retired Married 1 2016-07-01 00:26:38
As with so many of us who went to school in the D.C. metro area, I felt like I was just passing through, having changed schools twelve times before graduating from Walter Johnson. Early memories were of Ankara, Turkey, of Hong Kong, and elementary and high school semesters in a town north of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, along the upper Mississippi. Four years at Four Corners Elementary School, over in Silver Spring, were a good stretch, but years later I finished high school a year after my classmates did, and would see almost none of them again. There was part of a year at North Bethesda Junior High (with some of the WJ class of '65), two years boarding in Massachusetts, skipping a year between schools in Hong Kong, was in the ninth grade three times at different schools . . . and never failed a course . . . . I tried to keep in mind through that, that we are what we make of ourselves, and not what happens to us.
In 1970 I graduated from St. Joseph's College (now a University) in Philadelphia with a degree in English and no idea what I wanted to do for a living, and after a short while found myself working as a longshoreman in Milwaukee, then working in factories there, at some point proud to be a welder at A.O.Smith, producing car frames for GM. My weld could be seen as a thin snakeskin on the Cadillac center sidebar, on the Corvette seatbelt clamp, and all over the El Camino and Monte Carlo frames. The country had been going through a recession as well as a war in Viet Nam. Then, with the creation of OPEC, we had the oil and steel crisis of '73-'74, and layoffs. Seven years passed, of different kinds of factory work, including a year and a half as a night watchman at the Pabst Brewery, reading and writing on my own. Emerging from this relative solitude, I found myself earning an M.A. in Creative Writing at UW-Milwaukee, and teaching English Composition, the research paper, and creative writing. And I married; and then I was the Press Secretary for a Congressional candidate for Wisconsin's 1st District, my candidate against incumbent Les Aspin; and then we moved to New Jersey, when the company my wife worked for was bought by another company, so I picked up proofreading jobs, providing letter perfect accuracy for the galleys of product catalogs for Pharmacia Inc, for their research reagents. And then I was proofreading articles for CME Category 1 publications, and because my presentation was so good for doing this, I also prospected among pharmaceutical product managers, to get them to sponsor newly created CME publications. This work plateaud, so then I moved on to what I wanted more at that time, and sold residential real estate. I was paying my bills, and got involved in the community, becoming a founding member of a 501(c)3, The Trenton Roebling Community Development Corporation. Our efforts put into the National Historic Trust the factory that gave birth to the cables and the technology for suspension bridges and the actual Brooklyn Bridge, etc.
But when the State of New Jersey asked me in 1989 to train to be a computer programmer, based on my score on their aptitude test combined with my total lack of experience, well, it felt like fate was telling me to wake up. Within months my wife's company asked her to return to Milwaukee, and I stayed, having completed my training, and we decided we'd grown apart, and we divorced. I was on a team in the State of NJ's Office of Telecommunications and Information Systems (now the Office of Information Technology), with the NJ's Treasury Department's Division of Taxation as our client. Somehow I felt like I'd become a born again civil servant; and becoming a union steward also seemed the right thing to do, having been in different unions on the way to this point, and having experiences to guide me in this. From then until the day I retired, at the end of 2014, I had the Division of Taxation as my client, developing and maintaining their Generic Tax System, which enabled the processing of all of their different kinds of taxes.
And, as a union steward, acting as a liaison between coworkers and management, and between coworkers and our Local, I found myself becoming more concerned about processes and outcomes, and became more active, getting out the vote during election cycles, serving on our Local's Executive Board, attending legislative and political conferences in Washington, and so on. This interest folded back on itself in the workplace, when I was selected to train as a facilitator at work, to facilitate a special process improvement team that focused on the production of state licenses. And my proofreading for letter perfect accuracy with state checks and other documents became a continual additional part of my job, with my driving to the print shop any time of day or night, to catch mistakes and provide certainty to my client.
