Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Simonson 2014 Happy New Year’s Letter

December 29, 2013

Click on this link for the Simonson letter with the graphic and photo.  Below is the text only.

My dearest family and friends,

The year 2013 was full of new adventures for Curt and I.  We are both healthy and happy moving into this new phase of our lives and I’d like to share a little of that with you.

I retired as of April 1, 2013.  I no longer take conference calls at 6 a.m. or 9 p.m. and I no longer work “part-time” at the rate of 50 hours per week!  I have done a bit of consulting for my former employer, but find even that to be such a joy!  I can walk away!  My retired life was to be made up of time with my grandkids (Max and Emma), yoga, some research related to a book Kenny and I have briefly discussed, and the Chicago Botanic Garden.  I immediately started with yoga; took some private lessons first so I would understand the language and then joined a class.  I kept having balance issues as I started and then we went on vacation.  We had two weeks in the Destin, Fla area; one with Jenny, Seth, and the kids and one with Mary Beth and GJ.  Always a great place to visit.

As we got home from vacation, Jenny and Seth were working on finding a house to better meet their family needs.  The chose and finally closed at the end of June.  They wanted an updated kitchen, along with a “few” other things that were expected to take about a month to six weeks.  They finally moved in during mid-September without a complete kitchen!  During this construction phase, Gramma got very acquainted with her grandkids.  I lost 8 pounds and had the best time of my life!  Sleep was awesome!  I didn’t get much of anything else done after July 1.

Andy is still in Montana, but considering, along with his roommates, a move.  They want to have their own farm, raise their own product to deliver to customers through their own restaurant.  They are tired of being cold 10 months out of every year, so they are considering Texas (where they will be hot 10 months out of the year)!  He started working for the Pine Creek Café in March; by mid-summer, the chef decided to return to his home territory and Andy was promoted to executive chef.  He is working his butt off now, but seems to be enjoying the challenges.   Very little time for personal activities, which continues to be frustrating, but, hopefully, that will come soon.

Curt’s still at In Fine Spirits; he works about 10-20 hours per week with the retail business, meets with distributors to taste wine and help select what will be sold in the store, he helps with special events that come up, and has written tasting notes for wines and spirits being promoted through the store’s newsletter.  He doesn’t make much money, but what he is doing is “priceless” to him.

As for me, I have to say that retirement does not really come all that naturally.  While sleeping late and reading the newspaper with coffee every morning is nice, after that, you kind of look around and think, “Okay, now what”?  The “now what” seems to happen.  As most retirees say, we’re not really sure how we had time to work!  Curt and I took several trips from April on and I’m finding there are so many interesting things “out there” that I never seemed to have time for while I worked.  We saw some of those 8th grade history things (Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and DC) and found a place I’ve heard about my entire life – the Allaire State Park in New Jersey.  I’m still not quite sure how we’re related, but I met a woman at the Park whose name was Shafto – my grandmother’s maiden name!  Discoveries are everywhere.

I didn’t get to Christmas cards this year; and I decided a good excuse for that was that I wanted to always look forward.  So, we’re looking forward to 2014; more new adventures, more time with wonderful family and friends, and more time to re-learn old things.  Curt and I wish you all the very best of New Years and hope to cross paths this year!

Love to all –



BJ and Joy’s Wedding, 6/10/12

June 11, 2012

Congrats and much love!

Dee’s Cafe, Dotty Dunn photos from John Smoller

November 29, 2011

You have to look closely at these photos.


A couple of photos from Gerry Boyle

October 22, 2011

Gerry writes that he’s the one in the hat!

A Sipper Sighting!

October 21, 2011

Smoller and BJ visited Sipper and the Upper Peninsula after BAR41.  They report that Sipper is well and happy.  Here are a couple of recent photos of him:

Do You Know This Guy?

March 10, 2011

Carl Dixon–older BA guy, was sent this photo of some guy at a BA party by Art Brandon (another older BA), and wanted to know if someone could identify him.

Kerry Vandegrift (The Fool)

His Hogness

January 18, 2011

aka Mike Rodgers

1973 Reunion Photo

January 18, 2011


2005 Reunion Photo

January 18, 2011

Guerneville, GA

2004 Reunion Photo

January 18, 2011

at Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee