BW and FR - Biography  1970 - Present   (3/17/08)

Caveats -

(BW) Aside from the timeline dates and noted sources, this is from my memory, with the occasional input from other people involved. Nothing wrong with memory, of course, but one has to expect that there would be a certain deviation from reality. I'm sure I don't remember, without some aid, important things that are part of my past, and I am also sure that what I do remember is just as likely as not to be incorrect. But, there's memory, none the less.

Continuation of Biography Part 1

? 1971 - LW and BW separate

May 1971 - BW and Eran move out of house at Surfside, Santa Cruz

Land lady, who lived next door, wanted the house for her daughter who was moving back to town.

1971 - BW and Eran move in with Joyce and Crittus (sp?) Locke at 3111 Mission Drive, SC

June 1971 - FR graduates from Gunn High School in Palo Alto.

Sept 1971 - 1974 - FR attends UCSC

Oct/Dec 1971 - BW and Eran take train trip across Canada

 (BW) I had payed off my student loans after working at the library for a couple of years and saw that as a juncture to move on to something else, maybe. I wanted to either move to Montreal or buy a piece of property around Santa Cruz to have a garden and build a house. So I think that was part of the reason to go to Canada, to visit Montreal. Eran and I drove up to Vancouver in the green Maverick and found a place to leave it parked while we caught the cross Canada train that I'm not sure is still running. It was stopped for a while. We didn't have a bed type seat, just camped out in the regular seating like lots of other people our age. We could turn the seats around and stretch out between them. I don't remember exactly how it happened or who was in the group, but we made friends with 4  or 5 other young people traveling on the train with us. So we had a little group traveling together. I remember that I was at the time entranced with hot air ballooning and fantasized about crossing the Atlantic in one. It was Thanksgiving, or thereabouts, and we got some of the first snows of the season, which was pretty rare for us.  When the train stopped at a major station, we all got out and threw snowballs at each other. Everybody loved playing with Eran.

It took several days to cross Canada, of course, and when we got to Montreal, we and a couple of others of the group got off to visit the city. I can't remember where we stayed, but it might have been at a hostel. I do remember just roaming around the city and enjoying how european it was. After a day or two, we got back on the train and rode out to the east most point, Halifax. We spent a couple of days in Halifax where we stayed in a hostel that was just a big house with people crashing in the rooms. We had a good time there, met a beautiful woman who came out to visit us in Santa Cruz.

After the nice visit there, we got back on the train, sped back to the west coast, picked up the car, and drove back to Santa Cruz. I'm thinking that we met Myron on the way back to Vancouver and he took some time off and drove back with us. He was only slightly crazy. I woke up while he was driving one time at night in between two large semis each going different directions. Fortunately the car was small and we fit between them down the middle of the road. Later Myron came down to visit while Francesca and I were on the property, but I haven't heard from him since. Interesting guy, he was very young, but already driving big machinery for a living (dangerously) in Calgary, I believe.

When we got back I started to look for land to see if I could find anything, still thinking of moving to Montreal as an option. But I found the property in Scotts Valley and decided to stay and build a house and garden there.

June 1972 - (Dave and Fern) Buy property in Scotts Valley (2230 Glenwood Drive) for BW

(BW) This is a beautiful couple of acres in the redwoods. It's on the side of a pretty steep ravine, so there is not a large building pad, but large enough. We looked for several months and Dad came out to help after we had located this piece. As I remember prices were about $2,000 an acre and this piece was about $6,000. But there were not a lot of pieces I thought I could afford on the market.

Late 1972 (?) - BW moves onto Scotts Valley Property

(BW)  I moved onto the property into a tepee that I had made out of some green canvas type cloth I had carried around for years, then built a treehouse in between two big redwoods. I spent the winter in the treehouse on the property. It was wonderfully wild up there. In the winds, the two redwoods would twist the treehouse back and forth, but it was designed to be flexible, so it survived. There were few other people living up there yet and it was like being in the mountainous wilds, except I could get to work each day. The road up to the property from Glenwood, which was dirt and gravel, was sometimes empassable, usually because of a landslide and trees falling across it. I could walk the half mile from Glenwood however, often on very dark nights with the smell of fallen trees across the road.

April 1973 - Marriage between BW and LW dissolved

Summer 1973 - FR visits England, Israel

Summer 1973 - Eran and Fern visit Hawaii

Sept 1973 - Dave died in Texas, near Austin.

(BW) Dad died from a heart attack suffered I believe when he lost a bale of hay off his pickup and stopped to try to put it back on. That would do it. In my experience the only way to move a bale of hay by yourself is downhill. They're heavy. His death was tragic. He was pretty young, 54 or something, and had only been retired from the Air Force for a few years. Of course, he had had some very productive time in the Air Force, but I am sure he felt that his activities after retiring were far more interesting and fun than the work he had been doing of late. It is because of this that I was more interested than I might have been in retiring myself at the earliest possible moment. I resemble my Father closely in physical characteristics and probably share whatever propensity for heart attacks. It's a good way to die, but not before you have some time to and for yourself after the years given to earning a wage.

