Best Of..., Bluegrass Music, Family, Heritage Travel, Historic Preservation, Random DJB Thoughts
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Our year in photos – 2015

Sunday Brunch

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.” 

Studio A Press Conference with Ben Folds - Photo Credit Rick Smith
(Photo Credit: Rick Smith)
Studio A Press Conference, photo credit Nathan Morgan, Nashville Business Journal
(Photo credit: Nathan Morgan – Nashville Business Journal)

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!

Secretary Jewell with DJB
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell with DJB at the community celebration in Pullman

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.

Swimming Coach JP Gowdy with Claire
Swimming Coach Jean-Paul Gowdy with Claire following a Family Weekend practice

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.

60th Birthday celebration
Celebrating my 60th birthday, along with my fractured shoulder and new sling

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!

In Cuba
Andrew in Cuba
Andrew and Fred in Cuba
Andrew with Fred Jodry – director of the Brown University Chorus – wearing clothes in Cuba that would have led to immediate frostbite had they been in Providence at the time.

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.

Hollywood Gang
Hollywood Gang in Atlanta

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.

Graduation Lei
Andrew helps Claire with her graduation lei
Claire at Pomona
Our Pomona Class of 2015 Graduate
The Browns at Pomona
The Happy Family
Swim team cheers
The swim team cheers for the graduates
Sophomore and Senior Suitemates
Claire’s suitemates from her Sophomore and Senior Years – Susan (Sr), Ali (So/Sr), Jackie (So/Sr), and Kyra (So)
Parents celebrate
The parents celebrate graduation!
At Union on Yale
Celebrating the graduate at Union on Yale – Claire’s favorite Claremont restaurant

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!

Andrew and Claire
Andrew and Claire at the Big Dance
A D Phi Seniors
Andrew and his fellow seniors from the Alpha Delta Phi Society in the procession to Saturday’s Baccalaureate Service
Alex and Andrew
Alex Warstadt and Andrew, the two graduating singers from the Madrigals
Andrew waves from the procession
The happy graduate!
Andrew and Dietrich
Andrew with Professor Dietrich Neumann, Director of the Urban Studies Program at Brown University
Brown Celebration at the Salted Slate
Celebrating Andrew’s graduation at The Salted Slate, one of our favorite Providence restaurants

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.

Celebrating Tom's 90th
Claire, Candice, Tom, DJB, and Andrew celebrating Tom’s 90th birthday
The DC and Chicago cousins
Claire and Andrew with their Chicago cousins Zoe and Kelsey
With Brittney
Andrew and Claire with cousin Brittney
Pool time
In the pool with the cousins
Candice with Joseph
Candice and Joseph rest by the pool
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

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.

At Red Wing III
Margaret, Candice, DJB, and Oakley at Red Wing III
Watkins, Jarosz, and O'Donovan
Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan at Red Wing Roots Music Festival on July 11, 2015

A work-related trip took David to Southeast Utah, and some of the country’s most evocative landscapes.

DJB in Cedar Mesa
Hiking in Southeast Utah

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.

Andrew gets ready to dig into the seabass at MXDC
At Fig and Olive
DJB, Candice, and Andrew wrap up DC Restaurant Week at Fig & Olive
Nancy and DJB
Nancy and DJB – the charter members of the Ambulance Survivor’s Club – toast our good health at Jackie’s Restaurant in Silver Spring

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.

Candice in the rose gardens
Candice in the Rose Gardens at Anglesey Abbey
King's College Courtyard
King’s College Courtyard, Cambridge
Candice at a small London cafe during a day spent rambling, exploring, and connecting

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!

Claire at a Dodgers Game
Claire goes over to the dark side – at a Dodgers game with Caroline and Graycie
Jubliee Consortium
Claire with other interns from the Jubilee Consortium in LA
Claire in LA
Enjoying life in LA
Silent Cal
Calvin Coolidge joins the Racing Presidents in 2015
Claire, Candice, DJB at the Getty Villa
With Claire at the Getty Villa

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!

Ewing Installation
The Weavings Group celebrates the installation of Elizabeth Ewing as rector of Christ Church, Binghamton

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.

A celebration at Pastishe in Providence fit for a year of celebrations and transitions

More to come…


Image: A family celebration at Le Chat Noir’s Sunday Brunch before Claire heads to LA


  1. Pingback: Our Year in Photos – 2016 | More to Come...

  2. Pingback: Our year in photos – 2021 | More to Come...

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