Jim Graham

Forgive me this my first BLOG;
bandwidth fear i do not CLOG
so deposit i here
my account of life dear
Some of you knew me as the school announcer who always wore a tie and mumbled the Pledge to the Flag, or the only guy in French class, or the nut who fell 60 ft. out of a King pine tree, or as the only guy they knew who was into trapping and taxidermy. Anyway.....Went off to learn engineering at WPI. Missed the draft pick by ONE point. Spent our parents' 'Activities' fee bringing in Janice Joplin,Tom Rush, Sly, and Joni Mitchell. J.Geils was just flunking out at WPI while perfecting his craft there with weekly performances.
Missed Woodstock because of an exam. Wasn't Dean's list, but WAS called to his office once. Joined a Fraternity, then entered apartment life and met an artist, Gail. Moved in with her and 3 other girls. Good times.
Senior year, made a gentleman's bet with my Math Professor: Whoever found the biggest, cheapest tract of land in Mass. FIRST, won a $1. Within 2 months found 50 acres (no plot plan) for $1000 bucks. Won the $1. Nobody in town knew where it was. Felt more like the loser now.
Entered Grad school at WPI for BioMed. Worked nights welding shopping carts with the other (Indian) Grad students. Left after a year, the field was too young. Left for the Adirondacks to help a fraternity brother survey his folks' property 5 miles into the Forest.
6 months later we had built an 8-sided house out there, living on wild duck, frogs, and cat-tail bread.
Returned to Worcester. Lived dirt cheap in an eclectic neighborhood; hookers, families that ate deer from the local zoo and German Sheppard puppies from the Want Ad, and drug dealer wannabees from Holy Cross wielding shotguns.
After 6 months of researching, we found the missing plot plan at last! At least we knew what corner of town it was in. One day packed up all of our stuff and dumped it onto the ground, on what we were told was our Lot, by an old timer; the only soul living in that corner of town. Cleared an acre, put in a garden, an outhouse, and bought everything to build a Dome. One day, the Owner of the property showed up. The old timer was senile. Put on our Sunday clothes and pleaded our case and had to move our stuff. Desperate, we moved it to another location that the old timer said surely was ours. From there, spent the Winter in a box trailer with no heat, electricity or facilities. Quilted a sleeping bag out of packing foam that kept us alive. Had a mixed-drink freeze next to the bed one night. Learned about the deep snows of Worcester County.
Married Gail. Like in a scene from Gone with the Wind, she vowed she would never live this way again.
Ran the Instrumentation Dept. at WPI's Alden Labs for a year, then went into Electronics at the dawn of the computer age.
Built the first Timex/Sinclair computer at home. Started a mail-order company selling add-ons and kits that we had designed for it. Exciting times.
Worked 3 startup companies in 4 years: Robotics, video editing, airline terminals, sometimes in secrecy for a year at a time. Wet T-shirt volleyball, skydiving, martini lunches, Las Vegas, weird and wonderful software geeks. Magical times.
1975. Got a friend to survey the property and it actually WAS the right one. Started to build a house ourselves, foundation to rooftop. Never got a permit.
Had 2 kids 11 months apart to 'get it over with' and got fixed. How do YOU spell relief?
Town discovers the house in the woods and confronts us there en masse to have it removed. Desperate, we bluff, say we have 3 relatives in Law practices and will fight it. Town backs down. (Only have one sister, a schoolteacher).
Skidding trees with a farm tractor, one snags, the tractor flips over backwards and pins me unconscious. My friend from the Adirondacks shows up out of nowhere and extracts me. Down and out for a while.
Highway accidents were scheduled by God at regular intervals; whether traveling backwards at 70, or sandwiched between tractor trailers at a stoplight.
But as you're worming your way out the side window, and a Samaritan exclaims "That was awesome!!" at least you know you're alive and good for another 6 months.
Lived blissfully in the forest for 30 years, building trust and friendships as you will with kids in the school system.
Father needed to liquidate several properties to buy oceanfront in N. Falmouth.
We agree to buy the runt of the litter, a lot in Mashpee. Visiting there we discover that if we do not build immediately, we may never be able to. (Septic-to-well placements)
1986. Again. Another house to build ourselves. 51 weeks of wiring, plumbing, roofing, and we finally finish. Gail stays down summers, then weekends. Racing the Hobie Cat, diving for conches, windsurfing, campfires at night. Gail starts up part time work Wallpapering & painting as the kid’s progress into Sports. Bored, Laura drops out of High School Sophomore year to join Mass. Academy of Math and Science at WPI (a surprise to us). Stays to get freshman year at WPI free, and then returns to High School to give the Valedictorian speech to a resentful class. Finished her 4 Yr. degree at age 20. She is now a Sonographer in high-risk Obstetrics in N.Carolina (warmer there). Mike drops out Junior year for Worcester State College and on to Northeastern. A CAD designer now, and free line skater, he lives in San Diego (warmer there).
Personally, just didn't meet many new people in Engineering. Got tired of the politics, emails, vmails, meetings bla bla bla.... Had a chance to make a change, and had been working with an entrepreneur doing day trading and home repair.
Quit the rat-race and worked with him for almost a year until he took his life. Second suicide that year for me.
Anyway, Gail had shattered her ankle in a high ladder fall and was walking with great difficulty after a year in a wheelchair, and her boss had fallen down a stairwell and was disabled, so we decided to just work together.
And that's where we've been for the last 14 years; doing Wallpaper/paint/Faux Finish.
Two weeks before the Reunion, an engineering friend from the past called saying he wanted to buy my place in Worcester County THAT VERY NIGHT. He came over, and we made a deal.
We closed the day before the reunion, so it was somewhat weird telling classmates that we were homeless, but, for that night, we were.
We're taking the year off to relax, do Yoga and hike, water-ski, spend time with our folks, and stay longer at our place in Naples.
Admittedly 'cracking the book' before the Reunion made it somewhat easier to walk into than the last two, but those opaque memories and smiling faces made for a night to remember.
Thanks to the folks that finally came, and regrets to those who are no longer with us.
Peace. Jim Graham

