tommy in point richmond

  I found some pictures of my son Tommy in an old cigar box recently, and I’m posting a few of them here. The cigar box actually belonged to my Aunt Vivian years ago and dates back to her childhood in Los Angeles in the 1930s. Vivian’s father (my step-grandfather), Ernie Voigt, was a California […]

tommy’s bright path

Twenty-five years ago today — on a spring morning in 1991 — I sat in the audience in front of the Oviatt Library at California State University in Northridge and watched Tommy receive his Bachelor’s degree. I think of that day often, with gratitude that I could be there to see that ceremony. Tom’s mom was also there, along […]

a poem from “out of africa”

In 1985, when Tommy was 16 years old, a movie titled Out of Africa was released. It was based on an autobiographical book by Karen Blixen (who wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen), which tells the story of her life on her farm in Kenya in the early 1900s. Tommy and I went to a lot […]

thoughts on tom’s birthday

Today is Tom’s birthday — he would have been 45 today. The picture above typifies Tom so well: it shows him hiking in Yosemite, one of his favorite places. The photo was taken, if I’m not mistaken, by my grandson Garrett. It has been 2 1/2 years since Tom passed away, and what shouldn’t surprise […]

a poem by john greenleaf whittier

Happy New Year to all. I would like to offer a poem, a greatly abridged (with apologies to John Greenleaf Whittier) version of “Barefoot Boy”.  It reminds me of my son Tommy, and of my own childhood in southern California. Even though Tommy was 42 when he died, lately my thoughts return, again and again, […]

dreams, hikes, and conversations with tom

In the early months after Tommy’s death, I rarely dreamed about him, but lately he appears in my dreams very often. Like most dreams, these recent dreams about Tommy are a juxtaposition of fantasy and reality, of “wish fulfillment” and the ever-present memory of the boy and the man we all knew and loved so […]

recent trip to point richmond

On Saturday I drove down to the Bay Area to visit a couple of the places we lived when Tommy was small. I stopped first in El Sobrante, then Point Richmond, and on the way home I spent the night in Paradise in Butte County. It was about a six-hour drive to the Bay Area, […]