The Day I Met Rodney Hampton

August 24th, 2016

Friendship Hall was a large two story building at the end of Seventh street in Piscataway. It was a big old brick building that had 12 step recovery meetings all the time and every day. I always said this place saved my life because someone gave me directions to it just when I was unemployed and correctly thought I needed a lot of meetings.
“Just take Seventh street in Plainfield all the way down and make a left. It’s right there.”
“That’s it?” I said. I thought it would be more complicated than that.
“Yes. That’s it.” then added
“Those are the directions but you have to show up for it to work”
“Oh, of course.” I said. My sponsor at the time had too much sarcasm. Everything wasn’t funny for me at this time. I was dead serious on not going back to jail and losing another job.

This is where I first met Bill. I had almost two years sobriety and he stumbled into a noon meeting one hot afternoon. He was in his late sixties, tall and very quiet. For weeks he never shared, helped clean up, or read from the books. He was just there.

Bill came over to me after another lunch meeting one day when I was cleaning up. I had a coffee commitment which meant coming an hour early to set up and make a big pot of coffee. It kept me busy and sober. He started talking about the Giants to me. After a few minutes of chit-chat I looked down and realized my deep blue Giants Jersey was the reason that this conversation was born. I was just glad to finally see Bill talking with someone and not running out the door at the end of the meeting like he normally did.
“Yeah, this kid out of Georgia looks like he might be a winner.”
“Oh by the way, my name is George” and I held out my hand and found out he was Bill.

His voice was faint and scratchy and kind of hard to understand but I stopped what I was doing, leaned in and had a conversation with him. This could actually be crucial to whether Bill keeps coming back or not. I was proud of myself to understand that and even more so when I realized I was helping another alcoholic just by talking football with him.
He saw that I was struggling to understand him over the after meeting conversations and clean up.
“I’m sorry George” he said, “I’m getting over some chemo therapy I had for throat cancer.”
“Oh wow, yeah, hey, that’s awful” it suddenly became even hotter in room.
To make it even more awkward for me he pulled open his shirt collar and showed me the baby smooth skin burned by radiation.
“Oh. Oh. Hey wow. I’m sorry. Is everything ok now?”
“That was a lethal combination for me. Fifty years of alcohol and cigarettes.” he said with a smile.
“Yeah, shit. Sorry man.” I stammered, still trying to be cool.
“I’m the one who is sorry, George. Don’t worry about it, Ok?”
“Yeah sure. Ummm, hey good meeting huh?”
“Yeah,” he said after clearing his throat, “they are all good meetings but I think I started going too late.”
I didn’t know how to respond to that. It’s never too late to get your life together, is it? I thought to myself.

So Bill and I hooked up. We sat together at meetings and he still never participated and actually seemed bored at points. It was 1990 and the public assault on smokers really hadn’t started yet. There was a lot of smoking in AA meetings and one day I asked Bill if it bothered him being that he was apparently an ex smoker. “Well, yeah, actually I haven’t totally quit yet, but I have cut down. Nicotine is a tough monster George.”
“Hey,” he continued “The Giants are having Summer camp in New Jersey this year. Madison. Not that far away. We should go check it out”
His blue eyes lit up and I realized that saying no was out of the question.
“Great!” he said and took a pen from the coffee table scratched down his address on a stray phone list and told me to meet him at his house tomorrow at “eight am sharp!”.
As much as the program of AA is to reach out and be social with other recovering people, it was the part of the program I mostly hated and dreaded. Besides, I was beginning to wonder just how much “recovery” Bill really had.

The sun began it’s annual baking sessions in August in the north east on a hot muggy morning when I set out to Bills house. He was close to Friendship Hall in a typical middle class neighborhood. All the houses were lined up in a row with the same design just different colors. I was hoping he would be waiting outside but he wasn’t. So I got out of the deep freeze in my car and stumbled into the nagging heat and up the crooked concrete path to his front door. The grass was up to my knees and cradled several old rusty bikes and other odds and ends that I couldn’t make out. Ok, this guy is slob I summarized to myself but he’s still a nice old man. As I got closer it really hit me how neglected the house was. I mean years of neglect. Shingles were hanging by a nail and empty garbage cans were turned over and captured in a sea of weeds. I tried to stop staring and looking around in disbelief as I approached his home.

