York Mets many times on Tuesday night. They lost it when two-time Gold Glove first baseman Eric Hosmer could not decide whether to charge or back off a chopping groundball. They lost it when their No. 3 hitter Lorenzo Cain inexplicably tried to bunt the tying run from second base to third with nobody out. They lost it when manager Ned Yost decided to pinch run for the team’s best slugger Kendrys Morales, leaving the team with the punchless Jarrod Dyson in the middle of the lineup. They lost it when the Mets sent their unhittable pitcher with his Hollywood name — Jeurys Familia — to close things out.

The Royals lost it and lost it, but in the end, as, the video board boomed, “Royals WIN!” because … well … they did. There’s a story about Stanley Ketchel, a staggeringly tough early 20th century boxer who was murdered a few hours up the road in a farm town called Conway, Mo. When his manager and New York man-about-town Billy Mizner was told that Ketchel had been killed, he shrugged. “Tell ‘em to start counting to 10,” Mizner said. “He’ll get up.”

So it goes with these Royals. They kept losing the game but every time the Mets started counting to 10 … the Royals got up.

Just read it.

Second, my father (one of my loyal readers) saw last evening’s post and then sent me the following email:

According to TV the no. 1 medical problem is ED.  Daddy

What a hoot!

I’m not going to live blog tonight’s game, as much as I might enjoy it.  I fear another 14-inning marathon, and I want to have the option of going to bed early.

Finally, enjoy the Kansas City Symphony and Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

Play ball!

More to come…


World Series Game 1 Random Thoughts (The Never-Ending Edition)

BaseballRandom thoughts while watching Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.

Mets vs. Royals.  I know I’m a National League guy, but I’m rooting for the Royals this series.  (Sorry KC, I know that’s likely the kiss of death.)  I love the way this team plays.  Few strikeouts, great defense, not a lot of “stars” but a terrific team concept.  And a goofy manager who lets ’em play.  So let’s do this!

Wow!  What a way to start a game.  First pitch inside-the-park home run to start the bottom of the first.  Alcides Escobar was motoring!  What fun.

Have you noticed that the nature of commercials at the World Series has changed – and not for the better.  It use to be beer, beer, and more beer.  Now we get Viagra (yes, because everyone should have to explain ED to their 6 year old) and Opdivo drug commercials (the latter for your lung cancer).  Then there’s Eliquis.  Side effects?  Oh, only significant bleeding, spinal problems, stuff like that.  Really?!?  I know baseball’s demographic is older, but drugs have now replaced beer as the commercial of choice and that’s not a good thing.

Having said that, I actually love the GEICO commercial about bad choices in horror movies.  The line, “Are you crazy, let’s hide behind the chain saws.” is priceless.

Too bad the FOX Sports feed wasn’t off the entire game.  When we were lucky enough to get a half-inning of the MLB International Feed, I was reminded all over again of why I hate FOX sports.  Guys, this isn’t war…it is just a game.  Plus, I like to hear John Smoltz talk pitching.

I was probably one of the few people who was thrilled to learn that the two managers had agreed to play the game without the benefit of video review when the video feed went down.  Real baseball!  Like Joe Posnanski, I hate video review, as it has ruined the spirit of the game. I wish that someone had cleanly stolen a base during that time in the game and the cameras caught the fact that their leg lifted off the bag for a millisecond while the defender held the tag. For 100+ years, that’s a stolen base.  It should still be a stolen base.  End of rant.

I know the shift works because players will hit into it, but I did get some perverse pleasure when not one but two Mets runners went from first-to-third on routine ground balls to right.  If everyone is playing where God put them for the past 100+ years, neither runner gets to third and the game is 3-1 Royals going into the late innings.

Kauffman Stadium is beautiful. ‘Nuff said.

Do you think Tom Verducci has written out the cliches he uses so he’ll remember them?  Hips faster than Elvis. Hotter than molten lava. Dark Knight turns into Silent Night (after the feed went down).  Please.  Well, at least we don’t have to listen to Ron Darling who – in terms of never shutting up – gives Tim McCarver a run for his money.

Okay…into the Mets bullpen!  Royals couldn’t figure out Harvey, so maybe there’s some hope here.

Let me see, where have I heard, “This is a talented young team with a great pitching staff who will be good for a long, long time”?  Oh yeah, that would be the Nationals.  Be careful, Mets.  Stuff happens.

Thank God…a Blue Moon beer commercial!  I had thought all the beer companies had gone bankrupt. Of course, it is a fancy beer with an orange garnish.  What have we become?!?

