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Dear family and friends,

It's been a year of many blessings as I look to the pre-bimillenial Christmas. If you haven't heard from me since last Christmas, the biggest surprise to me and probably to you is that I'm still, at for this writing—December 4—at Los Angeles working on Y2K projects for agencies of the City. The job is definitely winding down now, and we will be over, appropriately, just before New Years. But it has been one of the best runs I've ever had in terms of coworkers and working conditions. And in terms of remuneration it's better than I've ever had or even imagined.

The saddest note for 1999 was the death of my second and only surviving sister-in-law, my brother Bob's beloved wife Lois, in October. Lois was the one aunt my children knew well, as we were back and forth at holidays and vacations for years where the children were growing up, as the only other family we had in California. When my bride and I moved to California in 1968, Lois introduced us to Southern California, showing around to all the wonderful tourist sites from Forest Lawn to Knotts Berry Farm. Lois was diagnosed with brain cancer just a little over a year ago where she and Bob had moved back to her family home area to Indiana, about 15 years ago. One of always one of the most robust members of the family, it's just hard to believe she's gone.

A highlight of the year, for me, was a reassignment in the city at the end of April, from the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water in the 12th floor of the Department's downtown high-rise and the apartment it supplied in Hollywood, from the Bureau of Sanitation at Marina Del Rey. From May I've been working most at time at my apartment and part-time at an office building just across the apartment complex to a side street. It's three blocks from Venice Beach, the place I used to come from my get-away visits to Los Angeles, for years. What a dream location! And in October my brother Tom and I made another vacation tour, this time making a tour by train of parts of England, Scotland, (and ferry to) Ireland, and Wales, with the focus the one-time mining and iron production town of Nantyglo, Wales. It's the sister town of Nanty Glo, Pa., our hometown, which I create and provide a Home Page on the Internet worldwide web for my avocation. Subsequently I've started a full-fledged sister web page for the Welsh town. Please look it up if you get a chance. (This photo was taken at Cashel, Ireland, where St. Patrick's had one of his major evangelism triumphs, from the tour website. Click here for link to the tour site.)

On the family front, my youngest, Kevin, who'll be 24 in January, graduated from the computer tech course at Heald College in October, a milestone. Mike son, 25, got in engaged this fall and is tentative planning to wed next summer. Chris and the grandchildren have moved to Pleasanton. And also in another family issue, I went from not even knowing my great-grandfather Kennedy's my name in January, to knowing from my great-great and great-great-great-grandfathers' names. The patriarch (so far) is Isaac Kennedy, born in Pennsylvania in 1786. His father was Johnson, and my great-grandfather, Johnson's son, was Dennis. My grandfather, the first to move from Juniata to Cambria County, was John Moody Kennedy, and my Dad, Harry, was a native Cambrian Countian.

My other milestone for 1999 was my fifth anniversary as a member in the Orthodox Church, being chrismationed just before Christmas in 1995.

May the true Spirit of Christmas, that brought our Savior to earth as a babe born of the Virgin Theotokos, bless you now and throughout the coming year, the century, and millennium.

Jon Kennedy


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