I knocked and patiently waited. When the big wooden door creaked open he quickly came out and shut the door behind him. I admit I wanted to get a glance inside and to see if the chaos outside continued in there but he didn’t give me a chance I was engulfed in his aura of aqua velvet as he looked down at me with those sparkling blue eyes and barked. “Ready!” to which I replied. “Lets go Giants!” We hopped into his powder blue pick up truck in the crumbling asphalt of the drive way and took off down the road to see the New York Giants practice for the upcoming season.

I tried to get a personal conversation going on our drive to the university where they held the practice sessions. Since seeing his home and his quick exit and swift slam of the front door I suddenly had become quite interested in his life. Wife? Kids? Job? Retirement? I realized I knew nothing of this guy and had suddenly found myself trucking down the road in his pick up truck. That compounded by his total lack of interest in the AA meetings had suddenly ignited my imagination. MAN FOUND FLOATING IN RARITAN RIVER WITH THROAT SLASHED the headlines would say. My obituary would read what a nice guy I was, a big Giant fan that had found sobriety in the last two years of his life but was stupid enough to out on a “day trip” with a strange old man.

My nervous imagination decided that this would be a good time to find things out but he dodged every personal question and managed to change the subject to football. My frustration with finding out about this guy ended up with a long look at him while he was driving. All I saw was that pushed up collar on his shirt attempting to hide his chemo smoothed skin.
“So Bill, are you completely cancer free now? I took a shot and asked
“We’re here!” he answered.
Our arrival had given him another escape route to who he is.
This guy is slick I thought but I know I can run faster than him if he tries to kill me.
I decided to myself that I was going to tell him on the way home that it’s never too late to come to AA and get sober.

I’ve been to several Giant practice sessions in my life and have always enjoyed them. Very laid back with no “win or lose” tension. It can get tedious without the clock and structure of a real game but you feel like a real fan following your team from the depths of practice in the long hot Summer. The crowd will cheer and yell for a great catch or tackle and better than all of that you are at field level with all the players. After spending a lifetime in the upper section it’s a breath of fresh air to actually see a players face through his face mask.

I’m standing next to Bill and we’re having a good time and I suddenly lost that dark mysterious feeling I had on the way up here. It’s rare when I’m with someone who is taller than me but there me and Bill are mingling by the gate leading to the locker rooms watching the players jog by. Most of the players had blinders on and quickly ignored any request for autographs. “Look, here comes Hampton, their number one pick”, Bill says. He was the only one walking and it seemed like he came right up to me. He was in a white away Jersey with a big blue number 27 that came right up to my face. I was lost in the moment but somehow managed to hold out my hand and I was surprised when he grabbed it! “Have a great season Rodney. Welcome to the Giants” I was impressed with what had come out. Almost as if I rehearsed it. I surely wasn’t expecting to meet any players today so I was totally unprepared and the look on my face must have announced that because I heard Bill chuckle as he stood aside me. He firmly shook my hand and said, “Thank you young man” and then this incredible smile by him followed by, “I think we have a good team this year.” he said with that humble southern accent.
And then just like that he was gone. I was still stunned when Bill tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Wow! What a nice guy!”

And I was like yeah, what a nice guy. Yes, a NICE guy. The ride home was a blur. Bill kept laughing at me because he knew I was a little shell shocked. Rodney had never yet played a down for the Giants but in football terms a first round draft pick is a big deal. But technically he was a nobody, he might even get cut or injured and never play but I didn’t care, he was a nice guy that came to ME.. I had never had a first hand encounter with a celebrity or professional sport star and I never understood the hoopla. But now I did. I was like on a cloud. I felt like a little boy again acting all crazy about something that was just downright silly. I remembered my sponsor telling me once, “Don’t ever put anybody up on a pedestal.”
But that was all nonsense now because Rodney Hampton was the greatest football player EVER in my mind at that moment.
The day ended like that, I had forgotten about the mysteries of Bill. He dropped me off by my car, gave me a big sparkling blue-eyed smile and said “See ya George”

