Seven Decades

A Tribute to Family

Terran was born in Los Angeles on October 5, 1939, the oldest of nine siblings, including one sister, three half-brothers, one half-sister, two step-brothers and one step-sister.

He has been married to his lovely life partner, Veda, since 1978. Veda has a wonderful sense of humor, the quintessential TV sitcom audience, a living laugh track. She loves to be entertained and has a discerning appreciation for excellence in the performing arts. If there were rankings in the quality of being an audience, she would be in the audience hall of fame. For example, years ago when Veda and Terran went to a performance by Gladys Knight and the Pips at a club on the Sunset Strip, Veda was so demonstrably appreciative of Gladys' performance, that Gladys reciprocated by personally acknowledging her from the stage. On the other side of the coin, Veda is deeply empathetic, absorbing into her soul the pain and tribulation of others. She is keenly discerning of human character, but pleasantly tolerant and forgiving of the idiosyncracies and insults of others. She is sought out and appreciated by others for life counsel and nurture. Thank God for a wife that gives to her husband loyalty, admiration and respect.

When Terran met Veda in 1976, she had two sons, Jason and Tom, then 10 and 5. Terran fell in love with all three of them, and shortly after their marriage, started a proceeding to adopt both of Veda's children as his own sons. Previous to meeting Veda, Terran had been medically diagnosed as being infertile. However, within weeks after commencing the adoption proceeding, Veda became pregnant with their daughter, Morgan, who was born four days before the adoption court hearing, and attended the hearing in Veda's arms, being one of the youngest visitors ever to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Jason is a successful executive businessman in the auto parts industry, with a hobby of amateur organized race car driving. Although a risky sport, it is infinitely better than his teenage penchant for road racing along Mulholland Dr. in the Hollywood Hills. Jason is a born genius in mechanics. In childhood, he was able to put complicated model planes together by just looking at the picture on the box and putting the parts together to match it with no need whatsoever for the detailed instructions. When he was 19, Terran paid $8,000 to L.A. Trade Tech for Jason to take an eight month course in computerized machining. After four months, Jason had mastered the subject and the teacher had him teaching the course to new students. Jason thereupon went to the Dean, negotiated the refund of $4,000 of his tuition, and returned it to Terran! Jason has parlayed that brilliance and hutzpa, together with a responsible work ethic, into a lucrative career that is tailor-made for a man that has loved muscle cars from his youth.

Tom, a graduate of Cal State Northridge in business administration, is the business manager and paralegal of Steinhart Law Offices. Being highly educated and wise, Tom's assistance in putting cases together with Terran is of inestimable value. Tom has been working in Terran's law offices since serving as a file clerk at age 14. Tom and Terran are sports fans, movie buffs, and penetrating analysts of philosophy, politics and religion. During breaks in the intensity of focus that permeates the operation of a law practice, they enjoy a lively, ongoing conversation covering all of these topics. They appreciate the philosophical lessons learned from athletic competition, the illustrations about life that flow from movie stories, and make practical application of these in understanding the wisdom and ways of ancient philosophical and religious doctrine. Some of Terran's most insightful wisdom, knowledge and understanding about his cases in particular, and life in general, have come from these conversations with Tom. It is a wonderful blessing to work with one's own son.

Morgan, a graduate of UCLA in psychology, is an actress. She was a jokester as a child, and maintains a lovely laugh, smile, and sense of joy in life. She is a deeply sympathetic and compassionate toward the tribulation of others. Morgan and Terran enjoy conversational sharing about the aspirations and tribulations of life, and especially father-daughter outings to good movies and good food. Morgan keeps tabs on many good, reasonably-priced restaurants in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills . . . some more high maintenance than others. Being Terran's only natural child, he marvels at the many instances in which they have the same thought or emotional reaction at the same time. While sons are emblematic of a father's strength, a daughter is a sweet savor, to whom her father will always be "daddy." As a sage author noted, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Long live the difference between the genders.

Terran and Veda have been blessed with five grandchildren.

A Tribute to Character

Terran's favorite poem is the masterpiece "If" written in 1885 by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings-nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run-
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!

It takes a lifetime to cultivate the character of a Man. It is not a prize easily achieved. The wise have instructed that it is attained not by pride, striving and ambition, but by humility, seeking and submission.

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