Sharon Fritz

Following my graduation from high school, I attended Hartwick College,a strictly-structured small school with a Lutheran heritage, where I majored in Music Education. Freshman year was stringent dress codes and dormitory rules it was not much different from high school. When we returned in September for our sophomore year, each and everything was 180 degrees different - no rules, no regulations, no structure, no curfew, no signing out, no requirement to attend class. It was like stepping out into thin air over a cliff. The 60's hit everyone pretty hard, I guess - I don't really remember! I got a lot of education but not always from my classes. As a Voice minor, I auditioned for the famed Hartwick College Choir, made it my first year, and toured the east coast that spring. In my sophomore year, we toured five European countries in two weeks, performing nearly every evening. I did find out teaching was not for me so I returned to Wayland, painted my old bedroom colors that were far different from what my parents found attractive, got a real full-time job and watched Laugh-In. To this day I truly miss performing in a highly-ranked choir. Strangely, while attending a party thrown by Priscilla Nation (Batten) and her husband, I realized that her brother "Moose" was no longer the doofus I thought he was in high school, and we started dating, eventually marrying on Litha, or the date of the Summer Solstice. We have two daughters. We're still together 37 years later. had two children, a fabulous dog who lived for 14 years, a deaf ferret who died when he was 5, and so we now have only two cats living with us - we call them The Cat and The Anti-Cat, as the miserable little b***** Anti-Cat uses every opportunity to attack the nice quiet little kitty, who defends himself pretty well considering he's a decade old. There's a battle between good and evil going on in my house daily.
Both of our daughters live in Connecticut; Laine (36 years old) on the east side and Andrea (28 years old) on the west. They were both born on January 7, eight years apart. We have four wonderful grandchildren. Each of our daughters has an older girl, born a year apart (they are now 8 and 7) and a younger boy, born a year apart (they are now 3 and 2). Our youngest daughter has the oldest girl and boy and our oldest daughter has the youngest girl and boy. (And I was born on the Ides of March, sharing my birthday with my now sister-in-law, Priscilla). There must be some meaning entwined within these dates, but I haven't found it yet.
After staying at home taking care of the kids while Richard (aka Moose) did the hunting and gathering, I began working in 1987 as the Department Secretary in the Foreign Language office at Wayland High School. Frank Smith was still the department head and, if any of you remember Jeanne Kightlinger, she (now Frank's wife) was still teaching French. There were still a lot of teachers there,including my old and dear friend Dick Conti, which was wierd! I still found myself getting anxious when I had to go to the principal's office. After four years of that, I moved on to the Central Office to work as the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Special Education. I did that fun job until January of 1994, when I started my current position as Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Personnel. I do the personnel part, so if anyone is looking for a job....... And we need substitute teachers! All of the 1968 teachers have moved on now.
My parents are both still alive and spend their winters in Sebring,
Florida. We all continue to enjoy our Sebago Lake, Maine island paradise.

