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






(2020 - 2022)


Covid – 19 becomes a pandemic! -


In January more and more information was being reported about a deadly virus in China located primarily in Wuhan, Hubei Province.  A novel coronavirus was eventually identified.  On January 1, the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was closed because of concerns of a SARS repeat of 2002.   Additionally, China promoted the theory that the virus originated in bats that were sold in this Market. On January 4, the  World Health Organization (WHO) reported via social media that there was a group of pneumonia cases in Wuhan  - with no deaths.  The next day the WHO reported Disease Outbreak News about the new virus which contained information provided by China about the outbreak and a risk assessment.  Five days later the WHO promulgated information on detection, testing and managing such cases based on the handling of the SARS and MERS viruses that the world coped with decades earlier.  The virus was subsequently called Covid-19.  The U.S. Center For Disease Control (CDC) initiated Covid screening of all airline passengers arriving in the U.S. from Wuhan.  The CDC reported the first U.S. case of Covid in Washington State.  The 11 million people in Wuhan were placed in lock down because of Covid. Late in January, the CDC advised all travelers to avoid non-essential travel to China.  The Department of Homeland Security directed that all planes from China and all passengers who had traveled to China within  the prior 14 days were to be screened for Covid and for possible quarantine at one of 11 U.S. airports.  The Covid outbreak was escalating very quickly.


Francine and I celebrated her birthday with a quiet  dinner with our good friends the Hourihans at her favorite local restaurant.  Later in the month we and the Hourihans were  hosted at the Waste Management (WM) Pro-Am by WM and Jeff Martin.


Jim, Francine, Debbie And Gary Hourihan



Despite the Covid outbreak, a presidential campaign was taking shape.  President Trump had announced that he would be running for re-election immediately after taking office in 2017 and was the presumptive republican nominee.   Some 27 Democrats contested for the opportunity to be the democratic nominee. The Democratic field included Vice-President Biden, Senators Sanders (VT), Warren (MA), Bennet (CO), Brooker (NJ), Gravel (AK), Gillibrand (NY), Harris (CA) and Klobuchar (MN) as well as several past governors, mayors and others.  Accommodating all of the candidates for numerous debates was a particular challenge. In the end the field narrowed to Vice-President Biden and Senator Sanders an avowed Socialist, as a number of  other finalists all dropped out and many of them endorsed Vice-President Biden.   The delegates knew that Senator Sanders could not be elected.  Vice-President Biden with all his weaknesses was nominated at the Democratic National Convention on August 20th, which had been delayed about a month because of Covid.  President Trump was nominated at the Republican National Convention on August 24th however, he had sufficient pledged delegates by March 17th.


The second week in February our immediate family gathered in San Francisco, CA to meet Francine and my newest great grandchild, Kevin and Mandy’s Eva.  It was a delight to hold our six week old great granddaughter.   We spent several days enjoying our family, meeting some of Jill Zimmerman’s (Brian’s wife) San Francisco relatives for an authentic Chinese dinner, walking the city and enjoying a relaxing day at collection of take-out restaurants on the water front.  Family discussions centered around Eva and Covid.


Francine and Jim With Six Weeks Old Eva


The city of San Francisco had increasingly become a city with  significant homeless, and an increasingly large population of drug users. The streets were blocked with the homeless and downtrodden.  All of which also led to much more crime in the city. These conditions had increased significantly in San Francisco and, indeed in nearly all of California and other major liberal cities and states around the country. Legalizing some drugs and failure to prosecute those who were flaunting the law were two of the major reasons driving these increases.  It is so disappointing to us that some of our most beautiful cities, particularly San Francisco, had fallen into such a sad state.  (Although, San Francisco, finally in 2022 recalled its very liberal prosecutor and replaced him with a “law and order” prosecutor.  At this time, it is too soon to know if this will significantly improve that very difficult environment.)


I continued to serve on the board of COGS.  Two years previously I was elected treasurer of COGS with the auxiliary responsibility for membership, which continues to be a challenge despite a fairly large following of our COGS newsletter with its timely information on city activities, including elections,  real estate development and city council actions which affect our Scottsdale life style.


The reported cases of Covid-19 worldwide and in the U.S. was  increasing rapidly. An over- whelming percentage of them occurring in China.  On March 11th, the WHO declared that the Covid virus was assessed as a pandemic as the worldwide cases exceeded 100,000 and resulted in 4300 deaths.  The older population and those with certain health issues, suffered significantly more with higher hospitalization and death rates. Children and young adults without comorbidity issues were not significantly affected by Covid.  President Trump’s administration declared a national emergency and barred non-U.S. citizens traveling form 26 European countries from entering the U.S.  Hospitals  in the U.S. and indeed worldwide were overwhelmed, personal protective equipment (PPE) for the healthcare workers was in very short supply, breathing ventilators required by the patients with more severe cases were not available for all patients who needed them,  nursing homes were not prepared to deal with the needs of their patients, testing kits were being developed and distributed to the general population however the supply was not sufficient, on and on.  Our healthcare system was overly stressed.  Vice-President Mike Pence was assigned by President Trump to head the U.S. Covid-19 response.


On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency.   Three days later he announced “social distancing guidelines”.  In rapid action, the President signed an Executive Order authorizing the use of the National Defense Act for procurement of needed breathing ventilators, PPE, etc. By the end of March some 10 million workers in the U.S. had filed for unemployment.  Some states began shutting down businesses, schools and other venues to prevent the spread of Covid. The first of what would prove to be many government assistance programs was enacted granting $1200 per adult and expanded benefits for children, along with expanded unemployment benefits, small business loans, loans to some major industries, including the air-line industry as well as expanded aid to the states and local governments.  This legislation was called the CARES Act.  It was estimated to cost $2 trillion.


We cancelled our planned March AZ ISU Acacia reunion because of Covid.  On March 23 we celebrated Allan’s 83rd  birthday at Eddie Merlot’s restaurant.


