Category Archives: Uncategorized

Visit with Barb Chase in Edmunds, 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. Her niece Cheryl, daughter of Barb’s late brother Dick was with Dan.
A few minutes later, Barb’s son Tom walked in. Tom lives in Harrisburg, 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 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 and lives in Campbell, near San Jose. She is in her early 90s and is extremely sharp. Her sister Trish and husband Tom arrived from Austin, TX, brother Dan is from Phoenix, sister Anne and husband Joe are from Santa Maria, and sister Jinny 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. Youngest sister Jinny was in 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!!


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!!