Then...       and       Now

School/College Highlights - Novitiate of the Little Sisters of the Assumption, Haverford, Pa.

Marriage and Family Highlights - In June 1965, I married Munir Choudry in Manhattan, after he completed his MBA, from NYU. Our daughter Chiara (ki-ar-a) was born August 1967. We divorced in 1973. In 1977, Chiara and I moved to Upper Montclair, NJ, following my engagement. In 1977, Tom and I went our separate ways, but she and I stayed on for many happy years. The Fabends were our neighbors.

Homemaker and/or Career Highlights - In 1957, I worked for the Japanese Exporters Trade Association, in NYC. A year later I sailed aboard a Japanese freighter to Tokyo to teach English to Japanese businessmen and students. One was a classmate of the present Empress Michiko. Post-war Japan, still rising from the ashes, afforded me unimagined experiences and was one of the best years of my life. I left Japan on the P&O Oransay, bound for England, jumped ship in Melbourne, Australia, at the urging of two guys from Yale, who went "walk-about", while I found work (illegally) in a hospital, pharmacy, hotel and finally an insurance agency. I was called "The Yank" and learned to say "bloody right" and was something of an oddity to the Aussies. I doubt I 'd recognize Melbourne today

Over the years in NYC, I worked in advertising, was Circulation Manager for two trade magazines, was a Headhunter specializing in Bi-linguals and three years ago began the best career of all - sales consultant for commercial and residential burglar alarm systems, in Central California. My office is now my car or sometimes a panel van. In a week I may drive hundreds of miles on roller coaster like roads, through canyons or along spectacular coastline. Climbing out of a truck at a construction site, dressed for Madison Avenue, is better than a business card! Certainly, beats a desk job.

Travel/Vacation Highlights - In addition to all but four U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Eastern Canada, I have lived and/or visited, Italy, England, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Bali, Australia, Malaya, India, Ceylon, Egypt and Pakistan. I've sailed (never a cruise) on nine ships, flown half way round the world on Pan Am One and driven across the U.S. six times. Experiencing a "perfect storm", en route to Japan, bobbing around in the Indian Ocean in a dinghy, riding horseback to the edge of an active volcano, riding camels, rickshaws, buses with live chickens and goats and finding a baby born in my kitchen, when I was out shopping were a little unusual I'll admit. One of my favorite memories occurred during two weeks in a hill station, high in the Himalayas, in northern Pakistan, where rain clouds often drift through the open windows, and the early morning rides on a beautiful Arabian stallion along terrifying precipices! My companion, with saddlebags and Pathan rifle slung across his back, would later receive the Nobel Prize for Physics; I thought he was just a dashing frontiersman. Next time I'll check credentials.

Hobbies/Sports - Voracious reader, films (especially foreign} history (1916-45}, hiking, camping and flea markets.

Civic/Church/Political Activities - 30 years as Lector/Eucharistic Minister, taught Sunday school, served on Parish Councils, small group leader, Steering Committee of Renew - the 300 member NYC chapter of a national organization for Separated and Divorced Catholics. Ambassador for the Pacific Grove, CA Chamber of Commerce.

Achievements/Awards/Outstanding Events - T .V. four times, guest speaker on Tokyo radio program, extra in a Japanese movie, played "Hot Lips" on in-house radio version of 'MASH' in a veterans hospital. Nominated for president of Renew. Last year, won second prize (my division) national alarm sales. Subject of magazine article concerning raising a child without support.

Anything at all that you may want to say - My life has been a "crazy quilt", nothing planned came to be, but adventures undreamed of, came to be. It's been a great ride. I am blest with loving family, treasured friends (old & new), good health and abundant optimism. I have wonderful memories of Nyack High and look forward to sharing them with former classmates.

October 9, 2010 Additions

Unfortunately, some of us living west of the Hudson cannot join our classmates; we really need about a year to plan.  However, I can bring you up to date on the past 10 yrs. which have been interesting!   Finally, after a long roaming sabbatical I've had the good fortune to travel  to the following: Hong Kong, Macau, Canton,  China, Thailand, Turkey, Chile, Uruguay, Tierra Del Fuego, the Falkands and Buenos Aires, Argentina, Vietnam & Taiwan -the South American trip being the only cruise and with my brothers David and Bill Hill.  My absolute favorites were Turkey and Vietnam.

Hanoi was a big surprise, the people very welcoming, the accommodations first class, the cuisine everywhere Asian/French, the shopping irresistible and the history awesome.   The Hanoi Hilton, John McCain’s cell and others were sobering.  A trip by bus to Holong Bay, a beautiful resort (can be seen on Google) mountain climbing, casting nets in a fishing village, riding in a  little boat (like a big soup bowel) through some water jungles on the Mekong river where terrible fighting took place  was chilling.  Hoi An, a charming and fun village followed and then to China Beach (now a thriving resort (if any classmates served there you will remember sadder times).  We flew south from DaNang's very modern airport to Saigon.  It's French influence (once the Paris of  South East   Asia)  with its wide boulevards, designer shops, Notre Dame Cathedral (seven Masses on Sunday) despite it's being called Ho Chi Min City now, it has the most magnificent old French style post office I've ever seen.

75 miles north are the infamous Chi Chi tunnels.  Life below ground for the VC has been reenacted in tableaus in the jungle and after an hour we could crawl 30 meters through an old tunnel.  Although, I am claustrophobic, I felt I had to experience it, terrified or not.   If anyone reading this would like more information on any of the places mentioned, just ask.  I have lots of stories.

On New Year’s Eve, 2008, I fell down my daughter's staircase and with three titanium screws in my hip, I spent 3 and  1/2 months in a wheel chair,  in nursing homes in Spokane, WA.   Fortunately, I had a brief romance with a Texas, cowboy inmate (had to do something to bear it) and it entertained the poor souls confined there.    Actually, I started a singing group, arranged a surprise birthday party and found a TV set for a woman younger than I, who had no one to care for her. I try to visit her when I'm in Coeur d'Alene, ID., praying  none of us ever lands in a nursing home.  That April, we were released; he   moved to Wallace, I D, a famous silver mine town and I to beautiful Central CA.   We renew our friend ship every July and Dec. weather permitting.
A couple of years ago, during a WWII  Air Force reunion in Dayton,  Ohio, at Wright-Patterson field  with my brother David (who is writing a book on the subject),  I took a side trip to Kalona, Iowa and visited  Tom & Barbara Immermann,   on their little farm in beautiful Amish country, where in addition to sightseeing, meeting some Amish neighbors (a rare privilege), visiting a furniture factory (bought a lovely clock ) I enjoyed their wonderful hospitality.
Though I remain the top sales person in my category at Sentry, business  has been dismal and cutting back is the norm now,  I 'm still active with the Monterey Ski & Social Club (we won 1st prize for volunteering in all the clubs west of the Rockies) where I keep busy volunteering and sharing lots of potlucks.  
Recently the diocese of Monterey asked me to serve on the Bishop's Finance committee, which is almost laughable, because I'm numbers dyslectic, but when we meet on the 15th they may rescind the offer.
Three of my four grandchildren are now  teenagers, honor students, and constantly amaze me.   They are the joy of my life and think their Nana is a little crazy!  It's as it should be.
Sunday, the 10th I'm being interviewed by the casting director of a show in the making, called Forever Young.  Her daughter, my friend, submitted me and I don't even watch reality shows!   If I'm chosen (doubtful) it's six weeks on LA locations starting next month.  My attitude of try anything once may have gone too far!!                                                          

Though missing in person next weekend my thoughts and wishes for a fabulous reunion for each of you are from the heart.

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