Heiser Christmas Letter 2000
During spring break, I visited Austin, Texas for a Maya hieroglyphics weekend. I happened onto a TV broadcast by Eli Jaxon-Bear. He has become my spiritual teacher. Loretta and I attended one of his seminars at Esalen, and we’re on our way to another in Hawaii. We’ve collected videotapes of his talks as well, and would be happy to lend them out. In September, we went to a retreat by Thich Nhat Hanh in San Diego.
I’ve been learning more about art this year. Karen Kleinfelder teaches a wonderful 20th century art history course at Cal State Long Beach. She’s extremely interesting, and even won the school’s teaching prize this summer. Elderhostel offers a follow-on course to their popular offering at the Art Institute of Chicago. My roommate Bill Philibert taught me as much as the museum did. The previous year, Chicago streets were home to Cows on Parade, a public art show featuring hundreds of individually decorated fiberglass cows. This February, there will be hundreds of angels on display in Los Angeles! I’m still a docent Fridays at the Getty Museum. The visitors are interesting and I like to use the research library. Digital photography remains my passion.
Every week, Dorothy Demory and I go bicycling along the beach. We’ve optimized our route and luncheon menu, and we’re having lots of fun.
“If you wanted to destroy public schools, you’d start with year-round schedules,” says teacher Richard Cunningham. In Los Angeles, new high schools haven’t been built, so all our high schools will soon convert to a multi-track year-round operation. That will mess up my old computer lab and complicate every school activity. I’m glad to be retired!
The election has given us some good reasons to avoid online or electronic voting. Punched cards are low-tech physical tokens that can be counted and recounted, while electronic votes could appear and disappear without a trace. In that case, the electoral college would act as a firewall, making it harder for a huge electronic screw-up in one state to throw the whole national election!
Happy New Year!!
My Dad passed on July first, just days before his 83rd birthday. We shared some nice times together during the last two years of his life. Another sadness is that our cat, Annie, developed a tumor under her tongue and was put to sleep November 8th when she got to the point of not being able to care for herself.
I’ve stopped teaching cello, for a while anyway, with the last student recital in May. I’ve tried my hand at water-coloring classes and regularly play the piano. My recent practice includes three waltzes and two nocturnes by Chopin and Mozart sonata #16.
Also, I enjoyed a horse-back vacation at Rainbow Trout Ranch in Southern Colorado with my girlfriends.
She had her routine, you see,
Padding ahead of me to the front door for her treat,
Then out to the kitchen for breakfast.
Later, she’d follow the path around the yard’s perimeter,
Climb the willow to bask in the morning sun.
How many times she would race across the lawn when I called, or
Step out from some hidden, secret place to greet me.
We would play, she and I, and converse on all manner of things.
She taught me the art of serenity, forgiveness and equanimity.
Dick and I miss our little companion,
Our furry being, Annie.