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 Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a television host, travel journalist as well as a passionate artist, educator and writer who has explored 101 countries, 6 continents and sailed on cruise ships for seven years on the high seas and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which was read in 212 countries in 2018 and named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blog and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one million views on her YouTube channel. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on both Twitter and Facebook, has over 150,000 followers across social media and ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. She has been a finalist for six Southern California Journalism Awards in the past three years and won an award for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.

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