Elisa Tinsley &
Mark D' Anastasio combined bio
Don Sider (Time Inc.) worked at Time Inc. in an
amazing variety of jobs, died unexpectedly on
October 7 of arteriosclerosis in his home in West
Palm Beach, FL. Don began his affiliation with Time
in 1963 as a stringer. Three years later he joined the
Miami bureau as a staff correspondent went on
to cover Vietnam (where he was wounded),
seNed as Detroit bureau chief, as correspondent
in New York and as deputy bureau chief in Wash-
ington. In 1969, Don became editor and vice
president of Pioneer Press, a group of 24 suburban
Chicago weeklies, then owned by Time Inc. He
also helped develop prototypes for two now
thriving Time Inc. magazines, Money and People.
In 1981, he was appointed managing editor and
vice president of a Time Inc. start-up called
Teletext, a before-its-time effort to bring news and
information to homes via cable or air waves
(essentially what AOL does today). Teletext lasted
three years. From there, he became editorial
director of the Editorial Technology Group, a
forerunner of today's IT department. In 1987, Don
retired and moved to Palm Beach where he
helped launch a new magazine, Florida Real
Estate, along with several other Time Inc. retirees.
When it folded in 1989, Sider was recruited to
cover stories by People's Miami bureau, and he
continue in that role until his death. Reporting,
Don often said, was his first love. "It is never work,"
he said, "until you return to face the typewriter."
Don lived an adventurous life, and among his
sports was skydiving, which helps explain this
portion of his will. "Upon my death, any of my
body parts that may be of use as transplants are
to be harvested for that purpose - but not,
please, for medical students to hack on. What
remains is to be cremated and the ashes are to
be distributed from an aircraft on jump run at
approximately 12,500 feet over Air Adventures at
Clewiston Florida. My estate is to purchase tickets
for the entire load on the plane and for four cases
of beer to be consumed afterward in celebration
of this, my last jump. There is to be absolutely no
ceremony, other than the above, to mark my
passing - no service. memorial, weeping or
gnashing of teeth. I am enjoying a great life, and I
expect to keep enjoying it until I die, so the best
thing the people I love can do is just to carry on
and enjoy their lives too. I wish them all the fun
they can stand."
Monica Gerard-Sharp Wambold
First memory: I was tasked by Thayer Bigelow to develop the business model, which justified Time Video investing in testing whether we could create and sustain an ad-supported and/or a subscription-based service. “Will the dog eat the dog food?” was Sean’s question.
Once Don hired his team and got the Teletext service running, and we had two market tests underway, I split off to form a smaller group within TVIS to develop and test a cable-delivered video game channel that “plugged into” game consoles. Bill Bates was our resident Tech guru. Ina Saltz designed a slick program guide, prototype. Eric, Peter and I lobbied Activision, Sega, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, to lend us their games. Our project was supposedly secret and Delta was its code name. Unhappily, just as Delta was proposed to the Time Inc board for funding and launch, Atari lost approx $400 million and almost cratered its parent co Warner (game demand was strong but Warner had ignored inventory management/returns policies). The Time board nervously declared “Video games are a fad!” and nothing would soothe them.
I have often told people that Teletext and Delta provided the most exhilarating moments in my working career. Do you remember meeting the digital innovators from LucasArts, or the team who planned to video every street in the USA and put their “3D map” on line (ultimately Google)? Or our group Tron outing? Corralling six of the world’s leading ad agencies for a bake-off to handle our teletext launch - which they could hardly fathom? Holding focus groups in NY, market tests in Orlando and San Diego, and joint venture meetings with senior officials of Matsushita, then the world’s largest CE company, in CA and Osaka? The sense of adventure and team spirit were unmatched, and Sean and Peter were the most inspired and inspiring leaders…
I remained at Time Inc for four more years, as director of strategic planning Video Group before graduating to the 34th floor as a senior financial person during the roaring 80s, divesting, spinning off and acquiring while defending Time Inc from unwelcome suitors. In 1987 I set off for Cap Cities/ABC/Disney, to publish a variety of smaller magazines and produce some video projects. In 1990 my family moved to London for 5 years, and I quit big corporate life, opting instead to juggle various responsibilities.
Wearing the hat of Monica Gerard-Sharp, I am a farmer and a writer and serve on several boards, mostly non-profits. Theatre is a passion; I’m involved with The National Theatre (London), Theatre for a New Audience (Brooklyn), the Flea Theatre (NY), the Royal Court Theatre (London) and American Ballet Theatre. Back in the 1970s I was a journalist and editor, so I am coming full circle now by scribbling about growing up in South Africa under Apartheid, Step-mothers I have known, and a murder mystery. (My first tome Everyone’s United Nations, published in 1978, remains in print.)
Mostly, though, I sail as Monica Wambold:
- First wife (34 years so far) of Ali who has held many roles on so-called Wall Street since we met at Columbia Business School in 1980;
- Only mother of Marina, 27, Daniela, 25, and Dominica, 22. Dominica is working for a tech start-up in Silicon Valley as marketing associate. I am chuffed. Daniela, who lives and works in China, is fluent is several languages including Mandarin. I am awed. Marina plays polo competitively. I am amazed – and broke!
- President of three small private companies, one managing real estate, one handling investments, one owning part of a Caribbean resort;
- Panelist to help award the Soros Fellowship to about 35 extraordinary young graduates each year, all immigrants, thereby advancing human rights and education;
- Volunteer for several worthy NY organizations such as American Ballet Theatre, American Museum of Natural History, American Theatre Wing, Central Park Conservancy,…
I can’t wait to join the Teletext Reunion. Alumni have gone on to innovate at hundreds of leading and smaller media outfits in the US… and still seem to know how to have fun!
David Rollert bio
Where I am. Happily married to Diane for 35 years this November. Two kids: Ben, 30, intense data scientist; Charlotte, 26, free-spirit studying to teach art to children. Diane thrives as the minister of the Unitarian Church of Montreal (the oldest in Canada, founded in 1842). That's why we moved to this crazy, creative, schizophrenic city nine years ago. I love it here. We learned French and went native. I'm president of a Web design-and-development shop of about 25 wonderfully talented people from all over the French-speaking world. We create applications and platforms where none exists for clients from all over, largely in the New York area.
How I got here. After Teletext, I worked briefly for an early New York Times effort (a spot Lisa Powers took over after I left!), leaving to join the inimitable Peter Gross and some great members of the TVIS gang at Lexica. One of our clients, Citibank, offered me a job working in their customer research lab. I learned a ton, and ultimately ended up leading their central human interface design group, called Humanware.
After six years at Citi of successes and, uh, challenges, I was recruited to move to Boston as design director of a TVIS-like effort to create the ultimate online publishing platform for Ziff-Davis. Another amazing group of people, and I honestly think the results were equal to what we achieved at TVIS - including having the plug pulled, in this case when Bill Ziff retired, the Web arrived, and the unit was sold to AT&T - which had no idea what to do with us.
I quit to freelance, doing some cool early-Web work, when Strategic Interactive Group, one of the first Web agencies, called. As we exploded from 70 to over 1000 digital employees, I built the UI practice internationally. We consolidated with our parent company, Bronner Schlossberg, and renamed the place Digitas, holding an IPO (I kid you not) the day before the internet bubble burst on Wall Street. This helped to maintain my perfect record, undimmed to this day, of not striking it rich.
I didn't enjoy agency life, truth be told, and migrated to Fidelity Investments, where I got to work with another fine bunch of people. Then Diane got the call to Montreal. I was starting to get bored, and Montreal is the closest you can get to living a European lifestyle and still be in North America, so...
Biggest regrets. Honestly, spending too much time working when my kids were younger. Not having taken bigger risks. Worrying too much about politics. Not moving to Montreal sooner.
What I'm happiest about. My family. The four of us just vacationed together on Cape Cod, and, boy can we make each other laugh. My large circle of friends, many of them former colleagues. The people I've mentored, many of whom have gone on to far greater heights than I will ever scale. Et j'avoue que je suis fier d'avoir maîtrisé cette 'stie de tabarnak de langue. (There you go, Cliff!)
I didn't mention each of the TVIS people who remained important to me in my work story because there are so many that I would inevitably leave someone out, and because this is already too long, but the old gang has been very present throughout my wanderings. Those who have been less present, because of distance or diverging work paths, I miss even more. Can't wait to see you all!
Greg Stone bio
After Teletext: Worked as TV reporter in Minneapolis, Boston and on PBS. Started my company in 1989. Second (and happy) marriage in 1990. Two smart, beautiful and kind kids: Lauren, 22 and Jack, 18. Still havin’ fun with my company -- doing independent production and media consulting. My book on the intersection of bz and art coming out very soon. Working on indie thriller too in “spare time.”
Tribute by Ina
Sissy passed away on Oct. 1, 2007, at age 72, after a long illness. There was a beautiful memorial service a block from Sissy's apartment at All Angels Church, where she had been active for many years.
Let me tell you about my digital self.
It all started many years ago when I met Linda Gottfried. Yes, that’s right, she’s the one that told me about Time Teletext. We met in the halls of the Old Gray Lady, The New York Times. I was working as a freelance art director (although wanted to be an illustrator initially), and was nicknamed the “floater” because I floated around, filling in for various art directors when they were on vacation or sick. My start was on the Op-Ed and Editorial pages (and that’s another story) and that’s where I spent most of my time.
Because of my early career days at The New York Times, I was very fortunate to develop a great foundation in many things related to publishing, typography, editorial art and design and deadlines. In those days there were times when I was actually running down the hall to meet my deadline, with my layout in hand. I even met and worked with a few celebrities while there, including Shimon Peres, Abbie Hoffman, Leslie Gelb, Keith Haring, Romare Bearden, Ralph Steadman and Al Goldstein (it’s true, he wrote for the Op-Ed page, and don’t forget to ask David Rollert about this). And then I met Linda!
