Wander project docking in Hawaii…


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I think my favorite day we spent in Hawaii was towards the end of the cruise. This was early on (first port). There is something to be said for bringing or being on a boat as it comes into port. There is a quiet majesty as that happens. The bigger the boat the louder the quiet majesty is. We had day trips planned every time we came into port (except for one day that was later in the cruise). Chances to go out and see other parts of the island we were docked on. The cruise has one sea day but for the most part you cruise at night and dock during the daylight hours. Due to the hurricanes approaching the big island (and ultimately missing the big island) in August 2015 they reversed the direction of our cruise (going to the islands in the opposite order of normal). I wouldn’t know the difference never having been on that cruise before. Guillermo, the hurricane was a topic of conversation but only impacted us on the very last day with slightly choppy water.

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I love sitting on the upper deck and watching the ship come in. I enjoy doing the same thing with my boat, but it is really fun when a professional does it. I have plus or minus 10 feet of play. The cruise ship has plus or minus 1000 feet of play but it is also 400 feet of beam so it is really percentage wise a lot less play than I have. Plus the impact of a cruise ship would be a lot more. So it is a delicate maneuver. The tug boats are there as security blankets. It is amazing to me how easily the captain of the ship can maneuver into very small and what seems to be tight spaces with what is a very large ship. The other thing about the cruise ship and docking is it is less impacted by wind than my boat is, but it is also coming into port with a lot more momentum. Truly cruise ship captains are amazing! The first day of the cruise was the only day I hate Barb’s breakfast invention. Many years ago at a Residence Inn in Naperville Illinois Barb invented the following breakfast. Biscuits with scrambled eggs on them, covered in sausage gravy. While I had by the time she showed me that creation been over 500 nights at Marriott hotels I had never made that connection. On the cruise they had all the components, adding a local flavor of scrambled eggs with spam in them. Plus I like to add whatever hot sauce is available. Tabasco preferred but any hot sauce will do.

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Some of my earliest memories of water are watching the sun set with my grandfather on Lake Ripley. 20 years after he passed away I still find myself missing him. Less now than in the beginning but I miss him. I watch the video we took of him telling stories in 1996 just a few months before he died from time to time. I still cry. This trip to Hawaii was to celebrate the other person I miss a lot. We took this trip a little over a year after dad passed away. He didn’t want a memorial, just wanted all of us together for a meal to remember him. Hans Andersen was a grand man. I miss him. As the fall comes and the leaves begin to change I miss dad. We (he and I) loved to listen to IU Football. We loved to watch IU Basketball together, or separately and then talk the game afterwards. It was something we shared. I have so many friends now, but few I can talk IU Basketball with. In part because that was something I did with dad. But sunsets on water remind me of Grandpa Ray. 2016 has been a not great year. There are so many bad things happening. I am glad there are the happy memories of our summer vacation in 2015 wandering Hawaii!

I will strive for the rest of my life to live up to the ideals of my Grandfather and my father. They were both grand men I hope someday to make their level!

.doc

Family Historian

Lake Ripley Wisconsin and my grandfather…


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Mom, Lynne and I on the pier at Lake Ripley. Grandpa put that pier in the water every spring and took it out at the end of every summer. On the left side (walking on the pier) Grandpa had cleared the silt and weeds for a nice sandy swimming area. On the right side you could fish and dock boats. I think a percentage of my blood is Lake Ripley water. I was there every summer until I was 16 years old.

I remember spending hours on the lake when we were there. I learned to row a boat. I learned to start, drive and properly tie up a speedboat. I learned the importance of putting the top on the speedboat properly. Or you had to bail the boat the next day. I learned how to wait (fishing). Well I tried to learn how to wait. I have never been very good about waiting. It isn’t my strong suit. But what little patience I learned I started learning from fishing.

Those were the halcyon days of my youth. I remember so few of the moments when I was really young but these pictures bring back floods of memories. We once brought our new dog, MacGregor to Lake Ripley. Grandpa let me drive the old station wagon that he had up into the woods when I was eight. I was never supposed to tell my mother that so I guess I blew that promise. But I got to drive that old station wagon. I suspect had I rammed the tree the tree was probably worth more than that old car was but still. I got to drive.

