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LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - May 5, 2012 - 08:01pm PT
Haaaaa...soooooo...my shyness is getting the better of me, and I'm having trouble getting started here, but here it goes.

I always knew that I was adopted -- my parents adopted me in Anchorage, AK shortly after I was born in February 1970 -- they explained to me that my mother knew she was too young to raise me and wanted me to go to a good family. For nearly my entire life, I felt that my birth mom had done something so incredibly selfless (that had to have been unbelievably difficult), that I wanted to respect her privacy. That all changed when I had my daughter a couple of years ago, and I realized the enormity of what she had done for me. I needed to thank her.

I obtained my original birth certificate and learned my birth mom's name: Sheila Ann Schaeffer. From there I spent countless hours relentlessly researching her genealogy on ancestry.com, and after a number of months, happened across her graduation picture in the 1969 UCLA yearbook online. (They're all available for free viewing at Archive.org.) I think it was nearly a year of researching later that it occurred to me that she might have started going by her middle name instead of her first name. I found references to an Ann Schaeffer in towns around Anchorage, and finally got my courage up to send her a letter in late December of last year. I wanted her to know that I was doing well, that she had a granddaughter and that I was so grateful for what she had done for me.

Then one night seven weeks ago, I discovered an Alaska State Police report online that said that Ann had died suddenly at home on February 20th and that next of kin had been notified. I read the report, and then read it again. I shut down the search, and then did it again, hoping the report wouldn't reappear. But it did resurface, and it was real. I couldn't breathe. I spent the next several days struggling with reality and in complete disbelief.

Fortunately, my career training finally kicked in and I switched into information recovery mode. I contacted the Alaska State Police and was able to persuade them to confirm that the location of her next of kin (I provided the state). An amazing "Search Angel" helped me by making the first call to her younger sister (I would have just sobbed). Since we first talked, we've been making up for lost time. Apparently, Ann had followed my life for a long time, but had lost track at some point (likely when my parents stopped writing to Catholic Charities when I got older). Her sister told me that she used to send Ann a Mother's Day card every year. How stupid I feel now, for not having the courage to reach out to her sooner. (We don't know if my letter ever reached her.)

Her sister sent me this picture, which I now keep with me wherever I go:
Credit: LilaBiene


It was just three weeks ago that I happened upon BooDawg's post about the Mountaineers' 1969 April Fools Day prank, and I almost couldn't believe that I might have found another connection to her. I hoped I might have, but figured that that would have been just too lucky.

Here's why.

Less than a year ago, I stumbled upon the SuperTopo website while trying to figure out who my birth father was. There was no information on my birth certificate, and Catholic Charities only releases "non-identifying" information to adoptees, so I had a limited number of descriptive characteristics I could use as tools. My birth father was an aerospace engineer (non-degreed), a mountaineer (like my birth mom), had dark blonde hair and blue eyes, both of his parents were from Germany and he was older than my birth mom. Using just these criteria didn't lead anywhere, until I happened to throw "UCLA" into the mix, and up popped a SuperTopo forum discussion on early Yosemite climbing. (Thank you, DEE EE!)

I started reading and almost fell out of my chair (partly in utter SHOCK, and partly because I was laughing really hard!). Here were these stories about this character with qualities eerily similar to my own (my nickname with close friends has always been "Odd" and AP physics in high school was my absolute nemesis). The more I read, the more I suspected he might have been my birth father, but I also figured I was probably grasping at straws and possibly also becoming a little bit unhinged thinking that this person that I found out of nowhere online might have been my birth father. It wasn't until I found out that Ann had passed away that I was able to persuade Catholic Charities to help me -- they were willing to confirm or deny if I provided a name. You can imagine how stunned I was when they provided confirmation that William Andreas Feuerer actually was my birth father.

This photo was taken by Allen Steck and is my favorite picture of Bill...
This photo was taken by Allen Steck and is my favorite picture of Bill.
Credit: Allen Steck


Now what the heck was I going to do? I couldn't imagine calling someone up and saying, "Hello...", because I hadn't the slightest idea what to say next. But I somehow managed to dial Ken Yager's number and squeak out a voice message. He promptly called me right back, and was so friendly that I didn't have a chance to be nervous. The next thing I knew, I had a list of folks that he recommended I contact to learn more about Bill. Thank you so much, Ken!

Many thanks also to Glen Denny, Roger Derryberry, Steve Grossman, Al Steck, Royal Robbins, Joe Fitchen, Tom Frost, Norma Limp, Don Lauria, George Whitmore, Wayne Merry, Ihateplastic and Tobia, for being willing to listen to my story, sharing and helping me along my way. I still have so many folks to reach out to, and so much to learn; I'm really just getting started. (Yes, I'm still struggling with being shy.)

At the same time, I was starting to think that learning more about Ann was going to be lost to me due to her passing before I could make contact with her, and then here was BooDawg, who, for the last several weeks (heading into his busy season), has tirelessly (!) spearheaded the effort to put me in touch with Ann's friends from the Bruin Mountaineers.

The debt of gratitude that I owe to him, and the countless people who have kept all of these memories and stories alive on SuperTopo (and YCA, too), as well as all of the folks who have been so generous with their time in speaking with me and guiding me to others who knew my birth parents, is immeasurable. For someone who spent the better part of 40 years believing the most she would ever know about her origin was what was God-given, its, well, indescribable.

On the one hand, my head is spinning with questions, and on the other, I feel like I'm treading on sacred ground.

All of this being said, thank you for allowing me to share the stories of my birth parents and me, and please consider sharing your memories...you never know whose lives they will touch, or the magic they may bestow...

Think of the statistical PROBABILITIES!

Credit: LilaBiene
locker

Social climber
CO
May 5, 2012 - 08:03pm PT


Nice read...

;-)

Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
May 5, 2012 - 08:08pm PT
Wow! incredible story, though there is quite a sad aspect to it...

thanks
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
May 5, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
Thanks for sharing the story, it made my day
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
May 5, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
Amazing story. Thank you for sharing that.

Prod

Trad climber
May 5, 2012 - 08:48pm PT
Just curious, are you a climber?

Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Also looks like you are about 220 yeard from the center from the green. You got that in you? 3 wood over the pond for an eagle putt?

Prod.
coloradohigh

Trad climber
rocky mountain trench
May 5, 2012 - 08:49pm PT
awesome. chalk it up as one of those special posts.
zBrown

Ice climber
Chula Vista, CA
May 5, 2012 - 08:52pm PT
Very nice trip report. I'm happy for you.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 5, 2012 - 09:31pm PT
Hey Prod,

Woods are for sissies! I'll take my irons any day over woods, unless we're talking about my driver off the tee. (Pat, if you're reading this, I know you're shaking your head -- I still have my 3 iron in my bag.)

Am I a climber? Well, technically, not yet. :D I started climbing indoors a few years ago for no particular reason, but the ceilings were never high enough.

Adrenaline junkie? Definitely. (Genetically speaking, I doubt I had a choice, but at least now I have an excuse.) I think if I was going to start climbing, I'd want to have my skis strapped to my back so I could fly screaming back down the mountain.

That being said, I think it's going to be hard not to at least give it a try!
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad surfing the galactic plane
May 5, 2012 - 09:41pm PT
Fascinating story, glad that you got the nerve up to investigate and then share it here with us!
nature

climber
CO
May 5, 2012 - 09:46pm PT
thanks for posting up!

err....

TFPU!!!!


wow... awesome story.
MH2

climber
May 5, 2012 - 10:11pm PT
Like a Greek myth. Welcome back to the fold.


If you ever start another thread I'll know to have a look, but the title of this one is the kind that might get overlooked by those that try to stick to climbing, and they could miss this amazing story.
nature

climber
CO
May 5, 2012 - 11:05pm PT
did you get an inheritance for the patent on the Dolt Cart? ;-)
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 6, 2012 - 12:00am PT
Thank you for a sad and happy story.

I hope you are able to acquire some things of or made by your father, as keepsakes, and perhaps establish contact with that side of your family.

Another example of this sort of thing is at http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/192446/looking-for-DARYL-HATTENS-friends-im-his-daughter
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
May 6, 2012 - 01:06am PT
What a great post! While I have been honored to read much of this before in your emails to me, I applaud your courage in overcoming your shyness and making your story more widely known.

Three weeks ago, I had no idea that you even existed! Nor would I have EVER guessed that there was ANY POSSIBILITY that EITHER Sheila Ann Schaeffer or Bill Dolt Feuerer had a child!

It was an EXTREMELY SMALL POSSIBILITY that I even posted the UCLA “Traffic Diversion” story on the Taco since I was trying to focus on my early climbing at Stoney Point. But having the slides to scan, I did post a brief version of that event as a kind of afterthought. What if I hadn’t bothered to do so? Would our connection have ever been made?

Once you wrote me your story about Sheila Ann, I knew I could help since the connections between the Bruin Mountaineers, though loose, remained. Those ties are now tightening and broadening, thanks to you! You told me that you thought Sheila Ann would have wanted her and you to be a catalyst to bring the Bruin Mountaineers closer together, and that certainly has been the case, and that will inexorably continue, thanks to your willingness to transcribe the articles in the “Occasional Miseries.” What are the chances that anyone would even have copies of those mimeographed issues after 45 years? VERY SMALL POSSIBILITIES since my copies are the only ones to have emerged so far!

And once you told me that Bill Dolt Feuerer was your birth father, my world expanded even further. I had no idea that your father, Bill Amborn, or Bob Kamps had been Bruin Mountaineers!

We, Bruins, have you to thank, first for providing the motivation for me to even look for those “Miseries” issues. Having found them, thank you for your willingness to transcribe them. I had completely forgotten that I’d written TRs about my climbs on Half Dome, El Cap, Sentinel Rock, and more, so because of you, I have refreshed views of some of my climbs that I can now share with those here on the Taco. And if a Bruin Mountaineer FB page should appear, it will be because you reached out to me and to so many other former Bruins in your quest to learn more about your birth mother.

It is often said, “The gift is in the giving” and “Whatever comes around, goes around.” We have both given and received much from this journey, and I’m certain that many more people will continue to be enriched by what began as your quest.

MH: I have already offered her one of the DoltPegs that Dolt gave me to take up the Nose with Lauria on our 8th ascent back in ‘67!

First "New" generation DoltPegs that Dolt gave for "testing" on the 8t...
First "New" generation DoltPegs that Dolt gave for "testing" on the 8th ascent of the Nose, 1967.
Credit: BooDawg
nature

climber
CO
May 6, 2012 - 01:11am PT
The Taco never ceases to amaze....

wow!
Daphne

Trad climber
In transit...
May 6, 2012 - 01:15am PT
I am so grateful you overcame your shyness to post here. Thank you for your story. My mother was adopted and i know a little of what it feels like to long to know your origins. Im happy for you and hope that more information comes your way.
john hansen

climber
May 6, 2012 - 01:25am PT
what nature said,, pretty cool'

Kind of amazing, thru ST , Nature , Boodawg , Nohea and I went fishing one time,,, fishy, fishy,,,

Boodawg some how intersects with many peoples lives. Great story.

Aloha
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 6, 2012 - 01:25am PT
What a wonderful story to add to the growing list of old friends reunited and
children learning about their fathers on the Taco! Not only did you find who
your parents were, but you discovered their tribe as well. Welcome!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 6, 2012 - 02:04am PT
But, you look so, well, normal! Well told and don't be shy, it's the intardnet.
And where does Kevin Bacon fit into all of this? ;-)
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
May 6, 2012 - 02:21am PT
Thanks for sharing! My dad was adopted, and I think he knows nothing of his birth family. I often wondered when I was growing up, and I've grown to accept not knowing.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
May 6, 2012 - 02:46am PT
Wow. That is so cool....

Good luck in all you do going forward!
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
May 6, 2012 - 04:57am PT
So cool. The soul smiles.
perswig

climber
May 6, 2012 - 05:36am PT
but the ceilings were never high enough.

(Sounds like your genes speaking loud and clear...)

I think it's outstanding that the assistance Boodawg and others have provided in your worthy effort (which to them was likely ample reward enough) has allowed them to rebuild ties among the Bruin Mountaineers, which in turn graces us with more climbing history here on ST.

Dale







neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 6, 2012 - 05:47am PT
hey there say, thanks so very much for daring to share something very special and dear to your heart...

god bless, adn may this new part of your life, be even more special than you'd ever hoped...

the good lord has done special thing here, too, for me, from the supertopo...


(my brother was known here, by these folks, from his yosmite dayas--that is how i found supertopo--by name connection) :)
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 6, 2012 - 05:50am PT
Lila, good for you! My mother was adopted and never learned more than scraps about her mother or that other family before she died; glad you are having some windows opened here on ST for you to learn more about your parents.

I sadly didn't know either of them (and I'm no collector of climbing gear), but I have one of your father's pitons and it is one of the few material things I cherish - it and a number of his other creations are quite amazing in the level of subtle artistry he brought to bear on the things he touched.

All in all I'd say it turns out you are from remarkably good stock all the way around (good adopted parents as well). Proud. Sorry you didn't get to meet them, but please do consider yourself family here on ST.
Prod

Trad climber
May 6, 2012 - 09:15am PT
Woods are for sissies! I'll take my irons any day over woods

Pretty much agree with that. I have and use a 2 iron.