Anyway, Linda and I are both from Detroit, so we bonded over that fact instantly. Linda told me that Time Inc. was looking for artists to experiment on computers and I could work there at odd hours too. I arrived at TVIS and met Joel. He took me straight to a computer and with a heavy thud, he let go of a pile of manuals on the table beside me. I must have stayed there all night and to my amazement, the first drawings I made on the computer looked and felt like my work that I created with charcoal, pencil or a brush. That first night at TVIS had a profound effect on me, I never opened those manuals and I never looked back.
I don’t think I stayed at TVIS for long before an opportunity came up with an ad agency that was partnering with TVIS to make interactive ads for Time’s Teletext service. I jumped at the chance and moved over to Doyle Dane Bernbach. Our biggest account was Atari. For research purposes, the account directors had an entire arcade room set up so we could practice and learn the various games. There must have been half a dozen guys in that room every day for hours, lights out and all of us competing on Ms. Pac Man. It was a really fun job.
Then, one day, somehow I ended up as the Art Director, replacing David Rollert, at The New York Times venture in Videotex. Thanks again David! And who did I run into there? Melissa Roberson!
As much as I wanted to be a digital designer, I knew Videotex wasn’t going anywhere just yet. I still craved for some traditional design and wanted to learn more about printing techniques (ok, so back to print). I loved editorial design and got a job as a designer at Newsweek. I thought I made it to heaven, until my first Friday night there. Don’t forget, in those days (the 90s) we were still closing the magazine on Friday for Monday morning. Fridays at Newsweek were interesting, with drink carts going around, stories changing at the last second, dinners out, and some very late, wild nights. Meanwhile, I was plotting my next move. This time I wanted back in digital design!
I heard that NYU had an interesting school, called Interactive
Telecommunications Program. I applied (although first attempt was à la Putney
Swope). I was the last part-time student, got my Masters after 4 years of no
sleep, attending school and working at Newsweek. This program of study was not
at all about design, it was all technology. My first week in the program I heard
about Netscape. I told my family members to buy Netscape stock-- they told me forget it. So I invested a small amount of money and in a short time, tripled my investment.
Then I got a call from MSNBC. Grabbed that opportunity! Newsweek was buzzing with “Lisa’s going to MSNBC.com, what’s that?” My last night there, riding the elevator with 2 of the top editors of the magazine, Ken Auchincloss and Maynard Parker, they howled “MSNBC.com, the internet, ha ha ha, that will NEVER last.” The elevator door opened and as I walked off I said “SEE YA.”
A couple of years later, Mr. Auchincloss was assigned to oversee the partnership between Newsweek and MSNBC.com. I greeted him at the door when he arrived for the first meeting.
After that, I moved on to doing loads of consulting and then eventually landed on Wall Street at the New York Stock Exchange as the digital Creative Director. That was interesting, I’m constantly learning.
And so the story goes… here I am today, now called a UI/UX designer, consulting on a startup with a former Newsweek editor and helping companies in need of someone who understands user experience.
The demise of Teletext sent me back to the world of print, though the pull of digital content never left me. After Teletext I spent another decade at Time Inc., first at Time Life Books, then Book-of-the-Month Club, where I had the good fortune to draw the assignment to launch Children's Book-of-the-Month Club. After leaving Time, I stayed in direct mail-driven publishing a little while longer, serving as President of Prentice Hall Direct, which was then part of Simon & Schuster, from 1994 to 1997.
After a short detour from publishing (I was head of marketing for the BMG music clubs for a few years; hated the music business!), I stumbled into the K-12 world, first as head of Scholastic Library Publishing, then as President of Weekly Reader -- yes, the Weekly Reader you might have read in elementary school -- where I finally managed to launch a successful digital product. In 2007, Weekly Reader was merged into Reader's Digest, which managed to go bankrupt a couple of years later. Having had enough of corporate life, I hung a shingle as a consultant in 2010, and I've been happily self-employed since then, doing consulting work mostly for educational publishers and technology firms.
On the personal front, I remain happily married to Renee, my wife of 35 years. Various job moves took us to Washington, DC (for Time Life Books), Westchester County and, in 1998, back to Manhattan. We are now empty-nesters living on the Upper West Side. My younger son lives in New York too, but we don't see him very often: he's too busy running the digital operation of a woman named Hillary who for some bizarre reason aspires to be President. My older son is married and lives in Chicago, where we go often to see him and our two granddaughters, ages 3 and 1.
Can't believe I'm old enough to be a grandfather, but hey, Teletext closed down more than 30 years ago, so there must be a bunch of us!
Tributes from Joel's memorial
Deborah Azerrad Savona and Michael Azerrad
Joel Azerrad's Memorial Service (1932-2015)
The Cooper Union: 41 Cooper Square: New York City
Sunday, September 13th, 2015
Ina Saltz's Tribute:
First I'd like to thank Michael and Deborah for inviting me to speak here today.
It's very fitting that we're here at Cooper Union, which was Joel’s alma mater as well as my own. Like so many artists, our creative paths and aesthetic sensibilities were shaped here. Joel loved Cooper Union and was very connected and involved with Cooper Union for most of his life. It’s a wonderful tribute to Joel that Cooper Union is hosting us here today.
Like many institutions, over the years Cooper Union has shifted and changed its focus, and I am speaking specifically about the School of Art. Joel was part of a small group that was arguably the Greatest Generation of Cooper’s Art School graduates. It included design legends Herb Lubalin, Lou Dorfsman, Milton Glaser, Ed Sorel, and Reynold Ruffins. There has never been such a distinguished group of Art School graduates before or since. It was a golden time.
But in many ways, Joel’s career path was more interesting and adventurous than that of his classmates. Joel was insatiably curious and a bit of a risk taker. So it was that after an illustrious but perhaps predictable career at CBS and other well-known companies, Joel chose to take a leap into the unknown, a leap into future communication technology. In 1981 he left CBS’s Black Rock Building, crossed Sixth Avenue, walked two blocks downtown, and entered the Time Life building to be the Art Director of a brand new and experimental venture. Time Magazine veteran editor Don Sider hired Joel, and Joel hired me, as well as a team of other designers, some of whom are here today, to reimagine the future.
This new enterprise came to be called Teletext. Without getting into the technicalities, I will simply say that Teletext was the pre-cursor of the internet. We didn’t invent the internet, but we invented everything else. Computer graphics technology was still in its infancy and our tools were crude and limited. Creating a compelling visual system within those limitations for this new venture was Joel’s mission. As he directed the look of our service, Joel became known affectionately as Ol’ Pixel Puss. For those of you who don’t know what a Pixel is ...never mind.
During the next three years as our hardy band of electronic pioneers worked closely together, sometimes into the wee hours, Joel was a firm but kind guide and mentor. In retrospect, Joel was less of a boss and more of a friend. Joel’s advice went beyond the boundaries of his mission. He shared all kinds of accumulated wisdom, which I still recall and which serves me well to this day. When I mentioned that I had difficulty sleeping, Joel told me how to concentrate on and relax each part of my body starting with my toes and, one part at a time, up to the crown of my head, and how to relax into my breathing. This was decades before meditation and mindfulness based stress reduction became mainstream.
Because of our mutual ongoing involvement with Cooper Union, I continued to see Joel regularly at Cooper Union Alumni Council meetings. It was always great to see him, and he often was the voice of reason as various issues were hotly debated on the eighth floor of the Foundation Building, across the street. And Joel wasn’t just a talker, he devoted many hours to Cooper Union as an Alumni Liaison to the Art faculty, and fundraising at the annual phone-a-thon, among other roles that he filled over the years.
Also, after Teletext had folded, I often saw Joel at social gatherings, and at various student exhibition openings and receptions at Cooper Union. In fact, that is how we first met: we found ourselves examining the same painting at Cooper Union’s end of year student show, and we started chatting about the art. That chance conversation in May of 1981 changed my career path and my life.
Joel and I also regularly attended Cooper Union’s annual Founder’s Day Awards Dinner. Joel invariably wore a tuxedo, and he always looked ever so handsome. Joel really knew how to rock a tuxedo!
I mentioned earlier that Joel was an adventurer and a risk taker, and some of you may know that he had a remarkable third act as a film extra and then as an actor. He was especially proud of being very visible on screen right behind Jennifer Connelly during the Nobel Prize scene in “A Beautiful Mind.” Joel went on to develop his acting chops in some very interesting films. I think it’s just great that he found new ways to be creative, even in his later years, when most other nice Jewish men might be lining up their putts in a gated community in Boca.
Besides Joel’s life advice, I really miss Joel’s sparkling eyes, his beautiful smile, and that little chuckle he gave when he was amused by something, or when he had amused himself.
I am grateful that I got to see Joel one last time in December, thanks to Dick Holman. Dick was aware that I was a patient at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and he called me to let me know that Joel had just been admitted for treatment. Our related illnesses meant that Joel and I were both on the tenth floor. I was very weak, but with my husband’s help we found our way to Joel’s room, where Joel and I shared a hug and had a nice chat in our respective hospital gowns.
Even after Joel was discharged from the hospital, he went to museums, the theater and the opera at Lincoln Center. He never let his illness hold him back or get him down. He enjoyed life. And that is an inspiring message for us all.
Dick Holman's Tribute:
Deborah and Michael. Your dad was proud of you both, and he often sent me emails praising your accomplishments. Now, acknowledging your sorrow, we pay tribute to your family and Joel’s engaging life. Artists, writers, editors, educators, professionals—we’re all storytellers around this campfire, and Joel was unparalleled at sparking that.
So it’s fitting that we get down to unfolding some tales and offbeat anecdotes, which, as Ina Saltz said, would always prompt just a warm chuckle from Joel.
Here’s an expression redolent of a generation ago: I know Joel for a long time. Not - I knew Joel. I will always know him.
You have already heard about Joel’s talents and career. At that zany Time Inc. start-up from 1981-83, Joel and I had a symbiotic relationship as artist and editor; we fed on each other’s strengths. That cemented a friendship of 32 years.
My wife Margaret and I would often jump onto the train to Westchester and meet Joel and his wife Joan for dinners by the Hudson River, basking in sunsets. He showed a quiet, deep love, suited to her lively mind, befitting a widely lauded librarian. We were honored to be among the hundreds celebrating at Joan’s memorial service. And we often remembered her fondly long after, for our calls to Joel prompted her voice—he never removed her outgoing voice-message from his phones.