With men on base, the first baseman has to stop that grounder getting through in the 8th.  They teach this in Little League: block the ball and keep it in the infield.  Jeez.

Wonder if I should take down my Tyler Clippard Washington Nationals bobblehead and put a voodoo curse on it.  Nah…Tyler is a good guy.  He’s not in DC because Rizzo blew it (along with multiple other moves this year.)  No need to blame Clippard.  He almost got through the inning.

Okay, we could have gone through this game without a Bill Buckner reference.

Maybe sometimes I do like video review (he says sheepishly).  But in calling Wright safe in the top of the 9th, the second base ump just blew a call that was right in front of him.  The home plate umpire, on the other hand, has had a tight, consistent strike zone the entire game.  Same for both teams.  No complaints.

Wow!!! 9th inning home run by Alex Gordon!  Deepest part of the park. Tie game!!!  Now they can stop talking about that damned unearned run and Bill Buckner.  Will we have a walk-off, or free baseball?  Could Escobar end the game with a second inside the park job?

Nope.  Free baseball coming up.

Have I made my rant about how late they play World Series games?  No?  Well, here it is.  What kid could stay up past 11:30 on a school night?  They start the Super Bowl at 6 p.m.  Perhaps if they started the World Series at a reasonable time…like 7 p.m….they might build a new fan base that doesn’t have to rely on Viagra and Opdivo.

Man, that Wade Davis has a righteous cutter!  Who needs defensive teammates?  So of course the Mets send in a reliever in the bottom of the 10th who gets a weak pop-up and two strikeouts.  On to the 11th.

Coming up on midnight.  Great game.  I’ll regret this tomorrow morning.  Hmmm…maybe I won’t make it to the gym.

David Wright is the Ryan Zimmerman of the Mets.  It is hard to hate someone who is so talented and good. But I’m glad he just struck out to end the top of the 11th.  Now in the bottom of the inning, Granderson makes an amazing catch.  These guys are good. I’m fading here.

I did not want to see Daniel Murphy come up again tonight.  Happily Murphy strikes out, the ball gets by the catcher, who then gets a perfect bounce back from the wall and throws to first to record the out.  The softest throwing pitcher yet to enter the game strikes out the side in the top of the 12th. We’re starting to see it all in this game.

And why are Pete Rose and Alex Rodriquez working this game for FOX?  Oh yes, I just answered my own question.  Because it is FOX.

Bartolo Colon – with that waistline – is the epitome of John Kruk’s famous saying, “Lady, I’m not an athlete.  I’m a professional baseball player.”  I wasn’t sure he was going to get off the mound to field that bunt. Winning run in scoring position.  Let’s do this!

Oh well…let’s leave the bases loaded instead.  On to the 13th.

Now it is coming up on midnight in the CENTRAL time zone.  Time for Pokey LaFarge to entertain us with “Central Time.”

Okay, leadoff man on! But that’s it. On to the 14th.  What am I always saying about baseball not having a clock.

Great.  We’re so late that the commercials have switched to the television preachers and TitleMax.  FOX obviously didn’t sell 14 innings of commercials.  Top of the order went down quickly for the Mets.  Let’s see what the top of the order can do for the Royals in the bottom of the inning.

And we have a great defensive play…in the stands along the first base line.  Followed by an error on the field when Wright’s throw goes off line.  Woo hoo!  First and third, with no one out. An intentional walk loads the bases.

And at 1:18 a.m. ET there’s the walk-off.  Hosmer redeems himself for the error with a long sac fly to right.  Granderson doesn’t have much of an arm, and Escobar scores the first and last runs of the game.

What a game!

More to come…


Talking Preservation’s Future on “Back to the Future Day”

Scenes from Cape Girardeau

Scenes from Cape Girardeau (Credit: Missouri Preservation)

I am in Missouri as part of a cross-country trip that began on Friday in Los Angeles and will end on Thursday in New York City.

The annual Missouri Preservation Conference – where I was the keynote speaker – brought me to Cape Girardeau, winner of a 2015 Great American Main Street Award.

The conference theme?  The Past and Future of Preservation.  As luck would have it, my talk was on Back to the Future DayWhat better occasion to talk about the future of preservation!

Here’s the description of Back to the Future Day from the New York Times:

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, at 4:29 p.m., our today will finally catch up to the tomorrow depicted in “Back to the Future, Part II.” In that 1989 film, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) appear with a flash in their DeLorean time machine from 30 years in the past. Suddenly, they find themselves in the same town, Hill Valley, but surrounded by impossible technology and outlandish social mores. It’s a place where cars can fly, hoverboards are the norm and, most incredibly, the Chicago Cubs have won the World Series.

