Belated New Year Thank Yous & 2022 Reflections

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Belated New Year Thank Yous & 2022 Reflections

For the past eight years, I have ended the old year and started the new year by creating thank-you tweets as a way to show my gratitude to the many people and organizations that had a positive impact on the lives of my family this past year. I would then compile those tweets, along with others from the year, into a year-end blog post that I would invite you to read.

From mid-September 2022 through the end of the year, my wife and I have had several challenges involving more than one family member, and we knew we would enter the new year with some uncertainty. This caused me to delay the process of creating my annual, new year blog post until the middle of the first month of the new year (Sunday, January 15, 2023).

I want to now share some of my adventures and activities from this past year, and state how I appreciate those people/organizations that enriched my life in 2022. I am also using the blog post to honor my dad, Stuart O. Smith, Sr., and express how grateful I am to have had a great deal of quality time with him this past year.

I want to wish you who are reading this blog post all the best as we begin a new year full of possibilities!

 

 

Blog Posts 2022

I wanted to start this blog post with a list of blog posts that my wife and co-blogger, Julie, and I created in 2022, since they present some of the highlights of our year.

2022 was our tenth year of blogging -- TEN YEARS!!! We really can't believe that it has been that long!

Please take a moment and scroll across the images/links below, and click on them to read some of our 18 blog posts from 2022.

  Scroll Across -> -> -> -> -> ->

 

I want to take this opportunity to thank the founder and executive director of FRONT International, Fred Bidwell, for his kind words about my July 28th blog post: "What a phenomenal recap of the launch of FRONT 2022!"

 

 

Exploring Northeast Ohio with Dad

My dad, Stuart O. Smith, Sr., moved up to the Cleveland area on Thursday, February 10, 2022, so my sister and I would be available to assist with his care and also engage him in activities around Northeast Ohio. What follows are quotes from blog posts about some of the activities I did with my dad in 2022.

1 of 3: Fun Father's Day Weekend: Friday -- Blue Heron Homecoming

I decided to create these three blog posts to remind me of the three days of fun I had over Father's Day Weekend. . . . Taking my dad to the Blue Heron Homecoming event

On July 5, 2022, I took my dad to see the current Cleveland Museum of Art exhibition The New Black Vanguard. While there, I saw the banner announcing FRONT International, but more importantly, I saw a new mysterious exhibition being built. (There was no sign to even give a hint to what was coming.) The guards at the museum are always helpful, so I asked one of them, and found out that what my dad and I were seeing was the early stages of a special exhibition for FRONT International.

I was glad to be able to have both my wife and my dad join me for the FRONT Press Conference and lunch at the museum's Provenance Café. My dad enjoyed the excitement of the press conference, and I hope to visit some of the FRONT International venues with him. . . .

My dad has recently moved up to the Cleveland area so that my sister and I can look after his care. If you follow me on Twitter, you will see that I often take him to the Cleveland Museum of Art and other museums and local parks. It is great how all the museums and also the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Boston Mill Visitor Center provide wheelchairs. Here is the FRONT International Accessibility Statement, which will have a positive impact as I take my dad to visit the venues: . . .

In addition to thanking Megan Lykins Reich, I also thanked the moCa Cleveland staff who were running the greeting and registration table as I left the building, and asked them about returning with my dad. I have been thinking for a while about bringing my dad to moCa Cleveland, but I was concerned that he would not be able to walk the distance from the parking area. The moCa Cleveland staff I talked to were extremely helpful in offering suggestions on how they would be willing to work with me. While writing this blog post, I called and confirmed that they do provide wheelchairs that visitors can use at no charge.

One of my sister's and my earliest childhood memories was of my dad driving us and the neighborhood kids in a trailer behind his tractor. We both remember going with the tractor to the "dump" down near the lake. It wasn't until I was an adult that I learned that my dad had rebuilt the tractor.

Thus, by following @LakeMetroparks on Twitter, I saw that the Lake Metroparks Farmpark was hosting the Historical Engine Society’s 51st Annual Antique Power Exhibition. I knew that my dad would enjoy it. . . .

My dad just recently moved back to the Greater Cleveland area so that my sister and I could oversee his care. I often take my dad to local museums and parks, and I was looking for some new place to take him on this last Sunday of July. Attending the Historical Engine Society’s 51st Annual Antique Power Exhibition was a great way to share with my dad his memories of rebuilding his tractor. . . .