In summers, Joel and Joan decamped to their rustic cabin in the middle of rural nowhere. About his Thoreau moments, he told episodes of battling the elements—both outdoors and indoors—and I had trouble wrapping my head around seeing Joel, the cultivated Joel, wearing a red-and-black plaid shirt and dealing with varmints. They were better suited to their sampling the treasures of Italy and the glorious tints of the Amalfi Coast.
Speaking of color, back in town, here was the urbane guy who could put together a shirt and tie and jacket, mixing hues and patterns unthinkably, and they coalesced in a subdued and dapper style. He was a sartorial artist, too.
Let’s go for a moment with Joel to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to an exhibition of Impressionist works. As we stand before a painting, Joel methodically describes the color choices, the strokes, the techniques, the significance of the composition, the meaning of the work in the artist’s oeuvre—and its meaning to him. His refined breadth and knowledge deepened our own amateur appreciation.
Joel was an apprehensive tyro about numbers, though. We met often when Joel came to Manhattan for appointments or culture dives. At the end of a lunch, mentally calculating a proper tip would flummox him, and he later pulled out a calculator but still was unnerved until I reassured him. This from the man who could look at a piece of computer art and instantly declare that it was off by one pixel. Hence, his sobriquet: Ol’ Pixel Puss.
With his understated, dignified demeanor, who would ever have expected Joel would have a career epilogue as an actor? You can look it up. It’s right there, on Google: Joel Azerrad, Actor. He played a therapist, an immigrant, a dad, a doctor, and in one production, his cast mates were Melissa Leo and Peter Dinklage. My wife and I dutifully trekked one evening to Eighth Avenue in the Theater District in Manhattan, and hiked up several flights to a tiny, dingy space with only about 20 rickety seats. This was a forgettable Off-Off-Off-Off-Off-Off-Broadway show in which Joel had a speaking role. The typically reserved Joel emoted. And he nailed it.
He also was cast as an extra in several movies. As Ina Saltz mentioned, the self-effacing Joel hinted humbly that he was excited about his appearance in “A Beautiful Mind,” a biographical feature film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel laureate in economics.
Joel also chuckled wryly about directors’ decisions in his other roles as an extra. One director looked him up and down, and cast him as an Arab. Well, he did have a cosmopolitan look. I would have cast him in a Dos Equis commercial surrounded by attractive young women.
Even in adversity, Joel shattered expectations without drama. Many years ago, Joel told me that he had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. I had a special empathy for him, as I myself had a diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Each time we met, I would ask about his treatment and progress. He would say only, “Oh, OK,” and I believed him, for he looked good. And he never complained. As his cancer advanced, he made more-frequent trips to his Manhattan doctors at New York-Presbyterian. And here we have a couple of stories that epitomize the characteristic Joel, invested in living every day to please himself a bit.
He jumped on the train to the city for a consultation with his cancer specialist. He awoke in a stretcher. It seems he had fainted during the ride, and the EMTs took him to NYU Langone, not NYP. It turned out that he had the flu. They kept him there for a week. I called him on the day of his release and asked about the background noise. Had he gone home to Briarcliff to recover? No, he said lightly, he was having lunch at the Museum of Modern Art.
Another time Joel was admitted to NYP for several days to get rounds of chemotherapy. Again, on his release, I called to learn how he was doing, got no answer. The next day I caught up with him and asked where he had been. Well, he said, upon leaving the hospital, he decided to go straight to the opera.
To me, Joel’s post-hospital pastimes were amazing, because following chemo rounds for my leukemia, I collapsed for days at home, shaking and baking.
Ina Saltz has told you how she and Joel once were getting cancer treatment on the same floor at NYP at the same time. By then, my cancer was in remission, but I too had been treated in that same cancer ward. Whodathunkit? What are the odds, the three of us, close colleagues and friends, linked there in life-altering ways three decades later? Coincidence, or some random quirk of fate?
Yeah, there’s quicksand out there. It’s best always to carry ropes—those are your family and friends. The real tribute here is the number of people who loved Joel and celebrate him now for his humble chuckle and his infectious influence. One measure of a meaningful life is friendship.
So here’s the best way to say we remember: We salute you, Joel. We still know you.
Dov Jacobson's Tribute:
Michael & Deborah
I live in Atlanta - -so i will not be able to attend.
Thank you for inviting me.
Your father launched my career by giving me a chance to prove myself
In 1981 there were only a few graphic computers in the city of New York
and most of these were in your dad's shop.
Joel wouldn't hire me.
I wasn't a print designer with a Cooper Union training,
I was an animator coming from Los Angeles.
I fit nowhere in his clear aesthetic.
But he was a good man. Principled but not dogmatic.
He gave me access to his machines overnight.
He saw how an animator approached the medium -
He could accept these values -
without diminishing his faith in the primacy of print.
Joel would not use my work without paying me,
so, eventually, he gave me my first real job.
The Spirit of New York
NOTE: ALLOT ENOUGH TRAVEL TIME SINCE THE POPE WILL BE IN NYC
· Departing from Chelsea Piers, NY: Pier 61
· Boarding: 6:30PM
· Cruise: 7:00PM – 9:30PM + 30 minutes optional dockside time until 10PM
· Our discounted rate: $102pp/cash bar
TRANSPORTATION TO CHELSEA PIERS
Transportation To Chelsea Piers:
— Take north/south route to 23rd Street.
— Take the #23 bus west to Chelsea Piers (last stop) and
walk to Pier 61.
— Take C, E, 1, N, M, F, R or 6 to 23rd Street.
— Take the #23 bus west to Chelsea Piers (last stop) and
walk to Pier 61.
— Spirit Cruises departs from Pier 61, Chelsea Piers located along Westside Highway. Ample parking is available at
Chelsea Piers. For more information, visit www.ChelseaPiers.com/Parking.
Spirit of New York, Bateaux New York,
Atlantica by Bateaux New York, Spirit of New Jersey.
Pier 61, Chelsea Piers
New York, New York 10011
SPIRIT DINNER MENU
ORGANIC MIXED FIELD GREENS
Grape Tomatoes | Cucumbers | Carrots | Corn | Feta Cheese | Black Olives | Kidney Beans | Sunflower Seeds
Herb Croutons | House-Made Ranch and Balsamic Vinaigrette | Low Fat Italian
ORGANIC SPINACH AND KALE SALAD
Parmesan Cheese | Peppers | Red Onions | Roast Garlic Lemon Dressing
MEDITERRANEAN COUSCOUS AND CHICKPEA SALAD
Green Onions | Cumin-Paprika Vinaigrette
ROASTED SALMON & TILAPIA
Garlic Parsley Crust | Tomatoes | Shallots | Capers
HERB ROASTED CHICKEN
Tomatoes | Thyme | Oregano
TWICE COOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS
Asian Chili Sauce | Soy Glaze | Ginger | Scallions | White Sesame Seeds
Creamed Spinach Sauce | Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil | Garlic | Chili Flakes
Mini Pastries | Cookies | Brownies | Seasonal Fruit
1A. Chelsea Piers
Completed in 1910 as a passenger ship terminal, it was supposed
to be the destination of the ill-fated oceanliner Titanic. After years
of disrepair, it was turned into a sports and entertainment complex
in the mid-1990s and serves as the New York dock for Spirit
Cruises, Bateaux New York and Atlantica.
1B. lincoln Harbor, New jersey
Home of the Lincoln Harbor Yacht club and conveniently located
just across the Hudson from New York City, this marina is also
home to over 60,000 square feet of retail shops and restaurants.
Serves as the New Jersey Dock for Spirit Cruises.
2. Emp ire State Building
This impressive 1,250-feet tower opened in 1923 and was the
world’s tallest building for 30 years.
3. World Trade Center Site
The National September 11 Memorial features two reflecting pools
set within the footprint of the World Trade Center’s twin towers and
the 3000 names of those who lost their lives in terrorist attacks at
4. Battery Park City
This office and apartment community was built on the landfill from
the excavation of the World Trade Center in 1977.
5. Battery Park
Called “The Battery” by New Yorkers, this 20-acre park at the
southern tip of Manhattan was originally the site of early Dutch
fortifications in the 1600s. Its name originated from the battery of
cannons installed there by the British during Colonial times.
6. South Street Seaport
Dating back to the 1600s, South Street and its Seaport District
were once the world’s gateway to New York City and America.
After nearly a century of decay, the district was redeveloped in the
1960s into a vibrant commercial area filled with shops, restaurants,
offices and the popular South Street Seaport Museum.
7. Brooklyn Bridge
Regarded as one of the greatest architectural achievements of
all time, it was designed by John Augustus Roebling and was
constructed between 1869 and 1883.
8. Brooklyn Heights
Considered New York’s first suburb when it was developed in the
1820s, this charming residential section across the East River from
Manhattan was originally accessible by steam ferry. It was declared
New York’s first landmark district in 1963.
9. Manha ttan Bridge
The last of the three suspension bridges built across the lower
East River. The lower level has three lanes, four subway tracks,
a walkway and a bikeway. The upper level, originally used for
streetcars, has two lanes in each direction.
10. Williamsb urg Bridge
At the time it was constructed, it set the record for the longest
suspension bridge span on Earth. This bridge is among only two
suspension bridges in New York City that still carry both automobile
and rail traffic.
11. Governor’s Is land
These 203 acres were under military command from the 1700s
through 1996, making it the oldest continuously operated military
post in U.S. history.
12. Statue of Liberty
A gift to the people of America from the people of France, “Liberty
Enlightening the World” stands 300 feet above New York Harbor.
She was built by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.
13. Ellis Is land
Nearly 17 million immigrants were processed here between 1892
14. Central Railroad of New Jersey
Located at the north end of Liberty State Park, this beautiful 1892
structure was in operation until 1954. Over one half of the new
arrivals at Ellis Island passed through this railroad terminal on their
way to new lives across the United States.
15. Colgate Clock
This stately timepiece once graced the Colgate Palmolive plant.
