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About Us

Welcome to the Brookston family blog. We'll post updates here on what's going on in our part of the world, and especially with our son, Porter, who has been diagnosed with some form of autism. Our hope is that this blog will help us deal with all the issues we'll be facing and keep our friends and family informed as well.

Jay B.


Sarah J.


Porter Brookston
born September 10, 2001


Alice Brookston
born July 7, 2004

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May 11, 2007

Mother’s Day Friday

Categories: Events, Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah, Movies — J @ 4:39 pm

On Friday, Porter’s new school, BridgePoint Academy, held a special Mother’s Day event and invited all the Mom’s to come by in the afternoon.

Porter and Alice in the morning before school, dressed up to impress Mommy.

Sarah arriving to greet Porter at his school.

Inside his classroom, all the ids lined to sing their Moms a song.

Porter actually wanted to wear a tie for his Mom.

Though he kept playing with it throughout the song.

But he seemed very happy that we were there to watch him.

Press the play button to see Porter sing.

After the song, Porter ran to give Sarah a hug.

Then they both gave me a smile.

Then there were presents for the Mom’s to open.

Outside after the festivities, Sarah pushed Porter on the big boy swing.

• • •

February 3, 2007

Wagnerian Partying

Categories: Events, Photos, Alice, Sarah, Friends — J @ 2:46 am

Today our friend Angie had a little end-of-the-holidays/Groundhog Day soiree at her place in San Francisco. We only knew the beer people there, but had a very nice time meeting everyone. The kids were reasonably well-behaved, at least, and no actual mayhem ensued.

Our host Angie getting slapped around by Porter.

Alice had a hard time keeping her hands off the food.

Porter plays with the spinning clown.

Alice shows off the wonderful spread of food.

• • •

December 16, 2006

Here Comes Santa Claus

Categories: Events, Photos, Alice — J @ 4:16 pm

Santa Claus did finally find a parking space and greeted the kids with a bag full of presents, calling each child’s name to come up and get their gift.

Alice goes up up to get her present.

Then dashed back to me.

Everyone got a book. Here Porter’s friend Katie looks through hers. Porter talks about Katie all the time. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he has a crush on her.

Katie and Alice move closer to Santa.

For a group photo of all the kids with Santa Claus.

• • •

December 15, 2006

Waiting for Santa

Categories: Events, Photos, Alice — J @ 1:46 pm

Today Alice’s Montessori got a vist from Santa Claus, but since I knew he was coming I was on hand to watch. Unfortunately, Santa had trouble finding a parking spot and was delayed. I remarked that he should have parked on the roof. One of the boys there informed me that the preschool had no fireplace and therefore he had to use the door. Hilarious. Anyway, Alice and I waited along with everyone else for Saint Nick to arrive.

C’mon Santa, I’m bored.

What was that nose? Is Santa here?

I’ll just keep making faces ’till he comes.

This is my cute face.

• • •

December 8, 2006

Anchor Christmas Party 2006

Categories: Events, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends, Beer, Food — J @ 1:08 pm

Last night Anchor Brewery held their annual invitation only Christmas party. As usual, it was a great time with good friends, good food and, of course, great beer. While the potato wedges were the most welcome addition to the evening’s food, the best combination was an all-meat chili made with Anchor Steam beer to which I added crumbled Maytag Blue Cheese and paired with Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale.

The leading lights at Anchor: Fritz Maytag, John Dannerbeck and Mark Carpenter.

Guests at Anchor’s annual Christmas party.

A self-portrait with my good friend Bruce Joseph, who does the distilling at Anchor Distilling.

Former Publican Judy Ashworth and Christian Kazakoff, head brewer from Triple Rock.

Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf and beer writer Angie Wagner.

Staff and writers of the Celebrator Beer News.

The beautiful, supportive and tolerant Sarah and me.

The lovely Jen Garris looking even more lovely than usual.

The gleaming copper kettles.

Caught enjoying the yummy frittes.

R.J. Trent, former brewer, who just opened the newest BevMo on Van Ness Boulevard and Jeremy Cowan of He’Brew, whose newest beers lately have been wonderful, especially the 10 Monumental Jewbelation and Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. (a rye-based Imperial IPA).

• • •

November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Categories: Events, Photos, Porter, Alice, Friends, Movies, Food — J @ 12:09 pm

Happy Thanksgiving from the Brookston family. It’s been a while since my last post, but one of these days I’ll catch up. In the emantime, enjoy some photos and a movie from the kids’ Montessori Thanksgiving feast that took place on Wednesday.

The kids, all dressed up for Thankgiving.

The Montessori Thanksgiving table set out for all of the kids.


The kids sang a little song of Thanksgiving.

Porter and a friend chow down.

Alice in her white dress at the table.

• • •

September 11, 2006

Beating the Hell Out of Superman

Categories: Events, Photos, Birthdays, Porter, Sarah, Friends — J @ 4:54 pm

Since Porter insisted on a Superman theme for his party, the piñata was Superman’s torso. It felt somewhat strange that the object of the game was to beat the image of a person, albeit a superhuman one. Still, the kids were smacking a paper mâché person with a stick as hard as they could. If that’s not surreal, I donn’t know what is.

John and Zenobia’s daughter Samira taking a whack at Superman.

Alice, with Sarah’s help, tries to hit the Man of Steel.

Then Porter tried to hit him from behind.

Then as he spun around, he whacked across the face.

Superman’s superhuman strength proved too much for the kids and we had to pull the string to begin the mad scramble for the prizes inside.

Porter even managed to fill his bag.

