George’s Journal

Thanks for visiting the site. Physical therapy is going well. My strength and mobility are improving,        though I’m still relatively weak. Tuesday, I meet with Dr. Chen at City of Hope.  I’ve been feeling a tightness/bulkiness in my right lower stomach area, and most likely will have another PET-CT scan later this week. As always, I greatly appreciate your prayers.  Like I’ve been saying, I’m not out of the woods with cancer concerns.  After a couple years of “no cancer evident,” I’ll start feeling more secure with my long-term health.

The month of September has been activity-driven, and special. Let me start by congratulating Tim and Kelly Blett on their 25th anniversary (Sept. 14th). The Ghindia family always looks forward to Labor Day weekend, because it marks the beginning of college football season, and of course back to school for the kids. Cheryl and I visited with Eva’s 4th grade teacher (Mrs. Lehman) at Hicks Canyon Elementary School.  We also met all 6 of Jacquelyne’s 7th grade teachers at Pioneer Middle School. We’re fortunate to live in an area with excellent public schools; though the budget cuts in California require increasing parent donations to sustain essential programs and curriculum.


The weekend of the 10th, my Mom’s side of the family, “The Tallmans,” gathered in Newport Beach, CA for a 3-day reunion. It was a remarkable weekend!  Approximately half of the 80 family participants traveled to Orange County from New York, Michigan, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Our home was filled with 10, my Mom, Dad, brother John from Michigan, and sisters Suzy (with niece Jennifer) and Janet from the Denver area.  Cheryl did a great job getting everyone situated and comfortable.

Several years ago, my cousin Wayne Tallman shared his vision for this reunion with me and other Orange County-based family. Wayne is my Mom’s first-cousin, and I’ve always looked to him as role model. He’s a former executive with Unocal, and has lived all over the world with his super wife, Joan, and two daughters, Kristin and Courtney. Nowadays, Wayne and Joan reside in Bakersfield, and have a really cool beach house in Newport Beach.  That home was the gathering spot of our reunion beach party Saturday the 11th.


At the beach, the kid’s disregarded the cold ocean temperature (cool summer) and had a blast!  Our oldest, Jacquelyne “boogey boarded” for almost 4 hours! And Jacquelyne and Eva, and a team of boy cousins, Bryce, Caden, Jakob, Joachim, Finn, Liam, Colin, Morgan, Ethan and Preston, played volleyball, tossed the football, and built sand castles. About 10 of us packed the living room to watch some great college football (Michigan, USC, UCLA).

The previous day, we boarded a 120 yacht for a late afternoon cruise in Newport Harbor. That evening we enjoyed dinner and other festivities at the Newport Beach Yacht Club. We wrapped up the festivities with a family picnic in Huntington Beach, Sunday. Recreation Director, Megan Ryder, did an exceptional job of staging games for the kids (and adults), e.g., wheel barrel, burlap sack and three-legged races.

Relatives making the trip west: Butch and Belinda Tallman (Rome, NY), his sisters Anna Tallman          (NYC-Manhattan), Jennifer McLean with husband Paul and 3 sons (Philadelphia) and Mom Pat Tallman (Detroit); Uncle Jack Tallman and Aunt Trisha (Austin, TX); Aunt Betty Tallman (Deland, FL), first cousins Rob Tallman (Manchester, MI), and sisters Joi with husband Dan Clifford (Canton, MI), Sherrie Tallman (Cincinnati), and Kathy Tallman with husband Peter Norstand (Boston); Charles and Jenny Swift (Cincinnati), and Nancy Stodd (Virginia).


Back in February, Wayne and Joan, and their reunion committee (Uncle Tom, cousin Beverly Reilly and other cousins) were planning the event, and it helped motivate me.  During difficult times, especially this past year, it has always helped me to visualize enjoying special events with family and friends (the Copps’ 4th of July celebration, Christmas, birthdays, Michigan football games, and more), and other activities I/we enjoy, e.g., running a couple miles, attending church, road trips, Palm Springs over Memorial Day.

While my priorities have always centered on family and friends, I grew to appreciate this even more during my health crisis, i.e., family, friends and the good Lord are all that really matter. Personal accomplishments may have contributed mental toughness and confidence, which certainly helps. Material possessions are great and enjoyable; but will they help you get through a challenging day when you’re scrambling to survive?


As you can imagine, we have quite a diverse family, with some interesting backgrounds and accomplishments. Here are just a few: My Dad John (Michigan football ’47 and ’48) and cousin Rich Tallman (Long Beach State volleyball ’91) were members of NCAA National Championship teams; Rich’s wife, Prescilla Pacheco Tallman is a 2-time All American (Georgia volleyball ’93 and ’94 – plus        UGA Athletics Hall of Honor member); the leading undergraduate schools attended are Western Michigan U. (7 grads), U. of Michigan (6 grads), U. of Southern California (2 grads), and UCLA (2 grads); and 4 family members held positions at General Motors or Ford Motor Company.

Based on research by my Uncle Tom and cousin Butch, we’ve discovered our family is related to Abraham Lincoln. William Tallman, born in 1720 at Portsmouth, RI, married Anne Lincoln in 1740 at Berks County, PA. President Lincoln is a lineal descendent of Anne’s brother, John Lincoln. John was the Great Grandfather to Abraham.  Our first American descendent was Peter Tallman, born in Hamburg, Germany (1623). Peter was an apothecary (historical name for pharmacist) who traveled in 1647 to Barbados.  He became wealthy treating slaves, and trading goods between the Caribbean islands and New Amsterdam (Manhattan). Peter settled in Newport, RI in 1649, moved to Portsmouth in 1658 and married Joan Brigg in 1665 (2nd marriage). Son Benjamin was born in 1684. William Tallman was Benjamin’s son, and my 6th Great-Grandfather, making Anne my 6th Great-Grandmother, and President Lincoln’s Great-Great Aunt!

Welcome Carlos Santana (great name) to the family! He married cousin Christine Brown, August 28th.  I’ll take some of my own advice and focus on positive outcomes, be specific to God in my prayers, and surrender to Him to care of me one day at a time. To those of you who have contributed to my fund, Cheryl and I can never thank you enough.

God bless you and yours,


…”With God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

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