When the factory was demolished in the 1980s, the clock remained.
(# of guests)
Amy Zimmerman 1 Bill Bates 1 Bob Spielvogel and Karen Brobst 2 Cliff Avery 2 Charlie Gaffney and Sana 2 David Fournier 1 David McCune 1 David Rollert and Diane 2 David Spohn 1 Dick Holman 1 Dov Jacobson and Anna Leah 2 Elisa Tinsley and Mark D'Anastasio and Cecilia 3 Ellen and Ian Hendry and Son Bryce and wife Kasey, daughter Natalie 6 Eric & Laura Chabrow 2 Gary Zamchick and Cathy 2 Greg Stone 1 Ina Saltz and Steve 2 Jane Clarke 1 Jeff Nickerson 1 Jim Pensiero 1 Joan Desens and Simon Carr-Ellison
2 Joan Alev buy ticket from David Spohn John Lopinto 1 Linda Gottfried, Michael and Marcello 3 Lisa Powers 1 Marci Shatzman 1 Melissa Roberson and Sal D'Agostino 2 Monica Wambold 2 Neal Goff 1 Robin Platt 1 Sean McCarthy 1 Stella Alvo 1 Steve Cohen 1 Stu Gannes 1 Terry Hershey 2 Tim Brennan 1
Deborah Azerrad Savona and Michael Azerrad invite you to a memorial for
The Cooper Union
41 Cooper Square
(3rd Avenue and 7th Street)
New York City
Sunday, September 13th, 2015
Reception to follow
The favor of your reply is requested by Friday, September 4th
Joel Azerrad, an art director and actor, died on April 30, 2015, in Sleepy Hollow, New York at age 82. The cause was complications from multiple myeloma.
Joel Azerrad, a graduate of Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and the Yale School of Design, served for more than 20 years as a designer and art director at CBS, winning awards for his work in corporate communications and promotional design from the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
In 1980, he left CBS for Time Inc, where he become the Art Director of a fledgling new form of communication called teletext. The technology was in its infancy; it was a precursor of the internet as we know it today, but Joel embraced the opportunity to create something evolving and as yet unproven.
Three years later, when Time Inc. abandoned its efforts to make the new technology profitable, Joel was hired as a designer at NBC. During this time Joel took small parts in the film industry, at first, as an extra. In “A Beautiful Mind” (2001) he was delighted that he was visible in the row immediately behind Jennifer Connelly, who played Russell Crowe’s wife, for the Nobel presentation in a big auditorium. His work as an extra led to speaking roles; Joel is known for his work in The Limbo Room (2006), Chasing Erections (2005) and The Wedding Bout (2003).
Joel cared deeply about Cooper Union, and served for many years on its Alumni Association. He frequently participated in fundraisers including the Annual Phonathon, and he served as the Alumnus liaison to the Art Faculty at Cooper Union.
Joel is survived by his daughter Deborah Azerrad, grandsons Jacob Savona and Isaac Savona, and son Michael Azerrad.
Anna Leah Jacobson
A child of Dov and Judy - a digital artist, a photographer, and both dreamers - it's no surprise that I became a video journalist. My parents impressed upon me the value of beauty, being wild and honest, and the contributions of our fellow humans.
Most recently, I created an hour-long documentary about an underground Brooklyn circus as it goes legit. My upcoming work follows shorter news stories in New York and West Virginia. Eventually, I hope to explore under-developed governments in places like Myanmar and Kurdistan. Besides stories that expand the mind and uplift the spirit, I focus on human effects of political / economic issues, as well as advances in the arts, science, and culture. Maybe one day that will even include a video about Teletext!
My current project is Awake Video, a journalistic answer to the click-bait news generation. The news-channel (online and mobile) will feature stories that are fact-driven and digestible, yet intimately human. The channel's ultimate goal is to bring attention to places in the world that are under-represented or repressed in a cost-efficient, yet captivating way. Our pilot bureau is in New York.
I can't wait to meet the pioneers that struck out with my Dad. Teletext is part of our family history, as well as that of journalism's technology. There will be so much intelligence and wisdom on the boat!
On September 24th Karen and I are celebrating our 32nd anniversary – in NYC. Thirty two years ago we left for our honeymoon and left the keys to our upper West Side apartment with Gary Zamchick to use in our absence. Upon our return we found a bottle of scotch with a note that said “Drink this bottle then read the rest of the note”. During our absence the fateful announcement of the end of techno-camelot had come down.
After a very brief attempt with some Teletext colleagues to form a software company “The Home Team” and an almost as brief stint with Peter and several other alum at Lexica, I ended up at WNET writing scripts for a TV series on how to make computer games. That morphed into running an online computer bulletin board service called Learning Link that operated out of 50+ public television and radio stations for ten years. Somewhere in there I had my own software company called Cognicom with letterhead designed by Tom Lepley and a contract with Dave McCune as programmer to develop a really nifty reading comprehension tool.
I’ve been at a large NGO called Education Development Center for the past 21 years. Initially worked in an R&D position looking at the impact of technology on learning and then as their CTO. We work in education, health, and economic development domestically and in developing countries and I’ve had a blast for most of it. I’ve gotten to travel to places I would have never gone to on vacations. I now spend a lot of time trying to spin out some of our better products and services as sustainable for-profit businesses.
Karen is a professor at Fordham University at Lincoln Center and got to start her own PhD program on contemporary learning and interdisplinary research. We live in Brooklyn (Connecticut) – known as the quiet corner and the darkest night sky on the east coast between Boston and DC.
I’ve enjoyed reading all of the emails and am looking forward to seeing everyone soon.
by his daughters
Judi & Carol
A Loving Tribute to Dad
Ray Hasson, our dad, was straight out of The Front Page. He loved active verbs, snappy leads and finding the smallest nugget to make a story sing.
He was passionate about his work, his life and his family.
It’s no wonder he gave his greatest gift to his daughters, Judi and Carol - his craft. We became solid journalists. His three grandchildren are great writers, too.
We learned from this pro how to write a story, punch it up and give it the human touch.
We can remember many times the glow of a breaking news cycle when Dad was working on incredible stories at NBC News.
In 1962, he didn’t come home one night or the next or the next. The Cuban missile crisis kept the world in its grip for many days and Dad at 30 Rock.
In 1963, he didn’t come home for many days or nights either after JFK was assassinated.
His assignments at NBC and other news organizations were always great. He didn’t realize it at the time but he was witnessing history, and taking his daughters along for the ride.
He covered the first 27 space shots as a producer for NBC, and he went around the world producing great stories.
I remember how the “desk” woke him up in the middle of the night because LBJ was coming to Princeton University the next day to dedicate the Woodrow Wilson School. We lived in Lawrenceville, NJ, five miles down the road. Dad was up like a bolt of lightning to be on the ground and setting up the feed.
And he once told me how he witnessed the last execution in New Jersey when he was a print reporter in the 1950s. It made him sick, and he threw up. He was always against the death penalty after seeing what really happens.
Dad went to Germany in 1967 to cover the funeral of Konrad Adenauer, Germany’s first post war chancellor and in Southeast Asia in 1979 to cover the sea of boat people fleeing Vietnam. He was in Japan to cover the Olympics in 1972, then to hold down the fort at NBC’s Tokyo bureau while the bureau staff went to China to cover Nixon in his historic trip to Beijing to open the door to China.
Then Dad was with Nixon in 1972 on his last 60 hours as he sprinted across the country to win a second term.
And so much more … No wonder his daughters wanted to be journalists just like their dad.
When he went to work at Time in a great new enterprise, we’re sure he had no idea it would the forerunner to today’s Internet and a new way of delivering the news. He loved every minute of it, working with a new generation of journalists on a project that reached for the stars.
After he retired in 1991, Dad and mom moved to Florida (of course) where he continued to write for the village newspaper and took great joy in seeing his daughters succeed in his business.
He lived for 12 years after our mother died in 2001, a very difficult and painful time because he loved her so much. They were married for 52 years.
Dad finally came out of his shell, recaptured his gregarious self, reached out to many people and created a new life. He had a few great years hanging out with his pals playing poker every day and having a great rapport with everyone who came his way.
As he got older, his body began to break down. He had a quadruple bypass in 1996 and his Aortic Valve replaced in 2005.
Things got worse in the last 18 months of his life when he fractured his hip, broke five bones in his right foot, fractured five ribs and broke his collar bone. But he never lost his mind, always sharp and nimble, interested in the world around him.
In May 2013, just before his 87th birthday, Carol moved Dad to a nursing home in La Jolla, CA, two miles from her home. Carol visited him every day with her dog, sometimes staying as much as 12 hours a day.
I Skyped with him every day, too, keeping him close to my heart always. And he lived to see his three grandchildren into adulthood and onto their own achievements.
I always told him how lucky we were to have such a great Dad, always passionate about his children who guided us to our own successes and happiness.
Dad slipped away peacefully on Dec. 17, 2013. Carol was at his side, and Judi was on Skype. He was 87, a life well lived.
Warm regards to a great team,
Judi and Carol Hasson
So what was that all about?
In the early 1980s, the display device in the home was the television set.
What we were about was sending a stream of ones and zeros into the home to inform and entertain using the television set, and transmitting that digital data over cable, as cable was a business we knew and owned, and cable had the bandwidth.
We also were going to send a stream of ones and zeros into the home as video games that would be fed into the Atari, or other game boxes. No physical media was needed. It would be on a subscription basis.
As we know, the tools we had were extremely limited compared to today. But we (i.e. you) created the Bauhaus of teletext/ videotext. Even today, the screen shots look great. It was so exciting because we pushed ourselves beyond anything we had done before. And we were working in the Zietgeist, the spirit of the times. We all know that not everyone has ever had that experience.
Thirty years later, the display devices are the smartphone, the tablet, the computer, and the television. The ones and zeros are now sent via cell networks, telephone and fiber optic landlines, cable networks, satellite and by WIFI and Bluetooth local area networks. The transmission is fully 2-way, and there is search.