Fortunately, in all of this, life interfered. In 1993, I survived a fatal auto collision, and for more than a year after, I repeatedly found myself in a state of amazement, taking in all over again the fact that I was still alive. I've learned from this that our life is a gift, it's of uncertain duration, and we should act in ways that reflect and share our gratitude for this life we have. In 1998, someone I'd sold a house to years before contacted me, and we started dating. Four years later, Sunday and I were married, we've been inseparable ever since, and next month she will be retiring from her job. And my stepdaughter, Leah, who was a young teenager, way back in '98, has gone through college and grad school, has the career she wants, is married, and since Mother's Day this year is herself now a mother. Five years ago she let me walk her down the aisle with her biological father taking one arm and me the other. And now I'm a grandfather. And my granddaughter is perfect and beautiful. All of this is what matters to me now.
I must confess that, despite these blessings I've enjoyed, the early part of my retirement seemed bleak and not so fun. I'd been in a rut, defining myself by my work, and by how well I did it. Retired, I had to escape that, to head in directions of my own choosing, for my own enjoyment and growth. Fortunately, I'd already started to work with shelter dogs, volunteering to walk them and learning to train them. After 9/11, I had trained to be part of a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). As a result, in 2004 (really?), I served in FEMA in Mississippi, in response to Hurricane Rita. Katrina came one year later, but I had committed to time with Sunday and Leah in Paris then, and couldn't go with FEMA. Since my retirement, reengagement with CERT makes good sense and has given me pleasure.
Along with this, over the past twenty years I've become active in my church. I serve on the Vestry of our congregation at Trinity Cathedral, which is the Cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey. At the Diocesan level, I serve on the Environmental Commission, in the Anti-Racism Ministry, and on a recently formed Animal Welfare Commission. All of these involvements are forms of stewardship -- that hasn't changed. Oh, and on the first Sunday of each month, it's been my turn to shop and bring fresh fruit to the Hospitality Hour after services, and that's good too.
I went to Occidental College in an honors program where I could design an inter-disciplinary major and design many of my own classes. As some of you know, my father was an aide to Robert Kennedy in the Justice Department, so understandably my major was a tangent of political science. My freshman roommate was a computer science major. (Remember, this was still in the punch card era.) My first curated class was one in which we designed a program to compare speeches by Robert Kennedy and George Wallace for their racism index (and design the racism index…)
I joined Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1968 as the youngest member of his National staff. By May I was his personal assistant. I was at the Ambassador Hotel, and attended all of the heartbreaking events in New York and Washington in the following days.
I worked in one more political campaign, Tom Bradley’s first run for mayor of Los Angeles in 1969. But in 1972, I left the country for London to work producing and editing audio documentaries for a company that had bought the entire NBC Television and Radio Archives on audiotape. I had been its Program Manager in my first job out of college. The programs were distributed on audio cassette to schools, universities and libraries.
I had a wonderful eight months in London, much of it spent traveling in Europe. I had started dating Susan Kleinberg, who had just graduated from Pomona. Our grandparents had known each other as young immigrants in Seattle, in fact, her grandparents knew both my father’s parents in Seattle, and my mother’s parents in Tacoma, long before my parents ever met. Europe was not our first date, but close. We’re still together.
We’ve lived in New York City most of our adult lives. She’s a visual artist, who has shown in seven Venice Biennales — no one knows Venice better — and we’ve had many amazing experiences there over the years...and in other shows she's had around the world.
My first job in New York was with the New York City Ballet, recording and editing audio interviews with the principal dancers for their summer and winter tours. What a job!
I got a graduate school education in television production when I was hired as a story editor on the eventual Peabody Award-winning PBS series “Visions,” which over four years produced 40 feature-length independent films and in-studio plays for television. One of our films, “Alambrista,” won the Camera d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival. One of our plays was written by Maya Angelou.
That said, the series was not renewed by PBS, which was a few years into its conservative retrenchment. Looking for a job, I went to see Tom Brokaw, who I had met during the Kennedy campaign when he was an anchor at KNBC in Los Angeles. I was hired as the writer in the political unit for the 1980 election. David Brinkley was still there and it was great! One of my researchers was Jill Abramson, who would go on to be managing editor of the New York Times.
