Was A Very Good Year With Jack Donovan!
and I met in Kansas City at the Annual Conference of
the National Association for Hospital Development (NAHD)
in 1972. In the early years our relationship developed
at meetings of this professional organization, now known
as the Association for Health Care Philanthropy. Originally
we attended these meetings to learn how to be hospital
fundraisers; later we came to maintain our relationships
with others in the field; and, finally we were asked
to teach. Each year it was a different city for the
Association's annual meeting and as we became more active
we also met at Regional Meetings. Then, we were invited
to the Faculty of the Institute for Health Care Philanthropy
at the University of Wisconsin's Madison Campus and
each year for 15 years from the early 80's to the late
90's we met each July for a week in Madison in addition
to the various Conferences.
memories of our relationship are almost always tied
to the city we were in when things happened, so, this
remembrance will be divided geographically. Jack and
I have often joked that we've drunk beer together in
more than half of these United States and the Canadian
Provinces, too. One of the memory games we often play
is to see if we can remember all our meeting locales.
Neither of us can ever do it. There were many and our
memories are not what they used to be.
CITY - 1972
NAHD meeting in Kansas City was my third National Conference.
I was beginning to realize that Fundraisers as a group
are among the most bombastic people on earth. Every
sentence uttered from the podium featured a prominent
"I" personal pronoun, and nearly every presentation
at the conference was an absolute orgy of self-congratulation.
week when I met Jack Donovan I realized he was unique
in this group, because he was willing to tell you that
he didn't always know exactly what to do. We hit it
off immediately. I was from Desert Hospital in Palm
Springs, California, a former banker who had been lured
two years before to the Fund Raising Profession by the
offer of a living wage. Jack was a former Priest who
learned fund raising with Ketchum in Pittsburgh and
had recently been appointed to the position of Director
of Development at Salem Hospital in Massachusetts.
the end of the Conference we were friends. We decided
that there had been enough "bull shit" in Kansas City
to fertilize the entire Kansas corn crop and enough
"hot air" to float the Goodyear Blimp. But, we had learned
a few things that would be helpful back home, much of
it from each other, and we resolved to get together
again the following year.
D. C. 1973
met Mary Donovan the next year when she came to Washington
with Jack. Since I had never been to the East Coast
before, Jack and Mary were determined to show me the
brother Wally, a Convention Bureau Manager by trade,
had traveled extensively. He had carefully schooled
me on how to act when traveling and particularly on
how to order meals in restaurants. "Always ask the waiter
for his recommendation," he told me. "Because he'll
expect his tip to be based on whether you like the food
or not, he'll suggest the best the kitchen has to offer."
tried to find a restaurant in Georgetown for dinner
that first night, but, they all stopped serving at 10
p.m. (the time, Jack informed me, a Northeasterner is
just beginning to think about having his dinner). We
found a cab driver who knew of an Italian place open
late, so, off we went in anticipation of getting a decent
meal. It seemed to be a nice place, so, I decided to
show off my newly acquired restaurant expertise.
do you recommend?" I asked the waiter. My dining partners
were hanging on my every word.
all good," he replied.
I pushed on, "And, what is your most popular dish?"
all about the same," he said.
now, I pleaded, "But, what do you like best, when you
I never eat here. I don't like Italian food. I'm Puerto
Rican," he said.
I ordered spaghetti, as did everyone else.
WASHINGTON D. C. 1973
day before we were to leave, Jack and Mary took me to
see the White House. When we arrived at the gate we
found a sign posted, "No public tours today."
going on?" Jack asked one of the uniformed guards.
level meetings," he replied.
the cab on the way back to the Hotel we speculated on
the purpose of the "High Level" meetings. "Maybe it's
the Arab-Israeli crisis," I suggested.
piped the Cabby. "Spiro Agnew is going to resign tomorrow."
the Vice President, Agnew was in a lot of hot water
over deals he'd done when he was Governor of Maryland.
