For an explanation of photos, position cursor over photo.
We've enjoyed the chance to catch up with many friends during our time back and hope to continue to do so. One of the highlights of our trip to London was a quickly arranged reunion with Kathy's former colleagues from Landmark Systems in Europe. Similarly, we caught up with good friends and former Landmarkers Peter H. in Dusseldorf and Gil and wife Cheryl in Miami.
We also enjoyed a recent week-long visit from our good German friends Erwin and Uli, who we met more than ten years ago walking our dogs in Reston. Erwin at the time was in the German Navy and was stationed in the US for several years. We became good friends but had not seen each other since they returned to Germany eight years ago. We had a lot to catch up on and really enjoyed out time together, including a trip to Annapolis for oyster shooters and crab, a fine prime rib dinner at The Palm, Bradley's famous margaritas, and of course some schnapps.
Apologies to all the other friends we've seen - I can't put a photo of everyone on the website!
On the family front, we visited Bradley's uncle Richard and aunt Carol Lee in Palm Springs and caught up with yet another Landmark alum, Art and wife Toby (but failed to take a single photo of them!). We also visited New York in April for passover and saw many of Bradley's relatives there. Again, no photos.
Kathy was fortunate to have the chance to spend a lot of time with her mother in Florida during 2007. She led a very long and interesting life but had moved into assisted living in 2007. Kathy and her sister Joan, who lives full time in Florida, worked together to ensure she got proper medical care, took her on various outings and adventures, and spent a lot of quality time with her until she passed away in December at age 89. Barbara Clark was a true inspiration to all who knew her. She was an accomplished writer, specializing in writing one-act plays and adapting classics such as Pride and Prejudice to plays. She was active in playreading groups and community theater until her final days. She was also an adventurer, taking several long trips on freighters until her 80th birthday.
Kathy's father, Jack, had passed away in 2006 at age 97. He also led a long and healthy life and spent his last 20 years married to his wonderful wife Virginia. He was able to live at home until his final days, where he received wonderful care from Virginia and her daughter Fancesca. He was an eccentric character and I was also fortunate to spend a lot of quality time with him over the last several years. At age 87, he decided to learn to play the piano and did so successfully. At age 94 he moved to the Philppines for a year with Virginia, returning at age 95 to the house in Maryland he had lived in since 1942.
Though it is hard to lose your parents, I am thankful for the time I was able to spend with them and also feel fortunate that I was with them both when they died. We held a memorial service for Jack in August 2006 and his ashes are now at Arlington Cemetery. Though not a military man, he did serve in the Army for six months in 1940 when drafted but was honorably discharged when the draft age was lowered from 35 to 30 as he had been 31 when drafted. He spent the rest of his career as a research physicist for the Naval Research Lab. A small memorial service was held for Barbara in Florida with a larger one set to take place in May 2008 in Maryland. She had arranged for her body to be donated to the Medical School at the University of Florida, so I can brag that my mother is now at med school!