Valerie Ferreira

June of 1969, I joined United Airlines, with the intent of flying for one year. Well…31 years later I finally retired.
I Lived in Chicago and New York City for the first few years, then transferred to Denver and moved to Vail. The early days of Vail where charming, no TV, no radio stations and a 4 hour drive to Denver over Loveland pass, weather permitting. On my days off from flying I taught skiing and at night I learned how to sew.
I took a 4 month leave from United and traveled solo to Africa for a month, then off to Greece, Istanbul, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. What an experience, I’m still not sure how I arrived home alive.
In 1974 I married my 1st. husband. We worked in Zermatt Switzerland for a few years at a summer ski racing camp, then back to Vail for the winters.
Our daughter was born in 1982, we divorced in 1985. I remained a single mom for the next 12 years.
While on the Board of Directors for “The Resource Center of Eagle County” I initiated and constructed the women’s shelter, for domestic violence. I don’t think the word fun comes to mind, but it was very rewarding.
In 1997 I remarried. My current husband, who is a Ranch Broker/cowboy, and I collectively coordinated the Eagle County Fair & Rodeo up until 2007.
In the fall of 1999, I opened the doors to my custom sewing business, for one of a kind children’s clothing. I found my niche while designing and embroidering infant cowboy boots. I embroidered the words “Vail CO” on the sole, and the tourist bought them as fast as I could make them.
Tragedy struck our family, in November of 2004, when my husband’s youngest son disappeared. We all lived in purgatory for the next 7 months. The praying and waiting turned into our worst nightmare. June 2005, some hikers found Chad’s body. There’s not a day that goes by that we are not reminded, of how precious life is. We miss him terribly.
Today, I’m changing lives; I educate people on nutrition, degenerate disease and the importance of supplementation. I love watching people get healthy, their happier and they are able to reclaim their lives.
My life is full of wonderful people. I am happy, grateful, and healthy and love life.
One of my favorite quotes: “Change is inevitable, growth is optional”.
The 40th. Reunion was a lot of fun, just not long enough. I wish you all a healthy, happy life.

Stephen Crowley

Doesn’t seem possible, 40 years. I guess it’s not too surprising to see all the twists and turns in the stories below. Well, here’s mine…