Allan, Beverly, Francine and Jim


The U.S. response to Covid-19 was a combination of federal, state and local reactions.  Each level of government set policies for their respective responsibilities.  The states responses varied significantly in adopting shutdown policies with those states having higher residential densities adopting more shutdowns and other restrictions than the less densely occupied states.  The states of New York and New Jersey were experiencing severe rates of death in their nursing homes.  The various national health authorities messaging was mixed, contradictory and almost constantly changing on the wearing of masks, social distancing, gathering of individuals at meetings, etc.  Francine and I began wearing masks when out with other people in April.  Mayo “furloughed” their volunteers until further notice.  Arizona was not shut down to the extent of many states, particularly the higher density states.  However, thorough out the Southwest, including, Arizona the Native American populations were hit hard by Covid.  In addition to the medical supplies shortages, many other household items were in short supply and purchases were limited to typically a small quantity of the product, e.g., paper products including toilet tissue and paper towels, and cleaning compounds, particularly sanitizers and other disinfectants.  Even with the lockdowns persons in need of these products were required to venture out to the various retail stores to purchase these products, if they could even find them.


In mid-April, President Trump temporarily halted all funding to the WHO pending an investigation into how the organization handled the investigation into the source of the Covid.  The Chinese government promoted the theory that the source was “infected bats” which were sold in the  Hunan Market which China shut down.  The WHO  accepted that theory without a rigorous investigation.  Indeed, a number of U.S. scientists and health care bureaucrats also accepted this theory.  The other potential source was a  Chinese military research laboratory also located in Wuhan.  This laboratory reportedly conducted research on viruses and there was a major contentious discussion amongst the U.S. experts as to whether or not “gain of function research” was conducted on viruses in this laboratory.  Many health experts argued that such research was conducted in this laboratory and that Covid might have been produced in and accidently escaped from this laboratory.  The Chinese of course denied that this happened, but the WHO did no investigation and the Chinese government would not permit any non-Chinese personnel to participate in any investigation within China on the source of Covid.  The WHO merely accepted the Chinese position that it did not come from their laboratory.  (As of this writing in September of 2023 this has never been resolved, however, increasingly the various U.S. agencies are coming down on the side of a laboratory leak. Additionally, our nation’s deaths attributable to Covid-19 as at least a primary or a “co-morbidity” cause exceeded one million.)


Jim And Francine In Our Designer Masks


Shortly, thereafter President Trump announced guidelines for opening up the country from the major lockdowns.  President Trump also banned all immigration into the U.S. for sixty days. In late April it was disclosed that the Trump Administration was working on a program – called Operation Warp Speed – to accelerate the development and commercialization of vaccines to address Covid.  Financed by the U.S. government, the program included drug companies, government agencies and the military all with the objective of “fast tracking” vaccine development.  A number of healthcare “experts” claimed that it would still take up to eighteen months to have the vaccine, instead it was  available initially in limited quantities seven months later in December 2020. Despite shutdowns, the wearing of masks, the implementing of social distancing and other cautionary actions, Covid infections and deaths continued to increase.  There was much confusion as to what procedures and practices were effective in coping with, preventing and treating the Covid virus.


Tedy James Holub joins our growing cadre of great-grandchildren -


On June 27th our fourth great grandchild, Tedy James Holub was born to Nicole and Bradley.  I am   pleased that my name has been generously adopted as a middle name for many of my off-spring.  Tedy weighed 6 pounds and  12 ounces at birth.  He and mother, both did well and Tedy was welcomed into the growing Davis family.


Our new Acacia Chapter House was completed and we had an Occupancy Permit to have  our brothers in the house as of August 1.  However, with Covid the university, as were many other universities, were severely restricted as to what activities could take place on campus and in its Greek system.  Many of the classes were taught via Zoom or a similar technology.  Acacia only had a dozen men residing in the Chapter House at the beginning of the term in mid-August.  This

very low occupancy level caused our alumni  organization of which  I continued to serve as vice-of the board, considerable financial pain.  It was very difficult to recruit new members and particularly to have them reside in the chapter house because of Covid and the various university restrictions with respect to the Greek Community.


The New Iowa State Acacia Chapter House


My 85th birthday celebration -


On August 6th, I celebrated my 85th birthday.  Francine had a full but private celebration planned. It started with lunch at The Estancia Club.  While getting settled in for lunch, Jackson and Kim suddenly appeared.  They had flown to Scottsdale from Pittsburgh to help me celebrate.  Francine of course was fully aware of Kim’s plans and kept their planned visit secret.  It was a wonderful surprise.


Kim, Francine, Jackson And Jim


In August, the final phase of the presidential election was on.  Vice-President Biden and Vice-President candidate Senator (CA) Kamala Harris were attempting to unseat President Trump and Vice-President Pence.  President Trump and Vice-President Pence were very active campaigners conversely Vice-President Biden who was 77 years old, seldom ventured out of his Delaware house and instead relied on Zoom appearances and surrogates – ostensibly because of Covid.  The Trump administration was from the beginning  in 2017, chaotic with numerous changes/firings of various government officials, with President Trump’s bombastic, confrontational and disruptive management style and with his administration’s failure to present a unified, coherent position with respect to many of his administration’s actions.  The administration was dogged by investigations by the FBI and congress, impeachments by the House of Representatives, which was controlled by the Democrats and negative accusations by members of the federal bureaucracy.  Additionally, many of the employees in the federal bureaucracy and Congress despised President Trump and continued to believe he was unfairly elected.  This contributed to many “leaks” from various government officials to, at a minimum, tarnish President Trump’s administration.  All of this was promoted by the media who had nearly all believed that Ms. Clinton would be and should have been elected in 2016.  Despite all of this, at the end of President Trump’s first term the nation’s economy was in the best shape in a very long time as  U.S. employment  was robust with 3.5% unemployment and minority unemployment at possibly an all-time low, real wages increasing, inflation at a very low 1.4% annually, national defense strengthened and the U.S. energy independent.  The later was, thanks particularly to a very significant increase in the use of fracking technology.   Natural gas replaced use of the “dirtier” coal and crude oil resulting in a lessening of the U.S. air pollution. However, those opposing President Trump who were strongly supported by the national media, worked hard to oppose nearly every one of President Trump’s actions.  The 2020 presidential campaign was conducted in this very unhealthy environment for President Trump.  The Democrats would campaign hard against him based in significant part on his chaotic management style and the supposed mismanagement of the U.S. response to Covid.


