When I think about what I am thankful for, what comes to mind first are the simple things: the shelter of my rolling home, food to sustain my body.
And then, the people who sustain my soul.
Harry and Mary Levenson, without whom I would not be here. They are long gone, but we talk every year on their birthdays.
Lew Levenson, Elle Steinberg, and Elaine Levine, with whom I share unconditional love. They are the people Robert Frost was talking about when he said, “they are the people who, when you go there, they have to take you in.” And Merritt Malloy said, “they always leave a light on for you.”
The Fats, Tom Rafter, Marc Wolfgram, and Leon Horner, who have passed on, but are no less present.
Tom Gonda, Gary Cecchi, John Salzman, Erika Maslan, and Maureen who saved my life.
Gene Morita, Bob Woodruff, Eddie Kimmel, Tony Bacon, Kay Miller, and Mustard, who are 60-year threads in my personal tapestry.
Reeta Dean, Bruce Bethany, Betty St. John, John Miller, and Big AL Pedersen, who are 50-year threads.
Vitin, Alan Stowell, Dennis and Joni Greathouse, and, especially, Dick Newick, who gave me a 23-knot ride on his sailboat in 1965. All 40-year threads.
Chuck and Sheri, friends for over 30 years.
Gloria Reid, Carol Feagles, Jennae Wallach, Mark Lawn, who are 20-year friends.
Mal Patterson, Jim Sibbring, Michael Wiest, the best yacht broker I’ve ever known. Larry Farren and Barbara Renshaw, whose wedding ceremony I performed over ten years ago—the warranty has not run out, and they’ve never had a claim.
Greg Wanamaker, who taught me that 90% of all first reports are wrong and that you work on a tough deal the same way you eat bread: one slice at a time. Faye Sibbring who will be 101 on January 9th and who inspires every writer by reading 101 books every year
Mountain Man Roy, Andy Brandi, Billie Russell, Linda Dahle, Dick Kreutzer, Ken and Cathy Harmon, Doug and Vera Clark, Peter Bruso, and Michael Joyce of Alameda, people—keepers every one—I would never have met had I not hopped aboard the Jolly Swag for a year on the road.
Chaffyn, Freya, William, Kathi, Polly, Carol and Bruce. People I met within the last month who offered friendship and enhanced my life for a little while.
Jordan, Chip, and Nancy, nephews and a niece I’ve seen rarely in the last 20 years, and with whom, I got a make-up-for-lost-time-visit this year.
High school chum, Manny Kaplan, and college chum, Bill Davidov. guys I reconnected with in the last year—and will see within the next–via Facebook and LinkedIn, thereby counter-balancing all that is repugnant about Internet social media.
Mary Hutchinson Ainsworth, my college sweetie, whom I need to find and confirm the last 50 years have been as kind to her as she deserves.
Anne Fox and Jane Wittgraf, who clean up the blog before it gets published.
Dave LaRoche, Dave Bauer, Colleen Rae, Karen Wittgraf, and Michael Joyce, whose support and comments make the blog better than it could be without them.
Anne Fox, David Baker, Risa Nye, Tatjana Greiner, Leslie Marin, and Alex Campbell, of the Crawford Seven Critique Group, who are uncannily insightful and unabashedly honest, who make one another’s writing–and mine when I can submit—better than it could possibly be without them.
Carol Talbot, Carol Chace, and Norma, women who taught me to be a better man.
Marian and Suzie, who were sent to me for a lesson I needed to learn.
Sylvia, who was sent to me as a test.
Pat, Kathy, Barbara, Sandra, Irene, Kathie, Maureen, and Marian, who danced with me from the opening riff and until the music stopped.
Carol Talbot, Carol Chace, and Jane Wittgraf belong on more than one list.
Once in a while I get asked if I ever get lonely. I don’t, but it is a topic for a future blog. One reason is that I have secret, invisible friends.
Ivana B. Wilde
For these people, real and imagined, and for you, I am grateful. And other favors great and small
And if you’d care to share someone or something with us, please do.