santa cruz wharf

29 September 2009

ya’ know… I like his movies too… but an Academy Award is not a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card.

under the heading of forewarned is forearmed…I take the subject of sexual abuse of children extremely seriously.  There are no circumstances under which it is acceptable or humorous. 

Having artistic talent does not give anyone the right to drug and rape a thirteen year old child. Polanski raped a child. There is no question he did it.  To this day, he admits it himself.

Just because French politicians, Swiss Cultural Councils, and various American actors and actresses have voted him Mr. Congeniality, does not erase the fact that Roman Polanski has violated a little girl.

Should every artist of considerable talent not be held to the same laws of the land and basic human decency?  If he had only been nominated for an award, should he only have to serve half of his sentence?

Would it be okay with you if Michael Moore used beer and a roofie to forcibly sodomize a thirteen year old daughter, sister, niece in your family?

Should every surviving family member who had relatives slaughtered by the atrocity of the Holocaust be allowed to violate a young girl and not be punished?

Having a spouse and unborn child murdered is horrific. But should that give someone a free pass to forcibly sodomize someone else’s child?

If after pleading guilty, if a child rapist uses their resources to escape arrest for thirty years, should that conviction disappear? 

Polanski gave a series of interviews in the late 1970’s. In one he claimed the reason his case had so much media appeal was,

“But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”

So basically because Polanski thinks everyone else wants to commit sexual child abuse, he should be allowed to.

A politician who has a consensual adult love affair outside of his marriage is battered incessantly, vilified in the media…but a film director should be allowed to sexually abuse a young girl?

Professional athletes go to prison for drug use and animal abuse. But a film director should not be punished for raping a child?

He ran to France, because he was afraid his crimes were subject to “heavy sentencing.”  For thirty years he has thumbed his nose at the United States of America.

I understand he is sorry now. But that does not give his treatment of that girl to go without consequences and without legal punishment. It does not erase fleeing after conviction because he thought he’d have to go to prison.

25 September 2009

Looking at the sky on Friday ~ clearlake morn (15)

LookingattheskyTime to play “Looking at the sky on Friday” with Tisha again…it’s fun to go over to her site, “Crazy Working Mom” and see what is going on with her.

Most of my sky pictures are in the evening…this one was taken in the early morning at Clearlake last month… while people were sleeping…and…

…while things were booting and steeping.
LATSOF 2009.09.25
Thanks to Little Missy for having The Teamster and me up to the weekend with her Novio and his familia. 

22 September 2009

letter box

I have finally taken possession of my letter box.

The letter box has been “mine” since January of 2001 although my Mama hasn’t been able to give it up to me until now. 

xletter box 09
A small, shellacked wooden box, it’s brass hinges bent. The magenta satin lining, faded and stained, holding letters.

Handwritten letters, seventy years old. 
My grandmother’s wooden box.
My grandfather’s letters.

When the stroke took Gramma without warning, it was no surprise she had everything written out. She liked things to be as she wanted… she wouldn’t have left any detail to chance.  On different kinds of paper…in different colored inks.  Added to over the years as things occurred to her.  Which dress she wanted to be buried in…the hymns to be played and scriptures to be shared.  Her handwritten notes included a schedule and sequence of how she wanted her memorial service to be held.  It was followed to the letter… as best they could. Her list of pallbearers was outdated. It included two of her grandsons who had “preceded her in death,”…and the minister at Congress Street Methodist had long since retired…replaced by some new guy nobody knew.

There was a hodgepodge list of “who gets what”… a specific piece of jewelry for each of her granddaughters, a candy dish, a treasured bell, the collected Liberty Dollars by birth year. The Grands had never owned things that cost a great deal, but every item on her list held sentimental value.  One of the seemingly inconsequential items listed was a “wood box of letters” with “katherine” written next to it.

I didn’t know when Gramma decided the wood box of letters would come to me.  But I knew why.

It was way back, one of those rare summers when we went “home.”

