Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Family Celebration in Three Parts

This blog post celebrates the life of Bandi (Andy) Weickert .

Because it is intended primarily for the generations of the family of which he was such a loved and respected member, this post contains a minimum of text and almost no identifying captions.

Everyone pictured is family, and we all know each other to some extent.

The "Three Parts" of this "Family Celebration" are as follows:

November 25, 2015, when a when few family members joined Bandi and his wife in Springfield, Massachusetts, to celebrate what would be his last Thanksgiving.

January 29, 2016, when a larger contingent of the family and local friends attended a Celebration of the Life of Andy Weickert in Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing, Massachusetts.

September 3-4, 2016, when even more family gathered in Newton, Massachusetts.  This Labor Day event was instigated by the younger generation who, at the January Celebration, discovered a family far too interesting to only congregate for the passing of others.

And with this, the younger generation begins a new tradition: another family gathering will take place a few months from now.

SPRINGFIELD, November 25, 2015:

Bandi Weickert, November 25, 2015

Bandi was born, September 22, 1934 in Zwickau, Germany. He had an older sister, Rya. His father was an art director in a publishing house. His mother was a concert violinist.

In July of 1945, at the end of World War II, the Russian Army took both parents and sent them--separately--to labor camps in Siberia. The children were smuggled to relatives in Western Germany and, a year-and-a-half later, were given berths on the SS Ernie Pyle, a transport ship for displaced persons, and sailed to New York.

In New York, they lived with the family of their Hungarian-born uncle (on their mother's side). Both went to prestigious colleges in America and had successful careers: Bandi's sister as a lawyer and Federal judge; Bandi as a social worker.

Bandi died of cancer on January 1, 2016.

Ann Weickert, November 25, 2015

Because of his cancer, Bandi had no appetite for food. When this picture (directly above) was taken, Thanksgiving dinner was several hours away, but it captures a memorable moment. Bandi has walked into the kitchen, laughing, and asked for a snack before dinner.

He had hardly eaten in weeks. What prompted this transformation, you may ask?  Certainly not a miracle, unless, maybe, you own stock in Cannabics Pharmaceuticals. 

The answer is much more mundane: an unnamed member prepared a tray of pot brownies in hopes that they would ease Bandi's pain and discomfort. That they did. For him and pretty much everyone else.

Thanksgiving hadn't been this much fun since 1967 when Arlo Guthrie came out with Alice's Restaurant.

Bandi Weickert, November 25, 2015

Entry to the Springfield House with sculpture by A. Lawrence

Springfield House Mantle with Moose

LOOMIS LAKESIDE at Reeds Landing, January 29, 2016:
Celebration of the Life of Andy Weickert:

Moose Gather to Pay Homage

Video of Bandi Acting before members of his retirement community

In recognition of over forty years in the service of developmentally disabled children and adults, Bandi became the first recipient of this Service Award by NYSARC.

Opening Remarks by Ann Weickert

String Quintet of family & friends

Bandi was an amateur violinist and regularly played quartets with friends.

Back Home in the Springfield House

Student Prince Restaurant, Springfield, MA, January 29, 2016

BROOKLINE, September 3, 2016:

Arrival and Unpacking, Day Before

Gio & Steph

NEWTON, September 4, 2016:

The Family Tree

History Table, Family Photographs

History Table, Family Photographs

Grandpa B

Anna B

Andy L. Drafting

Andy L. & Bandi on Sonata

Newton: Frisbee on the Football Field:

Newton: Paddleboarding on the Charles:

Newton: Bocce Sidelines:

Newton: Bocce Action:

Throwing the Pallino

Throwing the Pallino