Later in the week, after the Historical Engine Society’s 51st Annual Antique Power Exposition, I was on the phone with my dad and sister. My dad went on and on telling my sister how much he enjoyed his time at the engine exhibition.

In addition to enjoying the art, it was a special treat to take my dad on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, to the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve at 1834 E. 123rd Street Cleveland, since it was right next to the former Smith family business. National Copper and Smelting Company was run by my grandfather, uncle, and dad in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood. . . .

It was a funny coincidence that, when touring the FRONT International exhibition in the Cleveland Museum of Art Glass Box, a museum guard approached my dad to point out the Frank Gehry-designed building on the Case Western Reserve University campus. I, of course, knew the building was the "Peter B. Lewis Building," so I prompted the guard to tell my dad the name of the building. My dad was so happy to learn the name of the building and to tell the museum guard how he knew Peter Lewis from high school.

I am putting this blog post together as my way to thank the organizations listed here that made possible a higher quality of life for my dad in what turned out to be his last year:

Many of the tweets open threads, so click on them to learn more:

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, April 3, 2022, I enjoyed sharing with my dad our family tradition of visiting Eggshelland.

 

Community Arts Center | Centro de Artes Comunitarias

Art-Making Experiences for All Ages | Experiencias Artísticas para Todas las Edades

The CAC houses the community arts staff and education outreach program. Visitors to the center may view Parade the Circle: Celebrating 30 Years of Art and Community and enjoy independent art making and other programming. Read on for more information on recurring workshops and art making.

El CAC alberga al personal de artes comunitarias y al programa de extensión educativa. Los visitantes del centro pueden ver Desfile por el Circle: Celebremos 30 Años de Arte y Comunidad y disfrutar de la creación artística independiente y otros programas. Siga leyendo para obtener más información sobre talleres recurrentes y creación artística.

" . . . Wow, wow, wow! I was impressed! It is a MUST see!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2022 Reflections

What follows are tweets about some of the many interesting events I attended, places I toured, and interesting people I interacted with in 2022. I want to say a BIG thank you to them all!!

 

 

 

 

 

After reading about backpacking on the Continental Divide Trail for many years, I finally stepped foot on this wilderness trail on Thursday, April 7th. What makes this an even bigger deal was that this was my second attempt to get to New Mexico. I had all my plans in place to hike on April 7, 2020, when the Continental Divide Trail Coalition suddenly, on March 13, 2020, had to cancel all trips due to the "rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation."

I have been backpacking for many, many years, including backpacking in desert conditions on the first 600+ miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019. Despite these years of backpacking, the desert of New Mexico was totally different than anything that I had ever experienced -- this adventure can't be explained in words. I had a great time, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have had this opportunity.

Hiking the Continental Divide is not just following one trail. It is a "choose your own adventure" trip, where backpackers pick from several routes that roughly follow along the divide. The unofficial motto of the CDT is “embrace the brutality.”

I want to thank the Continental Divide Trail Coalition staff and volunteers, the great CDC backpackers who I met along the way, trail angels that helped me, and the people I met in the trail towns. As a solo backpacker, the support and acts of friendship along my journey were greatly appreciated!

 

#BiggestDayHike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the years, I have attended Cleveland Shakespeare Festival shows at many venues around northeast Ohio, and I have even participated in their "Open Mic Shakespeare" nights at Negative Space Gallery and Mac's Backs Books. While I have enjoyed Cleveland Shakespeare Festival actors' performances at all the outdoor venues where I have seen them perform, it was at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site on July 1, 2017, that I learned of the Garfield connection with Shakespeare. I learned that the Garfield family often entertained themselves reading Shakespeare's plays! While on the James A. Garfield National Historic Site house tour in 2017, I took a photo of the portrait of William Shakespeare in the Memorial Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PechaKucha Night Cleveland

 

As you can imagine, most of the members of Euclid Beach Park Now and collectors of Euclid Beach Park memorabilia are older, since the park closed 53 years ago. That is why I suggested to Jon Rudder that he interview my son, Kevin, and Kevin's friend, Troy Parsh. They are the next generation of amusement park historians! While Kevin’s Northeast Ohio Amusement Memories collection included mostly smaller items. Troy Parsh's Amusement Preservation Museum includes roller coaster cars from Euclid Beach Park and other amusement parks. Both Kevin and Troy are very knowledgeable about the history of local, defunct amusement parks.