My days (17 years) at Time Inc. ended on April 1, 1987. The morning after my farewell party, the telephone rang. It was Stanley Darland wanting me to help him start up a company called Outbound Calling Company (early telemarketing) that he was setting up in Seattle. I said “Yes,” and for the next two years spent at least one week a month in Seattle and Vancouver, helping him raise money on the Vancouver Stock Exchange (an off-world colony) and build the business.
In April of 1989, I bought an art catalog from Knoedler Gallery that sold limited-edition etchings, lithographs, and serigraphs. I chose the art and designed and set the type for the catalog, and my wife Sally Keil wrote the copy. At my Time Inc. farewell dinner I had been given, not a gold watch, but one of the new Apple LaserWriter Plus printers ($8,000, with 8 fonts including the very lovely Palatino). Aldus had just created PageMaker 1.0 software, and that along with a Mac allowed me to create the catalog page layouts. Sometimes it was hard to make a payroll or pay the printer, but—silver lining—since half of the art prints came from France, Sally and I went to Paris, and sometimes Barcelona, getting art at least once a year. In 2000, I taught myself web authoring and we became an online company. We also went after the high-end framing business—New York art dealers and galleries, regional artists, the splendid Mohonk Mountain House as it transformed itself from an historic down-at-the heels, worn-carpet kind of place to a $350 per night spa. So many walls to fill!
These days, in addition to selling art, I am also a book publisher. By “I”, I mean, it is just me. I have taught myself Adobe InDesign CS6 and Photoshop, and I design the books and set the type. People pay me to publish their books, quality-end eBooks and ink-on-paper books
In fact, I have just “written” a book myself, entitled Things Robert Told Me, which I sent off to the printer last week. Robert is Robert A. Johnson, a noted Jungian and for many years HarperSanFrancisco’s best selling author. Robert and I have been very close friends for 30 years, and I kept notes of nearly all of our conversations. The book is, as you might guess, about men and women, life, and love, the baseband things.
The last 30 years? Let's see ...
First the boring work stuff. After Time, I moved down to DC and went to work for IBM on some data broadcast technologies (http://articles.latimes.com/1985-02-21/business/fi-789_1_imnet). That went nowhere, so I went to work in IBM Federal, and put together the team that built the first-generation Express Mail tracking system.
After about seven years at IBM, I had an idea ... which led to my working with the Goffs, Linda Gottfried, and Michael Loeb's New Sub Services to sell magazines on the Internet, in conjunction with CDNow! (that very early e-retailer). And we know how CDs and magazines are doing these days. Oh well.
Around that time (1997), I went to work for Exodus Communications, which built and operated data centers and a network supporting basically anybody who wanted to get onto the Internet. Back before the likes of Google, Amazon et al got ginormous, they used our facilities to operate their infrastructure. In the bubble years, Exodus was on the Fortune e50.
Then the bubble popped. After two bankruptcies and three acquisitions, what was Exodus is now part of CenturyLink, operating 60 data centers globally, supported by a massive network. And not a single dull moment along the way.
But enough about that. The really good stuff has been a constantly surprising marriage and the arrival of grandparenthood. My son the lawyer lives out in the Bay Area, and just became a father for the second time (with a boy and a girl).
Along the way, many losses, which I'm sure all of us have experienced in one way or another. And many amazing experiences ... including one that I'll share when we are all together in NYC.
And then there's been this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/13632440@N07/
There's much more ... but that can wait until we're all on the boat.
a brief bio
and long overdue thank you notes!
thank you notes (1984-2015)
Thank you, Lisa Powers, for a great gig when you headed up an important new-media studio in a gorgeous Photo District loft.
Thank you, Gary Zamchick, for the chance to be your staff of one when you ran a studio in an abandoned antique TriBeCa skyscraper.
Thank you, Ina Saltz, for sharing your endless adventures in arts and humanities. Like your series of gorgeous Ziff Davis magazine covers.
Thank you, Peter Gross, for your noble Lexica which (through Bob Spielvogel or maybe Dave Rollert) gave an inky pen plotter on Staten Island the chance to trace out the cover of Citibank's annual report. PS: Thank you, Lisa, for letting the same plotter scribble a geeky paleo-3D cartoon for the Times.
Thank you, Linda Gottfried, for the chance to make your high speed action game for wheelchair kids, and for entree into games for health
Thank you, Stu Gannes, for the job as your personal hit man when you headed a Menlo Park laboratory, thanks for your Silicon Valley intros, thanks for your startling appearance on airplanes, subways and tea houses, thanks for the name of your business (used secondhand without attribution since 2005)
Thank you, Reza Keshavarz, for collaboration on what was celebrated in Greenpoint last June as the world's first fine-art video game by a gallery full of scholars who were born after it was. (Thank you, Ilona Grochalska, for Greenpoint clues.)
Thank you, Jeff Nickerson, for code mentorship and for actually writing a chunk of the software that put Jesse and Anna Leah through college
Thank you, Steve Forbis, for inclusion in your so well lived life, and for twice flying out to Oregon to pitch a lively game to a stubborn industrialist.
Thank you, Jim Dunnigan, for enlivening a class at NYU CADA as the ancient guest lecturer who demonstrated to cautious millennial game-dev students how a creative and forever young mind works.
Thank you, Eric Rayman, for a bit of never-paid-for legal advice. Please do not bill now.
Thank you, Cliff Avery, for Pflugersville chill.
Thank you, Hung Ng, for three decades of drop in visits and for being a hub of TVIS spokes and for just last week ago pitching a new game project to your boss.
Thank you, Terry Hershey, for taking a far fetched pitch for the Cyberiad a dozen years back. Thanks, Steve Forbis, for lending a tie for that meeting. (You'll get it back.)
Thank you, David Kirkpatrick, for responding with grace and intelligence to last month's shameless requests to cast some of your Techonomy love on Brush Up.
Is your name not on the list? Hey, it ain't too late to collaborate!
You may already be a supporter: Maybe you bought Dinotopia or Gettysburg for your kids?
Not a supporter? Don't be so sure: If you are a US taxpayer, thank you for underwriting a growing corpus of 'innovative' game work through DARPA, NSF, NIH, DoD and even IARPA.
*Jesse in Atlanta. Anna Leah in Bushwick.
Late Note: Anna Leah - video documentarian and open-minded new media explorer, will be on board the SS Teletext September 25
I, too, am heartbroken that I will not be able to join you tonight. I have a new job that requires me to teach until 6p.m. on Friday. I just want to share a few Teletext memories, which may be true, a little bit true, or completely made up. But they are my fond memories and I’m sticking to them.
1. When I walked into the Teletext newsroom for the first time, a voice from the back said, “Little Julie!” It was my childhood friend – and my brother’s best friend, Gary Zamchick. I had not seen him since I was 9 years old!
2. When Jim Pensiero and I were planning our beach outing, we realized that we needed more than the budgeted $3,000 if we were going to have champagne on the bus, beer and wine on the beach and a lobster dinner. I went into Sean’s office and asked for another $1,000. He said yes. Who knew my future bosses would not be so caring?
3. Someone at Teletext decided I should cover sports for several weeks. Don used to shout out: “Julia, what is a hat trick?” Thank God there was a baseball strike so I could write about labor.
4. During down time – we did have that, didn’t we? – I worked on a magazine story about nuns. I was so scared I would sit frozen in front of my computer. One day when I was convinced I couldn’t keep writing, Greg Stone came over said something like, “We all get scared. You’re going to finish.” I finished the piece. I doubt Greg remembers this, but his kindness had a lasting effect.
5. I wanted to be Robin. She was so smart, warm, charming, sophisticated and wonderfully self-effacing. I remember when she told me she once wore a blue suit with a large white collar to a job interview. The interviewer said, “Next time, bag the sailor suit.”
6. I still want a tenth of Ellen’s poise.
7. I want all your talent
8. The first time I saw Steve with his long black hair, I thought he was a movie star.
9. Linda and I had a blast collaborating on limericks. Did we actually write dirty limericks? Was this for the X-rated Teletext?
10. I love and save Ina’s New Year’s greetings. (I’m sorry you worked so hard on the beautiful invitation for the wedding that wasn’t.) When I got married for real I eloped!
11. This is the wordiest. I was at a retreat run by a nun. (Yes, I’m still strange and still Jewish.) She gave me a book she loved by the Catholic priest, Henri Nouwen. In the introduction, Nouwen said the book had been inspired by a young Jewish man he had known at Yale, I knew this was Fred! The “young man,” Nouwen wrote in the introduction, had not liked the book. When I told the nun that Fred was my friend, she said he should be ashamed of himself. Not a sweet nun.
12. This one is true: Jeanne quite simply saved my life.
Quick bio: Left Fortune to go to Harvard Divinity School. Worked as a religion writer at Newhouse News Service, the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune. Taught journalism for 7 years at Loyola University Chicago. Now teach writing to students from 16 countries at University of Illinois at Chicago. Wrote a book on nuns (surprise) and one on a Bosnian concentration camp survivor. Lots of articles and op-eds about human rights. I spend four months of the year living in a Maya village in Guatemala with a family I’ve known for 22 years. I just built a little house on their property. Come visit! Have a great time tonight! Much love, Julia
Carl’s life sadly ended on Easter in 2005. After Teletext, he worked for several years as a copy editor at Business Week, the vertex betwixt the Time Life Building and one of his favorite haunts, Hurley’s, which sadly is also no longer. Shortly before Carl William Desens was born in January 1985, Carl confronted his demons with great sincerity, but continued to struggle with them throughout the rest of his life. This never deterred from his accomplishing great work when he worked. In 1987, due to good fortune with the NYC real estate market, he and Joan moved to Cooperstown, NY, a life-long dream of Carl’s. He set his schedule at Business Week so he could work a full complement of shifts between Monday morning and Wednesday night, when the magazine went to print, so he could have half weeks in Cooperstown. But his health struggles became overwhelming. When Carl William was finishing 3rd grade, Carl went on disability, which also gave him time to again focus on his health. By 1997 he moved back to his hometown of Rochester, where he built a simple life for himself which included personal writing and starring in quiz nights at the local pub, where he was warmly welcomed as a local “star”. He stayed in close touch with his son, talking to him frequently throughout each week and visiting even after moves across the country. Just before he died he was planning a trip to Omaha to see Carl William. His funeral was very well-attended, a testimony to his good spirits and pleasure he gave his friends.