Going home meant Lafayette, Indiana, although I had never actually lived there myself.  I clearly recall the crazy cross country Christmas trips with my cousins…nine or ten of us in the yellow Plymouth Fury station wagon…long before min-vans, childseats, SUVs, or seatbelt laws.  However, I have very few recollections of the two or three childhood summertimes in Indiana. They have been overshadowed by adult memories when most all of the trips were in June. I do remember making ice cream in an old, hand cranked freezer….watching thunderstorms and capturing lightening bugs…all that must have been summer.

I was a fairly social child…a bit of a clown. I got along okay with my cousins…but we lived thousands of miles apart…and our worlds had little in common. 

group on stoop 
(I’m the only one looking at my Dad’s camera…
and apparently the the only one not wearing dressy shoes?)

Occasionally, I suffered from sensory overload when three dozen family members were under the same roof.  So every once in a while, I had to go hermit. It was one of these times I had snuck upstairs to be by myself.  The afternoon heat was oppressive in an old house with no air-conditioning.  I angled the room’s small electric fan and a second one I stole from the other bedroom, to blow on me.  Lying on my belly at the foot of the bed, I escaped into one of the books I had lugged cross country.

At some point I rolled over in exaggerated exasperation with the heat and humidity. Throwing my arms out and letting my head dangle off the side of the bed, I was looking up into the open closet. The different perspective revealed something I had never noticed before. On the left wall, hidden behind the hanging clothes, was another door. I jumped up to investigate.
Typical Indiana grandparent off season wardrobes hung in the closet…long, heavy wool coats, sweaters, and Papa’s winter work clothes reeking of moth balls.  It took two hands and all my little girl strength to shove the hangers over.  A whole pile of folded quilts were stacked on the floor…I drug them out into the room.  I had to reach up on my tippy toes to grab the bit of string attached to the bare light bulb.

The door was slightly smaller than normal.  Professionally framed with a turn latch. I opened it slowly, cringing when it creaked. I peaked inside and thrilled with my find. An ATTIC!!  A Secret Attic no less. I was very proud at the cleverness of my discovery.  I started to go inside but it was too dark,  I could see the space stretching out to the front eves of the house.  There were shadows of boxes and unrecognizable shapes balanced on two by fours.

I had long since graduated from Nancy Drew…but I’d learned a lot from that girl.  I needed a flashlight. And I needed to sneak it.  I shut the attic door and put the quilts back so no one would discover what I had found.  Turning off the light and closing the closet, I headed downstairs.  Neighbors, aunts, uncles and a dozen cousins, I was just one more kid in the mix. 

I strolled through the living room trying to appear innocent and bored…and as if not on a mission. I paused in the kitchen, watching the poker game.  There was always at least one table of cards underway. Even as a kid, if you weren’t dealt in… you were still interested in who was raking in the cash. On a really good day you could make four or five dollars. I stood at the table, watched the action and nodded wisely along with the play.  In truth, I was there to scope out the flashlight.  As I suspected, it was on the top of the fridge.  Even if I could reach it, someone would ask what I wanted it for.  No way could I climb up the stool without notice.  Especially considering Uncle Chuck was sitting on the stool at the time. 

Nonchalantly, I headed to the basement.  Stored there were toys, old prom dresses, and canned goods.  It had a laundry area and a moldy cinderblock shower.   In a separate room, behind the scary old boiler was my Papa’s tool bench.  I KNEW a flashlight would be down there that I could get my hands on unobserved.  My brother and some of my younger cousins were playing around at the foot of the stairs.  Thinking back now…it was probably harder to sneak anything past them than past the adults.

I worked my way through the maze of the basement, until I was in Papa’s work room.  It was officially off limits unless you had Papa with you…but the other kids were paying me no never mind.  A big black flashlight stood proudly on the far back corner of the work bench.  I grabbed it,  perplexed. I was wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers.  How could I smuggle this through the house ?  WWND? (What Would Nancy Do?)  I had to find something to carry up with me to hide the flashlight.  Something I was “allowed” to be carrying around…something no one would question. 

In the corner by the washing machine was a stack of old magazines, Good Housekeeping, RedBook, Ladies Home Journal, National Seed Corn. I held a few in my arm up against my chest, hiding the flashlight. Brilliant. I was able to retrace my steps without notice.  I was always reading.  I’d been known to get into trouble for reading too much. Me getting something to read was pretty common place.

Back upstairs I was quick to pull the pile of quilts out and reopen the hidden door. Armed with the flashlight I stepped carefully onto boards which had been laid across the rafters. I knew better than to step between the two by fours and fall through the ceiling into the living room.  I also knew to step quietly so those below me wouldn’t hear. There were boxes of old shoes and hats.  A couple full of books and magazines. Mostly old stuff in a home that would have never considered a garage sale. 

Everything had that film of dirty dust and cobwebby stickiness.  I was rummaging around none too carefully…digging through a bunch of old stuff when I found the wooden box. Kinda junky to my California eye…but interesting nonetheless. I pulled it out and opened the brass hasp.  Tucked inside were pages of lined paper folded up.  I couldn’t see well enough to read them… but I did recognize my grandfather’s handwriting. I lunge stepped back over the rafters and through the closet into the daylight. I sat indian style on the floor and gingerly opened up the letters.

papa lettter one
Even so young, I immediately recognized the intimacy of Papa’s words. I instinctively knew reading them was wrong, but I couldn’t pull myself away.
papa letter two 
Words of love and longing interspersed with the daily recollections of work and meals. 

papa letters threeYoung husband and wife apart.  He in Indiana. Her in Tennessee with the babies as her mother was dying. He was struggling to find enough work to send her money for milk…and to repay the $25 loan for her emergency train ticket south.

the old homeplace                   (the old homeplace, Tazewell,Tennessee)

I read every page over and over.  I refolded each one and placed them back into the wooden box.  Not so junky to me now, I wrapped it up in an old woolen shirt and carefully put it back in a cardboard box. Out through the hidden doorway and into the closet, putting everything back to rights. I stowed the flashlight under the quilts for future use, and turned out the light.

Washing off the dust I was still immersed in the letters.  My preteen sensitivities to young love torn apart was off the charts. The thought of not having enough money to buy MILK, for crying out loud. MK at homeplaceThe thought of my own Mama as a toddler, without milk. I couldn’t get out of my mind the raw, unsophisticated words of my lonely grandfather in his early twenties, struggling to be a man and take care of his family…and longing for his young wife.

(my Mama at the homeplace)

Back downstairs I sought out my Gramma.  She was sitting in her chair in the living room…holding court no doubt.  I just sat next to her, with her patting my arm, while she talked away. 

My Grandparents loved me to pieces…but I was third of thirteen grandchildren…and we lived the farthest away.  I always knew my other cousins were closer to our Grandparents…but at that moment I felt as if I shared a special secret with them. And I felt more than a little guilty for prying. I was raised to be honest…and to own up when you did something you shouldn’t have done.  Although inadvertently, I had violated their privacy and it was bothering me. And…I wanted to know more.  Part of me wanted to tell my Gramma I had read the letters to absolve my guilt…and part of me wanted to confess so she would tell me her side of the story. 

I waited until there was a lull, when we were just about alone, and told her I’d found the Secret Attic.  She said it was just full of old clothes and too dangerous to play in.  I probably gave her a “yeah whatEVer” response…I wasn’t one of the little kids after all and I knew what I was doing. And then…I told her I found her letter box. 

It took her a minute to realize what I was talking about. She was smiling and saying how long ago it all was. Chances are pretty good she was using words like “land sakes chile” and “heavens to goodness.”  I remember starting to cry and saying… “but you didn’t have any money to buy milk for the babies” and quoting other parts of the letters. 

She hugged me and told me to go get the box. I ran back upstairs and went though all the steps in record time.