Prod.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 6, 2012 - 12:15pm PT
The Taco rules!


Great story and much respect for the daughter of a legend. Your dad's passing was so sad, and hopefully the community here helps alleviate the kind of sadness and isolation he may have fallen to.
It may also be a good resource for you if you seek to pursue outdoor climbing.


But I gotta go with Mark Twain about golf, and that sure don't look like Alaska.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 6, 2012 - 05:40pm PT
Hey All,

I'm overwhelmed by your warm welcome, and thanks for giving me many opportunities to LMAO. In some ways, I think that humor is one of the greatest gifts we can give to anyone.


Reilly: Kevin Bacon, you ask? You wouldn't happen to be related to the Reilly's of New Harbor, Maine, would you? (My mother's side of the family.) My Grandpa Reilly was my favorite person in the entire world.

And you're going to have to take back the "normal" comment, I'm afraid. No one has ever called me that before. Seriously!


Piton Ron: Unfortunately, I haven't been to Alaska...yet. So much to do! I'm on the East Coast, but will be headed West for a visit in the fall. Really looking forward to it. (I've been to CA a few times, but always felt like the ocean was on the wrong darn side!)

Your point about sadness and isolation is well-taken. Connection is what keeps us all going. I know virtually nothing about the circumstances which led to Bill's heartbreaking decision, and perhaps it is best so.

What I can share is that I hit my own health "wall" in my mid- to late-30s (I went from ricochet-rabbit to turtle in a matter of months), and it was absolute Hell going to doctor after doctor and hearing that nothing was wrong. Ultimately, I figured it out for myself and was finally diagnosed with celiac disease last summer. (It is most often referred to as an intestinal illness, but what most people and doctors don't realize, is that it often creates a horrific nutrient imbalance/deficiency, which can directly impact and drastically affect the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, and therefore, a person's emotional wellness.) After experiencing my own battle, and being back to my ricochet-rabbit self through a simple change in diet, as well as excluding the disease on my birth mom's side of the family, I strongly suspect that Bill may have also suffered from the same disease. What does crush me at times, is that it may have been something so simple that took him away from us.

Now, as for your comment about golf...I suppose it might be the equivalent of saying that climbing is a good gondola ride spoiled! Golf is nearly exclusively mental (in anguish and joy, respectively). :D


BooDawg: I haven't responded to your unbelievably generous offer because I don't feel worthy!
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
May 6, 2012 - 08:58pm PT
Such a poignant story! And another example of ST magic!

My wife Gerry bought a small DOLT zippered nylon bag in the early seventies at Lauria's West Ridge store. If you send me a private message with your address, we'd be happy to send it to you.

Rick and Gerry
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
May 6, 2012 - 10:46pm PT
Thanks for sharing!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
May 6, 2012 - 10:53pm PT
Lila

Welcome to the ST clan and thank you for sharing your story with us. I met your dad only once but I was fortunate to climb with many of his mates over the years. If you get a chance, have Boodawg do his Robin Williams, history of golf act if you make it to Yosemite.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
May 6, 2012 - 11:13pm PT
What a fantastic and amazing tale. I both thank you for sharing it, and wish you the very best on your journey to discover your roots while you still can. All too true and sad, time waits for no man or woman.
nature

climber
CO
May 6, 2012 - 11:29pm PT
John.. I'm still bitter... not a single bite!
good times with new friends but dammit I wanted fresh yellowfin!
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
May 7, 2012 - 02:45am PT
Lila: In many ways, like many others here on S.T., I was blessed with being able to climb in Yosemite at a very special time and as a result, to become friends with some remarkable people. Two of these were your birth mother and father. Dolt, by offering his newest, hand-forged by his own hands, pitons for Don and me to “test” on the Nose had some symbolic significance for both him and us: He’d helped to pioneer the Nose yet he never climbed the whole route himself. In a sense, he was asking us to take him along with us. Were we worthy? Was he? Actually, yes. He was our friend, and by accepting his generous offer, he helped us all learn about his design and how he could improve it, which he did afterwards. There were mutual benefits for all of us.

As part of my climbing blessing, I’ve come to own some special items. As you may discover, there are some especially deserving people whom I’ve met here on S.T. that were missing, from their collections, various items that I possessed. I deemed they were “worthy” and offered them items that they coveted. No one has refused my offers.

You approached me asking for help in your quest to discover who your parents were and, I suspect, recover whatever you could, information, stories, even artifacts, from their lives which will give your own life and your daughter’s more meaning. Had I thought you were “unworthy,” I might have just deleted your message. I know this has not been easy for you, yet you have persisted with your heart and soul. Now, after a life of not knowing much about either of your birth parents, you have been welcomed into both of their families. Your persistence and your heritage makes you especially worthy. I know you will find a place of honor in your home for a DoltPeg, and you will use it to teach your daughter about her family. Think of yourself as this DoltPeg’s steward. Will you hold it in trust for either your daughter or YCA? Please?

I recently visited the Holocaust Museum in Wash., DC. Of all the displays there, the one that touched me the most was the place where one walks between displays of hundreds, if not thousands, of shoes that were worn by those who lost their lives. Those shoes actually touched the feet of those who possessed them. Likewise, those DoltPegs were created by the impassioned hands of Bill Dolt. He was putting his heart and soul into making the finest pitons he could. It is his heart and soul that I want you to be able to hold in your own hands. Please accept that you are worthy to possess one.
Prod

Trad climber
May 7, 2012 - 10:09am PT
Golf is nearly exclusively mental

Being a climber turned golfer turned back to climber I can say that both sports take a great deal of physical concentration and mental agility.

Prod.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 7, 2012 - 11:02am PT
Well, aside from spoiling a good walk, I like that it is essentially a marksmanship competition.
But the tools are so crude and the wild cards so variable that it is an inefficient determinant of skill.

I'd probably golf like Bill Murray anyway.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 7, 2012 - 11:15am PT
Hi LilaBiene,

Welcome to SuperTopo, the online version of real life, with no spatial or time dimensions and certainly no regard for statistical probabilities.

Also, we have a basic rule: everyone is worthy. (Otherwise there is no accounting for the full breadth of what is posted here.)

We have tried other rules to account for all of the folks who post and read ST, but the only two that seem to fit all the possibilities are "unworthy" or "worthy." To keep it positive, we choose "worthy" for everyone and everything.

Besides, how cool is to have a Dolt pin that was used by Don and Ken on the Nose in 1967, when Bill was still alive. If you don't like it, sell it on eBay--just kidding.

Comparing the pictures you posted, you look like your Mom.

Thanks for posting.

Roger Breedlove

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 7, 2012 - 11:44am PT
Lila, pardonnez-moi! But I did say you only looked normal. Your trenchant
history of your most admirable investigation clearly belies any resemblance
of normality. That and the fact you've willingly descended into this warren
of anti-normality.

I don't know how many degrees separate me from Kevin Bacon but I am sure our
Grandpa Reillys would not need to go back very far. My esteemed Grandpa Reilly
held sway over our Chicago clan. To his credit he was not above employing his
ethnic connections to achieve a position of great power on the streets of the
Windy City. One of my fondest memories was going to visit him at work and
helping him to raise his drawbridge. Now that was a tangible power!
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
May 7, 2012 - 11:58am PT
the taco stand has reach it's summit. lilabiene had the grit. drinking it all in ...
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
May 7, 2012 - 12:08pm PT
This may be a statistical improbability, but also sounds like a case of "the harder you work, the luckier you get."

Wonderful story, thanks for posting.
perswig

climber
May 7, 2012 - 12:48pm PT
You wouldn't happen to be related to the Reilly's of New Harbor, Maine, would you? (My mother's side of the family.)

I work in Boothbay and Wiscasset, tons o' Pemaquid, Bristol, and New Hahbah Reillys around here.

Dale
hossjulia

Social climber
Eastside (of the Tetons)
May 7, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
Awesome story, tfpu!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 7, 2012 - 03:18pm PT
Thanks, Lila, for posting one of the most wonderful things I've ever read on line. The only creation of your father's that I own, I still cherish and use -- my now 40+ year old Doltster.

It's also great to read about climbers who golf. Back when the Ahwahnee Hotel's pitch and putt course was still in existence, I wanted to carry a wedge and a few balls up the Royal Arches and see if I could hit a green from the Jungle, but climbing partners talked me out of it.

John
jogill

climber
Colorado
May 7, 2012 - 03:27pm PT
A wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

;>)
micronut

Trad climber
May 7, 2012 - 06:00pm PT
Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. As a dad who has two adopted children, I can appreciate your journey on some level, if even a small one. My wife and I hope to be able to allow our kids the freedom to seek out their history when the time is right. Its strange for me, sometimes when I think about it, to know that my kids have biological parents out there who may often wonder about them. The whole thing is too big to understand sometimes.

Thanks again.
Scott
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 7, 2012 - 08:09pm PT
Boodawg, you honor me with your words and wisdom.

I would be very proud to be a steward of the Dolt peg until it goes to live with Ken Yager at the YCA. To touch and hold something in my hands that he made...I'm barely keeping it together.

To be able to teach my daughter about the great outdoors, leaving the planet better than she found it, living out her dreams whatever they may be...will be so much more colorful with the stories about Dolt and Ann that I will be able to share, and now, moreso, because she will be able to hold something tangible in her hands to spark her curiosity.

I can't help but think that they're both smiling...broadly. My heart thanks you.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 7, 2012 - 09:14pm PT
LilaBiene,

I gave all of my 70s gear to Ken Yager so he could build authentic displays using 70s gear. I gave camping gear, clothes, EBs I had worn, as well as all of my ancient hardware, some of which was produced by your birth father. I saved one piece back, a Dolt pin, that was elongated to about 8 inches. I used it through my climbing days to fish nuts and clean dirt out of cracks. I think it was with me on every climb I did starting in 1971. It is a fine piece of hardware, and it is the only physical piece of that life 40 years ago that I have left: it is enough.

Thanks for joining us.



Here is a picture of my Dolt holster--Nylon--my Dolt cleaning pin (the one I kept), and an early version of an elongated hammer better suited for cleaning.
MisterE

Social climber
May 7, 2012 - 09:27pm PT
Great story, Lila - you are the offspring of a legend. Big boots to fill, but your spirit covers that well.

Peace, Erik
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 8, 2012 - 12:06am PT
What a wild story. Thanks for also cross-posting on Daryl Hatten's thread. I was only 11 in '71 and so not exactly climbing in Yos.

But knew Daryl well.

All the best to you Lila ! :-)
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
May 8, 2012 - 12:10am PT
Great story - thank you for sharing it with us. I like the photo of your mom, she looks nice. I wonder if anybody recognizes where it was taken.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2012 - 11:34pm PT
I haven't laughed this much or this often in a really long time -- so thanks for that!

JEleazarian: Loved your story about combining sports. About 10 years ago, I hit a ball off of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland (before anyone starts cursing me out, it was before I learned that golf balls contain lead) in what felt like gale force winds -- definitely memorable, not so much for the act itself, but for the moment in between when I lost my balance and regained it again.

Perswig: You reminded me that I've been running around on rocks since I could walk, just not the "big wall" types. ")

Roger B: So happy to hear that you donated your gear to Ken Yager & the YCA. It seems right to me that Bill's equipment have a home where he loved to be and seemed happiest.

And funny that you said that I look like my birth mom, because her sister took one look at another photo and said I look like my birth dad. Guess I'll just have to show up so we can settle it once and for all. lol.

Prod: I bow down to the 2 iron. My 3 iron only gets to come out to play for good behavior. I find, though, that if I try to concentrate physically, my brain gets in the way, so this is where humor comes in very handy.

Reilly: My grandpa was in the lighthouse service on the Hudson River in NY. I always admired his job, too. Say, what is it about Reillys and water?!


Hey, and thanks to everyone who shared their own adoption stories. Everyone deserves to love and be loved!


Question: Does anyone happen to know whether Bill was flexible? I inherited hypermobility somewhere along the line, and it doesn't appear to have come from my birth mom's side of the family. Just learned today that I inherited my strong hands from him...pretty darn cool.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
May 9, 2012 - 12:48am PT
Lila.... WOW, Just saw this story ....Wow..wow... wow..and Welcome...Thanks for sharing your birth story....
Best wishes to you....


ps...Maysho has a a cool adoption story...
pss.. adoption stories have always fascinated me...
Berdette Robison

climber
the present
May 9, 2012 - 11:59am PT
I have not been on the Supertopo in several months. I am not a climber, nor have never been involved in any aspect of that world. I went to my Senior Prom with Boodawg in 1963 and found him via this website. I spent a few months on the Supertopo website and read so many fascinating stories. Then life took over and my visits to Supertopo stopped.

I read your story and am so moved. What an amazing journey for you. It must be so incredible for you to find out so much about your birth parents from what were essentially strangers to you just a short while ago. How tragic that you never knew either one of them. But, I'm sure from the outpouring of stories, you must feel a true connection. I hope your adoptive parents have been supportive and are as overwhelmed as you are. You are truly an inspiration. What a gift to be able to give your daughter.

By the way, it's Boodawg's birthday May 15!
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 9, 2012 - 11:11pm PT
So, I started thinking about all of the things that had to happen in order to be here now...

If I just start from the moment when my daughter was first put in my arms, when it occurred to me that Ann's arms were empty...I couldn't stop thinking about how fortunate I was to have the care of this little soul entrusted to me, and yet, at the same time, my heart ached for what it must have felt like for Ann to have gone through something so miraculous and then have had to pack up her things to leave the hospital...and go home all alone.

I wanted her to have the chance, if it wasn't too painful for her, to meet my little muppet and to soak up some of the sunshine that she radiates constantly, if only to give her back some of the connection she had so bravely passed along to my mom and dad and me. I wanted to look into her eyes and express my love and gratitude and deepest respect.

My search started with obtaining my original birth certificate and a copy of a single sheet of "non-identifying" information from Catholic Charities about my birth parents. Non-identifying...no kidding.

There are many more women out there with my birth mother's name than I could have imagined, but I was able, with the assistance of two superb "search angels" to narrow it down, and finally located her birth record, which also listed her mother's maiden name, through which I was able to locate records on her mother, who had come to the US in the early part of the last century from England. While ancestry.com is a terrific resource for people who have already moved on, it's not such a great resource for people who are still living.

I scoured hundreds and hundreds of webpages, looking for clues that might lead to more information about my birth mom, but all I was able to come up with was a family tree that went backwards. I nearly gave up here, thinking that if she had wanted to be found, it would have been easier to locate her. I registered with a reunion registry, but there were no matches. I began to think that maybe she really didn't want to be found.

I eventually happened upon her 1969 UCLA graduation picture, which blew me away. What if UCLA hadn't had the yearbooks scanned into the Archives.com database? It renewed my hope, and I continued to search, but came up empty-handed time and again. When it finally did occur to me that she might have changed to her middle name, a few pieces of information popped up here and there, but nothing current.

Little did I know that Ann had spent time living abroad in Russia, and more recently, in Brazil. In fact, she was living in Brazil on a permanent resident visa until about 6 months ago when she went back to Alaska for health reasons. Now I know why it was so difficult to find anything about her -- she wasn't in the US and was busy getting on with living!

Had she not come back to the US, it is doubtful that I would have ever "found" her, or ever known if she was even still alive. I certainly never would have found her amazing sister! For reasons I can't explain, last fall I became more determined than ever to get my message to her. I purchased an address history report and sent a card to her around Thanksgiving of last year to the most recent address listed. And then I waited. And checked the mail every day. Until the card came back as no forwarding address the day before Christmas.

What to do...I felt like I was running out of time. I searched, and searched, and then searched some more. Then I happened upon a jazz magazine publication that had posted its mailing list for whatever strange reason, and I found an address for her from 2 years ago. I grabbed a larger envelope and stuck the returned card inside, along with a small family picture taken with Santa Claus, and put the card in the mail the very next morning (sometime between Christmas and New Year's Day). And the wait began again.

I secretly hoped that the card had made its way to her, and that maybe she was just waiting for my birthday to call. Silly, but I refused to let go of hope. My birthday came and went, and I made peace with things, knowing that I had done everything I could possibly do. Like BooDawg mentioned in reference to his posting of the UCLA "Traffic Diversion" story, the search I did one Friday night in March just before bed was almost an after thought. I assumed I wouldn't find anything, but thought what the heck.

I was completely blindsided when I saw the Alaska State Police Report. She had passed away just five days before my birthday. I was lost.

But Ann made sure I was "found" by listing her younger sister as her next of kin (and by sharing her story with her sister a number of years ago). And she also made sure that it would be possible for me to find out who my birth father was by sharing his name with Catholic Charities. What if she hadn't done either of these things?

Switching back to the puzzle of my birth father, what if Don Lauria hadn't posted the "Dolt Stories"? And what if DEE EE hadn't posted such a thoughtful comment about parents knowing Bill through UCLA? (It was adding "UCLA" to the mix of search terms that led to the "Dolt Stories" posts.) After all, if neither of these things had happened, I would still be completely in the dark. What if Catholic Charities had required that I get a court order before being willing to divulge any information? The lights would still be out.

And as BooDawg mentioned, he had posted the "Traffic Diversion" story almost as an after thought. What if he hadn't done so?

I suppose this is my way of dealing with the sadness that they are both now gone...in that I marvel every day at how many threads had to be woven together to lead me home. Lucky me!
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
May 9, 2012 - 11:56pm PT
Good for you for reaching out and It's good you are learning more about your birth parents.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 10, 2012 - 01:42am PT
Genealogy searches often seem to yield such random results for me,
so I'm glad that nothing very important or urgent depends on my searches.
But there is still a desire to learn more about people in the past.
For me, it is not so much that they are my relatives,
but that they are ordinary people, and I try to imagine what it was like to live in those days (usually the 1800s).

We even have an adoption story in our family tree.
All are different, I suppose.
In this one, we did not know about it until a relative of my mom's was contacted by some researchers in 1999.
Back in 1856, Abigail Lindley (age 26) became pregnant out of wedlock.
Abbie moved in with an aunt in New York, had a baby girl, and gave it up for adoption to a family in Ohio. She never married.
Abbie was well educated and became a teacher in Tennessee, and also sold books and pictures door-to-door.
Over time, she did a lot of travelling in Florida and kept diaries.
These she turned into a book about Florida, "Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes", published in 1879 under the pseudonym "Sylvia Sunshine".
Abbie's diaries were saved at Duke University, and in them she occasionally discussed her lost daughter:
 June 13, 1865 - the eve of Ortie's birthday, she wrote, "I was a child of strong impulses, with a restless disposition. I had no one to properly check my turbulent inclinations (her mother died in 1836), and guide my erring steps, until I had made an unfortunate move which I cannot remove with tears of blood, and now I am only waiting for my mission to be fulfilled, that I may live in peace and be at rest." (Abbie taught school in Tennessee for two years).

She never had direct contact with her lost daughter, but her father did, and she received some things from his estate, such as a family piano.

Researchers reading her diary were curious about her daughter, and managed to trace some of her descendents, reaching us. In 2000, my parents and some other family members had a gravestone made and placed it on Abbie's previously unmarked grave in St. Augustine, FL.

There is often a desire for family connections, I guess because working together has essentially helped family genes survive in the past.
You are lucky in some ways and have 2 families to connect with now (assuming your parents or their relatives are still alive).
Thank you for sharing your story.
At a minimum it gives us more insight into Bill Dolt and another factor for why he may have felt so discouraged in December 1971.
There are random factors in life; some mistakes get made, corrected as much as possible, some goals never get reached, and some are accomplished due to things out of our control.
We just have to ride it and try to do the best we can....
FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
May 10, 2012 - 02:07am PT
WOW Lilabiene you're amazing - thank you so much for posting this.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
May 10, 2012 - 04:04am PT
Mothers day is really going to be special this year! Your an awesome mother and your daughter is one lucky kid. Let me wish you a happy Mothers Day.
Dos XX

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
May 10, 2012 - 08:59am PT
This is so cool, and amazing!

I have adopted two girls as infants. I never met my oldest daughter's birth mother (we did write her for many years, keeping her apprised of her daughter's life with us), but my adopted daughter (now 20 years old) tracked down her birth sister via Facebook, which eventually led to the chance to meet her birth mother in person. Her birth mother has lived, and continues to live a very rough life, which helped our adopted daughter appreciate the sacrifice her birth mother made on her behalf, and appreciate the wonderful life she's had as a member of our family. My oldest adopted daughter's name is Sierra, after the Range of Light, given long before it became as popular as it is today.
Banquo

climber
Amerricka
May 10, 2012 - 11:10am PT
I love LilaBiene's story of her search because it is so genuine. It is so awesome that her birth parents turned out to be such interesting people. Both of them seem to have interesting stories and the whole thing would make a book that I'd love to read. Although she claims to be shy, Lila can write and should.

I have a very different adoption story. My parents divorced when I was very small and I have almost no memories of my father. He was never home. After a couple years of living with my grandmother, my mom remarried a wonderful guy who took care of me, bought me what I needed and helped me through college. If I mention my dad, it is my adoptive father that I am referring to. He legally adopted me so my last name changed.

After my freshman year at SJSU, I went back to northern Idaho for the summer where I worked on a construction survey crew. One Saturday morning as I loafed in bed with my girlfriend, he knocked on the door and introduced himself. This was a bit of a shock and I suggested we meet later for lunch at a cafe - neutral territory. It's a convoluted story how he found me but it was my brother's doing not mine.

The next summer my girlfriend and I met him for a weekend camping trip in Oregon. I don't recall much about this weekend except it was uncomfortable being with his friends, new wife and two step daughters. That fall my brother and I along with our girlfriends spent a weekend with him and his wife on the coast. He volunteered to send us $50 a month to help with college (he had never paid any alimony or child support). The money never showed up and I never talked to him again.

During WW2 he had been in the navy with my uncle and once in awhile my uncle would let me know that he had heard from him. Before she passed way my grandmother heard from him once in awhile. Last summer my aunt called to say that his obituary had appeared in the paper. Odd feelings about that. My uncle tells me that the last time they talked all he wanted to talk about was the booze he drank.

I know nothing of his genealogy although I do recall his mother. I remember spending the weekend at her house. She tended bar for a living. Her "husband" drove a cab and was not there in the evenings. I recall watching TV in bed with her and my brother. Actually, my brother and I watched TV while she drank bottles of beer.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 10, 2012 - 11:33am PT
In 1983, shortly after having moved back to Merced, naturally I felt my life had ended and my dreams reflected this feeling. One stands vividly out: I am hiking down the trail from some mountain, loaded with climbing gear. I encounter myself coming up the trail, carrying my golf clubs. "Have you ever climbed Neon Green Pinnacle?" I ask myself.
"No, but have you seen one? I think it came over here."
I am in a better place now. Medication, you know.

Since this is about statistics, "Only one in 250 million have ever been to the top of Neon Green Pinnacle." In spite of its unique color, it is difficult to find, as it is where the white man's never been and the injun's afraid to go.

The possibility I would ever find the golf ball ended when I awoke.

I never played the 9-holer at the Ahwahnee. I don't think I missed much.

Firefall, though, I still don't believe they did it........and I saw it.
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
May 10, 2012 - 02:07pm PT
This is just too good not to bump. Totally captivating story.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 10, 2012 - 10:09pm PT
Clint: What a fascinating story. And how amazing that some wonderful folks researched the genealogy, diaries and found your family. Incredible.

I agree with what you said about just doing your best. In the years when I was sick and doctors were of no help, I was at a very low point in my life and at times felt very hopeless as to whether I would ever be able to dig myself back out of the hole I had fallen into. (My uncle gave me some sage advice a few years back: When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging!) But you do the best you can, and if your persist long enough, things will turn themselves in a different direction.

It does weigh heavy on my heart that my birth may have contributed to his overwhelming sadness, especially since he was raised by foster parents himself. But I also believe that there is a very high probability that he suffered from celiac disease, which unless diagnosed, can take a terrible toll emotional health.

I want to celebrate his life, because he gave me some very rare qualities that I am grateful for every single day.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
May 10, 2012 - 10:37pm PT

Lila, Hey....So cool to have you joining us here on the Taco... It has been an enjoyable- exciting story to hear...Thanks!

ps..Happy Mother' Day!!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 10, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
As it is Mothers Day any day now,
I wish all of you mothers out their will be satisfied with getting the least little shred of respect you deserve from your kids and for longer than the time it takes one of them to read and return a text...

Soppy sorry ass posers you are nonetheless mothers

Ave Eve

you know who I mean
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 11, 2012 - 08:26am PT
Modest Mouse: YES, we are all HUMAN!!! ;D
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
May 13, 2012 - 01:55am PT
Lila: Few people REALLY know statistical improbabilities the way you do, and as is often said, "Timing is everything." Taking a bit of a leisurely morning today to continue unpacking and sorting my stuff that arrived from Hawaii a few weeks ago, I came across some stationery that I had from shortly after Dolt left us.

DoltPeg, 2 Dolt bolt hangers, and a Dolt Bashie, set on a sheet of Dol...
DoltPeg, 2 Dolt bolt hangers, and a Dolt Bashie, set on a sheet of Dolt's stationery.
Credit: BooDawg

I also rummaged in a box of vintage hardware and picked out several pieces that I'd be honored if you'd hold until you feel it's time to pass on to your daughter or to the YCA.

The chunk of aluminum with the hole and nylon loop and the # 4 as well as Dolt's logo stamped into it is a "bashie" or a "mashie," The metal is soft so that it could be pounded with a climber's hammer until it deformed around or into some irregularity in the rock. Then a carabiner was clipped into the nylon loop, and if it were well placed, it would hold a climber's weight and allow one to proceed higher. If not, well... The main problems with them were that they defaced the rock like pitons did and also the nylon would fray or rot under the sun's UV attack and then it would often make a problem for the next party to try to climb the route.

Dolt made at least 2 kinds of bolt hangers. These are used after one has hand drilled (with the help of one's hammer) a hole into the rock. Then one inserts a bolt and hanger into the hole to attach oneself to the rock.

Credit: BooDawg

The DoltPeg is similar to other pitons in that it has a tapering blade and is driven into cracks in the rock. Then a carabiner is clipped into the eye, and all manner of stuff is clipped into that one. Dolt's innovation with these was the D-shaped hole which he reasoned would allow the carabiner to lie closer to the rock and thus reduce leverage and the likelihood it would pull out. However, that advantage only occurs if it is placed in a mostly horizontal crack, and Yosemite's cracks are mostly vertical ones. Also, the fact that the hole is not round tends to decrease the strength of the piton's eye compared to a round hole since a round shape best resists deformation under the blows from one's hammer.

Credit: BooDawg

Credit: BooDawg

Happy Mother's Day Lila! It must feel great to have succeeded in identifying your own birth mother and father and to have begun meeting some of their friends. Lucky for you and your own daughter, improbable as it must have seemed at times to you!
john hansen

climber
May 13, 2012 - 02:07am PT
that is quite insightful about the shape of the eye Ken.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 13, 2012 - 08:17pm PT
BooDawg: Oh, my...gosh, I'm completely at a loss for words*.

Though I'm still just beginning to learn about climbing hardware, wow...

I'll cop to being completely choked up, full of awe and reminded once again of how precious and beautiful life really is...and of how so many of life's most rewarding moments arise out of connection.

Thank you for the beautiful presentation of Bill's creations, and for providing the context and background. I could barely take my eyes off of the pictures to post a reply, and can not wait to go back and read your post again.

What a magical way to end mother's day -- my heart is so full!

Thank you!!!

P.S. My mother's day present is an intro to climbing package at a local Boston climbing gym -- this time around it will have so much more meaning for me. Should be booking flights for the face lift soon.


*Good friends will attest that this has hardly ever happened in the history of moi. ;)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 13, 2012 - 09:51pm PT
Well, BooDawg went to UCLA, which in LA-speak means "you are looking at Los Angeles" so he's nothing if not insightful.
But they don't tell you the shtuff he knows in the classroom. He's had decades to learn this and decades to forget it. It's good to hear this technical aspect of the lost art, well, ignored art.
Nailing was just so much fun, I never stopped to consider the niceties and never pursued it past the basics, really.
There is a world of difference in what the professional observer sees and what the casual observer merely thinks he is seeing.
MFM (a dolt in a former life)
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 13, 2012 - 11:43pm PT
Lila, just holler if you need help or advice with FaceLift logistics and arrangements. If you're used to camping that'll help, but isn't entirely necessary. As you can see from:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/630504/need-help-three-man-cot-doesnt-work-please-advise
schwortz

Social climber
"close to everything = not at anything", ca
May 14, 2012 - 01:44am PT
wow. cool story. tfpu
Fletcher

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
May 14, 2012 - 02:18am PT
Wow... You are a good story teller Lila! Amazing story indeed and it made my night. Especially the part where you reveal you father's name. My jaw was on the ground!

This Taco Stand certainly can be a magical place.

Since you have mentioned you're in the Boston area, that photo on the golf course looks like Cape Cod or nearby to me. I grew up in Massachusetts and spent many summers at my grandfather's summer home in Chatham.

Eric
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 14, 2012 - 04:44pm PT
MH: LOVED that link!!! :D I'm pretty good with the technical stuff, excuding the compass.

Told the hubby about my plans to participate in the face lift and he was all cool with it until I started talking about camping...I wish I had a picture of his face as he put 2 and 2 together and quickly recovered asking if I wasn't just going to visit folks in CA?

No, I gleefully chirped, I'm going CAMPING! (Observe wheels turning faster.) Where? He asks nonchalantly...

Yosemite! Yay! (I'm practically hitting the roof of the car in excitement.) Isn't that awesome?!!

No - he squawks - you're...you're...well...going to need a chaperone!

I give him a LOOK...and burst out laughing, so hard I can barely talk. He's worried I'm going to get LOST. Well, duh, of course I'm going to get lost. I'm directionally challenged. This is nothing new.

Tent? No problem. Tent in the correct national park? Now, that's up for grabs. ;D
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 14, 2012 - 09:27pm PT
Once you get to the Valley, you may have a surfeit of chaperones. It may be one of the safest 'towns' in your country.
laughingman

Mountain climber
Seattle WA
May 14, 2012 - 10:48pm PT
Good story. Glad you learned about yourself in a profound way...


Better then my dads friend. He learned that he was not biologically related to his "parents" via a blood test, in school (back when you could handle blood in high school biology classes).
Prod

Trad climber
May 15, 2012 - 09:51am PT
Hi Lila,

There are other options to tent camping as MH has stated. The Curry tent cabing are pretty cool, the Awahnee is very nice for a national park, the Lodge etc. But screw all of that you need to be camping in the heart of it all in the Yellow Pines campground. Ken Yeager, who sets up Facelift also gets a private campground.

Here is a look at what happens there.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/457799/Yosemite-Facelift-TR

MAke sure to hang out with the young at heart who stay up and make noise past 10:00 pm. Then have coffee and listen to the old Fuddy duddies complain about it at 6:00 am. You all know who you are!!!

Prod.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 15, 2012 - 05:45pm PT
If I wasn't stuck in some ring of Dante's Inferno on a commuter bus in the rain on the Mass. Pike during rush hour...I would be hopping up & down, arms all a'flailing-like.

Tent = no problem!

Huge PROPS to my birth dad for passing along this nifty talent. :D

If I'm going to cross multiple timezones to be in a beautiful national park, I am sleeping outdoors. 'Nuff said. Well, unless . . .did someone say bears?

(Just make sure you laugh really hard when you see how many maps I bring with me. Deal?)
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 15, 2012 - 06:49pm PT
Yeah Lila, bears, even racoons with attitudes, but MH's brigade will give you the 411 and keep you safe from getting tooled (watch out for you know who).

The Lift is your best bet for connecting with people who knew your dad.

Oh, and there are some rocks there too,..
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2012 - 08:31am PT
PR: Rocks, you say? :D I can't wait - it's going to be a very looooong 4 months.

From what I've read here on ST, I have no business going vertical out there, but I'm excited to see what it feels like looking up...

O the already OT, but is this part of the vision for gratis topo exchanging you alluded to in 2004?
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2012 - 10:58pm PT
Flights booked for the Face Lift in September -- I'm psyched!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 17, 2012 - 10:37am PT
Yeah, rocks.

If you've never been to the Valley you should have somebody drive you so that you don't go off the road when you see the Captain.
I really don't think it is necessary to be an experienced climber to be completely wowed by it.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
May 17, 2012 - 01:07pm PT
Lila,
I don't know how I missed this thread until now. Shyness is rapidly becoming an inadequate description of yourself, good for you!
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
May 17, 2012 - 05:18pm PT
Lila,


I have been both honored and blessed to be someone who could guide you along on your amazing, personal journey. What I write here cannot express how much I admire your courage in pursuing not only the identities of your birth parents but also your desire and persistence in getting to know who they were and to acquaint yourself with their friends.

I would be honored, when you come to California, to guide you further and to offer you a free tour to give you some human,
natural, and climbing history about Yosemite.

I have sent the 4 pieces of Dolt’s hand-made hardware that you can hold in trust for either your daughter or for the YCA.

Looking forward to continuing the journey…
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2012 - 09:16pm PT
The Road Not Taken

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."


I simply never could have imagined "meeting" so many incredible souls on this road I'm traveling...I am so touched, and humbled.

And PR, you already know how much I appreciate being reminded of my favorite poem.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2012 - 06:38pm PT
BooDawg: Your box greeted me on the front steps this morning. What a great way to start the day!

Since we were on our way out to do the usual Sat. morning dash, the box came with us and practically grinned at me from the passenger seat. When we finally crossed the finish line and made it home, I brought the box inside and set it down, but couldn't open it. I stared at the box for a very long time. My little muppet couldn't for the life of her understand why I wasn't tearing open this very special present.

I finally opened it a few minutes ago.

I wish I could express what it felt like to read your letter on Dolt letterhead, and then take the individual pieces of hardware out of the box one by one. Needless to say, I keep picking them up and turning them over in my hands.

Both the Doltpeg and bashie feel strangely electric. I can't hold them for longer that a few seconds at a time before I actually h a v e to put them back down again. Amazing...

I know I've said this before, but I can't help but think that both Bill and Ann are somewhere smiling. All four pieces are going to have a place of honor under my pillow tonight, and probably for the foreseeable future (at least until I can put my "big girl" pants back on!).

Thank you, thank you...thank you, more than I will ever be able to express in words, for being the most profound connection to each of my birth parents. I'm really looking forward to having the chance to thank you in person in September.
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
May 20, 2012 - 10:29pm PT
Lila:

Thank you for sharing your experience with the box and its contents.

I'm so pleased that you are touched deeply by touching those items that were once in Bill's hands. Knowing that your life has become richer is thanks enough for me. I like to think that Sheila/Ann and Bill are smiling as well.

I do look forward to hanging out with you when you come west.
FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
May 20, 2012 - 10:51pm PT
BooDawg ------ About the coolest thing ever.


LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2012 - 06:07pm PT
Five months after sending the letter to my birth mom (almost to the day), it arrived in the mail today marked "no forwarding address". So now I know that she never even knew I was looking for her.

Just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the many words of encouragement and welcome.

You never really do know how much a kind word can do to turn someone's situation around.

Herzlichen Dank.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 16, 2012 - 10:11pm PT
Credit: LilaBiene

Okay...it took me long enough, I know, but I finally did some climbing and what can I say...I love humiliation. :D

Anybody want to go climbing somewhere in the eastern half of Mass. this weekend?!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 17, 2012 - 12:22pm PT
It looks like somebody is training for the FaceLift.

I'd love to, but geography has imposed itself. As you likely know by now, there is some climbing around Boston, and if you're willing to drive a little, quite a lot at places in New Hampshire such as Rumney and Cathedral. Probably climbing schools and stuff, too, if you need some instruction. There are also climbing gyms, stores and clubs in the area that might provide help. Plus probably a few people in the area who knew your father.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 17, 2012 - 12:30pm PT
Lila I missed this thread when you posted it. I just now saw it.

But I had to stop reading it after your very first post.

For some reason my vision is blurred and really, I need to go blow my nose.

Thank you for sharing some of your soul with me!

(now I really need to go blow my nose, seriously...)

DMT
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 17, 2012 - 09:47pm PT
Perhaps I'll concede to "training" once I can get past 2.5 chin-ups...until then, let's just call it what it is. Persistent humiliation. :D

And I can't wait to subject myself to more.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 17, 2012 - 10:12pm PT
Ditto to the comment by dingus, hell I get teary eyed reading this thread a third time. I nominate it for best thread of the year.

not to worry two pullups is plenty strong for Yosemite trad. See you at Facelift maybe
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 18, 2012 - 09:33am PT
MH, DMT & JB:

The best part of this new chapter in my journey through this life is being able to share something meaningful that creates so many connections across times and places...good, no, AMAZING things happen on ordinary days. You never know what lies above or around the corner.

Did I happen to mention how psyched I am to meet y'all and to be able to contribute in the FaceLift??! Seeing Yos NP will be pretty cool, too, I understand...
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 18, 2012 - 10:05am PT
Amazing story, LilaBiene, thanks so much for sharing it! As the parent of an adopted child, whose birth parents we know VERY little about, your story gives me shivers.

I look forward to meeting you at Facelift!

Thanks for sharing your truly amazing story!

Cheers,
DR
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Jul 18, 2012 - 11:58am PT
Nice story and writing, LilaBiene.

It looks like you've fallen into the arms of people who love you.


(I didn't know you were such a softie, DMT.)
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Jul 18, 2012 - 12:26pm PT
Lila,

Thank you for sharing your very personal story.

Very misty eyes you've given me.

ST can be a very powerful way of sharing at times. Amazing and wonderful.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 18, 2012 - 12:28pm PT
MikeL I cry at the drop of a hat - old movies, certain songs, the look from one of my children, my daughter graduating from college, telling someone I love them.... I'm all weepy eyed!

I can break my neck break my leg ram a screwdriver through my thigh and I may holler some but you won't see a tear....

men, hah!

I'm a big baby, if you must know, like most other men. I stopped trying to hide it a while back.

DMT
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 18, 2012 - 04:22pm PT
Anyone who can't tell that DMT is an SOF (sentimental old fart) hasn't been reading his trip reports very carefully.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jul 18, 2012 - 04:46pm PT
Just warning you guys that you are getting sandbagged.

2.5 pull-ups is Lila's way of saying she did the third one with just one arm,...
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Jul 18, 2012 - 05:39pm PT
^Makes me wonder which arm she used and whether it was an overhand, underhand or side grip. I also wonder why not do the one-handed first then follow up with the two-hander. Why are things so complex? And that's without getting into body position.


Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 18, 2012 - 05:42pm PT
your right Ron! she might be calling a one-arm pull-up a half pull-up. So she did 5 one armed pull-ups?
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 18, 2012 - 07:40pm PT
HA!!! You guys have me laughing so hard, I have tears in my eyes and my fellow commuters on the bus appear very unsettled by my mirth...

But can I just ask you this? Can you NOT SEE the extremely awkward STATIC mess of a (third) attempt I've locked myself into on that...er...pebble??! Ug-ly!!!

One-armed pull-ups, my TAIL.

:D

(Anyone generous enough to share some advice about how to quit obsessing about how/when I'm going climb again so I don't lose my ability to earn a paycheck? This stuff should be accompanied by stronger warnings...completely counterintuitive.)
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jul 18, 2012 - 07:52pm PT
It is too late.


And the cure is worse than the disease.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 18, 2012 - 08:04pm PT
//Anyone generous enough to share some advice about how to quit obsessing about how/when I'm going climb again so I don't lose my ability to earn a paycheck?//

It's possible that some here know a thing or two about balancing work, family, and climbing. Some more successfully than others.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jul 18, 2012 - 08:09pm PT
Who's the sandbagger now?
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 18, 2012 - 09:02pm PT
Ron, I had to put my newly purchased climbing what-nots IN THE CAR so that I physically couldn't keep fiddling with them. And what do I think about every 5 minutes? Nope.

Sox just hit a 3-run homer and I'm thinking about ROCKS. Ha! Back-to-back home runs, and I'm considering sitting on my hands so that I don't grab my keys and make a run for the car.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jul 18, 2012 - 09:21pm PT
You're doing it all wrong!

Gear is for fiddling with!!

You are the Dolts kid fer Gosh sakes

Go get that gear

-------


Am I going to hell for this? lol
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jul 18, 2012 - 11:28pm PT
hahaha, fiddling with gear is a great diversion. After 30 years of fiddling it is not out of my system. I just bought 3 Omega Link cams on craigslist, they are fine fiddling material, got them on the coffee table right now, even non-climbers like to fiddle with them.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 19, 2012 - 12:01am PT
don't worry about the pullups
I've never been good at them, you learn to use what you have.... and the more you use, the more you have.

There is no cure for obsession... imagine listening to the 3rd game of the 2007 World Series on your car radio which you're bivouacked next to on a climbing trip.

What's more important? Climbing? or the BoSox in the Championship?

(and it is nice to see the team coming together, at least the offense after the break!)
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 19, 2012 - 09:22am PT
What a relief it was last night to bring my new treasures back in the house. Ooooooo! Nifty gadgets. Lots of knot practice, too.

Ed, I took my younger bro to game 2 of the 2007 WS @ home - I figured it might be my only chance, so bit the bullet and picked up some tix on StubHub. It was an incredibly tense game, definitely the quietest I've ever experienced @ Fenway. Very happy memory to be sure.

Oh, and that one-armed pull-up idea? That's for the birds or more bird-like folks...lol. I'm built quite solidly (think Mac truck), thank you very much. At least genetics dished me looser tendons & ligaments, so I don't break easily. ")

LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 2, 2012 - 11:38pm PT
TWO lousy chin-ups is STILL all I can squeak out...T W O!!! Expletive-squared!!! Granted, no cheating allowed & I start from a dead hang, but is three too much to ask?

How am I going to wrestle (I mean HUG) No. 46 if I can't even do three chin-ups?!! Oh, the shame...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 3, 2012 - 12:28am PT
OK, if you can do two pull-ups from a dead hang, please have the kindness not to be throwing out challenges to pull-up contests at the FaceLift. No need to embarrass anyone, eh?
john hansen

climber
Aug 3, 2012 - 01:18am PT
You have to remember that climbing is about foot work too. It is better to move your foot up six inches then to hang on your arms doing pullups.

Always take the baby steps if you can, the more wieght you keep on your feet the less your arms have to work.

Always use your legs before your arms.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Aug 3, 2012 - 02:31pm PT
^^^^^
???? Sensible advice ????
how BORING
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 4, 2012 - 01:15am PT
Grin. MH, I don't have a competitive bone in my body. My frustration with the chin-ups is that I seem to be going in the reverse in the strength department.

Cognitively, I get the legs before arms idea (true in many other sports, your power comes from the ground and big muscles tire less easily than the finer ones), but I seem to have an issue with sticking to the rock unless I use my shoulders/arms. The blood drains right out of 'em and I'm back to where I started. Figured the chin-ups would help my arms adapt to reduced circulation. My completely uneducated guess is that I'm doing something back a&&wards...no doubt I'll get schooled but good in Sept., eh? ;D

Haven't found anyone to climb with yet in the Boston area, alas, hope springs eternal...
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 5, 2012 - 07:07pm PT
First time in a harness and the Muppet was instructing ME where to put my hands and feet. What a hoot!

The Muppet's first climb
The Muppet's first climb
Credit: LilaBiene
Prod

Trad climber
Aug 5, 2012 - 07:41pm PT
Haven't found anyone to climb with yet in the Boston area, alas, hope springs eternal...

Have you tried Mountainproject.com? Try posting a "looking for a climbing partner" in the Eastern States section. I know there is a website that focuses more on that area but can't remember the name right now.

You should have no problem finding partners, especially if there is an indoor facility in your area.

Good luck,

Prod.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 5, 2012 - 11:06pm PT
Hey, thanks, Prod! Will check the site out. For now, just taking advantage of free climbing on the wall at the local REI. ")

Still don't get why my legs refuse to listen, but I suspect it's a reptile brain thing -- just haven't climbed enough to override the natural instinct to cling to the rock like a life ring. lol

Otherwise, I'm utterly, hopelessly hooked.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 6, 2012 - 01:53am PT
Actually them reptiles got it down; hold on loosely but never wrestle with 46.

Hey, speaking of holding on loosely, who put the harness on the munchkin?
Good thing she still has a foot on the ground.


Just back from OR. Only stopped in for a few hours today but still got to chat with Jello, the Kloeberdanz Kid, Hot Henry, ElCap Pirate, and lots of other people who apparently, judging by their reactions, have never seen a zombie gun with a tactical scribe.

So Lila, you don't need to be able to fire off chin ups to get a few of these good folks to take you up a couple of 5.6s between your duties at the Face-off.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Aug 6, 2012 - 02:13am PT
thank you for posting up!

an amazing and inspiring story!



my son's mother was adopted in Santa Barbara and was never able to find out who were her birth parents, so i have some understanding of the feelings involved



we are all brothers and sisters...
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 6, 2012 - 09:01pm PT
Python Ron... ") Really glad to hear you had what sounds like an excellent visit (nothing like raising a few eyebrows, eh?!). And you are spot on that the Muppet's harness wasn't fully tightened down -- this was actually intentional because she didn't like the harness much at all (the rope even less) -- and I wanted her first experience to be a positive one. My only goal was to get her excited about the prospect of scrambling around on the rocks. Guess it worked, because the first question out of her mouth this morning was: "Can we go look for little rocks today, Mum?" Practically knocked me flat. How lucky can one person be?

Tom C.: Thanks very much for the warm welcome. Really enjoying your thread on intention and awareness.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2012 - 12:29pm PT
Hi All!

Just a quick note to say thanks so much for all of your encouragement and support, without which I would still very much be invisibly alone on this journey. Instead, during the last six months you've shown me how very connected indeed, we all are, and for this I am ever grateful.

I'm all packed for the Facelift (a first, not being much of a planner - lol), and am so excited to see Yosemite and to take part in such an amazing volunteer effort. Also planning to attend the Oakdale Climbers Festival in October, so if I don't see you at the Facelift, I hope to see you there.

In gratitude,
Audrey

Fletcher

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Sep 9, 2012 - 12:43pm PT
You are packed already????!!!!! That's impressive. I am just in the early stages of thinking about thinking about planning to pack. Ha ha!

Agree that you need not worry about pullups, the legs are where most of the action is at and while that may be counterintuitive at first, it becomes natural with experience.

Love that name... Audrey is my daughter's name! :-)

See ya there!

Eric
perswig

climber
Sep 18, 2012 - 07:22pm PT


Guess who tied in for a day of full-immersion multipitch trad this weekend...
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 18, 2012 - 09:00pm PT
Crow Hill?
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Sep 18, 2012 - 09:07pm PT
Got more pix?? I KNOW she's been dyin' to go climbing, tho she'll probably get some good chances at Facelift and beyond, if someone will watch her little one. I, for one, will volunteer for that one tho the little one may have other ideas!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Sep 18, 2012 - 09:19pm PT
Perhaps we can arrange for her to not only meet some of her father's friends, but also to climb one of her father's routes. We'll figure something out.
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Sep 18, 2012 - 10:09pm PT
Right Side of the Footstool seem fitting, located a few hundred yards east of the beginning of The Nose. She'd probably like the setting with The Nose rising above and out of sight! And her Muppet could watch from the talus.

More challenging and less accessible are East Arete of Penny Pinnacle and Arrowhead Arete.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 18, 2012 - 10:32pm PT
That was more fun than any human being should ever be allowed!!!!!

The afterglow is still burning (in my heart and the many howling muscles I never knew I had) and I am so grateful for Ben's incredible patience and excellent teaching. The views of the Camden area were absolutely spectacular...and the fresh Maine air...it will be tough to beat what was a perfect day.

Here are a few shots courtesy of a friend of mine from Germany I hadn't seen in over 20 years -- thank you, Thi!!!

Credit: LilaBiene

Credit: LilaBiene

Credit: LilaBiene

Edit: The muppet is staying home this year -- it will be more fun for her next year, I think. ")
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 18, 2012 - 10:54pm PT
Nice warm up,...

























Credit: Piton Ron
perswig

climber
Sep 19, 2012 - 06:15am PT
No desert towers or overwhelming monolithic massifs here, just the classic NE experience.
Lichen, thought-provoking face climbing, small gear to clean, views of the ocean.
Call and response of a rope team, the pleasure of topping out, the mechanics of belaying and rapping.

Like a fish to water, she was.

First look.



She covets. Studying the lead rack.



"El Cap's only a little bit taller than our cliff."





Belay duty.





Mantling, and a second pitch of really nice .7 climbing.





Mid-cliff to top.







Coming down.








Another couple of pitches followed, although we were too far removed at that point to get any photos. Tell Thi 'nice pics', Audrey! Belay-seat Ledge makes a good photo/napping spot.

So here, now.
Don't go spoiling her with sporto bolted routes, endless cracks, chalked-to-hell obvious holds, and the rest of that nonsense. We'd like that she come back and visit us occasionally.

Dale



LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2012 - 09:55am PT
Hey Dale!!!

It was great meeting you and thanks so much for taking pictures! I meant to take some, but I was having so much fun that I completely forgot. Though I suspect that view of Camden Hills, the cliffs and the ocean will remain clear in my memory - incredible beauty...

Already plotting to find another weekend when I can sneak up North... :D

HA! I say that, and it's still excruciating trying to buckle my seatbelt in the car - laughing at myself.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Aud

Edit: I don't care what the rest of ya'll think about pull-ups - they saved my tail!!!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 19, 2012 - 10:53am PT
pullups are great,

but using your legs to get you up is a better technique in the long run... so learning that technique is an important part of learning to climb...

IMHO

LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2012 - 08:13pm PT
Somehow I suspect I'll spend the rest of my life learning how to climb...er...more efficiently.

I did discover that arches actually have a very useful purpose when rock climbing -- my "light dawns on Marblehead" moment of the day.

The pull-ups made pulling/pushing from side angles a breeze, and saved me more than once when my legs refused to "listen" (damn reptile brain!).

Fortunately for me, I had an amazing (and patient!) teacher in Ben. And, oh, the rack envy...so much fun cleaning so many different types of gear.

I could go on and on, but I suspect you've all been there. ;D
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 19, 2012 - 10:59pm PT
no matter how there we are, we still like to talk about gear...
always and ever...
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2012 - 08:43am PT
Aliens are very cool.

Ed, what are we going to do about the Sox? Start an "Occupy Fenway" demonstration until John Henry gets his head screwed back on in a proper fashion?! Argh. It's too painful to watch.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 11, 2012 - 11:46am PT
Hey, LilaBiene! Greetings from Middle Earth, I mean Central California.

Yeah, tough about the Sox. But how 'bout them As & Giants, eh?

I wanted to get these two photos posted and thought this was an
appropriate place. I know how much you liked that shot of Powell, the Dolt and What's His Face. In the parking lot? In the rain?

Photo taken by Dolt.
Photo taken by Dolt.
Credit: Yager/YCA
Batso and Powell.

Credit: Ed Cooper
Big Jim Baldwin on the Dihedral Wall FA.

Rope & rack for Dihedral FA.
Rope & rack for Dihedral FA.
Credit: Ed Cooper
How comforting it must seem to know that you've come to this sport through Bill and at a time when you don't have to carry masses of expensive and heavy IRON.

Instead, you get to cart around a fortune in sleekly designed silenced, hi-tech versions of the same.

See you at Oakdayle.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 12, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
So on the Saturday of the FaceLift, Ed Hartouni and I took the little bee, aka Audrey, aka Dolt's daughter, climbing. A most delightful afternoon, although rather hot. In fact, near record heat, not to mention that our destination was at the base of the southeast face. 30+ degrees and a reflector over were a bit toasty.

A few days before, Audrey went hiking with Ken and friends, who apparently told her that the Pohono trail was "ten miles, all downhill". So she may just have been a bit apprehensive.

For our history project, Clint and Ed searched the database for routes first climbed by Bill Feuerer, the Dolt. Given that Audrey had only just started climbing (she's quite athletic), that somewhat limited the options, and we ended up climbing the right side of the Footstool, at the base of El Cap. Nominally 5.6, perhaps a bit harder. (We said to her "Footstool 2012, Arrowhead Arete 2013, Dolt Tower 2014".) Adding to our history project, it turns out the Footstool was Ed's first route in the Valley, in 1970 or so.

Ed was the designated leader, using his lurid new pink rope, allegedly for its photogenic possibilities. Audrey the stout second, yours truly the photographer (we were desperate) and gofer.