The management of the U.S. government’s response to Covid-19 was also very chaotic, as there were a wide variety of medical opinions amongst the medical community as to how to cope with  the myriad of health challenges and there was no accepted “playbook” as to how to best deal  with a Covid pandemic.  The media feasted on promoting opinions differing from the administration and emphasized disagreements amongst the various administration bureaucrats.  Consequently, this background fed by the national media, was the major election issues in the 2020 presidential campaigns.


Additionally, because of Covid, a number of states adopted voting practices and procedures supposedly to increase voting turnout during the pandemic, which included more and lengthened mail balloting options,  some of which had less monitoring or verification requirements.  Mark Zuckerberg, founder and major owner of Facebook gave two non-profits, whose mission did not include political activities, almost $500 million to focus on electioneering, i.e., getting out the voters and ballot harvesting in heavily democratic portions of several swing states which could have very easily resulted in some of the swing states going for Biden.  


Maggie Rose, a six-week old female Cavapoo joins our family -


In July, Francine committed to purchasing a female Cavapoo puppy which was one of six puppies in the litter born on July 15th to a miniature red Poodle named “Franny” and sired by a French Caviler dog.  Francine knew the puppy was meant to be hers.    Francine had decided that she would name the puppy “Maggie Rose”.  Maggie was the name her mother (Margaret) used most.  Francine and I visited Maggie Rose when she was a couple of weeks old and we brought her home at age eight weeks.  We purchased a “kennel” which was about the size of a child’s playpen for Maggie and placed it in our kitchen.  It is still her home whenever we are both away from home for a few hours.  Maggie has a bed in the kennel and several times during the day, we will find her napping in that bed, however, she prefers being with the two of us where ever we are in the house.  When we are in separate rooms she will migrated from one room to the other to make sure she knows where we both are.  Maggie was spayed at age six months and during her recovery when she first returned home from the veterinarian, Francine cuddled with her in our bed that first night.  Francine was confident that Maggie would not remember that night in our bed and would continue to sleep in her kennel.  Wrong! Maggie has continually slept with us  since.  Maggie is a constant joy and a very loving companion.


Maggie Rose At Three Weeks



Maggie Rose Introduced To Her New Home At Eight Weeks


Covid and the various responses to Covid continued.  Basically, red states were coping with Covid while trying to keep their state’s economy, schools and health care operations open or opening, while the blue states by and large focused on a conservative shutdown strategy of their state’s economy and schools.  After the pandemic most analyses determined that the blue states actions damaged their economy and schools considerably more than the red state’s actions without significantly hurting their respective  adverse Covid affects.  These lockdowns came with huge costs: job losses, increased crime, stunted learning, delayed medical treatments, violent protests, government spending blowouts, supply-chain disruptions,  mental-health issues most of which were avoided or at least significantly lessened by the red states policies and procedures.


The National Education Association (NEA) which was the largest teacher’s union took an active role in closing and keeping  schools closed throughout the country.  This forced many students to be home schooled.  It also opened many parent’s eyes as to what their children were being taught and not taught in the schools.  The NEA is a liberal leaning organization which pushed some social issues not popular with the parents.  The one good result from a mainly adverse experience for the children is that parents became more active in their local school boards and what the teachers were teaching their children in addition to or in lieu of reading, writing and arithmetic.


Our new ISU Acacia chapter house opened with the fall semester beginning in August with a disappointing twelve occupants.  We had about 20 chapter members however, the other eight opted to live in off-campus apartments as apartment owners were offering rental “deals” which made it impossible for our and other chapters to compete on the cost of rent.  An unfortunate trend that continues to the time of this writing.


Longtime Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 26th.  She was a solid liberal vote on The Court.  A battle ensued between the democrats and the republicans as to who should appoint her successor.  The republicans controlled the White House and the Senate and they decided that they would install Justice Ginsburg’s replacement.  President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, 48 year old conservative woman for the position and the Senate promptly confirmed her appointment thereby tipping the court decidedly conservative. 


On September 22, the CDC reported that the U.S. death toll from Covid was 200,000.  Dr. Fauci, one of the administration’s spokes persons about Covid, discussed the need to understand the “long COVID” symptoms like persistent fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sporadic fevers and concentration issues, that as many as one-third of patients experience for weeks or months after contracting COVID-19.  On November 4th, the CDC reported 100,000 new cases of Covid in one day.


The campaigns for the U.S. presidency as well as governors, senators and representatives ground on with Vice-President Biden campaigning primarily from his home and President Trump very actively campaigning throughout the country.  However, the Trump campaign was not as active as it should have been in opposing some states very significant actions relaxing election rules mentioned earlier. As the election results were tabulated on election night, it became apparent that there was very heavy election turnout particularly in the very liberal areas of several key “swing” states, e.g., Atlanta in Georgia, Madison in Wisconsin, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and Phoenix in Arizona.  The result was record voter turnout for both parties.  Vice-President Biden won the election with very narrow winning margins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona.  President Trump vigorously disputed the election results, claiming that the election was stolen.  His very committed and vocal supporters bought into Trump’s claims however numerous law suits disputing the election results were basically dismissed as lacking substantial proof of  illegal activities. Two senate races, both in Georgia, were not decided on election day as the state requires the winner to have a majority of the votes cast, so both races were scheduled for a run-off between the two top vote getters in each race.  The run-off election was held on January 5, 2021. 


Trump’s actions and his vociferous claims about the election being stolen were a significant  detraction in the Georgia senate run-off election, as it is generally considered that his actions depressed the turnout of republican voters in the Georgia election run-off.  Some 470,000 fewer Republicans voted in the Georgia “run-off election than in the General Election.  The result was a win for each of the two democratic candidates which gave the Democrats in the Senate 50 senators the same as the Republicans.  With the election of Vice-President Biden and Senator Harris as President and Vice-President of the U.S. that gave the Democrats control of the senate.  The Democrats also won control of the House of Representatives.  The Democrats therefore controlled the government for the 2021-2022 terms.   It is generally accepted that President Trump’s shameful behavior lost at least one of the two Georgia senate seats and therefore control of the Senate.


