Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Carolling

Since before I can remember Judi used to get the guitar out, gather all the neighborhood kids together and go Christmas Carolling around the neighborhood. We'd start by rehearsing in the music room. First stop was always to the other end of the house to sing to GrandDad. Next stop was down the hill to sing to the cows, Daddy and Uncle John in the barn. Then we would go to all the houses in the neighborhood.

Wonder if there's anything like that going on anymore?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Oboe Desk

This is the desk where Judi taught oboe lessons.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Students

I spoke with Earl last night about a concert at Emory Church this past Sunday by the C. Milton Wright High School orchestra. Sheldon Bair conducted. The concert given in part to raise funds for a music scholarship in Judi's name.

At one point, Sheldon got up and spoke about the orchestra and Judi. He reminded the audience that both of the oboe players in the orchestra studied with Judi. Judi taught strings in a couple of C. Milton Wright's feeder elementary schools. Earl then described how Sheldon asked all those students that Judi started to stand. More than half of the orchestra stood up.

Church Music

I'm burdened (well, it's not too much trouble) with the lector's schedule at St. John's Episcopal Church. I won't go into too much detail, but we're having a Lessons and Carols service again this year and I was given a print out of the program from last year in order to figure out what readers we would need.

I noticed the top of the docment listed a prelude by Judi Famous and Jennifer Famous.

Judi and Jen played a duet as a prelude to the service. Mom always jumped at the chance to play with Jen or play in our church. Last year's program was a surprise reminder of how short a time it has been.

The oddest things

Mom used to show up for visits with a couple odd things she found around the house from my childhood. I can think of the pewter bowl I used to use when I was little. Probably made of lead which explains a lot of things about my brain development. I can think of a cloth growth chart and a red and blue sweater that's soo small I can't imagine how small I was when I wore it.

I wonder how she came upon these things. Did she have a drawer of stuff and just dowl out things over time? Did she rummage through the attic and find things that were not heaved out the window into the wagon and hauled away with the tractor? Did she find things in closets around the house.

They were always interesting things, but now they sit in the back of my closets. Maybe I need to build a display case?

I wonder if I will be delivering Emma's old things to her some day once she moves out?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Heather's 50th Birthday

This is Ganma Judi spending time with her two grandchildren (at the time) during Heather's 50th Birthday party. This was Feb 26, 2005 - less then a month before she passed away.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


This is Judi as a toddler. Sure looks familiar ... Doesn't she.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Mill Green Inn

Judi got married and raised her family in Mill Green. An Architectural History of Harford County, Maryland by Christopher Weeks documents the house. It shows a photo and some history on the house Judi raised her family.

This page lists the house as "Mill Green Hotel".

Friday, September 02, 2005

Catering and Special Privileges

Judi always organized the food for the Harford County Solo and Ensemble Festival. This allowed her to get there early and setup in the library - the make-shift judge's room. As the day progressed, this also became the special reed making and emergency oboe repair room. It always worked out nice for the oboe players under her care.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Emma Lloyd Concert

This photo was taken warming up for the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra concert in memory of Emma Lloyd, Judi's mother. She is pictured with Wendy Bowdell.

Mom always got people involved in the SSO. Emma would sing when there was a choir singing with the orchestra. Mark and Jen also met in the orchestra and the highlight was the time Earl played church bells for the 1812 Overture for a concert.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Play'n Toys

This was the photo on Mom's computer. Emma always enjoyed "play'n toys" with "Ganmom Judi".

Family Dinner

Here's a picture taken 9 days before Mom died. It's really hard to think about her death, but this photos has an important memory. We had come down to visit her. She was not feeling that great, but was up and about. She was mostly staying upstairs in her bedroom suite. We made a nice chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and vegetables. We wanted to have a nice family dinner with everyone sitting at the table. Everyone had a good time. I believe Janet W. took this photo. After dinner, Mom went back upstairs and she and Emma read stories together. This would be Emma's final visit with her Grandmom.

Tod's Brick

Here's a shot of a brick Tod got for mom some time before her death. The brick is in the walkway of the Harford County Library, Bel Air Branch.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Here's some pictures of Mom & Dad's visit to Tucson on Jan 1, 2004. Most every day they visited, Mom would drag Daddy out for a walk. She was a big walker. They would get up in the morning and go for a walk. It was really nice when they took Emma because Jen and I could sleep in. I know she really enjoyed walking around the development where we lived in Tucson.

Funny Hats

Mom always had a habit of taking ribbons off of presents and putting them in her hair as a funny hat. I imagine this is normal at a bridal shower, but she seemed to do it all the time. I wonder if she didn't get to do this at her birdal shower?


Monday, July 11, 2005

The Oddest Moments

Here's a strange one. Mom always had a way of bringing up important teaching points at the oddest moments. I find that her method of parenting was a bit sporadic - I guess in a good way. It's like she didn't have a lesson plan prepared and would remember things at the oddest times.

I recall (but could be corrected if I'm imagining it) that we were on a vacation where we were visiting a historical park. Maybe it was Williamsburg, VA? Not sure. Anyway, we all had to use the bathrooms. We all went, and gathered back in front of the town hall or something. We're walking along the path and Mom stops us to make sure we knew that when using the bathroom we should sit on our hands instead of sitting directly on a public toilet seat. I remember secretly being horrified that I didn't know that and that she had told us this as if this was a very important lesson. If this was so important, why had she never mentioned it to us before? I remember being totally embarrassed that we were discussing this in a public place on a walking path in the middle of this historic place. I think on the outside we just gave our normal "whatever" response and tried to change the subject.