After graduating from Middlebury College in ’72, and a winter ski bumming in Jackson Hole (the dawn glow on the Grand Teton still seems like yesterday), I returned to the east coast with a true ‘60’s commitment to help make the world a better place. Spent a decade in Cambridge, taking city kids out to the mountains for camping, canoeing, and skiing adventures for a couple of years, organizing a food coop, starting a woodworking business that I pursued on and off for about 15-plus years, and creating a traveling solar energy show that toured New England for a few years. Over the next few years, marriage and the birth of a child inspired some changes, primarily to leave the city life behind. For a couple of years, I had the good fortune to run the maintenance operation at a 20 or so building conference center on Star Island, 5 miles off the coast of Portsmouth, NH, where my job was mostly about keeping a large crew of high school and college students from burning anything down. Somewhere in there I figured out that education seemed to be a theme, and found my way through a graduate degree and teaching certification at Antioch-New England, in environmental science. Between projects involving the Sudbury River, Lake Cochituate, and student teaching at good old WHS (Mrs. Baker, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Mauger still in attendance), my return to our old stomping grounds was a stop on my return to Vermont. I’ve been here now in the same old converted summer cottage by the lake for 24 years. Taught science for four years at Enosburg Falls HS, a stone’s throw from the Canadian border. Conducted field research on Vermont wetlands for the state, and spent a few years as the water program director for a Montpelier-based environmental advocacy group, doing policy analysis and legislative lobbying. After my first marriage came to an end, I found myself a single parent to a five year old… who has since become a wonderful 27 year old, but along the way, whew. Especially those teen years. And yet somehow, I find myself again in the midst of that age group, teaching again, at Winooski High School, for the last 14 years (about when some of my current students were born!). Although I’m always thinking about moving on to whatever’s next, I love my job more each year. It’s Vermont’s most urban community, with all the economic and social challenges, but small enough to make a difference. One fifth of our students are refugee immigrants -- Viet Nam, Bosnia, Congo, Sudan, and now Burma. I married Nancy about 14 years ago as well, and we now have 2 awesome boys, 8 and 12, so life is full of soccer, cub scouts, and whatever other excitement our Vermont landscape offers, hiking and camping, cross country skiing, and the bike path down to the Burlington waterfront is always a favorite. I’m likely to be found coaching soccer or Odyssey of the Mind, stacking wood, or (not often enough) finding a little peace in the woods or by the lake. My activist yearnings have not left me; I’m just wrapping up several years chairing a national campaign on climate change for the Sierra Club. Life is not dull. I see I have not included any paragraph breaks. That’s about how it feels.

Looking forward to seeing old friends, and many thanks to Valerie, Dennis, and others for pulling this all together.

Dave McGill

Class of ‘68
OK, the Cliff notes version McGill-‘68
‘68-72 Colgate, great experience. As a senior I met my future wife Barbara L. Grossman, a freshman at the ‘Gate
‘73-75 BC Grad School, MBA – worked full-time/school full-time. Married Barbara a week after graduation.
‘75-83 Started sales carrier in the ski industry, then switched to office related products sales (mini computers, word processing and such). Moved to metro NY and established leadership position in office products company to have company close division! Reality check #1 · 7-9-82 Daughter Jennifer Jane born!!! Reality Check #2 ’83-90 Joined Steelcase and learned that a “simple business was one of the most complex I’d ever experienced”. · 4-11-84 Son Scott Michael born!!! Reality Check #3
Then CHAOS – Soccer, Baseball, Basketball (where did that come from?). Disneyworld, museums, farms, summer house in Maine, living, learning, growing, running programs, you know…WOW.
Couple of things along the way - blown shoulder (wrestling at the ‘Gate). Toasted knees (TMS-too much sports) for future consideration.
Other things-built a $10 million business with my wife…lost same…saw kids grow into adults. Became a lover of the outdoors.
Became a believer in the Champion of the Gospels, never expected that, but then again it’s not about me…
Most recently returned to Boston area, returned to Steelcase, got knees replaced, good things, all three.
Consistent in this journey has been my spouse, my partner and love, Barbara.
That’s 40 years, in a proverbial heartbeat.
‘Been a good journey so far J
Dave McG

