411 Lewis Road #342, San Jose, CA 95111
408-629-2331 | http://www.nantyglo.com
Itís December 20, perhaps the latest Iíve ever written my annual letter, as Iíve just come off probably the busiest 10-week period in years. But first things first.
1998 was a year of ups and downs, the first big up being a visit from my brother Tom in May. It was his (virtually) first visit to California and I took a weekís vacation to show him around. We began at Hearst Castle-San Simeon and took in Yosemite, Mendocino and the Avenue of the Giants (Redwoods), Gold Discovery State Park and San Francisco. Everything was great and Tom reported that the rest of his trip (driving from Tennessee and seeing sights along the way) was equally memorable.
Tom in the Irish village of Garrykennedy.
The big down came in August when I got laid off my job at Kanisa, Inc. (formerly Papyrus). They kept me for exactly a year, but it was a year of reporting to work with nothing to do there most of the time. So the idea that they didnít really need a technical writer didnít come as a big surprise. But finding work again proved daunting. And as I had already charged flight, car rental and B&Bís for a week in Ireland, again with Tom, in September, I felt I had to follow through on that. I didnít even mention to Tom that I was out of a job, to avoid feeling pinched financially on the trip. It was a wonderful trip, my third visit to the Old Country, and I came to appreciate Ireland in many whole new ways. Itís really a vacationersí paradise, I now believe, even if your roots arenít Irish like Tomís and mine. After eight days abroad we returned for another week in our home area of Pennsylvania, Blacklick Valley, another enormous treat. Our other brother, Bob, was also there at that time.
The year ended on another big "up," as I got hired in mid-October by Tava|R.W. Beck to work on their big Year 2000 project for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The job comes with a free furnished apartment in Hollywood (same complex the musical group Backstreet Boys are in!) and the job is smack dab in downtown LA in the DWP highrise office building--my office is on the 12th floor...itís just like being in "L.A. Law"! Iím loving it and the work is a great challenge with a wonderful team--I donít think Iíve ever felt more like a member of a team in any job Iíve had before. The only downside is we start early--sometimes 6:30 for me and my boss is always there before that--and work late, but we get paid for all our hours and thereís lots of overtime. Iíve more than made up the income lost on my two months of unemployment, and it looks like this temporary job will go until at least April.
The Nanty Glo Home Page continues to occupy most of my "free" time, such as it is, and itís been more rewarding than ever this year, as weíve started an email forum where Iíve had lots of good email conversations with former Blacklick Valleyans. The Ireland trip is recounted fully in text by Tom, with 12 accompanying slide shows of my photos in the "Tourism" dept. of the Nanty Glo Home Page, and there are also lots of pictures taken in Blacklick Valley, too. The address is now www.nantyglo.com--Iacquired "ownership" of the NantyGlo domain this year.
Son Mike continues living at my house and is in a pipefitting apprenticeship. Kevin is studying computer science at Heald College; Chris and the grandchildren, Brandi and Antony, have moved to Livermore.
May the true Spirit of Christmas that brought our Savior to earth as a babe born of the virgin bless you now and throughout the coming year,