It occurred to me I could get into some serious trouble from my own Mama or her sisters for my little escapade.  At home it would have been no problem…but it was a different gig in Indiana.  I had to abide by the rules my aunts and uncles imposed on my cousins. It would be another decade before I clued in on the reasons behind that family dynamic. 

Cradling the letter box with reverence, I walked directly to my Gramma.  She opened it gently and glanced through each page.  I had seen her cry before.  Waving as a car pulled away…when we were going home to California…or when they were going home to Indiana. 

But I had never sat next to her with tears in her eyes.

papa letters 6

Her hand at her lips and nodding slowly she read through each page.  Halfway looking up she called out “Clyde…Clyde, come over here… look what this child’s found.”

papa letters 7 
I wished she’d hush up, but it was too late.  Papa came over and looked at the box, not immediately taking in the letters. “now where’d ya git that?”

My investigative pride won out over fear of punishment.  “I found the Secret Attic upstairs” I whispered, creating a little conspiracy.  “It’s okay….I didn’t tell anyone”  As if that would make it acceptable. I was without blame.  As if me traipsing through the attic was common place and  perfectly alright.

Papa just looked at me. 
A bit exasperated.  Not surprised.

I wasn’t their normal grandchild. It wasn’t about me really…it was more about how they felt about my Mama and what they thought about my father.  I know that now. Thirty years later, after Gramma passed I spent time in Indiana. We all did.  Then at the low point in my life, I went to Tennessee while Papa was there.  And he would come to California often.  During those times, he and I would talk about a great many things.

It only took a glance for Papa to recognize those letters.  He went from exasperated to annoyed to irritated in point-oh-one seconds. Uh Oh. Gramma handed one letter up to Papa.  Her face sweet…his face soft.  And I was crying again. 

papa letters 5 
He glanced at me embarrassed…not at my tears, but that I had read his words from so long ago.

papa letters four
I remember them talking to one another…but not what they were saying.  It was the murmurings of two longtime lovers and their remembrances.

It was amazing the three of us could sit there for so long uninterrupted. Or maybe it actually wasn’t as long as my memory reflects.  I don’t recall how the conversation ended.  Or what happened to the letter box after that.  I didn’t get into any trouble.  No one told my parents and neither of my aunts berated me. However, I was forbidden to go back into the attic. 

me goofing
Well, sheesh. 

I knew they weren’t serious about THAT.

I snuck into the Secret Attic more than once over the next several days. Looking for more treasure. Imagining complicated episodes of family lore. I remember sporting an old fedora.  I wore it around one day…and eventually gave it up to my brother (who was ALWAYS wearing some sort of hat.)  My Dad asked where it came from.  I didn’t want to lie…but couldn’t confess the Secret Attic.  I told him I got it upstairs in a closet…and Papa snorted from across the room. I wasn’t fooling Papa, he knew where the hat came from.  But he didn’t rat me out to my father. 

At one point we spent a couple days at my cousins’ house. When we got back to The Grands’ I repeated my now familiar routine of shoving over the clothes and dragging out the quilts…..and…whoa!!   A shiny, brand new, brass latch with padlock had been recently installed on the door to my Secret Attic. I just stared. And then I smiled.  I had an idea.

It didn’t take much rummaging in my Gramma’s bathroom cabinet before I found the bobbie pins.  I would pick the lock of course.  I was on a roll...channeling Nancy.  Back upstairs I prepared my tool.  (meaning I pried open the bobbie pin and pulled off the rubber tips with my teeth.)

I twisted and tweaked the end of the bobbie pin in that lock.  I gently probed with one end and two.  I jammed it in and tried to force the padlock open.  I worked on it for almost an hour.  Nothin’.

Totally frustrated with failure I put everything back.  I stomped downstairs looking for my Grandfather.  In the kitchen getting coffee, he hardly looked up when I plopped onto a chair.  He asked me something and I ignored him…sitting with my arms tightly folded and glaring at him through squinted eyes.  My impression of “boy am I angry with you.”  He finally noticed my attitude, and picked up right away what was going on.  He had that smirk on his face.  He knew why I was bent out of shape and was right pleased with himself.  I just glared at him as he left the room, laughing.

