This truncated retrospective of Clan Lovett begins in 1858, when my grandfather, Judge Lovett, was born, only three years before the Civil War began. To those to whom ethnicity matters, my father’s Clan Lovett (part of Scottish Clan Frazier) sprang from Edinburgh, Scotland, proud Glensmen one and all, distant (and poor) relatives of the Lord Lovett who may still occupy the august Lovett Castle there, whose Lord once visited us in Aspen, and to whose estimable estate we were invited for The Annual Fox Hunt but couldn’t make it. Those of my dad’s forbearers, who were not Scots, were English (e.g., Gilson’s). My mother, a Thompson and Seaton, was Black Irish and English, with a Spanish twist, and she had the jet black hair and flashing Spanish eyes (and fiery charm) to prove it. My own sons inherit that plus the equally Gaelic (Scottish-Irish) roots of their mother’s Moore’s, Tarpening’s and Compton’s. Late in life, courtesy of living in an English Colony for 25 years, I added British citizenship to the Clan, once again, completing another of life’s ineffable Taoist circles. In short, we’re a Gaelic breed. We return from whence we came. See photos at Ancestors.
Back in the days when judges “road the circuit” from town-to-town by horse or rail, my paternal grandfather, Judge Robert Harry Lovett (1858-1925), a 32nd Degree Mason, whose father was a blacksmith, was a Circuit Court Judge in Peoria, Illinois, for most of his legal career (before serving as Assistant Attorney General of the U.S., in charge of settling claims arising from WWI). After doing most of his schooling at home by candlelight (as did his idol, Abraham Lincoln), and learning his law by apprenticing for a local lawyer, he took his “Bar Exam” orally, as was then the practice, before an administrating Judge (while standing before the brass or wooden “bar” that traversed the front of the judge’s bench). An imposingly large, blue-eyed, flaxen-haired lad of 6’3”, who had been among the earliest to play Abner Doubleday’s baseball professionally, as a 1st Baseman (and I inherited his love of that game), he married Laura Gilson Lovett (1870-1968), whom I dubbed “Mom-Mom”, mistaking her for my mom’s mom, a diminutive 5’1” with laughing blue eyes and the thickest head of silken hair imaginable which she wore in a wavy bun but which, when unfurled, fell to her waist all her 98 years. She suffered a debilitating form of polio for 15 years before being healed in Christian Science (C.S.), and, subsequently, helped raise me and my siblings, in what was a devoutly religious family. (As kids, we were expected to actually read the Christian Bible daily and even learn considerable chunks of it; I also attended Sunday School 99% of all Sundays through age 18, where teacher’s expected us to know key facts and passages, and, then, I also spent six years in C.S. schools, all of which produced a fervently religious lad until my late twenties. I still enjoy reading the Bible and other religious texts.) Although Judge Lovett died years before I was born, he was revered far and wide — as frequent lamentations of his passing so touchingly attested. For many years there was, and may still be, a bust of him in the U.S. Circuit Court House in Peoria, Ill. While growing up, I witnessed the adulation of Judge Lovett, from the spontaneous tears and soulful glances that his name engendered among my elders. He was missed intensely. What greater legacy can one leave?
