Christmas Letter 2016

Dear friends, Many times in life a chance meeting or taking a left instead of a right leads to people and places that will change our lives forever. I met Bruce 37 years ago. We were young insurance agents sharing a small office on Milpas Street. He was brash, opinionated and outspoken. We were polar opposites and I didn’t like him! However, after months of cold calling together for new clients, we became friends. We went fishing together in Baja … Read More

Christmas Letter 2015

Dear friends, Traditions are an important part of our holiday season. Some traditions are shared by many of us and some are meaningful only to our individual families. Each year I purchase several 1-lb. boxes of See’s bridge mix for my family. This tradition started some years ago after my Dad passed away. Dad would take us kids to the local Sears store on Friday nights. Back then you could buy anything from Sears. Sears had a candy counter back … Read More

Christmas Letter 2014

Dear Friends, Many of you know that my office was located in Carpinteria for many years. The people of Carpinteria were supportive of my agency and my business was successful. In the mid 1990’s I decided to give back to the community. A friend of mine, Ed Macias, who worked at a local gas station, had asked me to join the Kiwanis Club. I knew nothing about Kiwanis other than it was a service club. I joined Ed for one … Read More

Christmas Letter 2013

Dear friends, A few years ago Barb and I were having dinner at a restaurant in Moro Bay. Seated next to us were two couples, one older couple and one younger couple. Now I don’t normally ease drop on stranger conversations but the older gentleman was a bit loud and animated. He said quite a few years ago, he and his wife were driving to the Sierra’s to take the kids for a Christmas ski trip. As he drove he … Read More

Christmas Letter 2012

Many Christmases ago my mom decided we should have a manufactured (fake) Christmas tree. It was about the time the so-called “Experts” agreed that the world was on the verge of another Ice Age. Mom, being an early environmentalist, believed it would be better for the planet if trees remained in the forests. Her decision came as a shock to us kids and Dad wasn’t exactly thrilled after shelling out for an imitation (fake) tree. In fact, he usually waited … Read More

Christmas Letter 2011

Dear Friends, A few years ago Barbara and I traveled to Colorado for the Christmas Holiday.  Our trip had a dual purpose. One to visit my brother and his family in Grand Junction and the other was to spend some quality time skiing. After spending a beautiful Christmas with my brother including the opening of a car load of presents we took off for our ski trip. Our first stop was to the town of Keystone, where after being fitted … Read More

Christmas Letter 2010

Dear Friends, Years ago I put together a Christmas scene depicting Bedford Falls, the fictitious town in Jimmy Stewart’s movie classic “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Each Christmas I found more pieces to add to the village scene and it became the centerpiece in my home.  Everyone loved it, especially in the evening when the lamps were turned down, the village lights of Bedford Falls came on and the tiny skaters circled around the mirrored skating rink.  It was fascinating! The … Read More

Christmas Letter 2009

As I contemplate my 2009 Christmas Letter, my thoughts tend to drift back to my Dad. He’s been gone for several years now, but as the holidays approach, I find myself thinking of him more and more. As a young boy growing up in Sunland, CA, our family spent many weekends in Santa Barbara. We stayed with my Grandma during summer vacations and visited with our cousins. We spent hours at the beach and Dad never complained about traveling up … Read More

Christmas Letter 2008

Dear Friends, Last year, my wife and I hosted our respective families to an old-fashioned, home-cooked Christmas.  There were 13 adults, 2 teenagers and 2 little kids.  The ages ranged from 4 to 87. All of the kids slept on the floor and Barbara’s 21 year old daughter slept on patio cushions.  We put 14 people up in our 3-bedroom home, giving new meaning to the term “togetherness”. My brother-in-law and I did the cooking and served rib-eye roast with … Read More

Christmas Letter 2007

Dear Friends, About 35 miles north of Los Angeles, in the east end of the San Fernando Valley, lays the little town of Sunland, California.  This is where I spent my boyhood. Every year the local merchants along Foothill Blvd. decorated their shops at Christmas and I particularly remember the animated “Monkey Band” in the Ralph’s window.  My family did almost all of their Christmas shopping locally. My parents, remembering the fabulous lights of downtown Los Angeles in the early … Read More

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