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|Below are bios sent for our 40 year reunion. Much has happened in 10 years, so email your updates and bios toward our 50th.|
50 Year UPDATE: After reading many of the bios here, I am "wowed" at what many of you have done. My story is anything but spectacular. After Ramapo, I enlisted in the Air Force almost immediately upon graduation. My recruiter said he could have a car waiting until after the graduation which would bring me right to the induction center in Newark. I said "thanks, but no thanks" and waited a few days. I loved the Air Force and would have stayed in except my career field (radar operations) meant I would spend 20 years of bouncing from one remote, isolated mountain top to another. I volunteered for Viet Nam, but was told I would have to re-enlist for another four years to get it. After four years I packed it in. After trying a few local jobs, I wound up at ITT Marlow Pumps, in Midland Park. There were a few other Ramapo folks there, namely Charlie Phalen, Don Thurber, Ron Osborne and Fred Thiese. While there, Marlow started a computer department. I expressed interest in it, tested well and worked in the Computer Room as an operator/programmer. One of the things I had done while in the service was served as a volunteer disc jockey for Armed Forces Radio, which whetted my appetite for a broadcasting career. I went to radio school at night in Manhattan and graduated from NYSAS. I was offered a job almost immediately at station WKNE in Keene, New Hampshire. I found out rather quickly that one can starve to death in radio while working long spit-shift hours. I lost that job after screwing up the name of a sponsor, however was asked to stay on until a replacement could be found. I was really down and thought I had really messed up by leaving Marlow, when I received a phone call from the station manager of WVOS in Liberty, New York wanting me to take over the afternoon program on the FM side of the station. The job paid a little more than the one I had just lost, so I was off to Liberty, New York. I was bored to death playing mostly pre-recorded tapes and gave notice. I returned to Marlow and stayed for five years while attending Fairleigh Dickinson in Teaneck at nights. I met my future wife Wanda Dunn (from Mahwah) at Marlow, got married and bought a house in Sparta, NJ.
After coming home around midnight from school having worked all day, I almost ran off the road after dozing off. That did it for me. I left Marlow and worked locally in Branchville, NJ for Selective Insurance, spending thirty-five years with them. I was the supervisor for the IT Security Department there, and loved all but the last year there. In 2008, I retired. I've had a good life, with no complaints. My one regret is I never got my college degree. We have two wonderful kids, and four grand children. Since retiring, I am very busy with volunteer jobs. I am involved with my church, I am the Post Commander of American Legion Post 132 in Franklin, play in the oldest continuous marching band in New Jersey, which is the Franklin Band, was selected as 2010 County Senior of the Year, play with a brass group doing Christmas Carols for the Salvation Army, play baritone horn in a brass group for nursing homes, churches and retirement homes. Oh and I'm assistant NJ state director for "Bugles Across America", whose main function is to play Taps at military funerals. So, the saga continues! I had a very close call last April when my aortic heart valve almost closed completely. I now have a bovine heart valve, and a synthetic section of my aorta, which was necessary to take care of an aneurysm I had developed. I was well on my way to recovery when I was flattened with pneumonia while traveling through North Carolina. I'm doing okay now, grateful for the fantastic heart surgeons at Morristown Hospital and the second chance at life they have given me. Fifty years since Ramapo? Wow! Where have the years gone! Here's hoping we will all be around for the next Ramapo reunion....if there is a next one!
