Sunday, October 18, 2009

Raymond L. Worthington 1915-2009

Lydia's memorial reflections from the October 16, 2009, funeral. I have posted an online version of my memorial photo portfolio prints at see the photo set on the right

I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know my grandfather and spend time with him. I am sure you all feel the same, especially as many of you here knew him longer than I did.

In the time I spent with my grandfather, I was able to get to know him as a grandfather and see the many ways he touched his friends and family, including my parents and brother Raymond. I'd like to highlight several characteristics about Ray that have always made me proud to be his granddaughter.

The first was his intelligence. I am certain that all of us were extremely impressed by his technological savvy. True, he occasionally had trouble operating his computer when a power cord was disconnected that he couldn't see, but he really knew his way around a keyboard for someone born in 1915. I can't remember the number of times he marveled at the tools and efficiencies offered by computers and the Internet. "Isn't that something?!" he'd say when he learned something new about the possibilities of working online and connecting to others. Papa Ray created a screenname and learned to chat online, and bookmarked all his favorite sites on his browser. He began emailing his sister-in-law Billie to say hello, and paying all his bills online. He scolded my mother as recently as last week for continuing to pay bills through the mail and waste 44 cent stamps.

Papa Ray really enjoyed seeing Rita do video chats with her family in the Philippines. He was amazed that technology could close such a significant geographical gap and help families keep in touch. Papa Ray embraced learning and progress. In recent months, he was even exploring the new world of social media. He became my Facebook friend this year and sent me a few messages. Papa Ray also saw the entertainment value in technology, learning to use a digital camera and print photos. He truly enjoyed seeing my mother's hobby with digital photography develop. It wasn't just the final product Papa Ray liked seeing; he enjoyed being part of the process. My mother said just yesterday he was the most willing subject she ever photographed, turning to his good side when he saw her on the move with her camera and then requesting 'redos' if he didn't like the photo. Papa Ray learned how to use the Netflix and Blockbuster movie-order websites. I got the sense he enjoyed creating a queue and ordering movies, even if it really was at random and with no guarantee that he or Grandma Audrey would like the movie.

He was quick to make shrewd observations about the world. Papa Ray was always in touch with current events. He read the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post every day and I am sure read even more publications in years past, when his eyeglass prescription was not as strong as it became. Papa Ray's financial acumen and attention to detail made it seem easy to follow the stock market. As most of have seen firsthand over the past year, the stock market is not an easy beast to tame or even start to understand, but Papa Ray's accounting skills and ease with numbers was truly impressive. He knew what he wanted to invest in and could not be snowed by brokers with get-rich-quick buys who cold-called the house.

The next was the kindness he showed others. Papa Ray was generous and accommodating to those around him. Since his passing, I have read several thoughtful notes and heard inspiring anecdotes from those of you who worked with him professionally, over the years. He set a wonderful example with his honesty and integrity. I have also heard testaments to the devoted care Ray helped provide his mother- and aunt-in-law when they were ailing in their later years.

His many years of dedication to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund also had a positive impact on those organizations and in turn, the people they helped.

Practicality and frugality were other characteristics I must mention, as my grandfather embodied them in his day-to-day life. The Christmas and birthday gifts Papa Ray seemed to enjoy most were flashlights, tools and batteries. He was a numbers man, an accountant, through and through, so he saw no need to buy paper towels at full price just because it was a brand you liked. When he first saw the big screen HDTV my roommate and I shared a year ago, he asked "do you really need all that TV?" - The Best Buy salespeople wouldn't have been able to get to him. For the record, he was impressed by the lush green grass and landscaping in Wii golf. I remember he took a swing or two with the Wii remote and came closer to par than I usually do! The decades spent living at the edge of the Manor Club golf course must have paid off.

Papa Ray truly seemed to enjoy the simple things in life, whether that was working in the yard, playing bridge or eating chocolate. Chocolate bars, in addition to those batteries and flashlights I mentioned, were also gifts that were always sure to please him. Maryland became Ray's second home state after he moved to Maryland from Connecticut to attend college and met my grandma Audrey on the bus. I think he represented his adopted home well...You all probably know that he and Grandma Audrey are crabcake connoisseurs. (I believe Clyde's at Tower Oaks is currently in the lead for the best price and taste.)

