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 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, […]

point richmond, the long wharf, and walks with tommy

As I mentioned in a previous post, we moved to Point Richmond in the early 1970s, while I was working for Chevron. Our apartment at 521 Hillside Ave. was virtually adjacent to the Chevron refinery and Chevron’s Richmond Long Wharf, home port for the Chevron tanker fleet. The photo below shows a panoramic view of […]

grandma ida in 1926

Below is a photo of Tom’s Grandma Ida taken in about 1926. It’s a particularly poignant photo, from my perspective. My mom was always a dog lover, and she passed that sentiment along to her children. When my brother Fred and I were little, we had a dog, a cocker spaniel named Friskey, when we […]

tom’s birthday

Tom’s birthday is coming up later this week, and I’ve been experiencing thoughts and images of the day he was born. I was 20 at the time, a midshipman at the California Maritime Academy, and I had just returned from a training cruise to Brazil. I had been gone for several months, with little news […]