Monthly Archives: November 2018

40 years – Monday, Nov. 26, 2018

My mother, Maxine (Ferguson) Canty died 40 years ago today on Nov. 26,1978 in Oakland, CA. She was born in Macomb, Ilinois on May 1,1905 and then grew up in Rockford, Ill. She was survived by her 6 children and 20 grandchildren. She had outlived my father by 14 years.

At the time of her death I inherited a house plant from her which has survived these 40 years despite my neglect. It is a sansevieria plant, also called Mother-in-Law’s tongue or a snake plant. I don’’t know how long she had had it, so it is at least 40 years old. I think I need to add top soil to it. The pictures on line show plants that are much more vertical than mine.

40+ year old sansevieria plant.

Miss you, Mom!
Your loving daughter,

Happy Anniversary, Brandon and Lisa, Deke and Colleen!! – Fri. Nov.23, 2018

Brandon, Beckett, and Lisa enjoy the sizzler.

Today is Brandon and Lisa’s 16th wedding anniversary. They were married at St. Mary’s Church here in Sacramento. It is also Deke and Colleen’s 1st wedding anniversary. As I wrote on the blog a year ago, they were married in a huge white tent in Albion near the beach on the Mendocino Coast of northern California.

Brandon invited us to join them for dinner at Zócalo in nearby University Village. I had ceviche de Guaymas: raw fish marinated in lime juice with pico de gallo, avocado, cucumber, radish, and Zócalo hot sauce. I asked them to leave the hot sauce off, but it was still spicy. It was plentiful and filling and I only ate half of it.

Right now the TV is showing the Washington State – Washington football game being played in a blizzard in Washington. How lucky we were to have 3 gorgeous sunny days near Seattle earlier in the week!


Celebration of Life for Vern Chase – Wed. Nov. 21, 2018

Monday was an extraordinary day of celebrating the life of Vern Chase. It was a beautiful day: chilly, but very sunny. The day began with 10:30 am mass at Our Lady of Rosary Church in Edmonds, WA, just north of Seattle. The church has beautiful horizontal stained glass windows around the rim at the ceiling. The windows are in shades of blue and white that Clark thought looked like airplanes, and birds, and water. Vern was in the Navy for 2 years and spent his career in the airline industry, so the windows seemed very appropriate.

Before the mass started, Vern and Barb’s older son, Tom Chase of Mechanicsburg, PA, spoke first. He spoke of Vern’s love of travel and of his grandchildren and family. Daughter Jeanne Chase Tiscareno also spoke of how Vern considered taking Jeanne’s son to piano lessons as the highlight of his week. Vern was very active in service to the Edmonds community.

Here is a photo of Tom:

Tom Chase

Tom’s family: Toni Tommy Mimi
Mimi just entered Annapolis this Fall. Both of her parents had careers in the Navy. So she is the 3rd generation to be in the Navy.

Appropriately, red, white, and blue flowers were on the altar.

After the mass graveside ceremonies followed at Holyrood Cemetery in Shoreline, WA.

Vern and Barb’s 4 teenage grandsons were the pall bearers. Barb is on the left in the broad brim hat walking with daughter Jeanne and son-in-law, Bob Tiscareno.




A representative from the Navy played Taps.

Navy representatives about to fold the flag.

Barbara, foreground, watched as they folded the flag. Facing are daughter Jeanne Tiscareno in the middle, her sons Bobby on her right and Danny on her left. Far left is Tom Chase and far right is Tommy Chase.

Cadet Mimi Chase watches as her grandmother is presented with the flag. Mimi’s name tag says, “Chase 22”. ’22 is the year she will graduate from the Naval Academy.

The reception was held at the Nile Country Club on the golf course across the street from the cemetery.

Daughter Jeanne Chase Tiscareno and husband Bob Tiscareno at the reception.
The food was a delicious buffet of salads with hot dishes of vegetables, salmon, and chicken. Barb Chase told me that Jeanne did the arrangements for the lunch.

Barb standing with her oldest sister Jeanne, Sr. Miriam Daniel, seated on the left, and her youngest sister Jinny on the right.

Barb’s sister Jinny Fahey, Barb’s brother Dan Fahey, Bob Tiscareno
Vern and Barb’s younger son, Dave, was an excellent MC for the lunch. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of him.

