My Friends 2003
They're kinda spread all over the world.....I feel lucky to share the same planet.
I met Ana Flores
in July 2001 at National Bookstore in Ayala Mall, Cebu City. I was searching for computer books and she was the computer book "promo girl." We were an item for almost two years. Since we broke up, she's had her ups and downs...she's presently doing well and staying at home with her mom in Mantalongon, Dalaguete, Cebu. She's quite wonderful.
Read Ana's Streetbuzz Interview
Bea Hanzeli was first my clinical instructor during my P.T. internship at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle in 1986. Her high competence coupled with a slightly cynical, humorous take on medicine and life got me hooked, and we've been friends ever since. She finally bought her Seattle dream house several years, and seems pretty happy there. Bea and her partner Bruce have been together for...more than ten years now? They always keep me laughing. Bea's currently searching for a new P.T. position...any good leads?
I arrived at Jose Marti Airport in Havana in January 1993 with a big group of activists from the U.S. and saw a little old scraggly-bearded guy in a broken electric scooter, looking a little desperate. I talked to him and found out he was trying to find somebody who had supposedly come in on the airplane....who wasn't there. Anyway, I got his address and Carlos Espinosa became my best friend during my three month stay in Cuba. He was an American madly in love with all things and people Cubano, and he helped me to survive and understand that incredible place. We kept in touch later; he's simply one of my MAX favorite people of all time (I think a lot people feel that way about Carlos.)
One of them would be Gail Ryall, Carlos' long-time love and best friend. She's a lifelong activist, librarian, member of the Communist Party, loving mom and general wonderful person.
We both miss Carlos a lot...he died in August 2004.
: what a moman! She's been a good friend since she let me stay at her apartment at the FOCSA Building in Havana in 1994. She lives in a beautiful old restored Victorian house in Tacoma and works as a program developer for Pierce County Community College.
Read Chris's Streetbuzz Interview
I met David Gleeson at the McSherry Pension House in Cebu City in July 2001.
"One day in 2001 while I was at work with the New South Wales State Government Department of Public Transport, Sydney, I thought to myself do I want to spend the next 14 years at work waiting until I turned 65 so I could retire. The answer was no, there must be a better life than this, so I decided that more than 25 years service was long enough and I took advantage of the early retirement scheme on offer and took the courageous (?) step to become an ex patriot. I was 51 at the time. I settled 'permanently' in the Philippines in March 2001."
"I am fortunate to have a beautiful girlfriend. Thata is 22 years old, a fourth year education student at St. Augustan Institute of Technology, Valencia City . She is from Sitio Belmar, Barangay Pangantucan, Maramag Municipality , Bukidnon. Sitio Belmar is an isolated small settlement composed of native tribes. Thata is the first native from Belmar to have attended college, a tribute to her and her family's perseverance."
and Fionah Bojos
are the team behind PhilMedia (Philippine Center for Media Advocacy.) We've become friends over the past year after I made the PhilMedia website. Pinay dynamos!
Read Daymeg's Streetbuzz Interview
Back row: Daymeg and Fionah / front row: Nikko and Nikki (Daymeg's children.)
Don _____ (doesn't want his last name used on the Internet) is a neighbor and one of my best friends here in Cebu. Don was actually married to a Filipina in the US for awhile, but they separated. Afterwards he moved here to Cebu and lately has become a good buddy. We went to Cambodia together in February 2005. Makes me laugh!
is a good friend and the most effective activist I've ever known. He's a long-time member of the Freedom Socialist Party (FSP), a national socialist-feminist party headquartered in Seattle. I worked with Doug for years in the Seattle-Cuba Friendship Committee. I believe the past couple of years he's been going around the country helping local chapters of the FSP to develop. I have just learned a tremendous amount from Doug, I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him and be friends.
Read Doug's Streetbuzz Interview
No mere pig mask can disguise the plutonium core that powers Eric Rehm: brilliant scientist, loving dad and husband, committed political activist, enthusiastic kayaker. And he's NOT a joker......
and main squeeze (husband) Terry. At the least, Gail is the best supervisor I ever had (Skagit Valley Hospital, 2002 to 2003.) But this human dynamo is so much more than a good SUPERvisor. In addition to her main job as Director of Rehabilitation Services at Skagit Valley Hospital, she also runs the hospital's Children's Therapy Program, teaches speech pathology part-time at Western Washington University in Bellingham, is producer and host of the Skagit cable television show HealthQuest TV
, and does childcare for two grandaughters one day a week. Oh, and she frequently has time to send me email here in the Philippines. I feel a little dizzy, guess I better lie down fer awhile.
