Osvaldo Gago | Wikimedia Commons
Jack & Jo Chamberlains’ annual Christmas newsletter
Note from Dan: Veteran newsman Jack Chamberlain retired from The Roanoke Times in 1993. His earlier Christmas letters are here, here and here.
This was the year of the numbers. (And some other stuff). I’m still smoke-free after nearly 5 years. We observed our 37th anniversary. Too late to start over. I’ve been retired 20 years, Jo 14. I turned 76. Jo 67. I, alone, think this is noteworthy, because the next time we share the same digits I’ll be ghost writing this letter at age 98. Jo, my better 2/3rds, will be a mere 89.
We had a lot of bad and sad news. Dave, husband of my former spouse, who is the mother of my children, died by his own hand Jan. 2. Everyone, especially the kids, was upset and angry. In March, Donna, wife of son Steve, lost her four-month fight with lung cancer; Cam, our daughter’s mother-in-law, succumbed to cancer after a long battle; and Dolores, a dear friend for nearly 30 years, died of kidney failure — all within 48 hours. During this time, Jo was undergoing a series of Mohs surgeries to remove basal cell carcinomas from her face, caused by radiation treatments for acne as a teenager. So far so good! Treatments resume after the holidays.
Grandson Daniel, 21, tried community college, but found it boring. So he landed a job with an electric company that contracts with regional power companies. He is climbing the utility pole of success. After Super Storm Sandy, he was in a crew sent to help restore power to New Jersey. He came home with a pile of cash. Grandson Tim, 24, graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in chemistry. He hopes to become a pharmacist. He came home with a pile of debt. Read more »