While the Watergate Scandal was beginning to percolate
up into the national consciousness, none of us, in October
of 1973, expected Agnew's resignation.
the cab dropped us off I told Jack I thought the Cabby
was some kind of nut. Jack said, "No, you watch, Cabbies
know everything happening in Washington before the Washington
Post does, wait and see."
next day as I watched the World Series game in the Washington
National Airport awaiting my flight home, ABC broke
into regular programming to cover the resignation of
the time of the Boston Conference, Jack and I had become
senior statesmen in NAHD. We both held leadership positions,
he as Chair of the Accreditation Committee and I as
a Regional Director for Southern California. We had
each passed the day-long "Fellow" examination the previous
year and after seven short years in the business we
were among second group of Hospital Development Professionals
to receive the "Fellow" designation. We received our
Medallions in Boston.
the conference Jack invited me to spend a few days in
Marblehead, the first time I had had an opportunity
to see his beautiful home. Since this was my first trip
to Massachusetts Jack felt I needed a certain amount
took great delight in pointing out that Traffic Laws
in Massachusetts are simply friendly suggestions. While
California pedestrians scrupulously observe "Walk/Don't
Walk" signs, Massachusetts pedestrians march out into
a busy street holding their arm up outstretched, palm
outward, and fingers upward to warn oncoming motorists
that they are "coming through." At least the more polite
pedestrians extend all five fingers upward, some of
the less polite seem to salute with only one finger.
actually giggled when he showed me a line of seven cars
preparing to turn left in an intersection clearly marked
"No Left Turn."
also assured me that American History did not start
with the California Gold Rush in 1849. He took me to
a section of Marblehead built in the 17th Century and
showed me wooden tombstones in the Salem cemetery memorializing
mariners who died a hundred years before the Declaration
brought along a publication honoring the 25th anniversary
of the founding of my new hospital, Hoag Memorial in
Newport Beach. Jack showed me the publication for the
bicentennial of Salem Hospital.
seemed that no matter where I turned Massachusetts bested
California, then I brought out the "California Surfer
Bum" t-shirts I had brought along for John, Doug and
Brian. When they happily stripped off their conservative
New England attire to don the t-shirts, I had a measure
was the first conference at which I taught a seminar.
Jack attended the seminar to provide moral support,
which made me feel more comfortable as a presenter.
in San Diego, I had a chance to meet Jack's Sister and
then Jack came north to spend a couple of days with
me in Orange County then on to visit Mary's sister and
brother-in-law in Northridge. This was the first time,
but not the last that Jack stayed over in my apartment.
happened to Jack and I between 1978 and 1981. Jack had
left Salem Hospital to go into private business in 1980
and after a few months of broken promises by his new
boss, decided Fund Raising Consulting held a better
future for him. He joined the Haney Company, an old
and venerable firm headquartered in Salem, primarily
because it would allow him to stay at his home in Marblehead.
had some very low points in those three years as well.
The death of my Mother had thrown me for a loop. When
I saw Jack that fall in Denver I realized how much I
depended on his wise counsel.
was asked that year to Chair an all day workshop on
Annual Giving. I invited several of my friends, including
Jack, to participate. Several leaders of the Association
complained that Jack shouldn't be allowed to participate
because he was now a Consultant, which to their way
of thinking might somehow taint Jack's presentation.
I ignored the complaints and the session was so well
received that we were invited the following year to
reorganize it into a session for new Development Professionals,
which we called "The Primer" and which has now been
adopted by the Association as a permanent part of their
DENVER - 1981
the preceding year a revolt against the leadership of
the Association prompted an at-large nomination of a
candidate for Chairman to challenge the election of
the man nominated by the Association's Nominating Committee.
As one of the "Outs" I was deeply involved in the Campaign
to unseat the "establishment" candidate. Jack, as a
consultant seeking business from parties on both sides
of the issue was discreetly helping me behind the scenes.
is often the case with such organizations the split
was along geographic lines with Dave, our candidate
from San Francisco and Joe, the Nominating Committee's
candidate being promoted by the East Coast contingent.
