dirk-ltr by xiaoyounan

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									                                                    35 Grant Street
                                                    Lexington, MA 02420

                                                    May 14, 2006

Mr. Dirk Ballendorf
228 Calachucha Avenue
Barrigada Heights, Guam 96913-1236

Dear Dirk:

       I was especially glad to receive the press clipping you sent the other
day, not only to see the interview of Heidi, but also to know that you had not
given up on me as a correspondent. I was driving home Friday night from a
dinner get-together with some old high school classmates, and thought about
the letter you sent Judith and me in October, and the fact that we had not
responded to it. Maybe having dinner with old friends opened my memory
paths to my old friend in Guam, and I thought once again that I would sit
down pronto and write you. Then, on Saturday (yesterday), I received the
article about Heidi. Destiny inspires routine projects as well as great ones.

       I hope time has helped you come to terms with life without Anton.
You have lost a wife and a son—certainly enough loss for any man’s
lifetime. Perhaps Heidi’s move to Guam will restore some of the family
connections you both must need. Judith and I knew and enjoyed the good
family karma the Ballendorfs exuded, and we would love to see you and
Heidi recapture some of it. You obviously have a good marriage to Paca,
and we are happy for you in that.

       Heidi has been terrific about staying in touch with us, and she made
nice connections with our sons, Josh and Caleb. We were looking forward
to the two of you coming this way in the fall, and were hoping to arrange
some time with both of you and Sue and Bob Lutz when you came. When
Heidi told us it would not happen in 2006, she said it probably would in
2007. We certainly hope so. We share the view of our friendship which you
stated in your October letter—that the strong friendship endures despite long
gaps between meetings, even between letters. As long, perhaps, as a spiral
chimney on an old Maine farmhouse rebuilt by two tipsy city boys.
       The last time I saw you—in the mid 1980’s—I was working at the
Center for Law and Education, located at the Harvard Graduate School of
Education. In 1990, I left the Center, and started a private law practice in
Lexington, where I work with five other attorneys (not as a firm, but rather
as six independent attorneys). Judith works there part-time, assisting me and
serving as office manager. It’s a nice work environment, and we enjoy the
activity and continuing to participate fully in the community, not to mention
earning some income. I suspect you continue to work for some of the same
reasons; a person your age might have retired if he didn’t like his job.

     Josh turns 34 next month. He is a physical therapist; three days a
week he runs a solo practice at a large electronics company, and two days a
week he works as a staff pt at a large clinic. Both jobs are near his home in
Woburn, which is close to Lexington.

       Caleb turned 30 last week. He is a forensic psychologist, currently
working as the court psychologist in New Bedford, MA (an 80 minute
drive), but next month he will transfer to be the court psychologist in
Woburn (a 5 minute drive). He and Josh are living together in Woburn, in a
condo owned by Josh.

       It was nice of you to express appreciation to Judith and me for being
in close communication with Heidi during trying times last year. As you
know, we always felt close to Heidi, back to the days when she would visit
with us at the farm and in Lexington, and in recent years she was very good
about reaching out to us. Heidi gives as good as she gets, and we were the
beneficiaries of her love as much as she was of ours.

      Hope this letter finds you well, and that we see you and Heidi (and
Paca?) next year.

                                             Yours,

								
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