Thursday, December 24, 2009

Frank's Birthday 2009

All the family invested a lot to create a wonderful birthday celebration for me yesterday.

An elaborate home cooked meal, then gifts and games.  Frone (home only for the holidays) manned the camera.

I'm thankful for the loving care.

Here are some pictures:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dinner with Father Francis

Last night (Monday 14 December 09) a number of missionaries prepared a lovely dinner for Father Francis, and invited others of us as well. It was a very good night together. Spontaneously, Father Francis offered a moving testimony of the deep impact his longstanding relationship with these missionaries has had on him and his life.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tanja's birthday

Tanja just celebrated her 22nd birthday on December 7

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A little news of late

Marissa is finally taking her 1st art class.  It's not especially to her liking because it is "just" design.  But to me I guess it's like the drudgery of doing scales for promising musicians.

Also she recently got job at a very popular Japanese cafe on 5th Avenue in Manhattan

On Thanksgiving day we enjoyed a perfectly splendid visit with the family of Alan and Cynthia Inman together with their daughters Alena and Jocie. Sadly, for some reason, no pictures were taken of this treasured and blessed day. Alan picked my family up from in front of the Church of the Good Shepherd on 211th street in north Manhattan. Though beautiful, it is unfortunate that these are the only pictures I took on Thanksgiving day.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Hallow's Eve

On the 31st of October this year, I started my day attending the farewell memorial service for the great and beloved teacher, pastor and leader, Dr. Lonnie McCleod, together with Karen Smith.

Like the 100's gathered at the Church of the Living Hope on 138th Street and Edge avenue, I too love Lonnie, feel close to him, and greatly admire him.

The service was superb. Karen pointed out "Like Lonnie." The remark interested me. I bet the ceremonies at our passings in fact ARE like us.

Afterward Karen and I caught up over a shared sandwich on a park bench that seemed to be dropped from heaven just for this moment, for these feelings, for this pause. Here's the bench:

Later in the evening, the kids (I mean all "kids" of the family) had a little fun getting ready for Halloween. A couple of the pictures are from our next door neighbors too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

World Peace Blessing

My family and I participated in a World Peace Blessing on Tuesday night, October 13 at 10 pm.

We took the 7 train to and from a church center in Queens

Frone is away at school, so he was linked to the same Blessing by satellite while participating in Colorado (his pictures are from when he was home with us on his birthday).

Here are a couple of pictures of our little adventure

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Book progress

Last week I spent some days in the lovely area of Bowie, Maryland, to work at the company that will print the book I'm working on for its October 1 debut in Washington D.C.

My time there was intense, lively, and exciting. The combination of extreme pace, and unforgiving demand for near perfect accuracy gives the world and work of a big printing company an undercurrent of drama and energy.

The creep of desperation and indispensable need for respect and deep cooperation creates a solidarity among collaborators that can forge emotional closeness in the group, even in a very short time to work together.

I am grateful for my time and experience on this part of the torrential, editorial waters into which I've been tossed.

Here are a couple of pictures:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A week for teaching in Camberg, Germany

I enjoyed a wonderful few days in the beautiful area of Bad Camberg, Germany, 40 minutes northwest of Frankfurt am Main.

I taught about 80 or so young people from the world over, but mostly from Europe. My content included spiritual teaching, and practical life teaching (which are pretty much the same thing, aren't they?)

Here are some pictures of my time teaching there. Sorry, there's a bunch of me in it, but please enjoy the young folks and the little bit of nature. The students were from the US, Canada, Australia, and from all of Europe East and West.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Spain and Luxembourg

I was in Sevilla, Spain from July 31, 2009 until August 3 after which I flew to Luxembourg, and there spent 7 days until flying back to New York on August 10.

In Spain I met with a number of people privately, spent a bit of time in public meetings, and attended the final match of the Peace Cup, hosted this year by Real Madrid. (Aston Villa (Birmingham) defeated Juventus Turin in penalty kicks after two overtime periods.)

I only took a couple of pictures there in Sevilla
(By the way, you can click on any slide show to go to the pictures yourselves, download them or whatever.)

On the 3rd of August I flew and bussed to Luxembourg where I spent a week, visiting families, and holding a number of private meetings for projects of various description.

Here are the pictures from my Luxembourg visit, but after that I isolate a couple of pictures so as to provide explanation:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Week for Teaching in Wyoming

On July 27 I flew to Jackson Hole, Wyoming courtesy of the Westchester-based International Leadership Training Program (ILTP). My original itinerary (via Denver) was re routed when the first outbound leg collapsed. I flew via O' Hare. The travel was simple and easy enough.

My ignorance of the geography aided the cause of my jaw drop thrill upon arriving to land in Jackson Hole. The Grant Tetons lining the flight path and rising up above our descent was breath-taking. This taken breath was never returned, even for a moment throughout the time of my stay.

The photo show below begins with the landing runway. Beside it rises up snow capped peaks. The training locale was in Idaho, over an hour away in the Targhee National Forest Preserve.

This is an area of unspeakable beauty. To me it said in every moment "vertical."

