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You are here: Davis of Iowa > Jim Davis's Biography > Part XIV                    Click HERE to go to Part XV

Part XIV




(2010 - 2012)


Cindie’s terrible accident – February 24, 2010 -


Francine and I were enjoying our new home in Scottsdale, our many national and international travels and our joined family.  Cindie was training for her first Ironman event, having run in several marathons and half marathons and spending many years increasing her physical fitness.  As part of her training regimen in the winter, she decided to spend two week increments in Scottsdale for outdoor training and returning to their Westford home the alternate two weeks to be with her family and train as best she could, considering the adverse  winter weather in the Boston area.   When she was in Scottsdale she lived in their Windy Walk house.  Francine and I enjoyed spending time and meals with her when she was here.  Francine and Cindie enjoyed joining with other hikers/sky watchers one pleasant evening on Pinnacle Peak.  They hiked to a mid-level location on the Peak where a lecturer identified the stars and constellations in the clear Arizona sky.  The Arizona sky is a wonderful place to view our vast heavens.  On February 23rd Cindie and I had dinner, as she was flying back to Boston the following evening.  We had a delightful time.  Cindie was anxiously anticipating getting back to her family, her upcoming Ironman and Adam’s high school graduation among other things.  She was doing a 50 mile bicycle training ride the next morning and then heading to the airport. 


I was hosting Jim Daniel for golf at Estancia at noon that next day.  He and I were standing on the practice putting green when we heard many emergency  vehicle sirens nearby.  A few minutes later a club employee came running to us and told me that I needed to call, “my son-in-law, Brian immediately”.  I returned to my car which was parked nearby, retrieved my cell phone and called Brian.  He told me that Cindie was involved in an accident near the Estancia entrance on Dynamite Blvd.  I then connected all of the sirens and Cindie.  I told Brian that I would go to the accident site and call him as soon as I could.  I returned to the putting green and apologized to Jim that our golf had to be cancelled.


The traffic on Dynamite, which is a four lane parkway with a ten feet wide median, was halted going both directions, however, when I told the officer blocking the eastbound traffic that the victim was my daughter he let me drive to the accident site.  I found Cindie in an ambulance receiving first aid while awaiting a flight to evacuate her to the Trauma Center.  Cindie was conscious and the EMT told her that “her dad was here”.  She was immobilized and in shock.  Shortly thereafter the air flight helicopter arrived and Cindie was quickly transferred to it.  I was advised that she would be taken to Osborne Trauma Center in central Scottsdale.


The accident scene was reasonably organized with possibly a dozen police members controlling the traffic, getting  statements, beginning the investigation and other required duties.  The Waste Management (WM) Garbage truck that had hit Cindie was  parked  where the driver  stopped it.   It  was  later  impounded  for  the  entirety of the investigation.  Cindie’s mangled bicycle was lying in the roadway.  The truck’s right front bumper had paint from Cindie’s bike and  scars of where the bumper hit the bicycle.  A man was sitting in the desert near the truck with his head in his hands sobbing.  I correctly assumed he was the driver of the truck.  Shortly, thereafter another person appeared and began talking with the driver.  It turns out he was the regional safety person for WM who arrived on the scene promptly.  Neither of them approached me although, I am reasonably sure that they knew I was related to the lady that the truck had hit.


Two eye-witnesses to the accident were patiently waiting to render whatever assistance and information they could about the accident.   They were each driving separately trailing the WM truck and described the accident thusly:

Cindie was riding her bicycle eastbound on Dynamite Blvd. staying in the one-foot wide bicycle lane on the right side of the two lane wide eastbound roadway.  The roadway had a long gentle incline up at the location of the accident, which made Cindie quite visible to the WM truck driver from a significant distance behind her.  Both witnesses saw Cindie riding her bicycle ahead of the WM truck. The truck was  travelling eastbound in the righthand lane, adjacent to the bike lane. There was no traffic in the left eastbound lane. The WM truck was traveling at near the posted speed limit of 50 MPH.  The weather was clear, there was at least one half of a mile of visibility at this stretch of Dynamite so the WM driver was clearly able to see  Cindie for a minimum of that distance before overtaking her.  The driver continued driving in the righthand lane as he approached Cindie. His brake lights never lighted and he appeared to never slow the truck’s speed until the accident occurred.  The truck  struck Cindie and her bicycle traveling at about 50 mph.  According to the witnesses, Cindie was thrown into the desert to the right of highway and the bicycle was launched  over and behind the truck.


Both witnesses stopped their vehicles, one of them called 911 to report the accident, and both of them did what they could to render first aid to Cindie.  Cindie was conscious and asked one of the witnesses to call her husband, Brian. Unbelievably she was able to direct the witness to Brian’s name and phone number.  (Also, unbelievably Brian was at home with a repair technician.  On nearly every other day he would have been at work at Countryside Animal Hospital.)


The driver stopped his truck. (He apparently reported the accident to the WM promptly.)  The witnesses did not see the driver approach Cindie, while they were rendering what first aid they could for Cindie.  The police and ambulance arrived promptly.  Traffic in both directions was immediately stopped. 


Both witnesses, gave statements to the police and stayed until released by the  officers. They each gave  me their names and contact information.  I thanked them for their help and for their diligence in providing for Cindie as best they could.


