Bay Reflections, 2001
 Vol. 9, No. 52
December 27, 2001- January 2, 2001
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Here where many voices gather, this year had a common theme: coming to terms with our losses. Yet from the ashes, each found some unexpected good. And our blessings, when they came, were sweeter for what we had lost.

Appreciation: Bobbi Smith, 1940-2001
by Mary Catherine Ball

At Talent Machine for a decade, Bobbi Smith encouraged the children to show their talent. … We don’t have enough people like that working with our young people. And now we’ve lost one.

— No 6, Feb. 8

My Mother’s Voice
by Connie Darago

On bright sunshiny mornings, my mother’s bird often struts his stuff with a half-an-hour performance that includes every word, sentence, phrase, song and whistle his loving companion taught him. This Mother’s Day, I’ll make a call and ask to speak to Abba. If he’s talking, I’ll close my eyes, reminisce and take comfort as he speaks.

— No. 19, May 10

Appreciation: Joseph Macknis, Bay Scientist, 1946–2001
by Kent Mountford

Joe joined the US Environmental Protection Agency when it was a bright new idea. His task was to probe and interview, document and assemble the sources of contaminants and to accumulate them in a massive database.

In that work, he became key to the discovery of the enormous role played by the plant nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, which would enable restoring the Chesapeake.

— No. 28, July 12

Appreciation: Jean Hatch North Beach’s Flower Lady
by Patricia Kirby

Like a flower felled by a sudden summer storm, Jean Hatch left us earlier this month. With her husband’s cancer in remission as Jean’s famed primroses bloomed, their lives seemed retouched with gold. Cancer had staked a prior claim.

— No. 29: July 19

Bay Weekly’s Max
by Sandra Martin

On the August morning when his frail body finally released his fearless spirit, it was hot as we held him, and we dreamed of lying together by the fire. Having achieved the wisdom of age, Max understood that dogs were mortal. In those last moments, he asked us to tell you that his only regret was the grief of those who loved him.

Then he was young again, and romped into the universe.

— No. 34, Aug. 23

Little Sister
by M.L. Faunce

Most sisters don’t play grand slams as did the Williams sisters in the cavernous new Arthur Ashe arena. But what is true for many sisters is that the relationship transcends the occasion. Perhaps it was the relationship more than the match that figured in the outcome.

I lost my own sister recently, suddenly without warning …

— No. 37, Sept. 13

On a Son Born in a Time of Tragedy
by April Falcon Doss

So many times since September 11, I have reached for my son’s hand. Each time I do, it is balled into a fist. When I try to coax his arm away from his side, he pulls it more determinedly against him. As I try to unfurl his fingers, he clenches them more tightly. Does he guard himself against the world into which he’s been born?

— No. 40, Oct. 4

Second Child, Second Chance
by Sandra Martin
My second grandchild came into the world at 8:21am on Thursday, October 4, 2001, as Elsa.

Full well though I know this seven-pound, not-quite-10-ounce infant will grow into her own woman, I can’t help believing she gives the first Elsa, my mother, a second chance.

— No. 41, Oct. 11

The Soldier’s Wife Remembers
by Audrey Scharmen

At the time of the Cuban missile threat, my own little girl sat with her brothers at the kitchen table in a small house on a desert airbase. Her father was a pilot, commander of a B-52 bomber, bearer of that era’s latest designer weapon.

— No. 44, Nov. 1

Since September, My Father’s Flag Proudly Flies
by Pat Harder

I took my father’s flag from the shelf and unzipped the cover. I just wanted to run my hand across the stars and feel the stripes in the fabric. Taking the triangle in my hand, I unfolded it. The 12-inch triangle grew into a 10-foot-by-four-foot burst of red, white and blue glory. This is the flag I wanted to fly …

— No. 46, Nov. 15

Up from the Ashes: A Thanksgiving Prayer
by Martha Blume

Out of the grip of fear and sadness comes opportunity, and we are called to embrace it. Whatever sustains and uplifts each of us and inspires us to do better, whether it be God, nature, family, solitude, literature, art, music or some other good — may it give each of us courage to rise up out of the ashes.

— No. 47, Nov. 21

Copyright 2001
Bay Weekly