Moreover, President Trump held a rally in Washington, D.C. on January 6th in which President Trump strongly voiced his opinion that the election had been stolen.  He advocated that Vice-President Pence should not certify the election results of several swing states and instead give those delegates from those states to President Trump, thereby reversing the generally accepted result of the election.  After the rally at the White House, President Trump endorsed the movement of those attending the rally  to the capital building and protest.  The crowd broke into the capital building, threatened law makers, severely damaged the capital building and caused much mayhem.  Moreover, President Trump, despite the pleas from a number of his family and administration, watched the capital assault on television for some three hours without taking action to call off his rabid supporters.  It clearly was a low point in our national history.


Francine and I both contract Covid, but have mild symptoms (although Francine may have had some long-Covid symptoms - fatigue, muscle soreness) -


Our grandson, Adam and his good friend, roommate, fellow factory supervisor and golfing partner, TJ, visited Francine and me on November 6th and 7th to play golf.  He and TJ were both working in a plastics molding factory which had rigorous Covid operating rules and procedures.  Adam’s father, Brian being particularly knowledgeable about the Covid disease and the various procedures in working with and around Covid, insisted that both Adam and TJ be tested prior to leaving Boston for Phoenix.  Both tested negative.  Francine and I were both tested and were negative.  Adam and TJ arrived in Phoenix late on a Thursday night. We picked them up at the airport.  Francine and I went into the airport.  Adam and TJ stayed in our casita those nights until they left early Sunday AM to drive to Sedona. Adam wanted  TJ to see the infamous red rocks.  The four of us played golf on Friday and Saturday, had dinner Friday and Saturday together and generally spent time together until they left Sunday AM.  They flew back to Boston on the Sunday night “red-eye” and went  directly to work on Monday morning.  They were tested for Covid using the rapid test upon reporting for work and they both tested negative.  However, their company required them to retest on Wednesday using the PCR (a more accurate test, but one that typically required longer to get the result).  Both were tested on  Wednesday AM.  TJ learned his results the following Monday and Adam a day later.


On that following Monday (a week after Adam and TJ left), I was having blood drawn for my annual physical at Mayo.  Of course, the staff asked me if I had any Covid symptoms or had been with anyone who had Covid.  I replied “no”.  As I was waiting my turn for the blood draw, I received a text from Adam saying that TJ had just gotten his Covid re-test results and he had Covid!  I called Francine and advised her.   She immediately came to Mayo and the two of us were tested for Covid.  Later that afternoon we had the answers from Mayo.  We both tested positive! Adam received his result the next day and he too was positive.  Both of them were required by their employer to quarantine.  Mayo advised us to quarantine for five days from the Monday we received our Covid test results.


Upon reflection, I then recalled that on the previous Wednesday, mid-day, I suddenly felt a bit “drained” and had a very minor sore throat.  However, by the next morning I felt perfectly normal and totally forgot about the mild symptoms that I had the previous day.   Francine had no noticeable symptoms up until we received our Covid test results.  Subsequently, she has had symptoms of “long Covid” a diagnosis of lingering unexplained symptoms which are thought to be related to having Covid.  To this day she is modestly afflicted with these symptoms.  I have been very fortunate as I have not experienced any Covid after effects.  TJ had a bit of a rough time with his Covid while Adam did not experience the same degree of difficulty.


On November 16th and 18th respectively, it was announced that the Moderna and Pizer vaccines were found to be 95% effective in preventing Covid.  On the 20th the Covid  cases in the U.S. passed eleven million causing the CDC to recommend that Americans stay at home this Thanksgiving.   Shortly thereafter the authorities recommended that healthcare professionals and older people living in long-term care facilities be offered a vaccine first in the initial phases of the COVID-19 vaccination program. CDC also noted that people ages 70 years and older who live in multi-generational households should be given priority as soon as more vaccine doses were available.  On December 11th and 18th respectively the Pizer and Moderna vaccines were approved for “emergency use”.  On December 14th a nurse in New York  City was the first U.S. person to be vaccinated against Covid.  On December 14th the U.S. recorded its 300,000th death from Covid. The CDC recommended that vaccine allocations be prioritized for use in the following populations: (1) healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities, (2) essential workers and all persons ages 75 and older, (3) all persons  ages 65-74 with a medical condition that increased their risk of severe disease from Covid and (4) all persons ages 16 and older.

Because of Covid, Lindsey and Lewis did not join us at Thanksgiving.  Francine and I had a quiet Thanksgiving Dinner.  Beverly and Allan joined Francine and me for Christmas as our family decided that because of Covid we would not gather in New Hampshire.  Covid was playing havoc  with our entire world including our little part of it.  We also had a quiet New Years celebration at home watching the New Year celebrations, such as they were on television.  Our 2020 was in the books and hopefully 2021 would be much better.  The CDC data reported 385,443 deaths attributed to Covid -19 in 2020, which included an undetermined number of deaths from possibly co-morbid diseases but since the deceased also had Covid it was included in the death count.

Beverly, Jim, Maggie And Allan


Francine, Maggie and I celebrated a wonderful New Year Day 2021 lunch at one of our favorite restaurants.  Maggie loves attention and she usually gets a considerable amount of attention wherever she goes.


Francine,  Maggie And Jim


In January, our brother-in-law, Allan continued to experience declining health.  Their son, Mike and daughter, Jolinda came to Scottsdale and worked with their mother, Beverly to find an appropriate assisted living home where Allan could get the required 24/7 care that he needed and to give Beverly a bit of relief from the 24/7 care that she had so capably provided.  Allan was confined to a hospital for several days for treatment of a blood chemistry disorder.  Upon release from the hospital, he was admitted into a wonderful assisted living home reasonably close to Beverly’s residence.  We celebrated Francine’s birthday with a quiet celebration on January 16th.. 


