is a subtle and insidious mystery which has finally made itself obvious.
Yes, the Fed will raise interest-rates now and then to control monetary
inflation, but have failed to raise time-rates since 1913. As a result,
we now have entire years, such as 2018, which plainly lack a fraction of
the time-content of previous years. And that is why the year went by so
we contemplate what to do about this, here is a synopsis of our
relativity-ravaged, time-deflated year of 2018.
January first, the sun came up. Following this, we had a multitude
of visits, both here and there, with loving friends and relatives.
That. Keeps. Us. Sane. Well, reasonably so. We count among these
friends our “Regulars” who yearly patronize the hotels and
campgrounds in Yosemite, many of whom have become dear to our
At The Ahwahnee
Diane & Carol & the proper use of
a grand piano
course there were Tom’s usual annual gigs here and there, except for
the Ragtime Festival near Sacramento, for which we bowed out due to
smoke from the catastrophic fire in Paradise. We attended (and Tom
performed at the piano) the long-awaited reopening of the Mariposa Grove
of Big Trees (which is in our back-yard, six miles up the hill) on June
14th. On July 8th we celebrated the 240th
birthday of Tom, Doug, Randy and Rusty in Huntington Beach – these
four have been pals since the first grade, and this would be the last of
many reunions over the years for Rusty, who died in September. In
December we enjoyed a fine performance of the Nutcracker featuring
Rusty’s daughter. We also celebrated the retirement of Wawona Ranger
friends Dean Shenk and John Jackson.
Rusty, Randy, Doug and Tom
our primary doctor is in Beverly Hills (adopted by us after
Tom’s heart-surgery last year), we try to coordinate
appointments with visits to relatives and friends (see
“VISITS” above). Between Tom’s and Diane’s medical issues,
that made for a good handful of visits. See also NATURAL
a trip to San Diego, we helped move nephew Tyler into his dorm.
Smokey Wawona (1985 by Tom Bopp)
we were in Cambria for a reunion of Diane’s old Methodist Youth
Fellowship (MYF) pals, word came of a fire that started way down
the Merced River, miles away from our house. By the time we got
home, the now named Ferguson Fire was filling the Wawona basin
with smoke, forcing the closure of the Wawona Hotel (doing
business as “Big Trees Lodge” – where Tom works) on July 25th.
It wouldn’t reopen until August 30th. The entire town
of Wawona was evacuated from August 1st to 6th.
For all of August we bounced between hotels and friends’ homes
with periodic visits to our home (staying indoors with two HEPA
filters at full blast). Due to the coordinated efforts of
thousands of hard-working trained firefighters, Wawona, Yosemite
West, El Portal, and many other populated areas were spared the
fate of our northern Sierra neighbors in the town of Paradise.
the Comfort Squirrel, reclining on our deck.
Hardy, former President of the Yosemite Park & Curry Co.
(Tom’s original employer in Yosemite). We attended (and Tom spoke at)
his memorial service in April.
23: Jim Davidson, the music teacher responsible for Tom’s early music
18: Carl Huebschle, one of the beloved Berkeley Gang who have frequented
Wawona for the past two decades.
Bee, who with her husband were Entertainment Directors for the
Yosemite Park & Curry Co. from 1949 to 1968.
September 11: Rusty
Puffpaff, Tom’s friend since first grade.
IN THE MOUNTAINS
garden grows: dogwood blossoms in the spring with lots of roses
and columbine. Trees leaf out and get taller: cottonwood, maple,
birch, poplar, aspen, dogwood, all of which give a good show in
autumn. Native deer-grass and some non-natives get eaten (by
design) by local deer. In September we had a cord of firewood
delivered. October had the whole-house generator clucked over. One
must keep the generator happy, as it is often pressed into service
by trees falling across power lines between here and Oakhurst.
October also brought the much-anticipated Large Item Pickup day,
for which we unloaded a dead microwave oven and helped neighbor
John dispose of a fridge.
that the holidays are coming to a close, Diane is in the last
phase of her cheerfully-embraced (for the most part) Holiday
Duties which have included (but are not confined to): decorating
the house, the trees (inside and out), writing cards, wrapping
gifts, decorating the piano at the hotel (and decorating Tom) for
various events there such as the Tree Lighting Ceremony, the
Lighting of the Yule Log, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and
last but not least New Year’s Eve. Tom continues his local
history research, and is currently deep into writing a
biographical sketch of a famous local stagecoach driver, George
Monroe. Stay tuned.
wish all a disaster-free 2019, and a modest raise for the
time-content of the coming year of, say, 7 percent. Is that asking
Somebody Tom met on the Redondo Beach pier.