Volume 3: 2001
February 5, 2001
by Robert Whitsitt
My wife is in excellent shape. We have every reason to believe that the cancer is gone from her body!
When I wrote the first of these for the May 1, 1999 issue I had high hopes that this would turn out well. It has exceeded my expectations. We have hundreds of regular readers from around the world (judging from the logs, which are sometimes somewhat cryptic) and 137 people have asked to be notified when we release a new issue. Unfortunately, 18 of them have apparently changed e-mail addresses, so they will miss their notification. If you change e-mail addresses, please let me know.
I'd like to hear what your experience has been with Amarillo Bay. Have you been reading from the beginning? Did you just now discover it? Write to me!
May 7, 2001
by Robert Whitsitt
Spring has come to the San Francisco Bay and to Amarillo, Texas. Flowers bloom, people shake off winter rain or snow, and the world looks good.
A few weeks ago, the company where my wife and I have been for several years merged with another company. As part of that deal, they laid off 50% of our company's employees and 40% of the other company's employees. My wife and I were lucky enough to be laid off! Since then we have been working contract for a friend's company but expect to take most of the summer off, returning to work in September. It feels almost like a summer vacation, after all these years!
We will spend the summer working on various projects, including two fiction movies (one short and one feature length), one feature length documentary movie, and a book or two. As always, we are planning to do way too much and will be happy if we have a good first draft of at least one of those. We're also going to take time to play. We're thinking of this as practice for retirement, although that is way off.
On the other hand, maybe this is more like what all of life should be like: work some, play some, do some projects. What do you think? How do you actually live your life? Let me know!
August 6, 2001
by Robert Whitsitt
This is the tenth issue of Amarillo Bay! Like the others, it is excellent, if I do say so myself.
I have made some minor changes to the look of Amarillo Bay starting with this issue, making more use of fonts designed for the Web instead of fonts designed for printed materials. I think the changes will make the site easier to read, which is critical when people have to sit in front of a computer and read.
The last two weeks of May my wife and I went to Europe with my wife's sister and their 83-year-old father, who is blind. We went to Amsterdam, London, and Stoke-on-Trent. We had a great time, including an afternoon in Stratford-on-Avon visiting Shakespeare's house! My wife and her sister took turns describing museums and the sights to their father. We ate lots of different types of food (great Indian cuisine in Stoke-on-Trent!) and tried many different types of beer. In Stoke-on-Trent we found a birth record, in 1841, for my wife's great-great-grandfather and a marriage certificate, in 1837, for her great-great-great-grandparents. We also have pictures of the church where they were married.
I have spent some time working on the crew of a short movie, an independent production named A Rendezvous with Audrey. After two long days, we're nearly finished. Nearly all of the people working in the crew are volunteers, like me, but most are film majors in college or have worked on crews before. I'm acting as a gopher ("go fer this, go fer that") and also doing some of the sound recording. The director has been in film for 73 years (he's 80 years old) and has directed over 100 films. He knows what he is doing. Both he and the producer are very patient in explaining to the rest of us what we should and should not do. You can learn more about Audrey at http://www.anderwell.com/audrey/index.html
How can the summer almost be over? My wife and I have been cheerfully goofing off for several months and have an organized house but almost nothing written. Well, the memories are very good.
November 5, 2001
by Robert Whitsitt
For a while after September 11, 2001, everything else seemed
trivial. My wife and I got jobs. Who cares? We had a pleasant trip to Europe last spring and tasted a lot of different beers. So what?
On the other hand, I am taking things less for granted. A friend flew out to see us, frightened but game. We flew to the Midwest to visit our families. We're going to visit our children over Thanksgiving and my mother is flying out to visit us for Christmas. Life and family and relationships continue. These are important events, signifying our link with others and forging a link with the way it used to be.
We will all go on, and gradually we will make the events of 9-11 a part of the background of our lives, integrating it with everything else. Weddings, the Day of Infamy, the births of our children, the Kennedy assassination, the good fortune of friends, Challenger, a promotion at work. Everything, however great or small, combines in our psyches as it is tested against our beliefs. From that integration we can build hatred and misery, or we can build strength to make us better able to withstand coming crises.
Amarillo Bay exists so people who are good at communicating can present a part of themselves to the rest of us. When looking at the works submitted to us, we do not judge them by the ideas they express, only by their literary excellence. We believe in clear communication of all types. Now more than ever our ability to share different visions can save us as nothing else can.
Go to Publisher's Comments Volume 4: 2002.
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