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Avant Garde

Ah yes. You ask me if “From your musical tastes to your political views, were you ever way ahead of the rest of us, adopting the new and the emerging before everyone else?:.

Yes, yes indeed. When I was 9 years old I was pushed into what they then called the “Mentally Gifted Minors” program at school. I was painfully shy so being pushed to the forefront of anything was a little uncomfortable but I was always wanting to please my parents so I did my best to excel. At 10, all of the MGM students were enrolled in Speed Reading and my already voracious appetite for reading ¬†expanded further. By the age of 11, I beat the rest of my peers in a in class competition that lasted several months. The competition? We were each given fake “money” to spend on the purchase of stocks. We each did our own research by tracking the stocks in the newspaper and at the end of the term the student that had made the most money won. Yup, that was me. The stocks? Xerox. This was in 1971.

Somewhere around 1972 or so, I met Jacques Cousteau and spoke to him personally about his creation, the aqualung. Sea exploration was changed forever and I still have the little cloth patch he gave me.

Within the next few years I met my first computer. It took up a huge amount of our small math classroom and my brain exploded with the possibilities. I was fascinated by the whole thing. It took punch cards and we learned about the room sized machines that were the cutting edge technology of the time. The company….I.B.M.

By the age of 13 I had already seen Dorothy Chandler in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Charlton Heston in The Crucible before most kids even understood what a true theatrical production was. I was entranced. I fell in love with the bigger than life feel of the theater and the magic behind those curtains. I learned the broad scope of the words “The Arts” and my soul became torn between The Arts and The Sciences.

When the first home computers came out, I was already waiting for my opportunity to program my own personal computer. I had an Atari 800 the instant I could convince my husband that this was the way of the future.

Yeah, being a woman and being computer savvy in the late 70’s early 80’s was way before the time of most men. I was in on the early “bulletinboards” and was devouring computer magazines and programming my own computer.

I was a nerd before the word was even invented. Alas, I fell into the trap that so many women before and since have done. I let go of my huge advantage over the masses and became a wife and mother and set my dreams aside. But I have always kept an eye on the techie side of things and I have no regrets over having my children…….the husbands yes….the children no.

C’est la vie