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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Thursday, March 7 2002

Passages: Steve Lester (3)

Continuing the thread beginning here on Tuesday on the passing of my close friend, Steve Lester....

This series has transmuted into a recounting of my life in San Jose, after leaving nearby Stanford University, but that was a very likely eventual topic here anyway, so it's well to tie it to recollections of my longtime friend.

After my first high-tech editing and writing job, I was offered a newly created post as executive editor of a community newspaper group serving at first three, and soon afterward, seven of San Jose's subcommunities. Though Steve was not instrumental in my getting that job, my involvement in and reputation gained through leadership in the Writers Connection was a major factor in that publisher's hiring me.

I continued working with Steve as his newsletter editor as well, but as the newspapers were growing quickly it became more difficult to make the physical connections required. I knew the newsletter could be edited via the Internet but the technology was still new and the people in the Writers Connection who had to handle my dispatches seemed resistant. I then resigned that small part-time post, and that was the only point in our long relationship that Steve seemed close to cutting our ties. But my successor did an acceptable job on the newsletter and I was soon offered another freelance opportunity through the Connection, a news roundup of Silicon Valley business news that I've been writing ever since.

An aside is fitting here. Shortly after I started with the Times Newspaper Group, the Loma Prieta Earthquake that killed several dozen people and made scores of others homeless, struck the entire Bay Area in October 1989. To me and my newspaper staff, who were for the most part unscathed by any direct effects, though only about 10 miles from the quake's epicenter when it hit, it was the biggest news story ever, and it also presented other opportunities in directing how the papers should serve their communities. But to Steve and Meera Lester it was of much more greater consequence. The quake struck just as the first game of the World Series between San Francisco and Oakland was getting underway at Candlestick Park. Steve, who was the world's greatest baseball fan (at least that I've ever encountered) and Meera were at Candlestick when the disaster hit. The story of how they got out of the panicked and packed ballpark and home the 50 miles or so away was one worth hearing for years to come.

I'll interrupt the history to share some information received on Wednesday about Steve's passing, from Meera:

Steve...passed away on Monday, March 4 at 3:14 a.m. at age 46. He had his heart transplant on May 21 last year and we were looking forward to celebrating his one-year anniversary, the start of baseball season (he loved baseball and was a season ticket-holder of the San Francisco Giants for over 20 years), and the new life ahead of us.

Roughly ten days before his death, he was told he had a lymphoma (a type of cancer). Heart transplant patients are advised that because of the immunosuppressants they take to keep their body from rejecting the new heart that they are at higher risk for certain types of cancers. We just never thought....

I was at his bedside most of day and into the night. We talked about our friends in all parts of the country, of more carefree times, of baseball games and music concerts, of our unfinished dreams, and of our love for all of you and for each other....

(To be concluded tomorrow.)

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

White House language (second of four)

The White House not only has a new team, but a whole new language. President George W. Bush has brought with him many friends from Texas, and for anyone not born in the Lone Star State, the Texan accent and the cowboy colloquialisms can seem a bit strange.

Here is a guide to a few of the more colorful expressions they might encounter:

5. We've howdied but we ain't shook yet.
We've made a brief acquaintance, but not been formally introduced.

6. He thinks the sun come up just to hear him crow.
He has a pretty high opinion of himself.

7. She's got tongue enough for 10 rows of teeth.
That woman can talk.

8. It's so dry the trees are bribin' the dogs.
We really could use a little rain around here.

Sent by Trudy Myers

The amnesia of success

God delivers us, cares for us, and brings us into a season of success, of victory, of results, of progress. But instead of that making us more humble and more grateful, and more dependent on God than we've ever been, we start to take the wheel ourselves. "Thanks for the help, God - I think I can drive from here." And that's where we subtly start to change who's running things from the Lord to ourselves. Oh, your theology is the same, but your life is more about me-ology than theology. You still go to the meetings, you give in the offerings, you serve on the committees, you live a decent life. It's just that you're no longer relying on God like you did when God was all you had. In reality, you're relying on yourself - your effort, your plans, your skills, your judgment. And the humility of God-reliance is turning into the pride of self-reliance.

—Ron Hutchcraft
A Word With You
Sent by Jim Martin

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