My maternal grandmother, the arresting Mae Lee Seaton Thompson ( 1883-1915), with azure, Irish eyes and delicate features of Venus that must have enlivened many hearts, was taken by “consumption” (a precursor-moniker for cancer, TB and related maladies) at the tender age of 32 (when her daughter, my mother, Helen, was only 12). Grandmother was given the middle name “Lee”, being said to be a great grandniece of Harry Lee III (“Light-Horse Harry” Lee, 1756-1818), a blond-blue-eyed American Revolutionary War hero who became Governor of Virginia and had six children including Robert E. Lee, who, of course, led the Confederate Army in the Civil War, commencing a proliferation of the name “Lee” among our fore-bearers. Mae Lee’s husband, my maternal grandfather, was known as “Handsome George” Thompson, also of Gaelic roots (of whom no reproducible pictures survive). Although reputedly a tad of a bon vivant and an excessive tippler, he possessed a blithe spirit and was an untrained but highly accomplished musician and singer, who played every instrument in the band, and circled the globe repeatedly with the world’s then most illustrious band (John Phillip Sousa’s), filling-in for any open chair. His absences meant that my mother, Helen Thompson, was shuttled between a grandparent and an aunt and was packed off to boarding schools; she pined woefully for her departed mother and absentee father. By the time that the itinerant George returned and settled down as a music teacher in his native Evanston, Illinois (only a wee stones’ throw from Clan Lovett in Peoria with whom she was to later link), my mother and her father had become estranged and never reconciled; nonetheless, gregarious George, a natural Beau Brummell of his day, was well liked by his students, who erected an effigy of him in a public park which recalled (and may still recall) his students’ abiding affections for this irrepressibly jocular, if whimsical, Irish soul.
My father, Eliot C. Lovett (1895-1963) was a lapis-eyed, freckled, red-headed Scot, very athletic (track, tennis, darts, a bowler and, for some years, holder of the Ten Pin Highest Score Record in Washington DC Metro), a Navy veteran of WWI, a Magna Cum Laude (English Lit) grad of Harvard College and George Washington U. Law School, and, like his dad, a 32nd Degree Mason. Eliot participated in the first radio hearing ever held (c. 1926, at the FCC’s predecessor, the Federal Radio Commission), and was a leader in the early practice of radio and TV law, serving as President of the Federal Communications Bar Association (1947). While representing luminaries, including Walt Disney (whom I met as a lad), Gene Autry (who once dined at our modest home), Motorola, Emerson, Sound Scriber, the Pasadena Play House, and the Los Angeles Times. He won a number of legendary cases, and has been said to have obtained more reversals of the FCC in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals than anyone before or since. Like his father, he showered his congenital kindnesses and largess on many. He acclaimed his father, Judge Lovett, as “the kindest man I ever knew whose shoes were too big for me, literally and figuratively,” but most, who knew Eliot Lovett, passed that Crown of Kindness to Eliot – rendering Judge Lovett and Eliot, two cherished legacies that warrant acclamation and emulation by all surviving members of Clan Lovett and others who share atavistic attachments thereto. Their focus was never money, although both worked assiduously all their days and so many nights; they were committed to achieving excellence in all that they did – and in never missing a chance to be kind to all comers; devoid of egotism, pretentions and airs, their hearts were open to all. As an English Lit scholar from Harvard and congenital reader, Eliot’s vocabulary was vast and his prose flawless (as was his scholarly sister’s, our “Aunta’s”, who is below discussed). Having been a Court Reporter in his law school days, Eliot could take shorthand and type faster than most secretaries, and he was a perfectionist, often typing his own briefs, contracts and letters. He admonished me, ‘Learn to work all office equipment; it pays to be self-reliant,” echoing Emerson’s Essay on Self Reliance. Dad was a modest biller and, when some clients stiffed him for fees, he moved on, never suing to collect; happily, his better clients enabled him to do well enough to live comfortably, if modestly, in the upper end of the middle class, and to keep his children in private schools. Although he achieved considerable fame in his field and was a frugal and a Franklinesque-Scottish saver, he was never an affluent man and, like his father, Judge Lovett, Eliot departed terra firma with empty pockets, but he left the world a better place, his assets being the still-remembered love that he effortlessly shared with so many – the greatest estate of all — and no man had loved his wife more.
