From: Mike Moore mikemoore@airlift.com
Subject: annual letter

I'm probably one of the poorest communicators among all of you. I seem to get so involved with life that my communication is oral instead of written. In any case, here's a letter that we recenty sent to a number of friends reviewing our lives over the past year.

February '97 was a momentous month in our lives: Hopi's son, Grant, was born; Mande became pregnant ; Nicole became engaged to Gray Behrhorst whom she married in September; and Ann and I had a truly life transforming 2 weeks at the Pritikin Institute in Santa Monica.

Grant's birth was a happening with Chris, 2 other friends, Ann and I present to coach, encourage, take pictures and videos and generally cheer Hopi through the entire process. We've shared a wonderful 11 months since then following his growth and Hopi and Chris's challenges with the delight of grandparents that can only be understood if you are one. Most recently, we had our first day of childcare which was surprisingly like preparing a major role for the stage. From the moment that we were asked, our apprehensions, anxiety, and self-doubt knew no limits; the minute that Hopi and Chris walked out the door, (and Grant didn't fuss) it was as if we were center stage in complete control.

Preparations for the wedding of Nicole and Gray preoccupied us at home from March until September. We had a garden wedding in our back yard followed by a reception in a tent on our volleyball court with the same rock 'n roll band that had played at Mande's wedding 4 years ago, and the celebration came off without a hitch. They live barely 10 minutes from us, and we are able to share lots of good times together.

Gavin was born on Wednesday evening prior to the October blizzard that shut down the Denver airport. Ann and I were not able to get to Chicago until Sunday evening, but we then spent a wonderful week with Mande, Dave and Gavin, and enjoyed more of their company when they visited us for a week over the Xmas holidays. Mande worked right up until Gavin's birth, but then resigned from Leo Burnett to be a full time mom. The transformation of her presence and the happiness in her face is spectacular. We had seen stress in her face and eyes for the past 4 or 5 years and sensed that it was related to her high pressured job; the cause is confirmed and we can report that she has returned to the Mande of yore.

My brother, Chas, took Ann and me to the Pritikin Longevity Center for a two week stay. I had previously heard of the Pritikin diet, but when compared with Scarsdale's steaks and lamb chops, it never caught my fancy. In any case, I anticipated that after two weeks I could lose 20 pounds and turn myself into a sort of "virtual smoke and mirrors"! You would have difficulty seeing me depending upon which profile I displayed. Ann has always been more conscious than me regarding our diet, and she looked forward to us achieving sensible weights as much as learning how to cook and to maintain desirable weight levels.

Instead, we transformed our lifestyles with diet and exercise. Rather than losing 20 pounds, I only lost 6 pounds, but I turned my blood pressure into an ultra-lite stealth version in which the doc on the other end of the stethoscope either could not find it or was astonished how low it was. And, I dropped the four high blood pressure medications I had been taking for the past 15 years. 19 more pounds came off in the following 2 months, and they and the blood pressure medication have stayed away ever since (except for a few pounds that returned during the excesses of Thanksgiving-New Years, but they're disappearing again with ease). We are both on the treadmill 5 or 6 times a week and enjoying terrific health and energy.

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Ann's brother, Dale, has realized remarkable progress with his cancer since beginning the treatment program at the National Cancer Institute in November '96. Following extensive treatment in an experimental taxol program for several months, he regained much of his former energy and spirits and has shared his remarkable experience and journey toward likely death with friends and family in both journals and personal visits. We had a very special visit with him and his wife, Ruth, in early November when they visited us in Evergreen and reaffirmed wonderful love and closeness with us.

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The verdict in the first OJ Simpson trial awakened us to the astonishing chasm that exists between white and black America in perceptions of fairness and justice, and we were as white as others ---- all the more distressing when we realized how far we had moved from sensibilities that were part of our african Peace Corps experience and 60s civil rights and poverty program focus.

A few months later, we read in interesting article in Sojourners magazine describing a fruitful diversity dialogue involving black and white citizens in a major American city. We shared the article with our minister and proposed that our church take the initiative to establish such a dialogue with a black church in Denver. The idea was tabled temporarily while the church focused on a capital fund drive that was just starting, but last June we were invited to a meeting that became the steering committee for A Season for Nonviolence, a project into which we have become completely immersed, and through which our diversity dialogue idea is moving toward a magnitude that we had never imagined.

A Season for Nonviolence was conceived by Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, to focus upon the Gandhian principles that have proven so effective in resolving many conflicts throughout the world. Arun approached the executive director of the Association for Global New Thought who persuaded the association to become a cosponsor, and later leadership of the Martin Luther King Institute joined in the cosponsorship. Our Mile Hi Church has accepted leadership of the celebration in metro Denver with a variety of other organizations joining as local cosponsors.

The Season will be celebrated from January 30th, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Gandhi, until April 4th, the 30 anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination. A variety of activities are being planned in the Denver area, and Ann and I have led a committee that is creating diversity dialogues involving many people from throughout metro Denver. We hope through these dialogues that we will move our community closer to understanding and respecting one another's uniqueness. We have invited participation from groups that would reach into virtually every kind of racial, ethnic, social and economic interest that can be imagined, and we are hopeful that they will all choose to participate.

You'll find below and on the other side of this page a copy of a brochure that has been developed stating 64 ways to think and act non-violently. The brochure commemorates the 64 days from 30 January until 4 April.

Arun Gandhi was with us for 4 days through the weekend of January 18th, and his visit significantly increased community awareness and interest in our efforts. He is an extraordinary soft-spoken, understated person with such power and courage in his message that listeners are emboldened to be proactively nonviolent.

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Upon learning that Mande, Dave and Gavin were coming to spend a week at Christmas, Hopi and Chris said they wanted to come, too. Nicole and Gray did, too, and our holiday turned into a magical extended sleepover with all of us sharing a communion and reaffirmation of our family bonds exceeding all expectations. We are blessed with beautiful harmonies of spirit, friendship and music as our original family blossoms with many new and diverse petals.

Mike Moore
Air Lift Unlimited,
1212 Kerr Gulch,
Evergreen, CO 80439
303-526-0132
fax 303-526-1760

 

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