Monthly Archives: October 2018

Gathering in Healdsburg – Thurs. Oct. 25, 2018

Yesterday Clark and I went to Healdsburg to join Nancy and Bill Barnard, Ken and Ann Emanuels, and Les and Betsy Miller for almost 24 hours of conversation and catching up. The couples had children who were classmates of son Brandon in 2nd grade at Deterding School in Carmichael. The children were on the Carmichael Beavers Swim Team and we were all in a car pool together. Barnards moved to Walnut Creek after only a couple of years; Millers moved to Jackson a few years later; and Emanuels moved to Inverness when they retired; 29 years ago I moved a few miles from Carmichael to Sacramento.

Over the past 40 years, Nancy Barnard has been wonderful at keeping us together. She suggested that we couples meet at the Best Western Dry Creek Inn in Healdsburg. We gathered for lunch yesterday at Costeaux French Bakery on Healdsburg Avenue:

That was our waiter in the solid blue shirt. The guy in the plaid blue shirt was not our waiter.

Barb Wheeler, Clark Muldavin, Bill and Nancy Barnard, Les and Betsy Miller gathered for lunch in the open patio at Costeaux.

Clark, Bill Barnard, Ken Emanuels, Nancy Barnard, Ann Emanuels, Betsy and Les Miller gathered before dinner on a patio at the Best Western Dry Creek Inn.
Nancy provided wine and sparkling water, sliced apples, and almonds.

Ann made dinner reservations for us at Bravas in downtown Healdsburg. The restaurant serves tapas, Spanish hors d’oeuvres.

Nancy Barnard, Barb and Clark, Ken and Ann Emanuels, Betsy and Les Miller, and Bill Barnard enjoyed a 7 pm tapa dinner outside on the patio at Bravas.
Ann took charge of the ordering. The gaspacho was blended and delicious. We had scallops, skirt steak, chicken and ham croquetas, roasted cauliflower, roasted beets with walnuts, and pan olivo to share. There was barely a scrap left on a plate.

Ken and Ann Emanuels. Their oldest daughter, Keri was a classmate of Brandon’s and youngest daughter, Kyra, was a playmate of Erin’s.

We met at 8:30 am this morning for breakfast provided by the hotel. That is Larry Cohen’s 2-0ver-1 Bridge book on the table. Nancy plays a lot of party bridge. So, I was surprised when she said that she played the 2-over-1 bridge system, which many duplicate bridge players use. I was re-reading the book in the car on the way down yesterday, and loaned it to Nancy to read last night. I was impressed that she read about 20 pages of it.

Betsy Miller Ann Emanuels Les Miller
Betsy and Les’ son Scott was a classmate of Brandon’s. The Millers headed home to Jackson after breakfast because they were expecting house guests. The rest of us sat on a patio outside until check out time at 11.

Thank you, Nancy, for organizing us!


Erlene and Mary Claire – Mon. Oct. 22, 2018

Yesterday Mary Claire visited Erlene taking Erlene a birthday balloon and some candy. Erlene can eat regular food, so she was able to eat the candy. The nurse fed Erlene a small amount of applesauce and some juice, and Erlene said “thank you”.

As with me, Erlene mainly stared into space and would not make eye contact.

At my request, Mary Claire had the nurse take this picture of Mary Claire and Erlene:

Erlene and Mary Claire celebrated Erlene’s birthday.

When Mary Claire said goodbye, Erlene made a kiss gesture and said, “love you”.


Happy Birthday, Erlene – Sat. Oct.20, 2018

Today is Erlene Hampton’s birthday. Erlene was one of the original members of our social bridge group formed in 1969. Erlene was sort of the ring leader of the group. She would invite us to spend a weekend of playing bridge at her parents cabin at Homewood on the west side of Lake Tahoe. After her parents sold the cabin, we then used to go to Erlene’s sister’s house on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe for our bridge playing weekends.

Yesterday I went to see Erlene … at Sunrise of Carmichael, a memory care facility on Fair Oaks Blvd at Garfield. I went about 4:15 pm when Erlene is usually awake and in the central activity room just off of her bedroom. There were 3 patients at a table where there was some kind of art activity going on. I told the aid that I would like to visit Erlene. She pointed to Erlene who was one of the patients at the table. It had been about 6 months since I had visited Erlene and I had not recognized her, she has become so thin.

When I told Erlene who I was, she looked blank, but as I started to talk, I could see a faint smile. She spoke a word softly once, but I couldn’t understand what she said.