Papa Ray was not an emotionally-demonstrative person. Although he lived in Maryland for many years he still retained the aloofness many associate with "Connecticut Yankees." Papa Ray was never one for greeting cards, emotional moments or what we call "touchy feel-y stuff." It was inspiring to me to see him support me and my brother Raymond through his interest in our education and career. When I did well in college, a pat on the shoulder from him told me he was proud of me. He was practical, straightforward and a great facilitator. I was touched by the fairness and equality he supported. When I began working after college, Papa Ray would sometimes cut out and save articles profiling successful female professionals for me. He was impressed by the gains women had made in the workplace. "And she's so stylish...look at those high heels!" he said about one powerful female investment banker. Papa Ray gave me smart advice up to the last day that I saw him and I know that this, in addition to asking me how my car was running, was his way of telling me he loved me.

I am sure that he showed how much he loved you all in a similar fashion. Despite the great sadness we all feel knowing that Ray is no longer with us, I am also certain each one of us has wonderful memories of our time with him that we'll carry through our lives.

Text of obituary from the Washington Post, published October 18, 2009

Raymond L. Worthington World Bank Executive

Raymond L. Worthington, 93, a certified public accountant who became a World Bank executive, died Oct. 10 at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney of complications after fracturing a hip last month at his home in Rockville.

Mr. Worthington worked for the World Bank from 1955 to 1980, primarily as an auditor handling internal administration costs. Early in his career, he participated as a financial analyst in missions to Costa Rica and to India and Pakistan about port and railroad development.

Raymond Leroy Worthington was born in New Milford, Conn. He graduated in 1941 with an accounting degree from the University of Maryland. He was an Army Air Forces veteran of World War II and afterward worked at the Price Waterhouse accounting firm in Washington. He graduated in 1961 from George Washington University law school.

Mr. Worthington was a past treasurer of the private Washington International School and helped the school's administrators for many years. He was a member of Manor Country Club in Rockville.

Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Audrey Munson Worthington of Rockville; a daughter, Sandra Fleischmann of Vienna; and two grandchildren.

Monday, September 21, 2009

George Washington's Mt. Vernon 18th Century Fair

We spent Saturday & Sunday both at George Washington's Mt Vernon, at which the annual 18th Century Fair was taking place. I took the DP2 and DP1, no DSLR, the first DP2 photos are online on flickr, more to come. The fair is a combination 'history' event, with some craftspeople, re-enactors, demonstrators, and of course the host, the retired General and President George Washington

Gen. Washington was played by Dean Malissa, whose website is here

He gave a splendid 45-minute account of his life, the early years in which he was the leader of the Virginia colonial militia, the events leading up to the Revolutionary War, and through to his retirement at Mt Vernon after his service as first US President. Malissa did a marvelous job IMHO as speaker and actor, the kids watching were really enthralled... I searched for who this actor was (Dean Malissa) today and see that he has portrayed Washington in movies as well as in many situations at Mt. Vernon and even official events the White House.
One of my photos on flickr:

See more by going to

The boatride on the Potomac was also very enjoyable on a lovely, sunny, but not too warm day on Sunday.

I'm fond of this event at Mt. Vernon, I once participated myself as a spinner and wool dyer and demonstrator.. In preparation I learned a lot about Washington's life and the estate before the event, as it's continual "demo" to the public when you're a participant... some spectators are so far removed from history and craft knowledge they think you need to kill the sheep to get the wool
This was one of my final craft shows around 2000, and I've always considered it as going out in fine style. I was in costume, it was hot and sunny, and really quite a strain, but indeed a priviledge to be there.. even if I didn't sell much yarn and knitwear LOL. Lydia also participated dressed in a colonial costume that dated back to mother's and my spinning demonstrations around the US Bicentennial.

A selection of photos are online at for more characters too in addition to Gen. Washington... the juggler, sword swallower and medicine man in addition to the French lacemaker whom I remember from the year I participated in the Fair. Re General Washington, it's interesting that's how he referred to himself rather than "President." He even spoke in an interesting accent... I bet researched.. kind of combination of what I'd think of as "southern" and US and somewhat "British"

Mt Vernon has added an extensive museum of Washington artifacts and illustrative history; the museum is very well done both in layout and in content. What many do not realize about Washington is his leading role in what is called in US the French and Indian Wars, aka in Europe the Seven Years War.. in which he acted in effect as one of the main "British" military leaders although he never held ... or could hold... a British commission.. being an "American" ... a "colonist." The museum shows the importance of this period in his life, which led to his fame in the 18th century as a military leader and as some degree of preparation for leading the American Revolutionary army.