Remarks from the President of the local university preceded mine, and Dr. Vargus told a bit about what had happened in history on October 21st.

Here’s how I began my remarks:

It is a pleasure to be with you today in Missouri to consider the past and future of preservation. In his remarks, Southeast Missouri State University’s President Dr. Carlos Vargus told us of what happened on this day in history. Those comments reminded me that today – October 21, 2015 – is “Back to the Future” Day. For those who may not remember, today is the day that Michael J. Fox traveled to in the movie Back to the Future Part II. I cannot think of a better day to think about the future of preservation!

While I didn’t go into this aspect, the New York Times story looks at what the film’s producers got right – and wrong – about the future.  Among the trends that nailed:  community revitalization and the rebirth of urbanism.  Here’s the paper’s description of that portion of the movie:

For the town square, it was decided that the future Hill Valley would be more forward-thinking in its urban planning. Mr. Gale, Mr. Zemeckis and the production team all believed that community space would be emphasized and old architecture would be maintained, which mirrors the trends in urban design that gave birth to destinations like the High Line in New York. In 1985, the site in front of the Hill Valley clock tower is a parking lot; in 2015, it’s a luscious green park with a lake.

“That town square could exist now,” Mr. Carter said. “We’d build upon what was and either turn it, or embrace it.”

As it was, I spoke about a future for preservation as one where we embrace change and employ a variety of locally-grown tools that make our historic buildings, landscapes, and development patterns the norm rather than the exception. Those tools would be developed and employed by, for, and of the people. And we would have a political movement that embraces our movement’s grass-roots origins and speaks in a forward-looking language around the values of preservation.

Ste Genevieve

Ste. Genevieve

On my drive back to the St. Louis airport, I took a 15-mile detour to visit the small town of Ste. Genevieve – another Missouri gem along the Mississippi.  While there I explored a few shops, had lunch at the Audubon restaurant, and bought a 50 cent ice cream cone at Sally’s Soda Shop “End of the Season” sale.


Historic places matter to people today and to future generations because of the changes, stories, memories, and inspiration that are embedded in our landmarks, in our vernacular buildings, in our older neighborhoods, and in our historic landscapes in places like Cape Girardeau and Ste. Genevieve. If preservationists tell that story in language that speaks to the values people care about, and if we work side-by-side with the people living in our communities, we can have a future in preservation where we save and continue to use these places that tell the broad and rich story of America.

I end this talk about the future of preservation with the following paragraph:

Together, we have the opportunity to make our historic buildings, landscapes and neighborhoods relevant in shaping the future of our ever-changing communities. If preservationists embrace change in where and how we work, we may find ourselves in the same situation as those who follow the advice of that other great native of Missouri – Mark Twain – about always telling the truth: “It will amaze your friends and confound your enemies.”

Here’s to an amazing future.

More to come…


Train Travel, 78 RPMs, Chiggers, and Other Memories of Cleaning Out a House

Tom Brown transition

My father in the midst of transition

I took a day off from work today to be with family in Tennessee.  My father – who earlier this year celebrated his 90 birthday – is transitioning from living in his home of the past 26 years to living in an independent living facility. (The home he is leaving is not to be confused with “The Old Home Place” aka 407 E. Main Street, where I spent my formative years from junior high through college.)

My two sisters and a brother who live nearby have handled most of the details of the move, and Daddy now spends much of his time with my sister Debbie and her husband Mark as he waits for his new apartment to become available.

However, before I was able to focus on family I had work to do along Music Row in Nashville, and I found myself at one of our Historic Hotels of America, the Union Station Hotel on Broadway.

Union Station Hotel

Ceiling at the restored Union Station Hotel in Nashville

I’ve told the story before, but it is so good it bears repeating again.

My parents were part of the post-war (WWII) marriage boom that begat the well-documented baby boom.  Both were from the small town of Franklin, located about 20 miles from Nashville.  My father had just graduated from Vanderbilt and he and my mom were married in the First Baptist Church in Franklin.  Before beginning his life-long career with the Tennessee Valley Authority, my father and his new bride had a honeymoon to take.

Luckily, they had relatives (my father’s sister) in Chicago, so they came to Union Station – like so many honeymooners, soldiers, businessmen (in those days), and families before them – and boarded a train bound for Chicago.  I’ve heard stories my entire life about the plays they saw in the city, visiting Wrigley Field to see the Cubs (that must have been how I got those baseball genes), and so much more.  But the stories always begin with that train ride from Union Station.

