Jen and Bill’s Wedding – August 17, 2008

August 16, 2008:  We head up to Deland, Florida and meet with Jennifer and her husband to be, Bill Coleman. Florence and I are just overwhelmed with joy. Bill is dedicated to make this union work and as a plus he is also an avid fisherman. The next day, August 17 is the wedding on “Rivership Romance” … the entire weekend was filled with love and happiness … long overdue for Jen. Additionally we had the opportunity to get acquainted with Tatiana. She is a warm, friendly and intelligent child … Florence and I look forward for more get-togethers with this new family.

September 20, 2008: Brian was transferred out of Baghdad, Iraq and back to Japan. 

September 27, 2008: I learned today that my oldest friend, Jack Kaplan passed away a few days back. Unfortunately he is not the first of my old friends to die … and for sure more to come. While it is not my intent to list any of these sad events, Jack’s departure is special to me … a friend for over 6 decades deserves special mention.

December 15, 2008: Kristopher Ryan Coleman is born and joins our clan. He arrives weighing 8 lbs 14 oz and 21 inches long. Congratulations Jen and Bill.

April 8, 2009: Brian married to Waka in Japan. They are planning a more formal ceremony sometime later when they can return to the USA on furlough. 

February 26, 2010: Florence stays with Ellen and Rob in Las Vegas while I attend the PMA Show in Anaheim, CA.  Upon my return we celebrate her 80th … just about 2 weeks ahead of schedule.  Marlene, Larry, Vero and Jori join in the festivities.  Brian surprises us with a visit … he is en route to Qatar and takes furlough time to attend.  He surprises separately both Florence and I … I was completely speechless when a stranger, who taps me on the shoulder telling me I dropped something, and I see Brian.  Likewise for his grandma.  A grand week was enjoyed by all … hosted by Ellen & Rob … and culminated with a gala dinner at Caesar’s Palace … many gifts and toasts to Florence … all well deserved.

March 2010: Brian begins another tour of duty in Qatar … his second in the Middle East since joining the Air Force. He is scheduled to return to his Japanese base by end of July … which does occur on schedule. In this pix he has surprised me in the Las Vegas Airport as I arrived from Los Angeles and he is getting set for another tour .

July 2010: Tatiana and Kris are growing up nicely.

October 30, 2010:  Florence and I celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary with many friends and almost the complete clan.

May 2011: Ansel graduates from U of Mass – Amherst with a BBA from the Eisenberg School of Management.  He immediately obtains full time employment as a computer programmer in Boston. By 2014 he moves back to France after first locating a similar position with a top Information Technology company in Geneva, Switzerland.  Ansel has joined up with his old flame, Betty and they are a handsome couple planning a future life together.

October 29, 2011: Jori’s Bar Mitzvah. Jori conducts his studies overseas via the telephone for several months and has his big day in Boynton Beach.  Many friends and relatives join in and celebrate.

December 26, 2012: Maddison Ellyn joins the Coleman family weighing in at 6 lb.-14 oz.

January 2013: Herb’s 85th. Dinner party held in La Rivage restaurant … one of my favorites.  Several guests but only a few photos recovered.

Florence 85th: March 2015 a small group of cousins and Marlene do a quiet celebration in a local bistro. The French group also arrives in time for some more celebration.

June 12, 2015: Arnie Pollack passed away one day past his 80th birthday.  A super friend, a great husband and father, and truly a family patriarch.  He will be missed by many.

August 2015: Larry, Vero, Ansel and Jori come to Florida and combine their family vacation to Orlando with a visit with the old folks in Boynton. Tatiana is finishing up a visit with us and Larry takes her back home on the way upstate.  The group manages to stop off and have some fun. 

August 12, 2015: Brian completes up his Chef schooling in Las Vegas.  He won a school competition and his prize is an employment contract with an upscale restaurant at Disneyland in Orlando.  By year end his employment commitment is over and he returns to Las Vegas and lands a position at Prime Steakhouse in the Bellagio Hotel.

September 17, 2015: Big day for sure. Sixty-five years of wedded bliss. We enjoy several days of celebrating with our kids and conclude with a group of family and friends in a local upscale restaurant. Mucho photos thanks to Larry’s Cell Phone.

October 3, 2015:  Worst day of my life.  My best friend for the past 67 years is gone. Two weeks to the day past our 65th wedding celebration party. My remaining years are to be empty no matter what. 

May 19, 2016: I begin a 16 day visit to France. A great trip with many memories … includes a visit to Amsterdam touching base with Esso Jr. as well as a wine tasting journey through the Barolo area in Italy with Larry and Vero.

October 2, 2016:  Florence’s unveiling takes place.  Ellen, Marlene Larry, Vero and myself are joined by cousin Eleanor and niece Ricky. Quite a few hectic hurricane related days are reported to lie ahead. 

