The TribeMy parents are Jean Pierre and Dorothy. They retired to Florida sometime in the late 1980s, I don't remember exactly when. Mom died on 9/9/99. Dad remained in Florida and has since remarried. Diane (pronounced Dee-Ann) was a dear friend and neighbor of ours back in the early 1960s in Lincoln Park, NJ, and our families had fallen mostly out of contact for some 20 years. By chance Diane called just the night after we buried Mom, and in the following months proved herself again to be a great friend, helping Dad to cope with his loss and recover some positive direction in life. She has since become a dear friend and confidant of mine as well as gracefully and sensitively joining the family as "step-mom". Dad and Diane share their time between Toronto and Florida, and an occasional visit to France.
Mom had two litters of kids over the years. The first litter are the Waddington clan, whose father, Frank Waddington, died many years ago in France. The family tree is weighted heavily towards them. Peter and I are from the second litter. Boy, Mom hated when I used that term, but it's too good to pass up.
The Siblings: Bill, Philip, Nancy, and Peter.
Bill, the oldest sibling, has two children, Denise and Richard, both of whom are around my age, and with whom I've remained close since we were children together. Denise is Advertising and Web Director for Harvard University Press, and is engaged to be married to a great guy, Ralph, who has already won over the family. Richard is a suited-up lawyer in a very presigious D.C. law firm, and the creator of www.onlinevines.com, his hobby/passion which has apparently also proven to be profitable. He is married to Kristen, also a lawyer, who has her own firm with a partner. Kristen is possibly the most well-rounded person I've ever met. Three kids, including twins, a law practice, and keeping her sanity despite being married to my nephew Richard, who's even crazier than me. They have three children, Colin, and twins Claire and Amy. Their mother, and Bill's first wife, Bobby (Barbara) and her husband Eric are retired in the Washington D.C. area. Bill worked for AT&T, and subsequently was part of the formation of Lucent Technologies, where he remained until he and his wife Michaela retired happily in a beautiful spot in Georgia, sailing, and surrounded by good friends.
Philip has two children, Pam and William, both of whom live out on the Left Coast. William (also known as Willy and Bill, a source of endless confusions) is as happily married as I've ever seen anyone be. His wife, Patty, is bright, charming, and has my vote for Best Mom in California. They have two really smart, nice kids, Caitlin (my Goddaughter) and Nicholas. Pam is very close to her brother and his family, and spends a lot of time with them. She's the perfect Godmother and Aunt. Pam and William's Mom, Debby, found a calling as a minister later in life, and I am very very fond of her. She keeps very close ties with her kids. Philip and Ruth, both of whom served as executives in the Peace Corps (Ruth was part of Action, which is an organization connected to the Peace Corps in some way) met through their work in Washington D.C., and eventually married and moved to New Jersey, just a few miles from where I lived. Phil made a fairly stunning success of his new Real Estate career, from which he only recently retired. They now live in South Dakota (where Ruth grew up) in view of Mount Rushmore, with dogs, horses, and Lord only knows what else running around the "Waddington Ranch." I haven't been to see them yet out there, but they sound deliriously happy.
Nancy is the only one of the first litter who remained in France when Mom married my Dad and moved to the U.S. She was married twice, and recently lost her second husband, Claude, in the same week Mom died. (Ruth lost her father that week as well. It was especially hard on both of them.) Nancy lives in a seasonal beach town in the south of France, on the Mediterranean, not far from the Spanish border. Before he retired, Claud worked as a doctor in a clinic in town.
Peter, four years older than me, is the one I grew up with as a brother, where the others were kind of more like uncles, due to the age difference. Peter moved to France shortly after graduating from college, married Sylvia, and had a beautiful daughter Kelly, who is pretty much my favorite human being. Peter is one of the top still-life photographers in Paris, the Mecca of advertising photography, and runs a very successful studio. We tragically lost Silvia to cancer some years back, after which Peter and Kelly had to figure out how to be a family of two. They're really quite remarkable together, and although they complain endlessly about each other, I don't know a closer and more loyal father-daughter relationship than theirs. Peter also has a son, Ethan, who grew up with his mother and grandparents in New England, and has spent many holidays and vacations with the family, both in Florida and in France.
So that's the family. I have to do a page on Diane's side of the family as well. That'll come soon, I hope.