Credit: Mighty Hiker
Here's Ed on top, with Audrey starting up. The route is in something of a rockfall zone, but you pays your money...
Michelle

Trad climber
she'll make.5 past light speed
Oct 12, 2012 - 07:46pm PT
I just saw this. So cool! Do you have a copy of Downward Bound by Harding? I could part with mine.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 12, 2012 - 08:50pm PT
So Ed got to the tippy top, passing an old piton (but not a Dolt) on the way. Up went Audrey.
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Credit: Mighty Hiker
It went quite well, and she was only momentarily stymied in one or two places. It was, after all, only her second day of outdoor climbing - it's not everyone who climbs El Cap on their second day! Plus we FaceLifted the trail and area, not that there was much to do.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 12, 2012 - 08:56pm PT
I loves dat Pink String, Ed!

Anders Adams, we give you a mighty hug from a great distance! Thanks!

LilaBiene, you looked like you buzzed rrright up! Congratulations, Odd!

Credit: BooDawg
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 12, 2012 - 11:38pm PT
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Credit: Mighty Hiker
(The posting is taking longer than the climb.)

We told Audrey about Dolt Tower - more or less in the background - and the Dolt Cart, but didn't take her there this time.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 13, 2012 - 12:05am PT
the note in my Green Roper's next to Footstool, Right says Aug. & Sept. 1971, I apparently did it twice that year. I am pretty sure the Aug. date was with DonC, and the Sept. date was with my high school buddy Michael Rosner.

We banged pitons in on both occasions (I think I lead both)... I think I went there with Gary in 2011 and did a 40th anniversary climb.

Always loved that location. Didn't remember that Mark & Beverly Powell and the Dolt did the FA in 1959. Odd that when I first did it it was only 12 years after the FA, now it's more than 50 years...

But it was certainly a doable climb on the list of Dolt FAs, for a first time Yosemite visit with only one other time out on the rocks, as LilaBiene had indicated.

It was hot and that climb is slick, with not great pro, so even at 5.4 it gets your attention. Given the drama of the hike two days earlier I was determined not to require any official assistance on this outing.

Here's LilaBiene approaching the belay


And my only summit block photo...


In case you were wondering just where the Footstool is, LilaBiene points it out for you from El Cap meadow.
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Oct 13, 2012 - 03:21am PT
A most excellent climb! TFPU! I've been waiting patiently to see the pix. Great to see them. Looks like you three had way too much fun! LilaBiene tells me that she'll be posting her account this weekend. I hope so.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 13, 2012 - 04:15am PT
Lilibean,
I am so the romantic at heart!
This is the Best thread!
That I've read!
Ly'in in bed!
On my taco!
Thank You!

PS. I didn't notice, are U married?

Jus Dream'in
BB
perswig

climber
Oct 13, 2012 - 07:02am PT
Kudos to Ed and MH for being touchstones to the past and guides to the future for this bright spark.

Climb on, LilaBiene.
Climb on.

Dale
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 13, 2012 - 07:31am PT
Hey "Theresay Ed,"

"I think" & "I'm pretty sure" are not really like you.

Did you forget da Brim?

I like the photo of "Odd" Audrey "LilaBiene" Feurer "Dolt" Todd more than I can say.

Speaking of Sarcastic Improbabilities, what are the chances that you would be the first man to take a photo of two Dolts?

If that's too cryptic for the rest of you (Ed got it, WBraun got it, Odd no doubt will have gotten it), the wench and the tower.

The WENCH and the tower.

"What bolts?! I thought you said Dolts."--Fletcher yelling down at the crux
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Oct 13, 2012 - 12:21pm PT
Wonderful thread. I actually love the Footstool as a climb to finish up when leaving the Valley. Couple Facelifts ago Sully, Ferretlegger and I did it in probably 100 degree heat. Wrong choice....like a pizza oven in there with its direct exposure. We also saw several rock falls just off the footstool cascade across the path where some FL volunteers had just passed with their pinchers.

Ferretlegger met his climbing partner Art, of over 40 years, on the Footstool. Mike came up one side and Art the other. They chatted on top and a life long partnership was forged!


Susan
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 13, 2012 - 12:38pm PT
And the last summit photos.
Credit: Mighty Hiker
photo not found
Missing photo ID#267795
photo not found
Missing photo ID#267796
More souvenirs for Audrey.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Oct 13, 2012 - 12:43pm PT
There should be a like button.

Great thread.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 13, 2012 - 03:02pm PT
Then we rappelled. Ed first, then Audrey, then me. Ed provided a fireperson's backup for Audrey - we even demonstrated.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#267797
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Audrey's second-ever rappel, and a stout effort.

The peanut gallery (Mark H and nephew Paul) cheering below.
Credit: Mighty Hiker
Fortuitous, in that we persuaded them to come to the MeatFest that night.
Fletcher

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Oct 13, 2012 - 03:16pm PT
Thanks so much for the photography duty and posting up those photos, MH! Great stuff and so nice to see Lilabiene connecting with the stone!

And to Ed as well, for getting her safely up and back down again.

My lord in heaven... that pink rope is something else...it's florescent in bright daylight! Sure to be appreciated by Tom Evans.

Love that shot of Harding belaying with Powell next to him. One of amy all time favorites. Glad it's in the hands of the YCA so many will have a chance to appreciate it.

Eric
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 13, 2012 - 03:27pm PT
Pushing the LIKE button now....

Fab story, thank you for posting this up.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 14, 2012 - 12:56pm PT
The TR that Odd just posted yesterday was quite well-written. It well might form the core of a atory that could easily fill an entire book. She has the the ability to write so well, IMO, that she could knock one out. Of course, she's a mommie, so that's a hard one to pull off.

Rather than take up space in the TR, I am using this thread for the purposes of posting other things related to Odd than her first visit to the Valley, an important event for anyone, climber or "mundane." Useful word, that. The Ren fair folk call "all non-Ren fair folk" mundanes, it's easier to get the idea over that this person I am talking about isn't one of us. It's far easier than using the cumbersome phrase above. Odd is no longer mundane, has made the transition to whatever we seem to be.

I know we all seem to be kids at heart, still rebellious, still rowdy.

Here is an email that ATB sent me last May. It seems it's time to post up our privacy. I don't mind if she doesn't.


Hey Brain!

Thanks very much for the good wishes! I, too, am getting a huge kick out this forum. I love that most seem to have a wicked good sense of humor... :D

Even better, it's getting me back into climbing (which I only dallied in previously - being indoors isn't really my thing) and the prospect of climbing outside...I'm psyched. Not sure how well I'll do, but I'll give it my best.

The "Miseries" are a lot of fun - it was a great surprise finding Tolkien in the midst of one of them. More fun to come!


It's in the interests of the story that I post that letter. Privacy is nothing in the face of a good story or lawsuit. The main things I want to say about my experiencea with Odd are that here is a person I'd never met, living in Boston, and now it seems like we are brother and sister. I a lot of you feel the same after having jived with her.

I would also like to encourage that idea of a book. It will only serve to make a lot of people happy. What could be better than that?

On the more somber side, there's the part of the story that is sad, that is hard to tell, that is based on a suicide is bound to be difficult to write. She shows she can write objectively and with keen insight.

Where is my withering sense of humor now? It's in my pocket, with the handkerchief, because there is nothing funny about the first part of the story, except to say "young Love" or "young scandal." I have been involved personally with young love and it's a shame that things happen, but these things happen all the time, so it seems that they must happen for a reason. If there is one, it's simple. It's called nature and is reason enough to accept one another in spite their "faults," not to reject them.

Why this tabu on procreation? Sissies.

Anyway, there's much food for thought in this story, pus the Ultimate Climb of the fifties, we...

I gotta go with the Everest ascent so that makes El Cap the second greatest climbing story of that decade. It's a BN Bonanza. An Amazon Ass-Kicker of a Best-Smeller. And we are all a part of the story, some having huge roles (BooDawg and dee ee) and others less huge (?).

Just to keep this ball rolling and unspooling, just to keep this thread spinning, here's some things which may spur Odd to literary endeavor. It's a start.

MFM:
"Bill earns his wings daily for all the humor he has provided at his expense. Perhaps his greatest legacy is mostly just that. Think Cyrano. What's the big deal with a nose? We all have one. We all aren't Dolts."

Banquo:
"I love LilaBiene's story of her search because it is so genuine. It is so awesome that her birth parents turned out to be such interesting people. Both of them seem to have interesting stories and the whole thing would make a book that I'd love to read. Although she claims to be shy, Lila can write and should."

LilaBiene:
"I agree with what you said about just doing your best. In the years when I was sick and doctors were of no help, I was at a very low point in my life and at times felt very hopeless as to whether I would ever be able to dig myself back out of the hole I had fallen into. (My uncle gave me some sage advice a few years back: When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging!) But you do the best you can, and if your persist long enough, things will turn themselves in a different direction."

Fletcher:
"Wow... You are a good story teller Lila! Amazing story indeed and it made my night. Especially the part where you reveal you father's name. My jaw was on the ground! This Taco Stand certainly can be a magical place."

LilaBiene:
"Clint: the first time I read the story about him taking a header cemented for me that we were related...pretty hilarious that a quality such as that is actually heritable. Now I'll have to remind friends that instead of pulling an "Odd", I'm actually pulling a "Dolt"!"

This tale is far from over, Odd's returning to California to attend the Oakdale Climbing Festival, so if you'd like to greet her, thank her for the contribution to our community (herself and her father's story), this will be your chance. This story promises to entertain us for quite a while longer. Camila, Odd's daughter, is only 3. Yet she sounds precocious. You hear this a lot coming from mothers. Coming from this particular mother, I believe those words.

Like father & daughter & granddaughter.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 14, 2012 - 09:53pm PT
After the climb, but before MeatFest. Ed and Audrey in the meadow.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#267890

(cross link http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Longest-6-months-6-days-of-my-life/t11710n.html);
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 15, 2012 - 08:17pm PT
Anders and Ed, thank you so much for taking and posting these pictures! I don't know how I missed seeing them until now...but finding them was perfect timing because I'm daydreaming about how to find some rocks somewhere near here that I can scratch around on this weekend. Sooooooo much fun! Thank you!!! (Secretly hoping I can make my way back to Yosemite after Oakdale...but will just have to wait and see what's in the cards.

Is it too soon to start packing again for next year?!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 16, 2012 - 12:58am PT
A pleasure and honour!
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Nov 10, 2012 - 02:57am PT
Yes, indeed! A pleasure and honor for all who share some quality time with her!

After Oakdale, I escorted her and Camila up to the Valley on Halloween Day.

Camila topped out on her first rock-climb, an on-sight, free-solo!

Camila sends her first climb!
Camila sends her first climb!
Credit: BooDawg

And celebrates at the top!

Summit celebration!
Summit celebration!
Credit: BooDawg

The maples were coming on strong!

Big-tooth maples.
Big-tooth maples.
Credit: BooDawg

We stopped in the village where I congratulated one of the locals on their Halloween costume...

Halloween at the Village Store!
Halloween at the Village Store!
Credit: BooDawg

Halloween at the Village Store!
Halloween at the Village Store!
Credit: BooDawg

Halloween at the Village Store!
Halloween at the Village Store!
Credit: BooDawg

This get-up reminded me of a similar costume I'd seen in the Village at Facelift...

Costume during Facelift deserved a prize!
Costume during Facelift deserved a prize!
Credit: BooDawg

We continued our introduction of the Valley to Camila and went out to The Captain:

The Nose with Dolt Tower, Dolt's daughter and granddaughter.
The Nose with Dolt Tower, Dolt's daughter and granddaughter.
Credit: BooDawg

LilaBiene, Camila, and Dolt Tower.
LilaBiene, Camila, and Dolt Tower.
Credit: BooDawg

By that time, it was time to head down the Merced Canyon, so that the two of them could drive on to L.A. and keep their appointment with Mark Powell the next day.

I sure hope LilaBiene posts a TR on her trip to Oakdale and all that followed. Please don't keep us in suspense!






SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 10, 2012 - 10:56am PT
Stunning^^^^^^^

What a story! An all time ST best!


Susan
Silver

Ice climber
Nov 10, 2012 - 02:13pm PT
Awesome and what a cutie.


Lila next year ill bring my then 4 year old if you bring Camila to Facelift II think they are about the same age.


Really happy for you getting to fill in all the blanks. You want to move west don't you closer to that tower. It's a special tower and I've spent a few nights there. You should see it up close.

All the best look forward to your TR.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 10, 2012 - 02:26pm PT
A shout out for Mr. BD and all he's done to help LLB and Camila on their journey!

Thank you from all the ST.

I bet Powell will shed a tear on sight when he meets those two.
Silver

Ice climber
Nov 10, 2012 - 02:29pm PT
Good point Mouse and to you as we'll.

Boo I have not forgotten your stamps.
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Nov 10, 2012 - 02:54pm PT
MFM and Silver: Thank you both for your generosity of heart and spirit!

I would certainly loved to be a fly-on-the-wall and witnesses LilaBiene's meeting with Mark Powell.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 11, 2012 - 09:48pm PT
What a GREAT surprise on a Sunday night! Camila LOVES the pictures and wants me to print them for her to "have". And she wants to know when we can go find some more rocks to climb.

