Posts Tagged ‘Family’

An Unsung Hero

2004, 60th Anniversary

60th Anniversary, 2004

Every now and again, as in this past week, the media is swamped with news covering the death of a famous or influential person. Talking heads debate the impact of the person’s life and what their legacy will be. The major networks will air specials and documentaries on their life story and replay footage of their best moments.

Today the world lost a great man. He slipped into the next world with no pomp and no flurry of media. My grandfather, my namesake, Eugene Roland Carlson, died at age 87 in the home he and my grandmother raised four children in.  The evening news will not speak of his achievements, most people never knew him, yet for me, he was one of the greatest men I have ever known.

Setting up Christmas decorations in Wrightwood.  1984

Grandpa and me setting up Christmas decorations in Wrightwood. 1984

Strong, brave, loving, softspoken, and with a twinkle in his eye, he loved life and those around him.   I never heard my grandfather say a mean thing about anyone and he was always quick to lighten the mood with a witty remark.  Even when I last saw him a couple weeks ago, frail and with barely the strength to eat, his sence of humour still shown threw.  He loved wife, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and they loved him.

My earliest years were spent in a stroller watching my grandpa and the rest of our family build a cabin in the mountain town of Wrightwood. These early memories may have subconsciously contributed to my desire to enter the building industry. We spent many holidays and weekends at the cabin and I always looked forward to spending the night in the attic bedroom. We would stay up late playing games and then we would climb up the retractable ladder to our fort in the attic. These times, and the many Christmas’ and other holidays we spent together were a great time to learn how to play horseshoes, start a fire, carve a turkey, and play Yatzee.

17 May 1944

May, 17th 1944

Besides building two cabins in Wrightwood, my grandpa built my grandma and his first home in Red Wing Minnesota.  Durring his career as a general contractor he helped with the moon landing mission managing the construction of some of the research facilities in the sixties and built hundreds of structures throughout Minnesota and California.

Prior to this, he served his country bravely in the Navy at the close and after World War II.   He became a Navy pilot on an aircraft carrier and did reconnaissance work throughout the Pacific theater.

What I didn’t fully realize until three years ago was just how much my grandpa loved his wife, Audrey.  When she passed away he lost a piece of himself.  The change was notable.  He loved my grandma more than anything else and their sixty-two years of marriage were a testament of that.  I don’t remember him ever telling her he was too tired to help, he never put her down, nor said negative things about her.  He was always the perfect example of how a husband should treat his wife.

My grandpa was my hero.  Through his selfless life and his persistent smile he has made me a better person.  For that I will be eternally grateful.

I love you grandpa, I can’t wait to see you again.

Betrayal and Hope

the_familyAn article appeared in the Contra Costa Times last Thursday that sparked a wave of controversy and emotion. The article tried to make the point that the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints “leadership’s sway over the issue of homosexuality may be weakening” and that there is a significant group of church members who are standing up to speak out against President Monson and his call to support the November ballot measure. After a variety of comments in church meetings today I decided to republish the article here (click read more) as well as the forum comments that resulted from the article (following the page break). I use the handle sloarch07 in the comments.

I want to encourage my friends and family who support and sustain (or merely agree with) President Monson to speak out and be a voice in defense of marriage online, at school, and in the workplace. If we don’t speak out who will? Please do what you can for this important effort.

Feel free to use some of the comments I made as inspiration to post on other online forums or in speaking with your friends. I don’t purport to have all the answers but hopefully I will inspire you to speak boldly and with love. I also would encourage you to read President Monson’s Letter and remember that this is an assignment given to us from a Prophet of God.

Thank you for your faith. (more…)

Coalesce and Graduate

My Project in Chumash AuditoriumSchool is finally coming to an end. This weekend Cal Poly is hosting the second annual 5th year architecture show in the Chumash auditorium in the University Union. Yesterday Crystal, my parents, Michelle, Rick, Lucas, Lauren, Peter and my boss Gary all attended the official opening.

Visit the official web site of the show for more information about Coalesce. The show runs through tomorrow evening.

Welcome to the World

Happy Birthday! Today I am an uncle again! Michelle and Rick had a beautiful baby. Lauren, was 7.5 pounds and 19 inches long. She was born at 7pm this evening. Crystal was at the hospital today and says that she looks like a cute little pink button!

The Times They Are A-Changin’

In the immortal words of Bob Dylan The Times They Are A-Changin’. I’ve launched a new web site specifically for family members. It is located at From now on personal stories, photographs, genealogical research, and other sensitive items will be posted on this site. is a collaborative effort and all family members and friends are encouraged to create an account. on the other hand is going to transition into my public front. On this site I will post essays, political writings, restaurant reviews, my resume and portfolio and other professional information. I hope in this way I can protect mine and my families privacy. As time goes on this web site will become more specialized and some information may be moved to the new site.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope that these changes will may these pages easier for everyone to use! Merry Christmas!

EDIT June 9th, 2009: Due to lack of interest and support was taken down earlier this year. It was a fun experiment.

When Spam Bites Back

One of the biggest annoyances in my life and probably in the lives of most people who use email and computers regularly is Spam. Spam comes in all shapes and sizes and is usually sent from businesses seeking your dollar. Another and more frustrating form of Spam is conveyed by your friends and family in the form of chain letters. This form frustrates me more because the mail doesn’t come from some anonymous corporate evil, but comes from those you care about and who have been lured into purveying internet pollutants.


The Meaning of Names

I was surfing the internet this morning procrastinating doing some homework when I decided to look up the meaning of the names of some of my family and friends. I’ve listed some of them below and I think they are pretty interesting.

Stephen Nelson’s Funeral Address

President Stephen Nelson spoke at Norma’s funeral service and this last week sent us a copy of his remarks. He is a great friend of the family and we are thankful for his kind words and help…

Funeral Services for
Norma Barto
December 8, 2003
Paso Robles

Brothers and Sisters, this is indeed a sad occasion. The tragic passing of Norma Barto has left her family and friends and those throughout the community, many who had never met Norma, shocked and saddened beyond what can be adequately expressed. I am sure I am joined by everyone here today in expressing to Norma’s family how heavy our hearts are for each of you for the intense pain you must be feeling at this time.

Norma worked for us for many years so I had an opportunity to visit with her often. She was always such an upbeat, happy person who was a joy to be around. Knowing that I was going to speak here today, I called several people who knew Norma and asked them to share their insights about her. Of course, everyone mentioned how hard working she was – many adding with emphasis: incredibly hard working! Everyone knew how much she loved her daughters – she talked about them all of the time. Not only were they beautiful, they were very smart. She was so proud of them. Norma encouraged her daughters to get a good education. I remember how excited she was with the progress Michelle was making in school at the University of Utah and how happy she was that Michelle had decided to pursue a career in medicine.

Others said how sweet and pleasant Norma was all the time. She was always willing to help. Norma liked helping people and had other people?s interest at heart. She would fill her car with clothes that she had collected and take them to the less fortunate in Mexico. Several people described Norma as being kind and non-judgmental, Christlike in forgiving of others and refused to hold a grudge when offended. (more…)