We also found several photos of Nick's mother's cousin Charles Cecil Wall, who was the Resident Director of Mt Vernon for many decades.. pictured with everyone from General Charles deGaulle to Price Charles and other foreign dignitaries. We must show photos of the photos to Nick's mother.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Deer in OUR backyard

On this rainy, cool Friday morning, I looked out a window and saw this buck in OUR backyard
I grabbed the only camera at hand with a tele- lens, the Pentax K20D and went to the backyard deck. Managed this one photo before he hopped over the neighbor's fence and in to another backyard. I've seen females and does in our circle before, but not a large buck. My other classic 'close encounter' and photo of an antlered male was at my parents in 2005
a Sigma SD10 photo through the porch glass.

All members of the entire neighborhood herd dine on cracked corn at my parents daily now. Last weekend I took a DP2 photo of 5 which is on flickr... but no antlers...

Deer spotting is routine at their house.

I am reminded of Lydia's phrase last year in Big Meadows after seeing probably a hundred deer ... one becomes "deered out."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal historic site, national park, Potomac, MD

Sunday we continued our explorations of national parks around the Potomac River. This time instead of in Virginia, we were on the Maryland side, at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal site in Potomac, Maryland. The "Powtomack Canal" begun by George Washington and others didn't last long on the Virginia side, but the C&O Canal which was then built on the Maryland side was in use from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown, DC, until the early 20th century. Some info links, park service: and
We intend to explore further north along the Potomac river to Harpers Ferry this fall (fall color and fall photo opportunities).

The light is totally wrong for late afternoon/early evening photos on the Potomac from the Maryland side... you're essentially shooting into the setting sun. Some initial DP2 photos are online at This is our favorite thus far

We walked I think about a hot, humid mile to the Olmstead Island overlook and back (where the above photo was taken). Nick says it was more like 2 miles, but I think it just felt that way ... plus he was carrying my camera bags for me. I had the SD14 with 10-20mm EX DC lens and the DP2 in use, plus I carried the DP1... I did a few shots with the Pentax K20D but they're still fuzzy and I cannot figure out why.. and whether I should take it to Seattle and Mr. Rainier.

I'm actually rather eager for cooler weather for our walks, as well as for the fall color. I'm trying to increase what I call my 'endurance' for the Mt. Rainier park treks.

Deer everywhere continued

On Sunday Nick and I visited with my parents. I helped put out the cracked corn ... we didn't see any deer in the yard but as soon as we were inside, the 'guests' came for dinner. Five of them: 2 mothers with 3 still-spotted fawns. They sucked up the corn then sauntered off. I couldn't open a door to get any photos, they would have bolted at the sound. So this shot is through the porch glass windows with sun reflections
Four at the table, one eating hosta by the bushes

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Deer everywhere

One non-photo item I haven't mentioned is the profusion of deer we see on our evening walks and drives around in Great Falls by the Potomac, through McLean and Vienna, VA area. Just everywhere.. on lawns, in the woods, by the roadside. In Great Falls the other evening, there were herds of 8-10 deer at least, one 'guarded' by two young antlered guys... probably about 2 year olds judging from the antlers. On Route 193 or on Beulah Rd if I'm driving I'm always watchful of what might jump out onto the road!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More Sigma DP2 & Pentax K20D experiments on the Potomac

Another early evening walk by the Potomac River, with Pentax K20D and Sigma 15-30mm EX DG lens and Pentax DFA 100mm F2.8 lens; plus Sigma DP2 used at the same time. Photos on
The K20D doesn't seem to like big dynamic range shots, ie big sky plus darker tree areas, so I've been trying out the Cokin P-series graduated filter ND4 (06). I like the results on the Sigma 15-30mm EX DG shot (IMGP2407). I didn't use the grad filter with the tele- Pentax 100mm lens when shooting the trees on the MD shore across the river.
The DP2 continues to seem 'blue' or cold in color tone to me at its defaults, ie shooting it on auto white balance, doing minimal editing in SPP3.5.2. Actually the DP2 seems to me quite different from the SD14's more golden/yellow/green tones or the DP1 which mine at least seems to be warmer (more pink, magenta). But all these color variables I can easily edit to preferences in SPP3.5.2. I don't try to match the photos, I'm just learning what the cameras will tend to produce on output.
I'm thinking a lot about the light and nature situations we'll see in Washington state on the mid-October trip. And trying to decide what gear to take, cameras and lenses. I don't know what to expect on the 2 days at Mt. Rainier National Park (after the Seattle reunion we'll drive down there and hopefully stay at the Longmire lodge). Big skies for sure. Snow? (better not) Autumn colors (hopefully!)