Today at lunch (at Murfreesboro’s City Cafe, naturally), my father started talking about that train ride again, and he told me that he and mom left at midnight on “The Georgian.”  When my father was last in Union Station he took a picture of the train schedule that still sits on the wall above the check-in desk.  Sure enough, plain as day, you can see that the Georgian leaves Nashville at 11:59 p.m. on its way to Chicago.

Train Schedule

Historic Train Schedule from Nashville’s Union Station

Daddy’s house these days is a beehive of activity, and I joined in the task of going through family furniture, photos, books, and memorabilia earlier this morning with my father and sister.

Wagner family bed

Wagner Family bed

Much of the house looked like this – pieces of furniture, piled high with things such as quilts to be sorted for family members, friends, or “the yard sale.” This particular bed is coming to our house, since it was a part of a suite from my great-uncle David Jefferson Wagner’s family.  (Alert readers will have figured out that I was named for my father’s Uncle Dave, as well as for my mother’s father, Thomas Jefferson Roberts.)

Here is Uncle Dave in his earlier days (looking quite the dandy)…

Uncle Dave Wagner

Uncle Dave Wagner

…and then in a picture with my father as a young boy.  Daddy told me that he was very close to Uncle Dave, who was like a surrogate grandfather.

Tom Brown with Uncle Dave

Tom Brown with Uncle Dave Wagner

When working through 90 years of life – as seen in the things my parents acquired and kept – I’m not very interested in adding lots of new possessions.  I am interested in having a few family things of meaning to pass along to my children that will become part of our stories.  So today I sat aside a set of glasses that my mother used when she was entertaining. I pulled out a selection of Teddy Wilson 78 rpm records because my father loved Teddy Wilson’s music (look it up if you don’t know about 78s and/or records).  I picked up at least five Molly Ivins books, because she made us both laugh as she wrote about the absurdity of political life in Texas.  Candice now has two crates of theological books to add to her collection.  I found a small butter press that I sat aside…not because I plan to do anything with it, but just because I remember it as something my mother loved to have in her kitchen.

Paper Pile Up

“Conquering the Paper Pile Up” – found underneath a pile of papers (naturally) in my father’s home office

My sister and I laughed when she pulled out the book Conquering the Paper Pile Up from underneath a pile of papers.  My father is known for his piles and piles of books, newspapers, and magazines.  I also set aside the poster from the re-lighting of the marquee at the restored Franklin Theatre, where my father worked as a teenager.

And then there was this:


Chiggers (photo by Don Williams)

My parents use to camp with a group of friends from Cookeville, Tennessee.  One of them – Don Williams – took this photo of my father and submitted it to an art show with the title of “Chiggers.”  We laugh every time we see this photo, and Debbie told Daddy today that “We’re going to put this up at your funeral, so people will see the real Tom Brown.”  He loved it and heartily agreed.

How can you not love a man who is so comfortable in his own skin (even when it is itching!).

Off to catch a plane home, but loved the day of family memories.  Try to clean out your parents home before they leave you. If you’re lucky, you’ll have your own “Chiggers” moment.

More to come…


Mr. Emerson Has Thought About Everything

Tim Emerson

Tim Emerson

(Editor’s Note: Teachers are such an important part of our lives.  Our twins were blessed to have many wonderful teachers, and a few real mentors from that group. Last evening, Candice and I went to a celebration of the teaching career of Tim Emerson, the retired head of the Upper School at Maret, and one of the teachers who changed our Claire’s life. 

During the evening we heard tributes to Tim – loving, personal, and funny – that indicated he had changed many lives for the better over his 36 years at Maret.  As one former student said to Tim while surrounded by about 400 friends and family, “Just look at the people here tonight.  This is your report card.”

The lesson that we should never underestimate the impact one person can have on the world fits as well with Tim as it did in my last post written for one of Andrew’s teachers.  The following is our thank you to Tim on the occasion of his retirement, and we wanted to share it with our family and friends.)

Tim, you are a star in our book!  Your gentle spirit, kindness, insightfulness, and wisdom are your gifts our family so appreciates.  Our Claire loved your creative writing class, where you brought out her writing potential.  Again and again, Claire would mention something you said or a perspective you had as she turned it over in her mind.  You made her think deeply.  One time she commented, “I think Mr. Emerson has thought about everything.”

Tim, for all you are and all you have given our family – thank you!

Candice and David

Maret Graduation

Claire and Tim Emerson at Claire’s Maret graduation

More to come…