A Couple Days Late, and A Couple Dollars Short (Inflation?)

 Hi, everyone!  Sorry I didn’t have an entry on Monday as usual.  I have been sick lately, battling yet another virus.  Earlier this winter, I was so confident that I had been exposed to every virus there was after working in pediatrics for all these years.  Last year I wasn’t sick once!  This winter has been a different story.  I think the germs are mutating!  Anyway, sorry about the delay.  I am almost back to “normal.”

I promised to publish parts of the holiday letter from the Vaughan’s, so here it is at last! Mary Vaughan sent an wonderful update on her family with a Christmas card.  I am paraphrasing Mary’s letter (stealing her words!). 

After thirty years of owning his optometric practice in Broken Bow, Jerry sold it to his partner, Jeff Sanger.  Jerry is now an independent optometric practitioner, working with the ophthalmologists at the Kearney Eye Institute.  He travels to Kearney three days a week and supports the ophthalmologists with his optometric expertise.  If the eye doctors have surgery to do at one of the satellite clinics in Broken Bow, Lexington, Holdrege or Cozad, Jerry covers for them in Kearney.  He enjoys the road time, about an hour each way between BBow and Kearney.  Jerry is learning EMR (electronic medical records) just like I am!  Mary says, “Just think of all the connections of new brain synapses you are making.”  (I’m afraid I am losing as many as I am creating!)    

Mary and Jerry made a trip to Australia last summer.  They spent three weeks there, exploring Sydney, Palm Cover and the great Barrier Reef, and the Outback at Uluru. Mary writes, “We climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, and rode camels in the Outback.  We ate at 5-star restaurants in Sydney, under a tent in the rain forest, and under the stars in the Outback. It was unforgettable!” 
 
Their three boys are busy as well, having adventures of their own.  Their oldest, Andy, lives in Seattle where he is working on his doctorate in molecular biology.  His focus is studying the relationship between stem cells and lung cancer.  He also is in a band and performs in small shows in Seattle.
 
Mary and Jerry’s middle son, Bryan, lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he does online marketing for The MuseBox, a non-traditional music marketing firm.  He continues to develop his own record label Paper Garden Records. Check it out at http://papergardenrecords.com
 
Their youngest son, Carson, started an alternative newspaper at UNL called The Dailyer Nebraskan, an alternative newspaper for UNL students. It has the support of the Daily Nebraskan, offering news in a satirical format.  It also has reviews of popular culture as found in various art forms. Carson overcame the hurdles of the ASUN, the student association at UNL, gaining their approval after two attempts.  He also had to come up with the money for libel insurance.  Carson has gained a great deal of experience in his field of journalism already and he is still an undergrad!  Carson has been accepted as an intern with The Onion this summer which is headquartered in NYC.
 
The matriarch of this group has contributed to society in her own way.  After working as financial administrator in Jerry’s business for years, she had to pursue other avenues when he sold his business.  Mary now works as an independent consultant to the Central Plains Center for Services.  It is a private social services agency started by Nancy Ferguson, Opal’s sister.  The goal is to connect kids who are former wards of the state with postsecondary education and the resources they need to succeed.  Thusfar, the program has assisted over 500 students in obtaining higher education.  The first group is starting to graduate from their institutions of higher learning.  
 
Mary and Jerry own a townhouse in Lincoln which they have rented out to college students the past few years.  Now, they plan to keep it to themselves.  Mary says, “Some people have cabins at the lake-we have a townhouse in the city.”  Her job requires some travel so it will be handy to have a place in Lincoln to stay when she meets with prospective partners for ETV. 
Jerry and Mary Vaughan's family
Thank you to Mary for the update.  She and Jerry have three sons to be proud of, each different but each contributing in his own right.  As the mother of three sons myself, I can relate.  When our boys were younger, I used to marvel at their differences.  Instead of comparing them to one another, I told them, “It’s like having neapolitan ice cream!  I have three different flavors and I love them all!”  My boys do have some common bonds such as music and it appears Mary and Jerry’s boys do, too!
 
Happy Easter, everyone!

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