I discussed the accident  with one of the EMTs and a police officer on the scene who was taking responsibility for the accident investigation.  He advised me that the driver would be taken by a police officer to be tested for alcohol and drugs and that the truck would be impounded. He said that the police would take pictures of the bicycle and leave it with me. I asked him to leave it at the Estancia entrance when they were finished with it.  He gave me his card and told me to feel free to call him anytime.  Shortly thereafter, I left the accident scene, called Brian to tell him what I had learned and went home to get Francine and to drive to Osborne Trauma Center.  Brian booked  the first flight that he could which happened to be early the next morning.  Francine had called Kim and advised her of Cindie’s accident.  Kim and David were able to get a flights to Phoenix that afternoon - Kim from Cleveland and David from Texas. 


Francine and I drove to Osborne Trauma Center promptly.  We arrived there and were told that Cindie was being examined by the emergency physicians and by several other physicians with various medical expertise.  She had been induced into a coma.  But other than to tell us that she was very severely  injured, had extensive broken bones and internal injuries and that she was very lucky to be alive, they could not provide us with   much information.  Brian had an extensive discussion with the lead physician assigned to Cindie’s case later that evening Scottsdale time.  Brian, with his very strong medical training, comprehended the seriousness of Cindie’s condition.   Kim and David arrived and the four of us discussed Cindie’s condition with Brian after his long conversation with the physician.  Both Brian and the doctors caring for Cindie advised us to go home and to try to get some sleep, which we did.  Upon entering their house, Kim found Cindie’s clothing neatly laid out ready to pack for her return to Boston after her bike ride. Also included were Kevin’s birthday present and Cindie’s food/exercise diary updated with that morning’s meal.  Cindie had also written notes for Kim to read the next time Kim came to their house. Brian had called their four sons to advise each of them of their mother’s accident and of her medical condition.  Brad was working in the Boston area and living in an apartment.  Adam was living at home finishing his senior year of high school.  Andy and Kevin were in Park City, UT skiing. 


Early the next morning Francine, Kim, David and I returned to the Osborne Hospital to resume our vigil and to learn what we could.   David picked Brian up at the airport later that morning.  We were getting very little information on Cindie’s condition as her injuries were still being evaluated.  Upon his arrival at the hospital, Brian was the communication link between the medical staff and the family.   We advised our families of the accident and Cindie’s condition. 


I talked with the police officer in charge of the accident investigation who advised me that the driver was not under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.  The driver had told the officer that “he thought that his truck was sufficiently left of Cindie that he would not hit her and that he had no other excuse”.  The driver would be charged with only a minor traffic violation. The following day, Brian and I  met with two plaintiff attorneys to gauge which one might do the better job of representing us in the upcoming litigation against WM. Later, Brian chose the one we were most comfortable with.


The doctors reports gave us fleeting hope that possibly Cindie would survive this horrific accident.  All of us except Brian, were given a bit of a lift with that information.  Brian however, reading the medical information and in candid discussions with the doctors knew that Cindie was fighting a losing battle.  Each of  us were permitted to spend a bit of time with Cindie, who was still in a coma and on total life support.  On Friday, Brian asked their sons to come immediately to Phoenix.  Andy and Kevin arrived  Saturday morning.  David picked them up at the airport and brought them to the hospital.  They were able to spend a bit of time with Cindie. Brad and Adam were not able to get to Phoenix until almost midnight on Saturday.  David picked them up at the airport.


Unfortunately, Brad and Adam were not able to visit their mother before she passed just after mid-night on Sunday, February 28, 2010.  Adam, just three weeks past his 18th birthday, was particularly distraught that they had arrived after her death.  Our family – Francine, Kim, Dave, Brian, Brad, Andy, Kevin, Adam and I sat together in a nearby room remembering Cindie.  Each of us was escorted individually into the intensive care room where Cindie laid to say one last good bye to her.  Brian made the necessary arrangements with the hospital and a mortuary. We returned to Cindie and Kim’s Windy Walk house where all of them, except Francine and I, were staying.  We agreed to meet at the Estancia Club for lunch the next noon. 


Brian planned to have a funeral service in Westford where he and  Cindie had many friends.  He decided that a weekend in May would be best and chose to have the service at a big community center in the center of Westford.  The service was very well attended as Brian,  Cindie and their sons were well known in Westford and the surrounding communities.  Francine and two of Cindie’s very good friends each remembered Cindie in warm and moving tributes to her and her life.  Her love for animals, particularly for her horse, dogs and cats was well remembered and reported.  Kim and David also  spoke with very touching words about how Cindie enhanced so  many lives including each of theirs.

Karen, Cindie and My Headstone, Francine and Jim, Hartland, IA Cemetery


I suggested that we also have a service at Hartland, IA as I knew that Cindie wanted some of her ashes to be in the same place as her mother’s ashes and  where some of my ashes will be placed.  We  decided that we would have a service for Cindie at Hartland in June and provide an opportunity for Cindie’ family  to gather and celebrate her life.  We held that celebration at the small country church at Hartland adjacent to the cemetery where most of our immediate Ware family, my parents and Karen are interned.  Most of our  immediate family gathered  for the service as did several of my fathers sibling’s families.  The weather was cooperative.   My brother Bob had prepared the plot for the urn with a portion of Cindie’s ashes.  He also had Karen and my cemetery stone inscribed with Cindie’s name, birth and death date.  We held an immediate family gathering in the cemetery to intern Cindie’s ashes upon completion of the church service.  Cindie’s Cousin Lynn and her husband David attended the service, travelling from CA.