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That looks like me sitting on Grandpa’s lap driving the boat. Grandpa would never let you take pictures of him from behind. When he was a little boy he pulled a pan of boiling water (potatoes I believe) off the stove. He was burned so baldly they didn’t think he was going to live. His back was horribly scarred. He wouldn’t talk about it much you had to spend time asking questions in order for him to talk about it.

Grandpa had huge hands and an even bigger heart. He was a very smart business man but he always advocated that family came first. He and I spent hours on this boat, the various row boats and of course the golf cart. I could ask grandpa anything when we were out. We would wander off to play golf sometimes. Hitting the Lake Ripley Country Club and play nine holes of golf. Grandpa taught me how to hold the club, swing and enjoy the sport. Never needing me to be the greatest golfer just to be an interesting companion as we played. Sometimes we would stop at the 19th hold and I would get a coke. Sometimes on a Friday night we would pile into the car (Grandma, Grandpa and I) and go to the Country Club for the Fish fry. We used to go to the Bowling Lane in Cambridge. I learned to bowl with the old manual pin setters and grandpa teaching me how to read the lanes. I was never the bowler he was. He was probably someone who could have been a professional bowler when that tour came into being in the 1980’s. He won a number of tournaments over the years bowling. In fact he actually won the first color tv my parents ever had bowling.

Albums 365Sometimes in the summer he had to work. After injuring his knee Grandpa began selling Gym floors to schools. I remember the fun we had traveling around Wisconsin visiting schools. He was simply an incredible person. I remember calling him and asking him questions that I needed answers for less than two weeks before he died. He got to meet Jakki and spent a week with her and I in Cincinnati Ohio. He talked about the time he had come to Cincinnati when he was working for Oscar Mayer. The Cincinnati operation focused on hogs and producing all the pork products Oscar Mayer sold. But they were struggling with getting the process running smoothly so Grandpa and a couple of other folks from Chicago came down to help them set the process right.

This lake picture is of me (I think based on timing), I suspect mom in front of the lake house with a dog I don’t know. I recognize the shingles of the the lake house in the corner of the picture. This image is from November 1961 so I would have been just short of a year old at that time.

I have no idea who the dog is. I have no memory what-so-ever of the dog. Although it does look like Phoebe (and Raven) but neither of those were around in 1961.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

A tribute to my father, his father and all the father’s that impacted my life. Happy Father’s Day!!!!!!


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Here is a picture of me with my grandfather Andersen from the early 1960’s. My grandfather Andersen was my father’s father and served in the Cavalry in WWI. Grandfather was a cobbler. When they lived in the Dells he had a shop out back. The only thing I remember about that shop is Chocolate Covered Cherries.

In the basement he had his military stuff. A saddle, two saddle bags and a picture of him in his unit. I still have the picture and the saddle bags. They are a treasured possession.

I honor my grandfather this day, as a father. He raised a good kid!

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This picture isn’t a non-sequitur it is our family heirloom. My grandfather Andersen passed this kettle and its story to my father. That along with a name with a middle initial O for males.

This Kettle came to our family in the 1860’s in Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin to pay a debt. I won’t bore you with the long story but we have passed from father to son ever since then. The oldest male in the Andersen line receiving this copper kettle. Oh and a middle initial of O. Dad changes the tradition a little giving me a different middle name than Oliver. We were able to honor Barb’s dad Les and my dad with the boys. Luke has dad’s middle name Oliver, Nick has Les’ middle name Otto.

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There on this father;s day is my dad. It seems strange sometimes to look at these pictures of him and speak of him in the past tense. It made me realize the things he gave all of us over the years so in the end it isn’t past tense. This is dad on a trip to South Africa. He traveled the world working with universities all over the world. Thailand, Pakistan, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Papua New Guinea to name a few. I suspect if you asked him the hardest job he ever had as a teacher was sitting at his Principal’s desk in Bloomington Indiana teaching his stubborn son to read.

Dad encouraged (read demanded) that each of us go and complete a college degree. He was in steadfast agreement with my grandfather Johnston who also demanded (well that’s what it was) we all go to college and graduate.

He taught us about laughter and how to tell bad jokes. He was the most amazing public speaker I have ever seen. People would pack his talks. Conferences with 100 attendees would have to give him the biggest room because all 100 people would come listen to him talk.

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The last two pictures the first of my mom with her father, my grandfather Johnston. The man who taught me to love water. He taught me to fish, to golf and to be a good person. With my dad one of the two biggest influences and influencers in my life. Who I am was shaped by all the men of these pictures but my grandfather Johnston and my father ended up having the longest time and the most clay to shape.

The last picture is of my beanie. I was a step-father for about a year and a 1/2 until this little bundle of joy, pain and beauty came along. She made father’s day a celebration for me. Later her brother’s joined and made the day just that much better. It is for now a celebration of the hands that held me, shaped me and drove me to be a better person, a caring person and someone that could one day become a father.

The men of these pictures are all father’s. They each left a legacy in me that I honor today. Certainly I also don’t want to forget my father-in-law Les Ralstin a great man and father as well. Today I honor all these men. All these fathers who touched my life and so many other lives.

Dan Fogelberg said it best in his song the leader of the band “his gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand.”

Thank you to the father’s in my life. Thank you to the fathers of the world.

.your loving son and grandson

An image of my grandfather Raymond Johnston


My grandfather Raymond Johnston was a goofball. I mean that in the best possible most loving way. He loved being silly. I remember as a small child visiting Albums736their home (and I did that many times when I was little all the way into my teen years and beyond). Grandpa would do ballet in the living room for us and all of us would laugh and laugh.

Grandpa taught me how to golf and to fish. But most importantly he taught me how to think like a business person. To consider not how much something cost but in the end what was the value of what that thing provided. My grandfather had to drop out of college to help his father take care of his very sick mother. Between trips to the Mayo Clinic and working every day to help pay medical bills college slipped away. He did that so that his brothers could all finish their degrees and launch into the world. For the most part his two older brothers were already gone, but his youngest brother wasn’t. Both his children and all his grand children graduated from college. It was that important to grandpa. You never talked to him about careers without saying the college degree that enabled the career.

I talked to grandpa about the important decisions in my life. He met and loved Barb (Barb also met Grandma). They came to our wedding sitting outside on the hottest day on earth (it felt dressed in a suit and standing in the sun like it was more than 540 degrees outside. We were lucky the paper in the ministers had didn’t spontaneously combust). Grandpa loved Barb. She was optimistic and hopeful for the world. Those were the people that grandpa loved to tease but also protect.

The other thing my grandfather taught me was to think about the impact of problems. My father taught to reason my way through problems. To consider them from both sides and to evaluate the options. My grandfather taught me to apply that and consider the impact of the problem. For most of my childhood if you had asked me did my grandfather and my father get along I would have said no. They were at opposite ends of the political spectrum. My grandfather was a staunch Republican and my father was an extremely liberal Democrat. But they always agree that taking care of the children and encouraging education was critical. Later in life when politics stopped being a barrier they became the best of friends.

My grandfather never got to meet the boys. He did meet Becca and Jakki. He spent a week with us in Cincinnati Ohio the summer before he died. We wandered the city and grandpa told me he had been there before. Many years ago while working for Oscar Meyer (when they were a huge meat packing company) he had gone down to Cincinnati to help them. Chicago was the cow butcher to the world. Cincinnati was the hog butcher of the world. To this day there is Hog emblems all over the city. Grandpa came down from Chicago to help them improve the efficiency of their operation. We drove through the landing where the butcher yards used to be. They were now storehouses for paper products and soap. But once they had been the pens and yards of the largest hog operation in North America. It was fun learning that history from grandpa.

Jakki spent that week as I had done many years before perched on grandpa’s knee. He had huge hands. Like dad grandpa had played line in High School football. Unlike dad who was never a imposing man, grandpa was imposing. You could see him moving the line forward. But those hands were gentle. He worked with them his whole life, but when he touched your knee or shoulder you only felt love.

This picture was taken on the antique trains in French Lick Indiana. I remember the day, stepping onto a Pullman Train car and grandpa wondering if it was one he had ridden on. If it was one where he had seen grandma the first time. Where they, on the way from Aurora to Chicago talked and eventually fell in love. Or was it a car his father, my great-grandfather, had built. Great-Grandfather was a finish carpenter for the Pullman Rail Car Company of Aurora Illinois. It is a day I will never forget.

I would have loved to have written this tribute to Raymond Johnston many years ago. It took me ten years after his death to be able to look at the pictures we had. It has taken me twenty years to sort through all the sadness and realize the gifts my grandfather gave me.

Family comes first grandpa, always.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

The two pillars (of four) that helped me grow into a person.


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Side by side these two gentlemen are impressive. Either one of them was simply amazing. On the far left my father. Hans Oliver Andersen. On the right my Grandfather Raymond Johnston.

These two helped me, guided me and showed me how to be an adult, how to be a man and how to be a father. The two of them had a rocky start to their relationship. First off my father was stealing away my grandfather’s little girl. My father was a vocal liberal democrat and my grandfather was a vocal conservative republican. Politics when they were discussed caused hurt feelings on both sides. Later in life they both came to accept the other. But I remember the tension because frankly I was often in the middle of it.

I learned how business works from my grandfather. How money moves in an economy and what to watch for in business scenarios. I also learned from him how to Golf, Fish and in the end how to have fun relaxing. My father taught me how to read. Not a school. Not a first grade teacher. My father taught me how to read at his desk in his office. He also taught me to think. He taught me to be able to argue both sides of an argument. That sometimes if you are careful and know both sides you can in the end see the flaws in both sides. Certainly my mother helped me grow as a person as well let’s not ignore her contribution. Rather today is a celebration of these two men.

I can’t say how quiet the world is without these two in it.

My father when he retired decided to read my technical books. He called me once to tell me he was lost. Then he called me every weekend for awhile to walk through the book. He didn’t have to read the book to gain personal knowledge he just wanted to understand his son. My grandfather was the first person to read the first book I ever sold “There are days you just want to go home.” He sent me long hand written comments about the book and I incorporated all of his changes into that book up until the day it was sold.

They both smiled a lot. I remember that. My dad like me had small hands. My grandfather had huge hands. They both played line positions in high school football. They both went to Big Ten Universities (Wisconsin for my father, Northwestern for my Grandfather). Both of them believed in education as the means to be a good all around person. My grandfather had all his children (mom and Uncle Keith) as well as all his grandchildren graduate from college. My dad got all his kids through and now his grandkids are also making their way through college.

I can’t imagine what my life would have been without these two pillars in my life. Sometimes I feel like they are watching me all the time now, instead of like when I was a child and they could only watch me for a couple of hours at a time.

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Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

To quote Forrest Gump “I know what love is…”


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Starting on the right furthest was my Grandmother Johnston. Next on the right was my mother. Then my father and finally ending the far left with my Grandfather. Taken in Cambridge Wisconsin.

Ever since I was a little boy I have know my parents loved me. Mostly because when asked they would tell me so. Well no, that isn’t true. Because they took the time to explain things to me. They cared when I was happy and they cared when I was said. They gave me a chance to be the person I was thinking I could be. In the end I am who I am because of my parents help and guidance in the beginning and frankly along the way. At some point my parents, always my parents, became people I considered friends as well. When I got divorced my dad said to me “if you need to move back home please do.” But more importantly he hugged me and told me I would survive. Mom hugged me and said “we are here.” That was for a time my darkest Albums057hour and the love my parents gave me was a huge brick in the platform I built to get better.  It was after healing and preparing to move on that my parents and sisters told me that didn’t much like my ex-wife. I’ve seen the doctored pictures of my wedding that prove that.

I’ve been wandering through an old album I honestly had never seen. Well that may not be true. If I had seen the pictures in this album it was long ago and forgotten. Pictures of my parents wedding and of so many people that I have known my entire life and have loved and been loved by. Pictures of this cat that dad was actually experimenting with as far as the cats ability to solve a problem. I think in the end he had four or five pictures of the cat and an explanation of the experiment. I had to share the cat pictures. Mostly because in our house we are huge fan’s of Schrodinger’s Cat. In this instance the box is an old black and white picture. The cat is not dead its clean image in front of us but it is also not alive. Remaining forever frozen in a box that is ultimately a test of its intelligence. It is Hans Andersen’s cat neither alive nor dead at any moment. Just a black and white image of a cat. Certainly from the intent look on the cat’s face it is a confused cat. A frozen moment for the cat. An eternity now of existence.

