November 27, day after Thanksgiving

Written by Jack van Ommen on November 27th, 2009

There were 16 of us at the Thanksgiving dinner table at Rose Marie and Donnovan’s home. Of my 5 children, Jeannine and family had their celebration at home in Virginia, John his in Portland, Oregon. Both Rose Marie and Donnovan are professional chefs. We had the traditional turkeyand a ham. Harry made his pheasant on horseback appetizers. Even though I did not grow up with this American tradition it is for me the most important family gathering. I have much to be thankful for this year. The birth of my first great granddaughter, Madison. Everyone has survived the worst of the recession with only minor scratches. And I achieved my second major goal of the circmnavigation, visiting Holland on “Fleetwood”. The effort has surpassed my wildest imagination; old friendships and family ties rekindled a ton of new friendships made.

Yesterday morning we received the sad news that Paul Alexander, the yard manager at Green Cove Springs Marina, on the Saint John’s River, in Florida passed away during the night preceding Thanksgiving. I spent 4 months in the yard last Spring and again last April and May. Where can you haul out, work your butt off and look forward to come back for the next treat? Only in Green Cove Springs. And Paul Alexander has a lot to do with it. His spot on the “Porch”, sitting on the high swivel chair, playing his gameboy but not missing anything, will always stay reserved for Paul and preserved in our memories.  So long, Paul.

Saturday I take the train to Portland to visit with Seth and Carly then on Sunday I get a ride with the Slijpers to Eugene, visit with them and Joan Rippe and Frank, return Tuesday to Portland and Wednesday back to Tacoma with a possible stop in Centralia.


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