My favorite uncle, William Wise Hayden, died in 2004. Uncle Bill was a factory worker at Ford Motor Company and a proud United Auto Workers member, and in his off hours he was a man about town and an avid photographer. I visited Uncle Bill at his Detroit home a few months before he died, and during that visit he gave me one of his most prized photo albums. I felt as if he was bequeathing the album to me, and that feeling was reinforced when I read the words on the cover. The words, typed on a blue plastic label affixed to the green vinyl album cover, were: ”BETWEEN THESE COVERS ARE THE GOOD PEOPLE.”
I try to publish an e-mail newsletter regularly as a means of sharing and discussing current events with friends and colleagues. I haven’t published one lately because I haven’t known where to begin. As soon as I decide to write about one travesty occurring in our world, an even greater one seems to rear its ugly head. Viral pandemic. Economic collapse. Police brutality. Climate destruction. Racial subjugation. Military misapplication. Voter suppression. Tribal politics. Failing alliances. Following the rate of real and potential disasters is like drinking from a fire hose – it’s just too much.
Nine years ago (May 2011), just after Aaron’s graduation from University of Michigan School of Business, he and I took a father/son trip to Africa. Aaron and I learned and experienced a lot on this trip. Now, in the midst of the Covid-19 timeout, I have finally found the time to share a bit of our adventure.
As Mother’s Day 2020 draws to a close, I’m filled with love and gratitude while remembering my mother, Claudia Louise Tarver. She left this earth on August 11, 2014, and the world has not been quite right since.
During our February 2020 visit to Jamaica, our good friend Winsome Henry treated us to an excursion to the coolest bar in the world – Floyd’s Pelican Bar!
We really lucked out during our visit to Half Moon Jamaica last week, as much to our surprise, our favorite diva and friend Karen Smith was performing at our resort!
On July 5, 2019, we celebrated the union of our daughter Stacy Sheng Tarver and Corey Darnell Patterson. The wedding celebration took place at the Tryall Club in Sandy Bay, Jamaica. The celebration was a joyous four-day event attended by close friends and family, some of whom came from as far away as Beijing, China. It was gratifying to spend a few days in paradise with the newlyweds and an assortment of friends and family from many different places and cultural backgrounds. We were reminded all week of the beauty and unity that is possible within the human family, and of the power of love to transcend barriers and unite those who surrender to its power.
After roughly 15 years of gradually increasing aggravation and decreasing mobility, I checked into Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Michigan and had my right hip completely replaced. The new family “member” (structural member, for you engineers out there) is now firmly in place.
Perhaps two small things, lost and found, provide a tenuous connection to times and places and family members that are lost forever, except in memory.
This Fall, I returned to Shanghai, China for the first time in more than 32 years. Needless to say, I hardly recognized the place.