40 Year Bio: I guess after 40 years, most of us have settled in warmer parts of the country, with only a few remaining on the East Coast! Well, that's okay I guess. I'm still in N.J. After alla, someone has to stick around to keep the politicians honest! :) Anyone from Franklin Lakes should get a charge out of the website posted by Ed (Walter) Ford for the class of 1958 F. L. Elementary School. There are a lot of young faces there...worth viewing. Here is the address: http://www.geocities.com/franklinlakesnj/
Pieter K Terwilleger (Pete)
50 Year UPDATE: I was born in Wyckoff, raised in Franklin Lakes, lived on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and worked in NYC for 30 years both in aviation and environmental insurance brokerage and environmental insurance law. I briefly took a vocation excursion into railroading as an Assistant Conductor for Amtrak. After 9/11 in September of 2001, which destroyed much of the life I knew there and the entire company which I almost had a chance to work with, I moved to Tryon, NC ( Western North Carolina) to care for my retired parents, now deceased. After I discovered my ability to write, well I did some copywriting. I retired from Corporate America early to write, and buy and sell things on eBay. Exchanging the NYC lifestyle for rural and provincial Western NC has been difficult but it’s too expensive to go back to NYC. I’m still unpretentious and self-denigrating, considerate and always a gentleman, as I was at RHS (?). It must be my German-Dutch-English lineage. I’ve traveled to most of Western Europe and I enjoy train travel and model trains as hobbies. I love most music formats from jazz to rock to classical. I was engaged in 1982 for two years but I’m still single, having spent too many bachelor years pursuing the single life in Manhattan. Now I’ve matured and pray that marriage will be in the cards someday soon – the sooner the better. Ladies – anyone who missed their opportunity through ’58 -’62 – now’s your chance!
University of Maine, Orono, ME, 1967: B. Sci. Business
I won’t be able to make the reunion. Ironically I will be in NYC only a few weeks prior to it, but can’t afford to make two trips north back to back.
My grandmother babysat for Steve Decker and me beginning when we were toddlers in Wyckoff. We are still great friends and he’s the longest standing friend I’ve had in my entire life. It’s a special bond that comes with so many events we experienced together.
Jill Redyke - Crawford
50 Year Update:
One year ago I retired from my position as Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the Neurodevelopmental Center of Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island (a Brown Univ. teaching program). It was a job I loved and worked hard for 13 years. It was difficult to leave the many families and children I had followed for many years, but it was time. Six weeks later we were on the road, moving to Naples Florida, having sold our house in Rehoboth MA in record time. I am still trying to figure out this retirement thing, but keeping busy renovating and decorating the house we bought on a golf course, with a pool that overlooks a pond with lots of wildlife.
I graduated from Columbia University with a bachelors in nursing, started my nursing career at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. There I became Head Nurse in Pediatrics, starting my career as a pediatric nurse. I earned a Masters in Nursing in Pediatrics from the University of Pennsylvania, then became a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics.
I married Bill Crawford, an American Baptist minister and we have moved up and down the east coast for his job. We have 3 children, Amy (42) who lives in Vermont and is a web designer, Scott (40) lives in the Boston area, is a cinematographer and movie maker who is looking for funding for a big project, and Melissa (22), a girl who we adopted. She was a patient of mine at Children’s Seashore House in Philadelphia . She was born at 26 weeks, and was hospitalized for 14 months with many medical problems. It has been a long journey that has consumed us for the past 21 years, and it is not done. She is here in Florida with us and continues to be a major focus for us.
Bill is a golfer, and a good one at that. He is enjoying the year round golf here. I have not had the time for golf until now, so it is time for me to give it a try. I am enjoying year round gardening and decorating and renovating this house. We are getting ready to do a completely new kitchen. We have made good friends here and have found a progressive church that we enjoy.
I am eagerly anticipating the Ramapo reunion and the
opportunity to see many friends who I still remember as
18 year olds.
|Barbara Elisse Najar:
50 year update:
Haven’t the last 10 years flown by! My amazing dad Tom lived with me for a couple of years before he passed in ’07 at age 95-- we had an absolutely great time together, I’d take him to dances and rock concerts, he loved life and people and was so much fun to be with. I’m close to my sister’s kids, Tyrel and Colton who are fabulous, successful young men.
