Hello Friends and Family,

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Oregon or Bust, Interrupted

Please excuse me for the interruption to my Oregon photos but October 14 marked the 10th anniversary of my retirement from Hewlett-Packard Co, Inc. And what a wonderful twelve months it has been since the last anniversary. Last October, I was sharing Maui, which most of you know is the most wonderful spot on Earth (or at least it is in my humble opinion). This is one of my favorite views — from the lanai of the Napili Shores condo where I always stay, looking toward Napili Bay. The Gazebo sits below, preparing for the crowd of hungry folks who will soon arrive, looking forward to one of the best breakfasts on Maui.

Side story: one year when I was visiting Maui, I was chatting with a couple as we shared the warm relaxing waters of the Jacuzzi at Napili Shores. They told me that in the morning they had driven to Lahaina to find a good breakfast place. They asked several local people there and got the same answer — drive north to Napili Shores and dine at the Gazebo — they had not known it but they had an outstanding place for breakfast right where they were staying. So they drove back, stood in line, ate breakfast and loved it. By the way, the views are wonderful from the restaurant and can be enjoyed for breakfast or lunch.

In October and November, I shared photos of my morning walking route — along the Kapalua Shoreline Trail. This spot is on the property of the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua overlooking the coastline to the north. The scenery along the entire route is so spectacular, in my mind it is a must-do every morning on Maui — with the sole exception of occasional mornings when the rains come down hard.

In December, I shared photos from the Polo Championships in Scottsdale. To my surprise, I discovered that in addition to polo, there were collections of fine automobiles on display — here a 1927 Isotta Fraschini Model A8 SS Five Passenger Dual Cowl Phaeton offered for sale by Barrett-Jackson Auctions. I did not recall seeing one of these before, so I read the placard, "Of the handful of automotive concerns that launched the Brass Era during the 20th century, none so epitomized unbridled size and luxury as the Milanese manufacturer Isotta Fraschini."

"Like competitors such as Mercedes Benz and Fiat, Isotta Fraschini derived significant development know-how from its early racing endeavors. Isotta became the first automaker to fit four-wheel brakes to its production cars as standard equipment, and at the Paris Salon of 1919 introduced the world's first production inline eight-cylinder engine. The appearance of Isotta's Tipo 8 is noteworthy in that the motor debuted a year before Duesenberg's straight-eight and two years prior to the Bugatti's eight-cylinder line."

Eventually, the polo matches began. The field of play is large (as are the horses and players) so obtaining good photos was a challenge. Staying out of the way in the goal areas was especially challenging. But it was fun to watch.

Because of the many photos I shared from the Polo Championships, it wasn't until February that I could share the photos of ZooLights — which is held each year during the Christmas holiday season at the Phoenix Zoo. Millions of lights are hung, some static, some moving, some changing patterns to the sound of music.

In the center of the zoo is a large lagoon. Floating in the middle is a huge globe with lights that change in rhythmic patterns. Several times each hour there will be a light show coordinated with music.

Many Phoenix families visit every year — a family tradition that the kids cherish and pass on to their own kids.

In March, I took Johnny to the Lego KidsFest held at the University of Phoenix stadium which had hosted the Super Bowl exactly one month earlier. I was amazed at the models that had been constructed out of legos such as Lightning McQueen. Needless to say, Johnny had a ball, not just looking at the models but actually making stuff — such as a rocket ship and a race car.

This was also the day before my cataract surgery on my right eye. Funny how unrelated events can become linked in your memory.

In April, I shared the images from the Aloha Festival held at Tempe Town Lake. If you can't be in Hawai‘i, this is probably the next best thing.

In May, I shared the solemn ceremony — performed by the U.S. Coast Guard who took my sisters, my brother-in-law and me one nautical mile out to sea east of the Indian River Inlet in Delaware — to spread our parents' ashes, as was their wish. This shot was after our return — left to right, Connie, Janie, myself and Lisa.

In June, I continued to share photos from Georgia. One of the highlights of that trip was visiting a pioneer farm. I am always amazed at how resourceful our forebears were. This image is the apple house. For families in these parts, apples were a staple — eaten raw and used to make pies, apple sauce, apple butter, cider and vinegar. Storing them was critical — thus this dedicated structure.

Summer apples were stored on the upper floor, hardier winter apples were placed in ground-floor bins. Earth and thick stone walls provided insulation from heat and cold.

In July, I published photos from our time in Maryland, visiting family and old haunts such as Rayne's Reef in the town of Berlin. One of the reasons this place is so special is that our mom and dad used to come here on dates. I suspect it has been remodeled from time to time but my mom did tell me that even with the changes, it still brought back fond memories for her from her teenage years.

I continued to share photos of Maryland, especially Ocean City. Here my sisters were enjoying the historic carousel which is the jewel of Trimper's Attractions on the Boardwalk. It was purchased in 1912 by Daniel Trimper from the Herschell-Spillman Company in North Tonawanda, NY. It is 50 feet in diameter with incredible hand-carved animals — and no two are alike.

While in Ocean City, I read an article about the woman who maintains all the carousel animals for Trimper's. She started as an artist but helped maintain the rides just to make ends meet. Now she is an artist of a different sort — one who keeps the animals in repair and looking great.

In September, I published photos from the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. It was built by George Vanderbilt, grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt who created the family's vast fortune based on shipping and railroad empires. Eventually, the family fell on hard times (relatively speaking) and the estate was preserved as a museum and can be visited by the general public.

Construction began in 1889 and required six years and an army of workers and craftsmen to complete the 250-room French Renaissance château. According to their website, it is "the largest undertaking in residential architecture". Not only is the home spectacular, the grounds are equally so. If you are in the area, don't miss it.

Photos from Oregon will be continued next week...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com