ANNUAL NEWSLETTER - 2003

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Dear Friends

I admit that I only see occasional emails in our chat room. I'm simply too busy to spend the time engaging to the degree of many of you. I enjoy the give and take that I observe, and look forward to seeing many of you at our reunion in '06

We just received Nicole's valentine in the form of her annual letter to friends. Following in her footsteps, we hope that you receive this before Easter.

FAMILY We and our daughters were all married on Labor Day weekend, and we celebrated our third, fifth, seventh and fortieth anniversaries with a big family reunion. The first condition from our daughters was that it NOT be at home, because Ann and I are constantly puttering.

They were right.

We found a condominium on the web in Summit County (Copper/Breckenridge/Keystone Resorts) and it was perfect for all ages and interests: bicycle path out our door to all of the resorts; tennis; indoor swimming; hiking and sharing.

Mande and her family came from Illinois with T-shirts commemorating the reunion. Nicole and hers came from Kansas City, and Mac at 1 1/2 wanted to do everything that his older cousins did. Hopi and her family came between graduation and new job.

Hopi's current activities began when she did relief work at ground zero after 9/11, became enthralled with law enforcement, resigned from Weego last June to attend Police Academy at Colorado State University, finished training in September and hired on with the Loveland Police Department as a Community Service Officer. She's now in training with them, finding out about the discipline and hierarchy of a quasi-military organization (not a familiar experience) and finds herself at the bottom of the hierarchy as a trainee. Her vision remains at the top and beyond. We're all pulling for her to become chief someday, but there will be a number of steps along the way.

NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION (NPCA) We went to Washington to celebrate the 40+1 anniversary of the Peace Corps. The celebration had originally been scheduled for October 2001, and was postponed by 9/11. I also began my term on the board of directors of the NPCA representing Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico and West Texas. The NPCA is the alumni association for returned Peace Corps Volunteers and former staff. We have around 15,000 members out of over 165,000 prospects. Membership building is a major goal.

INVOLVEMENT IN COMMUNITY Community activism, activity in politics, etc. have taken a significant turn over the past 40 years. It's increasingly difficult to find volunteers to do things that we so easily pursued before, and now no one has time. Whether it's casting a musical production in Evergreen or finding RPCVs to lobby congress on behalf of the Peace Corps, the most common response is that folks are too busy.

Speaking of which, Ann and I are so darn busy we can hardly keep up with ourselves. This reincarnation of Snugli as Weego (www.weego.com) has us behaving like 30 year olds with the energy of 60 year olds, and it's tough sledding. Nicole is now the Weego front off ice person, but she'll have a new baby in March which will significantly limit her availability. We're increasingly in a mode to treat Weego as we did Snugli in its early days, letting it grow organically by word of mouth, seizing opportunities when they arise, and letting the market set its course.

FIRES IN THE ROCKIES For years I've wondered why people live in areas of hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados and floods and always move back whenever disaster hits. I was never sure what explained such behaviour. Now I know. Our threat from nature was fire, and the sadness with which we prepared our evacuation plan brought us face to face with the subliminal connection that we have to our home, and the profound commitment to stay and care for it, even in the face of such overwhelming circumstances.

PERFORMING IN THE CHRISTMAS SEASON We found ourselves on a performance schedule that plumbed our depths in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ann, Hopi and I appeared as guest artists with the Evergreen Children's Chorale in their December show celebrating songs from around the world. We taught them several of our African, Mexican, and Caribbean songs and tossed in a couple of yodels for good measure. Hopi's son Grant even joined us for one of the performances - his first at the age of 5.

The Evergreen Chorale's holiday concert came a week later, and then Baroque Folke's holiday concert on Sunday evening before Christmas.

Photos that followed in the letter are going to John Douglas. He might put them up on the class website.  (photographs will be added shortly - jd)

 

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