Since ’02, I devoted 7 years to being a consultant to a federal agency (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) where I worked as marketing director and public affairs person for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (the group that issues recommendations on screening tests like mammography, prostate cancer screening etc.), later expanding my freelance consulting and working from home by writing “simple language” guides and newsletters for a health association. I feel so lucky to have majored in English and gotten a Masters in public health--the combination has served me well. For a while in 2011, I was the editor of a health travel newswire (people going to other countries for medical care) and got to scratch my itch being a reporter.
Last year my partner Jonathan and I jumped (after much thought) into real estate investing so the past 12 months have been devoted to learning about wholesaling, flipping houses, and lease purchases—real estate has always interested me (spent most of my adult life as a property manager). I’m also working with a partner renovating a house on Capitol Hill.
In between I write articles that The Washington Post seems to like (see attached two essays the Post published a few years back), plus the “dogs and the heat” article that I sent out to all of you recently. In my head are dozens of articles and book ideas that are brewing.
Another thing I truly love is animals—my kitties will be 17 years old soon and they ARE my children, I adore dogs and other animals too -- and so hope to start populating my blog and continue work on a book about bonding between people and animals.
Jonathan is my human love– he and I met on match.com in June 2010 and have so much in common. He’s an author, former journalist and businessman, has four children who are amazing and a 91 year old mother and siblings who are equally amazing so I have a ready-made family! As swing dancing is my favorite sport, he’s been taking lessons and I hope we can dance at the reunion! I started swimming a few years back because we have the world’s most beautiful community pool right behind my house. I swim laps every day and I still love running but don’t do it as much– would love to get back to competitive running.
Living in the DC area is fabulous, a total blast. I love the rich political environment, smart people, big ideas, and for entertainment, we adore movies (“Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” or “Intouchables” lately) plays, concerts – Garrison Keillor whom I see every year when he comes to Wolf Trap and listen to weekly, saw “Spiderman” on Broadway (loved it), we’re real “foodies,” and we’re ushers at one of the local theaters, just saw “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” (great) and heard Denyse Graves the opera singer in concert which was fabulous. Our neighbors are in their 30s and 40s so plenty of children abound which I really enjoy.
to close by saying that connecting with so many of you
this summer brought such joy to my heart and makes me
anticipate our reunion even more. I can’t wait to see
you all!! Please forgive me if I screw up your names and
faces, I’ve never had a good memory so this one can’t be
charged to “old age.” A really big thanks to the
committee for all the hard work and planning that you’ve
done. It is truly a gift you’ve given us! Love, Barbara
40 year bio: Introduction -- The older I get, the more grateful I am for my high school days with you and being from New Jersey. There is a very interesting bond, maybe it’s because we were all so young together and so raw and learning about life. I’m not much good on specific memories, but I see all of your faces clearly and remember the great dances and parties and how much I enjoyed history class with Susan Sheffey, and how insecure I felt about just about everything else. New Jersey people are more spirited and fun than almost any people I know. Thanks for giving me a reason to come home, and thanks to each of you who’s worked so hard to put this reunion together! What a great job you guys are dong! And sorry my bio is so long, yikes. Bad idea to turn insecure person into a writer. Just be glad you didn’t have to live through all of this.
1962-1972 - B.A. in English from Bethany College, WV. Join Peace Corps, train in Vermont where I get into yoga and running. Live in south India for 2 years, teaching nutrition and kitchen gardening at a girls’ teacher training college, learn Kannada language, build smokeless stoves. Wear saris, gain 45 lbs eating rice and yogurt and continue letting out the pleats of my sari. Experience first earthquake. Travel throughout India, keeping journal.
- Travel home from India through the Middle East and Europe, nearly kidnapped by a sheik on a camel near the Great Pyramid. Travel to Tomb of Kings and Queens where they are excavating Tut’s tomb.