I learned of Dave's death while I was at work. It didn't hit me nearly as hard as the news of Wende's death had, but it was still a reminder of the fragility of our lives. Eran was in Texas visiting his Grandparents when this happened. I went out to help Mother dispose of some of Dad's things, picked up the older International pickup, and drove back with Eran to Santa Cruz with the pickup and a trailer loaded with tools and junk that had belonged to him and his Father. It was a huge load and the pickup was really strained to make some of the grades. Our windshield wipers gave out in a big rainstorm in Arizona on the way to the Grand Canyon, but we were lucky, we got back in one piece with no major truck trouble to speak of. I still have and use many of those tools. I had the truck and drove it all over until we moved to San Luis Obispo. I think it lives still in the gardens around Davenport.

I had moved an old partly rebuilt house trailer onto the property, and I and Eran moved into that.

Spring 1974 - Francesca working in Covello with Alan Chadwick

June 15, 1974 - BW and FR married each other in the garden

(BW)I thought that we met in the Science Library when she came in for some books on botany and we got to talking about the plants on my property. Joyce told me that Francesca had been at a party I was at earlier, but I didn't remember that. However we met, it was the beginning of a great relationship. I gave up all my other girlfriends and concentrated on reeling her in. She wasn't an easy catch.

July 1974 - FR bicycles around the San Juan Islands

July 1974 - BW and FR started living together

July 15, 1974 - Final Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage between BW and LW, Santa Cruz

Summer 1974 - Eran and Fern visit Florida and the Bahamas

1975 - 1985 - BW and FR help found and work with the Alternative Energy Coop and Energy Center , SC.

(BW)This was my 10 year and $10,000 donation to the community. We formed initially to put up a booth on Alternative Energy at the Spring Fair still held, at that time, on the Mall, Pacific Ave, of downtown Santa Cruz. Jeff Shuey, Mike .., Francesca and I made posters and demonstration devices to try to convince people that they could use solar, wind and whatnot energy. Those days people were much more open to these ideas and even caught up by them, as we were. Eventually, the group included many more people and besides putting up more and more involved booths at the Spring Fair and many other such events ranging from San Francisco to San Lius Obispo, we started a newspaper, The Energy News, gave workshops, and maintained a resource center where there was a little library and bookstore. In the stream of enthusiasm, I built many solar water heaters and food dryers.

July 4, 1975 - Raphael born in Scotts Valley at home, in the trailer they lived in on the property.

(BW) Of course we had chosen a home birth. We had a couple of great midwives, Karen and Maria When Francesca's water broke early one morning, I ran down to the neighbor's house just below us and used their phone to call the widwives. The birth went really well, Raphael was born quickly without protracted labor. He was a happy and contented baby right from the start. But the placenta did not separate as it should have, so after waiting a respectable time we went down to the hospital and Francesca was tortured by the doctors anyway. He wasn't named right away. We decided on Raphael when we went down to a Bio-Dynamic conference in LA when he was a tiny baby, still. He traveled well and also was happy to be left with his Grandmother if we had to go somewhere and not take him. 

(From the logs we kept at that time: Francesca's water broke and contractions started at 2:30 AM. Contractions were about 5 mins apart. Contractions hurt, she did shallow breathing. At 7:00 contractions were about 4 mins. At 8:00 3 mins. Late first stage. At 8:30, ear syringe, clamps, and sissors sterilized and bed changed. At 10:00 F sitting in rocking chair, finds contractions easier to take there. 10:30 Changed bed, still doing well. About 11 or 12 contractions start to get harder. F not always able to stay relaxed, but holding up well, getting lots of help from Kristin and Marie. Massaging legs. Helping with breathing. Deep breath followed by several little breaths. She looks like she is really working. A couple of really big contractions. Mucous flow caught by pamper between the legs. Lying on side with pillow between legs right now, mostly resting.

(Big baby born about 1:45 PM by our clock which has to be calibrated against an accurate one. Everything happened very quickly during the second stage. I was massaging the perinium and on about the 6th contracftion the head was born. Maria checked and found that the cord was around the neck but brought it around the head with no problem. Very purple. The next two contractions had the rest of the body out. The boy had lots of mucous noises. Opened eyes right away, didn't seem to object being out.

(At 3, placenta still not separated. He and I both sucked and fed F a lemon and lots of tea. I cut the cord with our sissors. The place is a mess. I'm tired. F is fine though and the baby seems happy. Clock is about 33 min fast, so kid was born about 1:12 PM, about 8 pounds. Time now -3:40. Placenta still not born, baby and mom are doing fine. We changed the bedding, everything looks clean. 7 PM Baby and F are fine but still no placenta - small contractions only. some urine - cloudy all day.

( F. managed to get a little sleep. Baby is sleeping nicely- making lots of little breathing sucking mouth and throut nosies. F fusses over him. M and K are reading on Eran's bed- patiently waiting. Tme for me to fix dinner while I try to think of a name to go with David.