Brother Bob hosted us with a homemade ice cream celebration dinner and gathering in his “warehome*” the evening of the service.  We all made the obligatory outing to Marshalltown to have a Maid-Rite lunch the next day, essentially filling the restaurant which seats only about 20 diners.  The Maid-Rite restaurant was described in Chapter II of this book, as a small dinner seating about 10 persons, one-half on either side of the small restaurant.  They served primarily loose hamburger sandwiches, malted milk and fresh pie.  The Maid-Rite menu has changed very little in the past 70 years, although they did move the location twice and now it is located about one-block from where it was initially, some almost 100 years ago.


*”warehome” was a name Bob used in describing his home which was a two bedroom modest, but modern home which was in a wing of a metal building most commonly used as a warehouse.


Kim and Cindie were particularly close sisters.  They were in many respects very different however they were close as children and even closer as adults.  As a little girl, Cindie  interpreted what Kim wanted before Kim was able to speak.  We think that Cindie’s help led to Kim being a bit late to begin talking.  As young girls whenever they were with their very close cousins Toyel and Lynn, the four of them  were inseparable.  Cindie and Kim were a year apart in school. They both graduated  from Ohio State University where they both joined the same Kappa Delta sorority. Thereafter  they later went their  separate  married ways.  However, our family spent every Christmas as well as many other holidays together, plus all of us joined the annual Davis Family Summer Reunions -  each a full week long.  Even though these sisters were geographically separated, they talked daily and kept each other well grounded. To this day, Kim misses her “ROCK (Cindie)” every day.


Jim gets a pacemaker -


Prior to Cindie’s accident, Francine was having difficulty with her right shoulder.  She was evaluated by a Mayo orthopedic specialist who convinced her that she had a rotator cuff tear that was causing her discomfort.   He recommended surgery to repair the tear,  to which Fran agreed. The surgery was scheduled for later in March.  Despite all of the heartbreak and family suffering she had her surgery as scheduled.  After the surgery, the surgeon advised her that the repair was successful.  He prescribed physical therapy beginning two days after surgery.  I accompanied her to her first physical therapy appointment which was at Mayo’s physical therapy department, in a very small room.  I was watching the physical therapist working with Francine as I was to learn some things that I would help Francine do at home between her physical therapy appointments. 


The small room was very warm and I began to feel a bit faint.  I began moving around to lessen the fainting feeling when the physical therapist looked at me.  She saw me and thought that I looked pale and ready to faint.  She instructed Francine to get up from the therapy table and told me to lie down on the table.  She read my pulse as being low – I have had bradycardia for years and my pulse was probably in the low 30s from sitting down and not moving much.  The physical therapist called a code blue.  The next thing I knew we had maybe a dozen people crowded into the small room trying to figure out what was wrong with me.  The physician examining me told me that my pulse was low, to which I replied that I had bradycardia and I was not surprised that it was low.  After doing the preliminary examination, they decided to move me to the Emergency Room (ER) for  further evaluation.  Francine had called my sister Beverly who came to the hospital.  The code blue team included a Chaplin who tried unsuccessfully to comfort Francine.  The ER cardiology doctor recommended that I have a pace-maker installed while I was already in the hospital.  I agreed as I knew that at some point I would need one.  The pace-maker was installed later that afternoon.  I was discharged the next day. Francine still hasn’t forgiven me for interrupting her physical therapy session!  Since neither Francine nor I were supposed to drive, Kim returned to Arizona to “Drive Miss Daisy and me”!


Adam enrolled in the University of Massachusetts, Lowell majoring in plastics engineering.  His good friend and Westford School chum had made a similar decision and Adam chose to follow his friend.  Plastics engineering was a good major for Adam.


A family vacation at Telluride -


Francine, A Real Cowboy And Me


Francine and I rented a large six bedroom mountain home in the Telluride, CO ski village for the  month of August.  We invited our good friends Sybil and Jeff Hoffman to bring their children and Sybil’s father for a week with us.   We invited my immediate family to visit for a week. We celebrated my 75th birthday with a wonderful family party.  Fran hired a “real cowboy” to recite some Telluride Cowboy Tales to us. 


We hiked, played golf and toured the mountains which formed a box canyon within which the town of Telluride was built.  Francine and I thought that we might take up fly-fishing,  so we hired a guide purchased the equipment and spent the better part of a day on a stream.  We made one catch and took the obligatory photo.  It was the only time that we fly fished!


Jim, Francine, Kim, David, Brian, Kevin, Andy, Adam, Lizette, Mike, Madie, Brett’s gal, Ellen, Brett, Kyle’s gal, Heather and Kyle on a Telluride Mountain Tour


Cindies and Kim’s joined us for a week during which we celebrated my birthday.  All of us were easily accommodated in the big house. We loved Telluride, for its scenic beauty, the fresh air, and the wonderful weather and most of all for the ability to once again gather our wonderful family.. 