Over the next few days I tried to return to my Secret Attic.  I kept going back, checking the door…still lamenting on being locked out. I poked around in drawers looking for the key to the padlock.  I examined both my Gramma’s and my Papa’s key rings…to no avail.

Belatedly, I realized the flashlight I had hidden in the quilts was missing.  I assumed Papa had found it and I went to the basement for confirmation.  Sigh. Sure enough…there it was, back in its place.   Messing with the stuff on Papa’s tool bench was a far greater crime than being in the attic. But he hadn’t even mentioned me swiping the flashlight.

Suddenly, I caught my breath. Adrenaline raced through my body.  There…all neatly lined up by type and size was his formidable collection of SCREWDRIVERS.  Everything clicked into place.  I closed my eyes picturing that blasted latch which had kept me from my haven. Guessing the size needed,  I grabbed a couple screwdrivers,  tucked them into my waistband and covered them up with my shirt.

I practically flew up from the basement, through the living room and on to the second floor.  If he had seen me, Papa would have known what I was up to.  Apparently he did not.  To this day, I remember the gleeful exhilaration as I removed the screws one by one.  I WAS IN.  HA!  One little brass latch was no match for ME…padlock or not!  It was all rather powerful.

I had to keep it secret this time. I was now violating actual mandate. I knew they thought it was a safety thing.  That I would get hurt…or cause damage.  I had been fortunate that my parents hadn’t become involved.  Papa had told me to stay out and I hadn’t.  He had spent money to buy a new latch and lock to keep me out.  I had now become disrespectful and disobedient. But even worse…I couldn’t tell anyone.  I was so very pleased with myself for getting back in.  And nobody else even knew.

I carefully timed my Secret Attic visits so they didn’t realize I was back in.  The Grands took a nap most afternoons, (that’s another story) so it was easy to schedule.  Sometimes I’d just sit and day dream.  Sometimes I’d eavesdrop on conversations below. Sometimes I’d bring in the flashlight and read my own books. Mostly I just took pleasure with being IN my Secret Attic.

Eventually it was time to go home to California.  I thought about reinstalling the latch. I wanted to claim my victory but was seriously concerned about punishment.  Not from my Gramma or Papa…I was worried my Dad would somehow get wind of my little adventure.  That would not be good.  My father demanded we act appropriately in my Grandparents’ home.  The opinion his inlaws had of his children was very important to my father.

The morning we left I came down to breakfast.  As usual Papa was at the stove making biscuits and gravy.  I went around the table, and surreptitiously left the brass latch, padlock, and all the screws on the counter next to the sink.  I sat down and watched my Papa cook. It was crowded in the kitchen.  More’n half dozen people…most of them talking at the same time. Not me. I just watched.  Wearing what we now call a wife beater…he was a man who never raised a hand to a woman or loved one.  Been in quite a few “scaps” as he called them… he had kicked ass.  He worked in construction at the time and had pretty buff arms and shoulders.  But there he was, like every other morning, cooking.

As he reached to the counter for another plate, Papa hesitated. I knew he’d seen my handiwork. He was back at the stove. I stared at him.  He turned with a full plate and looked me square in the eye.  I raised my eyebrows and had my own little smirk. He set the plate down in front of me with a big ole grin, and shook the spatula in my face.  He was laughing as he turned back to the stove.

