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July 21, 2008 [ More archived home pages here ]

Don's July 2008 Chicago Trip

The above image is, Bowen 1968 40th Reunion

Today's song is Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, released in 1967.

I'm not sure I can explain in words the wonderful time I had during my recent trip to Chicago to visit family and friends. It's almost as if you had to be there with me to absorb it all, as I did. I'll do my best to explain and throw in a few pictures along the way.

During my first few days I spent most of my time with my daughter, her husband, and their two children, my grandchildren. I held my new grandson in my arms and kissed him, the bond being made complete. I played with my granddaughter, almost two years old and she is so much fun.

I spent a lot of time during my stay helping my daughter out by feeding the baby and he slept many times on my chest. That was cool! I got wore out playing with my granddaughter too. She talks more now and understands many new phrases. I did double-duty several times: feeding my grandson on one side and holding my granddaughter on the other. My daughter told me I am an official grandfather now!

On Friday, July 11th I met up with Fred Gellman whom I haven't seen since August 1968! We spent several hours that night covering many topics. It won't be so long between our next visits. Earlier that day I met separately with Bob Katzman, Mike Regent, and my partner, in Newbound, Inc., Marc Raiser.

On Sunday, July 13th, I met Anna Kong at the Old Orchard Shopping Mall and spent about an hour catching up after nearly 40 years as well. I've known Anna since 1958. I invited her to my afternoon gathering in Munster, Indiana and she accepted the invitation. We first drove together in my daughter's car to the far south side of Chicago and met up with Bill Artus at the South Shore Inn. There Anna, Bill, and I spent a couple hours laughing about the old days we spent together in high school. Anna and Bill are shown below.

Then about four in the afternoon, we all drove to the Munster, Indiana Applebee's to meet up with Angel Rodriguez, Mr. Tomczak, and my brother, Rusty. Both Angel and I hadn't seen Mr. Tomczak since June 1977! The picture below was taken of all of us the largest booth Applebee's had.

We sure had a lot of fun that day. We all had stories to tell. Anna heard about some of my close calls and decide to give me the nickname, Nine Lives. About 6:30 in the evening we ended the gathering and I drove Anna back to her car at the Old Orchard Shopping Mall. She and I had a wonderful conversation and our friendship was renewed that day.

Last Friday night, July 19th, about 20 people, mostly Bowen 1968 graduates met in Chicago's Millennium Park at the Gershwin Concert for our 1968 40th class reunion. The picture at the top of this page is one of the many pictures taken that night. When I have some time this coming week, I will post more of the pictures from the event.

It was a chance to meet up with Fred, Bill, Anna, Bob Koppel, Bob Katzman, Rick Munden, Suzy Fox (event organizer), Steve Monroe, and more former classmates. Many of us are also from the same elementary school, so we have known each other for almost 50 years!

I spent some time talking with Anna's husband, Mark Nelson, who is an established artist, a really nice and great guy. Mark has a cool web site GringoLandiaStudio. Mark's traveled the world and is an advocate for the rights of all.

Before I end this message I wanted to tell this funny story about what happened at my daughters house. First I'll display two pictures that provide the setting.

Being a grandfather is a wonderful experience. It also provides situations that can be somewhat humorous, if not embarrassing. It started when my granddaughter brought her two yellow chairs to a position a couple feet in front of the TV set in the front room.

At that point my daughter asked me if I would like to sit next to her and read her one of books. I agreed and took my seat. I asked my granddaughter to retrieve one of her many, many books and bring it to me to read to her. Being the attentive child she is, she did that. Then she stepped away from the chairs to do something else. In the very next moment, my daughter started a short conversation with me. It lasted about two minutes and then the lull in the conversation was reached.

At that point my granddaughter was still not sitting next to me, but I unconsciously started leafing through the book of shapes, one big shape per page with the name of the shape in a large font. Truth be told, I was reading the shapes to myself. After about three pages, I realized I was reading the book and said out loud, what am I reading this book for? It was at the same instant my daughter saw what I was doing and we both started to laugh about it. Some grandfather lessons are harder to accept than others.


Here is today's Digital Insight.

Friendship Transcends Time (Created in December 2000)

I created this image after I spoke with my friend of 45 years, Fred Gellman. We had lost track of one-another for 32 years, but a strange twist-of-fate brought us together again. We picked up where we left off back in August 1968 and spoke for over three hours long-distance catching up. Fred and I have had amazing conversations since then on several topics. Not everyone from one's past are so eager to renew friendships; cherish the one's that do. Using my own words, I quote a portion from that page's narration:

"Some people forget. Some people say they forget. Some people don't care. Finding even one friend that appreciates another after a long interval is gratifying and I take solace in that."


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