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Today in My History

2001:  Cherish the Children
2002:  Something Funny...Freezing...Fishy
2003:  Keep Coming Back, It Works
2004:  Indians and Chiefs
 Give Me a Sign
2006:  Fool Me Once
2007:   Day #1

2008:  Turning 70 in Style


Books Read in 2008
Updated: 12/28
"The Black Echo" 


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Farewell to Great Moments in Presidential Speeches
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Mom & Baby Elephant play in the water
Baby Elephant at Pete's Pond
What was Orson Wells' Last film?

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29 January 2009

I'm full of sushi, beer, and memories at the moment.

We always go to have sushi on January 28th, Paul's birthday.  And on February 4, David's birthday.  But Walt will be in Santa Barbara on the 4th this year, so we made this sushi for both birthdays.

Osaka.jpg (121151 bytes)

Walt didn't have sushi, but I did.  My usual -- Maguro (tuna), spicy tuna, inari (a tofu pouch) and a bowl of edamame beans which we shared.  I even had a beer this time, which I never, ever do.  But it was Paul's 40th birthday, after all.

As we were sitting there reading the menu, we looked up and there was our friend Jessica, who was at Osaka for the same reason -- because you always eat sushi on January 28.  She had been out to the cemetery earlier in the day for her yearly ritual -- leaving a small jar of mayonnaise on Paul's grave marker.  He hated mayonnaise, so naturally mayonnaise is the perfect thing to leave.  I left a photo of Brianna last year. 

Jessica and her companions (her brothers?) sat at the sushi bar so Walt and I went back to ordering our food,  My thoughts were a little of Paul and of David, but mostly I found myself thinking about our friend, Alan Harvey.

AlanSm.jpg (36243 bytes)We had received a sad e-mail from several people thatAlan had been found dead in his car two days ago.  Apparently he wasn't feeling well, decided to go to the ER and never got there.   There was a cell phone in his hand, but whatever happened, he didn't have time to call 911 for help.

Alan was such a sweetheart.  I met him at the Lamplighters.   He performed in the chorus and may have directed a show or two at the time that Gilbert died.  He was also a teacher at Piedmont High School.

I believe that at the time of the Lamplighters' 30th anniversary, he was a member of the Board of Directors.  We worked together planning the big gala celebration and that's when I first started to get to know him.  His big deal for the anniversary was that he insisted we had to rent a wine fountain.  I don't really remember all the controversy that caused (mostly because of cost, I believe), but in the end he won.  We had a wine fountain and it was a great success.  When we were choosing photos for the second Lamplighters book, of course I had to include this picture of Alan with his wine fountain.

When Gilbert died, unexpectedly, it was Alan who stepped in to conduct the orchestra for his memorial service and to finish the run of Yeomen of the Guard, which was the show running at the time of Gilbert's death.

Alan had a lovely home in the Berkeley hills, which was destroyed by the big fire in 1991.  He stood on one side of the freeway and watched his home be consumed by flames.  He rebuilt it later and it was a wonderful showplace.

I don't remember what year Alan took over as Managing Director for The Lamplighters.  He was in the unfortunate position of taking over for someone who had been in power for some 30 years and who had to be eased out because he was starting to lose it.  Alan was a wonderful managing director, but butted heads with the Board and with the man he was replacing (who was determined to get him out of the position) and in the end he left the job after only three years, with a lot of bad memories.

AlanConductor.jpg (8956 bytes)He went on to head up the Music Department at Foothill College for many years and after he retired, he moved to Carson City, where he played with the Carson City Symphony Orchestra and this past September joined the faculty of Incline High School, as its music director.

We heard from him at Christmas and he was thrilled with his new job, saying he found himself bord in retirement.  He also invited us up to Carson City to see his new place.  We planned to do that after the snow cleared.

He was a very sweet man who touched so many lives.  Someone set up a Facebook Tribute Page for him and in just a day it had 125 members registered.  I didn't know him well, but worked with him for long enough that I developed a great respect for him and liked him very much.  He will be sorely missed by many people.

So our evening, while pleasant, was tinged with memories of departed loved ones -- Paul, David and Alan.  But memories of people we love who are no longer here is an old familiar, and oddly enough comforting, sensation.



sushi.jpg (219516 bytes)

My dinner...and Walt's on the other side of the table
(we shared the edamame)



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MILES TO NOWHERE:  93.5 miles


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