We never talked about my ingenuity. But a year or two later, the next time I went “home” the door to my Secret Attic had been nailed shut.  Completely shut. A dozen or more nails all around the doorjam. Damn. It was a Christmas trip and the house was overflowing with family.  It took a while for me to have enough alone time to pull each nail out. But the hammer was easier to come by, being kept in the hall closet and all. I was disappointed the challenge seemed so simple.

christmas cousins          (again….I’m the only one looking at my Dad’s camera)

I only waited a day or two this time.  I put the nails in the same place by the sink at breakfast time…and he just stared at me and shook his head.  Later he took me aside and explained he nailed it up because my Gramma was afraid the “young ’ns” would go in and “git real hurt.”  My Gramma was a world class worrier. Personally, I doubted  anyone else would be so clever as to discover my Secret Attic….but, I promised not to let anyone know…and he left it at that.  My Gramma spoke to me too. She had imagined several disaster scenarios. Telling me how the old house wouldn’t support the weight of a bunch of kids playing around up there.  That was fine with me.  It made it MY Secret Attic all the more. 

I’d get asked, “what are you doing up there?” and I’d say “reading.”  It was true. No one ever asked “Where up there are you reading?” so I never had to lie.  I remember it being pretty cold in the Secret Attic that winter, so I wore my coat and brought in a quilt or two. There were a few new boxes of discarded dishes and clothing…but the letter box was no where to be found.

A couple years later when I went “home” the door to my Secret Attic was neither locked nor barricaded.  However, to my surprise the hideaway was completely empty.  No boxes or torn lampshades, even the planks across the two by fours had been removed.  The Grands had both retired and I realized they had cleaned out the closets, the basement and the Secret Attic.  But I was a teenager now…and not as enamored with the dark and dirty, musty attic.  It was transitional summer for me in a lot of ways.

first christmasMy Gramma, Opal Lee would have been 91 today.

She passed in January of 2001. At the time, she had been married to my Papa for almost 67 years.

She left us a legacy of love and family, hundreds of pictures, and thousands of memories.

nd she left me her Letter Box.

16 September 2009

That’s my girl

This is from tonight’s San Francisco Giants’ game….sent to me from my daughter…

10th man 
Can you see the board?  No? 
Let me close in on it for you….

10th man close

You make your Mama proud!

Wordless Wednesday ~ been a long time

Rhi and UB

You two would have totally ganged up on me.

11 September 2009

Project 2,996 ~ 2009 Ingeborg Joseph


I am honored to participate in Project 2,996.

An effort by
Dale C. Roe of ‘Rough Draft” whose own words best explain its existence:

In the days following September 11, 2001, I was one of the millions of Americans who pledged to Never Forget.

In a sense I did keep my promise. I didn’t forget the attacks, or how they affected me. And I have tried not to let their effects lead me into lingering anger or hatred.

But in a larger sense I didn’t keep my promise. Though I didn’t forget the victims, I also never took the time to know them.

Project 2,996 is, in a sense, my self imposed penance, my Mea Culpa.

And as long as I have any online presence, Project 2,996 will continue.

A special thanks to  Sandee of Comedy Plus who did a post on Project 2,996 about a month ago and clued me in.

This is Ingeborg Joseph, celebrating Christmas at her friend Jackie’s home. 
Inge was one of the 2,996 people who died from the Attacks on 11 September 2001. Unlike most of the victims from that day, Inge did not actually die on September 11th.

She was an import manager specializing in freight forwarding for the Rohde & Liesenfeld shipping agency, located on the 32nd floor of the North Tower in the World Trade Center. Inge, at 60 years old, was a German national who had lived in the United States for many years.

Inge was caught in the fireball of the second strike. In the weeks following she fought for her life, ultimately dying from an infection from the  burns she suffered over 80% of her body.

I cannot image the pain and anguish of death in this manner…by Inge…or by her loved ones.  The following passages are a few of the actual words written by those who knew her.

While on this Earth Ingeborg Joseph was a force to be reckoned with…and a dear friend to many. 

from Jennifer:
Despite many a late evening in the office, Inga never seemed to run out of time or energy, be it to rush off to any of a number of various concerts with her friends, or to share a good joke, or read a great book and pass it on, or just hang out after work to blow off some steam.

What I most admired about Inga was that she was what my grandmother would call a "straight shooter". You always knew where you stood with Inga. Even if you differed, that merely ensured an evening of animated conversation and debate, and if you were like-minded, it just made the conversation that much more animated.