Read Gail's Streetbuzz Interview
Gary Forbes, my former Java teacher and now one of my regular friends here in Cebu. Originally from Phoenix, he settled here about 10 years ago and has been busy teaching and doing computer programming and computer animation, and trying to survive in the harshly competitive world of global software outsourcing. Here's Gary with his "adopted" son NJ, and NJ's mom, Judy.
George Hall and I worked as busboys together at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley in 1972-3. George tried to teach me how to climb, and dragged me up Royal Arches and the Snake Dike on Half Dome (two pretty damn exciting climbs!) George went on to climb the nose on El Capitan, then attended to college, worked as a mainframe programmer at UC Santa Cruz, and got married to Dayoan Rivera. A couple years ago they retired in their mid-fifties to a beautiful cabin in the Northern Sierra Nevada to spend summers smelling alpine wildflowers and winters skiing.
George says: "For 4-6 months of the year, this is how our home looks (yes, all that white stuff in the photo is snow). We ski 1/2 mile from the nearest road to reach our home. We love it!"
Joe Lamantia cashed his first retirement checks from the United States Social Security Administration in 2003 and used the proceeds to move to Central America. Presently sharing his life with a hot-blooded 22 year Nicaraguensa in a small house on the shores of Lake Panajachel in Guatemala. Continues to publicly rant (on a frequent basis) at the festering herd of malignant jackals inhabiting Washington, D.C.
Larry James and I go back to 1981, when he rented a room in my Bellingham house. Now he's out on Vashon Island building cabinets and using Linux and riding ancient motorcycles.....and he's still with Christie.
Lenny Williams and I became friends when we flew from Seattle to San Diego with a load of old computers in 1995. The computers were intended for the Cuban Ministry of Health as part of an INFOMED civil disobedience caravan to challenge the U.S. Government blockade of Cuba. Well, the computers got confiscated by the U.S. Treasury Department; then Lenny and I started receiving threatening letters from Treasury. At least I had a great time getting to know Lenny on the trip.
Lenny piloted a U.S. Army LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized) 60 ft. tank lighter at the Lingayen Gulf landings north of Manila in January 1945, helping to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese. Lenny says: "We were all prepared to land in Japan when they dropped the bomb and ended the war."
After the war he married Gladys, they've been together ever since and have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren.
Gladys with Lenny's roadster about 1950 / Lenny with the roadster at the Bonneville, Utah salt flats in 1954.
In February 2003 during the lead-up to the Iraq War, Lenny and Will Eickholt came up to Mt. Vernon to visit and stand on an I-5 overpass with "No Iraq War" signs for a couple hours one bitterly cold Saturday. Lenny says: "Will and I went to the big demonstration in Seattle Center and I had my photo taken with Jim McDermott."
Lenny later introduced me to Wenmei Kang, the Chinese woman I worked for in China last year. Lenny has also spent time in China.....amongst many other countries. Lenny's website
Read Lenny's Streetbuzz Interview
I met Lisa Brown in 1985 when I moved to Spokane for a semester of nursing school. She was a prime mover in Spokane's little Central America peace group while teaching economics at Eastern Washington University. Now she's the majority leader of the Washington State Senate.
Lisa says: "All is well with me. Lucas (son) is a computer whiz, a Bob Marley fan, who plays guitar and soccer, just a typical twelve year old, I guess - torn this year between his parents divergent political views (me Kerry, David Nader) He spent last Christmas visiting Nicaragua and El Salvador with his dad. I am dating a nice guy who is a firefighter from the Spokane Valley with two sons - when we have free moment (not often) we bike or hike or backback. I am savoring a few weeks of calm before I head to Olympia for the session."
Lisa (middle) with Washington Governor Christine Gregoire (left) and another friend (right.)
Marcy Bloom and Domenick Dellino
: PERPETUAL LOVEBIRDS
"We've spent the holiday season the last two years with our friends in
Mexico. Someday, we hope to consider retiring there, at least part-time.
we're also considering trying to make extended stays in other parts of the
world. (maybe if we read this on the Internet we'll really believe it and it
will happen) Ha!
Hey, anyone want to consider a 'house-trade?'
Marcy is the Executive Director of Seattle's Aradia Women's Health Center. "She continues to be a speaker in demand-two gigs tomorrow-one for an anti-Bush inauguration rally and one to emcee a reproductive rights film festival celebrating the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade."
