Saying that I am very proud of my nephew Anthony, would be a huge understatement! He has been a source of great joy, love, and laughter from the minute he was born. He has alternately been the subject of exasperation, worry, and anger. In other words, he is your typical kid, except for those of us in his family.

I know, I know, everyone views the children in their lives, that they love, as unique, truly extraordinary individuals.So I beg your indulgence as I spend just a little time tooting the horn of one exceptional young man! His name is Anthony Ryden (although in our family he is known as "Bubbi or Bubba"), and is currently a student in engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

He was one of those kids who got straight As’ from the minute his tiny foot hit the kindergarten door to the day he donned “Blues Brothers” sunglasses and danced his way out of high school.

I think he would agree that his time in Boulder has been anything but easy. Incredibly difficult, numerous classes in advanced physics, math, computer---stuff etc., (all the things that I, a former theater major, avoided like the plague), in combination with very little sleep and his occasional (and I do mean infrequent) social activities, have turned his life into a constant struggle.
But he pushes forward with his intellect, wacky sense of humor, astoundingly kind heart and hope for better times ahead. And he sings. Like an angel. His voice can make you cry. In fact, it made a high-school gymnasium full of people rise to their feet, wildly applauding, after one performance. He has always referred to me as his “naughty Aunt Patty”.  I am very proud of that; and him.