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Epistle from John Heath Vaughan
January, 2000

Click on any image for enlargement.

Here we are, Dear Folks, in the year 2000. How many of you thought for sure that you would see this year? Not many at my age, I am sure. But here we are, indeed. And the fireworks are a celebration of the fact!

For sure, I am sorry that this message did not get out before Christmas, or even before the New Year. But maybe you can discern that this may have been because I was learning how to do this sort of a letter, designed to go out by all possible pathways: by Fax, by Email, or by snail mail.

This has certainly been a stellar year. I shall name a few of the big events. Firstly, in the Spring, David and Susanne moved from their years in Germany to Yardley, PA, and thereby created a new focal point for JHV family visiting.

Shortly thereafter, a family reunion in Clinton, NY, brought us ALL together, ALL as defined by the four families VCV, WTV, JHV, and DDV. WHAT a show! How could one have been happier or more excited? My God, I had to say, all those other Vaughans are just as interesting and attractive as are my own!!! But for purely chauvinistic reasons, I show here only the collected JHV family. (Perhaps, Dear Reader, you can entice the others into a similar display.)

As a sideliner, those who were at the reunion surely remember that my dear wife Marjorie, who is not only married to me but also to basketball, whipped together a team of girls for the purpose of beating any boy team that could get itself together to answer the challenge. No matter the score. Just look at that team of hers. Do you see something of the future there? And a postscript: Marjorie's San Diego team of 55-yr.-and-older women, competed in the Senior Olympics in Orlando in October and won a Silver!!

A trip with son John, and his Carmen and Emily, continuing immediately after the reunion, took me through Rochester (and the Hosley's gracious reception of us), to Niagara Falls, and then Ann Arbor and Old Mission, MI, the last being the old Vaughan family summer home dating from about 1880. We touched and felt important family roots in Ann Arbor and Old Mission.

What next? A trip to Venice and then Tuscany, the former together with daughter Nancy (who is living this year with her husband John and son Vaughan in Paris), and the latter with a bunch of Rotary friends. The Venice part of the trip included also the islands of Burano, Murano, and Torcello, where we found Venetian glass and linens of high quality, and we each bought a table cloth and associated napkins, with which to surprise out spouses. The Piazza di San Marcos is everything that people have said about it, including not only the beauty of the architecture and the general layout of the place, but also the numbers of tourists and the hordes of pigeons.

But one hasn't done Venice until one has passed by and appreciated its canals decorated by gondolas and by its inevitable laundry lines. And to show you that we were indeed there, here is Nancy adorning and enhancing that picture. Florence and Sienna were equally exciting. I had lost my personal guide and companion, as Nancy had to fly back to Paris to be sure that things were going the way they should in her family there. I had only Rotarians to be with thereafter. But in fact, that turned out to be just fine. A rather uncontrollable bunch, but one that I knew well and felt comfortable with.

What have I done at home? After all, you can't travel all the time. Why yes, I HAVE been active here too. First, I have had the privilege of helping in some small way grandson David, product of daughter Margaret and her Michael, to grow up. Digital photography has also occupied me, as can be seen again from this epistle. This photography effort is, of course, for the purpose of recording events in an interesting new way. And what new effort merits that sort of attention?

I offer in evidence a new Rotary Junior Scholarship program that we set up for superior students in a fascinating new school in a poor neighborhood in Tijuana, a program which I initiated with the help of fellow Rotarians, Henry Branstetter and Christina Deroche. Above is shown several students receiving their certificates, and here is Josue, my favorite of all the students we are supporting. It's hard for me to look at this boy and not want to take him home to La Jolla to bring him up here. But his mother doubtless wouldn't feel good about that!

Our program has not been exclusively a product of our Rotary Club of La Jolla, but is a cooperative venture with our sister club in Tijuana, Club Rotario Tijuana La Mesa. It's our ultimate hope that this program will look attractive to yet others in Rotary International, and that it will stand as a precedent for similar efforts both by other U.S. clubs and by clubs in the 167 countries across the world where Rotary exists.

And finally, Dear Friends, how did it go over the Holidays.? I offer only the two pictures on the last page as a statement about ours. That should be enough.


HO, HO, HO!!!
John and Marjorie