President Biden was inaugurated on January 21, with the promise of “reuniting the U.S.”.  The administration announced a National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response, an outline of 7 goals to restore trust, vaccinate, test, and treat COVID-19 while protecting schools, businesses, and workers in addition to advancing health equity and building the nation’s preparedness for future pandemics, calling it “a wartime undertaking.”  The administration reversed President Trump’s withdrawal from the WHO.  In his very first day President Biden also reversed the approval of the XL pipeline, a major crude oil pipeline, a portion of which was already completed, which was to enable the transport of 800,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil to the U.S. gulf coast refineries.  This in combination with other pronouncements such as restricting exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas on National Lands and tightening and “slow walking” approvals necessary for fossil fuel exploration and production, began the new administration’s war on fossil fuels.


The Covid pandemic continued, which complicated everyone’s life, including the assisted living home where Allan was now residing.  New variants of Covid were evolving from the extremely contagious and virulent Covid disease causing evolving, sometimes conflicting and confusing reactions and directions with respect to the U.S. managing the Covid pandemic.


On January 25th we experienced another of our relatively rare snow storms in Estancia.  The scenery is so spectacular after our snow.


A View From Our Home’s Front Deck


Maggie continued to be the love of our life.  She loves to ride in the car and has her own “child’s seat” in Francine’s car.  Francine and I received our first Covid shots on March 10, 2021.  A month later to the day we received our second Covid shots.  We received the Moderna vaccine at Mayo and had few to no after effects from the vaccinations other than slightly sore arms.  We also received our first Covid booster shot the following May and the fourth booster shot in the fall of 2022.



Maggie Rose Ready To Accompany Francine On A Drive


Brother Dick and his wife Judy visited us in March as they were in Arizona to visit  Judy’s family in Mesa.



Dick, Francine, Judy And Maggie


We again cancelled our annual Arizona ISU Acacian reunion, because of Covid.  Also, we were attempting to schedule the dedication of our new chapter house in Ames, IA as we had been unable to schedule it in the midst of all of the Covid uncertainty.  Moreover, because of Covid the Iowa State University discontinued all in person classes opting instead for on-line classes.  Some of  the chapter members opted to stay in the chapter house while observing all of the Covid protocols and attend on-line classes from there, while the majority of the students returned to their homes and attended classes remotely.  Francine’s grandson, Benjamin was one of those who returned home.  Unfortunately, although he was originally scheduled to receive his B.S. in Software Engineering the following May, the Covid restrictions prevented him from completing his studies in time which caused Francine considerable pain as she had planned a wonderful graduation party for him and his family at Iowa State University.  All of this had to be cancelled.  He received his degree in December, but there was no graduation party again because of Covid.


In late March, Kim, Dave, Kyle, Veronica, Jackson, Emerson, Brett and Judy all gathered in Scottsdale with Francine and me.  The six of them from Pittsburgh needed to find  sun and warmth from their winter weather.  They opted to stay at the Princess Fairmont Resort where the young ones spent as much time as possible in the swimming pools. It was a great week, but as usual we ate too much.


Emerson, Jackson, Francine And Jim


On Sunday May 23, Allan peacefully and quietly passed away after attending a Sunday afternoon performance at the assisted living facility where he resided. Beverly, was notified by his caretakers.  She came to our house to have us help her in dealing with the myriad of details that suddenly confronted her.  We talked to both Mike and Jolinda who made immediate plans to come to Arizona to help their mother.  It was a difficult time for all of us however, Beverly, Jolinda and Mike handled the loss and their responsibilities well.


In July, Francine, Maggie Rose and I traveled to the East Coast to see our families who resided there.  We were able to gather all of Brian’s family at his wonderful ski home in Lincoln, NH.  We also visited Kevin, Mandy and Eva at their home before driving to NH. We had  plans to visit both Adam and Brad & family, at their homes after the visit to Loon.  After the very nice days in Loon, Francine, Maggie Rose and I returned to our hotel in Boston. The rest of the family members returned to their respective homes.  The next day, Jill was to pick Francine, Maggie Rose and me up and drive us to both Brad and Adam’s homes.  However, the next morning I was feeling quite nauseous.  Upon checking with Jill, we learned that she and Brian were also not feeling well.  We called Brad to cancel our planned visit and we learned that his family was also not well.  Upon surveying all of the family who were at Loon, nearly everyone had food poisoning or similar symptoms.  We therefore cancelled all of our planned visits for the remainder of our stay in Boston. 


L to R, F to B:  Jim, Francine & Maggie, Kevin & Eva Ruth, Mandy, Nicole

& Tedy, Brad, Rachel (Jill’s Daughter), Brian, Jill, Courtney, Andrew & Adam


Later in the week, Francine, Maggie Rose and I traveled to New York City, to visit Lindsey and Lewis.  We visited them in their rental house in Statin Island.  It was the first time we had seen this home, which was a very nice three story house with a very small front yard which they had landscaped beautifully, with many flowers.  They had converted a relatively small (about 20’ by 40’) backyard into an extensive garden where they planted a large variety of vegetables, many of which were ready for harvest.  Lindsey cooked dinner which featured many vegetables from their garden.  Back in Scottsdale, on August 6th, Francine treated me royally to dinner and presents for my 86th birthday. No family joined us although Beverly joined us for a dinner later. 


President Biden and his administration continued its war on United States fossil fuel production, with the control of both the congress and the senate, the administration passed excessive spending plans all in the name of coping with Covid. Covid lingered throughout the country, but at a much subdued level compared to the conditions throughout the pandemic.  The very large increase if federal spending added considerable federal debt and ignited an intense inflation which would become evident a year later.  All of this was compounded by a disastrous withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.  Our U.S. troops had been  deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 in response to the September 11th Taliban attack on the U.S., with  the airliner crashes into The World Trade Center and The Pentagon.   In its last few months, the Trump administration had negotiated a reduction and possible withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, providing the Taliban satisfied a number of pre-conditions.  The Biden administration, basically implemented the Trump withdrawal without insuring that the Taliban were full-filling its obligations.  Biden announced the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by August 30th to insure that the troops were withdrawn before the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001.  He assured the country that Afghanistan would be able to control the Taliban after the U.S. withdrawal.


