Monday, July 18, 2011

Journalism and ethics

The latest scandal in the world of journalism. Hacking into cell phones, selective leaks, hush money for the authorities, paying reporters and editors to keep their mouths shut... As they say in the newsroom, the shit is hitting the fan. And the truth always prevails...

The New York Times

LONDON — Two days before it emerged that The News of the Worldhad hacked the cellphone of a murdered schoolgirl, igniting a scandal that has shaken Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, his son James told friends that he thought the worst of the troubles were behind him. And he was confident that News Corporation’s $12 billion bid for the British satellite company British Sky Broadcasting would go through, according to a person present.

Now, with their most trusted lieutenant, Rebekah Brooks, arrested on suspicion of phone hacking and paying police for information, the broadcasting bid abandoned, the 168-year-old News of the World shuttered, and nine others arrested, Rupert and James Murdoch are scheduled to face an enraged British Parliament on Tuesday.
It is a spectacle that Rupert Murdoch’s closest associates had spent years trying to avoid.
Interviews with dozens of current and former News Corporation employees and others involved in the multiple hacking inquiries provide an inside view of how a small group of executives pursued strategies for years that had the effect of obscuring the extent of wrongdoing in the newsroom of Britain’s best-selling tabloid. And once the hacking scandal escalated, they scrambled in vain to quarantine the damage.
Evidence indicating that The News of the World paid police for information was not handed over to the authorities for four years. Its parent company paid hefty sums to those who threatened legal action, on condition of silence. The tabloid continued to pay reporters and editors whose knowledge could prove embarrassing even after they were fired or arrested for hacking. A key editor’s computer equipment was destroyed, and e-mail evidence was lost. Internal advice to accept responsibility was ignored, former executives said. John Whittingdale, a Conservative member of Parliament who is the chairman of the committee that will question the Murdochs, said they need to come clean on the depth of the misdeeds, who authorized them and who knew what, when.
“Parliament was misled,” he said. “It will be a lengthy and detailed discussion.”
Mr. Murdoch has indicated he wants to cooperate.
“We think it’s important to absolutely establish our integrity in the eyes of the public,” he said last week. “It’s best just to be as transparent as possible.”
Ms. Brooks’s representative, David Wilson, said she maintained her innocence and looked forward to clearing her name, but declined to answer specific questions.
As a trickle of revelations has become a torrent, the company switched from containment to crisis mode. Ms. Brooks and others first made the case, widely believed to be true, that other newspapers had also hacked phones and sought to dig up evidence to prove it, interviews show. At a private meeting, Rupert Murdoch warned Paul Dacre, the editor of the rival Daily Mail newspaper and one of the most powerful men on Fleet Street, that “we are not going to be only bad dog on the street,” according to an account that Mr. Dacre gave to his management team. Mr. Murdoch’s spokesman did not respond to questions about his private conversations.
Former company executives and political aides assert that News International executives carried out a campaign of selective leaks implicating previous management and the police. Company officials deny that. The Metropolitan Police responded with a statement alleging a “deliberate campaign to undermine the investigation into the alleged payments by corrupt journalists to corrupt police officers.”
Mr. Murdoch was attending a conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, in early July when it became clear that the latest eruption of the hacking scandal was not, as he first thought, a passing problem. According to a person briefed on the conversation, he proposed to one senior executive that he “fly commercial to London,” so he might be seen as man of the people. He was told that would hardly do the trick, and he arrived on a Gulfstream G550 private jet.
Inquiries on Several Fronts
The storm Mr. Murdoch flew into had been brewing since 2006, when the tabloid’s royal reporter and a private investigator were prosecuted for hacking into the messages of the royal household staff in search of juicy news exclusives. For years afterward, company executives publicly insisted that the hacking was limited to that one “rogue reporter.”
Andy Coulson resigned as editor of The News of the World after the prosecution, but said he knew nothing. “If you’re talking about illegal tapping by a private investigator,” Rupert Murdoch declared in February 2007, “that is not part of our culture anywhere in the world, least of all in Britain.”