(8:30 Still no placenta separate. F's had lots of tea (Black Cosh, etc.) Just convinced her to drink some cayenne and fed her lots of comfrey to help with the internal bleeding. Pulse - 84. Still getting little contractions and little loss of blood. Were considering taking F to the hospital for manual removal of placenta. I'm going to go get the car ready. Reincarnation of parisian gentleman - highly refined fingers and deep lines.

(9:30 We went to hospital. Dr Scott met us there. K took baby and F went into the emergency room. There she got pit and a ..? to clamp down the uterus. Pit started heavy contractions and Dr scott tugged the cord and the placenta till it came out. I had to leave during the heavest part of this cause the energy was so intense and I felt I was going to be sick. But I went back in and the placenta had been born and F was doing fine. Placenta had come out entire and looked good. F got lots of fluids at the hospital, needs lots of juice now for awhile. F rested at the hospital for about half an hour and to look for any hemmoraging. Was none, she stayed dry as a bone. We left the hospital about 12. Glad to have the whiole things over with and all of us very tired.

(We slept on and off all night. Today 7/5. baby still looks good, weezing alot, but sleeping alot. Hasn't had first (2nd) shit yet, but did urinate. Doesn't complain too much but we gave him some water with comfrey and yerba santa in it. His first tea! to help smooth thngs out inside for hjim and help his breathing. Has a little mucous discharge from his left eye and a blood clot on it. I think it was scratched or bruised during birth. Resting fine now, making little nosies.

(F''s father came by in the am and later her mother and brother came by. Ann came by and brought us some pastry and strawberries and whipped cream. We think that his breating is better. - Next day. I get several hrs sleep and then F got a couple. I held him for a long time in AM when he looked all around and then fell asleep. Put him in his basket and cleaned up a little. Baby has been sleeping most of the night in bed with us and we take turns paying attention to him while the other one sleeps. I'm getting tired now from being up before dawn even though it is only a bout 10 Am. He seems to be doing ok. Lots of small bowel movements - 6 or 7. And urinating freely, we've been giving him sterilized water with yerba santa for his mucous. Just gave him 2 dropper fulls. F looks good, feels ok.

(18 3/4 " long. Hands - has long lines and finger nails. Long first and second phalange. Good thumbs (keeps his thumbs in a lot) narrow fingernails - strong lines head and life chainded at the start. Head and heart lines widely separated. Maybe jupiter venus lunar apollo mars mercury saturn.

(Skipping a little adventure at the hospital where baby gets lungs x-rayed and we find out everything is ok.)

(8/10 - Baby bear is dong fine. We finally named him - Raphael David Weston Ritson-Williams. But to us it's baby bear. We named him at the Biodynamic conference in LA. Someone who was there suggested the name Raphael. Baby went to all the Biodynamic talks and then all the solar energy talks for the next week in LA at UCLA where we stayed at the dorms. Then we stayed a night at John's and then went up to Santa Barbara to visit Betsy and Frank for a couple of nights. Baby bear is really getting big now. Eye infection has cleared up. Breathing has cleared up. Looks around a lot and has started to smile and makes funny noises, very cute.


Even though there was no room in the trailer to speak of, no water system to speak of, no electricity, and the roof leaked, I remember being very happy there.

Summer 1975 - Eran and Fern visit Alaska via cruise

May 1976 - FR and family buy house on Sutphen, Santa Cruz

Summer 1976 - Eran and Fern visit Africa

Fall 1976 - 1977 - BW gets MLS at San Jose State University

(BW) Work at the Science Library turned a little unpleasant for me after my original boss, Len Smith, left to work in another part of the library. Things were not really bad enough to think about leaving, but still I needed a change, so I dropped back to half time and enrolled in the Library Science master's program at San Jose State. You can commute to San Jose State from Santa Cruz, barely. I did the program in one year instead of the usual whatever, to maximize the time. And for electives, I took all the solar courses that were offered in the environmental studies program. What I remember most from that experience was that taking classes while you are working at the same subject was tremendously more interesting than just taking the courses in the abstract. That is probably even more true for something like Librarianship as it can be way dull otherwise. But I really enjoyed it. I wasn't their stellar student, but I got a lot out of it. After I graduated, I stayed at the Science Library, even though I could have joined the pool of graduates looking for a professional position and not got a job like they did.

? 1977 - FR's Grandfather Vincenzo M. dies

April 1977 - BW, FR, and Raphael moved to Sutphen

(BW) The plan was to build a house on the property in Scotts Valley, of course. I did the design and had an engineer do the footings, so the plans were approved and we had a building permit., with a permit for having the trailer on site temporarily. But we were not working on the house as quickly as our neighbors or the building department wanted us to. Our neighbors in particular didn't like our lifestyle, not too surprising. They were city folk simply transplanted into the urban forest. So, the building department would not renew our trailer permit and we had to remove it. We moved into town, moved the trailer for a few weeks, then moved it back onto the property. As long as we weren't living there, they couldn't complain about that, even though it was the trailer that they particularly didn't like. Not the greatest neighbors.

We moved into an apartment downtown while we waited for the house on Sutphen to come available.

