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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:40 PM
AR AR is offline
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Default Annual Report, Feb 2011

It’s February, so here’s my annual update. For those relatively new to this board, I was once a stalwart here, but decided to stop posting regularly a few years ago. Since then I’ve done an annual note from here in Palm Springs where we escape each February from our cold, snowy home near Washington, DC. I see from looking at recent postings that there are a number of people still here from the old days who will remember me. Greetings to all.

It has been a remarkable, and extremely gratifying year. We took only one cruise, a crossing from Florida that ended up in Rome aboard the Celebrity Equinox. When we heard that ships that size were under construction, we vowed we would never sail them, honestly believing they were far too big. But after some of them came online the reviews were so good that we decided to give it a whirl. No regrets at all. A very fine cruise experience. When we got to Rome we flew immediately up to Venice, which is one of our favorite cities, and spent a few days there before coming home.

Other than that, the year was spent connecting with old friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen in 40 years. We flew off to Kimberling City, MO (a suburb of Branson) to visit Bob and Nan, both college pals from the mid-60s. I stood up at their wedding in 1967 in St. Louis, and we reconnected in Washington for a time, but Terry and I hadn’t seen them in about 40 years. We decided it was high time to get together again, and we had a ball catching up.

Another journey to reconnect with old friends was to Las Vegas, where a few of us put together a reunion of the stalwarts from our wonderful radio station at Northwestern. We combined our contact lists and had representatives from the entire decade of the 1960s. I put together a book of bios, photos and other memories; my buddy Scott encouraged everyone to go through their old tapes and send him copies. From them, he produced an amazing 10+-hour .mp3 CD of the sounds of the station across the decade. Really impressive. Even more impressive was seeing these great folks again and marveling at the distinguished careers in the world of communication that each of them has forged. What a remarkable, accomplished group. We’re all proud to call each other friends, even though we see each other infrequently.

Yet another reunion required no travel at all—at least not for us. To mark the release of the new documentary about former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, “Hubert H. Humphrey: The Art of the Possible,” Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota invited HHH’s old staff to a preview screening at the Capitol. As some of you know, Terry was working on Humphrey’s staff when we met, and it’s a tribute to both Humphrey and those he hired that the old gang still stays in touch and remembers him so fondly. The day after the screening a member of the staff put together a wonderful luncheon at a downtown restaurant for further reminiscing and catching up. It was a touching time, and I recommend the documentary to anyone who may be interested (it’s available on Netflix). A few weeks after the screening we ran into Senator Klobuchar and her family as we all waited for tables at our neighborhood pizzeria, and she said that she’d showed the film to her staff, and that these young folks were astonished that there was a time when so many things actually got accomplished in government.

There were many other shorter trips, lots of visits by friends and family to our Washington “B&B,” and a full calendar of theatre, museums and other activities that have fueled our “Potomac Fever” for decades.

Some may remember that I’ve been an avid Sherlockian since I was a kid, a member of both The Red Circle of Washington and the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. This past November, The Red Circle launched its website, and I’m the founding webmaster—my first venture into the world of online writing and editing. It’s great fun, and you can find us at www-dot-redcircledc-dot-org. We’ll be running back over to London in May for the 60th anniversary of the London group, to include dinner at the House of Lords. Sounds like fun!

And now, we’re finishing up our annual February in Palm Springs, and I’m writing from the pool deck of our rented condo. This is always a fun month, with family and friends visiting to escape the cold. Both kids came to play golf and hang out, and others came to laugh and carry on. What a treat—a full house!

Hoping that all’s well with you, and I’ll post again next year!

AR
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Old February 28th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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Good to hear from you Alan. It sounds like you are staying very busy.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:28 AM
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AR...when I retire I want to do it just like yours
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Old February 28th, 2011, 04:05 PM
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I meant to add that since I look at the board only rarely, I'd love it if you would reply with quick updates about what you've been up to lately.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:36 PM
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AR,

So great to hear from you again. Wish you'd make your report a monthly one instead of an annual one. You are certainly an engaging and most interesting man. It sounds as if you are certainly enjoying your retirement.

I finally attended a Central Florida Cruisemates Dinner in December after losing my wife in November. This group is certainly a gift and were instrumental in supporting the two of us through several illnesses when I came close to losing her but she recovered until the cancer returned. Then they were there big time for me when I became alone. I honestly don't know what I would have done without my adored Cruisemates. One, BeenieWeenie actually drove five hundred miles just to be with me at the afternoon wake.

God Bless, Alan and please keep checking in.

Todd
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:08 PM
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Todd--

Very sorry about your loss; thank you for bringing me up to date. I've spent years writing for a living, but sometimes words fail us all. I wish you all the best, and I'm very glad that the Cruisemates group has rallied to your side. Good for them. Beenie is a great spirit, as are so many others who've made their marks here over time. They put real humanity into cyberspace.

Hope to hear from more of them (speaking of spirits, is Kat still around?)

Flew back home from California yesterday, and am now back in touch with reality, freezing my buns off and doing the income taxes. Ah, well, the piper must be paid.

Best,

AR
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:40 AM
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I am still living in Phoenix and as "the editor" I am now responsible for most of the articles you see here.

I took quite a few cruise tha last three years and now I am just tired of traveling and the associated costs (this economy is something else, isn't it?) - so I am taking a break from cruising for the foreseeable future.

Hence TRIP (Linda) is going to Europe to see the new Carnival Magic come out - it's her first trip to the continent and I think she is pretty excited. I am just grateful we have a cruise-related web site that has remained popular enough to warrant being invited for such cruises.

She gets to sail around Italy from Venice to Livorno, then down to Monte Carlo and over to Barcelona. She will visit Dubrovnik, Naples, Rome and Sicily along the way.

For beautiful new ships - you should see Oceania's new Marina. She is a beauty.
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