I showed her her birthday card, but she stared straight ahead. I stayed about 15 or 20 minutes.

Here was Erlene a year ago on her birthday:

Erlene – Oct.20, 2017. She was still at her home in Campus Commons with a view of the lake.

This was Erlene celebrating with friends 2 years ago on Oct. 20, 2016

Vera Kanelis(?), Sue Mecum, Erlene, Mary Kay Goodley, and Lexi Melarkey Barrett celebrate Erlene’s 85th.

3 years ago: Erlene and Erin Wheeler Haas in patio at Erlene’s cottage at Eskaton – Oct. 23, 2015.

Bridge Group at North Ridge – May 8, 2015 celebrating Kathy’s 80th birthday.
Standing: Paula DeWald, Mary Ann Stewart, Erlene Hampton, Barbara Wheeler, Mary Claire O’Connor.
Seated: Sue Mecum, Kathy Cunningham, Donna Logsdon. Missing: Barbara Gordon.

Paula replaced Kathy when Kathy dropped out about 4 years ago. The group disbanded about 3 years ago.

5 years ago on Oct. 20, 2013. Erlene and her birthday tiramisu.

When I sent these photos to my sister, Patricia, she wrote: “How sad to see the light dim. I remember visiting her a few years ago when she had that lovely home in Campus Commons and the cat (Sweetie) and the caretaker.”

Happy Birthday, Erlene!!


Celebrated 2 Birthdays today – Wed. Oct. 17, 2018

Today was a busy day of celebrating birthdays. First, our former social bridge group belatedly celebrated Mary Ann Stewart’s birthday with lunch at North Ridge Country Club.

Donna Logsdon, Mary Ann Stewart, Mary Claire O’Connor, Lucy White, Barbara Wheeler with view of 1st and 9th fairways.

Mary Claire has hosted us at NR for quite a few birthdays, but this is the first time that we have eaten outside. It was an absolutely perfect 80 degrees.
As usual Mary Claire made black bottom cupcakes for dessert with extras to bring home to Clark.

Today was our friend Dave Vidaver’s birthday. Clark and I frequently go out to dinner with Dave after bridge. Dave was directing tonight, so Marie Leonardini who is a wonderful Italian cook organized a dinner at the bridge center before tonight’s bridge game. Marie cooked homemade lasagna and brought a cake.

Marie Leonardini presents the chocolate birthday cake to Dave Vidaver as Kathryn LeGro looks on. That is a lotus candle on the cake.

Dave, Albert Chow, and Kathryn wait for the lotus candle to open up … it failed to.

This morning was cold, so I wore closed toe shoes with socks for the first time this Fall. Up to now, I have worn sandals.


Dinner at Tower Cafe – Sat. Oct. 13, 2018

Clark’s #3 son, Dan, and wife Anne invited us to join them for dinner tonight at the Tower Cafe on Broadway. Temperatures were in the 70s, perfect for outside dining. The outside dining area has the feeling of being in the middle of a tropical jungle. Both Anne and I had the Caesar salad: hers with prawns, mine ordered with extremely rare salmon. I think that the salad was unusually good because it had lots of grated parmesan cheese. Clark liked his jambalaya with extra broth, and Dan had so much caprese salad with salmon, he was trying to give it away.

Dan, Anne, and Clark after a satisfying dinner in the jungle.

Anne, Clark, and Barb
The restaurant is called the Tower Cafe because it is located next door to the Tower Theatre.

The jungle of the Tower Cafe is on the right in the photo. The theatre was built in 1938.

The Tower Cafe was a favorite of Erin’s. Erin and Shannon frequently went there for dinner.

Cindy, Shannon, Aletha, and Vivian met at the Tower Cafe on Sept.14th to commemorate what would have been Erin’s 47th birthday.


Paco at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp – Sun. Oct. 7, 2018

I was looking through some of my pictures tonight, and I realize that I never posted pictures of Paco attending Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp last summer. Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is a Michigan nonprofit organization located in the Manistee National Forest that provides summer fine arts camp and international exchange programs in music, art, dance, and drama. It is located in Twin Lake, MI, about a 3 hour drive south of Traverse City, MI.

Paco attended the camp for 12 days in mid-July. On the final day of camp there was a concert which Steve and Tommy went to when they picked Paco up.

That is Paco on the marimba, 3rd from left. Paco took his snare drum, sticks, and mallets, and the camp provided everything else.

Paco was giving Tommy a tour of the camp. The boys wouldn’t stand still for the photo.

Now Paco is enjoying playing drums in the band at football games at Traverse City Central High School.