Monthly Archives: July 2017

A Knock on the Door – Monday, July 31, 2017

About 4:30 PM this afternoon the doorbell rang and who should be on the doorstep but 21 year old grandson Wheeler! I was expecting him next weekend.

A week ago Wheeler drove his Mazda from Boulder, CO, to Santa Barbara in about 16 1/2 hours. He visited friends there for a week. He had planned to stay in Santa Barbara for another week but the friends had to study for finals.

He will stay here for a couple of weeks, then he will head to Oregon to watch the eclipse with a friend who goes to school in Oregon.

Clark just went out and bought a big load of groceries. We don’t have 21-year-old type food on hand.

Nice to see you Wheeler!


Comment from Margaretta, RN – Tues. July 25, 2017

Since some of you may have missed a new comment posted to the Sat. July 22nd blog, I thought that I would post it here. Margaretta Page was the RN who assisted Dr. Jennifer Clarke when Erin went to UCSF for an experimental trial in the Fall of 2009. Erin commuted to San Francisco every two weeks for about a year.

Margaretta Page, RN July 24, 2017 at 17:05 Edit Reply

Barbara- She sure was cute!. It’s Margaretta, nurse from UCSF here. We learned of Erin’s passing recently and several of us remember her. I was directed to this blog. I loved seeing your posts over time and how Erin and her boys did over the years after she stopped coming to UCSF. We sent a card to you and your family to the address on file but sadly it was returned I’d love to send it along- Her sparkle and smile sure touched many of us here. If possible would you send me a good address – Margaretta.Page@ucsf,edu
Thinking of you.


So nice to hear from you, Margaretta! Erin spoke fondly of you.


Erin at Country Club Plaza Memories from about 1974 – Sat. July 22, 2017

At bridge this week I had a few tastes of fresh apricots. So, for the first time ever, this morning I went to the Farmer’s Market at Country Plaza which is in a parking lot behind what used to be Weinstock’s, then Macy’s, and now an empty store. The market is held there year round on Saturday mornings. I purchased peaches and nectarines, which are delicious, but I was told that I was 2 weeks too late for apricots!

Country Club Plaza brings back memories. When Erin was about 3, she and I went to Weinstock’s. I was in the middle of purchasing something, when I turned around and Erin was missing. Several sales girls and I were frantically looking for her, when a lady came in from the mall, and said that she had seen a little girl walking all by herself down towards Penney’s at the complete opposite end of the mall. She had noted that the girl had on shoes with one red pom pom missing. I tore down to Penney’s and found Erin chatting with the security ladies.

Penney’s subsequenty became Gottshalk’s and is now Winco. This morning I clocked how far it is from Winco to the old Weinstock’s and it is about 0.15 mi or about 800 feet or a couple of blocks. Erin showed her independence at an early age!

I looked for a picture of those shoes with the red pom poms, but couldn’t find one. But, below is Erin at almost 3 years of age.


Erin and Grandmother, “Bombi” – Wed. July 19, 2017

Erin and Jane “Bombi” on May 19, 2001

Am thinking of Erin and her paternal grandmother, Lora “Jane” Goodman Wheeler, who would have been 113 today. Jane was born on July 19, 1904 and died on April 19, 2005, at age 100 years and 9 months, exactly. When she was a small child, Colleen couldn’t say “grandma”, so she said something like Bamba, then Bambi, then Bombi. So, the kids called their grandmother “Bombi”.

Have just had a text from Brandon asking if Bombi was born in 1904. Brandon said that he had been thinking of both Erin and Bombi today. And I had a phone call from Jane’s surviving daughter, Jan, who lives in Willetts, CA. I usually call Jan on July 19th, but this year Jan beat me to it.

Jane was a wonderful person, with a good sense of humor. She read ferociously until her eye sight failed, and then she listened to books-on-tape. She was a natural leader.

Jane and her husband Harvey and their 3 children Brandon Sr. and twin girls, Jan and Jo, moved to Sacramento from Philadelphia in 1946. They lived in the Tahoe Park area. Harvey worked as a surveyor. In fact, he was responsible for a street in the Tahoe Park area being named Brandon Way. They had a boat that Harvey loved to work on. In 1963, Harvey decided to become a commercial fisherman and they moved to Fort Bragg, CA on the coast. Jane at age almost 60 would go out on the boat with him and they would fish for salmon from about April to Oct., the salmon season, living on the boat.

When commercial fishing didn’t work out, Harvey, always a dreamer, decided to build a smoker and smoke purchased salmon. At first, they sold smoked salmon along the roadside. Then in 1968 they opened a delicatessen in Ft. Bragg which they had until Harvey’s death in 1978. Jane, then in her late 60s and 70s would boil 10 lbs of potatoes every morning and make potato salad for the deli as well as other salads. The deli was located at 136 Laurel Street just off of Main St, a block from the Skunk Depot. 4 times a year: Easter, June, Sept, and Christmas we would make the trip to Fort Bragg to visit for a weekend.