I never saw Bill again. He never came back to meetings. We never exchanged phone numbers and he was just gone. I really thought nothing of it until like about a month later and I was thinking about him and actually hoping that everything was ok. I had no way to really contact him but I did know where he lived. One day after cleaning up after a meeting I got in my car to go home and I made a quick turn down the street where his house was. It felt creepy driving by his house real slow. His truck was there so I drove by again and this time I stopped and parked. I got out and once again made my up to his unkempt home. The doorbell was covered with a strip of electric tape and there was a hole in the screen door big enough to put my hand thru where I reluctantly gave a few knocks on the weathered front door. Knock knock knock. Silence. Once again knock knock knock. Silence.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I opened the creaky screen door and put my hand on the door knob to get in. I slowly turned the knob. Oh my God, I thought it was open. Almost acting like I was hypnotized I opened the door and took one step in. What the hell am I doing I thought. “Bill!” I called out.
There was a stunning silence except maybe a dripping faucet from somewhere. “Hey Bill, it’s George”
More silence and dripping faucet and suddenly all those imaginative fears of Bill came rushing back yet I took some more steps towards what looked like the kitchen. Maybe he IS a freaky murderer or pedophile! My heart was pounding as I approached the kitchen opening. “Bill, you there?”

I stopped and it felt like my heart was still walking ahead as it was pounding in my chest. I stood motionless and looked around. The house was totally trashed. There was a musky smell of nicotine and old alcohol . Over flowing ashtrays and empty beer cans everywhere. The walls which should have probably been white were a dull yellow from years of cigarettes, so was the refrigerator and windows. There were no curtains but broken yellow blinds shut tight. There were some crooked pictures hanging on the wall. The walls also had scuff marks and holes from possibly something being thrown at them.
If Bill just suddenly shows up I’ll just say I’m sorry but I was worried about you. Yeah right, and then he slices my throat with a rusty kitchen knife.
I slowly tip toed over to the photos on the wall. It was a professional shot of a happy family on the beach. There was mom and dad had has his arm around her and big smile on his face. Wow, I recognize that smile. I suddenly realized, that was Bill in the photo. In much happier times. And two kids! A boy and a girl standing in front of them both wearing big smiles and braces.
So, he is or was married AND he had kids. But where is everybody … including him? My imagination went off at warp speed again. Perhaps he murdered them and put their bodies under the house. Or maybe, I thought, the family just left him. This is the saga of the alcoholic family gone very bad. I’m standing right in the middle of the last chapter of Bills life. I snapped out of it and looked down at myself. I’m standing in a strange mans house alone looking around. Really creepy I thought and suddenly headed for the door. It was still open so I peeked outside first to see if there was anybody before I took off shut the door, jumped in my car and headed home.
My head was spinning as I drove home. What the hell is wrong with me? You don’t just walk into peoples houses. What if he was home? Where is his family?

I moved on from that day and hoped Bill would walk through Friendship Hall doors one day. We had a lot to talk about. The Giants were first in the NFC east and were playing very well. But Bill never showed up. About a year later I drove by his house again and slowed to a crawl as his tattered old home no longer stuck out like a sore thumb. That’s because the lawn was beautiful, the house was painted and fixed up. His truck was gone too. I stopped my car and just stared. At that moment the front door and brand new screen door flew open and a man holding a young child appeared with apparently his pregnant wife. I accelerated as to not attract any attention and went home. Wow, I thought. Bill is gone.

As for Rodney Hampton he went on to have a fabulous career with the Giants for which I lived and died every time he touched the ball only because at one time, his hand had touched mine. I never forgot that smile Rodney gave me that very hot afternoon in 1990 even after he retired. And Bills smile remains with me too. I thought of what his life had become and how he ended up alone dying of cancer. I think of his bright-blue-sparkly-eyed smile when he said, “George I think I came here a little too late”.

vhs movie stills from 1994

August 12th, 2016

stills

Hard to describe in words

August 11th, 2016

window
You may find yourself…
One day I woke up here and the sun was spilling into our bed in what seemed to be huge buckets of yellow and orange paint. We had breakfast together and then went outside into the garden.