Dave, our candidate, won.
drinks that afternoon Jack gave me some insight into
how it had been pulled off.
told him I found it odd that several prominent eastern
members from Pennsylvania and New York were convinced
to vote for our guy. Jack said, "That's because you
paid attention to them. You made them feel wanted. The
other side took them for granted." A lesson I have never
also gave me my first glimpse of what was to become
how some women in the audience hissed when Joe referred
to 'my girls' during his campaign speech?" Jack asked.
"He was referring to his daughters, he has four of them,
but, the audience, about 60% women, thought Joe was
talking about his office staff referring to them as
"girls," so, they hissed at him and voted against him
because of it. People are getting so thin skinned that
we'll have to start watching every word we say or we'll
offend someone for sure." He concluded. How right he
the victory party that night, Jack and I met a young
fundraiser from a Dallas hospital, a former Basketball
Player from Duke named Glen Smiley, who entertained
all of us by reading aloud from Dan Jenkins then recently
published book, "Baja Oklahoma." The Heroine of the
book is a waitress in a Fort Worth saloon who hopes
to succeed as a writer of Country and Western Songs.
Her song titles were hilarious. One I'll never forget
was, "My husband ran away with my best friend and I
was in Cincinnati that Jack and I, Jim Bowers, Jim Greenfield
and Jon Olson presented the first Development Primer.
It was well received. We added Marlene Casini to the
panel the following year because our faculty's lack
of "diversity" seemed to be the audience's only complaint.
Jack tried an Irish joke that didn't go over well. We
decided that ethnic humor was no longer acceptable even
if you represented the ethnic group in question. Polish
Jokes, which had been recently popular, were also out.
Jokes about women, gays or handicapped people were all
definitely "bad form." Only jokes about stupid or inept
men of indeterminate ethnic background were acceptable.
were learning more about the rules of Political Correctness.
ate a lot of German food that year and discovered that
the Cincinnati Chili, of which the locals are deservedly
proud, rivals that of the Southwest.
JACK WITH HANEY ASSOCIATES
mentioned earlier, after Jack's brief sojourn in private
business, he came back into the fund raising field by
accepting a senior position with the firm of Haney Associates,
headquartered in Massachusetts.
had become acquainted with the firm in 1973 when we
had engaged them to conduct a study and a campaign for
$10 Million at Desert Hospital. The Firm was founded
by a Preacher who learned early in his career that raising
the money to build churches and other public buildings
was more fun and profitable than tending "his flock."
On his death he left the firm to his two sons. The one
I met was Bill.
Haney was a tall gangling guy who always seemed to be
rumpled and sleepy. He'd often nod off in campaign meetings.
"It's a result of Jet Lag," his assistant assured me.
Another thing that I remember about him is that he had
a disconcerting habit of clearing his throat at the
beginning of every sentence.
came to Palm Springs to conduct the "really important
interviews" of our wealthiest potential donors and I
made arrangements for him to meet with Sam Bloomfield,
a very very wealthy former patient of the hospital.
I think Sam was afraid of being alone with Bill because
he insisted I come along on the interview over lunch
at the luxurious Spa Hotel. After a little small talk
about the weather and Sam's operation Bill got around
to the questions for the feasibility study.
said Bill, "Mr. Bloomfield, would you be in a position
to give a million dollars to the campaign for Desert
said Sam "I'm in a position to do it, but, I'm sure
as hell not going to."
spite of Sam's reluctance to make a gift, the campaign
got underway anyway and as it progressed it became apparent
that Desert Hospital's Public Relations Department wasn't
going to be much help. The Haney people (Bill and Mike
the Campaign Director), sent in a young man to develop
a Public Relations Plan. He worked for two weeks on
his plan and then presented it to our campaign committee.
The plan centered on a public event, at which we would
invite the Mayor of Palm Springs (a 50-plus Mortician)
to wrestle a lion cub or, better yet, an alligator.