Esther (Weiss) Groves

Having a serious plan for my life was never a priority for me. I was always stumped by the question, “What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?” So I look back on the last 40 years as a bit of a crazy quilt, much like the heirloom I inherited from my great grandmother, held together by the multicolored threads of experiences and relationships.
Shortly after graduation, my family and I boarded the SS France for a year in Europe. While they took a sabbatical in Germany, I headed to Grenoble, France (site of the ’68 Olympics) for some serious skiing and some no-so-serious education. Although the year in France netted me enough credits for a French minor, what I remember most was the fantastic powder snow, such a departure from the icy slopes of New England.
Since I didn’t have a good plan from there, except to finish college, I spent one uninspired year at Elmira College in NY while dating my first husband Bob (from Weston) long distance. We eloped in the middle of that year. Thank you Mrs. Osborne (WHS Guidance) for trying to get through to me about being too young to marry but I thought I knew what I was doing. You were so right!!
Bob and I did have a common interest, however, we both wanted to experience Alaska. So we packed a few things and made our first trip up the Alcan Highway to the Last Frontier. There he secured a job as a district attorney in Fairbanks and I enrolled in the University of Alaska. Over the next 14 years I graduated from U of Alaska, became a social worker in a home for Native Alaskan teenagers, and participated extensively in the arts on and off stage as a piano accompanist, performer and board member.
Alaska was the adventure I was looking for – rugged, spectacular and cold outside with a close, warm sense of community inside. Unfortunately, the marriage flopped. I did so much better the second time around when I married my soul mate, Mark, and we’ve been married almost 24 years. When I married him, Mark was making his living as an air taxi pilot, flying in and out of the villages while finishing his MBA.
We left Alaska in 1984 to live in the Northwest and escape the cold and dark and found ourselves in Seattle. By then, I envisioned a career in Human Resources (the closest thing to a plan I ever had) and took a job with Seafirst Bank. My career took me from Seattle to Spokane to Phoenix and from Human Resources to Operations Management to Learning Management with Bank of America. After 21 years, I happily (but temporarily) retired in 2006.
Today, Mark is an A300 captain, flying DHL Airways planes in the U.S. and I am working part time for a small consulting firm, using the skills I accumulated over my career, specializing in employee performance improvement, leadership and training.
Mark and I love the Southwest and play outdoors whenever we can -- which is 364 days a year -- mostly road cycling and hiking in the preserve close to our house.
Despite some health scares, my parents are alive and active and I was thrilled when they sold the Wayland house and moved to Scottsdale several years ago. My brother followed a couple of years later. My folks will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary next year.
Many thanks to those of you who have planned this event for us. I am so looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion.

Susanne (Polk) Statton

How can 40 years pass by so fast? So many memories of great friendships that meant so much to me, but the years went by faster than I could keep up!
After graduation I married my childhood sweetheart and my best friend in the world. Bob and I have been married 39 yrs and hope for many more!
I graduated from Kenneth's Hair Design Inst. in my senior year of high school while attending the work study program. I had the honor of being asked to work at Kenneth's in Sudbury, MA and stayed there for 9 years. I still to this day believe in "have scissors will travel!” I won many shows in Boston and loved every minute of it!
While working for Kenneth's, Bob was in the US Navy after being drafted while attending Miami Dade College and he was stationed on the Destroyer USS Ingraham DD694 in Newport, RI for 4 years. Being a Navy wife, I had a great opportunity traveling to Athens, Greece and Ireland. What great trips they were!
In 1972 we settled down in Wayland for 7 years and raised our two children Jennifer and Jeffrey. We had our perfect family! I know the yearbook said "7 boys for a basketball team" but things change, right? Then in 1983, we left Massachusetts for our dream to live in Florida and exchange our snowsuits and boots for bathing suits and water ski’s. We trailered our boat with all our belongings and decided to settle down in Port Charlotte, FL. Port charlotte is located between Ft Myers and Sarasota on the west coast. My parents, sister and family were all living there too. We built a house with all the amenities and have been here for 24 years. We love boating, skiing, snorkeling and the beautiful beaches which some of the classmates have experienced with us on their vacations. You know who you are!
Bob has been employed in a spa and pool business for 24 years. I have worked for a medical clinic in registration/medical records/insurance for 10 years and then for a cancer clinic for 3 years where my sister had been getting treatments. Sadly she passed away in 2006 at the age of 59. Bob’s parents and my parents are also deceased.
The year 2004 was very memorable with Bob having a stroke and Hurricane Charley blowing over and through our house. Bob has recovered since then and our house is back together after many contractors knocking on our door. Another story to tell later!
Bob and I are so lucky to have our kids close by. Jennifer 35 and her husband Tom have blessed us with two granddaughters, Kendall 2 1/2 and Kaelyn 1. Jeffrey 31 has his business, "Wheel Specialists", in Tampa. Grand parenting is the best thing in the world. Who said a 58 year old couldn't have a "Dora the Explorer" picnic in the bedroom or get on a rocking horse and pretend he’s real?
Our favorite passions are boating and packing up our bicycles and traveling to different parts of the state for long trails and enjoy the beautiful beaches. Watching the dolphins and looking for that special shell is so worth living in Florida!
So many more stories to tell but can't wait to see you all and catch up with all of you.
Thanks to all who have taken so many hours to get the reunion organized.
Hugs to all! Susanne

