Holiday Letter – 1989

In 1980s by Steve Sliwa40 Comments

Dear Family and Friends:

This past year has seen a lot of change in our household, including a permanent change of address. After Steve completed his MBA program at Stanford on a Sloan Fellowship, he decided to leave government service with NASA and repaid the government for the Sloan tuition, room & board. He joined Integrated Systems, Inc. of Santa Clara, CA (just 20 miles south of our rental home in Woodside) as Vice-President for Product Research, Development & Engineering.

Integrated Systems is a small, private company with approximately 100 employees. It is growing rapidly and may be going public in the next few years. The company develops and sells software to help design and implement real-time control systems. The excitement of the growth environment keeps& Steve’s batteries charged in spite of his long hours. He loves the challenge of bringing order out of chaos in the entrepreneurial environment.

Nancy was able to spend last academic year at NASA Ames Research Center on a temporary job assignment while Steve was at Stanford. This year she made it permanent by transferring to the AI Research Group at Ames. The new branch has a more basic research focus than her last group at Langley. This change is both challenging and refreshing. She has been working on planning systems research with potential application to Mars rover missions, and recently had a follow-up session to the Simmons Executive Development Program she attended last year.

Nancy’s free time is absorbed by her new hobby, flying. She earned her private pilot’s license in June and has been building up flight time so she can begin working on her instrument rating soon. Meanwhile, Steve has made arrangements with a friend at work for access to his Turbocharged Cessna 210 (6-passenger). This will make an ideal plane to commute to the Lake Tahoe region for skiing this winter and to Minden, Nevada for soaring this spring. Steve plans to resume soaring this year.

Tabitha is a sophomore at Woodside High School where she is on the student senate. She’s taking World Studies, Algebra II, German II, English Literature, and Human Biology. Her most recent project is the dissection of a cat for which she enjoys regaling Steve with details during dinner. In addition, she resumed her sailing lessons and has recently earned her basic certification in Santana 22’s. She’ll be taking one more course this spring to qualify to rent sailboats in the Bay Area up to 30′ in size.  If you come visit us, Tabitha would be happy to give a sightseeing tour of San Francisco Bay (or Nancy can give a tour from the air!).

Tabitha loves “the California scene”, but is frustrated that her friends are starting to drive and she’s still a year too young. She calls herself as a “head-banger,” i.e., an aficionado of a certain type of “heavy-metal” music. She has an active social life, and was on the phone so much that Steve and Nancy finally got her her own line. Tabitha is starting to date but her steady boyfriends tend to last between 3 months and 3 days. ·

Tabitha has a new pet rat, which makes Honey, our golden retriever, jealous. Honey is still a wonderful, loving, obedient dog, but would prefer not to be left alone while we are at school and work. She gets a lot of exercise and would play frisbee all day long if given the chance. She loves the water, and has unintentionally body surfed at the beach while searching for a frisbee that Steve threw into a breaker. She is so devoted to her frisbee that she refuses to come to shore until she finds it, causing consternation and wet clothes for Steve when he has to fetch her.

Nancy’s cousin Shannon is stationed at Moffett Field and has spent several weekends with us. It’s fun having an extra person around the house, plus added incentive to go sightseeing!

We wish you all the best for the Holiday season and the upcoming New Year.


The Sliwa Family

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