Cranford NJ, Dec 3, 2006
Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to You!
Dear Family, Friends, Lovers of Peace and little Children,
Many of you now know, that Pat spent much of the year rooming with college (St Mary's) friend Fran Bardello Craig and husband Scott, in Ashburn, VA. The occasion was her consulting job with Cigtial, which we reported on in last year's chronicle Marty and Pat had a 3-week cycle, Marty to VA, Pat to NJ, and a week of giving ourselves time off. At best an average, as Pat returned on consecutive weekends in August. Well, on Friday Aug 18, south of Gettysburg, PA, on a clear flat route 15, the car started to shake, and went out of control, putting Pat upside down in the right ditch, hanging from her seatbelt. The angels were on the road, and helping her out within a few minutes. .

Currier and Ives '74 Stamp

She sustained only black-and-blue, thighs, neck and armpit from the seatbelt, and was checked into the emergency room at Gettysburg hospital, where she's grateful for the wonderful people who healed her, found her a motel room and even drove her there. Bottom line: she's taken the hint; there's no rush back to the job, and is anticipating a full retirement. For the moment, the holidays have been sufficient outlet, catching up with her St Helen's Cornerstone group on a more regular basis.

Marty fulfilled a deal we made a few years ago: "If ever we need a full-time job Marty, you'll go back to industry". So, Marty made a go at a training job with Pat's company, interviewing in May in VA. As that was falling through, the phone rang, setting up the process which took him to royalblue financial. After four years at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth, he is quite happy to be a trainer (one of two) in the US for royalblue. They're a UK-based company, making stock trading software for the most of the major brokerage firms. They are located at the very southern tip of Manhattan, with spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and lower Manhattan. Marty wouldn't have made the commute when we moved here, or while the children were in school. He now sees it as a thrill to work in Manhattan at this point in his career.

Maura and Mark Domashinski continue at home in Matawan NJ. Maura moved up to direct the Middletown North High School band, and Mark continues as teacher and Union Co College baseball caoch. It's a nice holiday (like this latest Thanksgiving), which we celebrated with them for a second year in a row, with in-laws Michael and Maggie D and their trio of energy: Gwen, Grace, and Kelly. Dickie and Sherry Hollier joined us with son John, who's Marty's birthday-sharing buddy, and Pat's godchild. Maura's mother-in-law, Ernie, promises to be up from Florida for Christmas. We celebrated Thanksgiving II that Saturday with the whole family, Chip and Laurie joining after celebrating with her family in MD.

Chip and Laurie, married last year, also covered in last year's letter, moved out of NYC in February and joined us in the ranks of the mortgate-enabled in the Jersey suburbs, at 66 Davis Ave, Bloomfied, NJ, 07003. Marty helped Chip dig up and re-seed their back yard in the early spring. Since Chip continues at Channel 13, WNET, this makes it easy for he and Dad to meet in the city. So they are enrolled as NY Rangers semi-season ticket holders, Chip being the real Ranger fan. This is an upgrade from our 20-plus year old holiday tradition of father-son outings.

Katie's move to Brooklyn

And the likely best news of the year is Katie finding meaningful employ with Story Corps, where they are making a audio archive of American stories. Their principal outlet is spots on NPR's Morning Edition, usually on Thursday and Friday. Katie had been at home since the previous Labor Day, returning with Patty from Seattle, again recorded last year. She was able to show her dad how to commute in to NYC, and they shared many mornings on the Jersey Coast line to New York's Penn Station, and the 2 or 3 express to Brooklyn. Here she is moving to 175 Troutman St, Brooklyn, NY 11206, where she is closer to Story Corps offices. Her family gift to the larger McGowan family is a "Story Kit", which we'll put to use chronicaling family stories over Christmas vacation in Minnesota.
This past year, we saw or had visits from:
  • Marty's brothers, Vince, Mike, and Sean, and Sean's daughter Courtney. Vince and Mike were caught swapping planes to and from Sweden at Newark airport. Sean, continuing a tradition he'd started with son Cullen, brought Courtney to NYC. Uncle Marty enjoyed her sense of awe as she first saw the Statue of Liberty.
  • Maria Johnson, who we caught up with in the Spring as she returned to Wash DC
  • Bill and Susan Anderson, who departed the metro area and returned to her Texas roots to be close to her parents.
  • Laurie's parents, Harold and Judy Kessler, in the spring and fall as we celebrated "the kids" new home
  • a return to Dan's cabin on West Twin Lake out of Nisswa MN, for his traditional family 4th of July gathering, as Marty's parents celebrate their anniversay
  • Patty met with members`of SMC '64: Denise Cavanaugh, Ginny Trombley Reiser at Fran's in Ashburn
  • Marty met with MIT classmates at their 40th reunion in June, when Bob Simcoe gave a demonstration of his project at the Harvard College Observatory.

While the even-numbered years are election years, we hope '06 is particularly notable. If democracy survives on this planet, the recent election may be seen as the beginnning of its restoration.

Thank you for your prayers and support this past year; to the extent we've been able to share the same with you, we feel privileged. While we've lived all over the country, we look forward to all your news and letters. We still feel close to you, in distance and time.

Bless You your Family and Loved Ones this Christmas.
Patty and Marty McGowan