Good evening, (posting written on May 3rd)
We had a great visit with the family at Dad's 85th birthday. Susan Schumann (Jack's oldest daughter) hosted the party at her boyfriend's Ed's house, in Los Altos. Susan and Ed met at a widow/widower's gathering, and have become good friends. Susan's two daughters, Lori and Melanie were there, as well as two sons Paul, and Andrew. Andrew went by "Drew" once upon a time, and was a model. He is now on the other side of the lens in SF, and has his own shop. Susan has told me that she got very close to dad when he came over when her father Jack was dying. Susan was able to go out and have a life when dad would visit.
Laura Nerney, Alan's oldest, came to the shindig, and she said that dad made it easier for her to get over the death of her dad, just cause dad was always close to Alan's kids. It made me very proud to hear these things. Something that Steve and I always had was a mother that loved us and who we lived with, and a father, who came and made a difference in our lives. One of the neatest things in my life has been how both my sisters feel about him, and how much he loves them. Each time that we visit he always asks what I have heard from Shelley, Sue, and of course what's his name (Steven Francis).
Jack and Jerry Stack came, and I had fun visiting with them. Pat Stack was the oldest of the Nerney children, the first born daughter, and they had a brother, Jimmy, who died in his forties.
Clare Thompson (Lucy's daughter) was there, and so was Norah, and her mom Nancy (Kryst-Nerney) the youngest of Nana's children.
Jack Stack told us a story, several in fact, but the one that I retained is that Nana's real name was Margaret Helena O'Shea Nerney. This was the first that I ever heard that; he went on to say that a couple of Nana's relatives were named Helena. I have seen her name as, "Helen Margaret, or Margaret Helen", but never Margaret Helena. Well, live and learn.
Terry Kryst came (Norah's brother, another of Nancy's kids). He and I visited, and we talked about the Nerney family reunion of 08 that Liz and kids came to, as well as Lynnette, Jennifer, and Joey, and I.
There were others who came, and I am about done with names.
Susan had a great buffet, consisting of salad, sandwich rolls, and ham, and cheeses. There was wine (that we bought), and soft drinks, and Martinelli's. Susan bought a cake that had a baseball mitt, and a ball (sculpted in icing) on top of the "HAPPY Birthday cake".
Dad had a good time, and was smiling, and reminiscing and laughing. He was his happy charming self.
He said to Susan Jean that he hopes she was not seriously injured in her fall, and that he loves her. He thanked me for the "booklet" I put together of photos of Shelley and family, and my family, and especially the greetings from Fred Keil, Shelley, and Rich Panelli.
He had a great time, and I had a great time, and Miss Mary Ann, and all the others had fun, and it was a great day.
Love and hugs, and you are all in his thoughts, as he now is wending his way back to Aptos.