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I’ll begin on a personal note. My brothers and I witnessed firsthand the slow cognitive disintegration of our father who, like his identical twin brother before him, had succumbed to Alzheimer’s. You should know that our father was a remarkably intelligent man. He graduated as outstanding senior at the University of Portland (Oregon), was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, studied international law at the University of Florence where he quickly learned to speak Italian and spoke it fluently — so fluently that he was often mistaken for being Italian. He read the classics. The Republican Party in Oregon tried to recruit him to seek public office. He declined because he didn’t want to subject my mother or eventually his family to that kind of life and to be put in the public spotlight.
Stanford Law School sent our father a letter of acceptance but he chose to serve in the Naval Reserve to help South American naval officers understand how to operate surplus US diesel submarines that were being sold off to make way for the nuke boats that America was making and sending to sea. After this, our father went to Naval Intelligence school in DC and served as an assistant naval attaché to the American embassy in New Delhi. After a few decades in aerospace working for Aerojet-General and Lockheed where he was a vice-president of sales and marketing, he retired to a quieter life, first in the Sierra and then to Tucson. In his private life, he counseled teens in our neighborhood struggling with the emotional turmoil of their parents’ divorces or their own experiments with drugs. He was also the president of the homeowners’ association in El Dorado Hills and served as an assistant scoutmaster to our Boy Scout troop in the mid-60s.More