As I write this, I can see the golden glow of early retirement gleaming on the horizon. Well, the actual time won't be here until a year from July -- in 2004 -- but it is still within sight.
After graduation from Smethport High in 1962, I went to Allegheny College, then to graduate school at Temple University in Philadelphia, where I met my husband, Jim. We were married in 1967 and our sons, Chris and Eric, were born in Abington, PA in 1971 and 1973, respectively. In 1980, when Jim completed his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, our family moved to Iowa City, home of American College Testing (where Jim had accepted a position) and the University of Iowa, where I now work for the Henry B. Tippie College of Business as Director of Communication and External Relations. If you've never been to Iowa City, you really are missing a wonderful place!
Jim took early retirement last June, but he isn't exactly sitting still. He has only one course left to go before he has a certification in Web Technology, and he's developed and maintained websites for the Iowa City Bird Club and his brother's reindeer business in northern Wisconsin, in addition to his own. He and I are both avid birders, and he's developed interests in rock art (petroglyphs and pictographs) and photography. Those interests have taken us all over the U.S., including two trips to Alaska in the summers of 2001 and 2002.
Although my mother died of cancer in 1974, my father, who is now 88, continues to live on King Street in Smethport. Chris, our older son, returned to Pennsylvania after graduate school, and he now works for Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Pittsburgh. So Jim and I manage to get to Pennsylvania to visit family and friends fairly often.
Like most Smethport High graduates, I am very grateful for the quality education that we received at S.H.S. Mr. Pennington, "Prof" Partchey, Mrs. Stone, Miss Beere, Mrs. Hergenrother, Mr. Rhoads, Mr. Bailey, Mr. McBride, Miss Snyder (later Mrs. McBride), Miss Johnson, Miss Colegrove, Mr. Dempsey, Miss Rockefeller, Mr. Schell, Mr. Larson, Mrs. Anderson, Mr. Summerwill, Mr. Umiker, Mr. Cimbal, and many other wonderful teachers whom I haven't listed here taught us well. We owe them a great deal.
I treasure the associations with the Smethport friends who have stayed in touch over the years. If any of you are traveling through Iowa via Interstate 80, please do call or e-mail Jim and me. Our home is less than 2 miles from the interstate, and we would love to see you.
Sharon's email address is email@example.com and her phone number is (319) 337-5206.
See the rest of the Class of 1962