Family Gathering For Photo On The Deck Of The Telluride House We Rented


Francine and I  traveled to Hudson, OH in September to attend a Hudson Humane Society gala which celebrated Cindie’s life and involvement in caring for animals.  Kim was very active in the society and arranged for the gala to honor her sister who had helped with the annual gala for the past several years.  David, Kim, Brian, Fran and I donated funds to name a room in the new shelter in honor of Cindie.

Cindie Was Honored At The Hudson, OH Humane Society Annual Gala


In early October Francine and I traveled to Boston to attend my 45th HBS Class Reunion.  The reunion was well attended and it was very good to see many of my class-mates.  I served on the fundraising committee and solicited each of my section-mates (except for Bob Kraft who had made a large gift to the HBS and asked not to be the target of additional solicitations).  We also spent time with Brian and those of his sons that were in the Boston area.


Our family celebrated Christmas at Brian’s in 2010.  We again remembered Cindie as this was the first Christmas in 53 years that she was not with us.  Brian’s mother joined us for the week-long visit to Westford, MA.


The year 2010 drew to a close with our family reduced by another important member. The loss of Cindie, will haunt us forever.  We miss her so much.  Regardless, 2011 held wonderful promise. Both Andy and Brett were planning to graduate from college the coming spring. 


In 2011 Francine and I adopted the 1.5 mile stretch of Dynamite Road which included the location where Cindie’s accident occurred.  Each year we clean this stretch of road of debris as part of Scottsdale’s Keep Scottsdale Beautiful Program.  The clean-ups occur in April and October.  In October we were joined by family and friends to perform the clean-up.  Afterwards we hosted the group for lunch at The Estancia Golf Club.


Scottsdale Keep Scottsdale Beautiful Sign With Cindie’s Name Placed At The Site Of Her Accident

Family And Friends Ready To Clean-up Dynamite Road


On March 3, the northeastern portion of  Japan was hit with a 9.8 power earthquake which was followed by a 35 feet high tsunami resulting in the death of some 19,000 Japanese.  The damage was very extensive and included fatally damaging a nuclear power plant.  Fortunately, there was no significant radiation release.


On May 8th, the Middle East number one terrorist,  Osama Bin Laden was killed by a U.S. seal team in a raid on his hideout in Pakistan. 


Brett graduates from Ohio U -


In June, we travelled to Ohio to attend Brett’s graduation from the University of Ohio in Athens, OH.  It was a two hour drive from Kim’s home in Hudson, Ohio to Athens. We stayed over-night in Parkersburg, West Virginia after attending a graduation party for Brett at the university.  The commencement the next day enjoyed wonderful weather for the graduates and their guests.  Kim hosted a very nice graduation party for Brett at their Hudson, OH home.  Brett accepted a job in Pittsburgh selling advertising and other sales support merchandise for News America a Division of Fox Corporation.


Brett With His Grandfather, Paul, Kim and David


 On July 30th, Brad and Kelly Payne were married on the top of a ski mountain nearby Westford, MA. The wedding was celebrated that evening at the ski lodge.  The night before, Brian held a wonderful dinner party on the lawn at his home.  Many of my family travelled to Westford to attend the wedding and celebrate  the first wedding of my six grandsons.  We were also honored by the attendance of many of Cindie and Brian’s closest friends.  Also attending was my good friend and HBS section-matte, Ben Shapiro and his lovely wife Norma.  Ben, a retired professor at HBS and Norma have been my life-long friends and good friends of Brian and Cindie’s family. It was a grand celebration.


After the wedding, Brian, his good friends the Petersons,  Francine and I spent a couple of days visiting Martha’s Vineyard to catch up with Jamie and Justin and to introduce Francine and me to the resort island.  Francine and I were impressed with the architecture of some of the original houses on The Vineyard.


Fran and I travel to Ireland –


Francine and I planned a long delayed trip to Ireland for the fall.  Many of Francine’s ancestors immigrated to the US from Ireland, and she was determined to locate some “Murphys”.  Little did she know, that there are more Murphys in Ireland than can ever be counted let alone “family treed”.  Her sister Joan had previously travelled to Ireland and did locate some distant Murphy relatives.  Fran planned the entire trip, including booking a driver for the three week drive through southern Ireland and a few days in Dublin.


We flew to Dublin where our driver met us ready for a tour of Ireland’s beautiful countryside, quaint cities and wonderful, friendly people.  Our Dublin tour included the obligatory cathedrals, museums and other local sites.  Our driver knew Ireland intimately, including much of it’s history.  He enjoyed relating what he knew about his country to us as we viewed the rich, green countryside filled in many places with sheep. 


A Typical Ireland Pasture Scene


We stayed at different locations on the drive nearly every night.  Mostly, Francine had booked locations working with a travel agent in Ireland who was quite familiar with the country and the various hotels and similar accommodations.  The tour  initially took us to some ancient dwellings north of Dublin where we were introduced to some Ireland’s earliest history.  We then drove to the southern coast of Ireland, along the western portion of the country and then drove east across Ireland to Dublin.  On the way to Dublin, we stopped  at a famous golf course resort.  Our booking there  included a round of golf, however, a hurricane which traversed up the east coast of the U.S. took a sharp  turn easterly and arrived concurrently with our visit.  Fortunately, there was not much rain but the winds were  strong and gusting, making golf unreasonable, particularly at an expensive Ireland prestigious golf course.  We passed on golf and enjoyed the other resort offerings.


