Category Archives: Memoir

Touched by the Holocaust

Many years ago, after our first year of teaching, my wife and I spent the summer camping around Europe. We had picked up a rental car and a tent in Paris and drove to Florence, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Salzburg, Copenhagen, … Continue reading

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Don’t You Love the Disasters?

Yes, disasters are funny, at least most of them, and often only in hindsight. Here are several disasters, beginning with a really big one. Our wedding! Yakima, WA – 12/19/1964 – Temperature: 14 degrees F. Snowfall that day was about … Continue reading

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Christmas at Grandmother’s Farm

Grandmother was a sweet little lady with polite and elegant language — sometimes. She could also swear like a sailor, and since this story is true, the language might be too colorful for some readers. I squished my way up … Continue reading

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My Love Affair With France

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to America in 1886. My first concert tour with The Boeing Employees Choir was 100 years later, in 1986. At the invitation of the Seattle Sister City of Nantes, we met the … Continue reading

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Ptomaine Joe Vanished on Halloween

The legend of Ptomaine Joe was still alive in 2008. We learned that when we asked about her at the museum in Hamilton, Montana. Whenever I said she was my grandmother, the response was always, “Really?!” They told us her lodge was still … Continue reading

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Backstage with Bubbles and Lucia

My favorite experience with a Donizetti opera involves my wife, several of my dearest friends, and soprano Beverly Sills backstage at Seattle Opera. Sills acquired her nickname, “Bubbles”, when as a teenager, she sang in a television soap commercial. There are … Continue reading

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Bob Webb: My Mentor in the Family

Robert Paul Webb II was my sister’s husband, and he and their family spent several wonderful summers with us when I was a kid. He was a teacher and assistant principal in Oklahoma, and also a bit of an academic nerd, which I found … Continue reading

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