Granddaughter Abby Chase, daughter of Dave and Coleen, sang Danny Boy. Her brother Cam accompanied her on what looked like a cardboard box. It was a cajón, a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru. Abby had a gorgeous voice and her performance was very moving. She is a student at the University of Toronto.

Barb surrounded by some of her relatives
Front row: sister Jeanne Fahey (Sister Miriam Daniel) , Barb Chase, niece Cheryl Creagh (daughter of Barb’s late brother Dick Fahey).
2nd row: Daughter Jeanne Tiscareno, niece Barbara (Horton) Linn, sister Jinny Fahey, sister Trish (Fahey) Turner, niece Mimi (Horton) Pratt, sister Anne (Fahey) Sheaf.
3rd row: nephew Joe Sheaf, brother-in-law Tom Turner, brother-in-law Joe Sheaf, brother Dan Fahey, son Tom Chase.

Note: Barbara Linn and Mimi Pratt are the daughters of BarbaraChase’s sister Kathleen (Fahey) Horton and the late Phil Horton of Rossmoor, CA. Phil died just a month or two ago, so Katy was unable to attend the events in Edmonds. Katy was a senior when Barb and I were Freshmen in high school.

Barb and Vern surrounded by their grandchildren about year 2010.
Barb Chase, Danny and Bobby Tiscareno (Jeanne’s), Mimi Chase (Tom’s), Abby Chase (Dave’s), Vern, Tommy Chase (Tom’s), Cam Chase (Dave’s)

The world needs more Vern Chases!


Visit with Barb Chase in Edmonds, WA – Sun. Nov. 18, 2018

Today Clark and I flew to Seattle, rented a car, and drove north about 30 miles to Edmonds, WA, to attend the funeral tomorrow of Vern Chase whom I wrote about in the blog last Sunday.

We are staying in downtown Edmonds, so it was interesting to see this charming town on the coast of Puget Sound. We drove by Rick Steeves’ building and the Savvy Traveler shop from which Barb Chase has sent me gifts. I used Rick Steeves’ guidebooks 20 years ago when Patricia and I traveled to Italy, Spain, and France.

As we walked into the lobby of the hotel, a man called out to us. It was Barb’s brother, Dan Fahey. Barb’s niece Cheryl Creagh, daughter of Barb’s late brother Dick was with Dan.
A few minutes later, Barb’s son Tom Chase walked in. Tom lives in Mechanicsburg, PA. He brought the message that Barb would like us to drop by the house around 4.

Soon after we arrived at Barb’s, her daughter Jeanne and husband Bob Tiscareno showed up. Bob is an architect and designed the beautiful house that Barb and Vern have lived in since about 2001. The lot slopes off deeply in back and Barb has a wonderful view of Puget Sound. Jeanne took this picture of us before it got too dark. That is Puget Sound to the left of Barb’s head.

Barb Chase Clark Muldavin Barb Wheeler

Soon after, 4 of Barb’s sisters arrived. Her oldest sister Jeanne is a Holy Names nun, Sister Miriam Daniel, and lives in Campbell, near San Jose. She is in her early 90s and is extremely sharp. Barb’s sister Trish and husband Tom Turner arrived from Austin, TX, brother Dan Fahey is from Phoenix, sister Anne and husband Joe Sheaf are from Santa Maria, and sister Jinny Fahey is from Danville. So, it was fun catching up with all of them. Anne was in my brother Jim’s class at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. Barb’s youngest sister Jinny was in my youngest brother Bob’s class at O’Dowd.

Barb’s sister Jinny, Barb’s daughter Jeanne, and Barb’s sister Trish.

Barb’s sister Anne, Sister Miriam Daniel (Jeanne), Barb Wheeler, Barb Chase, sister Jinny, daughter Jeanne, sister Trish, niece Cheryl.

Friends of Barb’s had dropped off lots of hearty hors d’oeuvres. My favorite: a thick salmon soup made by the daughter of one of Vern’s caretakers.

I hadn’t seen Barb since her 50th anniversary party in 2010 … we picked up conversation right where we left off.


Vern Chase (1933-2018) – Sun. Nov. 11, 2018

I received a notice from Barbara Chase, my dearest friend since we were sophomores in high school in Oakland 69 years ago, that her husband Vern departed this earth at midnight this morning. He died at home in Edmonds, WA, where they had lived since retirement. Vern had suffered from Parkinson’s, and Barbara was told about a week ago that his system was shutting down, but because his heart and lungs were strong, they didn’t expect the end to come so quickly.

