Aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, my spouse and my sibling brother all gathered in Western Oregon last weekend. The purpose was family reunions and special birthday celebrations, and it was fun to be part of it. In the small but growing city of Mt. Angel, Oregon, my mother's side of the family held the annual "Schultz Family Reunion" on Sunday, August 17th. It was good getting reacquainted with so many relatives from that side of the family. Schultzes, Etzels, Gaffkes, and their collective offspring made up the bulk of those attending this event, which included a birthday salute to my parents, Ted and Rita Hudak. They are both turning 80 years old over the next month and a half. My brother, Don, flew out from Iowa for the occasion which added a nice touch. Thanks to the reunion organizer, Sister Josephine Schultz, and to all who attended who made the day a memorable one. On Monday, August 18th, the eleven surviving Hudak family members from the Portland area gathered for a luncheon at Rose's Restaurant in Tanasbourne Square. It, too, was in honor of Ted and Rita's birthday, and produced a lot of laughs along with good meals and decadent desserts. The party moved to Mom and Dad's house after the luncheon, and for a couple hours there, it was like old times. Nothing like family gatherings to regain one's sense of balance and perspective. My wife, Linda, and I enjoyed a lovely dinner at our friends Steve and Paula Barsotti's house later that day, before hopping a plane back to the Bay Area Tuesday morning. It's always fun to see the Barsottis. Thanks to all who helped make the tribute to two very special people, my parents, a wonderful and special occasion. It was great to be back in Oregon again and to reconnect with so many relatives and friends. Now its back to work and back to the music. The events of the past few days should provide some fodder for renewed artistic inspiration. By the way, I watched the movie "Copying Beethoven" last night and found it, too, to be inspiring. Particularly for musicians and/or composers, I would recommend this movie. More later....Peace and love to all. Jim

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Jim Hudak

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