Santa Barbara Film Festival

Our sons David (and his wife, Alexis) and Matt (and his wife, Amy) gave us a wonderful Christmas present this year—a trip to the Santa Barbara Film Festival. I’m doing this blog post to memorialize the great time we had.

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Here are the six of us—Matt, Amy, David, Alexis, Dawn and me. I look stupid but, hey, sometimes that can’t be helped.

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September Birthdays Party

There are several members of our family who have September birthdays — Jessie, Amy, Noah, Finley — so we decided to have one party to celebrate all of them. Here are some photos. Sorry that the text is rather sparse, but if I spent more time on that I might not ever get the post up.

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 Dawn — the most important person, without whom there wouldn’t have been a party.

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Visit From the Seldens

We had a nice visit with the Seldens on Labor Day—or at least a small percentage of the Seldens. My sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Craig were here, along with their son and daughter-in law, Leland and Tammy, and L&T’s children, Brandon, Vincent and Megan. In addition, Matt and Amy, and their children, Quade, Brooke and Noah, were with us. Dawn fixed a wonderful meal and I barbecued the hamburgers. A fun time was had by all.

(L-R) Vincent Selden, Quade Thurston, Noah Thurston, Brandon Selden, Megan Selden, Brooke Thurston

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Quade’s Birthday Party – Garage Photo Studio

Today was my oldest grandson, Quade’s, birthday and we had a party at our home. Tyson had flown out from Chicago to visit for a few days, so I took the opportunity to give my garage photo studio a workout. It was the first time in a long time that we all found ourselves in one picture.

Top Row (l-r): Matt, Morrie, Dawn, Tyson, David. Bottom Row (l-r) Amy, Quade, Brooke, Noah, Ashley.

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Easter

We had a nice Easter with our family. I’m a bit rushed today, but wanted to post some photos. I didn’t get any pictures in church clothes because by the time I got back from teaching my HP lesson, everyone had changed. But I did get some Easter egg hunt pictures. Here’s Quade, Brooke and Noah, just before the hunt. They were so excited to find the eggs that I couldn’t keep them from acting squirrely.

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Saturday Night at the Dance Recital

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post called “Saturday at the Little League Ballpark.” It focused on my grandsons, Quade and Noah, and their baseball games. Today I get a chance to write about my granddaughter, Brooke, and her dance recital.

Brooke is seven years old. To say she is FABULOUS would be an understatement. It would also be the name of one of the dances her group performed. To say she is a budding SUPERSTAR would be true, and it would also be the name of one of the dances her group performed. To say she is a DANCING LEOPARD might not be literally true, but it is one of the dances her group performed.

Perhaps pictures say it better than words.

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Saturday at the Little League Ballpark

Noah Thurston backThis morning Dawn and I went to a Corona community park to watch our grandsons, Quade and Noah, play Little League baseball. It brought to mind the hours and days we spent watching our own sons, Matt, David and Tyson, play a couple of decades ago.

It was usually great fun, though sometimes it could get long. When your kid is the pitcher you have no problem paying attention, but when he plays one of the other positions (especially right field), you seldom see much action. You just wait patiently until he gets his chance to bat. That happens three or four times a game, if you’re lucky. Whether he actually hits the ball is another matter. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be the father of one of the kids who could crush the ball to deep centerfield, but I never found out.

My oldest son, Matt, was a nifty fielder. He could scoop up ground balls like a vacuum cleaner. I always admired this because I was an awful ground ball fielder. I loved playing the outfield and running down fly balls. There was something about the geometry of the ball, the arc and my running path that intrigued me. I could usually manage to arrive at the proper place when the ball came down and snag it. Ground balls, however, were my bugaboo. You could never be sure what angle the ball would take—there was always the possibility (and on some fields, the likelihood) that the ball would hit a rock on the last bounce and go through your legs or, worse, smack you in the face. I stuck to fly balls whenever possible—there were no rocks in the air. Continue reading

Tragedy in the Twenty-First Century

It started as a typical September morning—the sun had just risen on what promised to be a warm California day. I was dressed in workout clothes—black Above-the-Rim shorts, a charcoal Nike t-shirt, white K-Swiss tennis shoes—almost ready to leave for the gym. I backed my car out of our detached garage, wheeled it around and eased up to the front porch to finish loading my lawyer clothes—suit, white shirt, tie, belt, dress shoes and sox. I was planning to drive to 24-Hour Fitness in Orange and work out. Then I would shower, change, and head down to my office in Center Tower, Costa Mesa and my law practice at Latham & Watkins. I had a federal copyright lawsuit that was occupying large chunks of my time and I needed to review some deposition transcripts.

Suddenly Dawn came running out of the house. Thinking I was leaving, she began waving her arms frantically. My first thought was that something terrible had happened—perhaps an injury to a family member.

I pushed a button and the window slid down. “Matt just called,” she said, the concern apparent in her voice. Instantly the thought flashed through my mind—had something happened to Quade, our five-week old grandson? It had been twenty-three years since we lost our daughter, Elise, to sudden infant death syndrome, but I still carried an anxiety about the safety of children that would surface at the least hint of danger.

“They’ve blown up the World Trade Center in Washington. I’m going to turn on the TV.” With that, Dawn ran back into the house.

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