Summer 1977 - Eran and Fern take Taulk Tour to the unknown, maybe Yellowstone

Fall 1977 - FR worked part time at Solar Access as bookkeeper

Summer 1978 - Eran and Fern go to the Orient and India

Summer 1979 - Eran and Fern go to ??

Winter 1979 - FR goes back to UCSC

June 1980 - FR graduates from UCSC with BA in Environmental Studies

Summer 1980- Eran and Fern go to New England

1980 - FR manager of Monterey Peninsula College Energy Center

Christmas 1982-3 (?)

For two years running Fern won the lottery of tickets to the Bracebridge Dinner at the Awannee in Yosemite. One of the years we stayed at the Awannee and the other year we stayed in the Lodge. Both dinners were great theatrical affairs. One of the years as we were standing around in the huge lobby next to the dinning room waiting for dinner, a fellow party goer who we did not know began to tell people in the lobby that I really was someone famous who they might have thought I was. (All greybeards look alike.) The guy had a great sense of humor and went around convincing people that I was "someone". I didn't participate, but he didn't need me to. Very embarrassing, but fun. Turns out that he worked for a marine construction company in Morro Bay and got in trouble a few years later for driving a big tractor down the middle of the street busting all the reflectors out of the road. I never met him in Morro Bay even though we moved near there just a few years later than the Bracebridge Dinners.

1981-1982 - BW part time lecturer at UCSC in Science Writing Program

(BW) One of the Reference Librarians at the Science Library was Connie Wilson. She was great to work with. She had very high professional standards and it helped me to have some of that rub off. She came to work right at the time we were getting our first computer literature searching equipment, the famous TI Silent 700, and, as the main reference librarian, she went to be trained in the various and sundry which she gladly shared with me. So largely thanks to her, I became completely familiar with all aspects of computer literature searching as it was in those days and got in on the ground floor of the use of small computers in the reference department. Connie had worked with the head of the Science Writing Program, a graduate certificate program at UCSC, to develop a course on science research for the students. They got part of the way toward the development of the course and then she left for Australia, where her husband was from. She turned the course over to me. I completed the development and taught the course for two years. That was fun. I was working half time and teaching this course part time. It's an amazing amount of work, but it was ground breaking work, not that anybody noticed, so I enjoyed it.

1982 - Fern moved to Santa Maria, Ca. from Texas

May/June 1983 - BW, FR, and Raphael went to England and Italy for 7 weeks

Raphael fell into Paris pond pushing boat.

June 1983- Eran graduated from Santa Cruz High School

Fall 1983 - June 1984 - Eran attended Lewis and Clark in Portland, OR.

Jan 1984 -- FR started working for Santa Cruz Planning Dept.

June 1985 - BW resigned from UCSC

Summer 1985 - Fern and Raphael go to dude ranch

August 1985 - BW sells Scotts Valley property to Marc Ritson

We were fortunate that Marc was looking for a project. When we got the property appraised we were amazed at how much it had appreciated. What we paid $6,000 for was now worth nearly $60,000, a good investment. We used the money we got from Marc for a down payment for the house we bought in Atascadero. And then, because we had bought a house in Portland by the time our house in Atascadero sold, we took that money and invested it. That was the main source of capitol that let me retire early. Real estate has done as much for us as our professions. But, real estate is making money by luck, more or less, and income from profession is earned. Not everyone is so lucky in land. Dad and Mom sold almost every one of their places at or nearly at a loss, except for Mother's house in Santa Maria.

Marc went on to build a beautiful house on that property, now worth millions.

Sept 1985 - BW began working at Cal Poly SLO as reference librarian and PC support for the reference dept.

(BW) Work at the Science Library got uglier and uglier with little hope in sight for any diminution in craziness. We had hired a great gal to replace Connie as head of Reference and we both decided on leaving. I was fortunate that a job opened up at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in the reference dept, half time reference and half time microcomputer support. Perfect for me. Reference at Cal Poly was not split up into departments as it is in some libraries. They had one speciality, Learning Resources (Education), but otherwise all reference questions came to the one desk. After working at UCSC with so many great people I had very high skills in science reference, but not much in business or social science, et al. So working the reference desk at Cal Poly was sometimes a matter of muddling through. In the sciences, I was their expert, and they needed someone to take over part of the computer searching duties, so I was also assigned some of that.

Moving to Cal Poly was traumatic. I felt for months like I had been pulled out by the roots from my old seed bed. But, for some reason, being at Cal Poly was also liberating. I started to crank out papers for publication and for presentation at library conferences. While I was at Cal Poly I contributed to books, wrote a book, and did many papers, most on some aspect of computers and libraries. It was a very productive period for me. And workwise I got further and further into the computer side of things, eventually becoming the Temporary Automation Manager for the library.

Fall 1985 - BW, FR, and Raphael stayed with Fern in Santa Maria while we looked for a new house around San Luis Obispo, Ca.

Mother was living in Santa Maria, so on the plus side, we got to visit regularly and while we looked for someplace to buy in the San Luis Obispo area, we stayed with her.

