“I dropped out of Wakefield at the start of my 10th grade year and did one semester at HB Carver before dropping out again and enrolling in NOVA and working a job at the library. I ended up leaving NOVA for full time work when I was 18 and then waited almost ten years before returning to school at UMD to get a B.A. and then an M.A. at American University. I got my GED when I was 28 when I was a few months shy of getting my B.A.. I like to talk with students about why that was my personal path and that it was ten times harder to get where I am because I didn't do well in school and push myself when I was younger. I needed the struggle to make it work for me. I talk about how important my education is to me and also that it is okay to have a path that is different from everyone else, as long as there is a destination in mind and real, hard work involved in getting there.”
1957 – This year Jim Wiberg, celebrated 50 years of ordained ministry at Augustana Lutheran Church D.C., New Hampshire Avenue and V Streets, NW. in Washington D.C. Jim’s family has roots in the congregation that go back almost 100 years. As a young member, he served with other members on the “Operation One-Mile” outreach effort to begin the task of serving the community. Jim’s last call before retiring to Colorado was to an international congregation in Vienna, Austria, serving English speaking people from every major continent of the world. Before going to Austria as an Associate Missionary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Jim served congregations in Vacation and Tourist Communities in Wisconsin and in Upper Michigan. His outreach programs to tourists and vacationers included the launching of a Floating Chapel on the Eagle River, WI Chain of Lakes; outdoor campground and resort worship services, an Arts and Lecture Series, and a Ski Resort Chaplaincy in Upper Michigan. He was the recipient of the 1995 Gustavus Adolphus College Congregational Service Award for his work with victims of Domestic Violence. He received his B.A. degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN and his M.Div. and D.Min degrees from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He and his wife Luray, have four children and 7 grandchildren.
1963 - The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) announced the selection of Edward J. Mello for the NVFC Lifetime Achievement Award. Ed joined the Ballston Volunteer Fire Department in Arlington in 1963 and rose through the ranks to become Chief in 1980. He soon became the Chairman of the Fire Chief's Committee of the Arlington County Firemen's Association, Volunteer Coordinator for the Arlington County Fire Department, and an Adjunct Instructor with the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. Ed was one of the many volunteers who responded to the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. After relocating to Canada, he joined the Grimshaw (Alberta) Volunteer Fire Department in 2007 as a Training Officer and remains active as a firefighter, instructor, Safety Officer, and Fire Prevention Officer. He was also appointed to the volunteer position of Deputy Director of Emergency Management by the Town of Grimshaw. In addition, he is the Operations Officer in the Emergency Operations Center during major emergencies, teaches Home Emergency Preparedness at the local adult learning center, and is a Board Director and newsletter editor for the Fire Investigation Association of Alberta. His many accolades include Arlington County Outstanding Volunteer (1984), Outstanding Achievement in Fire Service Training (1989), and Training and Leadership Award (1995) from the Arlington County Firemen’s Association, Fire Chief’s Award of Excellence (2007) and Fire Fighter of the Year (2008, 2013) from the Grimshaw VFD, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
1956 and 1957 - Peter Arntson’56 and Paul Hammack ‘57 were recognized at the Annual Meeting this past June for being members of the Virginia State Bar for 50 years.
1958 - Tom Evans wrote “My world has gone Boom! Tom was the photographer capturing the historic climb up El Capitain in Yosemite National Park this year. Tom wrote: “The climb that I am shooting in Yosemite has captured the imagination of the world and I have been sitting in my hotel room in Yosemite answering emails requesting information about the climb from every media outlet in the fregging world! The NY Times did an article about the climb yesterday, where I was quoted several times, on the front page of the sport section. Since then the Times of London, Good Morning America, NBC CBS NPR and every paper with circulation of more than 10 people has me in their sites. It is crazy! ABC did a 4 minute clip on the climb this morning. Here is a link to the NY Times article. Seems like I have become the front man for this event to the world! It is well covered on my own website the elcapreport.com but the world wants more and more and more. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/sports/on-el-capitans-dawn-wall-two-climbers-make-slow-progress-toward-a-dream.html?mwrsm=Email&_r=1 “
1961 - Esther Greenfield writes that her book Tough Men in Hard Places has been published. It is a collection of 151 vintage photos showing how men braved avalanches, snowstorms and rugged mountain terrain to bring electric power to Colorado. It can be found on Amazon.
1959 - Andy Barker has created a photography book of Kamakura, Japan. John Wertime (’59) wrote to us about his classmate’s book. John says it contains sixty pages of aesthetic delights and cultural insights that few publications can match. Andy has been a longtime resident of Japan and is a well-known photographer. According to John. This book is not only a visual treat, but an astute introduction to the Japanese love of nature, ritual, and color, as well as their refinements in living, dressing, and building. A Google search will produce reviews of the book and an App on ITunes.
1970 - Linda Ciccolella Marchman has written a book, Gone Astray about a cat that is shuttled around as a kitten, winds up in an animal shelter, runs away and faces rejection and abandonment, encounters some of her former friends, and experiences unbridled joy and contentment in her travels. You can also visit www.socialbtrflies.com to find out about Linda’s butterfly business.
1966 - Laura Coulter Thomas reports that in September 2013, her 3rd generation homebred Arabian yearling gelding, Khorsani LA, culminated a short but winning show year by capturing the 2013 U.S. Arabian Sport Horse National Championship Purebred Arabian Yearling Colt/Gelding class. Laura and her husband viewed the September National Championship title as a 43rd wedding anniversary gift from their horses since the win took place two days after their anniversary. If you want to keep up with the many accomplishments of Laura’s Arabians, you can view their web site, ladamasarabians.com.
1963 - Bill DeCosta (’63) is not idly sitting around in his retirement. He has written a booklet titled “Hoboes and Tramps in the 1890’s: Washington , D.C.” In 1895, there were 4,137 vagrants committed to the Work House in the District. Some said that conditions there were worse than the city jail. In January 1899, for instance, there were 314 inmates for 216 beds. Bill talks about the different areas where these people had camps in the area, resources that were established to help them and how they were dealt with in the legal system. As part of his research, Bill identified 3,000 individual homeless people from this period and turned that information over to libraries. His pamphlet lists some of the more colorful. John Kelly of The Washington Post wrote about Bill’s book and research in his August 11, 2014 column. According to Kelly, Bill became enchanted with this lifestyle when he was a boy and his mother brought home a book for him from the library called The Jungle. His mother thought it was about animals or Tarzan. Little did she know that it was about “jungles”, which is the name for the makeshift camps where these people lived. The Wakefield Alumni Association has a copy of Bill’s pamphlet in their archives.
1962 - John Solomon writes that after retiring a little over four years ago, he and his wife sold their house and cars and purchased a sailboat. They lived on the boat for over three years, spending winters in the Bahamas, sailing between the islands. In the spring, they would sail back to the east coast of the USA and spend the summer and fall going up and down the coast spending most of their time in the Chesapeake Bay. They have now sold the boat and are in the process of moving to Richmond.
Staff - Jim Vandelly wrote to say “When you are really bored, you can go to YouTube and type in Jim Vandelly, or Jim Vandelly Award, and see what I’ve been up to lately. (hint: Music!).
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