During a family reunion at Lake Tahoe in 1992, my mother’s aunt Mary, then eighty-five, said, “I used to feel I hoped I lived long enough to see how things turned out. Now I’m not sure. In college we thought there was going to be this wonderful world. All men would be brothers. We were sure it was coming.”

It’s poignant because the Depressions and World War II were coming. But somehow
inspiring because that idealism and optimism–if applied concretely–can work wonders.

Mary herself was an amazing person. At eighty-five,she was more than able to keep up with us on our family hikes and treks around the lake.

Married to Frederick Funkhouser, viola player in the Cleveland Orchestra under its first six conductors, she learned Russian prior to touring with the Orchestra when it visited the Soviet Union in 1965.

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