Jo-Ann (Johnson) Benson

After High School I became a Registered Nurse and worked at Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick on the Maternity Unit for a few years. In 1973 I married Richard Benson; an Electrical Engineer from Natick and in 1975 took a job at Children’s Hospital as an RN/Respiratory Therapist where I was part of the code team. We bought a house in Stowe, MA and I also joined the Stowe Fire Department as a volunteer RN/EMT. In 1978 my husband got transferred to the San Jose, CA (Silicon Valley) area. We bought a house in Saratoga, Ca and have been here for the last 30 years. Since coming to CA, I taught a Nursing Assistant program for a while before ending up back in the hospital working in a Neonatal ICU. I did that until my oldest son nearly drown at the age of 18 months. I gave up nursing, to stay at home and care for him and our second son who we were expecting at the time. My husband was also starting up his first of two electronics companies. We never do things the easy way. Doug is now 27, uses a wheelchair for mobility, and is a part time student. Our second son, Greg, is 25, and a paramedic for the local ambulance service and the Sheriff’s Department SWAT team.
After giving up nursing, I became a professional volunteer and advocate for the handicapped. I sat on the PTA boards and chaired multiple committees. I also got involved in Boy Scouts. I was a den mother and Committee Chair and convinced the local Scoutmaster to mainstream handicapped scouts into a regular troop. I’m proud to say both my sons went on to become Eagle Scouts.
Since the boys graduated from High School, I‘ve retired for the most part. I‘ve started to travel again and resumed some old hobbies. Having destroyed both my knees, I finally had bilateral knee replacements. This past year has been spent recovering from surgery and overseeing the remodeling of half of our house. Again, I like to complicate things.
My parents are both gone, but my sister still lives in town as well as other relatives in the Boston area, so I do get back to Wayland about every 3 years for a visit. Driving through town always brings back a lot of found memories. I’ve enjoyed reading the biographies and am looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion.

Jim Doucette

The short version of my bio goes something like this: I've been a computer software engineer for about 33 years, currently employed by a small company in Marlboro, MA, developing virtualization software for configuring and managing servers. I'm married to the former Elaine Poulin of Chelmsford, MA. We've been married for those same 33 years, and have no children. We are currently living in Ashland, MA, in a house that we had built in 1986. I spend most of my spare time maintaining this house and property :-(, but occasionally get out and try to play some golf, or go for a motorcycle ride. Both of my parents are still alive and living on Cape Cod. Some of you who attended Wayland elementary schools as a child may recall my Dad, Walter Doucette, as your principal.

How I got here takes a little longer to explain.

Before graduating from Wayland High School, I was accepted to be a cadet at the U. S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. I entered this military institution less than two weeks after our graduation day, with the idea that four years (including summers) of hard work and training would earn me a Bachelor of Science degree and an officer's commission (as an ensign) in the U. S. Coast Guard. Well, let's just say that things didn't quite work out that way, and the Coast Guard lost a good man. I resigned after one year.

Ah, the summer of '69. Woodstock. Peace, Love, and Music. In my opinion, the best music of our lives was recorded and released between 1966 and 1975. Being a member of the "Woodstock Generation" is a large part of how I define myself today, but at the time, I didn't have a clue about this revolutionary new movement going on. During high school, I had always loved music of all types, and paid close attention the AM radio playlists, popular at the time. However, my year at the military academy kept me somewhat insulated from the counter-culture that was taking shape. When I returned to civilian life, the music of the era began to re-assert its grip on me.

Becoming a civilian again also meant that I was now eligible for the draft, but I was pretty sure that I didn't want to experience the sights and sounds of Vietnam. With the Selective Service breathing down my neck (my draft lottery number was 88), I quickly found a good, inexpensive engineering school nearby, and was accepted for the fall semester on short notice. It was known then as Lowell Technological Institute, or Lowell Tech. Today it is UMass Lowell, part of the statewide university system. Since I had done well in geometry and algebra in high school, I chose to major in Mathematics.

