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Posts Tagged ‘family’

IMG_9749Thanks to absolutely everyone for all the birthday love. It’s been quite a weekend. First, a great visit with Tammi and Bradetta in their new neighborhood, then viewing the NYE fireworks with a stalwart group of college friends. Then my fifth annual Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach with brave/crazy members of my family (love you Brandon, Kayla, Chris and Jenny) on Jan. 1st. Next, the second annual Cozy New Year gathering (including my birthday) at an undisclosed location with a collection of beautiful and talented artists (Jenni, Matthew, Valerie, Jeff, Laurell, Adrian,Dara, Elizabeth and Sheila, you are the best). A nice visit with Mom Shirley, and then finally a great dinner with dear friends I hadn’t laid eyes on in over a year (Darcey, Brian, Deb and Chris, you are truly lovely souls). What’s next?

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Here you go, Jackson and Justyne. I nominate Steve Scheide, Nick Thacker, Kira Posey, Kelland Lindsey and Jr Stanley

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I’m so proud of my niece today. She’s started an ASL club at Western Washington University in Bellingham. And she made the paper. An actual newspaper!

Check out the article in the Western Front. Go, Kayla!

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Happy Easter from me and my family (circa 1976)!

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Family Matters

Family is on my mind a lot today. We lost a great man when Roy Knoop, my uncle passed away yesterday afternoon. He was my father’s older brother and I can honestly state that he helped cultivate my love of classical music. Never in my life have I met someone so intelligent, with such a dry wit or…hell, he was just one of the best people I have ever met. The picture (at left) is Roy hugging an old growth tree on a hike last summer. He was, and always will be, the Knoop family patriarch. I miss you, good sir. Venceremos.

Roy’s grandson, my cousin’s oldest kid, Nicholas, turns 18 today. I don’t know when it actually happened, but he’s turned into quite a remarkable and intelligent young man. A chip off his grandfather’s block, if you will. This kid can discuss politics, music and movies like nobody’s business. This picture (at right) is from just last month. Roy and Nick, at Nick’s high school graduation. Best wishes and brightest future to you, Nick.

And last month, my niece Kayla also graduated from high school. I took this photo with my phone (after the ceremony), so the quality is not great. But check out the radiance and joy on this sweet, lovely girl’s face. This kid has always held a special place in my heart. Like Mary Tyler Moore, she can turn the world on with her smile. Love you, Kayla.

And last, but certainly not least, my nephew Brandon turned 14 yesterday. Not a little kid anymore, that’s for sure. We had a nice birthday dinner at my sister’s house, then presents (of course) and some cake. He went off to try out his new crossbow and air rifle. The evening ended with all of us playing a few games of poker. Happy birthday, Mr. Brandon. You’re a great kid. His picture (below, with friends) is from sometime last year.

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What a nice day. I found a lovely alternative to the way I usually want to spend this holiday (Hint, it involves cowering in a corner cut off from all communication).

I drove down to Mom’s in Tacoma and helped her out with household stuff, then we drove up to Jenny and Kirk’s place for what has become a lovely tradition, a Valentine’s dinner. All the kids were there (Kira made a brief appearance before heading out with some friends), some of Kayla’s friends and Kirk’s Mom, Shirley.

Nice chat, some poetry reading and storytelling, exchanging of cards…and food. Sister Jenny always does such a great job with the dinner.

Then the drive back to Tacoma (with a quick phone call from Mom’s brother, Dick and his wife Betty) where we watched the last part of the “The Amazing Race” premiere on tv. Good stuff.

Nice day. Good food. Lots of Love.

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Emotionally, it was a tough year. Early in 2009 my dear friend/co-worker, Janine Dallas Steffan passed away unexpectedly. At work I still look over to her desk (even though she reitred in 2008) and miss seeing her smiling face.

Also in January last year my Mom was hospitalized unexpectedly and had major back surgery. She’s recovering, but it’s been a lot of work, for both my sister Jenny and myself (not to mention Mom). We both get down to see her on alternate weekend, to help her out.

Performance-wise. I did a musical version of “Jane Eyre” last February for Seattle Musical Theatre. I played the butler, Robert, had a couple of great lines and worked with a wonderful director, Gregory Magyar (alas, he’s since moved to Texas). The music from that show still haunts me. In a good way. Also in Jan. I played Father Kenny in a great production of “A Man of No Importance” for Showtunes Theatre Company. Frances Leah King was another great director to work with, and that show still gets me weepy.

In May it was “Guys and Dolls” at SMT, then another show (“The Last Magician”) with Breeders Theater at the E.B. Foote Winery. Sept./Oct. brought one of my most wonderful and thrilling theater experiences, “The Producers” at SMT. Ja wohl! Then it was on to “Guys and Dolls 2.0” for my dear friend, Loretta in Federal Way and “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge,” which I’m still working on today (more to come on that one).

Other highlights of 2009. A great hike with my Uncle Roy (and other assorted family) in June in celebration of his 82nd birthday. The reunion (of sorts) of a whole bunch of former Edge of the World Theatre performers, also in June. A visit from my sister Suzie and her kids that included a trip to “Twilight”-land (Forks and La Push) and a great gathering at my Mom’s house. And my lovely vacation to Sechelt and Vancouver Island in Canada (see previous posts). And topping it off was a nice New Year’s Eve at my friend Marsha’s house on Queen Anne (see photo).

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