 

The following is text from my blog post about my volunteer work on the Cleveland GiveCamp Steering Committee:

The Cleveland GiveCamp Steering Committee is the group that does all the advance planning that makes the weekend of service happen every year. I have attended every Cleveland GiveCamp since its first year in 2010, and have served on the Steering Committee starting with the planning of the 2011 event. I have been on boards of nonprofit organizations and professional organizations in the past, but my experience with how the leadership of Cleveland GiveCamp plans successful events has been unique. Each member of the committee steps forward to fill the organizational needs as they develop. The committee is an effective, active, working committee.

 

 

 

One of the great things about @FrontTriennial in 2018 & now at #FrontArt2022 is that it gets me to visit new #art venues. https://frontart.org/venues

https://sosassociates.com/blog-tags/front-international

On Friday, August 26, 2022, I spent a fantastic day in Akron touring FRONT International venues. Here are just a few tweets from the day, but I want to encourage you to click on these tweets to see them all, since I did't have time to write a blog post about this great day in Akron!

 

. . . What was also even more interesting was seeing how many new, joyful, chalk drawings had been created since the morning rain. So many people come every year to this annual Cleveland Chalk Festival! I enjoyed seeing the contrast between the muted artwork and the new, bright artwork that made up the colorful collage on the stone pathways in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

 

Thank you, @GLScienceCtr, @NASA_GVIS and @NASAglenn Research Center, for today’s fun #NASA #Artemis celebration in #Cleveland!!

My family enjoyed learning the latest about @NASAArtemis and other @NASA projects.

Open the following tweets to see more about this great day celebrating NASA's Artemis Project:

 

 

A BIG thank you to @AlltheFlyThings for recommending I rediscover @maelstromcollab at their @GordonSquare #Arts District location. . . .

Today enjoying “Above | Below” original VR show by @WTMpresents!

 

 

Twitterversary!

 

I am so glad that I saw @TheCityClub's September 27th morning tweet, so I could sign up to be one of the 20 participants for the Tuesday, October 11, 2022, tour of the sewer system near the Cleveland Metroparks Edgewater Beach. I asked other family members if they wanted to join me, but for some reason they were not interested, as I described the tour as requiring "confined space training" to enter an active sewer system -- where was their adventuresome spirit?!?

To me, attending a sewer tour was a logical endeavor, since I am interested in infrastructure that makes a city's safe water system possible. I have already written four "Water Treatment" blog posts which are listed below in the "Related Blog Posts" section at the bottom of this blog post.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

 

I follow @Smokey_Bear — “#OnlyYou Can Prevent Wildfires” — on #Twitter.

The Google Map links in the following tweet show places I saw the Smoky Bear image on trails I have hiked:

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgement of Rough Times

In addition to all the good times in 2022, I also want to acknowledge that my family had some very difficult times during the last four months of the year, which unfortunately have continued into 2023.

 

 

2023 New Year Tweets

 

Sunday, January 1, 2023, a walk in the park on Cleveland's lakefront -- a fantastic way to start my year!

 

 

Remembering the Life of Stuart O. Smith, Sr.

Stuart O. Smith, Sr., Obituary

It is with great sadness we share the passing of Stuart O. Smith, Sr., on January 6, 2023. He was the most generous, devoted, and selfless father, a beloved husband, and a much-cherished grandfather. He will be forever remembered and missed. He was truly a family man. . . .

My family and I were very fortunate to be able to spend a great deal of time with my dad in 2022, after he moved up to the Cleveland area from Florida. Unfortunately, as we entered the new year, my dad, Stuart O. Smith, Sr., passed away on the morning of Friday, January 6, 2023, at the age of 89. To learn more about his life, my sister, Julie Bonebrake, and I invite you to read what we wrote about our dad's life in his obituary (PDF file print version 1.7MB).

 

I am very grateful for the many people that publicly and privately contacted me to express their condolences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Blog Posts

As I have done with my other blog posts this year, I will end this with links to related blog posts:

Wishing All Good People on the Twitterverse and Those People Who Read Our Blog Posts a Great Year in 2023!