Eliot’s sister, Laura Evangeline Lovett, aka “Aunta” (1900-1999), a wee slip of a girl, enjoyed most of her mother’s (Laura Gilson’s) luxuriant chestnut-to-coal hair, and she, like her brother, Eliot, was an academic dynamo, who had a penchant for carrying a dictionary in her purse for sporadic entertainment, a Summa Cum Laude Harvard (then Radcliffe) grad, obtained a Masters in Shakespearian English and acted for some years on Broadway — with Beatrice Lilly, Spring Byington, Billy Burke and other then prominent thespians, most of whom later achieved Hollywood fame. When her father, Judge Lovett died suddenly of a heart attack, she was heartbroken and left the stage (in her late twenties) and became a Christian Science practitioner for the rest of her life, and, later, also became a widely-published metaphysical journalist and author, and, a brilliant speaker with flawlessly articulated diction (often entertaining parlor crowds with witty or profound Shakespearian soliloquies), the intonations of which still resonate in my cranium, and she headed many organizations, including consecutive terms as President of the prominent (U.S.) National Society of Arts and Letters.
Lee’s mother, Helen Thompson Lovett (1903-1981), a swarthy, black-haired, coal-eyed, buxom, exotic beauty (a blend of her arresting mother (Mae Lee) and her father, “Handsome George”), attended the New England Conservatory of Music as a dedicated (if rote) pianist, during which time she met Aunta, who introduced her to Eliot, who became Helen’s husband (and Lee’s father), who loved Helen passionately at first sight and thereafter to his last breath. Dante had no greater love for Beatrice, nor Romeo for Juliet, than did Eliot for Helen. (Whoever said, “Men rule the world,” has not witnessed love like Eliot’s for Helen – or mine/Lee’s for Lynda Faye Barnes. Such love transcends trivial disputes, e.g., “Who wears the pants today” and, hence, is “boss”, becomes inapposite minutia of trivial insignificance.) Helen’s below-discussed culinary achievements were exceeded only by her ability to “make a house a home” (and such a difference there is), glowing with warmth and pulsating the spirit and uniquely fitting decor of every seasonal holiday or festive occasion. The sumptuous aromas of baking bread, donuts, cakes, pies, turkeys suffused the air and charmed and enlivened our abode, as did the sounds of her piano and my father’s beloved, if halting violin, so comforting even when a note or two was misplaced. While neither enjoyed George Thompson’s ability to play by ear, they could sight-read most popular music. Also an accomplished gardener, Mother-Helen’s garden (at which Dad-Eliot dutifully assisted), at our summer cottage in Cape May (“Early Bird Cottage”, as she dubbed it), twice captured First Prize in N.J.’s Annual State Gardening Competition, the demonstrative, engraved certificates for which hung proudly in our foyer, demonstrative proclamations of green thumbs and love of home. She, like Eliot’s sister, our Aunta, presided over many organizations, for example, serving as State Regent [President] of the Maryland Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and as Vice Regent General of the then august and still politically influential National DAR, earning herself a place in Marquis Who’s Who in American Women. A dedicated and schooled cook, she won various culinary competitions (such as the RCA radio around which we sat en masse, on Sunday evenings, with our grilled cheese sandwiches, popcorn and homemade tomato soup, to listen to Jack Benny, Edgar Burgan, Amos and Andy and other titillating radio-luminaries); she also hosted an early radio-cooking show on WRC in Washington, D.C. (where I later soled live with my school choir), bearing the disarming on-air-pseudonym of “Betty Brown”, whose recipes were published in newspapers and books here and there. During the daunting days of WWII, she served as a driver for the Red Cross Motor Corps, while husband-Eliot served as a “Minuteman” (a special military group that patrolled their own neighborhoods, fully armed, at night during that ominous, still haunting War, ever fearing a long-range V-I guided missile from Germany, the kind that were then daily decimating the more accessible London). The eerie blackouts and siren-sounds in our otherwise felicitous Chevy Chase, Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C., underscored the loss of neighborhood-sons who fell in the ghastly WWII.