After the election, I was hired full-time as manager of the unit. (One of my researchers in 1984 was Arnon Mishkin, who would go on to be head of the Fox News Decision Desk in both 2012 and 2020, when his now-legendary early state calls for Obama and Biden infuriated Republicans, but proved to be spot on.) Both Jill and Arnon remain good friends.
I went to work for Tom as a writer and producer at Nightly News in 1985. (In the recent NETFLIX documentary on the Challenger space shuttle explosion, you can see me sitting behind Tom on camera during all the tense hours of NBC’s special coverage.)
In 1988, I became the Senior News Producer of the ill-fated “USA TODAY” television news program. It was a blast. Just at the dawn of digital production and editing, we had all of the cutting-edge technology -- equipment that had not yet even come to the network news divisions -- and an unlimited budget! But the executive producer, who had been the head of the Today Show, chose uniquely weak anchors for two of the four USA TODAY sections, and refused to hire a young reporter from Dallas I wanted to bring on -- Scott Pelley (the now CBS News and "60 Minutes" anchor). However, the short-lived series brought me back to Washington for a year, after a 20-year absence; and again, I got invaluable experience, this time producing a national series.
I’ve had, and am still having, a highly stimulating life in television and film production. I created and produced the DISCOVER MAGAZINE series at the Walt Disney Company, and then the “Outside Television Presents” series with Outside magazine, where we had national Emmy nominations for Outstanding Documentary and Outstanding Cinematography, along with many film festival awards.
At Outside Television, I directed six documentaries among the 30+ we produced. Now my number is up to 13.
Circling back for a moment, my favorite is “The Hudson Riverkeepers” with Bobby Kennedy Jr. Among other lovely scenes is footage of his father and Walter Cronkite on the banks of the Hudson in 1966, talking about how grossly polluted the Hudson was then and what Sen. Kennedy was planning to do about it. I had known Bobby Jr. since junior high school. Sadly, his careen into the COVID anti-vax movement has squandered his great environmental work, and of course the two films we made together, which ten years ago I edited into one feature doc, “The Waterkeepers.” No one watches them anymore on Amazon Video.
But my latest documentary and its accompanying YouTube video series have been the most engaging and sublime experiences of my life. In 2015, I was invited by Caltech and the LIGO Laboratory to make the definitive film about LIGO’s expected discovery of gravitational waves — from the collision of two black holes or neutron stars. The discovery was not expected for a year or more, they were just launching a $200 million upgrade to their two observatories. But on our second shoot I was at their observatory near Baton Rouge, LA with my crew when the historic discovery was made - this after a 50-year search. Our final shoot, two years later, was an icy, magical week in Stockholm, when our three main characters, the creators of the $1 billion LIGO project, won an almost instant Nobel Prize in Physics. It was a two-year thrill, as you can see in the film, “LIGO,” and the online series. A second film, on the hugely impressive women physicists and engineers of LIGO, is in the works.
2016-01-26 18:59:32From Wikipedia:
Born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Bethesda, Maryland, Hadary arrived at Tufts University already an accomplished actor. He was cast in many shows at Tufts, both student and faculty directed. During his sophomore year, he became an understudy for the Boston company of You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. This being the Vietnam era, the actor playing Charlie Brown was drafted. The actor playing Schroeder was moved to the Charlie Brown role, and Hadary took the part of Schroeder. He finished the Boston run of the show and the toured with it for some time.
Hadary made his New York City stage debut in the 1976 Playwrights Horizons staging of Albert Innaurato's Gemini. Critical acclaim for the off-Broadway production resulted in it transferring to PAF Playhouse and then to Circle Repertory Company, and finally to Broadway, where it ran for 1819 performances. Hadary worked off-Broadway again on the 1979 Howard Ashman and Alan Menken musical adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Ted Tally's 1980 play Coming Attractions, and the 1981 Tom Lehrer revue Tom Foolery. The following year he returned to Broadway to replace Harvey Fierstein in Torch Song Trilogy.
