Friday, July 25, 2008

Laptops, Lithographs, First Editions And Farewells

Last night was Andrew’s farewell dinner at his firm. The affair was held at a private club, and it was a splendid setting, a splendid dinner, and a splendid evening.

When Andrew and I arrived at the club last night, we discovered, to our surprise, that Andrew’s parents and brother had been invited, too. They had withheld from us the information that they had been invited.

The speeches were full of praise for Andrew and his work, and were very warmly and heartily delivered. Happily, Andrew will be welcomed back at his firm three years from now.

The firm’s gifts to Andrew were exceedingly generous: a First Edition of Sinclair Lewis’s “Main Street” (the novel in its first printing was titled “Main Street: The Story Of Carol Kennicott”) and three World War I lithographs, beautifully framed, by Hans Rudi Erdt, a German graphic artist from the early 20th Century.

“Main Street”, set in the fictional town of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota, is one of Andrew’s favorite novels, and he was deeply moved by the firm’s gift of a First Edition. Sinclair Lewis is one of two major novelists from Minnesota who emerged in the 1920’s (F. Scott Fitzgerald is the other).

Andrew has been fascinated for years by Erdt’s lithographs created to glorify the German Navy during the First World War, and now we own three of them. The lithographs were ordered from a dealer in Germany, but all three were framed here in the Twin Cities once they arrived in the U.S. Our three lithographs are U-Boat lithographs. They are amazingly beautiful.

We are very, very excited. Andrew was literally stunned when he was presented with the Erdt lithographs—he had made a single offhand remark to one of his colleagues about the work of Hans Rudi Erdt more than a year ago and he was dumbfounded that his colleague had remembered his interest in Erdt, an artist totally unknown in the U.S.

I think that one reason Andrew was given the lithographs was because everyone who knows us believes that it is long past time for us to put something on our apartment walls!

My farewell luncheon was today, at a restaurant near the office. Everyone from my firm who was not on travel or in court attended, which moved me very much. It was a very nice lunch, and the people at my firm could not have been kinder to Andrew and me. My farewell gifts were a laptop computer, ideal for me to take to my classes at law school, and a Legal Dictionary, another item essential for law school.

Today was a very sad day in many ways. Andrew and I are today leaving jobs we love, and leaving behind people we like, respect and admire.

Tomorrow evening Andrew and I have a party to attend. The party is in honor of our departure from the Twin Cities.

Sunday is Andrew’s father’s birthday, and we have a special birthday celebration planned for him. Sunday will also be the last Sunday Andrew and I will be in Minnesota, and we will mark the occasion by saying “Farewell” to so many church members we know and love.

Monday my sister arrives from Oklahoma, and on her first night here Andrew’s brother and Andrew and I are going to take her to see the Twins play the White Sox (not that any of us are true baseball fans).

On Thursday evening, we fly to London.

Three days after we return from London, Andrew and I head for Boston.


  1. Thank you, J.R.

    We are preparing to hand over our apartment to Andrew's brother this very afternoon.