But it turns out that almost from the beginning, executives of News International, the British subsidiary that owns the tabloid, had access to information indicating other reporters were also engaged in the practice.
The information came from thousands of pages of records containing names of thousands of possible hacking targets that Scotland Yard seized during the royal hacking case from the home of the private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, who worked for the tabloid. While the police largely limited their investigation to the royals, lawyers representing suspected victims of hacking fought for access to Mr. Mulcaire’s records and made them available to the tabloid executives during the litigation.
In the initial cases, News International saw documents naming other journalists, according to details of those cases obtained by The Times. Notes in Mr. Mulcaire’s files contain the names “Ian” and “Neville,” apparent references to the news editor, Ian Edmondson, and the chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck.
James Murdoch, who oversees Europe and Asia operations for News Corporation, signed off on a £700,000 settlement with Gordon Taylor, a soccer union boss who was first to sue. One condition of the payment was confidentiality.
This month, James Murdoch acknowledged he was wrong to settle the suit, saying he did not “have a complete picture of the case” at the time.
Ms. Brooks personally persuaded Max Clifford, a celebrity publicist, to drop his case in return for even more compensation, Mr. Clifford said. He was paid to provide story tips to the paper — a deal he said totaled £1 million.
Beyond Mr. Mulcaire’s files, another likely source of information about hacking by The News of the World are its internal e-mails.
Even as the company faced a flood of claims over the last several years, News International has acknowledged that it did not take any steps to preserve e-mails that might contain evidence of hacking until late last fall. When The News of the World moved offices late last year, the computer used by Mr. Edmondson was destroyed in what the company describes as a standard procedure.
The company asserted in court that a vast amount of its e-mails from 2005 and 2006 — believed to be the height of the hacking activity — had been lost. Company officials blamed the erasures on bungling, not conspiracy.
News International has subsequently acknowledged that some messagesmight be recoverable on backup disks, and the police are trying to recover that information now, said Tom Watson, a Labour Party member of Parliament. Last year, a forensic computer specialist the company hired to help it comply with a court order to turn over documents made a surprising discovery: three e-mails sent to Mr. Edmondson containing PIN codes that could allow access to voice mail, as well as names and telephone numbers, one official said.
The paper fired Mr. Edmonson and turned over the e-mails to the police. That prompted the new Scotland Yard inquiry into hacking, according to its head, Sue Akers. Mr. Edmondson referred questions to his lawyer, who did not respond.
In April, the police arrested Mr. Edmondson, along with Mr. Thurlbeck. A few days later, News International issued a blanket apology, saying: “It is now apparent that our previous inquiries failed to uncover important evidence.”
News International has for years said a 2007 internal investigation showed that hacking was not widespread, but recent interviews with company officials indicate that the inquiry had a different purpose. It was aimed at defending the company from a lawsuit filed by Clive Goodman, the paper’s royal reporter who had been fired for hacking. He claimed that the dismissal was unfair since others were hacking as well, according to two company officials with direct knowledge.
Colin Myler, who succeeded Mr. Coulson as editor of The News of the World, told Parliament in 2007 that News International had turned over as many as 2,500 e-mails to the law firm of Harbottle & Lewis, which the company had retained in the matter. In a letter to Parliament at the time, the firm said it did not find anything in the e-mails linking hacking to three top editors — Andy Coulson, Neil Wallis or Mr. Edmondson.
But a company official speaking on condition of anonymity said that the 2,500 e-mails given to the law firm related only to Mr. Goodman and represented only a small portion of the company’s e-mail traffic.
Since Scotland Yard began its new investigation late last year, with access to more internal documents, all three of the editors, who are no longer at the paper, have been arrested.
Two company officials said the 2007 internal inquiry was in fact overseen by Les Hinton, then executive chairman of News International and who resigned Friday as chief executive of Dow Jones. Mr. Hinton told Parliament in 2007 that Mr. Myler “went through thousands of e-mails.” But Mr. Myler was not given direct access to the e-mails, the company officials said. Mr. Hinton did not respond to a message, but in a statement announcing his resignation, he said he “was ignorant of what apparently happened.”