The withdrawal was a complete debacle.  The administration did not coordinate with the U.S. partners who also had troops in Afghanistan before making the announcement, did not insure that the U.S. civilians residing in Afghanistan nor the multitude of Afghanistan personnel who worked with the U.S. troops during that 20 years were evacuated, walked away from the only secure air base in Afghanistan in favor of a very difficult one to defend in Kabul from which to make the evacuation flights, abandoned over a billion dollars of military equipment and supplies, which fell into the Taliban hands, enabled the Taliban to take control of the country before the withdrawal was complete which aided a terrorist attack that resulted in the death of thirteen U.S. service members and some 70 Afghanistan citizens and then  President Biden had the hutzpah to report to the U.S. residents that the withdrawal was a complete success!


In mid-September, Kraig’s daughter, Lauren was married.  Many of our family travelled to Phoenix to attend the big event.  Dick and Judy came from Iowa, as did all of Kraig’s immediate family.  Janie came from Washington State.  It was a very nice partial family gathering.  We four surviving siblings posed for one more picture.



Dick (79 years), Janie (75 years), Beverly (83 years) And Jim (86 years)



Levi Davis Holub joins our great-grandchildren ranks, now totaling 5 –


On September 27th, Levi Davis Holub was born to Mandy and Kevin Holub.  He weighed 8 pounds and 4 ounces.  He was our fifth great grandchild.  Mother and son were doing beautifully.


Mandy, Levi And Kevin Holub


In October Francine and I travelled to Minnesota to visit her family and to catch up with some other friends.  Her grandson, Benjamin was enjoying his work as a software engineer.  Emily was working in a retail store as she was trying to find herself.  It was a good trip.  We particularly enjoyed visiting with our good friends Jay and Connie Thompson who were until a few years ago our neighbors in Estancia, however they had moved back to Minneapolis and no longer spent the winters in Arizona.

Jim, Francine, Connie And Jay Thompson



Lindsey and Lewis came to Arizona for Thanksgiving week.   We again went to several of Lindsey and our favorite restaurants.


Francine and I planned to travel to Boston and Lincoln, NH for Christmas.  We had purchased our tickets several months prior.  However, as Christmas drew near and Covid infections increased with a new variant of the original disease, we began to be increasingly concerned about travelling in that environment.  Additionally, the airlines were increasingly changing and cancelling flights.  We decided the night prior to our scheduled travel to cancel our trip.  It was a disappointing decision as we were so looking forward to meeting our newest great grandchild, Levi, and to seeing again the rest of the family, including the other four great grandchildren.   We purchased a Facebook Portal System for our tv and connected it to the large screen TV in our media room.  Brian had a similar device on his large TV in the great room of his ski home in Loon.  The wide angle camera mounted on the top of the tv and the speakers did a wonderful job of capturing both the video and audio of the entire room.  It was nice to be able to join them via this Portal, but of course not as nice as being with them.  We used the Portal system several times throughout the Christmas holidays to join our family in Loon.  Our good friends Dean and Carol Spatz, joined us in our home for a home cooked Christmas Dinner. 




Jim,  Maggie  And Francine, Christmas 2021

Francine and I had a quiet week between Christmas and New Year Day.  The momentous year of 2021 was concluded. There were 446,197 U.S. deaths attributed to COVID-19 on death certificates in 2021.  In early 2022 we would record a total of over 1 million deaths attributable to Covid, although an unknown number of  the deaths were related to co-morbidity with other pulmonary, cardiac, diabetes, obesity and related maladies.

We celebrated Francine’s birthday with a quiet dinner at her favorite Scottsdale restaurant on January 13th.

Celebrating Francine’s 79th Birthday


On February 24th, Vladimir Putin’s Russian army invaded Ukraine, attempting to quickly overtake the key cities, targeting particularly Ukraine’s capital of Kiev. A few weeks earlier, Putin had attended the winter Olympics in China and gained agreement from China’s President Xi  Jinping to support his invasion of Ukraine. Tensions had been building for weeks as Putin had witnessed the  disastrous U.S. abandonment of Afghanistan and sensed that the U.S. and NATO would not come to Ukraine’s rescue.  However, Putin seriously under estimated Ukraine’s will to fight and defend their country.  The Russian offensive was fairly successful in the eastern portion of Ukraine where there was a significant portion of the population that was somewhat friendly to Russia.  In defending Kiev, the Ukrainians held off the Russian advance and eventually Russia pulled back its Kiev offensive.  A year later as this is being written, the Ukrainians with considerable supply of weaponry and supplies, plus intelligence help from the NATO members has held Putin to pretty much of a stand-off.  Ukraine has pushed back the Russian forces on Ukraine’s eastern front recapturing a significant part of what Russia had accomplished initially.  The status as of August 2023 is that Ukraine has been significantly strengthened with additional longer range weapons with the promise of more to come.  Ukraine has launched a major effort to retake the eastern part of Ukraine which Russia had captured in the initial months of the war.  However, Russia had spent the past several months reinforcing their defenses of this territory with bunkers, trenches and mines.  Which has challenged Ukraine’s ability to recapture this portion of their country.



ISU Acacia celebrates the long delayed dedication of its new chapter house -


In the middle of March, I flew to Ames, IA to meet several of our brother officers of ISU Acacia as we were finally dedicating our new chapter house.  Francine joined me a couple days later.  I continued to serve as the vice-president of the alumni board. It had been a busy several months of sending out invitations, planning the program, preparing the chapter house for the Friday evening and Saturday open houses and the Saturday afternoon ribbon-cutting.  Our alumni president was the Master of Ceremonies for the Saturday evening banquet.  I chaired the Saturday luncheon which was sponsored by our Iowa State Acacia Chapter Foundation, a 501(c)3 organized to provide scholarships to our chapter members of which I served as president.  The dedication was well attended, the weather was a bit ugly on Friday evening when the first of several open houses were held.  A casual dinner of Bar-B-Que and related dishes was served in our chapter dining room.  However, the Saturday events, particularly the afternoon ribbon-cutting,  benefitted  from a positively beautiful day, which contributed to wonderful photos of the event.


The Acacia Chapter House Ribbon-Cutting, With Francine On The Left, Brandon McClain, The

Chapter President, Jim and Harold Zarr, The Board President



Jim And Francine At ISU Acacia Dedication Gala


Dick and Judy drove over to Ames to join several of our family living in Nevada and me for a family dinner prior to the dedication activities.  