For Margaret's professional rundown, see Dick's bio but first here's a greeting from Margaret:
Margaret sends to the Teletext alumni clan her cheery yet nostalgic greetings and her regrets that she will miss the river excursion. She will be in Nebraska for her foundation board meeting, and her return flight arrives in New York right in the middle of the Teletext bobbing-merriment hours.
She will wave as her plane flies above the Hudson.
Age: Pushing 63
Personal: Married to Karen Miller since 1992; three children: Gina (32); Madeline (20), and Sam (15)
Work Since TVIS: Joined the Associated Press in January 1984. Moved to The Wall Street Journal in August 1984. Current assignment: Deputy managing editor/talent.
Things I Like: Most people. Good red wine. Oregon Ducks football. Trees. Canoes. History books. Newfoundland. Colored gems. Old friends. Geography. New Orleans jazz. Shostakovich. Water colors. William Carlos Williams. The Philadelphia Phillies. Planes. Trains. Automobiles.
Things I Don't Like: Penn Station in rush hour. Liver with onions. Surly people.
Favorite Teletext Moment: Cooking corn with Carl Desens on the Jones Beach excursion.
Favorite Teletext Quote: Melissa Roberson, on tasting some wine made by my Carlstadt, N.J., neighbor Lothario Zavatto, in her best Clarksdale, Mississippi, drawl: "I luuuuvvv this wine. It tastes like the earth."
Although I was a relative short-timer at Teletext, I had the privilege of working with Don Sider again in 2001. I was the CEO of an internet start-up for kids based on BrainQuest, and I lured Don to New York to be the Editor-in-Chief. Unfortunately we got caught in the dot-com bubble-burst, and we shut down after a year. To this day I remember, and am grateful for, Don’s help in laying off everyone, and finding people jobs. He was the true definition of a mensch.
After Teletext I went to Time Magazine, then to Playboy, and finally to Scholastic for 9 years before starting various entrepreneurial ventures -- with very mixed results. At the same time I wound up co-chairing a White House Task Force on literacy, writing six pretty successful books, and becoming the first non-admiral or Marine general to sit on the Board of Directors of the United States Naval Institute. (Those of you who may remember my checkered tenure at the Naval Academy will appreciate the irony.) I taught at NYU as an adjunct (where I would ensnare Eric Rayman to be a final-exam judge), and at the Stanford Publishing Program where I would see Ina.
About 6 years ago, at a party at Monica’s home, I was talking with a woman whom I just met. My wife Sarah was just rolling her eyes at my story: I had just written an article about a terrorism trial where I had been a juror. By the third drink, I had agreed to go to law school, and the woman had accepted me. It turned out she was a Dean at New York Law School. I graduated, passed the Bar, and am practicing with the top med mal firm in the country. (Which makes for interesting family dinners: half my relatives are doctors.) I’m still writing – mostly for The Times and WSJ Op-Ed pages, and as a member of the Editorial Board of the NY Observer – and Sarah is still rolling her eyes. Our two sons just think I’m a spy.
OK, let's see... in the past 30+ years, I've lived in three countries, worked in five, speak 4.5 languages badly (including English when I've been away from it too long), my daughters--ages 28 and 22--speak (perfectly) three and four languages respectively, we've moved 10 times, we'll almost certainly move again, almost certainly soon, and I have no clear sense of where 'home' is.
Implausibly, given all the above, I would say my life is actually calmer, less stressful, maybe even more content than many of my closest friends in the States. Moving all the time and working in odd places mean we don't have many things or responsibilities. I seem to be making up for these nomadic, ascetic tendencies, however, in my ever-increasing list of careers and jobs.
For a long time, I did phone stuff for banks in the US and France (see Rollert's bio for coherent details re Citibank in New York which is still one of the very best jobs I ever had), or banking stuff for phone companies in New Jersey and Switzerland. There was also a best-forgotten, not-lamented dot.com interlude in San Francisco at the turn of the millennium (name a doomed digital wallet, I probably worked for it). My happy memories from that era include Stu Gannes and Bill Bates close by, plus occasional visits from Spohn, Rollertini, and Ina as special treats. Bless you, all.
These days, I either outsource myself to South Asia (yes, I'm aware it's supposed to work the other way) or East Africa for mobile-banking/financial inclusion projects. Or I work with very unhappy dyslexic high school kids who need constant reminding that Steve Jobs, Chuck Schwab, John Reed (Citibank CEO when David and I worked there), probably Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci, and me, among others, all survived thinking and reading backwards just fine. Better than fine in the first five cases. They can, too. Sometimes they believe me.
Come visit before I move somewhere on no one's bucket list (there's a very slim chance for Phnom Penh and an ever so slightly fatter chance for Windhoek, Namibia...) Dick and Margaret Holman will hopefully vouch that Bern deserves its UNESCO title as 'Prettiest City in Europe'--also Coldest in August for all of you looking to beat the heat--and on clear days, you can see all the famous chocolate-box Alps from the guestroom window.
TVIS Reunion 2015
David McCune, Biographical Update
I asked Don Sider, when I was 27, whether it had been a good or bad idea that I had included "agriculture school" and "milked cows for 2-1/2 years" on the resume I sent him. "I looked behind everyone's eyes," he told me. "I looked for a spark. The cows were your spark, more than your writing."
I've talked about Don to hundreds of employees at my company over the years. TVIS was the best place I ever worked, and I knew in 1982 that I would never work for a better man or a better company. I've spent nearly 30 years trying to re-create what Don created then: a culture of innovation, excellence, humor, intensity, a place where every employee, on their last day at work, was more self-confident than the day they started. Sage Publications is my home and my ambition. We publish scientific research and textbooks, we train teachers, we keep adding new bits and pieces to our repertoire. We're desperate to grow faster, to educate the world. We're pretty big now, I guess, but I never achieved what Don achieved with us at TVIS.
Don gave a silver cup to each child of a TVIS employee. My son, now 33, got one. It is tarnished, dented, the inscription illegible. It is a symbol of that of which I am most proud -- not business, not ever more employees, not ever more zeros behind ever more numbers on profit-and-loss statements. That cup taught me about being a dad and a husband. I, too, am tarnished and dented, but I stuck it out, and for that I am once again grateful to Don.
By the way, I have an old Polaroid snapshot of my infant son, Doug, in my arms at the keyboard of a VT-100 terminal in 1982. Doug is now a coder and an artist. The art he got from his mother, the coding -- well, from TVIS, I guess.
When I left TVIS, I was a long-haired, left-wing writer and coder. Everything I knew about business could fit in a shot glass and still leave room for bourbon. But TVIS taught me confidence. Do you remember that Don kept a box with all the incoming resumes? The box wasn't hidden in his office, but was on his assistant's desk, out in the newsroom. It was a big stack of resumes. I have often told people that Don did this intentionally. He treated us well -- the writers and artists were unlimited-expense-account gods at TVIS -- but he also wanted us to know that if we screwed up, there were 1,000 other people who wanted our jobs. That pile of resumes was frightening to me, but it made me very proud to be on our team. (Don also showed compassion and humility: he typed a personal note to every candidate he rejected. I remember working evenings, or early weekend mornings, listening to Don type those notes.)
I used to wear a headset in the newsroom, listening to a Walkman, trying to write code and block out the world. (I became a coder largely because Dick Holman intimidated me with his editing. I could never write well enough for him, and I found a VAX-780 Fortran compiler far less demanding.) Later, in the '90s and then in the last decade, I turned to trans-oceanic single-handed sailing to find solitude. Countless log entries, hurriedly scribbled 1,000 miles from land in nighttime waves as big as my fear, succumbed to the question: what would Dick have changed?
My wife says I am a good husband. Perhaps. I try. But I wish she could understand that most everything I learned about being a husband -- including how to love her unconditionally today -- I learned years ago from Susan, my first wife. Some of you met Susan; some of you even knew her. She died many years ago, after a long illness. At the time I believed that the one and only key that could unlock me had broken. I would remained locked up forever.
But there was another key, a different key, named Gunilla, a blond Swedish tornado who whirled me into her vortex of laughter and energy. We married over 10 years ago and live in Sweden now for half the year, on her farm. (I fell in love the day I walked around her barn and saw her, in the summer heat, wearing a tank top that revealed massive, glistening biceps, hefting a 50-lb. bag of fertilizer into a spreader, a knife in her teeth, about to slit open the sack.)
The other half of the year finds us in Ventura, up the coast from L.A. Gunilla still marvels at California -- especially the women -- while I spend my days reading financial statements. I'm a business guy, of all things. To save my soul, I evangelize, both inside and outside the company, for passion, education, free speech.
I have two remaining ambitions. The first is to live long enough to see a world where every human being is educated. The second is to spend one whole month in the same time zone. I doubt I'll fulfill either one. When I think of my work, I often think of TVIS, of our team, of Don. We have a lot of 20-somethings with sparks behind their eyes. I think we make a difference. If not, well, at least we tried.
Marci Shatzman bio
She was a community news editor for the Sentinel from 2000-08. In her journalism career, she has been an editor and columnist for The Bulletin in Philadelphia, the Bucks County Courier Times in suburban Philadelphia, the Chicago Tribune and The Trentonian in Trenton, N.J. She was the syndicated advice and fitness columnist for Tribune Media Services¹ newspaper service.
Marci worked for Time Inc. in New York in the early days of online journalism. She was an adjunct professor of journalism at Temple University for 10 years, and has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Temple, where she received a Distinguished Alumni in the Media Award in 1999. She is an active Temple alumni and a native of Philadelphia.
Marci is married to Brian C. Feldman, a public relations professional. They live in Boca Del Mar.