While the e-mails reviewed for the internal inquiry in 2007 showed no direct evidence of hacking, according to three company officials they did contain suggestions that Mr. Coulson may have authorized payments to police for information. Yet News International turned over those documents to the police in recent months, prompting yet another investigation, this one into possible police bribery.
It is not clear who at News International saw the e-mails in question, nor whether the law firm flagged them. The firm, citing client confidentiality obligations, declined to comment, as did News Corporation.
More recently, as lawsuits and arrests mounted, dissension grew inside News International, interviews show.
After Mr. Edmondson was fired and arrested, Ms. Brooks pressed to pay him a monthly stipend, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. After an internal disagreement, the payments were moved from the newsroom budget to News International’s. The company put other journalists on paid leave after their arrests, reasoning that they were innocent until proven guilty, a company spokesperson confirmed.
By the middle of last year, News International’s lawyers and some executives were urging that the company accept some responsibility, said two officials with direct knowledge. Ms. Brooks disagreed, according to three people who described the internal debate. “Her behavior all along has been resist, resist, resist,” said one company official.
Scandal Erupts
Over the last several months, Ms. Brooks spearheaded a strategy that seemed designed to spread the blame across Fleet Street, interviews show. Several former News of the World journalists said that she asked them to dig up evidence of hacking. One said in an interview that Ms. Brooks’s target was not her own newspapers, but her rivals.
Mr. Dacre, The Daily Mail editor, told his senior managers that he had received several reports from businesspeople, soccer stars and public relations agencies that the News International executives Will Lewis and Simon Greenberg had encouraged them to investigate whether their phones had been hacked by Daily Mail newspapers . “They thought it was unfair that all the focus was on The News of the World,” said one News International official with knowledge of the effort. The two men have told colleagues they did not make such calls, but two company officials disputed that.
Mr. Dacre confronted Ms. Brooks over breakfast at the plush Brown’s hotel. “You are trying to tear down the entire industry,” Mr. Dacre told her, according to an account he relayed to his management team.
Ms. Brooks, whose tenacity is legendary, was not deterred. At a dinner party, Lady Claudia Rothermere, the wife of the billionaire owner of The Daily Mail, overheard Ms. Brooks saying that The Mail was just as culpable as The News of the World. “We didn’t break the law,” Lady Rothermere said, according to two sources with knowledge of the exchange. Ms. Brooks asked who Lady Rothermere thought she was, “Mother Teresa?”
The scandal that smoldered for years ignited this month with news reports that the tabloid had hacked into the messages of Milly Dowler, a missing 13-year-old girl who was subsequently discovered murdered. Ms. Brooks, who was News of the World’s editor during the Dowler hacking, issued an apology, saying that she would be appalled “if the accusations are true.”
In the last two weeks, a series of leaks landed in other British news media that appeared intended to shift blame from News International’s current leadership and onto Mr. Coulson and the Metropolitan Police. According to political aides and News Corporation executives, the leaks most likely came from within the company.
Leaks to The Sunday Times, the BBC, and to outlets like Mr. Greenberg’s former employer, The London Evening Standard, gave details of Mr. Coulson’s alleged payments to the police and blamed previous News International management.
Mr. Greenberg did not respond directly to messages seeking comment. But a News International spokeswoman referred reporters to a statement from Ms. Akers, the head of the police investigation, praising him and Mr. Lewis for their cooperation with the police.
The Metropolitan Police said it was “extremely concerned” that the release of selected information “known by a small number of people” present at meetings between News International and the police “could have a significant impact on the corruption investigation.”
Late last week, Rupert Murdoch told The Wall Street Journal that News Corporation had handled the situation “extremely well in every way possible,” except for a few “minor mistakes.”
This weekend, as Mr. Murdoch was coached to face Parliament on Tuesday by a team of lawyers and public relations experts, a full-page advertisement from News Corporation appeared in every major British newspaper. “We are sorry,” it said.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Opposite day

