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scarecrow.jpg (28,408 bytes) 11/12/02

This is a postcard sent to my mom by a relative on my dad's side.

In case you're wondering, according to the research I conducted the characters above THIS  WAY translate word for word to "This way."

I imagine the Scarecrow telling Dorothy, "Take the fork."

mariana01.jpg (22,179 bytes) 122702


This is a photo of that blood relative, taken in November 2002.

How old do you think she is?


In the un-retouched photograph at left above she's 70 years old.  She flies planes, she writes books, and she has terrible handwriting, so I don't really know what the other side of the This Way postcard says.

Her books so far are

ZERO 3 BRAVO: Solo Across America in a Small Plane (1994, ISBN 978-0671892081) and

ICE: The Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance (2007, ISBN 978-0226304960).

Update of February 11, 2011: With regard to Ice, you can listen to today's podcast of an NPR Science Friday segment in which Mariana discusses with host Ira Flatow the subject of -- guess what? -- ice.

And she's working on another book tentatively titled Breath: A Fascinating Rhythm for her publisher Knopf.

The second photo shows a much older but no less young-looking Mariana with her long-time love, Jamie, shot for an Irish Spring commercial.

Update of March 23, 2012: Mariana died today.  She led a full and worthwhile life.  You can read two obituaries here and here.



sueteel.jpg (18,007 bytes) 06072003

Here's another good-looking blood relative, this one from my mother's side, when she was 20.  I saw this photo only in December of 2002, fifty years after it was taken, and I now have a lot more respect for my uncle, Bob Teel, than I used to.

My dear Aunt Sue, who gets lovelier every day, is the founder of and the force behind The Teel Institute.





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