Nov 1985 - Brian and Francesca purchase Atascadero property ($157,703), 12300 Morro Rd.

This was a neat piece of property. There were a few problems with it: it was too near the highway, the well was too shallow, most of it was too steep, and the main part of the house was a remodeled shack. The construction that was new on the house and the little house in back were done extremely well, but the old part of the house should have been tossed out and rebuilt from scratch. There was enough land for us to have a really nice size garden which we fenced both above and below ground, fighting gophers and deer. We planted lots of trees and roses and had a nice vegetable garden. We got an extra water tank so we could store more water or have some brought in when needed. We added a kitchen to the house, which was a pretty big project for us since we did all the carpentry, tile, electrical, plumbing and gas. Lots of fun. The drive to Cal Poly was about 30 minutes, but the traffic was so much less hectic than that of Santa Cruz, it was almost pleasant. There were a lot of things I missed about Santa Cruz, but not the traffic.

August 1986 - Raphael and Fern visit China

Sept. 1986 - Eran in India with Antioch College

Sept 1986 - FR went to Rome for 2 weeks with Ada Ornsteil to visit Ada's twin sister

Feb. 1987 - Eran goes to Nepal

Feb. 13, 1987 - FR's Grandmother (Daisy Ritson) died in London

March 1987 - FR and Raphael went to London and Italy for a month

Sept. 1987 - Eran attends St. Johns in Santa Fe.

Sept 1987 - FR started Architecture program at Cal Poly, SLO

July 1989 - Raphael and Fern cruise to Mexico

June 1989 - Eran graduates from St Johns

1990 - Eran goes to Mali with Peace Corps

April 1, 1990 - Brian and Francesca marry legally in Morro Bay, Ca.

(BW) As I said, F and I married ourselves in 1974. As far as we were concerned we were married. California recognizes common law marriage, but some states don't and neither does the US government, as far as I know. But, I began to feel that if something happened to me there might be some legal problems for Francesca with spousal inheritance, et al, so we decided to just go ahead and get legally married. We chose April 1 because both sets of our parents had been married on that date.

Sept. 1991 - FR graduates with B. Arch from Cal Poly.

June 1991 - BW and FR moved to Portland and rent an apt at 2917 NE 13th for a couple of months

(BW) At Cal Poly, I had moved from doing microcomputer support for the reference department half time to being the library's Temporary Automation Manager as the library's automation got more intense. I was fortunate once again in having an excellent tutor in things of the network, Ralph Nichovitch (sp?), and he helped us put the library's system on the internet, such as it was at that time. But the library director made sure I knew that the job was only a temporary one and he had no intention of making it a real permanent position. For one thing, campus politics was against the library playing a strong role in automation. There was the general feeling that those sorts of things should be centrally managed from the Computer Center. From the Library Director's point of view my main accomplishment had been to fight off the Computer Center Director and prevent him from absconding with the funds that had been set aside statewide for the library's automation. The Computer Center despot wanted, understandably, to add our money to his pile and buy a bigger IBM mainframe with it. Of course nothing worth having for the library ran on the IBM, but that was just a detail to him.

As Francesca had just graduated and now would normally become an intern with an architecture firm and then get her license, it was a good time to look for other work. We needed a bigger market. We traveled to Santa Fe, Denver, Portland, and Seattle to see what was out there. I was pretty hopeful as Library Automation was a specialization at that time that not that many people could do and there were job openings. While we were in Portland, I happened to find out that Multnomah County Library had an opening and I picked up an application as we were leaving. They hired me over the phone.

I wanted the change of jobs and locations to be more than just a step along the way, and looked for a retreat package of some kind that I could mark the change with. I wasn't looking for anything in particular. I found a 2 week retreat at the Tassaharra Zen Center. I had done some meditation previously on my own, but not Zen. At Tassahara I fell right into Zazen and loved being up there. They tried to talk me into staying, telling me that I didn't need to worry about who would support my family because support comes from Buddha anyway in all cases. I wasn't quite ready to go that far, but I did begin to sit then and have continued regularly since then.

July 1991 - BW began working for Multnomah County Library in Portland Oregon as Automation Manager

1992 - BW, FR, and Raphael move to 2216 SW 17th, Portland where they rented for a year.

(BW) We were in Portland's South Hills, a prestigious area uphill from downtown. I walked to work and back. I say back because it was about a mile straight up. We were in what had once been a carriage house or garage that had been recently remodeled. Really not big enough for us but it was in the district for the high school we wanted Raphael to go to.

1992 - BW's book on Computer Conferencing published

(BW) This book was written while I was at Cal Poly. I used it, and course work in computer science, to qualify for tenure, which you have to do in 7 years there. In fact I am sure I would have qualified, but my tenure committee was still meeting when I left for Multnomah. I tried to do too much with the book. Because automation and the internet was new to librarians, I tried to put in way too much stuff thinking to help provide a reference for some of things they would need, such as a manual for reading newsgroups, which was soon out of date, anyway. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't. It didn't sell well.