As delightful was my discovery of the group I came to teach. As with the terrain, my ignorance aided my delight and sense of wonder. I found myself addressing approximately 30 young people in a mix I'd never seen before that day. Students were young people in their 20's, pausing in the middle of a 2 - 3 year leadership training program for their Summer education summit. Their distinction lay not only in their humble and noble commitment to self-creation, and social improvement, but in their makeup.

These program members were from Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Nepal, Mainland China, Moldova, Japan, United States, Ivory Coast and more. I can only imagine, I learned more than I sought to teach.

Here are a few images from this most blessed week for me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pablo and Nancy Marry

We have lived next door to our immediate neighbors for 17 years, Betty Martinez, her mom, and every now and again Betty's brother Pablo. Wonderful family, wonderful neighbors.

On Wednesday, July 8, 2009, Pablo married his new bride Nancy.

Betty hosted a small celebration in her home, and all my family spent the evening together with the new couple.

Here are some pictures

Monday, July 6, 2009

27th Anniversary

On July 1, Hiroko and I celebrated our 27th Anniversary.

We ate on the Hudson River and then strolled back east toward Madison Square Garden. There we said a prayer at the door we entered on our wedding day.

Here are a couple of pictures from our evening out, and our stroll eastward.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A visit to Northport, Long Island

Most of our gang trained out on a drizzly Saturday for a delightful visit with Father Francis, the Catholic chaplain at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

We visited the harbor, the Church of St. Phillip of Neri, the Medical facility, and the rectory. We ate at Intermezzo Trattoria (which I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend).

Here is a little of our visit:

Pillar to Post

As I beseech the heavens traversing the course of my own little Grapes of Wrath

Friends indeed are helping in always to be remembered ways.

Karen and Kerestel Smith, and Steve Kearney drove down one night to move my office furniture yet another time.

This truck load below was dragged up four flights of stairs.

Tahoe Boy

Pat Hickey wrote an autobiography called Tahoe Boy.

He came to New York to help his publisher promote the book at Book Expo America 2009, in the Javits Center.

I spent a morning with Pat there.

Remarkable to see the industry at work. Here are some of what a visitor would see besides books (in efforts to get your attention).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tanja Graduates Pace University

On Wednesday, May 20, 2009 Tanja walked through her graduation ceremony to receive her Bachelor of Science, cum laude degree in Psychology and Social Services from Pace University.

The ceremonies were held in Radio City Music Hall (where I worked summers as an usher when I was 14 years old).

Left to right:
My sister Lois, Tanja's younger sister Marissa, Tanja, and Hiroko (Frone our son is still away at school)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ongoing in Slovakia

I finished teaching my workshop for young people on Sunday, March 8. My next obligation was to make 2 scholarly presentations on morning and afternoon panels at the conference New Perspectives for the Development and Future of Europe and the World in Brno, Czech Republic (I report on that conference here <-- click). On one of the free days between the workshop and the conference I had the blessing to visit Devin, Slovakia (<-- click). You can see from these maps that only the Danube separates the former Communist Slovakia from free Austria. For all its beauty and history, there remains in Devin the presence of intense drama from the Cold War era where just like at every such border in the world at that time, people were killed by their fellow countrymen while trying to escape to freedom.

This river (where the Morava meets the Danube) flows with remarkable speed at this point (you must click the photo to see the movement of the river):

From river speed of the morava in devin

There are a good many sculptings on the river that depict this struggle. The most dramatic is the monument to those who gave their lives for Slovakian freedom in this era. Here are some images of that monument:

Here are all the pictures from Devin. You will see that it was originally a Roman fortress and walled city. (The silliness about the coffee cups was my infantile excitement over all these coffee products having the same name as me):

From there we drove to Bratislava and wandered around the city center.

Here are the pictures from Bratislava. The first building is the Peace Embassy of the Universal Peace Federation (presently under construction). Next is a school of engineering at the university, the national theater, and finally (and perhaps most important and most wracking for me) is the monument at the site of "one of the most beautiful synagogues in all Europe" leveled by the Communists to build a bridge.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Identity Workshop in Slovakia

From March 5 - 8, 2009 I taught what was called an"Identity Workshop" for young people in their 20's, students and professionals, single and married,

About 60 people from 5 countries attended. Arrangements were well managed as an honest and forthright balance of costs and expenses needed to support the range of logistics required for a successful educational program, promotion, travel, housing, production, archiving, and publicity.

The workshop proper was comprised of 4 "blocks" of 3 hours each, designed to address matters of identity, spiritual growth, and daily life for the individual, family and community.

Part of the program included small group breakout sessions and reports.

This community of young people are remarkable in their incisive and complex reflection on the development of a socially conscious identity grounded in virtues and principle as the basis for self, family, and the construction of a just and prosperous society.

Here are a few pictures of the workshop:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Holiday and Birthdays

As friends know, our entire family celebrates each of our birthdays between December 7 (Tanja) and January 17 (Marissa), and the rest of us in between. (Might as well throw in Christmas and New Year's in there as long as you're running around town going broke.)

Kids came home for the holidays.

Here are a handful of shots of some of our times together: