Grapevine revisited
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This website is now published on my mobileme account. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.

The original website was published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.

Merry Christmas 2008

Special events

Stephen now has two titanium knees. The second replacement was in January of 2008 year. His recuperation has been slow, and this year has been geared somewhat around his recovery. Still, despite this challenge, Stephen continues to sing in the River City Pops and in the Trinity Choir. This year he has learned a Gershwin show and a new Christmas show.

We lost several dear friends this year. At Trinity, Margo Skinner and Larry Sather died. From our play reading group, we lost former reader Joan Grabel; she was 93. In April we went to Marietta to attend the memorial service for Caroline Cogswell Lutz, who married my high school buddy, Will Lutz, and who was my friend from third grade.

Mom was quite ill earlier in the year and stayed with my sister and my brother, but bounced back (for a 95 year old). After a brief return to her own home, she fell and broke her hip and is now in rehab. We hope she will recover and be able to return to live with my sister. I was able to visit a few times this year for a week or so each time.

The most notable thing about this year for me, Jim, was that I was able to renew contact with SO MANY of my old friends. Several have visited us here in St. Louis: Steve Weissman was here in May,and July was a feast with visits from Tom and Mary Alice Breiter, Rick Jensen and Marji Morgan, Kathy Vinehout, and even a concert at our house by Sea Harth (aka Glenda Dilley). Stephen's sister, Janice, came to visit for 10 days in late October.

In addition, we got to see Stephanie, Dawn and Zander several times, enough to keep up with this growing two year old's great progress. They came here for a long memorial day visit, we met them in Chicago this summer, and then we spent Thanksgiving week with them and Dawn's family in Boston and Mystic, Connecticut. I also flew to Columbia, South Carolina to spend a long weekend with Dee and Kay McFarland.

I have continued to develop a repertoire of music as a "co-equal" piano accompanist for vocalist, Heidi Clark. We are about to produce a demo CD, which I have learned to do in the home recording studio I set up a few months back. We have performed a few times in public, but hope to schedule regular performances through a booking agency in the new year.

Our regular routine

In a typical non-summer month, we attend one symphony concert, one play at the Repertory Theatre, play bridge with our group and attend a play-reading. Also, in January, Stephen directed the play group with famous monologues for men and women. Everybody that wanted to read a monologue got a chance to do so. In November, after a lot of careful thought and work, I directed Angels in America: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner. Stephen and I usually have at least one performance, he with the River City Pops, and I at the Ragtime Rendezvous.

Summer is special and different, with four opera picnics and performances in June, and several free concerts in Tower Grove and Forest Park—the Compton Heights Band and musicals at the MUNY Opera. And we try to catch each bi-monthly concert given by Band Together.

Once again another year has past. It is a miracle and a blessing to be alive, despite the pain and sadness that seemingly must necessarily enter into life. We wish that you catch hold of that miracle and that blessing in 2009 and keep it near your heart.

Jim and Stephen