2005

Tien Niwo Maddi

Val & Jaime (a David Abrams photo)

Martha, Rudy, (standing); Ben, & Precy (sitting)
(another David Abrams photo, many thanks)

Tien Ming

 

 

Greetings and Best Wishes to Family and Friends

 

2005 was filled with much news, some joyous, some sad, but all emphasized the meaning of life, its passage, and the importance of family. Here are the highlights:

 

Val and Jaime Rogers were married in Lake Placid, July 9. Marrying into a family active in community life in Lake Placid for generations meant a gala affair (Jaime recently installed as mayor, his dad the judge and with his wife, editors of a local paper for years). For us, it was also a chance to get the east and west coast Magdamo/Ghent clan to get together. They made a formidable and colorful international presence at the affair. Shaun and Val got to see their cousins for the first time in 20 years. They vowed to not wait another 20. Being able to stay in a house (Valís friend Tracyís) made for great venue for renewing our sense of family, and the wedding forged the merging of two wonderful families. Martha and Fredís cousins, Mimi and Linda, got along famously. Marthaís daughters, our nieces, Christine and Louiseís sense of humor was the life of the parties. Jaime and his family are wonderful; we enjoyed meeting many new members of his family, including his brother, Nip, who spent a lot of time with our family. It was also good to have Peter come and represent the west coast branch of the Abraham family. We are very happy. It was very touching when Jaime and Val drove over to Vermont this fall to give us a new canoe/kayak hybrid, very high tech and beautiful.

 

For Priscillaís brother, Ben, it was a farewell appearance, a last chance for family loving, as within three weeks he passed away, finally succumbing to cancer. Ben was, as his sonís portrayed him at his funeral, a very loving and supportive father. He was very active in their church, and always inquiring into the meaning of life. Also, while characterized as very frugal, he and Pat made large gifts to Silliman University in the name of his parents, Guillermo and Mercedes Magdamo, who had been faculty at SU, including during the war years, when Silliman became a Japanese prisoner of war camp,to which the Magdamo family eventually were confined. We knew Ben as extremely ethical, considerate, and as a good friend. Shaun and Val both attended with me, his funeral, and again, the gathering of family was very significant. We got to know Marco and Kirwin, Ben and Patís two older boys, and their families better, a great opportunity for Val and Shaun. We vowed to have more gatherings, including this winter, with Marco, Kirwin, Chip, and Pat visiting the Vermont snow. While another brother died in early childhood, and Marthaís husband many years ago, Benís passing was the first of the Abraham and Magdamo siblings of that generation to go, so it and the wedding seem to mark a new phase of life for our geneation.

 

Other sad events were the passing of much loved pets, Valerieís dog Madeline, and Shaunís companion of almost 16 years, Tien Ming. Tien spent her weekday daytimes with us while Shaun worked, so we got be very fond of her ourselves. We got another very touching gift of special transmitting earphones from Tien, posthumously, as thanks for taking such good care of her, especially in her last difficult weeks.

 

Priscilla produced with her students at Silliman, in 2004, a CD of music for use by schools that emphasized both Visayan songs, and familiar cultural songs that students learn in grade school. It was different from her recording of 2003. This year, she spent over three months teaching and doing workshops at various universities in both Malaysia and the Philippines. Exhausting but rewarding. It was good to get her back. I was too busy with business and writing to make the trip this time, but have hopes of returning soon to Silliman to teach again. My brother, Ralph, and I (and others including a Wisconsin physicist and a math student, and an IT genius, are collaborating on some research on mathematical aspects of the psychology of art, experimental aesthetics, and the IT expert (Scott Draves) and I presented a paper on this in Denver in August, and will again, if funds allow, in Crete in March. A paper should be published soon; we are still tweaking the data.

 

I also have enjoyed playing in four town bands (Waterbury, Williston, Hinesburg, and Morrisville) and especially our jazz band, Green Mountain Swing. Our major gig of the summer season was playing for a dinner-dance on a cruise boat on Lake Champlain. We have gotten pretty good.

 

Those are a few highlights. Keeping in touch with family and friends is a high priority. Best wishes, Fred & Priscilla