Year in Review 1997


I had an interesting year and hope you did too. My e-mail is Please send me your e-mail address. This year's card is a simple pastoral scene with a bright winter feeling.

Snow scene

Here is the table of contents for my Year in Review:
Retirement 101 10th and 11th Cousins
Lucent Technologies Atlas Shrugged
Anderson Scholarship The Stock Markets
9th Cousin Other Travels
6th and 7th Cousins Final Notes
Original 1997 review

Retirement 101

Well the headline for the year was: I failed Retirement 101 and will have to retake the course. After 4 months in retirement, I returned to work to the same office, phone number and boss, but only 20 hours a week. Nice. Two months later, I was back to the old pace. Instead of traveling to Japan 10 or 11 times a year, this year in the space of 9 months I was in Mexico 5 times, once in Brazil, twice in Europe and 6 times in Saudi Arabia! One accomplishment in retirement: moving all of my financial records to Quicken and converting to electronic checking. I highly recommend both!

Lucent Technologies

One of the business success stories of 1997 was Lucent, spun off from AT&T on October 1, 1996. As fate would have it, the next day I was the first or at least one of the first to retire from Lucent. Certainly the re-energizing of our International Switching business was a key in my decision to return to work. While the stock of AT&T has languished, Lucent's has tripled. On September 15th per my suggestion, we had a celebration of the 20th anniversary of International Switching, which is now a billion dollar a year business. There were about 20 of us pioneers in attendance. We sat in a circle each telling in turn one interesting story after another. We flew in John Nowak, our founding director, as a surprise to the attendees. It was a wonderful celebration.

Anderson Scholarship

Getting ready for visits to Saudi Arabia, I re-did my will. This triggered my decision to set up a scholarship in my mother's memory at her high school in Sioux Rapids, Iowa. She graduated second in her class in 1932 so the scholarship will be awarded to the second ranked student in the class each year in perpetuity. I just called up the principal, talked to him and others at the school and established the scholarship that day.

9th Cousin

An internet success story: typing "mohawk" and discovering Lorine Schulze a 9th cousin in Canada who had written a book on our common ancestor, Ots-Toch, daughter of a Mohawk women and French explorer, Jacques Hertel. He came to Canada in 1613, a boy of ten sent to live among the Mohawks and learn their language. He was one of the top 4 interpreters to the famous Samuel de Champlain. His granddaughter was a famous interpreter, Hilletie who married a Dutch man. Descriptions of her on page 205 in the Journal of Jasper Danckaerts (1679-1680) show how deeply he was impressed by her: "Yes, she expressed to me more reality of the truth of Christianity, through the emotions of her heart, although in language according to the genius of the person, which nevertheless was nothing but loving--more, I said, than any one, whether minister or other person, in all New Netherland."

6th and 7th Cousins

In 1977 I visited Sweden for the first time and met my distant cousins. This year I returned and was the guest of honor at a dinner party. I was moved by their efforts to trace my Swedish roots, documented in a 30-page book. Such a gift is very special!! On the other side of the family, I attended a formal family reunion of 115 people either distant cousins or their spouses. The 3 hour program was in Swedish which I don't understand, but I could tell when the audience was going to laugh. Many people urged me to study Swedish. One discovery in Oslo: the ship's manifest which showed that my great grandparents came together to America in 1869. After returning, I completed my research on my great grandparents visiting Jacksonville, Illinois where they were married and Washburn, Wisconsin where my great grandmother, Clara Peterson is buried. Her obituary in 1933 was on the front page of the local newspaper. I've authored an article on my great grandparents and their 122 descendants to be published this month in Sweden.

10th and 11th Cousins

One of the side benefits of family tree research is the pleasure of finding linkages to famous people. For example, 5 years ago I discovered that 10 US Presidents are distant cousins. In the same book on page 352, I discovered that the beloved Diana, the Princess of Wales, is my 10th cousin one time removed. About half of the people in the world watched some part of her funeral. One day Prince William, my 11th cousin, will be King.

Atlas Shrugged

In 1962 I read the novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This year I took a course on the literary aspects of Atlas and re-read it for the third time. During the summer, I attended a stimulating one week seminar on various aspects of Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand held at the University of Virginia. I took a side trip to visit again Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. There I talked to an old Buddhist monk from Burma who had just recently discovered Jefferson! Imagine a Buddhist monk from a military dictatorship making a pilgrimage to Jefferson's home. I just finished and highly recommend the book Undaunted Courage, the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition, which Jefferson launched. In October, I attended a conference in Washington, D.C. celebrating the 40th anniversary of the publication of Atlas Shrugged.

The Stock Markets

It may have been poetic justice, but 3 months after Hong Kong returned to China its stock market crashed. Black Monday October 27th was my birthday and for the 6th time in 7 years I was overseas. In spite of crises in Asia and Japan, the US stock market keeps defying gravity. Scary.

Other Travels

In Las Vegas I attended Louis Rukeyser's annual Investment Conference. I attended pro football in Cincinnati and horse farms in Kentucky helping John Lewin, a good friend of mine turn 50. His 50th birthday was the day Princess Diana died in the tragic accident. My brother, father and I had our annual reunion in Dallas in October. My father, 83, got on the net and sends e-mail regularly!

Final Notes

Bought a new Mac for work equipped with Softwindows 95. This is one way to achieve PC compatibility. Amazing to see Windows work on a Mac. People were shocked to watch me drag down the Windows desktop to reveal the Mac desktop underneath. Our old neighbor Sylvia Stewart, who taught me to drive a car in 1959, passed away this year. In my spare time, I learned the Arabic alphabet while in Saudi Arabia. As I'm typing this letter, my house's roof is being ripped off and replaced. All the best to you in 1998.