I only knew one of my four grandparents, but I have such lovely “memories” of the others, vicarious though they be, through the adulation of them as passed to me by their immediate survivors, with riveting emotions, sufficient, in the aggregate, to make me proud to part of their lineage and to feel a form of virtual closeness. The one grandparent whom I knew, my dad’s mom, Laura Gilson Lovett, whose thick, waist-length, silken hair, radiant laugh, twinkling azure eyes and her delectable homemade donuts were a highlight of my early years.
Most of all, of course, I miss my parents, whom I lost so long ago (my dad when I was 28 and my mom when I was 47). I long to hold them in my arms again and let them hold me, knowing that all is well, and that I did benefit from each and every sacrifice that they endured for me and for their wisdom and unrestrained and unconditional love (an emotion known only to parents and pets), and that I did try to live as they might have hoped. I was so young when they left; I’m not sure they ever understood how much I cared for them, another relentless regret, but, then, we sadly covet most that which is taken from us, not that which we have. I can’t abide visiting cemeteries, which dissolve me into a paroxysm of tears, inside and out; so, my “memorials” to them, and my other departed loved ones, are the pictures of them that adorn my home and, above-all, my desk and office (where I mostly live), which permit mental vignettes and recollected colloquy; they’re never far away, as I won’t permit them to be, all of which seems to salve my loss and my remorse for not showing them more affection.
Meanwhile, Bob, my older brother, Robert E. Lovett (1926-2006), like Judge Lovett, was a strapping, hazel-eyed, precocious, inquisitive, consumptive speed-reader, and loquacious to a fault; he applied his genius IQ in WWII as a Lieutenant in the Chemical Warfare Research Lab of the Army, and later obtained a BS (chemistry) at Michigan, an MBA (finance) at NYU, and a Ph.D.(marketing) at USC, and taught briefly at NYU and later, as an avocation, at USC (Assistant Dean, School of Commerce), and, after holding several jobs, built a very successful ad agency in Los Angeles (Boylhart, Lovett & Dean, later acquired by the mega-agency, BBDO).
My sister, Loyce L. Lovett (1928-), a comely, chestnut-haired lass with an attentive queue of beaus in her courting years, was my constant companion and mentor while growing up. In WWII, she became a volunteer hostess at Red Cross Canteens. As a teenager, she taught me the value of tenderness and the pleasant sensations of reciprocal “scratching” of heads, backs and arms, and, best of all, she allowed me to join her slumber parties, thus giving me a sliver of insight into the inscrutable female mind. For years, my greatest weekly treat was when she took me by bus to the “Saturday Matinee” at the Avalon Theater at Chevy Chase Circle, on the DC-MD line, where the daunting Lone Ranger and Tanto reigned, evoking the euphoric squeals of hundreds of ecstatic tikes like me. Loyce did a lot to help raise me, and, to her, I owe my affection for (and such limited understanding as men can have of) the enigmatic female-species. Boys with sisters are fortunate indeed, especially older sisters who can teach them. Marriage and Loyce, sadly, did not mix well, and, after jettisoning her husbands, she moved to California with my mother, not too long after my dad passed (1963). Since recovering from cancer over 20 years ago, her health has kept her at home or close to it, and I have always tendered such aid as I am able. Regrettably, distance has precluded a continuance of our childhood associations, although we communicate frequently and remain devoted and supportive of one another, as loving memories never fade.