1991-1993 - Raphael goes to Lincoln High School in Portland, OR

(BW) Another advantage of moving from Cal Poly was that the high school that Raphael was in in Atascadero did not inspire any confidence in us that he was being prepared for college, et al. In Portland, Lincoln high school had all sorts of advanced programs for him and he took advantage of those and did well.

Sept 1992 - Brian and Francesca purchase Elliott property (Portland, Or.) ($106,500)

(BW) We scraped together enough money for a down payment and started looking for a house to buy. We found one in an area of east Portland called Ladd's Addition. Ladd's has several big classic craftsmen type houses, but there are also smaller houses that were built later. It is a quite nice neighborhood with fantastic rose gardens located throughout. We found a house built in the 30's that had a lot of charm and had room for some remodeling, just our kind of place.

Oct 1993 - Sale of Atascadero property ($175,000)

1993-95 - Raphael goes to University of Rochester

1994 - Eran graduates with Masters at San Jose State in ESL

July 18, 1994 - Eran and Kimi marry

Sept 1994 -May 1996 - Eran and Kimi go to Hungary to teach English

Sept 1995 - Sale of Sutphen property in Santa Cruz ($167,000)

By this time, the Sutphen house, which started out being owned by several of the Ritson kids, was just owned by Francesca and Raphael. The profits from the sale were split between them. Raphael put his away for school, as was the intent of his Grandparents, and Francesca added her part to our investments.

Sept 1995 - Francesca starts to work at Portland Public Schools as Architectural Designer

Sept 1995 - Raphael goes to Portland State University

August 1996 - Eran starts teaching in the ESL program at San Jose State University

Sept 1996 - Raphael goes to Evergreen State University, Olympia, Washington

June 1997 - Raphael graduates from Evergreen with BS in Biology ?

? 199- Raphael goes to University of Guam in the Marine Biology Masters program

April 1999 - BW and FR visited Paris for a week

March 1999 - FR gets arch. license in Wa.

Oct - Dec 1999 - BW and FR To China as exchange Librarian and tourist

(BW) This was a great trip. The Provincial Library of Fujian in Fuzhou has a cultural exchange program with the Oregon State Library. Each year for the last 5 years or so one librarian was chosen to go visit the other's libraries. One year a librarian from China would come to Oregon, then the next year a librarian from Oregon would go to China. The host library pays the expenses of the visitor. I was chosen to go because China wanted an automation person and it was Multnomah's turn to send someone. The people of the library in Fuzhou were most hospitable. I spent many days in the Provincial Library meeting with the different staff people and units of the library learning how they did things and talking about how we worked in Multnomah. I was assigned a translator, Ms Chin, who worked in their Foreign Language department and Mr Ke Shaoning, who was the head of that department. Communication was a big problem, partly the language, partly the style, but we all still got a lot out of the exchange. I spent 3 weeks in Fuzhou and then 3 weeks in Quanzhou. They agreed to having Francesca come over for the last couple of weeks to stay with me in the hotel at Quanzhou and then after the 6 weeks of exchange was over, we spent 2 weeks traveling around China on a tour that we had put together with an agent before we left Oregon. The hotel in Fuzhou was a little impersonal, as they are in big cities. I ate most often in the dinning room of the hotel. Food was good, completely Chinese, but not really special otherwise.  A driver picked me up every morning and drove me down the road a little way to the Library. This is in the south east part of China and is semi-tropical, warm and moist. I was too hot most of the time. The architecture was open with lots of patios and openings in the buildings for the wind to blow through. In addition to having a desk in the computer staff room, I was taken around to spend time with the other sections of the library. And we visited other libraries in Fuzhou and out in the countryside. There are several universities in Fuzhou and we visited them and their libraries, which was interesting. Lunch on the outings was always a big meal in Chinese fashion, always good. The usual Chinese restaurant has small rooms for different parties to eat in at a big round table with a lazy susan for passing around the dishes. I almost never knew what I was eating, but it was usually good. In town, I would get a ride back to the hotel for lunch and then again to go back to the library for the afternoon. There were no westerners in the hotel that I ever saw, and in fact I saw few westerners in Fuzhou at all. It is not on the tourist route. But there were many interesting things to see there. The city has many large Banyan Trees and there are several temples in town and in the area. We visited one where the books were written in the blood of the worthy monks. The city has large central markets where people shop for food. In general people buy everything fresh as there is still not refrigeration in all homes. The big markets have everything. Fuzhou is not far from the coast, so there is every sea creature, crates of all poultry and small animals, all the vegetables they grow and fruit. The markets are huge, on the scale of the old farmers' market in LA.

In Quanzhou, the hotel had a few foreigners, practically the first I had seen, and they also had a breakfast that was sort of western, if you wanted it, which we didn't. I became a big congee fan. Dinner there in the hotel restaurant was great. They figured out right away that we wanted to eat special Chinese things, so they quit bringing us the translated menu, which didn't have much we were interested in and made up a menu for us each day with just a few things that they hand wrote out for us. Always good. Quanzhou was considerably smaller than Fuzhou, but it had a lot more character. We enjoyed our stay there.

