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Happy Birthday, Shannon!  / Victoria Heifner (Friend)  Read >>
Happy Birthday, Shannon!  / Victoria Heifner (Friend)
Dear Shannon We celebrated your birthday with your folks on Sunday. As usual your Mom's cooking was delicious. My Dad died a week ago so we crashed your corned beef with a creme pie. I hope you don't mind. I know you would have liked my Dad. He would tell you about all of the clubs he used to go to in North Beach in the 1950's. He saw/loved Nina Simone and Lenny Bruce--all right up your alley. His politics may have bothered you but frankly he wasn't *that* firm on them. Come to think of it that very fact may have bugged you more. ;) Your Mom is doing a fantastic job of getting your work published. We can't wait to buy a copy. It's funny I've noticed that when published some of the notes written show up with typos. Last time it made me cringe a little. There's a little phenomenon in the (real/hand) typesetting world which refers to "type mites". Those little invisible creatures that come in when you're at lunch and "mess things up" so you print tiny errors. Old School Printers will tell you about this. On this site? I've decided it's you; still getting the best of us. ;) Happy Birthday. xo Vic Close
happy birthday sweetie  / Vicky Wheeler   Read >>
happy birthday sweetie  / Vicky Wheeler
shannon i miss you so much.  been a tumultuous year so far...  sometimes i honestly feel like you're pushing me speaking thru other people's mouths pointing to things i need to be mindful of like you are right there.  which is awesome.   today i wanted to post 'wave of mutilation' to facebook for you but ummmm tsunami on japan & all that didn't want people to get the wrong idea (eek) and yet i couldn't help imagining your wicked grin if i had posted it....  and then thinking of 'wicked' i found a gorgeous live version of john cameron mitchell singing 'wicked little town' and i know how much you love that.  every time i find myself humming it (often) i think about you.  '...and if you've got no other choice you know you can follow my voice thru the dark turns and noise of this wicked little town...'     i love you.  Close
Happy Birthday a day early  / Eloise (Mom)  Read >>
Happy Birthday a day early  / Eloise (Mom)

We had your birthday dinner last night.  Heather's new job in sales makes weekday nights more difficult. 

Astrid is nearly four.  She doesn't want to grow up.  She wants a piano but doesn't need lessons.  She already knows how to play. 



I haven't talked to your editor at Pavement Saw since he emailed the collection.  He wanted to discuss how to break lines that were too long to fit on a single line.  I know he hoped to have it all ready by the end of this month. 

This website is getting buggier and buggier.  I noticed some typos in my last note to you.  I am certain I didn't type them however.  As the editor of this site I can go in and correct things but I could not get to that particular message. 

I hope this one gets posted.  I'm also supposed to get an email whenever anyone posts to this site but that's erratic.

Erica and Missy are both getting married this fall within a couple of weeks of one another.  Amazing how Nana has had adult grandchildren for years and now two weddings back to back.

I plan to self-publish your Brad Pitt book but the publisher I chose which is associated with has suddenly gone incommunicado.  I wonder if they've gone out of business.

Your Nana was in the hospital a couple of days with a severe case of bronchitis.  She is 87 and just in the past year began taking something for chest tightness.  She has narrowing of the blood vessels. 

Love you







Your Poetry  / Eloise Hamann   Read >>
Your Poetry  / Eloise Hamann

I talked with David Baratier the editor of Pavement Saw a couple of days ago and we talked about the expected publishing date.  I think I may have become a trifle lost in all of the dates.  The end of March was the first date perhaps the one where it will be in galley stage then to printer then we get copies and then it will be available to the general public by June or July.  Given my experience with academic publications I'm prepared for slippage.

We saw your father's relatives at your uncle's services.  Myke is awesome.  I know you two would have a connection.  Craig was between jobs but he seems to always land on his feet.  Hermina was as prepared as one can be.  She has a large supportive family so that will help with all that is ahead of her.

Your cousin Missy is serious about a nice young man.  I don't think I told you Erica is engaged to Rob a man she's been with for years.  They are likely to tie the knot in late Oktober in a beach in Mexico. 

Your let's see first cousin once removed Ana---Evan's daughter is an adorable sprite.  Big dark eyes long dark hair despite having been cut.  She's six months younger than Astrid whose hair is just getting past the baby stage.  Once she told her mother Vic "I want hair."  You would love her temperament.  Heather's John was so totally enchanted with her he told Heather he wanted a daughter.  You can imagine Heather's response.