- 1968 move to Capitol Hill, lose 45 lbs (new boyfriend, hectic job giving psychological tests to returned Viet Nam vets) and also become resident manager for two apartment buildings. Many sangria parties, learn to sew. Become caseworker for Congressman Jim Scheuer from Bronx where I meet some famous people like Betty Friedan, Averill Harriman, Ted Kennedy and other friends of Scheuer. Speaker of the House invites me to lunch in his private office. Fall in love with Bill, an amazing sweet, smart attorney with the Navy, at an anti-war party, and become engaged. We discover Outer Banks of NC.
- Leave for University of Minnesota for masters degree in public health/health education. Adopt my first feline loves of my life, George and Harry, who are with me for 15 and 23 years, respectively. My school project involves making a video for a Native American clinic waiting room, take downhill skiing at night in minus 50-degree weather.
1973-1982 - Move back to DC to be with Bill, waitress in Greek restaurant on Capitol Hill. Bill and I break up – I am not ready to settle down. Some years later he marries my best friend and they have two amazing boys and become my DC family.
- Volunteer with Washington Women’s Center, doing abortion counseling and working with Feminist Counseling Collective. Begin my pursuit of alternative/complementary healing (music and meditation, nutrition, acupuncture, etc.), something my mother had studied from 1950.
- Public health educator for the federal government’s National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, directing a grants program in community prevention and women’s programs. Dye my hair a deep tasteful purple and serve herb tea at my desk. Cultivate ½ acre garden in McLean, VA, make my own yogurt and bread. Become a long distance runner and come in second in a 5K race. Explore backpacking, rock climbing, ballet, horseback riding, and white water rafting.
- Take backpacking trip with Sierra Club to Flat Tops Wilderness at 12,000 ft. in Colorado for 12 days in August 1977. Meet little old ladies who know the names of all wildflowers and hike faster up mountains than I. Don’t know Elvis is dead till we come out. A variety of interesting and wonderful relationships this decade, culminating with Richard, who is a writer and film historian with the American Film Institute, teaches me about foreign film, sushi, Galois cigarettes, and writes The Encyclopedia of World Soccer during our 4 years together.
1977 My brother Alan, dies in a drowning accident in Minneapolis at the age of 29. He's been a Viet Nam Marine, the Honor Guard for Bob Hope, an Eagle Scout, gets masters in radio and TV, had classes from Rod Serling, is a model and photographer and musician, humorist and lover of everyone and everything.
1983- 1992– Girlfriend Sue and I move to a Sears Catalog house in Maryland with its own well and grape arbor, and begin spiritual/artistic/feminist community called Cannon Hill. We raise several kids, have six cats, host literary salons, take pottery and drawing classes and buy the house as a group (think: 13 people, one bathroom). I discover Bruce Spingsteen, New Wave music, Phillip Glass, holography, and become immersed in John Lennon.
- Begin “Maid for You,” a home cleaning company and write poetry while cleaning toilets. Grow the company for 7 years. Quit my government job in ’81. 1987, Robert (my dear friend from Cannon Hill) and I marry and go to Italy for our honeymoon. Discover metaphysics and Unity Church. Ultimately, we are more friends than lovers, we amicably divorce in ’92.
- I begin performing at Unity, beginning with a dance, “Song of the Soul” by Chris Williamson. Over next several years, produce coffeehouses (remember trips to the Village?) and talent shows in which I perform songs from movies and shows like “Makin Whopee,” and “Cabaret.”
- I become assistant director of National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Clearinghouse and simultaneously, begin moonlighting as a freelance speechwriter. My first speech gets my client a standing ovation and they hire me to be speechwriter for the Director of a federal agency, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).
1993 to 2002 - At Unity church, meet Jeffrey, who becomes the love of my life for 8 years. Jeff is an acoustics engineer, inventor, and metaphysician, has own business in audiovisual design of conference centers for hotels (did all the Marriott hotels while he was director of sound design). Buy house, spend time sailing on Chesapeake.
