David Temple tagged me in the Blog Tag game so here I am about spill the beans on five things most people probably don’t know about me:
- My first job -- It was as a kitchen helper at an Episcopal retreat house, St Marguerite's Retreat House in Mendham, New Jersey. Every Friday afternoon after I finished my college classes, I would eat dinner at the convent across the driveway, then help serve dinner at the retreat house, run the dishwasher (oh the thrill and power of the commercial dishwasher), set up for breakfast and then return to my room in the convent, and listen to the murmur of the nuns as they chanted the Compline prayers. Then, it was off to bed for a very early start. The retreat house was silent area, where we were urged to keep conversation to the minimum, so by the end of my workday it was always a bit of a shock to return to the real world.
- On a noisier note -- Some people remark, even complain, that I have a loud, booming voice. It is no accident. Two of my aunts, my dad’s sisters Dusolina and Euphemia, were opera singers. Dusolina sang at the Met during the 1930s, and my aunt Euphemia taught voice at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia for many years. My grandfather was an operatic tenor whose voice was heard on some of the earliest recordings. Here he is singing Santa Lucia a tune covered by Elvis Presley some fifty years later. I marvel that I can hear the voice of my grandfather whom I never got to know. Who knew that today I would be into podcasting and digital audio and only sing in the shower?
- On a literary note -- I’ve read the entirety of Plato’s Republic in Greek. I did this as part of my graduate studies. I’ve also read lots of other works in both Latin and Greek. I once thought that history after the Renaissance was too modern to interest me – there was so much neat stuff to know and learn about the so-called Dark Ages.
- On a restless note -- I love to drive. One summer I actually drove by myself from Seattle to Northern California, then on to Michigan and then back via the Dakotas to Seattle. I had the company of ten show dogs in my pickup truck. We camped, went to dog shows, and in Michigan I spent a week in the main office of the company that I worked for. I’ve also driven from Michigan to Florida with my dogs, and of course I’ve driven all over the Midwest with the dogs. Note: I have no dogs now. Not all of my long lonely jaunts included dogs. I once drove from Ann Arbor, Michigan to San Antonio, TX in a van with a load of computer equipment that needed to go to a trade show. Even now I still have a fierce wanderlust, and it doesn’t take much to trigger it.
- On a strange note -- I’ve been on national television on a leash. I got you going there – I was holding the leash while I showed Ziggy, one of my dogs in the Toy Group competition at Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show . The event is televised to dog lovers far and wide. Ziggy was an English Toy Spaniel, a Blenheim. She was one of many that I loved, played with, showed, cared for and mourned over a period of twenty active years in dogs. I closed my kennel ten years ago. This one is not mine, but a lovely similar dog.
Bonus -- As if you have not read enough. I’m an avid fisherwoman. I love to fish (and play golf). I don’t care if it is with a spinning reel with bait or a fancy fly rod, catch and eat or catch and release - I’m game. Most of the year you will find tucked into the back of my car trunk a fishing pole, small tackle box, and a valid MA fishing license. My particular love is to fish in the cold waters off Maine.
Now here are some folks I’ve tagged that I want to know more about: