|Well, hello to allÖ..I am back in Galesville, safe and sound after a wonderful trip to California. While the visit was prompted by the death of my step-father, Skip, the gathering of family and the greetings of friends and relatives was a warm, warm interlude during otherwise cold and harsh weather, for Californians anyway. I flew into Ontario, California on Friday, March 15, as did Mary Ann, and Rosalie and Larry took us to dinner at a local restaurant that served me the best salmon I have ever eaten outside the state of Washington. A wonderful meal and we had a really relaxing conversation throughout.
Then, on Saturday, we drove to Taft for Skipís funeral with Rosalie and Mary Ann in my car, and Larry, Leslie, Eric and grandchildren, Kyle and Cory in the other. The services at graveside, attended by more than 100 of Skipís family and friends, were solemn and well spoken by the local parish priest, and visiting with everyone at the St. Maryís Hall afterwards was just a treat. Why donít we do this more often, everyone always says, but we donít seem to get around to it.
I talked with Anita Hanna , Murray Johnson, with Sarah and Howard Cook, and with Bill Richard, Shirley/Joan, and Sylvia. Joyceís picture board was so encompassing that it was a treat to just stand and enjoy the way she presented Skip and the family, spanning the years and telling a story at the same time. I was especially appreciative of the work that Rosalie and Joseph went to in making sure that we had access to the hall on what was a busy Saturday for the parish. It was a very comfortable setting for concluding the public portion of the day.
All the siblings and some close family friends went out to Valley Acres after the luncheon and sort of just hung out visiting, until about 5:30, when people began to leave. Rosalie and Larry headed back for L.A. Joyce started for Susanville; Orv and Richard drove back to Bakersfield; Joseph and Jim and Julie Fleckenstein and family remained overnight. Mary Ann and I went to her sister, Bettyís home in Bakersfield and spent the night there. There was a strong sense of closure as we six siblings parted. The final parental link to our childhood was gone, and we were alone, with our thoughts, and we were together, with each other.