When Barb and Vern were first married in 1960, Vern worked for Flying Tiger Air Freight Lines. He was always so enthusiastic about his jobs. He subsequently worked for the port of Portland where they raised their 3 children, Tom, Jeanne, and Dave. They retired to Edmonds, just north of Seattle, because Jeanne and Dave had moved there. Tom was in town from Pennsylvania just a couple of weeks ago for a 10 day visit with Vern and Barb.

Below is a picture of Barb and Vern on our front patio when they stopped for a visit to see Erin when she was on hospice in 2012.

Barb Erin Vern June 18, 2012.

Farewell, dear friend.

Frank Granger Ferguson (Jan. 26, 1873 – Nov. 7, 1943) – Wed. Nov. 7, 2018

Every time I wrote the date today, I thought of my maternal grandfather, Frank Granger Ferguson, who died on this date in 1943. It was the first death I experienced and my sisters and I were devastated. My grandfather had gone to St. Mary’s Church in West Oakland to play whist for the afternoon. I remember my father answering the phone, and saying to my mother, “I have some very bad news.” My grandfather had collapsed at the table while playing whist. He was 70.

My grandfather had come to live with us because it was during the War and in the boarding house where he had been living, they couldn’t get him to pull down the shades during blackouts. My sisters and I called him “Gum Cum”.

My grandfather is holding me in front of the house my parents lived in on Lawton Ave off of College Ave in Oakland.

2 year old Patsy on the left, Grandpa Ferguson, and 3 year old Barbara in the Redwoods in Humboldt Co. in Sept. 1937. Patsy (who now is called Patricia) was 14 months younger than I. She passed me up in height when I was 4 and she was 3. We had probably been visiting my paternal grandfather in Ferndale.
In 1941 we were in Ferndale again, when my 1 year old brother Timmy walked for the first time from one grandfather to the other.

Barbara (almost 5), Patsy (almost 4), and Joan (almost 3) with Gum-Cum in May 1939.

After Gum-Cum moved in with us in 1941, he would play cards with us by the hours. He taught us to play whist and 500, a game where there was a Joker, and the Jacks were left bower and right bower. There was bidding and Joan would overbid so that she could get the kitty. That is why Patricia and I think that Joan would be very competitive at bridge.


Lunch at Hofbrau – Wed. Nov. 7, 2018

For the past 7 years or so, Mack and Lucy White have organized a lunch gathering of some of the alumni of the Sacramento CAC – Catholic Alumni Club. It was a group of Catholics who were college alumni or nurses. I joined the group in the Spring of 1958, my first spring in Sacramento. I met Mack White then. Mack turned out to live across the street from a student of mine who was taking the upper division Analytic Mechanics class and the Vector Analysis class I was teaching at Sac State. That student was … Brandon Wheeler!! Little did I know then that I would marry Brandon 6 years later.

Mack was an usher in our wedding and is Brandon Jr’s godfather. Our women’s social bridge group emerged from the CAC. Mary Claire O’Connor, Kathy Cunningham, and Donna Logsdon were at the lunch. Donna’s daughter Amy joined us for lunch, too. Amy is a nurse at UC Med and roves around to wherever she is needed inserting IVs in kids, evaluating the need for ICU, etc. It sounds exhausting, as if she has to be very informed on a lot of procedures. Clark also enjoyed talking to Amy about fishing. Amy and her husband go fishing in Alaska every other year and Amy showed us some beautiful fishing pictures. Amy also helped me download a podcast to my iPhone.

Amy Logsdon and Mack White
The private lunch room at Sam’s Hofbrau has been redecorated since we were there last year.
There are new pictures on the walls, 5 TV monitors, and I think a new coat of paint.
The woman sitting next to me said that when she went to Sam’s at 16th and J about 40 years ago, a roast beef sandwich was 69 cents. I think now they are $7.69.

Barbara Goyette and Lucy White
I was so pleased and pleasantly surprised that Barbara and Larry Goyette were able to make the lunch. Larry has been fighting lung cancer. Barb and Larry live in Camino where they have a Christmas tree farm and an apple orchard. Barb said that the Christmas tree farm opens this weekend, and she and a son will be operating the stand.
Larry at 92, was the oldest one at the lunch. Other than Amy, Lucy was probably the youngest.

Thanks, Lucy and Mack for organizing us!!