Yesterday's dialogue with my son:

Me: Hey Caden, did you know that Jesus said, "The first will be last, and the last will be first?" What do you think he meant by that?

Caden: (long pause) "That it's opposite day?!"

I love the fact that children seem to have a more grounded understanding of Scripture than adults (we complicate things). I love that Jesus tells us to be like children. I love how becoming a parent has helped me to understand why he said this.

The teachings of Jesus were countercultural in his day. Two thousand years later, they are still as revolutionary. Love your enemy (Matthew 5:44). To really live, you must die (Galatians 2:20). To save one's life, he must lose it (Luke 17:33). To be wise, we must become fools (1 Corinthians 3:18). To reign, we must serve (Matthew 25:21). To be exalted, we must be humble (Matthew 23:12).

Indeed, to the world, Christianity is "opposite day." Caden's insight is spot-on.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Every parent's nightmare

I read this article in today's New York Times and was completely devastated. Losing your child to the darkness of this world just shakes the foundation upon which you stand. My heart breaks for Leiby Kletzky's parents. As a mother of a 5-year-old boy, I can't even comprehend this kind of loss. A part of my heart would die.

Eight-year-old Kletzky was walking home from school when he was abducted and murdered. Elizabeth Smart, Polly Klaas and Samantha Runnion were kidnapped from their own homes. As a parent, you read stories like these and you wonder: give my child freedom or shield them from the world? Obviously, it's a balance between the two. But it's a constant tension, a daily reconciliation between independence and safe-guarding.

You can't be paranoid and force your kid to become a hermit. And you can't be naive and trust that every person you-- or your kid-- encounters is a good person (sad to say, but true).

We humans are capable of creating great beauty and causing great destruction. My hope is in the fact that good always triumphs over evil and that light always penetrates the darkness.