People come in and out of your life for a reason
I come here immersed with gratitude. I am very lucky blessed and God has been very good to me. As I look back on Gods impeccable track record a glow of thankfulness covers me like a warm blanket in my new home.
In all that was chaos is blessings. I have done some of the footwork for I have no idea where I would be today if I wasn’t sober. Most times my mind goes faster than what I can keep up with but even that is getting better. It seems like so many many years ago I walked thru the doors of a place in Piscataway NJ, fresh out of jail, jobless and confused. It was a big room on the second floor covered with windows by a railroad track. There was always cofee and sweets, there was always clouds of cigarette smoke (yes, that’s how long ago this was.) but most of all there was always meetings. The building was not dedicated to anything else but recovery. Everyday, several times a day. And during holidays it was 24/7. I am very lucky blessed to have found people to talk to and phone numbers (there were no cell phones back then but I knew where every phone booth was)

she died a Hartman

she died a Hartman

I continue to be in awe of life …. and death. If you take for granted the billions of miracles that are going on around you and within you then you can lose touch with this whole amazing thing. You were actually a very sweet person, you just got a little lost. (like we all do) I’ve lost count of how many people have just slipped away from my life just so suddenly. They are up here, swimming and struggling* to stay afloat like the rest of us and then you turn around and
they are gone.

* and some people can just float

One day, a long time ago, I woke up on this farm in Canada too.

One day, a long time ago, I woke up on this farm in Canada too.

So this past June 16 was the 45 anniversary of my fathers death. I remember him telling me about the “7 year locust” next to that funny looking tree that is (still!) in our front yard. Obviously the seven year locust only come out every seven years. The story is that he was working on the rose bushes which he loved to do and one of those huge MF’ers flew into that tree and let out one of his crazy long noise/scream/bug sound. It freaked me out but my father soothed me by saying, “Don’t worry it’s only a seven year locust. He wont hurt you.” And that’s the end of the story pretty much. It’s funny how I can have memories that long ago! Actually if you asked me what my deepest longest memory EVER was, I might think it was the 1964 Words Fair in Flushing NY.

I lost you in the butterfly tent
So basically I have obtained a Flux Capacitor on Ebay and with the help of a friend of mine from New York City, we have created a Time Traveling APP. In a nutshell, when the phone is charging I can transfer through communication lines into different periods of time. My current quest is to travel digitally to a bar in West Carteret (Mikes Bar) and transfer my image onto the TV at that bar. The date I picked is October 10, 1968. A Thursday. My father frequented this bar ofter especially on Mondays and Thursdays when the Westfiels Sewing Center was opened until 9PM>
Since my father has never seen my kids, HIS grandchildren, I plan to show photos and small movies of them projected thru this black and white TV in Mikes Bar. My only hope is that dad sees them.

I haven’t traveled into the future yet. I’m too scared.

IDGAF
Sometimes I wish I never connected this blog to the family website. Sometimes creativity is hard to understand. Many

once a long time ago I woke up on the third floor of this Victorian mansion and had just impregnated my wife at the time with my first son.

once a long time ago I woke up on the third floor of this Victorian mansion and had just impregnated my wife at the time with my first son.

people need pure logic and straight thoughts. Sorry I don’t have much of that nor does this blog feature happy butterfly clipart and borders of flowers. I can view the number of times this blog gets “hit” which is actually pretty high probably only because it’s so public. So I’m sorry I can be so deep and dark and I know my audience isn’t keeping up with me nor caring but it’s this: Writing for me is incredibly therapeutic and the creative energy it creates just knowing I have a little corner in the world to turn to is so very nice. At least there is some family tree stuff and heritage so maybe one day one of our kids or their kids might be interested in that. I seem to be the only one.

Every time I start feeling Sorry For Myself I watch The News
I used to think I knew too much about life to have optimism. I was very wrong. When I was a teenager and into my twenties I wasn’t a very good person. In fact I was a big dick. I was indeed a racist, a sexist, an egomaniac and an irresponsible punk ass hippy. I’m very sorry to all the people I hurt, especially my family.

Everything that makes you happy is going to end at some point. I have gotten over that and have diligently tried to be a better person. I used to think that letting my divorce happen was one of my biggest mistakes. One day I woke up in my car and said “what the fuck have I done?” I should be waking up with my kids and teaching them how to sheetrock a fucking house or something! How to make a living in life. How to cook. How and when to put on underarm deodorant.
Actually I don’t have the first clue of how to sheetrock a house.
And today I don’t regret the sloppy one-sided nightmare divorce one bit. I know in my heart of hearts I did the absolute best that I could…..stressing with WHAT I HAD.

I am extremely blessed with these guys. You can not put a word to parental love.

I am extremely blessed with these guys. You can not put a word to parental love.