• • •

Porter’s 5th Birthday Party

Categories: Events, Photos, Birthdays, Porter, Alice, Friends, Family — J @ 2:46 pm

We had a Superman theme birthday party yesterday for Porter at his Montessori school. They were kind enough to let us use their backyard for the party which worked out great. Lots of Porter’s friends from school plus his best friend T.J. and his cousin Julien were all there and I think he had a good time. He certainly seemed like he enjoyed himself.

Porter, a friend from school, and Julien, Porter’s cousin.

Sarah and Alice.

Porter coming down the water slide.

And running back up again.

Shmare in white pants, filling in for Nikki with the water slide.

Porter’s Superman cake. Porter has always like blowing out cadles over and over again so Margaret and Ruthanne had a devious plan. They got some of those trick candles that light back up on their own seconds after they’ve been blown out.

So he blew them out again.

But when they kept coming back to life, all the kids joined in trying to blow them out.

T.J. and Porter enjoy some cake.

Then Porter opened his presents.

• • •

August 13, 2006

Picnicking

Categories: Events, Photos, Alice, J, Sarah, Friends, Beer — J @ 8:23 pm

21st Amendment Brewery & Restaurant had a picnic today to celebrate their 6th anniversary at Lindley Meadow in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Co-founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’sullivan chat as someone hands Shaun his first beer of the day, as he arrived late to his own party.

Chef Lorenzo put on a fine spread of yummy food for the guests.

And 21st Amendment beers flowed freely along with guests beers from Drake’s and Russian River.

Former chef Eddie — who’s now at Magnolia — stopped by to talk with Sarah and Jen (in the jeans jacket), also from Magnolia.

Porter tried to play along with a badminton game.

Alice and Sarah take a walk across the meadow.

Porter stomping on his stomp rocket.

Which attracted a crowd of kids.

Porter having some trouble with the concept of sports.

Making contact. Porter made a surprising number of contacts with the bat. His hand and eye coordination is improving spectacularly.

While Alice spent most of her time either knocking over Sarah’s beer or digging in the dirt.

Disaster strikes the picinc as disgruntled knife-wielding maniac employee offers to cut the cake, as an unsuspecting Nico and Shaun pose for a 6th anniversary photo.

• • •

July 14, 2006

Group Photo Phriday #21

Categories: Events, History, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends — J @ 11:59 am

Yesterday was our tenth wedding anniversary so this was the obvious group photo to run today.

Almost everybody, with a few notable absences. This was taken out behind the Tied House brewpub in downtown San Jose, California on July 13, 1996.

• • •

July 13, 2006

The Reception, Part 2

Categories: Events, History, Photos, J, Sarah, Food — J @ 3:00 pm

When we were first shopping for places to have our reception, we visited the Tied House, not expecting they could accommodate us. We told them we wanted to start and 6:00 p.m. and asked what time we’d need to end the reception. When they replied, “well … we close at 2:00 a.m.” we knew we’d found our place. And indeed our reception lasted eight full hours. It was and still is the largest bar bill I’ve ever paid. But it was very memorable and everybody had a great time. Someday, we should do it again.

Sheldon with his groupies Suzanne,

Christi plays “see food.”

Sheldon: “No pictures, please,” with Chris and Michelle.

Chris, Mike S. and John Smith.

Not to be outdone, Kara wins the “see food” game.

But eventually it was time to go and bid adieu to our remaining guests. Thanks for being a part of our wedding.

• • •

The Reception, Part 1

Categories: Events, History, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends — J @ 1:00 pm

Our reception was held at the Tied House, a brewpub in downtown San Jose, about a block from where we first met. They have a outdoor gazeebo-like space in the back that was the perfect size and ideal for our reception. Plus, the gazeebo was the first place Sarah and I ever went together before we started dating.

After work, I asked to to join me for a drink. At that time she drank only domestic light lagers, so I ordered a set of tasters and proceeded to tell her about craft beer as she tried each one. Happily she was very receptive and I asked her out on the spot. So this made it the perfect spot for our reception, too.

Posed in front of our cake.

Jolene, Christi and Jenny and Andy’s mom.

Sheldon’s mom with Katherine.

Karen and me from our edgy folk-singing days.

My favorite wedding photo, in front of the copper brew kettle.

• • •

After the Ceremony

Categories: Events, History, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends, Family — J @ 11:00 am

We got married in the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, which was a beautiful setting. After the ceremony, we had the standard wedding photos taken. Here are a few of those.

Us with Sarah’s family. From left: Don, Margaret, Tucker, Lyman, Sarah, me, RuthAnne, Kit and Dave.

Maid of Honor Emily, Sarah, me and my best man, Sheldon.

Sarah and me, moments after our marriage began.

• • •

The Big Ten-O

Categories: Events, History, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends, Family — J @ 9:00 am

Today is Sarah and my tenth wedding aniversary. Our first big milestone anniversary, we’re leaving tomorrow for a four-day vacation in Kauai, our favorite Hawaiian island. So today’s posts will mostly be photos from the wedding and reception a decade ago.

Sarah and her bridesmaids. From left: Margaret, Kit, Emily, Fifi and Deanna.

Me with my groomspeople. Top row, from left: Michelle, me, Karen and Chantal. Bottom row, from left: Jim, Sheldon and Greg (who gave me away).

Sarah as resplendent bride enters the rose garden with her father.

During the ceremony, with Judge Morgan officiating.

• • •

July 10, 2006

Alice’s New Pony

Categories: Events, Photos, Porter, Alice, Family — J @ 9:00 am

Yesterday we had a birthday party for Alice, who turned two on Friday. A brewer friend of mine was going to bring a couple of ponies — kegs that is — and my family misinterpreted that to mean small horses would be grazing in our living room. So Alice’s grandparents did all but make good on that promise by getting Alice a giant stuffed pony for her birthday.

Alice riding her new pony.

Naturally, Porter wanted to go for a ride, too.

• • •
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