Clan Lovett in the 1930’s and 1940’s
The Lovett Clan, c. 1938, reveals Mom, Dad, Sister-Loyce and Brother-Bob, and wee-Lee (age 5, legs resolutely spread), standing before their modest home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, all reflecting the zeitgeist of the 1930’s, an epoch then still reeling from “The Crash of 1929” and its then relentless economic privations, the Great Depression, which was just then toppling into the rapacious jaws and sobering repercussions of Hitler’s 1938, unopposed march into a defenseless Austria, presaging seven years of world-wide mayhem (also exacerbated by the Japanese), the unspeakable agonies and heart-wrenching images of which linger to this day. The pervasive ethos of WWII is cleverly presented by Dad in our Xmas Card 1940, a valiant attempt to inject love into that mayhem. All of these killings and atrocities were so inconsistent with what I was learning from the Bible, and Sunday school, in our devout, Christian Science family. Man’s inhumanity to man was never more in evidence. Things didn’t add up. The merciless Depression and heart-wrenching WWII brought dark books and darker movies, with occasional signs of hope (such as so unforgettably portrayed in the simple but complex masterpiece, Casablanca), and also, in rebuttal to the 1930’s-1940’s Depression-War malaise, a survival-motivated plethora of uplifting musicals and comedies (with Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope et al), whose unabashed simplicity and comforting delights have never been rivaled, much less excelled – auspiciously promising a lifting of WWII’s then smoke-filled, nimbus clouds — all emotions and tensions unknown to today’s Western populace. The movie theaters demanded joy in chaotic times, by being defiantly enormous, plush, decadent and ornate as Baroque villas, and, incredibly, they sported live bands with dozens of world-class musicians and the most prestigious musical performers, like Frank Sinatra, as a bonus to the movies in that era in which TV had yet to make much of an impact, a time when the wounds of Hitler’s unspeakable Holocust were still bleeding. Newsreels and “short subjects” (short movies, usually humorous, along with a cartoon or two of the likes of Mickey Mouse, Elmer Fudd et al) preceded The Big Show (movie). We were enthralled. (By the mid-1950’s, the live, pre-movie shows, newsreels, etc. were disappearing and the enormous, gilded theaters began to close, as TV diverted audiences to musicals and dramas live in viewers’ homes. Just as movies had supplanted and extinguished Vaudeville, so did TV and cable TV slowly but inexorably replace movies as the dominant entertainment media. (Much later, by 2010, the earth’s electronic tides (and man’s implacable ingenuity) presaged yet a new vehicle to threaten TV and cable TV: computer-delivery of video, music and book entertainment, and, presto, movie theaters grew smaller and book stores vaporized, falling prey to exciting new landscapes for the enterprising.) But I cannot proceed without a few more words about the daunting WWII seas in which our little Clan swam.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (“FDR”) was then President (for an unprecedented third and fourth term, being elected in 1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944, respectively, thus precipitating the overdue 22nd Constitutional Amendment, which restricted future Presidents to two terms, thus averting de facto dictatorships (albeit by democracy) by a gnat’s eyelash); nevertheless, demagoguery, Keynesian economics and socialism were (and continue) in ascent in America. FDR and Churchill were “the free world’s” gods, although they mistakenly ceded Eastern Europe to Satan-Stalin, who would impose Communism throughout it and who would live and reign long enough in Russia to extinguish an estimated 20 million lives, pushing whole towns into mass graves and persecuting his enemies unmercifully, sentencing millions to starve or freeze to death in Siberia, throwing Russia into its own “Hell” (a silent Hell behind the “Iron Curtain” that separated and hid it from the West), the evolution of which is so brilliantly detailed, explained, dissected and eternally memorialized in the poet-Pasternak’s masterpiece, Dr. Zhivago, the best tome ever penned on the evils of communism, and, to my mind, the greatest of all the Russian novels. It capsulized 19th Century Russia as Margaret Mitchel’s iconic Gone with the Wind froze 18th Century America in celluloid. TV was still being born, along with refrigerators, baby food, air-conditioning, automatic gear-shifts in cars, and, heaven forbid, cars without running boards; and the music of the era (“swing” and jazz Big Bands) was upon us, with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller (who was eventually lost in the Pacific in WWII), and “jitterbug” dancing, and “hip” kids with crew cuts to emulate their idolized Marines, as depicted in endless Hollywood films. Such was America in my youth.