The New York Times
July 13, 2011

The search for a missing 8-year-old Brooklyn boy ended early on Wednesday when investigators discovered what they believed to be his dismembered remains in an attic refrigerator of a Brooklyn man and in a trash bin on a street, the police said. The man, who made incriminating statements, was being questioned and was expected to be charged, the police said.
In the end, the inquiry led to 466 East Second Street, in Kensington, Brooklyn, the home of the suspect, Levi Aron, 35, who was taken into custody at 2:40 a.m., Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said.The grim discovery capped two days of intense searching for the boy, Leiby Kletzky, who had disappeared Monday while on what was supposed to be a short walk between a Borough Park school and a meeting place with his parents. Police detectives searched his neighborhood and used helicopters to find the boy, who was part of the Hasidic Jewish community. They recovered video from Monday that showed him alive.
Mr. Kelly said that the boy was lost and apparently trying to find his way when he encountered Mr. Aron; investigators said that after a conversation, the boy entered Mr. Aron’s vehicle, a 1990 Honda Accord.
Mr. Aron told investigators that he had panicked and killed the boy once he realized the extent to which the Hasidic community and the police had mobilized to find the child, Mr. Kelly said. The commissioner said that the police had no evidence that the child had been sexually abused, but that detectives were still investigating.
“He panicked, and that is why he killed the boy,” Mr. Kelly said.
Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said, “There is no indication at this time that the victim was known to the suspect previously.”
Mr. Browne said charges were pending.
Mr. Browne said remains believed to be Leiby Kletzky’s were located by detectives in a refrigerator in the man’s attic apartment. Other remains of the boy were found in Greenwood Heights, “in a Dumpster at 20th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, wrapped in black plastic garbage bags inside of a suitcase,” Mr. Browne said.
During the investigation, the police discovered video of the boy leaving the school, at 1205 44th Street, between 12th and 13th Avenues, about 5:05 p.m. on Monday. It showed the boy walking on 15th Avenue, heading toward 44th Street. He was supposed to meet his parents at the corner of 13th Avenue and 50th Street.
The police said it was the boy’s first day of walking from the school by himself. “He’d asked his parents’ permission to walk home alone and the parents were waiting outside” for him to return, Mr. Browne said.
The police retrieved other video showing Leiby walking near a hardware store, several blocks astray from where he was to meet his parents.
Another video showed the boy later several blocks farther astray, standing across the street from a dentist’s office, where the suspect had gone in to pay a bill, Mr. Kelly said. The video showed the boy waiting for seven minutes.
“Detectives located one of the dentists who worked there at his home in New Jersey late last night, and established that the suspect had been in the dentists’ office on Monday to pay a bill,” Mr. Browne said on Wednesday morning. “With the assistance of a receptionist and another dentist associated with the practice, detectives at 2:00 a.m. today found records at the dentist’s office that established the suspect’s name and address. He was apprehended 40 minutes later.”
Mr. Kelly said that the suspect worked as a clerk at a maintenance supply company. The only thing on his criminal record in New York was a summons issued last year for public urination.
Just before 8 a.m., small groups of Orthodox men in shock and sadness gathered on the corner of 57th Street and 15th Avenue, where a command center was established near the family’s apartment. On Monday, thousands had crowded the corner to volunteer their time, food and concern, all to find Leiby. Now there were water bottles littered on the street and a devastated community.
“Hit me like a ton of bricks,” said Bob Moskovitz, the coordinator of the Flatbush Shomrim, a volunteer patrol. “All along you’re hoping for the best.”
Dov Hikind, the local state assemblyman, had not left the corner for almost two days, since Leiby was reported missing to the Shomrim at 6 p.m. Monday.
“I got a phone call in the early morning — and for a second, I thought he was going to be O.K., and then I started hearing the details; he was murdered,” Mr. Hikind said.
The more details he heard — that the child was dismembered — the less Mr. Hikind said he wanted to hear. “This is nothing I have seen in my 29 years. There have been accidents, tragedies, but this goes beyond everything I remember,” Mr. Hikind said. “Now we prepare for a funeral and then we ask a lot of questions.”
The assemblyman, who put up a $5,000 reward on Monday for information leading to the return of the child, said he had offered rewards in previous cases, but none that had elicited such a response. Eight or nine individuals from the community donated thousands of dollars each, and he eventually capped the reward at just over $100,000.
“If that doesn’t get the job done, $200,000 won’t either,” he said.
He said people returned from vacation from the Catskills and came over from Kew Gardens to volunteer. Buses arrived from the ultra-orthodox community of Monsey with people volunteering to patrol the neighborhood.
On Tuesday night, a group of 20 Pakistanis offered to join the search.
On Wednesday morning outside the apartment building where the boy lived with his four sisters, his parents were not speaking to reporters. Mr. Hikind said he had spoken with them and he could not begin to describe their devastation.
Joel Philip said, “I live in this building, and I don’t tell my children about this; they are too small.” He had two toddler boys and an 8-year-old daughter with him. “I told her, though,” Mr. Philip said. “He was a good kid.”
After he escorted his youngest son to the school bus, Mr. Philip was asked if this would change his feelings of security in the neighborhood. “My wife is always very careful about leaving the children alone,” he said.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Carpe diem (Goodbye, Gordon)

Our dear friend Gordon Morez lived life to the fullest. His story is the kind I aspire to: full of wonder, endless curiosity, adventure, love and laughter. Miss you, Gordon. Santa Barbara summers just won't be the same without you...