- Become co-founder of the national “Girl Power!” campaign for CSAP, then join Jeff in his business, Electro Media Design, where I’m director of marketing, learning about commercial architecture and construction. Simultaneously, I become a community video producer for the community cable network. Ultimately, two of my videos are shown on the local cable channels: “Garden Railway” and “Finding Your Inner Physician.” I also begin singing and acting lessons and write and produce several one-woman shows in art galleries and dance centers.
1997 my sister Pat falls off her bicycle at her ranch in Montana and dies of head injuries (no helmet), leaving her two sons, Tyrel and Colton, and Terry, her husband. Pat is a most-loved person by all who know her, almost a legend to the 800 people who show up for her service during a bad Montana blizzard and share stories of things like her standing in her kitchen and seeing a ground hog, reaching down for her rifle and...well, you can imagine the rest. Along with being a crack-shot, she’s an expert horsewoman, an artistic cake-decorator, great mom to her boys, and the family historian. The Annie Oakley in our family is missed.
1998 my mother, Betty, a wonderful painter, health nut, and environmentalist ahead of her time (she used to wash the plastic bags that my Dad’s company made and hang them to dry all over the kitchen!), dies of complications from heart surgery. Since then, in spite of our difficult relationship, I see daily how she affected my life, from my love of opera to holistic health.
1999 my Dad, Tom, buys a condo in Rockville and moves up from Delray Beach, FL to live nearby. He’s 91 and in great health. He has a little yellow cart with a surrey with red and white fringe that he drives all over town, beats me at bowling, loves to go to dances and concerts with me, and is a great inspiration.
2000. My cat finally starts to pay his own way when a major dream comes true: The Washington Post publishes my first article, “Taking Kitty for a Walk.” The article is a full 2/3 of a page, they design two accompanying cartoons to go with it. Shortly thereafter, old boyfriend Ned from Capitol Hill, now speechwriter for Wall Street execs, finds me on the Web. Era of Jeff & Barbara, which was ready to end, ends. Intense courtship with Ned, but ultimately, we are not on same wavelength.
- Accept a job as Senior Prevention Program Coordinator under a contract to federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Working my tail off as senior prevention program coordinator doing public affairs work for U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: press releases and setting up interviews for the client on (pardon the pun) hot topics like hormone replacement therapy, mammography, and depression (my first press conference for Secretary Tommy Thompson). Handle calls from driving people like former reporters for The Record, who call asking me to set them up for interviews. Receive awards.
- 2001 - I begin swing/jitterbug/lindy hop dancing and weekly lessons. Currently, taking aerials classes to prepare for jams, maybe competition. Wish I’d been doing this all along from high school. (This past Friday night, Bill Haley’s Comets performed – we danced non-stop including “At the Hop” and The Stroll. People said, where did you learn to dance like that? I said, my high school in New Jersey.
- 2002 – I produce and host Valentines Cabaret at Unity
where we all sing love songs. Mine is
- My kitties are Smokie Joe Jacques and Skeezix, who live with me, and Juliette, who lives at my friends’horse farm. Participate weekly in metaphysical study group, “Life Skills for the New Millenium,” run and do weights, mostly vegetarian, spend lots of time with Dad, friends, and dancing. Currently, getting ready for a week at the Outer Banks and trying to find a dress for the Reunion! Last week, guess who I ran into? My Ramapo BF, Jack Kelly. I learn that he lives close by. He’s been in DC a while, but haven’t seen him for years.
Plans for future:
When asked why he became an actor, Harrison Ford said, “I wanted Harrison Ford to have many lives.” Though I’m not an actor, I feel that’s true for me.
1. Even with its ups and downs, I have led, and continue
to lead, a charmed and blessed life. I have a wonderful
family (especially you, Ron E.!) and friends, have had an
abundance of romance, plus great health, energy, and
genes, adventure. Love exploring all kinds of music,
ideas, etc., but it took a long time to grow myself up.
Now I’m ready for a lifelong romance and family (I know,
I’m doing my life a little backward!).
“Bless the days that saw us young, and the years that made us wise.” Julia Ward Howe.
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