How special it was to have BooDawg guide Camila along on her first rock climbing experience...it's difficult not to get misty-eyed over this. Camila still talks about the rocks and the waterfalls!

I'm still unpacking after a long week at work and adjusting back to EST, but I hope to post up a TR soon (provided I can get through a few days without breaking down in tears). Don't get me wrong -- the trip was wonderful, but it made everything very real, especially visiting the cemetery in L.A. where Bill is interred. Not having access to his or Ann's things is a particular sort of agony best left for another day.

Silver: Thanks so much for the pictures and I really do hope our muppets can hang out together next year at the Facelift -- the two of them together with OntheEdgeandScaredtoDeath's kids would form a pack to be reckoned with! :D

More soon.
Aud
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 13, 2012 - 12:22am PT
We're all looking forward to those stories you want to share with us.

And yes, a combined kiddie/doggie FaceLift daycare at Yellow Pines might be quite a lot of fun.

Boodawg's thread about the UCLA Bruins Mountaineers, which Odd refers to in the first post, is at http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1816916/OCCASIONAL-MISERIES-Journal-UCLA-Bruin-Mountaineers
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Nov 13, 2012 - 12:36am PT
Actually the post that LilaBiene first found when she searched for UCLA, knowing that her mom graduated from there, was this one, #200 on the Stoney Point thread:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=971616&tn=180

After that, she PMed me, and a lot more began to come together for her about her mother. I was able to connect her to several of her mother's friends, including my brother who had traveled with her mom to Mexico and had climbed Orizaba with her.

The "Occasional Miseries" thread came about because LilaBiene wanted to transcribe the issues that I have, so they could be posted here. There are still several FAs that I wrote up and that have now been transcribed, but I have yet to scan the slides that I took on those slides. Looks like I'll get to that project in January with Ed Hartouni's generous offer to do the scanning, once I have the pictures sorted. Afterall, everyone seems to want photos with the climbing stories.

LLB: If you want to print those and some others, let me know, and I'll send higher resolution copies that are more suitable for printing.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 13, 2012 - 09:46pm PT
Mouse, I think we scared Mark, yet again. The two of us add up to a big ball of energy going in every direction...it takes some getting used to... :D

Totally OT, but funny, story...so at some point early on when I was pregnant with Camila, my husband is driving along to who knows where, when it all of a sudden he bursts out: "Oh my God. They're going to be TWO...of...YOU!!!"

I still remind him from time to time of what I promised him (fair warning?!) when we first met: You'll never be bored with me. Many other things (driven mad, quite possibly), but NEVER bored!!!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 18, 2012 - 12:54am PT
How three dolts oddly go together and create wonder in the eyes of the...
How three dolts oddly go together and create wonder in the eyes of the belayer.
Credit: Jean Blair Dolan drawing/Climber Bob

A big ball of energy going in every direction.

But no erratic stuff, right?

Odd, Happy Thanksgiving with a vengeance!
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2012 - 10:58am PT
Hey Mouse, I never promised nothing erratic -- that would be going against, well, the natural order of things. Chuckle. Don't fence me in, eh?

:D

What tedium coloring inside of the lines...dancing with chaos is where the shooting stars by chance appear...
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
Jan 21, 2013 - 09:14pm PT
now your a parent,,,I:m a newish grandparent,,wow,wee,wow,always good to share,,keep it up,,I lived in Peters Cr. for 20 years,,still come up every summer to get broke fishing,,,peaceandlove,,
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Feb 5, 2013 - 10:37pm PT
WOW, Thanks for sharing that incredible story.
Tad
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Mar 3, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
The UCLA Daily Bruin got hold of LilaBiene's story and did a story on her and the role of the Bruin Mountaineers played in bringing Audrey's family history to light as well as how Audrey has brought the Bruin Mountaineers together again. Their story is here:

http://dailybruin.com/2013/03/01/a-rock-solid-connection-woman-traces-biological-parents-back-to-bruin-mountaineers/
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Apr 2, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
Last February I drove south to L.A., and I had the pleasure of visiting an old (82 y.o.) friend, Frank Hoover. He'd introduced me to white water rafting and had been in the UCLA Bruin Mountaineers. But, more importantly, he'd be a member of the Sierra Club RCS in L.A. and had known Bill Dolt, RR, Frost, Kamps, the Mendenhalls, Fitschen, and so many more. I wanted to check out his photos from the 50's, but unfortunately, his slides were burned in a house fire at one point, and his best B&W negatives had been borrowed and he hasn't seen them since, perhaps due to an auto accident that's left him wheelchair bound.

Frank Hoover, Feb., 2013
Frank Hoover, Feb., 2013
Credit: BooDawg

However, he did have contact sheets from his B&W negatives, and as I went through them, I found several that had decent images of Bill Dolt. Knowing that LilaBiene would want any information or imagery of her birth father, I took pictures of those contact sheets for her. No doubt scanning the contact sheets would yield better results than these:

Bill Dolt at Stoney Point, Mid-Late 1950's.
Bill Dolt at Stoney Point, Mid-Late 1950's.
Credit: BooDawg

Bill Dolt at Stoney Point, Mid-Late 1950's.
Bill Dolt at Stoney Point, Mid-Late 1950's.
Credit: BooDawg

Bill Dolt at Stoney Point, Mid-Late 1950's.
Bill Dolt at Stoney Point, Mid-Late 1950's.
Credit: BooDawg

Bill Dolt at Stoney Point, Mid-Late 1950's.
Bill Dolt at Stoney Point, Mid-Late 1950's.
Credit: BooDawg

After looking at the contact sheets, Frank and I went out for a burger lunch at one of his favorite hang-out places.

Frank now lives near Stoney Point and would probably welcome visitors who are interested in the history of California rock-climbing.

Here's another picture of Frank. It reminds me of some lyrics by Tom Patey:

"...So sow your wild oats while ye may,
for the toothless old tykes of tomorrow
were the tigers of yesterday."

Frank Hoover, Feb., 2013
Frank Hoover, Feb., 2013
Credit: BooDawg
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 2, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
Oh, Ken, thank you!

The very best photo is the very first one of all. Frank, it's so nice to "see" you!

I wish I lived closer to the both of you so that I could spend time with you more often.

I also wish you both knew just how much you've impacted my life this past year...I have so many fond memories of stories and laughs shared, and of just how big and strong your hearts truly are. I miss you both terribly and have almost started counting the days until Facelift in September.

So I'm a little misty-eyed at the moment, but wanted to express my gratitude to you both.

It never ceases to amaze me how you guys just seem to know when I could use a smile.

:D

Edit:

P.S. The muppet says a big HELLO to you both! She drew this picture for you!

The muppet says this is a picture of a big rock you can climb and find...
The muppet says this is a picture of a big rock you can climb and find with the ladder at the top. ")
Credit: LilaBiene
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 4, 2013 - 02:29am PT
Here's a shot from another thread of Frank Hoover (on the right, and Don Wilson on the left) in 1956 or so:


And here is Frank leading Toe Jam (with Don belaying):
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 5, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
Great pictures, Clint, thank you!

Here's another inspiring Frank -- the two actually have a lot in common. Find what you love to do and go chase it down, and don't be afraid to change horses...there are a lot of them out there running around. But most of all, be true to yourself. Keep at it, whatever it is that insprires you. Squeeze the most you can out of life!

Frank Hoover reminds me of a quote by Maya Angelou:
"People may forget what you said. People may forget what you did...but people will never forget how you made them feel."
(Any inaccuracies are my fault.)

When I visited Frank last October, I had just been to Oakdale, followed by a drive to L.A. (Why is there commuter traffic at 4 a.m.?!) via a very much-needed respite with BooDawg in Mariposa, an incredibly frustrating and sorrowful visit to the cemetery where Bill is interred...and I was LOST. I was in so much pain -- everything had become real during the trip -- and I wasn't prepared.

Frank welcomed both the muppet and me with open arms, and he shared so many wonderful stories. Stories that go far beyond Dolt, into other climbing, white water rafting, flying planes, orange peels and Jumars (you'll have to get him to divulge the stories -- my lips are sealed!), a college-age BooDawg and his brother, biochemistry, genetics and on and on. We spent the early afternoon until late in the night just trading stories, thoughts, theories...what a wonderful sparkle Frank has in his eyes. Mischief!

My sadness was completely suspended, and was starting to heal. I have such fond memories of our visit, it's difficult to do them justice with words. When you meet someone for whom you develop a deep admiration, and from whom you readily draw inspriation, you just know how truly fortunate you really are.

Frank, thank you for the wonderful gift of your presence in my life.

So here's the other "Frank"...another insprational "character". ")

LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 8, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
So I've been searching for the perfect frame for the picture of Bill that Tom Frost gave to me @ Oakdale, and simultaneously for the perfect frame for a beautiful butterfly made by Frank Hoover and sent to us at Christmas last year. Inspiration struck as I was chasing the muppet down an aisle at Target, and out jumped a frame perfect for both. (The picture doesn't do the butterfly justice -- it's delicately layered and has a shimmering skin.) The beauty of the frame is that it is glass on both sides.

Also, for Bonnie Kamps, a picture of the original Dolt patch on my new jacket, selected especially to match.

A very special thank you from my heart to each of you. <3

Tom Frost's first picture with Dolt's Leica camera on 6 September 1960...
Tom Frost's first picture with Dolt's Leica camera on 6 September 1960 with Frank Hoover's butterfly...Dolt with wings to fly...
Credit: LilaBiene

The muppet watched me intently as I put the frame together. I had some happy tears in my eyes. She said: "You're sad your daddy died. Why did he die, mommy? Did his belly hurt?" Being completely unprepared for her line of targeted questioning, the only thing I could come up with on the fly that I thought she might be able to grasp was that Bill's heart was very sad, and that his heart broke and this is why he died.

"But," she insisted, "we can give him a band-aid and fix his heart make it all better. Then maybe you meet your daddy in summer next week." Then she set about looking at the photo of Bill and drew the picture of him below, with a band-aid on his belly to fix his heart.

Dolt with a band-aid to fix his heart
Dolt with a band-aid to fix his heart
Credit: LilaBiene


I thought my heart was going to burst. Time to find another frame. ")
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 9, 2013 - 01:07am PT
Nice jacket, nice TR, nice writing, nice drawing, too. LOL, Odd/Cam.

The Frank Hoover story is in Joe Fitschen's Going Up.

The pic of he and his juvy-dink partner's in there, too.

TY, Clint.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Apr 9, 2013 - 08:10am PT
Digging the muppet drawings, too. As well as her perspective. You gave her that, you know.
Smiles.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Apr 16, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
hey there say, boodawg... oh my, as i shared with you a bit agao, you will know why:

but i am sooo very happy to see these wonderful photos for lilabiene!

i am just ready to mail her a small token, so to speak, and i feared i had
greatly LACKED along the way, ;)


well, out to the mail, i go, now...
with my heart, rested assured, wow:
god is so good... :)


i love this whole story, it has touched my heart... i love families and i love how trails reach around and can come back and hug those that have
lost part of their lives...

this is what life should be about...


:)
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Apr 17, 2013 - 04:20pm PT
hey there, say...

just a bump so folks can read and see all the neat new photos...

:)
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 09:54pm PT

i love how trails reach around and can come back and hug those that have
lost part of their lives...

this is what life should be about...

Neebs, you have the most beautiful ways of expressing yourself. I love the image of what you wrote above. ")

It goes perfectly with what arrived in my mailbox today as a wonderful, heart-warming surprise from Frank.

A treasure from Frank Hoover. I'm overwhelmed.
A treasure from Frank Hoover. I'm overwhelmed.
Credit: LilaBiene

One of these days I'll invest in a scanner, I promise.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 19, 2013 - 09:49am PT
Bump, because this poem is just right, at this moment.

Thank you so much, Frank, for your beautiful heart.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Apr 19, 2013 - 12:02pm PT
hey there, say, lilabiene...

just recently got 'postage hero' (two, all at once, actually) even as you had 'search angel'--very special folks, these are!

so, expect another package, it is just going out today... got set back, as,
i ran out of tape... :))

say, you are near my christmas-stamp-fairy, she is in walthan, and was told, even as you posted in another thread = to STAY in doors, today...

she loves the hoyts, and what they do each year, :)
she loved your share, as to that aspect, earlier...

well, got to go, so i don't miss the mail...

THIS IS AN EARLY mothers-day-fathers-day-gift kind of rolled into one,
you might say...

a little token, as i got the nudge from god above... >:D<
hope it will do okay...

:)




*i think the muppet will get a kick out of it, ;)
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 25, 2013 - 10:24pm PT
To Mouse and Neebs and their Helper Angels,

My heart to you.

I'm a puddle.

Will post more tomorrow, but wanted to say thank you for your wonderful, exceedingly thoughtful surprises...

<3

P.S. I wore the hat to sleep. Had to...er...break it in properly so-to-speak.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 09:56pm PT
Dear Mouse, Neebs, your Helper Angels, and my adoption Search Angels,

I've had one full week of surprises completely unexpected, and I'm still very honestly trying to wrap my brain around your incredible, thoughtful, amazingly perceptive and generous acts of great kindness. I don't know how to thank you all for bringing to light things that have touched my heart so deeply. Having tried to compose this post several times, and failed, each time resorting to a box of Kleenex, I finally decided that I just need to write, however imperfectly.