Freshman year was easy, because I had taken some of the same courses during my year at the academy. I soon discovered that Lowell Tech had a small, student-run radio station, then known as WLTI. With access to a large record library, most of the DJs followed the lead of WBCN in Boston, low-keyed underground FM radio tapping into the undercurrents of society. I thought to myself: Here was an opportunity to expand and refine my musical tastes, and experiment with new and unusual ways of presenting it to a large audience. I think it was my sophomore year when I began hosting my own weekly radio show on Saturday nights. The show ran for at least three years, and featured mostly alternative rock, American and British, sometimes fading in and out with natural sounds, space effects, or electronic instrumentals. Preparing for and broadcasting that show is one of the fondest memories I have from those years. While still an undergraduate, I was able to parlay my college radio experience into a short, part-time job at a commercial radio station, WLLH in Lowell, reading the news twice per hour during "J.C.'s Golden Oldies" show.

Also as a freshman, I met my future wife under some very unusual circumstances. It was January 18, 1970, and eastern Massachusetts was experiencing a snowstorm. I was hitchhiking from Dean Junior College in Franklin, MA, back to my dormitory in Lowell. Standing on the Lowell Connector, covered in snow with thumb protruding, two Chelmsford high school girls took pity on me and decided to give me a lift. It didn't matter that they were heading in the opposite direction when they first saw me; they turned around and gave me a ride to my dormitory about four miles away. I started dating one of them, Idris Mason, but after a couple of months, she decided that I wasn't her type. That's when Elaine Poulin grabbed me on the rebound. For the next five years, Elaine and I had an "on again, off again" relationship, but we ended up getting married in Chelmsford on the summer solstice in 1975. To this day, she is still at my side.

After four years of hard studying (and yes, hard partying, too), I earned my Bachelor of Science degree. Now it's 1973, and just what does someone do with a degree in Mathematics? Become an insurance actuary? Even though that really didn't sound very exciting to me, I spent about six months looking for such a job, one that would validate my chosen major. At the same time, I worked in a series of low-paying odd jobs to support myself. These included taxi driver, short-order cook, and ice cream man. I was known as "Big Jim" to all the kids, selling ice cream in the neighborhood streets of Natick from a modified Datsun station wagon in the summers of 1972 and 1973. I recall giving a lot of thought to radio broadcasting as a career, and remember applying for work, without success, at a Boston-area radio station.

Finally, in February of 1974, I had had enough. The New England winters were bleeding me, and I had California on my mind. I had this grand plan to pack up all of my belongings into a U-Haul trailer, and drive out to California to establish myself there. I would find a small apartment, get a job, enjoy the warm weather, play a lot of Frisbee, and become part of the laid-back California lifestyle. It's funny sometimes how fate will intervene: less than one week before my planned departure, my car was totaled in Weston at the route 30 / route 128 interchange when someone ran a red light on me. So much for California Dreamin'.

Okay, so now what? I bought another used car, and continued to drive a cab while living at home with my parents in Wayland. But a significant turning point came when a college friend mentioned to me that the University of Lowell (the merger of Lowell Tech and Lowell State) was offering a Master of Science degree program in Computer Engineering. He suggested that since I had the engineering background, maybe I should sign up for the fall semester. It was true that I enjoyed working with computers. I had my first exposure to computer programming at the U. S. Coast Guard Academy in 1969, writing simple FORTRAN programs on punched cards and submitting them in batch form to an IBM 360 running on campus. I was able to further develop my programming skills in the early 1970s as an undergraduate at Lowell Tech, writing mathematical analysis programs. This new Masters program at Lowell focused on both hardware and software concepts.

So I took my friend's suggestion. In the fall of 1974, I moved into a small, one-room apartment above a pizza joint less than one block from campus, and found a full-time job as a night janitor at Wang Laboratories in Tewksbury. The next few months of studying and work started to yield results in the spring of 1975, when I was offered a teaching assistant position at the school. Later that spring, even though I was still at least one year away from completing the masters program, I started to peddle myself to computer companies, armed with only a B.S. in Mathematics and a piece of paper showing my computer course grades so far. GTE Sylvania in Needham was impressed enough to give me my first full-time computer software position in May, 1975. I was married one month later (see above), and completed the masters program in 1980 by taking my remaining courses at night.