We were all aghast.
did you get this guy?" I asked Mike.
he said earnestly, "He's new with our firm, but, he
had extensive experience in Colorado."
later Mike confessed that the young man had responded
to an ad in a trade journal. His previous experience
consisted of being Night Manager of a Circle K store
Haney folks were incredibly lucky to land Jack Donovan
in 1981 and in three short years Jack had put them back
on top of the consulting business. Then Bill Haney died.
Jack negotiated with the widow to buy the firm, but
that didn't work out.
Donovan Associates was born.
and I were invited to present the Primer at a conference
of the New England Association for Hospital Development
in Concord in the spring of 1984. Jack arranged for
tickets to a Red Sox game and I drove into Boston to
meet him for our big night out. I had decided that I'd
like to attend a ball game in every Major League Park
and Jack knew I'd never been to Fenway. We had hot dogs
for dinner and watched the BoSox blast the White Sox.
What a treat that was. I bought a t-shirt to commemorate
the occasion and I still wear it to work out.
was early in 1984 that I met Patricia Nielson, the woman
I wanted to be my wife. We became engaged that spring,
but it was 13 years before I finally got her to the
altar. But, that's another story.
AHP Convention was held in Reno in October of 1984 and
Patricia came with me. That's where she met Jack. That
Convention was also memorable to me because the Association
presented its highest award (the Si Seymour Award) to
me. Jack would have won this award years ago, but it
goes only to a Hospital Development Executive. Consultants
aren't even considered.
June of 1985 I was in the neighborhood for some meeting
or another and I was invited to spend the weekend with
Jack and Mary. The Lakers t-shirt I wore as "hang out
wear" prompted Jack to mention that the Lakers and Celtics
were playing the following day in the sixth game of
the NBA Championship Series at the Boston Garden.
we ended up going to the game is classic Donovan.
knew that a neighbor couple had four tickets to the
game and planned to take their two daughters along.
Jack suggested to Mary that she invite the daughters
to go swimming at "The Club" instead of going to the
game, which she did. The girls, interested no doubt
in sharing some time with those good looking Donovan
Boys, leaped at the chance, begging their father to
let them go. "What will I do with the tickets?" asked
their father. Jack had an answer for that one and the
next day he and I drove to an MTA station, parked the
car and took the subway into Boston Garden. It was one
of the most memorable days of my life.
we entered the Garden I noticed that there were people
standing five and six deep behind every section of seats.
I assumed that the Garden had sold Standing Room.
do they charge those people for standing room?" I asked
they didn't pay, they're the friends of the ushers,"
he informed me.
there must be some sort of Law Enforcement vehicle to
prevent so many gatecrashers I asked, "But, what about
said, "Oh, I'm sure some of them are friends of the
took me on a tour of the Garden and showed me that the
Beer Line was already about 50 yards long.
of those guys never leave the line," Jack told me. "Because
there's a two beer limit, they buy their beers, go to
the end of the line and by the time they get back up
to the front both beer cups are empty, so they buy two
more. They watch the game on the monitors while they
stand in line."
looked around the Garden and the only color anyone seemed
to be wearing was Kelly Green. I thanked God that I
hadn't worn my Laker Cap - we would have been killed.
In fact there were two people in the Garden rooting
for the Lakers, me and Jack Nicholson who was in the
front row, courtside.
the game was on. Kareem, Magic, Worthy and Cooper for
the Lakers. Bird, Parish, McHale, and Ainge for the
Celts. It was wonderful.
were the days before NBA Players sported nose rings,
tattoos, gang bandanas, peroxide spiky hair, and even
before Rodman and his evening gown. It was also before
Magic revealed he had HIV. You looked up to the players,
you respected them as role models for your kids. Today's
Professional Athletes are exemplified by the New Orleans
Saints player who, when asked why he liked Mike Ditka,
said "He treats us like men - he lets us wear earrings."
top it off, the Lakers won. "Wait 'til next year," said
Jack. And he was right.
