Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Trips, Sad Trips

While I’ve already shared with you the fun of my latest trips—and some of the vacation photographs from Bill Bean’s own forsaken collection of memorabilia—it looks like there may be another trip following close on the heels of the previous ones.

This one, however, may not turn out to be one of those happy trips.

When I think of all the trips photo-documented in Bill Bean’s collection, I see many happy times represented. They show activities that Bill evidently gained much pleasure from—like, for instance, his many fishing and camping trips.

man displaying his catch from the Campbell River in British Columbia in Canada
Take this photo, unlabeled and undated as was Bill’s custom. Thankfully, the scene included the sign naming the location of this one fishing spot:
Richmond Court
Campbell River BC
Wherever Richmond Court on the Campbell River was located in British Columbia, I can’t determine. For the term, "Richmond Court," a Google™ search yields only locations of jurisprudence—hardly a stellar spot for recreation. The Richmond Court that I’m speaking of, however, did yield, apparently, a catch that one unidentified sportsman could be proud of making.

Or how about this next photo, uncharacteristically labeled with a date and partial identification:
Nov 10 – 57
       The Opera House
Went to see the Glass Curtain

Opera House from undisclosed city 1957

Unfortunately, the question still remains: which Opera House? Since Bill lived for many years in the Bay area, I had presumed it was the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. However, taking a look at pictures available online, unless the San Francisco structure underwent radical earthquake retrofitting, the Opera House where Bill saw the Glass Curtain had to have a different identity.

Granted, Bill and his wife, Ellen, did a lot of traveling. See, for example, a trip to an undesignated exotic location such as this one (note: complete with fishing catch, though I presume not his own!).

posing in front of four fish as catch of the day

These, however, are all tokens of happy memories. We rarely go out of our way to capture photographic memories of less joyful moments.

And yet, because of such less joyful moments, I may be traveling across country in the next few days.

Though as genealogists, we thrive on researching all the details on our long-gone ancestors, sometimes, like all people, we are called upon to set our daily tasks aside in favor of the needs of the family still with us. Usually, these are crisis times, admittedly. Who among us who value family, however, wouldn’t be ready and willing to do so?

For the past six months, one of my close family members has struggled with a health issue that appears to be at an irreversible point. I alluded to the struggle last winter, and during my trip east back then, managed to schedule enough posts to fill in for the days of my absence.

With this trip catching me so suddenly, though, I may have to take a rain check on our daily visits when you stop by to read A Family Tapestry. Some things simply allow us no time to prepare.

Hopefully, I’ll still catch a minute each day to check in—but I have to admit the stress of knowing what is facing a loved one has already taken its toll on me. On the other hand, having your company along the research way has been such a boost that I hate to miss any opportunity to connect with you each day.

If you are a praying person, I certainly appreciate your prayers for our family. And if you show up on these pages one morning and my customary post is not there to greet you, well…you’ll know I’m okay.

Just terribly sad.

The kind of sad that no one wants to capture in a photograph.


  1. I'm so sorry Jacqi. I am in the same situation so I very much feel the place you are in. Don't worry about your blog. We'll be here when you can smile again.

    1. Thanks, Heather. Sorry to hear you are going through much the same thing. It is so difficult, but I wouldn't want to not be there, if you know what I mean!

      Actually, the familiar faces of our blogging community provide a helpful bit of continuity during such an uncertain trial. If I can, you know I'll be here!

  2. Oh gosh, I am so sorry for what's going on right now. Sending prayers your way for strength during this difficult time. We will be here when you return so take time to be where you need to be.

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Andrea. Thankfully, those prayers do make a difference, as things seem to be in a holding pattern right now.

  3. Those sailfish are a remarkable size (and the number of them too!) I suspect Bill (and Ellen) are down south of the border -- perhaps even Costa Rica.


    She's had quite a struggle for the past 6 months. The poor woman. I continue to hope for the best - and hope for "pain-free" in any event. My thoughts are with you and your family -

    1. Costa Rica? I guess tracking the habitat of the fish would provide that clue. Not knowing much about fishing, I had just presumed the location was somewhere in Mexico--an easy trip from southern California.

      Thanks, Iggy, for your kind words.

  4. My prayers for what needs to be, and for comfort, and love, and ease for her. And for love, and support, and hugs for you.
    We listen in on your writing, and get great value and joy here. Now it is time for us to be here for you.
    You are allowed to cry and vent and grieve, in your own way, on a blog, you know. Or just disappear for a while.
    We'll be here when you are ready.

    1. Linda, thank you for your empathic expression. Your words fit the need so well right now...

  5. Jacqi, I'm sorry to hear that your loved one is not doing well after putting up such a valiant struggle all these months. Not at all the outcome that your family hoped and prayed for, I'm sure. Please get in touch if I can be any help to you whatsoever, should your visit bring you to my vicinity again. Sending my prayers for her, a hug for you, and kind thoughts for the whole family.

    1. Shelley, I may well do that. Everything is so up in the air right now (no pun intended, though my daughter is actually flying there tomorrow). Appreciate your kind words.

  6. I am sending prayers from travels..even the sad travels are part of the family history. Take good care of you! :)

    1. Thank you, Far Side. That is a good reminder!

  7. The "opera house" is the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) located in Mexico City.

    The "glass curtain" which threw me for a while! was not a performance, but an actual curtain made from Stained Glass.

    To quote:

    " However, the most impacting aspect is the stage "curtain" which is a stained glass foldable panel created out of nearly a million pieces of iridescent colored glass by Tiffany's in New York. This stage curtain is the only one of its type in any opera house in the world and weighs 24 tons. The design of the curtain has the volcanos Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl in the center. Around them is a Mexican landscape surrounded by images of sculptures from Yautepec and Oaxaca. This design was inspired by work done by artist Gerardo Murillo (Dr. Atl)"

  8. Ah ha! Just as lunch hour was coming to a close...

    Richmond Court...

  9. Jacqi, You and your close family member have my heartfelt prayers for the difficult days ahead. A hard time, and a time to express much love. My little sister died at age 46 and I still feel as if it were yesterday. You'll know what to do and say when the time comes.

    Somehow I never reflected that people do not take photos at sad times. Thanks for the three travel photos above.

    Wishing you strength and peace.

  10. I have a nearly identical photo of my grandmother who, with her boyfriend, went sailfish fishing in Mexico - in Acapulco or Mazatlan back in the early sixties.

    That skirt is great. Also dates it to about that time.

    There's the same face as in the hiking/road overlook photo. Is that Bill's wife, Ellen? Thanks.


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