That's it for most of the interesting stuff. I've been a certified computer geek ever since, and the computer industry has, for the most part, treated me very well. I was victimized by the technology bubble burst in 2001, laid off and unable to find a job for two full years. Those were scary times, and I found myself actually considering a career change. But in the end, I decided that writing code and solving logic problems was what I did best, and my career resumed in late 2003 thanks to a friend's job referral. I've worked at many local companies, large and small, over the past 33 years, both as a full-time employee and as an hourly contractor, but my best years were spent at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) from 1982 to 1985 and 1986 to 1998. My specialties have been in embedded systems, storage, networking, and device drivers. I'm currently getting some great experience with Windows internals and Windows device drivers.

Within a couple of years, I hope to finally realize my dream of living in a warm weather climate. By the time we all gather again for our next reunion, Elaine and I hope to be living the good life in Florida. This does not mean retirement, it only means that we'll move, settle in, then figure out what we want to do next. Life is a journey. As on a motorcycle, the ride is more important than the destination.

P.S., Please do not depend on catching my attention through Classmates.com. I do not spend any time there, after creating an account for myself many years ago.

Marilyn Heinrich

When I walked out of Wayland High on June 11, 1968 I knew two things. I wanted to be a teacher and I wanted to get married. The next four years were spent in pursuit of those goals. I graduated in Jan of 1972, but I had been hired in the middle of student teaching in Avon, Mass and had my first teaching job. I married a man I met in a Seminar about teaching English in September that year. We were on the South Shore briefly before getting fed up with traffic and malls. We headed for Maine and more teaching in 76. Maine was wonderful and I still have property near where we lived, on an Island, out houses, hand pumps and heavy lp tanks that have to be bought over the water and lifted on and off docks. Not exactly Hilton Head but very beautiful and very good place to spend time with your family. I taught at a small private school that served the public sector for 17 years.(We spent one of those years living in England). During this time we had 2 boys in 82 and 86. My husband and I job shared while our children were small, which was an ideal way to raise kids. While teaching I coached gymnastics and tennis, directed and choreographed plays, started a union in a private school and kept insanely busy.
When my older son turned 5, I decided to take him skiing. That was a life changing weekend. He was very hyper-active (wonder where that came from?) and that was the first time I had ever seen him tired and satisfied. He also said "this is my life" as we headed home. We bought a ski condo, skied every weekend and in the end we moved to Park City Utah in 1992.
I had never seen myself anywhere but New England. I found out that there is beautiful foliage outside NE and I also found that if you look hard you can have stimulating conversations, even though most revolve around business and carving turns. Here I helped start a private school for elite winter athletes, The Winter Sports School in Park City. This is the only Ski Academy in the country where Kids go to school from April- November and have the winter off to compete. It is college prep only and are kids go to great schools such as Dartmouth, Williams, Middlebury, Bates, Colby, Denver University, even Stanford.
My family has been my greatest delight. My first marriage lasted 31 years. We had two amazing boys, both very challenging in their own very different ways. The oldest a compulsive competetor and a very serious student. He skied here in PC and went on to ski at William’s. He was a two time all American and he skied on the international front until he was 25. He now works as a head estimator for Shaumet Construction in Boston.(See what you can do with a degree in English.) The younger one is finishing at Bennington where he has majored in Math and English. He is choosing Creative Writing and thinking of teaching for a few years. Dan, their dad, went on a spiritual journey which took him away from the family. He meditated at the volcano in Hawaii and never really re-entered this world. Very sad but we are amicable.
Now I have a new husband who will be at the reunion, and yes we met on EHarmony. He in our class from California. He was a computer programmer and retired at 50. We garden endlessly, travel, ski and are designing a new house. I am semi-retired as I work all winter at Park city running the 3-5 year old ski classes. It is a hoot and a real anecdote to the 34 years I spent teaching High School. I also cover for people at the Winter School. Oh yes, I'm a blond and awaiting the joys of being a grandmother, no prospects for that though. Can't wait to catch up with as many of you as possible!!!!!!!!!