25-48 The Second Twenty-Four
49-72 The Third Twenty-Four
73-96 The Fourth Twenty-Four
97-120 The Fifth Twenty-Four
121-144 The Sixth Twenty-Four
145-on The Seventh Twenty-Four
49 Pure Michigan
50 Ah, Youth
51 Unlikely Friend
54 Before/After Squared
55 Hawaiiana 1
56 Hawaiiana 2
57 Hawaiiana 3
58 A New Outlook
59 Hawaiiana 4
60 Crash Dummy
61 Dogs, Boards, Kids...
62 Photographic Treasures
63 Hawaiiana 5
64 My Comb is Crooked
65 Call Me A Doctor
66 Hawaiiana 6
67 Home for Christmas
68 Led By Words
69 Pono Bowls
70 Poppy Tour
71 An Invitation
72 Wunderkammer I
CALL ME A DOCTOR
On Wednesday, November 1, 1972, we were beginning to think the baby was waiting for JR’s birthday on the 4th to make his or her appearance. But as the day went on, it looked like Clae wouldn’t make it that long. We bundled up and made it to the hospital – it wasn’t urgent, but rather prudent. JR and I stuck around for a while, but it looked like it wasn’t imminent so we went home with promises that we would be kept apprised of the progress. At 3 years old, JR was more interested in his regular bedtime than anything else.
I had just gotten up on Thursday when the phone rang – it was Clae. She sounded alert and fine and said “I’m sorry”. My interpretation was that she had had false labor and was ready to come home and I said as much. Her response was “Didn’t the doctor call you?” and I said “No”.
Turns out Clae gave birth to about 8 pounds of bright red, seriously wrinkled, boy-child in the wee hours of November 2. No one at the hospital considered the event memorable enough to announce to the father. Clae’s apology was for not producing a girl child to make the “ideal” boy, girl, ma, pa family. I excused her.
Thursday and Friday JR and I visited the hospital, did a little shopping, a little cleaning and prepared for the grand homecoming. Oh, and we also prepared for the previously scheduled every two-week poker club that was on the calendar for Friday night at our house.
By the time Clae was ready to be released, JR had adapted to a family consisting of just the two of us. He announced that he didn’t want us to bring them home. Over the years, sometimes I wonder about the decision, but I overruled him and home they came. JR has reminded me of his opinion a number of times.
As soon as Stuart was home, Papa started calling him Poops. Clae stopped that immediately, since that had been the pet name I used for JR when he was a baby and so she felt it should be reserved. I cast around a bit and started calling him Toot or L’il Toot. I’m not sure how it all happened, but Toot eventually became Tooter and somehow the name stuck. I think it was when he went into High School that he finally started resisting the name. I’m certain that by the end of H. S. Tooter was no longer in use.
Stuart got into Pop Warner Football and just loved it. I remember him going on about how great it was to just throw caution to the wind and block or tackle as hard as he could. I was a bit concerned about physical dangers, but of course they had pads and helmets for protection and still more important, the age/size constraints that assured physical equity. It was interesting to note that his participation in the sport stopped with high school. I have often thought that those 200#+ guys in HS football may have changed his mind. Stuart pursued volleyball.
I suppose Stuart did all the usual things that kids do as they grow up, and we never knew about most of them, but one really shocked us. The phone rang at 1a or 2a one morning. Clae answered. A police officer asked if she was the mother of Stuart Sandin. Yes. We have him at our station. No you don’t. He’s here in bed! I’m sorry ma’am, but we have him in custody.
Clae actually was so certain that she made the officer wait while she checked Stuart’s bedroom. He was not there.
It turns out that Stuart had a friend, let’s call him “Howie”, sleep over. Howie had a part time job at a service station. Someone had left their car overnight and Howie took the keys home with him. Stuart and Howie removed the screen from the bedroom window, went to the station and took the car for an adventure. They did something suspicious enough to attract police and were now on the verge of a grand theft auto charge!
Clae insisted on dealing with it herself. She was angry enough, but I think she was concerned about where my shoe might end up if I went to pick him up.
I think the owner of the car declared “no harm, no foul” and decided not to bring charges, but I believe lessons were learned by all.
Many, many years ago, when someone complained about kids, my Aunt Julia always said “Oh they’ll grow up too”. Eventually, Stuart grew up too.
This is an email that I sent out in 2003.
I am bursting with pride and crying like a
baby and just have to share the good news with someone. My baby Stuart,
who finished his PhD just the other year is accepting a position with Scripps
Institution of Oceanography in
So why am I crying? In the wintertime in CA we often had a fire in the fireplace. Stuart used to sit next to it with his shirt pulled up to get his back roasty-toasty. Then he would run over to me, pull up my shirt, sit on my lap, and share the heat with my belly. How can my baby have a PhD?
When Stuart graduated from sixth grade he won several honors that he really wanted. When we got home after the ceremonies he crawled up on my lap and promptly fell asleep, as he had done so many times in earlier days. He was so big and so heavy, I knew that would be the last time, and it was. How can my baby be doing research for the primary oceanography organization in the world?
Each one of my children has a special place in my heart, but for this moment I'm filled with joy for and memories of my baby. Thank you for sharing with me!
For some reason, my 40th birthday was the most difficult for me – the typical self-evaluation, thoughts of opportunities lost, questions about the future, etc. Now, what seems like just a couple of years later, my baby Stuart is 40. Luckily, if this birthday is his most difficult, he will not be alone. Jen Smith, Stuart’s lady, shares the identical birthday! They are both PhD, Assistant Professor, employees of Scripps. I wish the two of them all the best on their 40th and thereafter.
Stuart and Jen planned to spend their 40th birthdays in New York and have wisely changed their plans due to the turmoil caused by monster storm Sandy.