At the bottom on the left is an alphabetical list of the pages in this web site, to help you navigate if you feel so inclined.
A guide to our family photo album covering 1994-2010, showing the principal themes, is here.
A year by year guide to our family time-line from 1994 through 2007 is here.
A photo journal beginning in 2008 is here.
The most recent pages of the album, copies of posts from my WordPress family blog, http://ianstock.wordpress.com/, are linked here:
We'd been parents at Happy Valley School for almost twelve years when this photo was taken at the Piccos' party in December. It looks as if 2008-9 will be our last year, as Alex wants to move on to Middle School for 6th grade.
The Piccos have already moved on too, as have Judy and Susan, both in the photo here with Marie-Hélène.
So in our group, we're the last HVS parents standing. Susan and Judy have also been confirmed soccer parents for about eight years, with their sons on the same team as Charlie almost the whole time, and so we've all spent more time together than we should calculate.
We don't calculate!
Especially after one of Liz's patented margaritas! She is a serious tequila aficionado, and has a particular talent for infecting the rest of us. She's our hostess, after all, and we will be polite and do as she suggests.
Unfortunately, we didn't take a photo of Liz or Marty at this party: that's the way it goes when you're having fun. But we have pictures of each of them elsewhere: here's Marty, with his plane, and here's Liz, with Daphné a few years back.
The teenagers party while the parents party, and never the twain shall meet.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and after spending hours avoiding the adults, Charlie was happy enough to be photographed with Brooke. Not sure that she was entirely happy with the relative positions here!
Here are some more of the teenage children of the mothers in the above photo, and of Liz of course. Agustin is next to Charlie, and Ean is between Brooke and Anton. I suppose as they get deeper into their teens and attend different schools and play different sports, they won't continue to fit together so easily and well.
But this will always be a great group of young people.
Finally, for this party, Ean and his dad, Rick, the surfer in the group, are on the right. Rick is Susan's husband: she's in the middle of the first photo on this page.
Ean has been playing soccer with Charlie for years and years, most recently in the Santa Cruz County Breakers. Rick and Ian have spent many hours watching their boys playing so many games together. One game in particular stands out. The boys were playing Santa Clara Sporting, their arch rivals with considerably greater resources, both in terms of population and finance, in Santa Clara. It was maybe 2006 or 2007. The match was played on Sporting's expensive custom-built fields just down the road from Great America. For some reason (the heat? the direction of the sun?), most of our team parents planted themselves on the wrong side of the field, where they were obliged to be quiet so as not to draw official attention and be told to move on. Rick and I were pretty much the only parents cheering our boys on from the correct side of the field. And cheer we did. We had a great time, walking up and down the sideline, yelling and screaming in unison, deliberately trying to sound like a whole team's parents. The boys won, by a convincing score of 4-1. We probably had nothing to do with the result, but who cares! We both had a fabulous time.
Father's day was very special this year. We typically go out for a meal in town somewhere. Santa Cruz county boasts an abundance of fun cafes and restaurants. But this family's dad loves the other scenic parts of the coast, and sees them much less often. So several of us drove in three cars to Big Sur, Nepenthe to be precise, for a father's day lunch.
On the left, Ian in front of the Big Sur hillside dropping into the ocean. This is the view from the restaurant's terrace. Marie-Hélène took a series of great photos on this terrace.
Such beauty has its price, or at least its risks. Not very long after our lovely meal at Nepenthe, a forest fire broke out over Big Sur. It burned over 160,000 acres of the Los Padres National Forest in about five weeks. The news carried reports of Nepenthe's owners running around the property putting out embers from the fire that floated down on them. They had told their employees to flee and stay out of the danger zone until the fires eased, but some of them remained anyway to help protect their restaurant. It was the first significant forest fire in Big Sur since 1972.
One of the three cars that drove to Nepenthe brought Alban and Curtis. It's not easy to see in this photograph on the right, but Curtis is wearing his navy uniform. He had finished basic training, and was home in Santa Cruz before leaving for his first active duty posting. Less than a week later, he left for Spain. Not a bad posting!
Curtis, if you see this, thanks a lot for coming, and we all hope that working for the US Navy in Spain is as much fun for you as it sounds!
Not everyone at Nepenthe wanted to be photographed!
This is Alex on the left.
Others were fine posing for the camera: on the right are Olive and Nick, who drove down by themselves to the restaurant. They would go on to spend a portion of the summer vacationing together in Paris and Santa Barbara County, and then Olive moved away to take her first job after graduating UC Santa Cruz. It looked like they had a lot of fun while it lasted!
Nick took the group picture below.
Papa appreciated the day and the meal very much!
Here are the other 2008 photo journal pages: Tom living in Paris, Alban out and about in Santa Cruz, Ian on a short visit to family in England, Maman, Papa, Charlie and Alex taking a long weekend down the California coast, soccer in 2008, portraits in 2008 and, last but not least, the main 2008 journal page.
Listing of Pages in the Site
. . . with Alban