October 5, 2016: Hurricane Matthew is expected to hit our area by Thursday of the week of the unveiling.  Ellen returns home and the remaining children and myself prepare the house for the hurricane.  Thursday morning we drive to Sarasota where Marlene has made plane arrangements to return to Washington DC. Larry, Vero and myself will drive up to St. Petersburg where we had previously found hotel accommodations. But first we do spend some quality time in Sarasota. A few hectic days are expected back home in Boynton Beach. Fortunately the hurricane misses our area and we head back home the following day. On the way we stop off and visit with Betty Pearl our friend from back in the Spring Valley days. Larry has the opportunity to touch base with Glenn, one of his closest friends during childhood, who is visiting his mom. Glenn’s sister, Sue, as well as her children, were there and a pleasant afternoon visit was had. After Larry’s and Vero’s short business trip to Colorado we relax a bit at home before they head back to France. We do manage to make a quick drive to the ocean one evening capturing a full moon-rise from the east directly over the ocean … finalizing another memorable episode.  

October 16, 2016: Before we close this update it is time to highlight the future generation with a batch of relatively current photos. It will take a handful since we are fortunate to have four each of the best grandkids and great grandkids … a total of eight.

June 24, 2017: Larry’s 55th birthday. I arrive in time for the evening celebration at home with the immediate family. Presents are distributed and a joyful party takes place. The following day we head down to Lake Annecy where we are to have lunch. He is surprised when a group of good friends as well as niece Virginie and her son Ethan come ashore and a new party begins. After lunch we frolic on the lake’s shore for several hours. A memorable event for sure. 

June 26, 2017: After the birthday celebration days I spend 2 weeks with Vero & Larry. I am grossly overfed with food, love and devotion, but do get the opportunity to spend quality time with Ansel, Betty and Jori. We take in some of the spectacular local sights, include an afternoon cruise on Lake Annecy, revisit Chamonix, see an opera in Geneva and manage to fit in some hours to finish a special birthday puzzle.

​​​October 21, 2017:  ​Marlene turns 62 today and has scheduled her retirement date from Government employment as of October 31.   Her Washington DC apartment is sold in March of 2018 and on April 18 she moves in with me … 50 cartons arrive the following day and are stored in the garage.  Previously she had outfitted my guest bedroom with new bedding which I admit was much needed. Her plan is to live rather close to me and her house hunt begins.

​​​​​​January 2018:  This was a very busy month … although my 90th birthday isn’t until later in the month Larry and Vero visit with me in time to welcome in the New Year.  To insure that I would be able to get a reservation for that big night I mentioned it was also my birthday.  A few days before my real big day we have Ellen, Rob, Marlene, Larry, Vero, Ansel, Betty and Tatiana all together ready to start having fun.  We start off with a sightseeing bus tour through West Palm Beach area and suddenly while riding on a local road it turns onto the Intercoastal waterway … this is followed by a celebration dinner back in a Boynton Beach Rib restaurent.  The next day the group departs for a 3 day cruise.  The Festivities continues for many days after.  Mention should  be made that aside from my birthday on the 27th, Ansel has his on the 25th and Tatiana on the 26th. 

February 22, 2018:  Welcome great granddaughter Phoebe Ellen Magdalene Coleman .

May 26, 2018:  ​Ansel and Betty get married.  In the morning the official wedding ritual takes place at the local district clerk’s office.  To the surprise of all those present the bride and groom arrive on a motorcycle followed by the bridesmaids and best men. The celebration takes place at 4 PM in a ski lodge situated on top of a mountain  just outside of Chamonix.  After an elaborate outdoor series of  monologues and dedications we move inside for a grand dinner and ongoing merriment.  Music and dancing continues to 5:30 AM.  Without doubt the most unique and  enjoyable wedding I ever attended and entirely choreographed by the bride and groom.

​June 8, 2018:  You will note that in the Celebration photos above I am not wearing a dress shirt …  I neglected to include that item when packing my clothes for the big affair … and so I wore a very casual shirt. While I was considerably uncomfortable I was told by all it was OK.  A few days prior to my return home and just after dinner with the family I am asked to redress using the originally intended shirt and tie … I thought they were all crazy but I finally submit.  When exiting my room I find Ansel and Betty outfitted in their wedding clothes … and a few more photos were taken.  Without doubt the single biggest and  one of the most endearing surprise of my life.

May 23 – June 12, 2018:  Even with the big wedding taking place during this year’s visit, time was available to continue to enjoy the Cuvat – Lake Annecy area with the family.  The perfect finale was the last few days touring Spain with stopovers at Toledo, Segovia and Madrid.

November 27, 2018:  Marlene signs up for a great house about 1 mile from myself.  Super patio and a magnificent room layout.  Welcome aboard.  She will be quite busy these next several months outfitting all the rooms.  It’s real nice having a daughter nearby as the years move on.