To say that I am overwhelmed is a gross understatement.

Mouse's package arrived with a wonderful book on the history of Castle AFB, a hat from the Museum (picture posted elsewhere) which the hubby attempted to make off with -- lol, a couple of flying wingdings that the muppet promptly made off with, and the two BEAUTIFUL and incredibly thoughtful and touching articles below:

A beautiful, framed watercolor of El Cap by local artist Helen Swickar...
A beautiful, framed watercolor of El Cap by local artist Helen Swickard (note the beautiful butterfly adorning the painting), and a first edition of a book on the story of the Boston Post Road.
Credit: LilaBiene

The watercolor will find it's home next to the picture of Dolt with butterfly posted above.

A complete surprise was this beautiful painting done by our own Neebs, capturing Dolt, Ann, El Cap and the muppet and me, all based off of photos posted here and there around ST.

Neebs lovely painting...her beautiful soul shines right through...
Neebs lovely painting...her beautiful soul shines right through...
Credit: LilaBiene

If these random acts of kindness weren't enough, I got home Friday night after a really long week, and another box of surprises was waiting. The Search Angels who were so wonderful in putting me in touch with Ann's younger sister have been busy!

I opened the box to find these original magazines that I have been trying to track down for quite some time:

Pictures I saw for the first time on Friday...
Pictures I saw for the first time on Friday...
Credit: LilaBiene

Holding these magazines in my hands pretty much renders me speechless. I've looked at them over and over in utter amazement.

Needless to say, I couldn't believe there could be still more in the box.

Utter shock, I think best describes this.
Utter shock, I think best describes this.
Credit: LilaBiene

Equipment I can actually use...way beyond my comprehension. I've been carrying them around in my pocket since they arrived.

You have to understand that I happened to see these up for auction on eBay, and could only make a modest bid. When I saw what they actually went for, I was blown out of the water. Wow, I thought, someone really wanted those badly...and I guess I'm going to have to put away a small fortune if I ever want to buy any of my birth dad's equipment.

So you can understand my surprise opening the box to find these two magazines from approx. 55 years ago, and then the Dolt equipment I had thought was lost to me...

And not forgetting that Frank Hoover sent the most beautiful poem by Dolt to us just a week before...

I'm deeply humbled and grateful, and only hope that I can one day thank each of you in person. <3
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 1, 2013 - 09:09pm PT
Bump for Mouse & Neebs <3
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
May 1, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
BITD when we used to have tied over-the-shoulder slings, I had one of those Dolt nuts on every one of them. Since the sling went straight through (and the hole was beautifully chamfered), the nuts didn't weaken the sling at all when it was used as a sling. I have no idea what became of those nuts; I certainly never consciously got rid of them...
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 1, 2013 - 11:32pm PT
Just blown away sitting here with tears too.

Stuff like this is just ... wow
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 2, 2013 - 08:58am PT
I agree with "WOW"...heartily.

The folks I've encountered since this part of my journey began (whether in person, by phone, email, in cyberspace, in stories I've read) are...very simply said...extraordinarily beautiful, thoughtful (and thought-provoking), generous, inspirational and above all the KINDEST of souls.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating. If you had been in the (Kletter-) shoes of Ann or Bill, and for a multitude of challenging, heart-wrenching reasons not able to raise your own (surprise!) offspring, what more could you ever want for her than to have her taken under the wings of your greater family made up of your friends, family and the climbing community, who all loved you dearly?

A giant, multi-faceted prism taking in the sun's light, mixing it together with love and memories and connections, and emitting a dazzling array of the indescribable...
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 2, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
hey there say, lialabien... wow, all those treasures!!!!

gettng back, things that you felt were lost, is the cherry on top, as the ol' saying goes, :O wow!

so very glad the painting got there, well and GOOD!!...

i worry just a bit, in case folks may not be home, etc...
but it worked out perfect!!!


hugs to you, as you enjoy the missing pieces of your childhood, come
to bloom, blossom and fruit!

:)
god bless!!
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
May 2, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
Love the good stories about the good people. Love watching those random acts of kindness. This is what a true community will do.
Bad Climber

climber
May 2, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
Wow. That Muppet is a killa. Kinda lost it there. Great story--sad, true and wonderful.

BAd
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2013 - 10:50pm PT
On Saturday the planets aligned, and we had beautiful weather in the Boston area...which meant we could finally go check out the bouldering and climbing walls at our Y. The muppet was beyond excited and left me in the dust running for the playground...

"I think this is as far as I'm going to go today..."
"I think this is as far as I'm going to go today..."
Credit: LilaBiene

Add a little friendly competition to the mix...
Add a little friendly competition to the mix...
Credit: LilaBiene

"I can do that, too!"
"I can do that, too!"
Credit: LilaBiene

"Yeah...I'm sending, Mom!"
"Yeah...I'm sending, Mom!"
Credit: LilaBiene

"Talk to my agent. You're messing up my floooow, Mom!"
"Talk to my agent. You're messing up my floooow, Mom!"
Credit: LilaBiene

So, needless to say, we (surprise!) wound up at REI (again), this time in search of climbing shoes and a harness for the muppet. She dug the "Rock Monkey" shoes even though they weren't pink and even wore them to bed. ")

Unfortunately, the weekend was over all too soon and we're back slogging through the weekday madness. But tonight when we got home, there was a mysterious package addressed to the muppet peeking out of our mailbox...what could it be?

A PINK &#40;woohoo!&#41; t-shirt with Mama's daddy's name on it!!! &#4...
A PINK (woohoo!) t-shirt with Mama's daddy's name on it!!! (Note Crusher's book, open to the pages with the picture from the Totem Pole that's been on the sofa since Saturday when she got her first pair of rock climbing shoes...) :D
Credit: LilaBiene

Thank you GLee!!! The muppet sends you big hugs for the t-shirt she calls "SO cool"!!!

Edit:
Ack -- trying to fix the pictures.
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
Jul 25, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
Thanks, for one of the Taco's best threads.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Jul 25, 2013 - 12:27pm PT
Amazing Lila. Good on you for your "detective" work and research.

Jennie gave up her infant daughter (Rachel) for adoption in 1970 (Jen was 19, and it was Ireland after all, single mothers were not allowed). She then fled to France (Nice) not too long after. And of course, the natural parent cannot look for their offspring by law here in Ireland. The meeting must be initiated by the "child".

Years later (2006), Rachel contacted her (I met Jen in August 2007) in Dublin. Jennie met up with Rachel. She had ended up in a well-to-do family and was running her own equestrian centre in the Wicklow Mountains.

That was the only time they have met. No word since.

Her boyfriend at the time, Richard, that was the father and from a very, very wealthy family, wanted to marry Jen and keep the baby, but he was a control freak (so Jen tells me), two years older, and totally dominating. And of course Jen's father was the same way (having abused Jen since she was five).

I can understand her decision to put her infant daughter up for adoption and get the "hell out of Dodge". Provence is much nicer anyway.

Lila, I am glad that you found some closure. Good luck and best wishes.

Cheers

Patrick

And Lila, it must be comforting in a way that in the climbing community (and I am sure elsewhere) that your natural father was well-respected and a pioneer in climbing equipment. What a great legacy.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2013 - 02:34pm PT
Patrick, thanks for sharing Jennie's story. The mother's point of view is not something that's captured very often, and I can only imagine how difficult and painful her experiences must have been. One of my deepest fears, which kept me from searching for my birth mom for most of my life, was that my re-appearance would have brought back many sad memories, causing my birth mom to go through experiencing loss all over again.

A few weeks ago I learned that Ann never told Bill she was pregnant, so he never knew about me. Until then, the question had remained unanswered, and given all of the unknowns, I had found a comfortable place where I could accept what I didn't know. Learning about and accepting this has been the most difficult experience on this journey so far. I can't write much more because it just hurts too much. The weight of responsibility is more than I can conceive of or bear. Had I been able to make contact with Ann, I am now certain that it would have been horrible for her.

This hurts all the way around, so I am trying with everything I've got to make something good come out of it...one way or the other.

Photo courtesy of Valerie Cooley
Photo courtesy of Valerie Cooley
Credit: LilaBiene

As has been the case throughout the past year and a half, whenever things get to be too much, the invisible forces at work reconnect me to Ann or Bill. In this case, it is Valerie Cooley, who knew Bill through her good friend Laurel. (The photo above is of her pack, which she still carries today.) Makes me smile.

Valerie wrote to me of her own accord and shared some things about Bill that really touched my heart. I have a better idea now of who he was and how he related to the world.

A surprise in the mailbox
A surprise in the mailbox
Credit: LilaBiene

Sat and held this gingerly for a while...
Sat and held this gingerly for a while...
Credit: LilaBiene

Reminds me of one of those 007 movies...can't remember which one "&#41;
Reminds me of one of those 007 movies...can't remember which one ")
Credit: LilaBiene

Was very excited to read this for the first time!!!
Was very excited to read this for the first time!!!
Credit: LilaBiene

By the time I finished reading, I really needed these! &#40;I grabbed ...
By the time I finished reading, I really needed these! (I grabbed a tissue instead.)
Credit: LilaBiene

Valerie mentioned that she had recently found some poems of Bill's, and said that she wanted to send them along to me. I was looking forward to photocopies...I never imagined she would send the original. (I'll post the poems in a separate TR.) She also included a couple of the most beautiful, handmade handkerchiefs I have ever seen -- the needlework is exquisite. Bill gave these to her "just because"...and she gave them to me...

Valerie, thank you, more than I can say in words.

My birth parents' friends are their reflection...and what a beautiful image they have made for me.

No room for sadness in my heart; it's filled with love.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Aug 20, 2013 - 02:46pm PT
This thread keeps getting better. Awesome.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Feb 4, 2014 - 11:47pm PT
hey there say, audry... bump...

for 'little girls' everywhere, that may be thinking of their beloved daddy's, tonight...

they help make us who we are, even if we don't get that time with them, that we wish we had, and in the case of miracles, like yours:

the time comes when you DO get to retrieve that lost time, in
remarkable ways that you'd never EVER dreamed of...

wow and amen, :O
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 7, 2014 - 11:17am PT
Thanks, Neebs...just found this. <3

Thinking of YOU especially now, with thoughts and prayers.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2014 - 06:41pm PT
I just looked at the dates when I first posted pictures of the below, and turned beet red in the face -- it's been a rough year, but I didn't realize so much time had passed. Well, I finally got it together to put some things in frames, and so I thought I'd post a handful of pictures just to say a humble thank you, again, for the generosity of heart shown to just a couple of Dolts. <3

Lovely handmade handkerchiefs once given to Valerie Cooley by Dolt
Lovely handmade handkerchiefs once given to Valerie Cooley by Dolt
Credit: LilaBiene

Autographed, matted photo sent along by GLee after I missed Facelift 2...
Autographed, matted photo sent along by GLee after I missed Facelift 2013 (apologies for the reflections in the glass)
Credit: LilaBiene

Shadow box with hardware shared by BooDawg and LostinShanghai, and a D...
Shadow box with hardware shared by BooDawg and LostinShanghai, and a Dolt business card from Mike and Natalie Sherrick
Credit: LilaBiene

Also shown in the last photo are a beautiful original painting by Neebs, a water color of El Cap from Mouse, a mounted piton from Mastadon, the photo of Bill taken by Tom Frost @ the base of El Cap with a beautiful butterfly from Frank Hoover and a lovely white ceramic owl, representing Ann's spirit, ever present.

~

It's hard to believe that it's been just two weeks shy of two years since I first read the Alaska State Police report about Ann's passing and the rather outlandish revelations that followed. And yet it feels as if I've spent an eternity in that same, brief space in time...reeling from the initial shock, returning to face fact after fact with as much grace and strength of character as I can muster...relentlessly wondering, searching, assimilating...stumbling (howl!)...being raised up again and again by this incredible Community, experiencing outrageous coincidences making me question my most fundamental beliefs about what is real and possible...living this amorphous and persistent reworking of...well.............Everything.

But then, it hardly seems possible that all of this could have been shoehorned into just two short years.

It is with my deepest gratitude and whole heart that I thank all of you for giving me life as I never could have imagined it.

Don Lauria, you gave me my World. If there's a greater gift, I don't know of one.


LilaBiene aka Odd aka Dolt's kid

LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2014 - 09:58pm PT
So I just wanted to report in that I actually finally found my first living relative of Dolt's!!! I'm the first cousin twice removed of his great uncle's mother...I think... ")

What's even more amazing is that his daughter has celiac disease, also, so there's a link to Dolt's family there, and, you'll never believe it, but his son is a serious rock climber over in Zurich. Makes you kind of wonder how much you really do control in life.

Finally made it to the Gunks this weekend and I have to admit, I kinda fell in love with it.

At top of first pitch of Bloody Bush &#40;will fix!&#41;
At top of first pitch of Bloody Bush (will fix!)
Credit: LilaBiene

First pitch of Bloody Bush &#40;will fix this one, too&#41; "&#41;
First pitch of Bloody Bush (will fix this one, too) ")
Credit: LilaBiene
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
May 22, 2014 - 11:41pm PT
Statistical probability indicates the Gunks will love you, too.

When you get a chance, busy mommy, please post some Doltish rhyme


















































































and stop hoggin' it!
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