Dom "Continues to climb the corporate ladder at Washington Mutual while leading the Puget Sound chapter of usability professionals and turning his energies to help the Seattle homeless. He still rides his bicycle on a daily basis as if Lance is on his tail. He expects to break his personal records for the 'Chilly Hilly' (33 miles in Feb), 'Reach the Beach' (100 miles in May), and the STP (Seattle to Portland-200 miles in July). Our four cats send Chris all their love and our affection!
Chris, we love you! You have to print that too!"
Read Marcy's Streetbuzz Interview
Read Domenick's Streetbuzz Interview
is another Filipina dynamo. She's presently teaching in the Social Work Department at the University of the Southern Philippines (USP) here in Cebu City, but that doesn't even begin to explain her life.
Read Marilou's Streetbuzz Interview
Mary Miller says: "Pick one. These are from a 3-day backpack trip in 2001 at Glacier Peak.
Here is one too from a recent trip on the Main Salmon River. I am also
sending along this wonderful Barbara Kingsolver quote and wish you a very
happy holiday season and joyful new year. Much love, Mary"
"Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long
run. The daily work - that goes on, it adds up. It goes into the ground,
into crops, into children's bellies and their bright eyes. Good things don't get lost. ...the very least you can do in your life is to figure out what
you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire
it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so
simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to
go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither
the destroyers nor the destroyed. That's about it. Right now I'm living in
that hope, running down its hallway and touching the walls on both sides."
~ Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
I met Nia Roesli on a mail-order bride site in 1998. I visited her at home in Java, Indonesia, the next year. She's now married with two kids.
Nia and husband Dennis / Daughters Asia and Ashlee.
Pam Barton and I became friends in Seattle in 1985 when I was starting P.T. school in Seattle. She seemed a little lost at the time. Later she moved to New York, enrolled in medical school, became a doctor, got married, had a son, and is now a happy woman in New Jersey. WOW!
People for a Peaceable Planet (Peaceniks in the Skagit Valley.) In 2003 we didn't stop the Iraq Quagmire from happening, but it wasn't for lack of trying.
Ruth Pelz rides her bike to work at the Burke Museum in Seattle almost every day, just as she has for the past 8 years. Activist, artist, baker, bicyclist, cross-country-skier, gardener, hiker, kayaker, swimmer, traveler, visiting scholar hostess....Ruth, I'm always in awe of you.
(Left): Therese Ogle "with her energetic 7-year old Riley in November 2004. "She tries to remember to kiss her partner John first, when she returns from a trip, but Riley usually wins. Several weeks after this picture Riley lost his battle with bone cancer. Therese and John buried him at their beach cabin on a grey rainy day he would have loved."
(Right): Therese, John and Riley in happier times.
Todd Jacobs was my first tenant/roomate at my 719 NW 90th Street house in Seattle. He tolerated me for 4 years! Now he's in Shoreline with his partner Lynn and their 6-year old daughter Molly. Transportation and urban planning, Thelonius Monk, Grand Junction, Canyonlands, creative play with cute and demanding 6-year olds, and IDEAS!
: It's almost impossible to describe Tom, perhaps most significantly he's a deeply passionate long-time Seattle revolutionary activist. I worked with him for years in Seattle, first in mutual support of the Sandinista revolution in Nicargua and then doing Cuba solidarity work.
Read Tom's Streetbuzz Interview
Violeta Jandayan from Candijay, Bohol. She's one of my best friends in the Philippines.
runs a private business, New Universe Translation Corporation, in Kunming, China. Lenny Williams introduced me to her via e-mail, and then she hired me to do piece-work proofreading of translations when I went to Kunming last April 2004. Wenmei is an absolute dynamo, deftly juggling numerous enterpreneurial balls simultaneously. She's also good to her staff and has a very bright son, Kevin
. Wenmei was a gracious and generous host and employer to me during my stay in Kunming.
(Left) Wenmei at work / (Right) with her parents at her mom's recent birthday party.
Will Eickholt, activist man-o'-the-sea. Will holds some kind of distinction for having had his 40-foot sailboat "Hatuey" confiscated by the US Coast Guard and US Treasury Department after illegally using it to transport donated powdered milk to Cuba in violation of the "Trading with the Enemy Act." After about two years of harassment by the Federal Government, Will eventually got his boat back. Here's Will (right, smoking a $40 Cuban cigar) with Lenny Williams (left) in Mariel Hemingway Marina near Havana in 1997.
I was Framed by the Thought Police
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