A member of the acting company at Circle Repertory Company, Hadary won an Obie Award for his performance in the 1985 William M. Hoffman play As Is at Circle Rep, and again, the play moved to Broadway, where it was nominated for three Tony Awards and won the Drama Desk Award for Best Play. In 1989, he co-starred opposite Tyne Daly in Gypsy, which earned him Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations.
Hadary played the role of Roy Cohn in the national touring production of Millennium Approaches, the first part of Tony Kushner's theatrical epic Angels in America in 1994-95. He also appeared in the 2006 revival of Awake and Sing!, for which he shared the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. He most recently portrayed King Arthur in the Broadway production of Monty Python's Spamalot.
Hadary's feature film credits include A Time to Kill, Private Parts, and Intolerable Cruelty. On television he has appeared in Miami Vice, Party of Five, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Hope and Faith, Sex and the City and The Heart, She Holler.
Laura Hall (Bright)
2016-02-20 12:00:37From the 40th reunion:
Without doubt the most important event of my last forty years was my new birth, or spiritual birth, in November 1984. At the time of the birth of my son, Matthew, God in His grace made Himself known to me. I began a search that soon led me to the Lord Jesus Christ, whom I received as my Lord and Savior when I realized the wonderful gift He was offering to me. He freely forgave me my sins, which were considerable, and gave me eternal life. As he says in His word, in the book of Romans, chapter 6, verse 23: "For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
So I was gloriously "born again" when I was thirty-six. The Lord Jesus says in the Gospel of John, chapter three, "Truly, truly, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
My whole world was turned upside down. What had been vital to me (e.g., career advancement, financial rewards, even some human relationships) now became almost insignificant. After high school, I attended Radcliffe College, graduating with a degree in English History and Literature from Harvard in 1970. I travelled in Europe for a time, worked at various secretarial and administrative positions, and then took a MBA degree at Harvard in 1975. The next ten years saw lots of interesting managerial positions at universities and non profit organizations, an unfortunate marriage which took me to Berkeley, California, the birth of my first child, as I described above and new life in Christ.
I relocated back to Gaithersburg, Maryland, after a divorce, took a job at the University of Maryland, and then at the Washington Bible College and Seminary in Lanham VA. I began attending church faithfully and studying
the Bible. It has been a wonderful journey, getting to know the living
God, serving Him, allowing Him to direct my life. He gave me peace and rest such as I have never known. The Lord Jesus makes a wonderful offer to all in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 11, verses 29-30: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls." I took Him up on His offer.
In 1990, the Lord gave me a wonderful, Christian husband, David Bright, who is a scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology here in Gaithersburg. He had two daughters, Jennifer and Jessica, from a previous marriage who lived with him, so I became a mother of three. Then our daughter, Ruth, was born in 1992. To complete our family, we adopted two daughters from Yaroslavl, Russia, in 2001, Tonia and Mareina. My testimony became: "He maketh the barren woman to keep house, a
joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD." Psalm 133:9
I quit working at an out-of-the-home job shortly after my marriage, and since then have been busy keeping my home, taking care of six children and my husband, and home schooling all of our children. Our oldest daughter is married with two little babies, so I am hugely enjoying being a grandmother. Three of our children are still happily in our home: Matthew
(21) attending Montgomery College for a degree in Landscape Management, Mareina (15) and Ruth (14), whom we are home schooling for high school.
Our whole family loves to travel and especially to camp. We have visited 48 states, including driving to Alaska, all the provinces and territories in Canada, and several countries in Europe. We take the glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ wherever we go. I would welcome a phone call or letter from any of my classmates and would be eager, especially, to share the good news in Christ.