Inga seemed to do that which many of us strive for - to live life fully and without compromise.
I can only hope to do so as well.

from Karen:
I met Inge in l972 on Thanksgiving. As a true German, Inge had a passion for classical music, especially that of her favorite composer, Beethoven. She was like the summer day of Beethoven's 6th Symphony, her favorite piece of music.

Inge loved piano music and was an opera fan, as well. Whenever one called her apartment, either Beethoven played by her beloved Berlin Philharmonic, Maria Callas or a Pollini recording of Chopin could be heard in the background.

She loved books and read equally well in French, German and English, all of which she spoke fluently. Inge was a strong and independent person, yet she had a soft heart for others, especially for those with physical ailment, such as my handicapped sister. She was grounded in her Lutheran traditions and had a very spiritual side to her personality. In every church that she passed, she would light a candle for my sister.

She loved adventure and travel and would happily cross Central Park during the blizzard of 1978 to see the King Tut exhibit, go plunging down an intermediate slope on her first try at skiing or travel to Morocco or Turkey on her own.

I give thanks every day for my Thanksgiving friend. She will be missed, especially every time I hear a piece of good music.

from Jet:
Inga was my sister-in-law and I owe her a great deal. I am hoping this will serve as a small tribute to her, because she could not hear my words during her last days. She was the "big sister" I never had, especially when I first came to New York from Sri Lanka as a young student in the 70's.

I remember meeting her for the first time at the airport when she came to welcome me to New York. She bought me my first ever winter coat and leg warmers and made sure I did not get too sad during my first Charismas away from my parents.

Among the memories I will treasure are very ordinary things that we did together that now seem to have so much significance: eating marzipan Christmas pigs from Kleine Konditorei in Germantown; having cheesecake at Zum-Zum in the early years of the WTC; and going to work together in the WTC one summer when she found me a temp job in her former firm. We shared a deep love of music and I was happy that the last thing she may have heard as she lay in the burn unit was some of her favourite music that I taped for her.

Inga, there are so many good things I wish I could say to you about your significant role in my life. Suffice it to say that I owe you a great debt of gratitude and will never forget.

from Maria:
I met Inga in Turkey on vacation many years ago and we became fast friends. Inga introduced me to the West Side of Manhattan and I grew to love it as much as she did. We became Opera buddies and enjoyed going -- even if Inga did not like the performance on a particular night. I spent many a week-end at Inga's apartment where we talked about everything under the sun and how we enjoyed going to a movie and then discussing it from beginning to end. I miss her so very much. She touched everyone she met. She was truly exceptional. I hope that she's introduced herself to my Mom and Dad, as I know they will love her just as much as I did and always will. Good night sweet lady!

from Peggy:
Inga's joie de vivre will be sorely missed. We spent many happy summers at the beach; being near the ocean was a key source of revitalization. Her love and critical passion for music was like that of a mother and child: beloved but could always do better. Inga's optimism brightened everyone's day. She is sorely missed and will always be in our hearts.

from Volker:
Dear Inga,  It has been about 15 years, since Michael introduced us at one of those famous Oktoberfests. It was amazing how well as a team we worked, maybe because we share the same birthday, we mostly knew what the other thought.

It is amazing to know how many people you touched in your lifetime, how many people will remember you, and how many think of you every day. I don’t know how many of us understand that you are really gone, I sure don’t.