My father agreed with Voltaire’s view, “Laughter saves us from insanity…Laugh and make laugh.” He took us to comedies and splintered WWII’s consumptive black hole with endless jokes and pranks. One of his favorites was simple enough: leaping from shadows emitting a breathy “Pzzzt.” (a habit which I eventually emulated to terrorize my own hapless children). With all adversities, Dad struggled to find a humorous lining and generally succeeded, thus dispelling much despair for his diminutive family. He enjoyed a riposte of mine, which, he averred, proved my destiny was to be “a dialectician – or at least a lawyer”. Eliot was cutting the grass, and I (age 3) kept riding behind him on my tricycle; Dad repeatedly admonished me, “Lee, get off the grass,” and I obediently rode off the grass but, then, rode right back onto it. After several repetitions of this lucid instruction, quite startled at my recalcitrance, he repeated, with a crimson grimace, “Lee, I told you to get off the grass,” to which I rejoined, “Yes, but you didn’t say to STAY off.” See Lee Age 3, Then, at age 9, on the far left in Lee B’day. The girl next to me, Dale Dawson, a neighbor’s red-haired lass, was my “true love” in those days. Fluent in Latin and German and, as noted, an English Lit major, Dad loved words and he often recalled a tearful, confused complaint that I articulated at age 5 when struggling unsuccessfully to get into my pants: “My pants won’t let me in; the back side’s front and the out side is in,” revealing the necessity of my later, lifelong idiosyncratic devotion to etymology.
Scottish Traditions: A Work Ethic
Dad-Eliot never preached work or morality; like Confucius, he led by example; he just lived them — creating no small pressure to follow his lead, even for those who congenitally march to the beat of their own drummer, as do I. When it came to work, Dad agreed with the poet, William Morris, “The reward of labor is life.” In other words, if you don’t work, you have no “right” to live (a thesis not fathomed by the world’s then emerging communists and socialists, who speciously aver that, at birth, everyone has a “birth right’ to most everything). My ancestors didn’t buy a whit of that. Dad, like a good Scot, reasoned that everyone was entitled to the fruits of their own labor and (unless disabled) not one iota more, and, so, should learn to earn their own money. He always had; his dad had, and, “By Jehoshaphat” (his frequent reference to the King of Judah, c. 870 BC, renowned for his morality), so would Eliot’s children. As a lad, Eliot, an exceedingly quick study at most things, had apprenticed with several tradesmen (electricians, carpenters and plumbers to “learn useful things” as Judge Lovett had directed); Eliot enjoyed knowing how everything worked and, thus, solving his own problems, and, so, my dad was exceedingly “handy”, and he expected his kids to work alongside him — or to find remunerative work elsewhere. Dad’s idea of allowance was that we were “allowed to earn an allowance”, i.e., certain sums for specific jobs; hence, money was never “given”, except in minuscule amounts on birthdays. So, as kids, we worked – and learned to enjoy it and gleaned considerable joy from the meager fruits of our fledgling labors, and we garnered incipient self-respect, a win-win, an inculcation in the work ethic that strengthened all of us.
My earliest job outside the house (age 10) was delivering several newspapers year-round; indeed, three papers paid more than one (and, of course, I never counted Dad’s periodic chauffeuring on inclement days to help me accomplish this). In winter, I delighted in shoveling snow as it paid enormously well. In the summers, I squeezed in baseball, as I loved playing on our neighborhood team, even though we had a vacant lot for our field with a pathetic backstop, no uniforms and no coaches, and we brought our own balls, bats and gloves; and we rode bikes (often ten miles or so) to our games, and it was wonderful; we even won many games against teams with spiffy fields, dugouts, coaches and uniforms. (I think that my grandfather, Judge Lovett, must have learned much as I did, before he played baseball professionally.) Yes, it was such fun and great training for my later high school team (the runner-up Missouri State Champs) and college baseball team.