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
of J. Donovan Associates' first clients was Northridge
Hospital in California's San Fernando Valley. Because
of the successful campaign he conducted for them, Jack
was invited to do a feasibility study for a Community
didn't have a lot of employees in those early days,
so when he got the contract to do the study he contacted
Patricia and me to help him do interviews. We worked
closely together for several weeks.
learned that the hospital had been founded by a doctor
who owned it until a few years before. On the advice
of his Tax Lawyer he had created a Non-Profit Corporation
to which he contributed his stock in the Hospital Corporation
creating a terrific tax deduction. Now he controlled
a Non-Profit Hospital. He recruited a Board of Directors,
consisting of his friends, but all power was still vested
in an "Executive Committee" which consisted of three
people: the doctor, his lawyer and his accountant. All
of them drew salaries, big ones, too.
that people gave money to Non-Profit Hospitals, the
Doctor then created a Foundation to receive any gifts
that donors might make. Then he hired Jack to find out
whether anyone would financially support a capital campaign.
everyone connected with the hospital knew that the Doctor
who was the former owner was continuing to enrich himself,
nearly everyone we talked to laughed when we asked if
they would support a campaign.
the end, Jack was forced to tell the Foundation they
would not succeed if they attempted to raise funds.
To my knowledge, they've never raised a dime to this
80'S AND 90'S IN MADISON
year from 1985 to 1999 Jack and I met in Madison as
Faculty of the Association for Health Care Philanthropy
Institute. At first we were merely Faculty, then we
became Deans over our areas, "Fundamentals" for me and
"Major Gifts-Capital Campaigns" for Jack.
schedule was almost always the same. Arrive the Saturday
before the 4th of July, a reception the first night,
classes all day on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday with
half day programs on Tuesday and Thursday.
did have some free time. Some evenings we would grab
a beer at one of the many Beer Halls on State Street,
play some pool (where I earned the nickname Bakersfield
Fats), splurge on a frozen yogurt, or sit out on the
patio of the Student Union overlooking the lake. Always
we talked. We shared notes on Fund Raising successes
or failures and talked about the many characters who
populate our profession.
example, there was "Dancing Don." No, not the Quarterback,
he was Dandy Don. Dancing Don was 55 or so, a Planned
Giving Officer from a Midwestern Hospital who was on
the Institute's Planned Giving Faculty. As his nickname
implied, he loved to dance. Because the participants
in our Institute are mostly new to the profession, they
are mostly young, or at least younger than we are. Dancing
Don would organize a group of young people to go dancing
on Saturday and Sunday nights and off they would go,
sometimes not returning until the wee hours. Tales about
Dancing Don and his Charges are legend.
year they had difficulty finding a Cocktail Lounge with
music and ended up dancing the night away in a Gay Bar.
Another year, Dancing Don, in his cups, fell into the
lake. But, come Monday morning Dancing Don would be
in class giving his lecture and for the rest of the
week he would be quiet and withdrawn never venturing
out with the group.
year I asked Jack what made Don so schizophrenic, acting
like an idiot on the weekend and then being a "straight
arrow" the rest of the week. Jack told me it was because
Dancing Don's wife always arrived in Madison on Monday
and stayed the rest of the week.
night in Madison was our favorite. On Wednesday nights,
the Wisconsin State Orchestra gave a free "Concert on
the Green" from the steps of the State Capital. Residents,
students, visitors and even politicians grab a blanket
and bring a picnic dinner to hear the concert. If our
Institute dates fell during the week of the 4th of July,
they would always play the 1812 Overture with real canons,
bells and fireworks. I don't know why an overture celebrating
the victory of Russia over Napoleon makes so many Americans
teary-eyed on the 4th of July, but it does. Jack and
I were among them.
recent years as Jack's company grew more prosperous,
he hosted a dinner during the week in Madison for his
clients who happened to be there. Since, by this time,
I had joined the St. Joseph Health System and represented
14 hospitals, many of which were Jack's clients, I was
nearly always invited. That was great fun too. It was
touching to see in what great esteem Jack is held by
everyone who has ever had the good fortune to engage
his services. Over the years the J. Donovan Associates
firm has worked with me in Orange, Mission Viejo, Fullerton,
Eureka, Napa, and Apple Valley in California and Lubbock
in Texas. Every one of the campaigns he conducted exceeded
it was in Madison that Jack earned the nickname "Handsome
Jack." One evening when I called my Patty before retiring
for the night she asked me, "And how is Handsome Jack?"
