Well it’s feeling an awful lot like Christmas…” and it is this year. It’s cold for once and we send our 2000 holiday wishes to all of you. We are really upbeat and in the mood for the season. After all, it is now 3:00 in the afternoon, 31 degrees out, the Browns playing the Titans in the snow, and we might even have a president. How much more Christmassy can you get?
I am no longer teaching, and this may have something to do with it. It is not like we are not busy, but it is nice to do things on our own schedule. So, have I retired? If so, I think I have failed miserably. It is all because I chair the Athens-Clarke County Community Tree Council formed this year. We are establishing (by grant) a mapping and information management program driven by computer software written by George’s wife, Karen. So we have had a good time working together (Ha, Ha).
In a more far-reaching activity, Bruce joined Joyce and me on a trip to New Haven to help celebrate brother Dick’s retirement from Yale University. We had the added benefit of spending two nights with Gordon and Martha in Fairfield, only 25 miles or so from the New Haven gig. We had fun while they helped us locate family plots in the local burial ground (Mountain Grove), in Bridgeport. Why this diversion into antiquity? Well Bruce has installed a copy of “Family Tree Maker” on his computer and has been hot on the trail of putting two (or is it three, or four) family trees together.
Part of his motivation for the trip was to meet members of the family and to try to figure out who went with whom. He has made remarkable progress with some real surprises. I guess it was appropriate therefore, that Dick’s retirement dinner was served in the Dinosaur room of the Peabody Museum. I other less geologic news, in late May we made our annual pilgrimage to Tribune, KS to visit Diane and family. I guess we did OK last year since there wasn’t much repair work to do. So we relaxed and had a great time. From there we traveled west via Durango and Mesa Verde National Monument, to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. On the way we stopped by the Great American Sand Dunes National Monument, and drove through Monument Valley. Hard to describe all this, you really need to see it.
Thank heavens we did get to see Mesa Verde before those devastating summer fires ravaged the whole area. We made a big turn from Zion and came home via Hoover Dam, the Petrified Forest (I somehow related), Albuquerque and Oklahoma City. Oh, in the “it’s later than you think” department, one fine day in June, Karen, kids and Alyssa (she is no kid anymore) came to Athens to guess what? Check out the University as a real candidate for Alyssa next year. Somehow or other, that event made the old bones creak even more than they already do. Don’t know what the outcome will be, but we are excited about the prospect.
Finally, our traveling year ended with a trip to Pensacola, FL, for the 25th anniversary of the Navy Hurricane Hunters (all done by Air force now). It was held at the U.S. Navy Air Museum at the Naval Air Station. What a fascinating facility. I really didn’t think I would see anyone I knew, but much to my surprise, there were several. We had a great time reminiscing and swapping lies. We hope you are all well and looking forward to as wonderful a 2001 as we are
Joyce and Bob
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