Leafing through this album I found something that proved my point of today. It started towards the end of this old beat up album. On some pages the old Albums066sticky corners had worn off and the pictures were loose but pressed beneath the pages. Not one picture of the days after the day I was born. No much closer to 100’s of pictures. This one I suspect the first picture ever taken of me arriving into the world.

Pictures of me labeled one day, two days, one week, two weeks and so on. Images of my mother smiling and holding me. Images of my grandfathers and grandmothers smiling and holding me. Images of my dad holding me and smiling. All of them reminding me that I was and am loved.

It filled me reflection. Love isn’t just a series of grand gestures. Popping Champaign corks and lavishing the person with flowers. Love is bandaging an owie. Love is sharing the quiet moments. Love is picking up a child and knowing you would do anything for that child. Then doing anything over the next 10-15-25 years and beyond to show not only that you were serious in loving them but love them, and honor them.

Love is loud emotion. It is something that sits in the front of your mind and drives you. It doesn’t go away when someone isn’t with you anymore. It simply moves to one side. Still there just as brilliantly as it always was but the given love warms you. The memory of the love you received from the person now gone keeps you upright. That warmth and wonder they created stays with you forever. The love, like the cat becomes their box. In the end though when you stop long enough to let the love through it matters that they are no longer with you but the love will always be there. Let the love in and you will feel the warmth.

I do wonder if the cat ever figured out the puzzle. Update – via a source very close to the cat formerly his name was St Thomas Felis Leo. He came to live with my parents before I was born and lived with them in student housing. He disappeared shortly after I was born.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

In my heart they will always be Giants!


Sometimes I should probably look at pictures carefully when I am taking them. This one has Fran sticking her tongue out at me. Fran joined our family in the unsorted998summer of 2001. She was such a tiny puppy (the last puppy we will ever have).

She took charge of Jakki from the get go.

My favorite Fran story is walking past Jakki’s room one day. Fran was really excited that I was there. She kept running to me and then running to the bedroom. I finally followed her into the bedroom. She immediately turned states evidence against her girl sharing all the food stashes in Jakki’s room. I suspect she expected a large finders fee for revealing the hidden food.

She would do that many times over the years. I thought it was a function of Jakki’s room in Greenwood. But Fran did that when we lived in Gaithersburg and Germantown. Each time proudly pointing out where her girl had hidden food (which remains against house rules). I miss Fran. She left us last year. she will always be a giant Labrador in my heart.

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What a great picture of my dad sitting on his deck. He loved the Lorax (on his shirt). It was one of the movies that he gave all his grandchildren and showed people in his lab at Science Ed all the time. It was interesting for me because dad taught me to read by using the Cat in the Hat. But his favorite of all time was the Lorax.

He loved that back yard – his gardens were there. He had apple trees, asparagus, potatoes and the greatest tomatoes on earth.

Dad was an outdoors guy. His whole life he loved being outdoors.

Another funny dad and mom story. The deck dad is sitting on grew every year they lived in the house (ok it didn’t but it sure felt like it).

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To the right of the picture is Jakki and I. Lynne is in the background and Matt is right in front of my grandfather. Raymond Johnston.  Grandpa and I took walks. When we were in the same place we would go out and walk around talking for hours. When they lived at the lake I spent many summer months there. He and I would take off early in the morning and go fishing. Or we would pack up the golf clubs and play a round of golf. The time we had was special.

I find myself missing him and missing dad sometimes. A wistful sad memory that is also happy. They were both great influences in my life and the life of my children. Jakki has fond memories of Grandpa Ray. The boys and Jakki remember grandpa. Its why they are part of the family history project. They want to remember their grandfather and great-grandfather as happy wonderful loving people.

They will always be giants in my heart.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.