As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I continue my tradition of posting family photographs from the past year on More to Come… This was certainly a year in which we had much for which to be thankful – and to celebrate
2015 was – to put it mildly – a year of transition in so many ways.
The year began with Andrew and Claire halfway through their senior year in college. I was busy with work at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, while Candice was keeping everything together from headquarters.
In January, I was fortunate to be able to join colleagues in Nashville for work to help save the unique heritage of Music Row. As I say on the website designed for capturing Music Row’s stories:
“Music Row is the very definition of a National Treasure. The sounds created here have echoed throughout the country for decades, earning it an unparalleled place in America’s cultural life.”
In a wonderful kick-off to our work in Nashville, I joined musician Ben Folds at historic Studio A to announce our designation of Music Row as one of our National Treasure campaigns. The next month I was with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in Chicago at President Obama’s announcement of Pullman as the country’s newest National Monument. I get to meet some very smart and talented people as part of my job!
Candice and I were able to get away for family travel, and we especially enjoyed our final Pomona Parents Weekend in February in sunny Southern California. It was bittersweet, in that we knew that we’d no longer have a great excuse to fly from the snow and cold of Washington to Claremont in February, so we could walk around in our shorts and polo shirts, grab a coffee and slider at Some Crust Bakery, and see Claire and all her talented friends at college.
Then life threw us a bit of a curve. Three hours before turning 60 years old, I was hit by an ambulance. You read that right. Needless to say, it made for a different type of celebration for my 60th, but the story – now that all is passed – gets better with each telling.
Andrew’s March was eventful…but in a better way. Perhaps as a reward for enduring the New England winter of 2015, he traveled to Cuba with the Brown University Chorus over Spring Break. Andrew loved the architecture, the music, the chance to use his Spanish extensively, and – most of all – the weather!
Candice also traveled in the spring, as the Hollywood Gang – friends from grade school in Hollywood, Florida – took in the sites around Atlanta. This has become a much-anticipated weekend for Candice and her friends.
May was all graduations all the time. We began on the west coast with Claire’s graduation from Pomona College. It was a wonderful weekend, and of course I wrote about it and photographed it – all from the perspective of the proud father. It was delightful to be together with the families of Claire’s wonderful classmates.
One week later, we all gathered in Providence to do it all again – this time in celebration of Andrew’s graduation from Brown University. As an equal opportunity proud father, I covered it all from start to finish. As I have told many people since then, the last half of May was among the happiest times of my life. I was so proud of these two and all they have accomplished…and they’re just getting started!
The celebrations continued in early July, as we flew to Tennessee to celebrate my father’s 90th birthday. Brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins, and all sorts of friends gathered to honor Tom Brown and his wonderful life. My father is such a down-to-earth yet holy man. It was wonderful to see the love that came pouring out for him from so many different people and places.
In July, Candice and I were also able to get away for a weekend in the Shenandoah Valley for roots music and time with our friends Margaret and Oakley Pearson at the Red Wing Roots Music Festival.
A work-related trip took David to Southeast Utah, and some of the country’s most evocative landscapes.
Claire took off for her new adventure in Los Angeles in early August (see the picture at the top of the post), and so we had Andrew to ourselves here in DC for the month. We decided to go all-in on Restaurant Week, and what a treat that turned out to be. We also squeezed in a dinner of the Ambulance Survivor’s Club with our good friends Nancy Williams, Steve Cambell, and Sarabeth Watson.
Work on the international front took Candice and me for a wonderful week in Cambridge at King’s College, followed by a family weekend in London. It was a treat that we’ll long remember.
2015 was a tough season to be a Nats fan…so much so that Claire defected as soon as she hit the west coast this summer! Nonetheless, bad baseball is better than no baseball, and I did pick up a couple of new bobbleheads – including the most recent addition to the racing presidents. (I have a request for a Bill Taft in to my family as a stocking stuffer this Christmas!) As you can see, Claire has adjusted well to her work on the west coast, but Candice and I went out in October to check on her anyway!
In early November, Candice and her friends from the Weavings group traveled to Binghamton, New York, to celebrate the installation of one of their members – Elizabeth Ewing – as the new rector of Christ Episcopal Church. It was a joyous celebration!
As we enter the holiday season, we have so many blessings to be thankful for. From all of us – Candice, Andrew, Claire, and DJB – we wish all our family and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving and a blessed Advent.
More to come…
Image: A family celebration at Le Chat Noir’s Sunday Brunch before Claire heads to LA