Tuesday, November 13, 2012

28 years

Swedish Hospital Neonatal Unit, November 1984
James Searle was born 28 years ago this morning at 5:41am. 

He spent the first ten days of his life in the intensive care neonatal unit at Swedish Hospital, under the care of  devoted nurses and absolutely the finest and fiercest pediatrician I know, Dr. Gary Spector.  Pride and joy was mixed with high anxiety until we arrived at Christmas that year.   The photo below is taken a year later, and you can see what an open, curious and healthy child he has become.  He is still all of those things.

First Santa photo, December 1985.

Life was a series of amazing adventures for James as he went through elementary, middle and high school He was especially fortunate to have Terry Acena as principal and terrific teachers at Bryant Elementary; and Moc Escobedo ("Mr E.") as his band teacher at Eckstein Middle School.  Under Moc's guidance, he became a jazz trombone player, and went on to play bass trombone for Roosevelt's jazz band -- not every kid gets to play Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center four years in a row, but James did.  And he traveled with the band to locations in Mexico, China and Europe.  Because of a growing friendship with Weston Jandacka, he took up drawing, painting and photography as well.  He was truly an arts-focused kid all through high school.

SUNY Albany campus, 2010
James got to SUNY Albany by way of doing his undergraduate degree at The Evergreen College, where he got truly interested in literature and philosophy; and then took his master of arts degree at Carnegie Mellon.  The photos above and below were taken when we flew out to Albany to see him and the campus for his 26th birthday.

Today, he's a teaching assistant at the university, getting ready to take his oral examination for the PhD early next year.  He'll stay back East for the holidays to prepare intensely for that exam, but we'll see him early in January at the MLA Conference in Boston.

And I'm still his biggest fan.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

"And I'm still his biggest fan." As it should be, Annie!

To JHSS; salute! I've loved you since the day I met you, all sunny-day mischief, and then some!