Speaking of  your sister I don't think she's told you Dr. Dean retired.  It was rather sudden so her life has been turned upside down.  She is getting many job interviews for selling radio ads something she is determined to get into. 

Of course I imagine you know all this with your molecules flying around the universe. 

Hmm you should take a peek at the collection of your poems I submitted for publication.  I realize there are about 40 poems which aren't included.  The editor may include a few of them.  I don't know if he decides or I decide.  Swoop in and take a look at my computer files and emails with David Baratier.  I think I will rank order them in terms of my preferences just in case it's my decision so give me a sign or is it a Sign?

Love Mom







New Year's Eve 2010  / Mom   Read >>
New Year's Eve 2010  / Mom

Dear Shannon

Your Uncle Vernon passed away this morning.  I guess we will always remember the date.  Your Grandma Hamann chose Easter at least in our time zone but Easter changes year to year.  Now I can't recall which day in April marks her passing.

You chose your Aunt Sandy's birthday so your maternal relatives will remember. 

Vernon was 80.  He has been suffering poor health for some time so in some ways it's easy to be philosophical about it all.  He had a long life.  He was suffering.  Somehow I still find it all unsettling.  What seems more comforting is that none of us live forever and I'm not sure many of us would want to.  I know I wouldn't.  If I did I'd need to move from planet to planet with different holidays and customs.  Also definitely frailities and failities of the creatures who live on the planets are such that I could not handle living on any one forever. 

Yet I hate all justifications of individual deaths no matter how valid.  And I do appreciate your uncle was ready to go because o his suffering and indeed would that be the case for all of us.  Yet how do we miss them less?

Seeing death as the natural order of things that we must accept is rational so long as death does not happen in an untimely manner as it did in your case.  Rational does not mean it is OK.  OK in the sense of our hearts I mean.   

We are going to watch one of our favorite VHS movies either "A Fish Called Wanda" or "Love and Death".  I don't think we talked about either movie.

I suppose new years are not marked where you are.

Love Mom








Christmas Eve 2010  / Mom (mother)  Read >>
Christmas Eve 2010  / Mom (mother)

This is Christmas Eve Eve for us.  Heather's John is with his son tonight so we are moving Christmas back a day.  We are big on ceremony but not when.  I don't think Heather has told you about John.  You would like him I know.  He is smart and well read.

Your candle is lit and we had a nice dinner with Heather.  We went on a short hike.  we stopped at a rocky peak and somehow I thought of you.  Meibe I was thinking how nice that the three of us were together and then realized there was someone missing.


Love you



Odd coincidence?  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
Odd coincidence?  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

I received the following email from a good friend from San Jose State University.  We try to stay in touch since my retirement but it's been hard.  I think it unlikely that she remembers the exact date of your death.  You'll like her daughter's reaction to your poetry.


I have been meaning to email you for a while now. I wish I had a good
excuse - even if I did it would be just that - an excuse. I was
talking to Natasha today (online chat - her generation doesn't seem to
appreciate the original purpose of the telephone). She went on and on
about how she loves to read poetry and I remembered showing her some
of Shannon's poetry when she was younger. She may have been 5 or 6.
At the time she didn't think it was poetry because it didn't even
rhyme. Anyway I found some of Shannon's poetry online and sent her
the link. Her only comment was "oh wow".


"Oh wow" seems as high a praise that one can give.

I thought this year I had achieved peace but Heather just left and I feel empty.  I don't feel that way on other days.

Vicky Wheeler is especially missing you this year.