I told him about it, and since then Patty always calls
him Handsome Jack. What does she call me? She calls
me "Frank," so, we have become known as Handsome Jack
ask you, would you rather be called Handsome Jack or
I was consulting with Glendale Adventist Hospital when
we engaged J. Donovan Associates to conduct a campaign.
Over a two year period Jack and I did our best to help
them reach their goal.
made Glendale Adventist Hospital interesting was the
organizational structure, which, I guess, is shared
by all Adventist Hospitals. To the Adventists, hospitals
are very much a part of their ministry. The Board of
an Adventist Hospital is composed entirely of persons
of the Adventist faith and is appointed by the Church
hierarchy. The Hospital Chief Executive Officer reports
to the head Bishop (or whatever title is used by the
can't be a Vice President of an Adventist Hospital unless
you are a member of the Adventist faith. Bill, the Development
Director at the time for Glendale Adventist was not
an Adventist, so, his chances for advancement were slim
number of Adventists in the United States is relatively
small compared to other faiths, so there aren't a lot
of Adventist Churches. All the Executives and all of
the Board Members and all the employees who were Adventists
went to the same church and socialized with each other.
At Glendale, the Hospital CEO and his wife were the
best friends of the Dietary Manager and her husband,
which must have made it a little uncomfortable for the
Vice President in between them on the organization chart.
addition, nepotism is rampant in Adventist Hospitals.
Nearly every kid working part time in the Dietary Department
or on the Receiving Dock is the child of some Board
member or other Church big shot. This made for some
interesting management/employee relationships.
brings us to Noanie, who was the Development Director's
Secretary. She had always been the Secretary in the
Foundation Office, long before Bill was hired. She was
also the wife of the Head Adventist for all of Southern
California, the man to whom the Glendale CEO reported.
So each morning all of the Vice Presidents, one at a
time, would drop into the Foundation office to pay their
respects to Noanie.
Bill discovered that his Secretary was such a powerful
person he became scared to death of her, as well he
might have been. She could have squashed him like a
bug. The problem was, that while Noanie was a very nice
lady, she didn't actually do any work. She mostly just
chatted with the Vice Presidents and any Board Members
who happened to drop by. Bill would hide in his office
when Noanie had important visitors because invariably
the executive in audience would glower at him if he
interrupted their conversation with the great lady of
Bill got up the nerve to tell the CEO he needed a secretary
who actually did correspondence and took minutes, those
kinds of things. The CEO suggested that if Bill wanted
those things done he could just do them himself, because
he wasn't about to fire the wife of the guy he reported
to. So, Bill took the minutes and wrote the letters,
the Hospital is a ministry to the Adventist leadership,
they also stringently enforce their religious beliefs
on their patients. They are Vegetarians, so you will
not find meat or meat products on your tray if you are
a patient. You won't find anything with caffeine or
alcohol in it either. To show you how open minded they
are, they will proudly tell you that if you become a
patient you can have meat as long as it's prescribed
by your physician. Since most of the doctors are Adventists
too, you will play hell convincing one to prescribe
a steak or even a hot dog for you.
also strictly observe their Sabbath and can't participate
in any activity that isn't directly related to worship
between sundown on Friday and sundown on Saturday. This
makes it difficult to do a fund raising event on a weekend.
I once suggested that they could hold their Gala on
a Saturday in midwinter when the sun goes down early.