Sheep, Rolling Pastures, Fran and Jim


We spent the last two days in Dublin, where we toured a famous Jameson distillery which distilled the famous Jameson Irish Whisky.  Francine convinced me to join a tasting panel at the distillery where we compared Jameson Whisky with a well-known Kentucky corn based whisky, a Glenfiddich Scottish Whiskey and a couple of other labels.   I did enjoy the Jameson the most.  We also toured the Dublin Guinness brewery.   It was the oldest brewery  still operating in Ireland.  The tap room in the brewery was so busy that we did not even take advantage of a “free” Guinness.  Dublin is a beautiful city and the tour was enjoyable although the day we did the distillery and brewery was very inclement – the tail end of the U.S. hurricane which we experienced the previous day.


The Jameson Distillery The Guinness Brewery




From Dublin we flew  to Glasgow, Scotland to enjoy a four day Scotland visit.  We toured Glasgow, rented a car and drove to Edinburgh. There we spent a day sight-seeing particularly enjoying the Edinburgh castle.  We had missed the annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo; however, the parade ground and stands were still erected.  We spent a day driving through the Scottish countryside, and the eastern Scotland coast line.  We made the  required stop at St. Andrews to walk part of the golf course and watch a few of the members compete in a club tournament. We purchased some of our Christmas gifts for our family while in the pro-shop.  It was a very enjoyable day and the weather was particularly nice.  From Dublin, we took the train to London and caught our plane back to the U.S. from Heathrow. 


Once I had the pace-maker, I was scheduled for quarterly evaluations to insure that the pace-maker was  doing its job.  The evaluation is about a fifteen minute downloading the pace-maker data into my medical record.  During a pace-maker check appointment, the pace-maker nurse learned that my heart was in atrial fibrillation.  Atrial fibrillation (a-fib) is of concern as it may lead to blood clots forming in the heart and then be dislodged into the arteries which might lead to the clot becoming lodged in the brain and causing a stroke.  The nurse immediately contacted my cardiologist who directed her to send me to the Emergency Room (ER), which she did.  I walked the about the 1/8 of a mile distance to the ER and reported in.  The ER nurse asked me why I was there and I responded that I was sent by the cardiology department because I was in a-fib.  She asked me “why aren’t you in a wheelchair”?  My response was that because I could walk the distance!


Regardless, the ER staff did its thing and while they were working to determine what to do, my heart auto-corrected and began beating normally.  The ER department discharged me after prescribing a dosage of Warfarin to thin the blood and reduce the chance of a blood clot.  It took several tests and dosage adjustments over the next several months to get the blood clotting in the desired range.  The test for this is called an INR test.  My INR has been tested regularly  every 4-5 weeks since.  I never know when I am in a-fib as I have no noticeable affects from it.


Our family gathered in Brian’s home to celebrate Christmas 2011.  It was our second Christmas without Cindie.  Brian’s mother and all of Kim’s family joined Brian’s family, Francine and me to celebrate Christmas 2011.  Grandson, Kevin was admitted to Harvard Business School’s MBA Program with a two year delay to gain business experience in the interim.  He would be in the 2016 class, 51 years after my class in 1965.  Kevin would be 28 years old upon completion of his MBA while I was 29 years old.



Christmas 2011

L to R,  Front Row: Brian’s mother, Felicia, Kelly, Courtney, Kyle’s friend Heather and Mandy.

Middle row: Brad, Kim and Brett.

Back Row: Brian, Francine, Dave, Kyle, Jim, Andy, Adam and Kevin.


After several days celebrating another Davis Family Christmas, Francine and  I  went to Manhattan, NYC to visit her daughter Lindsey who had moved there with plans to break into the fashion industry.  She had just moved into her apartment in the upper west side of Manhattan.  We enjoyed some wonderful meals, particularly dinners with her at her and Francine’s favorite restaurants.  We celebrated New Year’s Eve with Lindsey and returned to Scottsdale – another year in the books.   Welcome 2012!


David again had Superbowl tickets for the repeat Superbowl game between the Patriots and the NY Giants which was  to be held in Indianapolis.   Brian brought his son Kevin to the game.  The Patriots lost to the Giants, AGAIN.  Eli Manning, the Giants quarterback won two Super bowls both times beating Tom Brady and the Patriots.


Kim and David purchased a home in San Antonio in early 2012.  They sold their lovely home in Hudson,  OH and moved back to Texas.  David had the Highmark optical business, which was renamed Visionworks, operating smoothly.  He had also assumed management responsibility for Highmark’s dental insurance and Highmark’s reinsurance businesses.  Both businesses were headquartered in PA.


In March, Francine, Brian and I visited Kim and David in their new home in San Antonio.  

Kim had moved the bar which Dave “rescued” from our Lake Harmony home and installed it in the annex which was part of their second home in Hudson, OH.  It now served as an attraction in their great room in their San Antonio home.  (When Kim and David moved to Pittsburg, Brian had the bar shipped to his home in Lincoln, NH where he stored it for several years until Kevin and Mandy purchased a house in the Boston suburbs and installed the bar in their home.  Where the bar resides today.)   We toured San Antonio, as it was the first time that I had visited San Antonio.  We enjoyed seeing David’s office, walking and boating the River Walk and canal, visiting The Alamo and dining at a fine restaurant on the River Walk. 