Love Mom



Oh Shannon.  / Victoria Heifner (friend)  Read >>
Oh Shannon.  / Victoria Heifner (friend)
It's so crazy that it's been this many years. I met you so long ago and had so little face-to-face time with you compared to others but I feel like I have coem to know you so well. I wish I had more days with you before this one but I am grateful for the times I got to share with you and Chris and your family. So much has happened. The night you died we went over to your parents house and well I'm not sure. We sat. We talked and figured out what just happened. And we drank wine. I got sick because it wasn't the celebratory kind of drinking. It was the let's-dull-this-pain-immediately kind which really never works does it? I've come to know your family and you are right—this are amazing. Your Mom is truly the bandleader when it comes to your weird sense of humor. But you know this already. Your sister is one of the most fun people I know and with a sense of humor more warped than I first considered possible. Your Dad has opened up through the years I've known him. He and your Mom are passionate smart and critical thinkers. Like you. I don't know where I'm going with this. I've come to know you through the back door I think but the more interesting people and things in life are like that aren't they? Chris and I have a daughter (you know this by now) and I know you would really like her. She's cheeky thoughtful and a bit of a trouble-maker. She and your parents have a great relationship and we feel really fortunate for this. Meibe I'm saying "thanks" to you. We went to their house for Thanksgiving and it struck me that morning "just how did we land here?". You know—how do we come to know the special people in our lives? My obvious answer is "you". Thank you Shannon. You are dearly missed. xo Vic. Close
6 years, just like it was yesterday.  / Vicky   Read >>
6 years, just like it was yesterday.  / Vicky
oh shannon.  you've been everywhere lately.  all over my thoughts in my dreams my whole life.  feels almost like you're talking to me. i love you so much. wish i could hear you more clearly. speak up sweetie! xoxoxo Close
Six years ago  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
Six years ago  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

I recall the restless night six years ago tongiht   It was a Saturday night then as well.   I didn't know why I couldn't sleep and I won't proffer a reason now but I finally fell asleep to be awakened at 6 by the phone call I'll never forget.

I think I'm finally used to the idea you are gone that I can't call and talk about politics and the world. 

I'm looking forward to the publication of your poetry collection.  It is of great comfort.  I've been thinking about you as this anniversary approaches. 

Did I tell you some of your ashes are in Machu Picchu not far from ashes of Michael Weholt's sister?

There's a red heart made of some lovely stone I bought one year from a museum shop in Golden Gate Park.  It rests with your ashes in your urn.

I know you like religious art especially what I call the Catholic variety.  I think however you would have been amused by the painting of the last supper in Cuzco where Judas' face is that of Pizarro the Spanish conquerer of the Incas.  The pope has decreed the native Peruvians cannot conduct mass in their native language.  I am disgusted.

Heather will come tomorrow and we will probably look at old photos maybe watch one of your favorite movies.

Love you







JOY, GREAT JOY!  / Mom   Read >>


Your collected work of poetry will be published in Pavement Saw Press! The publisher has been publishing books of poetry since 1993 beginning primarily with Chap Books. 

I mistyped my phone number and I had ignored the editor's emails as I thought I was being approached to purchase a book. 

He tracked me down as he liked your work so much.  I cried with joy and called Heather.  She wasn't home and she couldn't understand my message as I was still blubbering.


Oh happy, happy day!


Love, Mom



Eloise pronounced Elouise  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
Eloise pronounced Elouise  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

I almost forgot.  Remember getting the book Eloise ---of the Plaza Hotel---for me with the autograph from Kate Thompson?  And how you liked to refer to me to friends as Elouise?


I read it to Astrid last night and she was entranced.  She is not yet three but is such a bright perceptive child.  Her temperament is delightfully calm.  She is so well behaved.  She looks with her bright eyes at the world around her and soaks it all in.  She is of course easily tickled at Grandma E's cornball antics.  She is so adorable.  At any rate it's a special book for a special child so know your gift is being treasured.




Another birthday since you've been gone  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
Another birthday since you've been gone  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

We had corned beef in your honor on Pi day this year because of Heather's schedule.  Michael Weholt was here.  It seems every year there is another story I did not know about you. This is the one where you were caught underage in a bar and pretended to be from Denmark and could not speak English and got away without incident. Now that I write this, I think you did tell me that story.  Some talk of outrageous costumes and getups at parties.

We lit your candle, and the conversation would have delighted you--- right up your alley.  Your Dad mentioned what great friends you had remembering the night of your 30th birthday.  Remember we had corned beef that night as well? 

I read Elouise to Astrid and let her take home that great story.  It's the one you had autographed by Kate Thompson.  They did a made for TV movie a few years ago.  They did a fabulous job.  I think it was after you moved on.

I'm super involved in a campaign to improve governance in California. 
Too long a story to go into,  but I would love to have told you about the ins and outs.  You would have appreciated it as your father and sister do not.