Here is the obituary (written by his lovely wife Margaret) that ran in the Santa Barbara News-Press on July 4, Gordon's favorite holiday.

William Gordon Morez was born on October 16, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois to proud parents Leone and Nicholas Morez. He died at his home in Santa Barbara with his wife by his side on June 13, 2011. He loved his 85+ years on this earth and treasured many happy years with family and friends.

As a boy he attended cooking classes in Chicago with his mother. He received his first train, his first model airplane kit and his first set of paints from his father; and his first B.B gun from his beloved grandfather, who also gave him his first haircuts at his barber shop, with Gordon always leaving with a treasured fifty cent piece.

He attended elementary school in Chicago and graduated from Lane Tech High School. His senior year, Air Corps recruiters came to Lane Tech and after passing tests he became an Air Corps Reserve Cadet. He turned 18 in October 1943 and went into the service in November 1943....just 18 years old! 

After basic training in Miami, Florida, he stayed in a very posh hotel with more tests, and then onto Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA, for 5 months of college courses. He then attended flight training and had a memorable snowball fight against older cadets! Further training included aerial gunnery school in Fort Myers, Florida, officers training school, navigation school where he received his lieutenants bars, and bombardier school in Carlsbad, N.M.

After his discharge he attended the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill. where his first son Larry was born. He then moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where his second son Ron was born, and where he successfully demonstrated and sold Wearever Cookware/Cutco Knives and thoroughly enjoyed making meals for young brides-to-be and other groups!

Having had a taste of California during his Air Corps days, California beckoned, and the family moved to Burbank where he became a police officer. After passing the California Highway Patrol tests and training in Sacramento, he escaped the smog and was assigned to Lompoc, CA. He loved the town and he and his two sons enjoyed the freedom the small town offered them.

Realizing he wanted summers free to spend time with his sons, he returned to Urbana, Ill to finish his degree. On his return to California he was sent by the Highway Patrol to Barstow, where he built model airplanes and loved flying them in the open desert. Other assignments followed, including Malibu, a return to Lompoc and finally to Santa Barbara, where he realized his life long dream of becoming a teacher. While still working as a Highway Patrol Officer, he was accepted at UCSB, where he received his teaching credential. He did his student teaching in art at San Marcos High School, where he taught art for 28 years. He thoroughly enjoyed the many colleagues and students whose lives he enriched, and the joy he received from them.

In 1971 a new phase of his life began with the arrival of his first beautiful daughter Tiffany Ann. The family enjoyed watching her grow up, becoming a cheerleader at San Marcos High School and watching her dance in the many Nutcracker Ballet performances at the Arlington Theatre every Christmas season.

In 1989, via friends, he met his wife Margaret. They married in 1993 on the deck of their home, with relatives and friends and his train on the deck railing bringing their wedding rings to the ceremony.
They shared many happy years and adventures together, including their first 2 trips to Monte de Oro, Cambria, numerous trips up Highway One to Ventana, Big Sur, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey, Disneyland, Magic Mountain, and England to visit his cousin James, which included a special trip to Monet's garden in Giverny, France, where he spent the day painting. On a second trip to France to visit cousin James, he painted James' 14th century moated castle, flew with James in his Falcon airplane, Carcassonre, to Italy, and painted his favorite images on canvas. Last but not least, Gordon loved his many trips to Lost Hills and Taft, CA to fly free flight model airplanes, staying at his favorite place "The Topper Motel."

He appreciated and enjoyed artists Monet, Norman Rockwell, Eyrand Earle, Alphonso Mucha, Edgar Payne, Colin Campbell Cooper, Vermeer, Neil Boyle, Thomas Eakins, Sargent, Simbari, Sayora and many other deceased and living artists. There were many highlights in his life with travel to art exhibitions in Chicago-Monet, San Diego-Sayora, Boston-Sargent, National Art Museums in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Ronald Reagan Library, in Santa Barbara the Waterhouse Gallery, Museum of Art, Historical Museum, Natural HistoryMuseum, airshows and museums in San Diego, Palm Springs, Oshkosh, Reno and most beloved of all in Taft and Lost Hills, CA., theatre and music in Solvang, Santa Maria and in Santa Barbara, the Arlington, Granada, Lobero and the Music Academy of the West.

