Summer 2000 News/Notes

Updated 18 January 2010

1019 Home Site

2000-6-10 Well, summer is off to a very soggy start. If we have no other rain, we will be over the normal amount for the year until September.

In the middle of this soggyness, after three years of discussion in committees, Dallas has finally gotten around to putting in new sidewalks, but it is being very muddy right now. After all the discussion of how $60-70,000 might be spent on repairing a few stretches of sidewalk in the neighborhood, suddenly the city came up with $262,000 to replace all of them on both sides of the street.

On a less exciting note, Mike is having increasing problems with his feet, suffering both a loss of sensation around the toes and fore leg and increasing pain in the heels when rising from sleeping or sitting and during long stretches of standing at work (but not when walking!) Doctors are still working on the loss of sensation. Haven't started asking about the other.

Gigi is being all busy with National Federation of the Blind business. She and Suzanne have turned the National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) from a division that had alienated the guide dog training schools into one that has them panting (!) to come to meetings to talk to the blind non-users and otherwise cooperate. G will be at the convention across July 4th as she is almost every year. I will stay home and work, except for the holiday, and paint the ceiling (finally) damaged when water leaked when the house was reroofed several years back. (I just don't look up much.) Dolly is working really well as a guide.

2000-7-14 We are back from the Federation Convention and the much sadder event of the death of Francis Fisher, Gigi's father at the age of 72. He has spent the last year dealing with cancer that had spread to many parts of his body. He had asked not to be kept alive artificially and died in his home on July 11th.

Just before the funeral, I asked if I could say a few words, but the session had been set. If I could, these are the words I think I would have said, ideally not too stilted for the delay and setting in text.

Over fourteen years ago, I married Eugenia Fisher, the oldest daughter in this family. And my reason for standing here is that last word, family. I think this is the best legacy that Mr. Fisher leaves behind. I married Gigi without having met any members of her family and two weeks after our marriage, we traveled to Louisiana for Thanksgiving, which involved a table stretching twenty feet or more, covered with food and surrounded with people. I know for a fact that there were a few hiccups about me that week, but from the start I felt a part of the family.

I am particularly sensitive to the bonds of this family because my family stands at another extreme, a few scattered cousins. My parents died in 1979 and 1969. My father was the youngest in his family by ten years or so, married relatively late in life, as did his father, and three of my four grandparents were dead before I was born and my aunts and uncles died before my father did. I am the last of my line; there are no other boys with my name out there

I look at the Fishers seated before me and speak to honor Ewell Francis Fisher. In this family it seems to me there is a strength forged on an anvil of firmness and authority. I know of only a few of the trials of the family, some of which have only been resolved in the past year, but I see a sharing that has worked on many of them.

I look at the amazing women who have come out of and into this family, including my wife and the astonishing women that the boys of this family have chosen. My wife was born blind and I have met many blind people during my years with her who have not had as good a raising and much of what has made our marriage work came out of the way she was raised and the expectations her parents had of her and the lack of limits they put on her. The marriages we have seen in the last year bring two more strong and interesting women, a third generation joining the living family.

I honor this family because it gathered together today in a way that many families do not. A year ago, the gathering for the 50th wedding anniversary of Carolyn and Francis was a joyous occasion assembled from surprises and misdirection. Today we end the gathering that has taken place over the last year to deal with the failure of health in Francis Fisher. We are here to honor him and remember him and to think of one or two more things we might have said to him. I will say it here, to him and his wife, you made a family that will remember you long after this day and I am glad to stand here as part of it.

2000-7-15 Ending the week on a low note, I was told today I was no longer manager of the electrical department, being demoted to either peon or assistant manager in Builders Hardware under Ernest Irving who is moving from Building Materials. Dan Williams, who has been managing both Tools and Builders will become manager of Electrical. And to top off my day, I dragged the rolling ladder sideways and banged my left toe, which hurt a lot inside despite its general numbness and I find I have black under the nail tonight.

[Finally tested for Lyme disease and it came in positive. Medical]