Myriad jobs through my teens and school years included: laborer on a farm, a deck-hand on a commercial fishing boat, a “Grease Monkey” in a gas station, an “ice man”, driving an ice truck and delivering 10,000 pounds of ice daily (half of which I carried personally), six days a week, to “ice boxes” (the precursors of refrigerators), a laborer in a steel plant, operating a jack hammer there, and stints as a sewer cleaner, cab driver, carpenter’s assistant, and restaurant-waiter (for six years during school). Whatever paid the most, I accepted with zeal. (“There’s no shame in honest labor,” was Dad’s paraphrase of Ulysses Grant, who surely paraphrased someone else.) My earnings were contributed to the family, from which I drew carefully-portioned spending money, in fine Scottish tradition. From ages 14 to 20, my transportation was a motor scooter, a friend’s car, a bus or my thumb (when packing a suit case). Hitch hiking was then de rigueur, and considered safe, and, by age 20, I had hitch-hiked thousands of miles – and, frankly, rather enjoyed it, always meeting interesting people (as I did doing my myriad hard-labor jobs) and, by asking questions relentlessly, learned a great deal. Emerson was right: Everyone knows something I don’t; the trick is to discover it. Oklahoma’s iconic humorist, Will Rogers, was also right: You can find something to like about everyone. (Only twice did I encounter someone inappropriate, but I escaped with relative ease, once by outrunning an overzealous pedophiliac-accoster for a mile or so. I was in shape; he wasn’t.)
Early marriages were de rigueur in those days, and I followed suit, marrying at 21 and having two children while still in law school. Here I am, Lee at 20 and, then, at 21, with my dad and mom, Eliot, Lee & Helen, on the day of my first marriage, to the comely 19-year-old Phyllis Moore Lovett, 14 June 1955, Flag Dag no less. As you can see, she was beautiful (and a professional-level classical dancer), but we didn’t know one another, or ourselves, and were ill-equipped to handle the vicissitudes and challenges that babies and relative poverty impose on such pubescent newlyweds, leading to a schism after seven years and, although still friends, a final parting a decade thereafter.
New Families (Post 1955)
The purpose of the “Family Only” portion of this website is to look back and to provide some data about my ancestors, before my childhood and during it. I made a valiant effort to summarize the post-1955 years, but, in the end, I couldn’t do it justice, and it contains many life-stories that are still unfolding. As such, I won’t attempt to extend this nano-family anthology forward into my first and/or second marriages – including my years with the Moore’s (my first wife’s family) and the Barnes’ (my second wife’s family). Those histories are best left to stout hearted Moore’s and Barnes’. I will include some photos obtained during my years with both, but I must let them speak for themselves, if they are so disposed. I am exceedingly proud of my family and of my in-laws, past and present, but I’m not the one to write those still-unfolding, august histories.
As such, the Familial Background-Lovett ends here. My business activities, from 1955 forward, pick-up in Career, while Clan Lovett from 1955 forward is illustrated only graphically, with illustrative photos, and those from my first marriage vaporized with that divorce, but I’m grateful to have those that I do, as depicted in The Way We Were which contains the only pictures that I possess from the 1950’s. (I only use pictures that I believe are good; so, this means that there are more pix of some than of others, but that is preferable to using unflattering photos.) As I pass through these fond memories, my heart is touched and splinters into lamentations for times past; I yearn to return, if only for a few minutes, and relive each scene, including those with our many loving animals, as shown in Our Pets. Having just lost one such beloved pet, our Laddie, I had to eulogize him in this tear-stained, aching remembrance: “Laddie, A Tribute”.
Regrettably, life leaves us no replay button, but, rather, only the option of “creating new memories”, as my son-Dean is cheerfully wont to entreat, and he’s right. Such must be our daily goal. To recall Roberts’ classic 2003 novel about India, Shantaram, we should “live each day as if it were a chapter with a happy ending.” In a similar vein, as that giant of American prose, Theodore Dreiser, told us, life is a series of new chapters; we can’t stop them from unfolding; there is no end to the chapters, only to the players; and the trick is to enjoy each chapter and savor its nectar to the last apple-honey drip. May you do no less.