I have been calling Uncle Billy and I did that because I had some kind of crazy resentment with him. That he “abandoned” us or something. See, I can still be an idiot. After Carol died we used to think Barb was the last elder left in the family, then we found Jerry Jones but she sadly passed away almost as soon as I found her. Our fathers brother is still here and he such a nice, intelligent man with many many memories. He was so pleasant and patient when I last spoke with him and I had a hundred questions(knowing me yes some of them were strange) He is doing very well and will soon be out of assisted care.

Westfield NJ 1919. The Westfield Sewing Center not yet here (second store from the right) I hope to time travel here some day.

Westfield NJ 1919. The Westfield Sewing Center not yet here (second store from the right) I hope to time travel here some day.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve conquered it all except death. And maybe heavy merges on Rt 46 during rush hour.
When I see people in their twenties freaking out in their car, I laugh to myself. I was like that once too. Climbing the ladder of life. Knocking people down. Building a wall around myself and possessions. Yeah, this materialistic fever fed by American TV and movies. I’m reading a book now that changes all that. After the last France truck terrorism episode… it changed me greatly and I needed to find myself again. I’ll tell you one day soon how I made out.

POV #8

July 29th, 2016

BLOGFLOW
E X P A N D the P H O T O

A start for Gill Tree

July 28th, 2016

Gill_BLOG
Click here to enlarge.
This is an extremely rough version, at least a small beginning of a Gill tree. I want to thank Cheryl, a friend of mine for digging in unexpectedly and doing this.
Yeah there are missing last names and somebody named Caroline that was probably who our aunt Carol was named after?
Hartman-Gill Family Tree
Above is the workable link that I am going to transfer soon. You may need a {free) account to view. The starting point is me because she knows me. Again, this is a very rough draft and I’m putting it here in the blog with a lot of searchable tag words to hopefully attract some curious Gill tree seekers. (like the one who disappeared.) We need help on this and ……. time.
Also: I have added her emails to me in the comments.

America Today July 4, 2016

July 8th, 2016

The Wild West
At home and abroad, the world has grown less safe. Simply put, America is full of fear.

Whether fueled by sexism, racism, or linked to radical Islam, simple things like going to a church or dancing at a club are not so simple anymore.

I’m not a very political person and this blog is the furthest thing from that (although I did run for president on this blog eight years ago). I am one who has not become desensitized by the next mass shooting. I am a very sensitive person and when Kryha crawled into bed late last night and said, “5 police officers were killed” I just cringed and couldn’t sleep.” Now, my God we are killing the people that protect us. Because this is now what we have become. I can not view the news anymore it has come to that for me because my heart breaks for all the victims and their families. It. Just. Breaks.

Amid the current chaos global voices have emerged that are feeding off the fear of terrorism and migrates.
Tens of thousands of migrates are fleeing war-savaged Syria and are flooding Europe without any end in sight, and that helped the Brexit movement succeed in Britan. That same fear has helped Donald Trump to his current spot as presumed Republican presidential nominee.

America and I want to go back to a safer time. They want out of the global picture. They want their overseas jobs back. Yet little of this is possible no matter who is president.

But we should remain hopeful. Remember that against all odds back in July 1776, a couple of men got together and envisioned a great country. This is what we should continue to do.

POV #4

July 7th, 2016

blogPlanes
E X P A N D the P H O T O

The Trailer for my next movie.

June 3rd, 2016

Our Aunt Pat

May 19th, 2016

pat

Very few of you will remember Brother’s wife, Pat Gill (now Moon).

Maybe George and Barbara will but since Brother and Pat divorced in 1970, there are few memories.

Pat is the mother of three of our cousins, Debbie Denmark, Jim Gill and Mindy Smith all who live in the Akron, Ohio area.

Pat is brilliant, was the Controller at her father’s company, had a beautiful singing voice, and Brother and Pat on the dance floor were a sight to behold…Fred and Ginger would have been proud!

She was a single mom who raised three children and earned her Accounting degree by going to night school after a long day of work.

She enjoyed her bourbon…first Ancient Ancient Age and then Maker’s Mark.

After retiring early, she moved to Puerto Vallarta Mexico and spent about 10 years there before moving back to Ohio to be with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She loves her cats and would fly them to Houston for veterinary care when she lived in Puerto Vallarta…yes, she really did!

Pat celebrated her 77th birthday on May 13th and is extremely thankful to be able to celebrate that birthday.

After 77 years of excellent health (not counting the brain aneurysm when she was in her early 20’s…yes she survived a brain aneurysm!), she had a major stroke on September 10th, 2015.