L to R:  Keith, Judy, Denise, Kyla, Kindra, Barry, Jim And Dick


We enjoy Brian and Jill’s visit to Scottsdale -


In the middle of April, Brian and Jill visited us in Scottsdale for a week.  Brian and Jill spent several hours each of four days taking golf lessons.  We also managed to play a couple of rounds of golf at Estancia.  At our home the Giant Argentina Cactus was in full bloom.  These blossoms are only open about 24 hours.  Interestingly,  the blossoms all seem to open on the same day.  Jill was particularly impressed with these unique cactus flowers.


Giant Argentina Cactus Blossoms Along Our Driveway


The four of us travelled to Sedona to enjoy the Red Rocks and to relax at the  Enchantment Resort.  The resort is a beautiful facility nestled along a creek running at the base of some magnificent Red Rocks.  It was a fun week

The Sedona Red Rock Background For The Enchantment Swimming Pool


Jim, Fran, Jill And Brian, Enchantment Resort


We enjoy our 55th HBS reunion -


In June, Francine and I traveled to the East Coast to attend my two year Covid delayed 55th HBS class reunion and to visit our families.  Our reunion was not well attended however we were able to reconnect with a number of class- and section-mates.  We had an enjoyable Section C and a HBS Class of 1965 dinner with our wives. From our Section dinner we have the following photo.


L to R: Section C-mates: Bill Chorske, Ben Shapiro, Bob Kraft,  Roger Lipton, Jim, Herb Kaplan And Joel Goldhar.


We have 52 members of our section living as of this writing out of 93 in our section in 1965.  The programs presented during the delayed reunion were quite interesting and informative.


In addition to the HBS reunion, we were able to gather all of Brian’s family at his wonderful ski home in Lincoln, NH.  We were also able to visit both Adam and Brad & family in their homes for the first time.  Both of them were nicely  launched in their careers and home ownership.  Francine attended a baby shower for Courtney in their home in Portland, ME.  Brian and I were given a tour of Portland by Andrew and the three of us enjoyed a wonderful lunch before returning to Andrew and Courtney’s home where the baby shower was winding down.  We were then able to explore Andrew and Courtney’s home and wonderful lot.



Veronica Holmberg, Veronica Mattson, Kim, Courtney, Nicole, Mandy And Jill At Courtney’s Baby Shower


We met Levi for the first time and were able to visit with Eva, Mandy and Kevin in their home.  It was a wonderful trip.


Jill, Eva, Jim, Francine And Levi


Our extended family reunion in Branston, MO -



L to R, F to B: Tatum Davis, Emerson Holmberg, Kindra Jones, Judy Davis, Kim Holmberg, Brad, Tedy & Nicole Holub, Jackson Holmberg, Jax Davis, Cody & Jackson McLemore, Morgan, Grace & Kolin Davis, Denise Davis, Beverly Everist, Ashley Jones, Beckey Lauren Titchenal, Judy Holmberg, Veronica Mattson, David Holmberg, Kraig Davis,  Elise Pickering, Jill Pickering, Kyla Davis, Lori McLemore, Jolinda Cohavi, David Robbie, Brett Holmberg, Jill Holub, Brian Holub, Richard Davis, Danny and Nora Pickering, Janie Davis Aiken, Nicholas Davis, Melissa McLemore, Jaden Cohavi, Keith Davis, Jim Davis, Francine Hitchcock, Jamie Eslinger, Colin McLemore, Shaun McLemore, Kyle Holmberg, Veronica Holmberg, Dick Davis, Ryan, Zach and Logan Davis, Adam Holub, Lizette Everist, Austin Davis, Mike Everist, Jason Titchenal, Ryan Helgeland, Barry Jones   


In July, our extended family, some 65 strong gathered in Branston, MO for a family reunion.  Our niece, Kyla Davis had organized the reunion including finding a neat venue of two large side-by-side quite modern houses which were built for groups such as ours.  We continued our family tradition of each of we six siblings and our families providing the meals for one day of the one week stay.  Some us were able to attend all week while others were able to attend for only a portion of the week.  Andrew and Courtney and Kevin and Mandy were unable to attend as both Courtney and Mandy were expecting in a few weeks.  Nephew Keith Davis owned a cabin on the very large lake which was somewhat nearby the two large houses we rented.  His family stayed with him and he hosted numerous boat rides and water skiing for many of our family members.  It was a wonderful reunion and enabled us to get reacquainted with many of our family. Our nephew, Richard Davis brought his drone and took several family pictures, including the one above – which is an original picture but includes several members of the family which were photoshopped into this picture as they were not in the original picture.  Notice great-grandson Tedy in the front row is pointing to the drone!


In August our Acacia chapter house was occupied by only 13 members, the third year in a row with only about 33 per cent occupancy.  The Iowa State enrollment had declined from 37,000  in 2018 to just under 30,000 in 2022. Moreover, the student housing both on- and off-campus was presenting a serious surplus with owners scrambling to fill every room that they could, thereby placing significant downward pressure on the rental rates in Ames. This under occupancy and rental rate competition put significant pressure on chapter’s ability to perform financially.


On August 4th, Evander Michael Holub was born to Courtney and Andrew.  He weighed  8 pounds  8  ounces.  Both Evander and Courtney were doing well. On September 5th, Astrid Marie Holub was born to Nicole and Brad.  She weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces.  Both Astrid and Nicole were doing well.  We now have seven great grandchildren.  We will see Evander and Astrid for the first time as our family gathers in Loon, NH for our 2022 Christmas celebration.


The November elections resulted in the Republicans taking modest control of the US House of Representatives, while the Democrats increased their hold on the Senate with a net increase of one.  The results were a huge disappointment for the Republicans as they were seemingly favored to win the House with a double digit margin and to pick up a few seats in the Senate.  Regardless, capturing the house will enable the Republicans to block at least some of the current administration’s spending plans and to engage in meaningful oversight of the administration’s failed policies.


Lindsey and Lewis again joined us Thanksgiving week in Scottsdale.   It is always a delight to host them as they both are so  appreciative of particularly Francine’s generosity.  We also celebrated Lindsey’s birthday as it falls on Christmas Day.