The wrongful death law suit Brian’s attorney filed on our behalf was settled through a mediation process.  Our attorney did a fine job in preparing the case.  However, as in many cases where there have been many similar lawsuits most are settle through mediation as opposed to a full blown trial case.  Waste Management acknowledged that it was at fault.  Additionally, it did not challenge any of the circumstances surrounding the case.  Also, there are similar cases involving the death of a 53 year-old mother.  Consequently, a mediated case such as in the death of Cindie, is pretty much dictated by prior  financial settlements.  The settlement of Cindie’s case was within these precedents.  (As a note of despair, we observed within the past few years of Cindie’s death, some deaths at the hands of various city’s police which were settled for amounts substantially in excess of what Brian’s family received in its settlement with Waste Management.)


Regardless the settlement was fair in the universe of private settlements between companies and families with  members who suffered a wrongful death.  After the settlement, the Vice President of Waste Management’s (WM) Risk and Safety business reached out to me through our respective attorneys to see if we wanted to meet with WM personnel  to discuss the accident.  Francine and I accepted their invitation and met with the VP, who was from  WM’s corporate office in Houston, TX along with several local WM managers (Brian was unable to attend).  They asked us if we had any questions about the accident that they might answer.  The only question that we had was “what the driver said about the accident” when WM interviewed him.  Their answer was “he said he thought that he would miss (not hit) Cindie, but was wrong”.  Waste Management had and has a policy of terminating drivers who cause serious accidents.   The driver was terminated.    The WM representatives in the meeting were as incredulous as Francine and I were at the driver’s answer.


Secondly, the VP of WM asked us what WM could have done differently in the handling of the accident.  I explained that I had spent my career in industry and that I knew accidents happen despite the best intentions and practices of any company.  I also explained that I had at one time had responsibility for the safety department in a corporation which had ten billion dollars in sales revenue and as such had empathy for them in meeting with us. 


With respect to his question, I responded that there were three things which WM could have done which would have earned WM more respect.  They were (1) that WM representatives could have reached out to us when Cindie was in the hospital*, (2) that WM could have avoided stating in a letter that it sent to Brian, expressing WM’s sympathy for the death of Cindie, that WM accepted no responsibility for her death and (3) that while our family fortunately was reasonably well off and we did not need extra cash to travel to the location of the accident and hospitalization of Cindie or for any related services, many families were not in that position and that an offer of some financial help to the grieving family would have been an empathetic gesture.


Waste Management advised us that their local safety manager had visited the hospital where Cindie was being treated but that the hospital would not let him contact us.  I replied that I was sure that there was some way that he could have gotten a message to us in the hospital and that I certainly would have met with him.  They acknowledged that the sympathy letter denying any responsibility for the accident was ill-advised – probably written by a lawyer!  They thought that the third suggestion had merit.


Waste Management’s responses to my suggestions were even more gratifying when I learned a year later that WM had adopted policies along the lines that I proposed.  Moreover, WM invited me to address WM’s senior management meeting held the  following February during the WM golf tournament.  Additionally, the WM safety department management has invited Francine and me (plus Brian, Kim and David, if they are in town) to dinner and to attend the Pro Am at the annual WM golf tournament with some of our guests each year since.** 


*Cindie’s accident occurred on the day of the Waste Management sponsored golf tournament in Scottsdale.  Most of WM’s senior management and all of its local management were in Scottsdale on that day.  I believed that this fact further strengthened my argument that someone from WM could have reached out to us since they were fully knowledgeable that Cindie was in the hospital with serious and massive injuries.

**The Waste Management VP and his wife became good friends of Francine and mine.  He unfortunately underwent a double lung transplant which did not go well and he shortly thereafter succumbed to cancer.  Francine and I had lunch with his widow several months later.  She was distraught, lost and frustrated over dealing with the paperwork, investments, his stock options and their taxes (their tax preparer had retired).  I offered to help her as best I could.  Now some ten years later I still do her investments and her taxes. 

Karen’s Bar, an Irish Ladies’ Bar Purchased And Installed In Our Lake Harmony Home in 1991

(This Bar Has Subsequently Found Another New Home In Grandson Kevin’s MA Home.)


Also in March, Adam visited us during his spring break to enjoy several rounds of golf.  It was great fun to have him to ourselves.  Adam is a good golfer and thoroughly enjoys playing from the longest tees.  After golf he and I enjoyed sitting in the hot tub on the roof of our house and talking.


In April, we again hosted a fairly large group of friends and relatives to clean-up Dynamite Road.  At roughly the same time Brian settled his litigation against Waste Management via a mediation process.  The financial settlement, which was significantly dictated by similar lawsuit settlements dealing with the death of a 53 year old mother.  It was good to have one more thing finalized in the painful saga of losing Cindie.


In May we traveled to Boston to watch Kevin graduate from Northeastern University.  Brian hosted a very nice graduation party for Kevin.  Kevin’s commencement speaker was Colin Powell a previous Secretary of Defense.   He gave a wonderful address.  We also participated in the annual Westford Run in which Cindie and family had participated each May.   Waste Management Corporation agreed to help support the charity event each year in honor of Cindie.