I was told that it wasn't just that they couldn't do
any work on the Sabbath, but they couldn't cause anyone
else to do any work either. So, no non-Adventist hotel
employee could decorate the room or prepare food during
the forbidden hours for an Adventist party. This pretty
much confines Adventist Hospital Galas to Sunday nights,
not the most popular night to go out for the average
you were at the Gala, which was usually held at some
fancy place like the Beverly Hills Hotel, you couldn't
drink or dance either. Entertainment was provided by
a paid name entertainer, and that, plus a Vegetarian
meal were all you got for your $300. If you wanted a
little wine with dinner you could get the waiter to
bring you a bottle as long as you paid extra at Wine
List prices and if you wanted a cocktail you could jolly
well get up from the table and go down to the Lobby
Bar and get it.
was an interesting engagement at Glendale Adventist
Hospital. Heaven only knows how Jack achieved that goal,
but he did.
and Mary invited Patty and me for a long weekend in
Hilton Head in early spring of 1993. Our trip coincided
with the coldest weather in many a moon in Hilton Head
and on our arrival, Jack took me on a walk around the
golf course behind his home. The Greens and Lakes were
frozen over and a few homeowners who were not in residence
had left their automatic sprinkler systems on creating
a fairyland maze of ice in their back yards.
and Mary took us on a tour of the island and then off
for a tour of Buford, the historic city filmed as the
backdrop for the movie, Forrest Gump. Patty and Mary
toured some of the local shopping while Jack and I checked
out the gym of the local Sheraton.
next morning at sun up Jack saw me wandering around
the golf course adjacent to his back yard. I explained
that my brother Wally had died the previous year and
left instructions with his widow that he wanted his
ashes spread on golf courses around the United States.
Since my Sister-in-law knew I traveled a lot, she handed
me a box containing Wally's ashes and instructed me
to spread them on as many golf courses as possible.
Jack caught me in the act. I told him I carried a little
Tupperware cup full of his ashes wherever I went, just
in case I ran into a handy Golf Course. I lived in dread
of being confronted by a Greenskeeper asking "what have
you got in that cup?" - or worse yet, explaining it
to Airport Security.
sold the house some time later and I've never been back,
but, Wally is still there - no doubt bitching about
won the Big Ten Football Championship in the fall of
1993 and Jack and Mary decided to attend the 1994 Rose
Bowl Game featuring the Badgers against U.C.L.A. Patty
arranged for them to stay at the famously elegant Huntington
Ritz Carlton Hotel. Brad Holmes, our mutual friend from
Milwaukee, arranged game tickets and Bill Hall, the
Hotel Manager, a family friend, arranged for them to
attend the Rose Parade.
they arrived in Pasadena we took them on a New Year's
Eve day tour of the area where the Rose Parade Floats
were under construction. We had lunch in Old Pasadena
and then toured the historic San Gabriel Mission founded
by the Franciscans in 1775, one of the oldest structures
in California. Jack reminded me that the Pub in which
we'd had a beer the last time I was in Marblehead was
older than the Mission. One-upped again.
New Year's Day Jack and Mary saw the Parade and watched
the Badgers beat the Bruins 21 to 16. The following
day we took them to one of the most beautiful racetracks
in the world, Santa Anita, a few miles from our home.
We all had a wonderful and memorable time.
after Jack had his colon surgery, we convinced him and
Mary to come back to California for an encore of their
previous visit. We attended a Hockey game at the Anaheim
"Pond" and watched the Mighty Ducks take on the New
York Rangers featuring Wayne Gretsky. Only a few games
from his retirement, none of us had ever seen "The Great
One" before and it was a real treat. He didn't score
a goal, but, we saw him get an assist.
this trip too, we went to Santa Anita and spent much
time eating good food and engaging in good conversation.
THEN THERE WAS THE TIME IN: Miami and Dallas and Toronto
and Naples (Florida) and Annapolis and Newport and Chicago
and Philadelphia and San Antonio and San Francisco and
Williamsburg and Plymouth and Orlando and Houston and
New Orleans and other places, too, that I have forgotten.
were all "Very Good Years!"