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  • When I was barely a toddler, my parents moved to California. My dad was a professor and my parents' huge circle of New York friends and relations presented them with a trophy engraved with the words "Go West, young man". This statuary became a fixture in our house, prominently displayed on a mantle for pretty much ever.

    At some point shortly after we had first moved, one of my fathers' favorite young students from New York got an appointment at the same university, and the young man let my dad know that he would be coming to California with his new wife. Ever the good student, he follows my father's instruction to come by as soon as they arrive in town.

    Walking into our house they are greeted not by a dapper professor clad in a tweed jacket surrounded by leather-bound tomes, but by my mom, hushing the barking dogs, chasing after me--a toddler just learning to walk and in need of a diaper change; toys and roller skates and bikes and children dispersed throughout the house with various additional youngsters creating miscellaneous tumultuous excitements, suitcases and boxes strewn about barely unpacked from our arrival months before.

    Barbara, having never really met my father, let alone the rest of the family shyly suggests "...maybe this isn't the best time...". But of course it was. It was always the best time.

    They became my family's dear friends, and to this day they still love to tell the story of how they arrived at our doorstep and were welcomed without hesitation into the chaos of our world.
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