There is so much to talk about your life, the relative short time I was part of. The things you couldn't stand (lying) and the things u absolutely couldn't be without (music, culture)

If I ever make it up there, you will be the first I look up.

from Viktoria:
Have been working with Inga at same company, but at Hamburg office. Spoke with her last years nearly every working day. Found in a her very good friend and in addition a special colleque with big know how. Met her 2 times, when she visited our office in Germany. It´s terrible that she have to leave us so early, I will never forget her! GOTT SCHÜTZE DICH, INGA!

from Annette:
I got to know Inga about 4 1/2 years ago when I came to this country being barely 21 years old. For me "The rookie" she had a lot of advise, warm words and a always big wide open heart. I have admired her professional work attitude and her continuous devotion to the job. Inga: you will be missed. Rest in peace.

from Gabi and Michael":
My husband and I got to know Inga through my sister Annette. Inga was an extraordinary person with a big, warm heart. We enjoyed spending time with her ! We both miss her and will never forget her !

from Jackie:
I have fond memories of the many weekends, of the travels, and holidays we had together some thirty years ago, long before we both got married..., and divorced. Our paths diverged a bit, but I am so glad we had a chance to chat over the phone last this past July. But you had many friends as you deserved. I am so sorry we lost you.

from MaryAnn:
Inga, It's hard to believe a year has already passed since that horrible day. I stood on my train platform this Sept 11, 2002,thinking of how one year ago I stood in the exact spot thinking of what a beautiful day it was, how wonderful the skyline looked and how all that changed a short time later.

I can't help but stand in that same spot day after day still trying to accept & understand all that has happened and wishing it never did. Wishing everything was still the same and we were working together once again.Unfortunately that will never be.

One thing, of many, that I learned from you, is that you have to enjoy life. You definitely did. You were one smart, energetic lady that had a zest for life, music & culture. I remember fondly listening to you come into work and speak of a play or concert that you went to the night before. I miss that a lot. You have touched many lives in many different ways.

You will always be in my prayers.

from Arlene:
I can't believe it's been a year already since you left us. I remember calling your house on the 11th every half hour hoping you pick up your phone. I must of left a dozen of messages on your machine. But you never called me back!! Oh how I prayed you called me back! I'm sorry it took me a year to write something but every time I try I start to cry and I can't write anything. But today I still cry but I'm going to write anyway! You were one strong lady Inga and I miss you!!

inge grave
                         photo credit:

                  Rest in Peace Ingeborg

10 September 2009

Looking at the sky on Friday ~ Nine Eleven (14)

Usually on Friday I participate in Tisha’s photography meme, “Looking at the sky on Friday” by posting a photo I have taken.  This Friday…being 11 September, I am thinking of what it must have been like to look up at the sky as our nation, and our way of life, was under attack.  Or to be looking out of a window at the top of The World Trade Center, with the building burning up towards you.

If you have an hour or so, I suggest taking the time to watch this powerful film “The Falling Man” which documents the search for the identity of one of the victims of The World Trade Center attack.  Although it was not who they initially thought it was, the painful process eventually did bring closure for more than one family.  Several times I found myself reaching out to touch the screen while I watched it.

In the movie one of the researchers speaks of the reasons to look at these images…accept the witness of these images…and to discuss them.  The sister of the man who is believed to be the “Falling Man” speaks to not only finding out who he is…but who we are as well.

You can find the youtube link by clicking here.

08 September 2009

spy deployment

yank three aThat’s The Teamster there, with his two offspring…SPY and MHY…taken up near Boise where SPY, (the one on the left) is stationed with The United States AirForce.

SPY deploys today for Afghanistan.

I imagine this is one of those asphyxiating phases of parenthood,,,a combination of breathtaking pride and breathholding concern.

If you’re so inclined…when you hit your knees, toss up a prayer for SPY and for his Dad….I’ll be including his picture on my side bar until he comes home.

03 September 2009

Looking at the sky on Friday ~ Yosemite Fire (13)

Last weekend, we took a little motorcycle ride up Sonora Pass staying in Lee Vining and back down Tioga Pass skirting the edge of Yosemite National Park.  We were unable to visit the Valley without a significant detour, due to the fire.  Yosemite is my emotional mecca. I hate to see it burn.

LATSOF yosemite fire                                    (click to bigify) 

Sometimes it seems as if the entire state of California is aflame.  We’re going to have a long autumn with everything so dry.

Treat yourself to other sky photos this Friday…. visit Tisha the Sky Hostess by clicking on her logo.