Love you,






thinking of you  / Pamela Grossman (friend)  Read >>
thinking of you  / Pamela Grossman (friend)
always in my heart and in my thoughts. it seems clear from my dreams that i will see you again. apparently i've got some more to do here for a while but in due time. much love pam Close
missing you  / Leif   Read >>
missing you  / Leif
because you're missing Close
My Dear  / Taryn Knight   Read >>
My Dear  / Taryn Knight
Shannon I Love You So Much. I wish you were here to ask me in an annoyed tone "Why are you crying?" and then you would act flattered and shocked when I told you it was because I miss you. Close
Think of you often.  / Chris Heifner (Friend)  Read >>
Think of you often.  / Chris Heifner (Friend)
I'll always be grateful for your friendship Shannon. The world will always be colder and a lot less funny without you. Miss your brilliant perspective. Close
Five Years  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
Five Years  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

Dear Shannon

Heather will join us in spending the day remembering you. The 4’ by 7’ painting of you by your friend Attila Richard Lukacs makes us feel you are with us every day. It hangs in the hallway over the door of ‘your room’. Five years! Sometimes it seems like such a short time ago and other times it seems forever since we’ve had one of our choice political or philosophical discussions. I miss them.

I’d like to talk to you about a book I read about a brain scientist who had a stroke. It ended up being the most illuminating book I’ve ever read about right and left brain differences. You’d love it. Remember how it took longer than usual for your brain dominance to be determined? That unusual spelling paper with 3 words perfectly spelled on the left half of the page and on the right half the mirror image of 3 perfectly spelled words?

I’d like to talk to you about a book I just began The Family. The media touts it as a group of fundamentalist politicians who overlook and hide sexual infidelity of its members but it’s much more insidious than that. The group apparently want a theocracy as opposed to separation of church and state and prefer an autocracy by the Jesus’s chosen elite over democracy. They worship power as a way to do the mission of Christ and admire the power of Hitler and the mafia. They have cells or covenants and the ties are intended to be secret. They are elitist and believe they have been chosen by God. They see the old testament King David’s infidelity as proof that the chosen get to behave differently so long as they serve to allow Jesus to rule. As a perverse as you are you might approve. At least I picture you making a joke that you do. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is a devotee.
I’d like to talk to you about health care reform and the hypocrisy of the far right. Faux news as Heather calls it is another topic. Can you imagine a so-called news agency so outrageous that other news agencies sometimes report their rants?

I’d like to talk to you about Astrid and how she’s growing.

I’d like to give you a big hug

Love Mom

Just thought I'd write  / Mom   Read >>
Just thought I'd write  / Mom
Your friend Michael Weholt's sister has a rare form of cervical cancer.  It is very serious but the prognosis has improved since it was discovered.  Naturally he is upset.  He has a blog She lives not too far from Heather.  He has been out to SF twice.  The first time we had dinner at Heather's.  The second time he came out here.  I scrolled up the home movie scene of the face painting of you as a cat for Halloween.  Michael laughed as we always do at the downturn of your lips as you see your face in the mirror. 

I miss being able to discuss politics and the world with you.  You always have a fresh perspective. 

Your dad and I took a trip to Oregon this past summer.  I saw my grandniece for the first time.  She's an adorable little sprite.  Let's see she'd be your first cousin once removed.  Your other first cousin once removed Tanner is in school already.  Nana enjoys him.

Your painting hangs over the room you slept in in the hallway overlooking the living room.  It is a unique conversation piece.

You and Natalie were the subject of a recent email discussion.  Sandy ran into some former teachers of Natalie and was heartened by their comments.  It always feels good when one of your friends drops into your website. 

Love you
Mom Close
tapsalot@mindspring.-com / Kim Miller (friend)  Read >>
tapsalot@mindspring.-com / Kim Miller (friend)
I am so sorry to hear about Shannon's passing. I just found out today. I tried to find him on facebook once but had no luck. Another mutual friend who found me recently and who lives in NYC just informed me. I am glad you have this memorial website with such wonderful photos to share with all of us who loved him. I met Shannon through work and we had a lot of mutual friends/ran in the same circles. Although I wasn't one of his closest friends I will never forget the several times I was lucky enough to hang out with him! Walking through the streets of Iowa City at night laughing and joking around. I wish we had been better friends and had hung out more. I am very sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine... Thank you also for posting some of his writing. I was kind of shy and could tell he was incredibly intelligent and I didn't always know what to say around him but I'm glad for the opportunity to read his poems now. This way I am able to get to know another side of him that I was too clumsy and awkward to get to know back then. Thank you for Shannon. I wish you peace love and light. Close
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