In Dec. of 1979, Jane moved back to Sacramento and lived at St. Francis Manor in Midtown. She really enjoyed those years making lots of friends with other congenial residents of the Manor. At first, husband Brandon would take his mother and her friend Gladys out for breakfast every Sunday. Then eventually I joined them and carried on the tradition after Brandon died in Dec.1995. Jane also survived the death of her daughter Jo from breast cancer in 1991.

Jane had relatively good health giving up smoking in 1992 when she had a slight stroke. She had smoked for 72 years! In 2003 I was flying to Oaxaca to study Spanish with my sister Patricia. Jane, not feeling well, waited until I was on the plane before she called 911! She didn’t want to interfere with my plans. After Jane was in the hospital for a few days, Colleen arranged for Jane to be dismissed to Asbury Park, conveniently located less than a mile from my house.
I could visit her everyday. And Jane cheerfully spent the last 2 years of her life there.

Erin would occasionally mention going to Asbury Park if she thought that she was causing us too much trouble.


Sat. July 15, 2017

I thought I was trashing an old draft of a post, but I accidentally reposted it.

Happy Birthday, to Erin’s Aunt Pat, wife of Uncle Tim.



Denver Gathering at Patricia’s – Fri. July 14, 2017

A visit to Denver by my niece Janet (Smith) Keeter, daughter of my sister, Joan, was the occasion of a barbecue at my sister Patricia’s house yesterday. Colleen and Deke from Boulder were invited to join the Zavadil cousins. Patricia is pictured with 5 children of the 3 Canty sisters.

Betsy (Zavadil) Davis, Tom Zavadil, Colleen Wheeler, Janet (Smith) Keeter, Mary (Zavadil) Gutierrez, and Patricia Zavadil.

Tom and his husband Dean are living with Patricia while their house is being remodeled. Dean likes to cook, so he did the barbecuing.


The six chicks in 2006 – Fri. July 14, 2017

Vivian also sent me this photo of the six “chicks” which she had received from Anissa. The chicks were in Aptos celebrating Vivian’s 40th birthday.

Erin, Shannon, Vivian, Anissa, Aletha, and Cindy

Thanks, Vivian and Anissa!

Tommy Got His First Hit!! – Thurs. July 13, 2017

Steve said that Tommy, after resisting baseball last year, is playing in a summer league and likes it. He got 3 hits yesterday!

Steve and the boys moved on Monday to a different house in Traverse City. It will be right near Central High School which Paco will go to next year.


Pictures from Vivian Murai – Thursday, July 13, 2017

In my post 2 days ago, I mentioned that I wished I had a picture of Vivian Murai. Yesterday, Vivian granted my wish. Her children are both under 5, not under 3 as I had stated in the blog. Here is what Vivian wrote:​

“Someday I’ll be used to ​Erin’s being ​gone but that day sure isn’t today. ​ I still look back at Erin’s wedding toasts for Shan’s wedding and mine.​

​You mentioned wishing you had a picture in your post. Here’s one of​ Sydney in March 2017. She’s now 2.5 yrs old.

​Here’s a pic from Yosemite in May.​ Remember how much Nico used to remind us of Tommy? He’s 4.75 years old – decimals are easier to type than fractions.

       Carey Keaten, Nico, Sydney, Vivian Murai

Lots of love,


Isn’t that Sydney the picture of cuteness! Thanks, Vivian for the great pictures.


Comment from Vivian – Tues. July 11, 2017

Today Vivian Murai posted a comment to the July 4th post. I thought I would post it here since many subscribers don’t receive comments. Colleen lived next door to Vivian when Wheeler was a year old in 1997. Erin and Shannon lived a half a block away. From this emerged the “chicks”: Shan, Vivian, Cindy, Anissa, Aletha, and Erin. Vivian was the one whom Erin called to come and sit with 4 month old Tommy while Erin had that CAT scan on July 4, 2009.

Vivian has 2 children under 3 (later: I should have said under 5), and has moved to Davis so we didn’t see much of her recently. Wish I had a photo.

“Vivian Murai July 11, 2017 at 19:48


That day was rather surreal to me, as is now her passing. Erin was always such a good writer, as you have been on this blog, and I still think of her as an indomitable spirit. I will miss most her love and loyalty. She loved us, her friends, and it was always so clear that she loved you and Clark, that you two are so good for each other; Colleen and Brandon, and that they found their true loves; and of course, Wheeler, Steve, Paco and Tommy.

Thank you for maintaining this blog over the last while to keep us “in the know.” It has been invaluable to me over the years.

Love, Vivian”

Thank you, Vivian!