Letter to Pat and Stephanie

I found this old XyWrite file on my computer recently, tucked away in a backup folder for one computer inside the backup of another computer inside the backup of my current computer. It was dated 9 Dec 1988, exactly 32 years ago. Wow.

Dear Pat and Stephanie,

Things, as always, have been hectic here. My activities have been scattered like a shotgun blast in many directions, with focus almost non-existent. Yet somehow I always manage to have fun.

And how about you? Is your music going well? How is Spain without Gretchen? Probably a bit calmer! I went up to see her once recently, but she didn’t spend much time with me.

Have you any thoughts on the topics discussed in my February letter, in which I alluded to the possibility of my teaching in Spain as well as some chattering about the sheet music by phone scheme?

Here’s the news from my end:

I’ve been extremely active in sports car racing as a “race official” these days, having worked 22 events, including the Gran Prix of Eloy (a small town between Phoenix and Tucson). The best event so far was the Camel GT Grand Prix of Del Mar; in fact, I received some TV coverage when one of the drivers broke his car right in front of my E-hole (Exit Hole). I’m the guy in the purple tie that’s motioning for him to get out of the car and through the hole! When I saw you last, I was returning from the Grand Prix of Monaco. Next time I attend, I’ll be there as a corner worker instead of spectator, but when that is I have no idea.

I had one really close call at the track last June when NASCAR ran their last-ever Riverside stock car race. I didn’t realize just how close it was until I saw photos in the October issue of Stock Car Racing; yet the photos also show me still doing my job, waving my yellow flag. I am sending you a record about that incident. It’s my very first record, pressed at my own expense, with a friend doing the singing. I’ve sold around 100 of them and they have received some airplay at the race track. I’ve also been writing a monthly column for the Arizona Roadrunner, a racing newsletter. My column describes the California racing happenings and indirectly tries to get some of them to come out and visit for a race weekend or two.

I started my Master’s degree at Cal Poly Pomona last September and just completed my first class–Numerical Solutions to Engineering Problems. It was a lot of fun and I think I learned a lot too. I’m still teaching at Rockwell, though the AI program has been discontinued. Now I teach computer classes and just developed a class in telecommunications about linking computers together by telephone.

The biggest news, however, is that I purchased a house. It’s a two master bedroom place, each with a walk-in closet and a full private bath. It’s a perfect roommate house, but I haven’t looked real hard yet for such a person… probably after the first of the year. The worst part of being a homeowner is the yard work. Naturally the realtor rubs it in by giving me a plant as a housewarming gift! (I’m sure she meant well.) We’ve been suffering from Santa Ana winds, which blew down a big plant and ripped a trellis off the garage wall. I hadn’t been here a month and the house was already interfering with my racing schedule!

Home ownership does have some advantages, however; I can rattle around the house at all hours and not worry about disturbing anybody (until I get a roommate). I’ve been playing the piano a lot lately; Thanksgiving day I think I played at least five hours. I don’t watch television any more.

The other night I bought a washer, dryer, and couch from a friend’s dad. The couch folds out to a queen sized bed, so I’m now better equipped for company, though I still don’t have any pots or pans except for my Boy Scout mess kit. At least I’m well equipped with glasses…

I’ll be visiting my folks in Hawaii again this Christmas; it’ll be nice to get away from here and visit the family, but as always, the trip will be too short. Take care and I hope to see you around one of these days.