The painting here is by my brother Noel, from about this date.
In these years I became a full-time writer, Nellie advanced from being a little girl to being a teenager, and Danny reconciled himself to school attendance, though not to piano lessons. Danny also took up football (2006).
Here are some photographs from these years. Clicking on a picture brings up a bigger version.
|———— 2002 ————|
|Danny at the piano.|
|Early in 2002 we took a family ski trip to upstate New York. We seem to be standing on the only snow-covered mountain for miles around, but I think this was late in the season.|
|———— 2004 ————|
|Mr. and Mrs., at Roger Kimball's Easter 2004 party in Connecticut.|
|[March 2004] This is Danny's third grade science project. We explored the Solar System. Polystyrene spheres, acrylic paint, lots of pictures from the Internet. No, we didn't include the so-called "tenth planet" found the week before. It's just a big KBO (i.e. Kuiper Belt Object), so we gave it a mention in the Kuiper Belt note on the right-hand panel. Some astronomers think that Pluto is just a big KBO too, not really a true planet at all. We counted it among the planets, though.|
|[May 2004] The Queen of my heart (r.) and our Princess (l.), out walking in Caumsett State Park.|
|[August 1-6, 2004] We took our vacation this year in Yosemite National Park, staying at one of the cabins in the Housekeeping Camp. Had a wonderful time hiking & biking. Here we all are at Glacier Point.|
|Here's our cabin, No. 156. These cabins have four walls, a canvas roof, and a sort of stockade around them. You get a double bed and bunk beds, but mattresses only. Also an electric point, a faucet, and a barbecue pit. Everything else is up to you.|
|Nellie, Danny and the boss, with Lake Tenaya in the background.|
|Rosie, with Lake Tenaya in the background. Cue the Rocky theme.|
|This is Nellie actually in Lake Tenaya.|
|Rosie at Vernal Fall, with rainbow.|
|Danny, Nellie & Dad at Emerald Pool, at the top of Vernal Fall.|
|At the top of Nevada Fall we found this beautiful rock pool, which has no name. We were so hot
& tired at this point,
having climbed 1900 ft., we jumped in. The water was icy, but it didn't seem to matter, and we splashed around in this
lovely spot for an hour.
Which left it too late to hike on up to the top of Half Dome. Which none of us minded too much …
I think that lazy hour in the pool above Nevada Fall was the high point of the trip — spiritually, as well as geographically.
|Mr. & Mrs. at Glacier Point.|
|In Sacramento, on our way home, August 6.|
|[November] Taken on the National Review post-election cruise. This I think is the U.S. Virgin Islands.|
|I contributed to National Review regularly from 1998 to 2012, when they dropped me from their contributor lists
Around the midpoint of that period, in late 2004 or early 2005, a photographer showed up at the magazine's New York office and took pictures of us all going about our magazinely duties. I smiled obligingly for his camera.
A few months later old conservative warhorse Jeffrey Hart published The Making of the Conservative Mind: National Review and Its Times. There in the photo "well" at the center of the book, in company with such luminaries as Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and of course William F. Buckley, Jr., was … me.
I remember Jeff Hart with affection. He showed up regularly at editorial meetings during my first few years at the magazine. He was a fine old eccentric curmudgeon whose contributions to the editorial discussions were always interesting, though rarely directly pertinent to current affairs. I recall, for example, a long discourse on capital punishment drawn somehow from Livy's Histories.
Jeff often commented very kindly on my own contributions. When, in the mid-2000s, the fortnightly trip down from New Hampshire got to be too much for him, he stopped attending editorial meetings, and I never saw him again.
|———— 2005 ————|
|[April 2005] I took the family to Washington, D.C. to see the cherry blossoms. Wrote it up here.|
|[August 2005] Family European vacation, written up here. This is Mom & the kids in the Forum at Rome.|
|Dad & kids in Paris.|
|Rosie & a pal in the Louvre.|
|Mom & Dad at the Arc de Triomphe|
|Nellie & Danny on the south bank of the Thames, Tower of London in the background.|
|Danny at London's Roman wall.|
|The kids at Stonehenge.|
|Nellie with her namesake's monument.|
|November 24th, 2005 was Bill Buckley's birthday. Lotsa celebrities, from not only politics …|
|… but also showbiz.|
|———— 2006 ————|
|An old college classmate of Rosie's, Lily Wu, emigrated to the U.S.A. and opened a restaurant in Missoula, Montana. She invited us to visit, so in August 2006 we did. Here is Lily with Mom and the kids …|
|… and with Dad.|
|We traveled all around Montana and Wyoming, taking in Yellowstone Park …|
|… Glacier Park …|
|… and numerous lakes …|
|… and forests. Altogether a great vacation. Thanks, Lily.|
|Not enough Nellie in those pictures. Here's Nellie in Lily Wu's restaurant.|