Went to Palm Springs, Cathedral City, San Dimas, Santa Monica, Echo Park, West Hollywood, Claremont, that observatory near the Hollywood sign, and Long Beach. Hung out with old friends and new. I was born in San Pedro, so it was cool to get a shot of the Queen Mary, docked nearby from Long Beach. I have a picture of my mom somewhere when she was a few months pregnant with me in front of the same ship in early 1968.
Stopped in Placerville, where my grandfather used to go into town for years when he lived in more rural El Dorado County (Mt. Aukum). We had coffee and continued to my friend’s home on a hill with amazing views. It was a relaxing, fun weekend.
Andy and I had not been in close contact at all since shortly after my grandfather died in 1992. Grandpa had been predeceased by his youngest son, my father, in 1990. A few years ago, on a sentimental whim, my mother and I discovered that Uncle Andy was living in Florida very close to one of her friends, and she gave him a quick call, but he didn’t seem interested in staying in touch despite our connection to our dad.
It’s sad Uncle Andy died, of course, and in this tragic way, as he was the last member of my father’s immediately family to pass away, but I was definitely not close with him for a very long time, even though I had regular contact with him growing up.
Many of my relatives knew my Uncle Andy as “Corky”. Like my father, Andy was born in Monterey, California, so not all that far from where he died. Despite this he is being described as a Florida man, although he had lived in many places, including Scotland, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Guam, San Diego, Alameda California and Half Moon Bay itself for years. Even more strangely was that my father started dying himself almost 22 years ago from an aneurysm when he was in Half Moon Bay on his fishing boat with my uncle, who drove him to the Saint Rose Emergency Room (in rush hour traffic) all the way to Hayward, California, where I live now and where my mother still lives. It’s kind of creepy how they both faced their death in the same town about ninety minutes’ drive north of where they were both born. My father had his ashes scattered by the Coast Guard, in which he served for 27 years, a bit further up the coast, in Marin County. My grandfather, also a veteran, had the same thing done with his and his wife’s ashes.
Coincidentally it seems like the journalist who wrote some of these article has the same last name as my uncle and me. I will cross-post a few of the articles below.
The first of these has my second cousin, Dr. Kevin Sowles, in Arizona, describing my uncle from his perspective.
Ten years ago Mosaab had chatted me up online, but it was brief passages over the course of a few days, and I had very little information about him at the time, so we didn’t even stay in touch, particularly as I wasn’t aware of what he looked like, nor did I have have his personal contact information to retain. By complete coincidence I encountered his profile last June and whimsically decided to drop him a line. We started communicating regularly and putting the pieces together, but to his credit, his mind is like a steel trap without the benefit of any documentation. He immediately remembered me and our conversations from almost exactly ten years ago, recognizing my face and name and this web site. To both of our amazement, I was able to find the chat logs in my archives and his memory was SPOT ON. It was excruciating, but fun, to read the logs back and discuss our ensuing lives with each other on the webcam. Not only did we laugh riotously, it almost brought me to tears on how sincere he had been to me and how indifferent I had been to someone who I didn’t think I’d meet in a million years, let alone ten. He was living in Sydney at the time, and I was living in New York. Now he’s only a few hundred miles away in Los Angeles (where I was born), so when he was up here in the Bay Area visiting his family last weekend he made sure we had some quality time together, surprising me of his quick stopover only a few hours before he serendipitously arrived. So we finally got to meet face to face (a longer wait for him inasmuch as he had known of me for far longer). Strangely enough, we also calculated that we had been in New York City at the same time when he was just a baby and I was a little kid in late 1979. That was the only time he has ever been to New York (he was born in London). He didn’t even realize that I had lived there as as a child. There are more personal details to the stories we’ve shared since we started comparing notes, but suffice to say that it was overwhelmingly sweet how it all happened, and against all odds, particularly because he had no idea I had even moved back to California until we started really communicating again.
Neighbors were giving away a new mirror and I made another run to the thrift store to get clothes that wouldn’t be so baggy on me. I have other clothes to “model” but here are some shots that I think exemplify the progress that I’ve made with the weight loss, new food intake, etc. What was that song that Ricky Martin sang on Glee?
Also included is a cute picture of my Yorkies sleeping on the edge of the couch, like they love to do.