U.S. Library of Congress, Retired Married 2 2016-03-02 13:36:38
Graduated from WJ by the skin of my teeth. There followed MJC, U of Md, US Navy (Commissaryman 2nd Class), Library School, and a Master of Arts degree in American Literature (GWU). Worked in public libraries for a couple of years before joining the Library of Congress. Thirty six year career managing librarians and IT staff; leading projects/programs in digital preservation, large scale digital storage systems, telecommunications operations, book repository provisioning, overseas collecting, and so on. Retired as Deputy Associate Librarian for Library Services. It was an incredible experience, especially for someone with such modest credentials through high school. In my mid-twenties married an Ursaline Academy girl (Dianne) and raised two sons in NW DC. Coached the boys on several teams in the Cap City Little League, routinely losing to Mike Domanski’s damned Yankees. Now fill my days as an amateur stone mason in Rappahannock County, Virginia.
2016-02-20 12:02:10From the 40th reunion:
Like many, it's been a long, strange trip, but a great ride. After WJHS I attended undergrad at University of VA and earned my DDS at University of Maryland. With the Vietnam War waning and realizing there weren't many Combat Dentists, I joined the U.S. Army. My initial assignment was in a small town outside of Heidelberg. Quickly realizing I wasn't enamored of the overall aspect of general dentistry - shots, patient's paralyzing anxiety, drills, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum . . . accordingly, I left after my initial tour and returned to receive Orthodontic training. I was still plagued with terminal 'itchy feet' and I re-joined the Army: I received the plum assignment of Orthodontist at SHAPE, Belgium.
The next 21 years with the military consisted of some fantastic foreign assignments (Heidelberg and Augsburg, FRG; SHAPE, Belgium and Seoul, Korea) along with a couple of nifty stateside assignments, primarily being the Orthodontist for the Cadets at the United States Military Academy. The cadets and their dedication, drive and determination truly enriched our lives. While at USMA, I was honored to be the OR (officer Representative) for the USMA Men's Tennis Team. Well you might ask what being an OR entailed. Well - my role as an Officer Representative was to present an upstanding model of military bearing, rectitude and forbearance to the cadets. Alas, always skirting haircut regulations, never totally inured to the concept of blind obedience to authority, and NEVER possessing a whole lot of patience . . . they called me SMOOF (Smooth Officer) - always dancing along the perimeter.
Hopefully, all our cadets learned about hard work, dedication, intelligence and it's not necessary to run with the herd to be successful. Our home was opened to the team and they in turn opened their lives. We've been to many of their weddings, learned of many births and take utter joy in each and every one of their myriad triumphs . They're remarkable individuals and I'm so proud to be a small part of that process. We don't have a magnetic ribbon affixed to our car but we have the knowledge that good people can make a difference. Some highlights of my military career include founder of the SHAPE, Belgium Turkey Bowl Touch Football games, clearing a 150 patient backlog of patients, Founder of the Seoul Friday Night Supper Club, establishment of the first Pediatric Dental Clinic in Seoul Korea, proud pitcher of championship softball teams in Germany, the Korean Peninsula's (take that Kim Il Jong) and USMA Athletics' Dept.'s. Oh yeah, baby!!) and being the Orthodontic mentor for General Dentists in the military at Ft. Sill, OK (what I consider my combat overseas tour) and Ft. Hood, TX. In 1996, after 21 years, I retired from the U.S. Army as a Colonel.
Now, I'm the Orthodontist for a busy and thriving practice of 6 Pediatric Dentists in Corpus Christi, TX. We have homes on Padre Island and San Antonio, TX. We continue to travel relentlessly, to China, India, South America, Africa and Central America. I married Bobbye in 1981.. We met in Belgium and she enjoys the same peripatetic pursuits. Bobbye was the first female assigned to a tactical Signal Battalion. After the military she followed me and also found employment with Civil Service in various positions - Management Analyst/Research Analyst/Statistician. After working with the State Government in TX, she's presently happily ensconced as a 'nuero-slacker'.
We don't have any children, but we do have two cats, J.(ohn) D.(oe) and Fearless. J.D. has advanced studies in butt licking (because he can) and Fearless - well words can't describe - though her name implies everything.
Though we live in Texas, we're proud members of the "Reality Based Community" and (to paraphrase Kermit) it's not easy