Kevin, Brian, Brad, Felicia, Adam and Andy


From Boston, we travelled to New York City, to visit Lindsey.  As usual we enjoyed visiting  with her and again dined at several wonderful mid-town restaurants.


Our second family Grand Canyon rafting trip –


In June our immediate family and several friends of theirs assembled to raft the lower part of the Grand Canyon. Mike, Brian and David organized the trip with Outdoors Unlimited the same guide company that we had used in our 2006 trip for the upper part of the canyon.  They contracted for the entire trip capacity of twenty four passengers.  That way everyone on the trip   was “one of us”.  We invited Jamie and Justin to join us.  Kim, Jolinda and Ali each invited a friend to round out the complement.   Everyone flew into Phoenix the day before and stayed at the Marriott Hotel the night before we were to be bussed to the Grand Canyon South Rim National Park where we would over-night and then hike down to the river on the following morning.  Prior to traveling to the South Rim, we gathered at our house and then traveled the short distance to Pinnacle Peak Park.  We then hiked about two-thirds of the way to the highest trail elevation on Pinnacle Peak where we found a relatively level location to gather and everyone participated in spreading some of Cindie’s ashes.  Some of Cindie’s sons and Brian retained a bit of her ashes to spread in the Colorado River in memory of our rafting trip in 2006 on which Cindie had so much fun.



Standing, L to R:  Brad, Andy, Kevin, Kim, Ann (Jo’s friend), Jolinda, Dave, Jamie, Justin, Adam, Kyle, Brian, Jim, Lizette and Mike

Kneeling, L to R: Courtney, Mandy, Heebe (Brett’s friend), Brett, Michelle (Kim’s friend),  Kelly, Madi, Alli & Rachael (Alli’s friend)


Francine, Beverly and Allan road with us on the chartered bus to the South Rim  and returned on the bus to Scottsdale all on the same day.   The following morning the obligatory picture of our twenty-four strong rafting party was taken.  Here we  are at the top of the Bright Angel Trailhead ready to hike to the river.


We hiked down to the river, a hike that was much easier than the hike out in 2006. Both hikes used the same trail.  When we reached the river the guides had lunch ready for us.  The guides were  different than the ones we rafted with in 2006.  We introduced ourselves, ate, loaded our gear in the large raft which carried our personal gear and shoved off.  The lower portion of the river is about 150 miles long compared to the upper which is 89 miles from embarkation to debarkation at Bright Angel Trail.  The earlier rafting trip was five days and the second one was eight days on the river.


The rafting of the lower portion was about the same as our earlier Colorado River rafting trip, however, since all passengers were from the same family, it was a very neat experience.  On the second day after lunch, we traversed a challenging set of falls named Lava Falls which is classified as up to a 10 in difficulty depending upon how much water is in the river.  The drop in river level at the Falls was 15 feet.   Kim was in the back of the second raft to go into the rough water.  The raft hit the water at an angle which let  the boat to suddenly drop down essentially pitching Kim sideways into the water.  The raft of course, continued downstream but not before Kim tried to surface under the raft.  Fortunately, she remembered to push the raft away from her and she surfaced in the very rough water. Kim was in shock but recovered during lunch shortly thereafter.


We had very  few encounters with other rafters but did have a fairly large rafting party pull up to shore to camp for the night very near where we had already staked out our camp.  It turned out that the group were “nudists”.   The nudist party was very considerate and caused us no embarrassment.


Since we rafted about 60 percent further on this trip, we spent less time on side trips, however, we did several hikes into interesting side canyons.  One challenging hike was to exceptionally wonderful water falls on Havasu Creek at about mile marker 156.  There was a considerable area at the base of the water falls with crystal clear water ponds which provided wonderful swimming.  The water contained a calcium phosphate sediment which gave the water an incredible bluish tint. The hike to the falls was about five miles of difficult trails.


The rafting trip on the lower portion of the Grand Canyon was just as educational, entertaining, challenging and enjoyable as rafting the upper part of the Canyon.  We arrived in the rafts at the designated location at the designated time to remove the rafts from the water and to prepare for our bus ride back to Scottsdale. We returned safely to Scottsdale’s Four Seasons Resort where Jolinda, the Marketing Manager for the Denver Four Seasons Hotel had made reservations for the entire party, except for Francine and me of course.  Francine was there to meet us.  Additionally, she had organized a dinner party for our group at our house after everyone had a chance to shower off a week’s worth of Grand Canyon dirt.  It was a wonderful week with family and friends.  Fortunately, unlike the rafting of the upper part of the Grand Canyon, I have a number of pictures of this trip.  Here are a few of our group in the lower part of the Canyon.


Getting Ready To Move Out On Our Rafting Trip


One Of Four Passenger Rafts

Our Fleet Of Rafts On Calm Water

One Of The Evening Gatherings; The Guides Are Preparing Dinner (Center Right)

Beautiful Havasu Falls Are Accessed By A Rugged Five Mile Hike.  The Water, Swimming And Play In The Water Made The Hike Worth While


Adam, Kevin, Brian, Brad And Andrew After A Refreshing Swim



Kyle, Kim, David And Bret On A Hike To A Water Fall


A Family Of Three Were Rafting The River When They Capsized Their Raft In Rough Water.

Our Guides Helped Them Upright Their Raft. Fortunately, Their Gear Was Mostly Secured Within The Raft And Was Only Worse For Water Damage.



