any picture to see the enlargement
late May, we joined most of Ann's family in Madison, Wisconsin for
her oldest son, James "J.B." Stout's graduation from the
Madison Area Techincal College. J.B. got a degree in graphic design
and headed shortly there after to Portland, Oregon to seek his fortune
as a commercial artist.
in Madison gave us a chance to visit with Ann's parents, and Ann's
other son, Robert, came up from Savannah (where he's studying at
the Savannah College of Art & Design - it turns out both of
these boys are pretty talented...). While we were in Maidson we
had a very....ummm... uniquel experience staying at a place called
"The Enchanted Valley" bed and breakfast. We have stayed
at a lot of B&Bs in our travels over the years, but this was
far and away the most unusual.
last report, gainful employment still eludes J.B. but he's found a
girlfriend and says he loves Portland.. Neither of us has ever been
to Portland, so we hope that JB stays out there long enough for us
to make a visit in 2003. This
just in: as of December 17, we're pleased to announce that J.B.
is "gainfully employed" with.... doing.... but that's all
we know at the moment.
One fringe benefit of our trip to Madison, we got to talking about
the way things are arranged in our little house. Ann's big complaint
was there was no place where she could sit and read or work and look
out the window and watch the birds and squrrells. So we turned the
whole house around, putting the dining room in the little-used space
adjacent to the kitchen, and converting the dining room in to a sitting
space we call "the consuhvatorah" (this is the south, after
sooner was the rearranging done then Paul got a call from Pem Farnsworth,
widow of the subject of Paul's book, "The Boy Who Invented Television."
Pem had a few notes she wanted to pass on so that all the facts would
be straight... so Paul was off to Fort Wayne, Indiana for a couple
Come the 4th of July, we polished up
and entered it in the Pegram 4th of July Parade.
That evening, we took about 40 of our closest friends to Greer
Stadium for the Nashville Sounds (Triple-A) baseball games. Old
Chevy trucks, baseball, hotdogs and fireworks... what more could
you ask for on the 4th of July?
August, amid all our frolicking around the globe, we got a dose
of the imponderable uncertainties of this life when Paul's mother,
passed away suddenly on Saturday, August 17. It all started at about
11:30 that morning when Paul received a frantic call from his sister
Dorothy in Greenwich, CT. Mom was in the hospital and "not
doing very well." He made frantic reservations to fly to her
side that afteroon, but by the time the arrangements were made,
it was too late. At noon, another call came informing him that Ellen
Leone Gould Schatzkin Stein Mansbach (that's a maiden name and three
married names) had departed this world.
event was totally sudden and unanticipated. Mom was 81 years old
and in good health, so far as we knew, but had been feeling poorly
that week; her condition worsened that Saturday morning and she
finally agreed to go to the hospital. To make a long story short,
the initial diagnosis was heart failure due to pericarditus (an
inflammation of the membrane around the heart). After a more detailed
autopsy, the medical examiners discovered that she had been suffering
from undiagnosed non-hodgkins lymphoma. In other words, she died
of cancer that she never knew she had. A blessing in disquise, but
that doesn't make it any easier to take. We all expected to have
many more years of her company, and miss her much.
memorial service was held in Norfolk, Virginia, and then Paul and
his brother, his sister, and their spouses and kids converged a
few weeks later in Rumson New Jersey to grant one of Ellen's final
wishes: that her ashes be spread in the town where we all grew up,
where she enjoyed the happiest years of her adult life with our
father, Harvey Schatzkin. The wish was something that was conveyed
sort-of-matter of factly in a conversation between Ellen & Paul.
Nobody could imagine at the time that this "last wish"
would be fulfilled so soon...
Maybe all the preceding has no place in a cheerful
Holiday Newsletter, but hey, this is life, and sh*t happens.
wait... there's still more....