The tourist part of the trip hit a few of the high spots: Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. We saw a lot of interesting China. And we saw how normally bad the food was that is served to those poor tourists that get trapped on those tours. We didn't have good food on that whole part of the trip, with few exceptions as in Hong Kong when we were pretty much on our own for a couple of days and just about to leave.

Oct. 5, 1999 - Noah born to Kimi and Eran

August 2000 - BW retires from Multnomah County Library

Sept 2000 - Francesca gets a new job as Senior Architect with EMRA in Seattle.

Sept 2000 - Brian and Francesca moved to Seattle

Sept 2000 - BW and FR sell Elliott House in Portland to brother Peter ($173,000)

Oct 2000 - Brian and Francesca purchase house on Taylor Ave. on Bainbridge Island, Wa. ($209,000) and move in.

(BW) We looked for a place to buy for a month. We had two agents helping us and we saw 50 houses, some on Bainbridge and some in north Seattle areas. Finally we found a small house on a large lot a block from the water on Bainbridge that we liked pretty much. It was old, built in the 20's, but had just been remodeled. It was tiny, but somehow we shoe horned everything in and started a garden. Francesca took the ferry to work everyday. I drove her down in the morning and she took the bus home. We lived pretty close to the ferry terminal on the island.  She had two offices, one was a block from the ferry building in Seattle and the other was not that close, but still a walkable distance from the ferry, so the commute, which can be horrendous in Seattle, was not that bad.

Life on the island was quite provincial, but still fun. We found a great tai-chi program and started learning tai-chi. There was no Zen Center to speak of, so I had noone to sit with, but I just sat at home by myself (Well, one does not sit by oneself, even if they are alone.) We were always struck by the difference between Port Townsend and Bainbridge. Port Townsend is really fun to visit: lots of good bookstores, craft and art stores, pretty good restaurants, great scenery. Winslow, on Bainbridge, has some of that, ie, two good restaurants downtown, beautiful scenery with the harbor and the occasional eagle. (Eagle Harbor was named that by the natives because of the eagles there, but, of course, there are fewer there now.) But the bookstore is only so-so and why does Port Townsend have so many of them? You'd think just being a ferry ride away from downtown Seattle, a lot more interesting stores and things could be supported on Bainbridge. Mystery.

We had the greatest neighbors there. In fact, one of things I learned after leaving California was how much more friendly people are in the northwest than anywhere else I have ever been. Best kept secret. California is a pretty casual state, compared to, say, Texas or Georgia and people are pretty open and friendly there. But I was amazed when we moved to Portland how much more friendly people were there than in Ca. even.  And when we moved to Washington, people were more friendly yet. What was there, a wave of friendlyness cresting over the whole country? Whatever, it was nice. On Bainbridge, the neighbors took us right in. Of course, the one neighbor had grown up in our house! And the folks on the other side had lived on the island all their lives and knew everybody. They had a great garden and gave us lots of things to plant.

We put our deer fence up and got started putting in a nice little vegetable garden in back and a flower garden in front. Bainbridge has about 20,000 people, but it is remarkably rural with lots of forest in small pieces. And lots of deer. Across the street from us was the proverbial empty lot that was a sort of second growth forest and the deer poured out there, crossed the street and came right through our yard to the apple trees of our neighbors, neatly pruned up to just where the deer could reach the new tender shoots. Deer love apples, and roses, and tulips. Amazingly, although residents complain about the deer invading their gardens, you see very few 8 foot fences to keep them out. But we had two, one in front to keep the deer out of the roses and tulips and one in back to keep them out of the vegetables. They work fine, as long as you remember to close the gates. Deer are very smart and they learn how to take advantage of any weakness in your deer defense system, except they really don't jump over an 8' fence very often. We also tried the soap repellent, hair, pepper repellent, and whatnot to keep them from eating the tulips we optimistically put in front of the fence along the road. Nothing like that worked. We didn't stop the deer from walking across our property and we didn't want to. We always enjoyed being visited by the deer, just as long as they didn't eat our plants.

June 2001 - Eran returns to Guinea for a month to work on the English plan for the bank.

Spends a week in Paris on the way back to the US in July.

Fall 2001 - Kimi begins teaching at San Jose State U. in the ESL program also.

Fall 2001 - Eran accepted to the Fine Arts Writing program of San Jose State U.

2002 - Eran, Kimi, and Noah move to Bay St in Santa Cruz.

July 2002 - Raphael graduates with Masters in Marine Biology from University of Guam

August 2002 - Raphael moves to Fort Pierce, Florida and starts work for the Smithsonian at their marine lab.

Oct 2002 - Francesca takes a job with the Washington State Dept of Corrections as Project Manager in Olympia

(BW) The company Francesca had found work with in Seattle folded. They were a small business and relied on subcontracts for the work they were doing. When those dried up, they couldn't keep people on their staff. Francesca joined the ranks of the unemployed. She looked for work for about a year before being called from Olympia about a job in project management with the state she did not even apply for. She interviewed and they offered it to her. Moving was not a problem, we had been there for 2 years but were not wedded to the place, so we moved to Olympia. We rented a duplex in Olympia for the time being and looked for a place to buy.