He enjoyed having friends and family for dinner, serving his spaghetti or beef stew and of course conversations on any topic: politics, art, books etc. always sharing conservative/liberal points of views with great glee. The 4th of July was his favorite holiday, with many spent on the back deck with his potato salad, hot dogs and hamburgers; then off to the studio to watch the fireworks!

He loved the earth and skies, his family and friends, his neighbors and especially all their children, games he loved to play with children and adults, always wanting to win, poker, tennis, etc. He loved his deck, his garage, his studio, books, donuts, waffles, Barb's blueberry pie, sugar cookies, Sharon's cakes and brownies and all the hamburger places he found, the many trees he planted and especially the last plantings of strawberries, tomatoes and corn with instructions "remember to water them."

The last 6 years of his life were made especially joyous spending time with his wife and his beautiful granddaughter Samantha, who brought such joy and delight on their many adventures together.
He was a member of the S.B. Arts and Crafts Show, and sold paintings at the Danica House in Santa Barbara, Cabrillo beach on Sundays, art galleries in Carmel, the Cody Gallery in Los Olivos, and his second and last show at Danica/Neuve," Morez, Monet and more," during a downpour of rain which was good because he loved rain! Those of us who possess his paintings will always treasure them.

Many of his friends referred to him as their "Renaissance Man", and that he was. He loved music and would often talk about saving money to buy his first classical records and free flight model airplane kits. Only 16 years old in 1942 at the AMA Nationals in Chicago, his picture with the trophy he won was in the Model Craftsman Magazine:

"Gordon Morez is shown in the center top photo with the Model Craftsman trophy he won for second spot in class B Junior event. Don't blame him for smiling - that's a swell chunk of hardware!"

He often said he was not afraid of death. It was the "process" that he wondered about. The line in the movie "Gladiator" was one that he liked: "DEATH SMILES ON EVERY MAN; ALL A MAN CAN DO IS SMILE BACK."

Among his last instructions to me: "Tell everyone, and he asked me to write it down (ever the instructor) so I wouldn't get it wrong," was "I SAW A LOT TO LAUGH AT, AND HAD A LOT OF FUN." And yes we all know you saw a lot to laugh at, and that you had a lot of fun. So did we. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Gordon loved to read and learn about everything. He marveled at all advances, cameras, telephones, television, computers, astronomy, and most of all about life. This remembrance of him is from Jennifer and Carlos:" We will remember everything good about him, his endless curiosity, his zest for life, his love of a good story. He gave so much of himself and left so much beauty behind, his is a life to be admired and he will be missed and celebrated".

One of the last books he bought was ironically David McCullough's "The Greater Journey." Gordon, may you now journey among the heavens, the places you always wanted to see and learn about, and to catch "the currents" so your planes can fly over your favorite flying sites of Taft, Lost Hills, Las Vegas and the closest site to your home, More Mesa.

He is survived by his loving wife Margaret, his sons Larry and Ron, Ron's wife Barbra, their son Alex, their daughter Marina, her husband Phil and their daughters Isabella and Leila, his daughter Tiffany, Tiffany's mother Sherry, Tiffany's daughter Samantha, Samantha's father Daniel, his 2 brothers Nick and Larry, and his special "extras" that enriched his life, Steve, Jim, Sue, Sharon, Emma, Diana, and all those he mentored: you know who you are.

A celebration of his life will be held July 17 at 2pm at The Benly Shop, 1020
Cindy Lane, #4, Carpinteria, CA. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend.
Memorial contributions may be to the Music Academy of the West, SB
Symphony or Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.