Remembering Joannie Parker!


Before COVID-19, we would have gathered this weekend in honor of Joannie Parker at the campus of the former Westlake School for Girls where she was my teacher and mentor. However, now we will gather May 8, 2021 instead.

I miss my friend so very much.

Susan Bernstein, Joannie Parker and Lisa Niver

The video footage above is from Westlake reunion day in 2015. I wish I had video of our classes from the 80s!

Joannie Parker with an article about Hilary Clinton on her door!


the poem by Linda Ellis

I read of a woman who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. She referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

She noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but she said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

Poem by Linda Ellis, Copyright © 2020 Inspire Kindness,

Joannie Parker, Lisa Niver and Carl Law
Lisa Niver, Joannie Parker and Jessica Gelson
Shawn, Joannie, Nicole, Lara and Lisa at Westlake Reunion 2015

For Joannie’s birthday, I wrote this article in honor of her.

Lisa Niver and Joannie Parker in Santa Cruz

May her memory be a blessing.
Marni Glick, Joannie Parker and Lisa Niver
May 2015 on our way to Motown the Musical at Pantages

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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