“the three boys”

The three pictures shown here sit in frames on the table next to my bed. Each night before I turn out the light, I take a look at each photo and contemplate each of “my boys” as I think of them. The pictures are of my dad, my son, and my grandson. The picture of […]

great-great-great grandma wilson

Grandma Wilson was my dad’s (Phil Marton’s) maternal grandmother (the mother of his mother). She was my great-grandmother, Tommy’s great-great grandmother, and Sadie and Garrett’s great-great-great grandmother. She was born Johanna Bergleiter in Europe in 1873 and lived in the German town of Hermannstadt then located in Austria-Hungary. (The town is now called Sibiu and […]

great-grandma ida

Today is my mom’s birthday. She was born in Colorado in 1922 to Howard and Lillian Rose (my grandparents) and died in Los Angeles in 1996. Today would have been her 90th birthday. Tommy called her “Grandma Ida”, and he spent a lot of time at her home on Breeze Ave in Venice and at […]

tom, g, and the jesusita trail

The last hike Tom and I took together was on the Jesusita Trail above Goleta. G went with us also, and the memory of that hike is especially meaningful to me. Tom had already been diagnosed with lymphoma at that point, although he hadn’t started his really difficult treatment yet. He loved the mountains and trails […]

tom’s letter to hong kong

Tom graduated from college in May of 1991. One of his first projects after graduating was to research, and then start, a bicycle repair business in San Luis Obispo. Although the business ultimately did not prove profitable, it was an interesting adventure for Tom, and one he approached with his usual energy and enthusiasm. That […]

tom’s voyages on merchant ships

During most of Tommy’s childhood I was working as a ship’s officer in the merchant marine. I sailed on oil tankers, freighters, containerships, passenger ships, and even one ship that carried bulk sugar from Hawaii to California. Going to sea was an important part of my life, and the memory of it still is, but […]

hiking in marin: the batteries, the dipsea trail, and beyond

Tom and I discovered the old batteries one day when we were exploring around on the Marin headlands. These are gun emplacements from decades past, which were installed for the defense of San Francisco against an attack from the sea. They are obsolete now and have long since been abandoned. Tom was fascinated with these […]