Sure the years of smoking, the daily 5:00 adult beverage and age had something to do with it, but the stroke just came out of the blue.

Her son Jim recalls speaking to her on his daily 5:15 call on his way home from work…all was normal.

At 8:30 that night, he was called by his sister Debbie to get to the hospital quickly because mom just had a major stroke and the outlook was grim.

It was grim but after months of recovery, Pat is now walking, talking, etc.

No longer smoking and no longer enjoying her bourbon, she eats oatmeal every day.

There was no better Euchre partner…with Pat on your team, you were going to win.

Pat was also a Master Bridge player. If you have ever tried to learn bridge, you realize it’s a game for really, really smart people…she was really, really smart.

She loved her daily Jumble, her daily crossword puzzle and always had a stack of ‘puzzle’ books – very difficult puzzle books.

Pat wasn’t a huge sports fan but believe it or not, she loves Tiger Woods.

One of her greatest memories was being within feet of Tiger as he practiced on the third green at The Bridgestone at Firestone Country Club in Akron.

She was also a phenomenal cook…she made the best Caesar Salad with homemade croutons…no one comes close.

Another one of her greatest memories was meeting Michael Symon at his Lola restaurant in Cleveland.

Not just meeting him, but speaking with him as he knelt down beside her to speak with her and then autograph her menu.

Pat was rarely at a loss for words but that was one of those rare occasions.

She will never be the lady she was prior to September 10th, but she is alive, she celebrated her 77th birthday and there are three children who still call her mom.

-James Gill

“Her Legacy”

May 3rd, 2016

Forward
Many thanks to Bernadette for copying the pictures for us and to Carol for sharing some of hers. Thank you to ALL OF YOU for contributing…even those of you that took forever to get it in….past deadline!! As you read the following pages REMEMBER…all the happy times spent together…for in the end all that is left is just that…MEMORIES.
I apologize in advance for any typos, mistakes or errors I made copying your letters.
A lot of poems and sayings you read in here were found in Mom’s belongings. She kept them to maybe read again because they touched her or to share with someone else, so we tried to include those as well. There are lots of little things only the original author will understand: Grant was ADAMANT about getting his “dancing men” in, Viki wanted sunflowers because her and Mom planted some seeds shortly before her death, I collect dragonflies, etc, etc. All put together so lovingly, first by you and then me.
Even though this edition seems like a gift to you, they are ultimately, a gift to Mom. Happy Birthday! We love and miss you so much! Her legacy to us…LOVE. Let’s keep it going…
NOW…get out your glasses if you need them, a box of tissues (you’ll DEFINATELY need them) and your telephone because someone will be calling you soon.
ANN
FTfrontpage

Joanie

Joanie

This past Sunday, May 1 was the fifteenth anniversary of Joan Gill Hartman Karst Donathans (or Mom as we knew her) death. In keeping with the ten year anniversary of FT on-line here is another golden nugget. I believe this was created a year or two after her death and released on her birthday. It is a beautiful piece of work. Many people worked on it but Ann organized, chased people and ultimately put it together. Looking at it now, there some really touching and amazing things in here. So thank you Ann.
With Mothers Day and her birthday coming up this is good timing. I don’t remember much about the events 15 years ago but personally it was a very difficult time for me. I was having panic attacks at work and ultimately lost a job that I truly loved. Beverly then Mom died. Then there was the divorce. Through it all I remained sober.
My memory of standing in the church with everyone and then someone rolled out moms open casket and it was pretty much a blur after that. I remember my sisters openly sobbing and I was having a difficult time trying to cry but the get together we had at Barbs afterwards was pretty awesome.
Mom would have enjoyed all her new grandchildren and great grandchildren and she died way too young, 64. This June 27 she would have been 79 if she survived. That is still a doable age. I could see her on Facebook crying and laughing at all of our posts. I could see her cradling her new GREAT grandchildren and even still cooking and making her kick ass potato salad.
Where do we lose that innocence of being young? So sad how wonderful people just get lost in time. Life is a gift. A blessing.

I am posting Ann’s wonderful Family Ties Special Edition right here. It is 52 pages long so I created two view-able PDF’s. One is 26 pages and the other is 25 pages. Somewhere along the line I lost page 16. Sorry. Some of the photos in here are worth resizing and I’ll be putting them in PTMYT.

Joan_part1
Joan_part2