This story kept popping back into my head recently. I'm not sure why. Told you it was odd. But I think it's a pattern. It's the way she did a lot of parenting. I often look at what I'm doing as a parent and wonder whether I'm just making it all up as I go along. Do I need to do some more lesson planning? I tend to dwell on things and over analyze. Again, that did not always seem to be Mom's way when it came to parenting. She had so much going on all the time that I think these things just hit her and she thought she better get this communicated now before we go forward.


I had a bunch of vacation memories this past week since we were on a family vacation. I'll highlight one:

When we were at the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory in Shelburne, VT, we thought we recognized a couple on the tour. They had a boy about Emma's age and a younger boy. Their grandmother was also along. When we were leaving we realized that they were in the childbirth classes with us at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tucson back in 2002 before we had Emma. She was in the class and her mother in law took her husband's place when he had to work. They had driven across the country in their minivan with AZ plates and had been traveling for 3 weeks. They also recognized us and we caught up.

This reminds me of the trips across the country as a child. We went across the country twice. The first time we went I remember some people who knew their geometry calling Mom on the declaration that we were going to see the Grand Canyon in Colorado. (I didn't know any better, but having lived in AZ for 6 years, I don't think I would make that mistake again.) On one of these journeys we were driving late at night looking for a camp ground in [???? NM ????] the middle of nowhere when we found a camper hookup in the desert. Daddy went into the camp store and we ran into the Barlow's - a family from Street who had been good friends of my Grandad Famous and who went to school with Daddy. They had been driving across the country also, but from a different clockwise direction.

These trips were key in my mind to forming our adult beliefs. They also pointed out how small the US really was sometimes. I was reminded of those childhood trips and the small world this past week when we ran into a family we knew from Tucson on our Vermont vacation.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Playing in Church

This is one of my fond memories. I'm playing the organ at St. Philip's Episcopal Church. I played for the summer while they were searching for a new organist. Mom came out and brought her oboe. During communion, Bill Roberts went to the keyboard and Mom and Bill both improvised together on a hymn. They had both never tried something like that before but it worked. I remember Mom was excited about that. It was nice to have her play. When I was still home after college we used to play through music together once in a while. We never really played together in public except for church stuff.

Judi's Elementary School Concert Productions

Judi used to put on elaborate productions to add interest to the same old string songs that beginning strings students always play. Here's an example: Prospect Elementary School Winter Concert 2004. She would get the other teachers to participate. From an educational standpoint it was a really creative idea and fun for all.

First Memory

I'm trying to remember my earliest memory of childhood - my first memory of Judi. It would have to be some vague recollection of Janet coming to baby sit us as Mom went off to the hospital to have Tod. The other early trauma would be the time I threw a fit or something and brook one of our favorite records. I remember it was in the evening and getting in a lot of trouble for it. We all had to go to bed. At that time Tod, Lucinda and I all slept in a big bed in what became Lucinda's room. I guess I remember that because I got in trouble?


There's a lot to remember about Mom when it comes to Church. I wanted to remind myself of all the songs we used to sing. She always lead the singing with the children and normally played the guitar. (Nobody in the family ever picked up the guitar.) We used to sing all sorts of fun songs, especially around this time of year - Bible School. When Emma first learned to sing we taught her Deep and Wide. It was the first song Emma really started to sing. Back in Sunday School when we were little, Mom used to do Deep and Wide with everyone and then take out a word so everyone had to remember not to sing "Deep" - but just do the motions. It's kinda remarkable when you think about it since she wasn't really even a good singer? But there was always lots of singing around this time of year at Bible School -- and cookies too. Friday also including hot dogs and a party.


Mom decided when Emma was born that she was going to see Emma at least once every three months no matter how far we were. She kept her goal. When we were still in Tucson, she would come out to see us even if it was for a 3 day weekend - and that meant 1 and 1/2 days of visit after the travel time. Early on she started the "head butt" thing with Emma. They would butt heads. I was not too happy about it, but Emma enjoyed it. I'll need to remind Emma of the head butt tomorrow...

Sunday, June 26, 2005


We were at Zack's high school graduation the other night. During the opening the graduates marched in to canned music. This was the only part of the graduation that got me upset.

I started thinking about mom and our graduations. I remember Lucinda's from Columbia. I also remember Tod and my graduation from DeMatha in the Shine of the Immaculate Conception in DC. I can only imagine what she was thinking during those events. I'm really sad that she won't be able to attend any of her grandkid's graduations. I am pleased and remember that she was with us in all of our graduations. I'm sure I will be a wreck at Emma's first graduation.

I remember wheeling in Pop-Pop to my DeMatha graduation. I know Grandmom Lloyd attended Tod's and Lucinda's college. I guess you just need to include them in spirit.


I was thinking about piano lessons the other day. I got word from a friend of mine, Thomas Spacht, that he saw Sally Robinson, a fellow Oberlin graduate, at a college music event. I heard that she knew about mom's death.

When we were all at the house the week of her death, we went out and bought boxes of Tasty Kakes because Holly had never tried one. They were good and awful at the same time.

This reminded me of piano lessons with Mrs. Robinson. I took piano with her for the longest time. I don't recall when I started, but I kept going until sophomore year in high school. Whenever we went to piano lessons, we would drive up to Pylesville and stop at Halsey's store for chocolate milk and chocolate Tasty Kake cupcakes. For percussion lessons it was Texas fries from the little hole in the wall deli in downtown Jarrettsville.

In later years, it would be a burger (plain) from McDonalds and French fries.

I think her methods of bribery date back to us. I guess it was effective. I know I looked forward to piano lessons for the cupcakes.

First Post

I've created a blog to post short memories about Judi - my mom - by her family. The blog is intended to be a gift to the grandchildren.