A day or so after the phonecall from Connie, I got an e-mail from one of my cousins: he'd be coming to Toronto. With his brother. Next day there was another. Then one from one of my step-cousins, a nephew of Con's who planned to come with his wife from California. Then something from another cousin, who would be bringing her mother, the last of my father's siblings.
So it went, and kept going. At last count, some sixteen people from both Con's family and Dad's will be here, including my husband and one of our sons. Sixteen people! We'd hoped for a handful.
Meantime, people keep calling and writing to accept invitations to the gathering, and the room that holds 60 will need to accommodate 80.
Not only that, but every single person—every single one—whom Con had hoped might participate, will do so. Fellow mathematicians will talk about his work, as will several who worked with Dad in the peace movement. The current chair of the Trudeau Center asked to speak. I've never met the man, but I am so grateful to him I'm ready to kiss his shoes. For him to speak symbolizes a recognition of my father's role in establishing that program.
Then there's the music, which was hugely important to Dad, and to our family. Anatol Rapoport's son Tony will be there, playing the viola with two other members of the Windemere Quartet. These people knew my father and have volunteered to play some of his favorite music. That means Bach, of course. Then I said that someone should sing Handel's aria “How beautiful are the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace,” and Con asked if I could. So I will. I have my fingers crossed. Well, three of the four of us will know what we are doing! And given my father's dedication to peace studies, this seemed a necessary part of the proceedings.
Today I cooked and Con did about a dozen things–prepare displays, co-ordinate rides, buy cheese, borrow a cuisinart–to get ready. And by golly, we are ready. Tomorrow people start arriving, and on Thursday we all gather at University College for the event.