Dick Holman bio
Pre-Teletext, before 1981: Born in McCook, Nebraska, pop. 8,000, southwest corner near Kansas and Colorado, home of Sen. George Norris, father of the TVA. Eagle Scout (you expected no less, from Midwestern values). Diving ribbons. ’49 Ford. Editor, junior high and high school newspapers. Journalism degree, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL); president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter. Harley hog, GTO. Handball, skiing. U.S. Air Force, first lieutenant, flew jets in pilot training—drinking, driving (Triumph bike & TR7), flying & women, in no particular order—until leg-shattering soccer accident allowed move to editor of base newspaper in Omaha. Lincoln (Nebr.) Star, statehouse reporter, ascent from obits, weather, cop shop, features, outstate bureau, education; sweepstakes winner, statewide AP writing contest (subject: the singer Alice Cooper); named Admiral in the Nebraska Navy, tongue-in-cheek honorific from the governor; Mercedes, VW microbus, MGB; met and married Margaret, daughter of a college president and a UNL journalism graduate. Monterey Peninsula Herald newspaper in California, reporter, city editor; dwelled dreamily in Carmel; notable interviews: annoying questions angered Ronald Reagan; congenial lunch with Jerry Brown and his full head of hair; Joe Biden twice on foreign affairs. Volvo. At a San Francisco conference, was captivated by session on nascent electronic publishing, then responded to Don Sider’s uncannily coincidental ad in E&P for Teletext position, flew red-eye to New York for a Saturday interview at the Brasserie and the deserted Time & Life Building. No more cars.
Teletext, 1981-83: The most energizing experience ever.
Post-Teletext, from 1983: Fled TVIS just before its shutdown to take up professional residence downtown at the Wall Street Journal as copy editor. With my Teletext small-screen abridgement skills noted, was moved immediately to write the “What’s News—World-Wide” column on page 1, followed by copy editor, travel reporter (briefly), daily world stock markets roundup, and “World Wire” columnist on foreign news pages. WSJ tenure: 13 years. Then jumped to Wall Street investment banks, huge publishing houses in global research; editor and supervisory analyst (compliance role) at both Morgan Stanley, V.P., and London-based world-banking giant’s HSBC Securities (USA), Senior V.P. (yes, a startup in U.S. capital markets), tenure 8-9 years each. Since June 2013, manage my own investments (euphemism for retired). Now on quixotic, self-directed literature course to devour every bit of fiction ever published (except Romance) and travel frequently with Margaret (dusted off childhood German to fit in abroad).
T&L – Time was mine, but about my Life force: Pittsburgh-born Margaret, after two college years in Oneonta, N.Y., was a UNL broadcast journalism student and intern for news conferences; astronauts on campus drew my newspaper coverage and notice of her; marriage blastoff ensued six months later. She was a technical director at the Nebraska Educational Television Network (watched TV soaps with guest talent Henry Fonda) and switched to P.R. for the public schools district. In California, she directed a hospital chain’s public relations and expanded into fund-raising, or development (she was Olivia de Havilland’s dresser for an event). In New York, Margaret held development positions at New York University, Barnard College, CARE, the American Academy for Dramatic Arts, and the national ASPCA. In 1991, she founded her eponymous fund-raising consulting firm serving nonprofit clients in the U.S. and abroad, specializing in planned giving and extending to capital campaigns, seminars, board and staff training, speeches, and published articles. She headed two of America’s biggest development trade organizations. Margaret has written two books on fund-raising and contributed to another. She teaches a development course at New York University, full circle. And she serves on the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Directors, another full circle. We have been married for almost 42 years; she’s a terrific first wife.
Mark & Elisa
We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in 2014. This year marks 24 years since we became a couple, thanks to Don Sider and Teletext. Our kids, Cecilia and Max, are 24. Max graduated from Northeastern U. He has embarked on a Master’s degree in Global Shipping, Trade and Finance at City University London’s Cass School of Business. Cecilia graduated from Reed College in Portland, OR. She is a journalist in NYC. She fact checks for VICE, The Nation and Rolling Stone and reports/writes for VICE, The Nation, The Gothamist and Jezebel. She’s now working on her first piece for Rolling Stone.
Here’s the stuff that would come up in cocktail party conversation:
After TVIS, I took a job as vice president and editor of Keycom Electronic Publishing, a joint venture (a la Prodigy) between the Chicago Sun-Times, Honeywell and Centel Corp., a phone company. Bad decision. The Sun-Times and Honeywell pulled out. Centel was clueless. Most of the time, I was laying people off and refereeing fights over who got the plum office spaces that were left.
I decided to return to my roots, so in ’86, I took a job as editor of the Pflugerville Pflag, a weekly newspaper in Pflugerville, just outside Austin. Yes, it really was named that.
All in all, a good decision. I’m proud of my brave little newspaper. I was president of the Greater (yes, “Greater”) Pflugerville Chamber of Commerce and, after my involuntary departure from the paper in 1990, I was elected to the Pflugerville City Council.
In ’90, I was hired as senior writer at Reference Press, a forerunner to Hoover’s, the online business reference service. In 1992, I made the break and started my own company, Gilleland Creek Press, producing newsletters for local governments and statewide associations. My first office was a 10x10 above a hair salon.
After awhile, one client asked if I’d like to manage their association, and ever since, Gilleland (now GCP Association Services, LLC) has been providing services (newsletter, web, social media, back-office work, meeting planning, webcast production) to several small statewide associations. I’m proud that several of my groups, since they hired GCP, have prospered and grown so that they’re well-regarded in the state. GCP has six employees and the entire second floor of a building in Pflugerville, where I still live. It’s not Rock Center, but we manage.
My first son, Clay, was born just a few days after Don hired me for Teletext. He got his law degree, but he works for me.
My daughter, Alicia, was born the night before Jerry Levin lowered the boom on Teletext. She’s an environmental executive for Nike in Portland.
My second son, Evan, was born after we moved to Pflugerville. He’s a clinical assistant for Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin.
My then-wife, Bj, and I divorced in 1992, but we co-parented pretty well and remain friends. I married again for about 15 minutes in 2004. Long story, short marriage. Less said the better.
I’m coming to the reunion with a very special lady, Tara Elgin Holley. She forgives me a lot.
Just like y’all did.
And now for the penultimate entry…It’s not my best quality, but doing things at the last minute is kinda my trademark. Also, I have been awed (and honestly, a bit intimidated) by your many, many accomplishments over these years. You remain, quite simply, the most talented, creative, and accomplished colleagues I’ve ever had. Bar none.
Well….what can I say? While I share many of these fond memories of our time together, my time at Time was – and always will be – about falling in love and marrying Ian. The funny thing is it almost didn’t happen. On his first day in the office, Elizabeth O’Brien -- founding member of the Magnolia Mafia -- told Ian I was completely off limits. Yep…she literally went down the roster of females and gave him the lay of the land: “she’s available…she’s sort of available… stay away from Ellen because she’s got a boyfriend.” I can only thank the bright-eyed intern who shadowed me during January of ’82, and the fact that I’d broken my collarbone a few years earlier. Ian took a quick shine to the intern and began working near our desks in order to chat her up. Turns out the intern’s eyes were perhaps the brightest thing about her, and his attention soon shifted my way. One afternoon, during a discussion about old injuries, I pulled away my shirt collar to reveal the bump where my collarbone had imperfectly healed. As Ian impulsively reached over to touch the spot, there was a crackle of electricity between us so palpable that I’m surprised none of you turned from your workstations to find out what had happened! Our first date a few days later was at Chumley’s – thanks for the suggestion, Elizabeth – and after drinking pint after pint of Guinness and carving our initials into the bar there was no going back. We dated on the sly (or so we thought), both of us terrified we’d be found out, that one of us would be forced to quit the best job we’d ever had. Little did we know that half the managing editors in the building were either married or dating! I still remember the shower y’all had for us, and we still have the beautiful crystal martini pitcher you gave us as a wedding gift.
Some other random, funny memories from those days:
· Don saying, “Walk this way,” and proceeding to walk in the goofiest manner possible as he escorted you into his office.
· What seemed like a million lunches at Dish of Salt with Don as we cultivated the various editorial contributors…chef Carlotta Kerwin, gardening expert Jerry Baker.
· Ray Hasson begging me to phone Lutece (he pronounced it Lay-toose) to make lunch reservations for him. When I asked why he couldn’t do it himself, he confessed he just loved my Southern accent and wanted them to think I worked for him. How could I say no?
· Trying to play it cool but thinking my head would explode after eating an entire wad of fresh wasabi the first time I ate sushi with the lunch gang. (They didn’t have sushi in Memphis, Tennessee at that point – at least as far as I knew!)
· Riding Metro North on a gorgeous fall afternoon to Sean’s house in Tarrytown for our first big shindig at his beautiful home on the Hudson. I was wearing a brand new Laura Ashley dress, which I thought was the height of fashion. I might as well have been wearing a snood.
· Stanley Darling insisting I eat a brownie at his famous loft party then realizing – too late – it had a special, extra ingredient. Okay…I was probably naïve, but I always thought he was a bit of a creep after that.
· “Trying out” for a news writing position, and having Dick lean back in his chair and say, “This is actually not too bad…”
Post Teletext? Ian and I knocked around the many R&D projects: AT&T, NYNEX, CNR Partners, Trintex, Citibank. When I got pregnant with our son Bryce we fled the city for Connecticut. We moved to Memphis after our daughter Natalie was born in 1990. We needed to be closer to family support, and Memphis won the coin toss. During the ‘90s Ian started a healthcare data integration company, and I worked with him. I had a brief gig helping a megalomaniac cardiologist run his non-practice business ventures (don’t ask), then quit in 2001 to go back to school for my MFA. Along the way I began substitute teaching at my kids’ school, and before long they offered me a full-time position as a middle school English teacher. Been there ever since. Current title is Dean of Students. When he saw tagline in a recent email, Charles Pates accused me of becoming a pedagogue! Not hardly, but I do love my job – at least most days.
Dear Readers, I hope this isn’t too long, but each section is short, so you can pick and choose.