Dec 2002 - House on Bainbridge is sold ($214,000) and everything is moved to Olympia.

July 2003 - Bought the House near Shelton ($250,000) and moved in from the rental in West Olympia.

(BW) We looked a long time for a house in the Olympia area. We were looking for something on the west side within 20 minutes of Francesca's work. In this part of the Puget Sound there is a lot of waterfront and lots of nice places to live. I got the password from our realtor to the MLS and with our high speed connection to the web from our rented home, I would search the MLS for new listings every day or so. We would get good descriptions of the property from the real estate listings and from the database that Thurston County has online which shows lots of good things about every parcel in Thurston County. Too bad other counties, like Mason, don't have as good a database on the web for their parcels. We drove by lots of places and if something looked particularly interesting we ask our realtor to set up visits for us.

We found the place we did buy by searching the MLS database with a slightly wider net than we had been using. And it is just about too far from town. But that is offset somewhat by its having two houses for the price of one and having lots of room for us to garden, besides the house being fantastic, and having 20 some odd mature fruit trees. We made an offer way below what they listed at and to my surprise they went for it. The property had many small problems, and one bigger one: there wasn't a good water supply. They owners had been using a spring, but the spring was not testing clean. They gave us some money toward a well, which we would have put in anyway, because we knew we needed more water for gardening than the spring was producing. The well was put in at about 200 feet and produces about 50 gals a minute, which is big.

There were two cats here when we saw the place and we offered to take them with the property; we knew that cats are often more attached to the place than the people. They were happy with that, took one of the cats and left one, Ms Kitty.

We spent a lot of time getting rid of the cat smell in the house and catching the mice that had moved in during the year that the house had been empty. We eventually caught and released over 200 mice.

2004 - Eran takes a job with the State Dept, English Language Officer

Eran and his family move from Santa Cruz to Washington D.C.

Feb 2004 - Vacationed in Florida with Raphael.

(BW) Winters in the Northwest can get to you. I love the rain and cold up to a point, but we've found that a little break is a good idea. I was never sympathetic with the snowbird flock, but I have become much more tolerant of late. Florida is a great infusion of heat and light after a few drury months of short cool Washington days and long dark cold nights. And we love to just walk on the beaches and look for interesting shells. After being on the west coast beaches for most of our lives, the Atlantic is fascinating.

March 2004 - Francesca moves to a job with the State of Washington General Admin.

August 2004 - Edda Dies at Stanford

Dec 2004 - Raphael buys house in Ft. Pierce, Fla.

Feb 2005 - Vacationed in Florida with Raphael.

(BW)Francesca and I went to Florida again for two weeks for our winter sun recharge. Naturally it rained. One day the high and low temperatures where we were in Florida were exactly the same as Seattle. But we had a good time anyway. We helped Raphael work on his new old house and camped at Bahia Honda in the Keys, making a study of the Key Lime Pie. And we got in a short visit to St Augustine which we enjoyed.  

August 2005 - Peter and Christine Marry in Vanouver, Wa

March 2006 - Francesca Retires

Now a free woman.

March 2006 - Visit to Raphael in Florida

Two weeks in Ft Pierce visiting with Raphael, Eran, Kimi, and Noah at Raphael's house. We mostly stayed around the house, painting, et al.

May 2006 - Brian and Francesca Travel to Bali

We spent two weeks in Bali exploring, shoping, and relaxing. It's a great island to visit. Beautiful flora and fauna, beaches, culture and people.

Jan-March 2007 - Brian and Francesca Drive to Florida

We drove through California visiting relatives, then across the US on Hiway 10, stopping sometimes and camping sometimes, over to Raphael's house in Ft Pierce. We stayed there working on the house, visiting and camping and then drove back across the US seeing the Grand Canyon, et al.

April 2007 - Mower Burns

Our old John Deere mower that came with the property was found completely burned up in the barn. Absolutely no explaination and no other damage, but other things near it were scorched and nearly burned with what would have been to disasterious effect.

October 2007 - Fern Moves to the Firs in Olympia

Fern moved closer to us, finding a nice apartment at the Firs, a retirement complex in Olympia.

January 2008

We started our winter 2008 vacation with a cruise from San Diego down the Pacific cost of Mexico to Acapulco and back. Being on the boat was wonderful and we had good visits to Zihuatanejo, et al. Highly recommend having a balcony cabin.

Febuary 2008

From San Diego, we flew over to Florida and spent a month with Raphael. As usual, we worked on his house, tearing his kitchen apart, and camped at Bahia Honda in the keys for a week where we were joined by Eran, Kimi and Noah. We also went to visit some of Francesca's relations; aunt and uncle in West Palm and cousin and her husband in Ft Myers. That part of Florida, around Ft Meyers, is fascinating and we plan on more of a visit to it when we go back next year.

BW and FR Timeline Notes Part 2