Year in Review 1995


Dear Friends, I hope you are all well. This year instead of my usual "art card", I used a photo from my three-week trip to Germany and post-communist Eastern Europe. This is what I look like at age 50 in a photo taken in Albania.

Photo from Albania

Here is the table of contents for my Year in Review:
Incredible Experience Personal Headlines
Other Travel Japan Headlines
Family Tree US Headlines
375th Anniversary of the Mayflower
Original Year in Review insert

An incredible experience

Seeing old friends for the first time in 20 or 30 years, I was deeply moved by the "Willkommen" I received everywhere in Germany. It was great to see my old pen pal (first letter in 1959), Herbert Pietsch still living in east Berlin and meet his daughter. Family Spielmanns, who I stayed with when I lived in Germany in the summer of 1965, had a mini reunion so I could see them all again. I also visited Willi Eberwein and his wife, and Jan Eilers and his family.

I roller bladed for the first time in Bratislava and saw the instruments of religious torture from the 16th century in their museums. I also saw one of the jewels of Europe: Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, and celebrated the fourth anniversary of their independence. There I mountain biked for the first time. I visited the time capsule called Albania, nicely recovering from the worst case of communism in Europe. In Albania, I got very sick from the food and had a memorable remote border crossing into Macedonia. I also visited Croatia to complete seeing the old Yugoslavia. Understanding Yugoslavia makes me stand in awe of America's tolerance.

Other Travel

I traveled to Japan another 8 times for a total of 50 times. Our business is up and I continue to work extremely hard! I also traveled to Florida, California, Texas and New Jersey. I visited Telecom 1995 in Geneva to see the huge one billion dollar exposition. This is the Olympics of telecommunications. I vacationed in Hawaii in December yet another time.

Family Tree

On July 22nd, my nephew, Philip C. Parrish, Jr., who we call PJ, was married in Hillsboro, Texas. I discovered more First Comers including Stephen Bachiler who came in 1632 at 71. He was married for the fourth time at age 87, returned to England at age 90 and died at age 95. The authoritative reference The Great Migration commented: "Among many remarkable lives lived by early New Englanders, Bachiler's is the most remarkable. From 1593, when he was cited before the Star Chamber, until 1654, this man lived a completely independent and vigorous life."

Personal Headlines in 1995

I became an inventor on September 12th when patent #5,450,482 on dynamic routing was issued. I was thrilled since this has been one of my lifelong dreams. I set up my home page on the Internet at work. Like everyone else my age that worked in my area, I received two special retirement offers from AT&T in 1995. I’m considering the last offer as I write these words. In June, I flew first class on new 777 to Germany on its ninth day of introduction. At home, I had the roof fixed and the house painted.

Headlines in Japan in 1995

Over 5000 people killed in the earthquake in Kobe. Over 5000 injured and a dozen killed by the cult, Aum Shinrikyo, in Tokyo. Several bank runs. Strong yen damages the economy. Beer prices discounted. Japanese investors in the Rockefeller Center lose everything and walk away from a huge bankruptcy. Daiwa bank closed in US in a one billion dollar scandal.

US and World Headlines in 1995

The OJ travesty (root cause: 100% of the jurors did not read a daily newspaper, but 60% read National Enquirer. Solution: Pick jurors at random, not the most ignorant.) The stock market breaks 4000, then 5100! Bombing in Oklahoma City -- now even fertilizer is dangerous. Million Man March (I talked to Louis Farrakhan in 1992 at O’Hare. He seems low key in person compared to his TV persona). Federal budget battle. Rabin assassinated. Shocker: killer is a Jew. Peace in Bosnia. Harry Browne selected as the 1996 Libertarian candidate for President.

375th Anniversary of the Mayflower

1995 marks the 375th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, which should be viewed as the First American Revolution. Now their radical views of self government are becoming commonplace everywhere in the world. I just finished rereading Governor Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation, one of the most important books of the 17th century. You can't read this book without discovering remarkable things or with a dry eye. For example, when the Pilgrims arrived in America, they tried communism, determined that it would not work for them or anyone and returned to private property as the way to organize society. (If Lenin had read this book, tens of millions of people slaughtered in the name of communism would still be alive!)

The honesty, sincerity and diligence of the Pilgrims won over the Dutch when they escaped to Holland in 1608 and the Indians when they arrived in New England in 1620. The determination of the Pilgrims in the face of danger, hardship and starvation define impregnable fortitude in adversity. They arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts at the beginning of winter, and in four months, half of them had died. The first "relief" ship came one year later and had very few supplies because their efforts were privately funded and their lenders were not generous with them. It was three years before it was clear that they would not all starve. Their shining example encouraged others and by 1633, the brain drain to America became a flood. This triggered the civil war in England in 1640, which almost stopped immigration to America. Two of my five ancestors on the Mayflower, John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, married each other, lived past 80 and produced over 400,000 descendants! A couple of million Americans have ancestors on the Mayflower even though a much smaller number have documented these wonderful links.