China has for most of the time since the outbreak of Covid employed a “zero Covid policy” which involved community/city lockdowns to combat the spread of Covid.  China developed its own Covid vaccine, which has been less effective than the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna, as well as several other US and European vaccines.  China agreed to purchase Moderna vaccines providing that Moderna would share its technology with China which Moderna declined to do.  With less effective vaccines and a much less effective and extensive healthcare system, China relied on its “zero Covid policy” to combat the malady which was mainly quarantines and lockdowns, however, late in the year many Chinese citizens began revolting against this severe policy.  Indeed, entire industries, e.g., auto assembly and electronics manufacturing factories were shut down at times as were entire cities. In mid-December, the Chinese government abandoned this policy and began opening up the country, including opening its borders to travelers.   However, abandoning of the zero Covid policy, initiated a significant increase in the number of Covid cases, and possibly will overwhelm the Chinese healthcare system leading to a very significant number of deaths.  Consequently, those countries who have travelers from/to China are beginning to apply restrictions to those travelers from/to China, e.g., the U.S. began requiring a negative Covid test prior to permitting anyone who originated in or traveled through China and arrived in the U.S. As of late December, the Chinese Covid situation is very fluid and China is not revealing the extent of its infections and the status of the country’s healthcare system. (Now some three months later, China continues to  open up its economy and there is not a reported substantial increase in Covid deaths as a result of this policy shift.)    (As a post edit – in mid 2023 – the congressional deadline for the administration to un-classify all Covid-19 records was not complied with however more documents were now available and newly released information provided included that (1) U.S. funds were used  in research by the Wuhan laboratory – a Chinese military venue - suspected as the origin of Covid and (2) the first three fatality victims of Covid were researchers in the Wuhan laboratory, thereby cinching the conclusion of many in the medical research fields that the origin of Covid was Chinese researchers in the Wuhan laboratory at least partially funded by U.S. funds, most or all of which was controlled by Dr. Fauci!)

The week of December 18, the U.S. experienced a severe Artic blast of weather from off shore Washington State through the upper tier of US states all the way to New York State from where the storm tracked north-easternly through the western portion of New England and into Canada.  Francine and I flew to Boston on December 23 to join our Davis families for our annual Christmas celebration.  Kim’s family flew to Boston from Pittsburgh the day before to avoid the severe storm in Pittsburgh.  Our flight was delayed a bit but otherwise unaffected by the very severe storm, described as a Bomb Cyclone, which is a description given to a storm in which a very severe drop in atmospheric pressure causes severe winds in conjunction with the severe drop in temperature.  As a result of the storm, Buffalo, NY and its surrounding area for the second time this winter received over 40 inches of snow accompanied by severe winter temperatures.  One of many tragic results of the storm was the death of at least 30 persons who died from the storm and its after effects. It took over a week to get parts of the affected area cleared for access by service providers.


Our family gathered at Brian’s ski home in Lincoln, NH on Christmas Day and the days thereafter, with most of us staying for the week.  Fortunately, all 27 of our immediate family were successful in making this years Christmas festivities.  Brian and Jill were their usual terrific hosts, with their meals, gifts, house decorations, et al.  Every one of us had tested the day prior and the day of arrival for Covid.  All of us were negative. I had ordered six dozen Maid-Rites shipped to Brian’s house which arrived a few days previously- all of which were devoured by the time the last of  us left the house for the  week.  We all gathered for the usual family pictures on Tuesday morning. 



L to R, F to B: Brian, Jill, Adam (with Henry), Veronica (Adam’s), Veronica (Kyle’s) Judy

 (Brett’s fiancé ), Courtney, Nicole, Tedy, Brad, Francine, Evander, Jim, Astrid, Kyle, Emerson,

Jackson, Brett, Andrew, Mandy, Eva, Kevin, Levi, Adam and Rachel (Jill’s children), Kim and David


Brian’s ski house was very well decorated for our Christmas celebrations, with stockings for all 27 of us hung from the fireplace mantel and surrounding beams.


A very special treat was Francine and me meeting for the first time our two newest great grandchildren, Evander and Astrid.  After several tries and with a bit of editing we were able to get a picture of Francine and me with our seven great-grandchildren.


L to R:  Tedy, Levi, Emerson, Francine, Evander, Jim, Astrid, Eva and Jackson


Christmas Day was the last day of Hanukkah which we celebrated with the lighting  the candles in eight Menorahs that Brian and Jill had collected.  Just part of the crew was able to be in the picture below of those who celebrated the observance of this year’s last day of Hanukkah..


Francine, Brian, Jill, Kim, Jackson, Brett, David, Emerson, Kyle, Mandy, Levi, Eva and Kevin


On December 27th, Kim and Judy (Brett’s fiancée) preoccupied Francine away from the main level of the house by talking about Brett and Judy’s wedding.  While this was going on Jill unleashed a flurry of activities involving nearly all of the rest of us in preparing the room to celebrate Francine’s upcoming 80th birthday.  When Francine, Kim and Judy returned to join us we surprised Francine with the celebration.  I had alerted my family that we wanted to celebrate Francine’s 80th birthday while the entire family was there.  It was a wonderful celebration and Francine was most appreciative.



Kim and Francine, Celebrating Francine’s 80th Birthday Early


On December 30th, the last of us departed the ski house and drove back to Boston to celebrate Eva’s 3rd birthday at Kevin and Mandy’s home.  Mandy’s parents Steve and Cindy LaPorta and her two brothers both joined the celebration as did Jill, Brian, Jill’s children Rachel and Adam, Nicole, Brad, Tedy and Astrid, Veronica and Adam Holub.  Eva very much enjoyed her big birthday party.


Francine and I came down with serious head colds, including sore throats, sneezing and coughing the next day.  We were intending to join Brian and Jill’s traditional New Year Eve party the next day however, we were not feeling well enough to attend and additionally, did not want to infect the others attending the festivities.  We stayed in the hotel that evening, had a modest room service dinner prior to watching the New Year’s celebrations on TV and began packing for our flight back to Phoenix the next day.


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