In July, Fran and I drove to Sedona for a lovely day of viewing the magnificent red rocks.  We ate lunch in the Sedona L’Auberge Resort at their dining on Oak  Creek.  A superb venue for a delightful meal adjacent to a gently flowing stream.


A Lovely Lunch, At A Special Setting, With A Wonderful Woman: L’Auberge Resort, Sedona


A Park City, UT vacation trip -


In August we drove to Park City, UT to stay at the Stein Eriksen Lodge for a week.  We hiked the trails, played golf at  the Promontory Golf Club and drove the surrounding area to see all of the natural beauty of the area.  From there we drove to Jackson, WY where we stayed in the Four Seasons at the ski village.  While in Jackson, we spent a day in Yellowstone National Park. It was my first visit to Yellowstone.  


The Grand Tetons, Western Wyoming

We Were Fortunate To Observe Old Faithful’s Splendor

There Are So Many Highlights And Special Features Found Only In Yellowstone



One Of Many Vividly Colored Mud Flats In Yellowstone




Yellowstone River

Bison Herds Abound

Francine and Jim Atop 10,450 Feet High Jackson Ski Mountain

Jim Relaxing At Sundance On A Lazy Afternoon


One active non-profit and my involvement -


I  continued my role as a member of The Estancia HOA and part of what I initiated and continue to this day, is publishing a newsletter advising some 300 mainly north Scottsdale residents (including residents of Estancia) about developments affecting our north Scottsdale lifestyle. This was primarily development of our mainly rural low density zoned property, ideal property for large custom homes and for homes whose owners wanted horses on-site.   However, it is also a prime target for property owners and developers to increase the property value by “up-zoning” the property to more dense residential development.  For example, much of the area was zoned for one house per five or three acres.  The value of the property was significantly increased if the property was rezoned to one or  more houses per acre.  The original zoning was set to attract more wealthy home owners with the infrastructure designed for the lower density residential population.


The up-zoning was accommodated by a pro-development city council.  At the time only one and  occasionally two of the six city council members plus the mayor would reject these proposed up-zoning, as many of these council members were supported by the developers and owners of these properties.  This was and is of a concern to me and to many Scottsdale residents.  I was involved as a member of our HOA.  In this effort I began working with the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) a non-profit organization which advocated for residents who opposed most up-zoning, which was also happening in central and other parts of Scottsdale, primarily with high rise apartment/condo developments.  In the past 15 years some 30,000 building units (residences) have been built or are in the “pipeline” for construction.*


I was asked to join the six-member COGS board which I did.  I was impressed with COGS mission and even more impressed with several of its board members.  Four of the board members were and still are long-time residents of Scottsdale each of whom had been very active in various governmental activities, e.g., election of city council members including the mayors by vetting and endorsing those candidates which shared COGS views, arguing for or against various projects, meeting with residents to help them with their efforts to win or oppose approval of various projects.  My active distribution of north Scottsdale development information attracted the me to the COGS board members.  Consequently, I have been active working with COGS in every city election, which occurs every two years and in supporting or opposing many of the zoning decisions.  I am frequently asked by my local friends as to who to vote for in the Scottsdale and even the Arizona elections.  In 2012 COGS was instrumental in electing a pro-resident city council member and again in both 2016 and 2018 two pro-resident city council members were elected/re-elected.  As of this writing, I still serve on the COGS board and as  its treasurer.


Adam was doing well in his plastic engineering studies.  He and his roommate attended an employer recruiting fair at The University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA.  General Electric  advertised for engineering students to join General Electric as interns.  Adam applied and was offered a six month internship in General Electric’s Louisville, KY Appliance Park factory for the coming spring semester.  Adam knew all the reasons that he did not want to accept the internship, but several of us convinced him that this would be a very helpful experience and would give him real world work experience.  Adam had never before worked in a business environment.  He took the job and learned a considerable amount about working in a factory staffed with union  employees.


Kim, David and Brian visited us in Scottsdale in mid-November to join in the clean-up Dynamite and  to celebrate all three of their birthdays as well as Cindie’s birthday.  Cindie, David, Kim and Brian in that order celebrated their birthdays all within a six week period.


*Approved for construction or being proposed and at various stages of approval.


David, Jim, Kim, Francine And Brian Celebrating David, Kim and Brian’s Birthdays


Lindsey joined us in Scottsdale for Thanksgiving.  Ben and Norma Shapiro visited us for two days in December while on their way to California to visit family and friends there.  The four of us toured the wonderful Phoenix Arboretum with its fantastic collection of desert vegetation. 


Kyle completed his BA graduating Cum Laude however he would celebrate by walking with his class in the June commencement.  Francine and I flew to Brian’s for our immediate Davis Family Christmas celebration.  As usual, Brian was a very able and generous host.  He again demonstrated his culinary skills.  After Christmas, Francine and I took the train to New York City to have Christmas with Lindsey.  Francine and I visited Lindsey at her workplace, a Starbucks Coffee Shop located on the upper West Side of Manhattan, NY.


The year 2012 had been a very busy year with extensive continental US travel and considerable Davis family interaction..  We returned to Scottsdale and prepared for another busy year ahead  with a planned driving trip to the Canadian Rockies, namely Banff and Lake Louise. 


Click HERE to go to Part XV