In the beginning. I still remember where I was the day a colleague said, “There’s a job listing in the paper that’s perfect for you.” I was a happy freelancer with some steady accounts, and the idea of a full-time corporate position was not even a flicker in my thinking. Little did I realize my decision to respond would entirely change the course of my life—as it did for all of us TVISians. The ad was a fork in the road that led to where I am today in the most wavy way.
Brief recap: After Teletext closed, several of us on the graphics team formed InTime Design, doing animated ad sales videos and corporate presentations for various Time, Inc. magazines and departments. We remained on payroll, without—apparently—the company realizing it. This was a rogue business within the cogs of the corporation, and one day I was called to the 34th floor (I think it was 34) and brought before the execs who said, You can’t run a business within Time, Inc. without approval or a business manager. Rather than booting us onto the street, they actually assigned someone to oversee our financials and payroll. I still remember Tom Lepley’s inspired embossed tobacco leaf with blue tax seal used to invite tobacco advertisers to a People Magazine ad sales presentation, or Gary’s figuring out how our primitive graphics system could be used to create a 3D slide show! (Among other “Mad Men-esque” inspired moments.) We didn’t last inside very long, however; the ever-positive and visionary Peter Gross suggested this team join Lexica, a Teletext spinoff, which also included other former “pioneers.” That venture had a limited life as well, but it was fun staying with part of the gang. A happy thing that was achieved during the Lexica era was the introduction of Cathy to Gary; we found Cathy to make a costume for a corporate account. (We would do ANYTHING for a buck.) People Magazine remained a client for a while, certainly long enough to be at my bedside (literally) the morning after Carl William Desens was born on Super Bowl Sunday in 1985. After Lexica closed, Gary and I took office space at another computer animation facility, and eventually each went our own ways.
Leap of faith: I continued freelancing and Carl Alan Desens and I began “bringing up baby.” One day in March 1987, we received a call from the lawyer for the Yuppies from Hell who offered to buy our apartment at a premium. (Remember the days of NYC real estate in the late ‘80s?) We “flipped” our insider-price one bedroom and took a major leap into the unknown and moved to Cooperstown. So how does this connect to Teletext? Well, Carl always loved Cooperstown, and had I not worked at Teletext… well, you get the picture. I rapidly got involved as a volunteer for what was then called Glimmerglass Opera, which had been evolving and performing in the Cooperstown High School since 1975. The beautiful new opera house was opening that year to national notice just outside this tiny resort town of less than 2,000 people. Although I continued freelancing for a bit out of NYC, and eventually worked in arts administration in this area, I began doing so much “professional-level” volunteer work for Glimmerglass that by 1995 I ended up on staff full time in the development office, while also co-managing an education and outreach program with the artistic administrator. Quite unexpectedly opera became my profession!!!
Detour: Along the way, Carl Alan (to distinguish from Carl William) struggled with his demons, and after swings between recovery periods and relapses, we finally called it quits, although he always remained close to his son, even from afar, and Carl William and I remained close to his family.
The giant step: (To lay the groundwork for what comes next, you need to know that nearly 34,000 tickets are sold to punters during the two-month summer festival, and visitors annually hail from throughout the U.S. and as many as 10 foreign countries, despite or perhaps in part because of the rural setting.) So in 1998 I received a series of calls on my office voice mail from this charming-sounding Englishman wanting to reserve a place for an event. (He was on route to America to come to Glimmerglass and realized this extra thing was happening during his visit. My number was in the brochure…sort of like, for a good time call…) After repeatedly failing to connect, I assigned my intern to take care of him if he ever showed up. On the day we actually met, I’d gone home to change clothes (festival days are VERY long) and when I returned she ran up to me and said, “I met him, and he’s”…well, I won’t say more, as it will embarrass him. That meeting led to a follow-up friendship, first by hard mail, then by email, then phone calls, Saturday “dates” to listen together to the Met broadcast online, visits and eventually marriage on our birthday in 1999. (Our birthdays are, coincidentally 9/29 and 9/30, so we married on the first one.)
Move to San Fran: So as our courtship was evolving, I was recruited in June 1999 to go to San Francisco Opera. (We actually got married in SF.) Carl was finishing 7th grade, and for those who aren’t aware, he is in the autistic category. He has his father’s and grandfather’s senses of humor, and can be very creative, but he is “eccentric”…as in outside of the circle. Cooperstown Schools were great for him until then, but we assumed SF would have better opportunities. He landed in (yes, this is the real name) New Age Academy in Berkeley (of course), and it was fabulous for him. (Simon’s move to America and his tales of immigration are a story in itself.) We had an idyllic life in the Oakland Hills; Simon became the home-based person to care for Carl because of my complex schedule, so he figured out that he could become a custom carpenter which would enable him to keep his own schedule. I had NO idea he could do this kind of work until after we were married! (He owned an independent bookshop in England.) So in addition to seriously increasing the value of our house with improvements during our time there, he bought lots of power and hand tools and launched a business out of our garage with a keen following while I was off working in major gifts for SFO, raising lots of money, meeting amazing people (famous artists, venture capitalists, crazy rich women, etc.). Toward the end of 3 years, I was encouraged to apply for a position running an opera company in Omaha, NE. Nebraska was a fly-over state to me, but I explored this, was enchanted, and to Simon, the idea of living in cowboy land was the romance of America. A big impetus was Carl; he was aging out of New Age (a vertically integrated school of 28 kids) and I couldn’t throw him into a 2,000-person high school to finish off a year or two.
SF sad side-note: 9/11 devastated us all. The courtyard between the War Memorial Opera House and Veteran’s Building in the SF civic center is comprised of earth from WWI battlefields. For the national moment of silence that week, all of the performers and staff gathered in a circle around that historic courtyard. A colleague wrote something beautiful about the uplifting power of art.
Omaha! So we made a bunch of money on our house (dot.com boom days) and moved to Omaha for 5 years. It was a great experience and we made forever friendships. Running an opera company was never in my imaginings in my Teletext days, but it was fun and fascinating. I commissioned 4 world premieres (2 were community ventures, and 1 resulted in my making major connections with the Indian community and being honored in the state house, which I will forever hold dear), made great art and met more amazing people (Warren Buffet’s sister was actually a donor of mine in SF and she said he’ll never help the opera, which he didn’t, but I heard him speak several times at small community things. He did live near us and grew up around the block from our house.) All the while Simon expanded his business by partnering with a designer (read as, bought more powerful tools, including some kind of sander on a detour during a trip to Kansas City one day that cost more than a car I bought when Carl was 2) and Carl embarked on “work experience” and began his epic long walks. (He will never drive, but decided that will not be a problem; instead he walks as much as 30 miles to get somewhere.)
Crazy coincidence. So we were returning to Glimmerglass during the summers over the 8 years we were away. About a year before leaving SF, a dear friend and colleague at SFO said, You need to meet my friends Ken and Connie who live just a few doors down from you. So she had a dinner, and lo and behold, Connie’s family essential built Van Hornesville, NY, a tiny hamlet just 8 miles north of Glimmerglass, and the family often provided housing for singers and musicians in the summers. They also have homes here and are involved in the community. I always loved VH (there is a charming old stone school, a nature trail with a waterfall and cave and the largest Russian Orthodox monastery outside Russia nearby), so on summer visits we would sometimes stay in one of Connie’s family’s homes, which led to our buying our “house” and landing here two years before our return to Upstate NY.
The return. So after 5 years in Omaha, we moved back to NYS, into the house (in quotes) that we’d been renting to tenants for two years in the middle of our 6 acres. Simon built a wonderful home around that original house that includes a separate attached home for Carl, guest quarters and a workshop for his business. My plan had been to do consulting work, but after being back for two weeks in June of 2007, I was called into Glimmerglass and they convinced me to return. So I have been here as Director of Institutional Advancement since and expect to ride out my life as a full-timer here. Someday, projects and consulting, in the not too distant future. (As an aside, Simon also got nabbed by Glimmerglass to "perform”. He has done two turns as a super in shows, one with our rooster, Malcolm, and a second as the King of Scotland in Macbeth this past summer--father of another Malcolm--for which he actually was mentioned in a national review!)
Teletext sightings along the way: Memorable visits to Melissa’s tiny but warm and welcoming east side apartment to hang out in the evenings with her fabulous friends and listen to music (she had lots of great albums); visiting Stu and Cathy Gaines in Palo Alto, after being brought back together with them by one of my SFO donors (who, coincidentally, was a former Time Lifer whose tenure overlapped Teletext and who has his own parallel tales; he knew Stu from some venture back in those days); returning to Glimmerglass and running into Julia Lieblich, who was friends with the son of dear friends here; periodically running into another Pensiero (we actually shared a “boss” in a sense at one point, as our Artistic Director of many years was also head of NY City Opera) and keeping posted on the doings of Gina, who was born during Teletext; having Steven and Ina visit this summer.
THANK YOU, LINDA and THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE MAKING THIS REUNION HAPPEN.
This is NOT a Lampshade
My personal life is short and to the point. I’ll start with it. Never married, no kids. As the spinster son, I now have elderly parent duty — mine are 93 and 96. They retired to the family farm in eastern Oklahoma, so that’s where I spend most of my time. It’s OK with me. They have football teams that win here. I’ve learned to smoke a mean brisket; when I miss New York, I turn it into pastrami. So I’m not in Kansas anymore, just real close.
After Teletext, I did a lot of things for work. I wrote Mac software for fun, and still do. I was in a startup that ended badly, although the lawyers and Wall Street guys got paid. Funny that. I was bicoastal for several decades and worked at two California game companies, Simon & Schuster, then Netscape.
Several Netscape incidents reflect back to TVIS. Jim Clark recruited me because he “thought they should have somebody from publishing.” They showed me their growth figures. I told them they needed someone from television. They hired me anyway: Clark and Marc Andreessen had originally wanted to do an online gaming network for Nintendo(!) During the period when Netscape had The Homepage — the first page a user’s browser opens — they no idea what they had. I wanted them to buy some serious content (for example, by swapping stock for CompuServe and/or Delphi; AOL was already out of reach). They said “we’re a software company,” and made The Page a gift to Yahoo. I got out while the getting was good. Had I stayed to the bitter end, I would have eventually landed back at TimeWarner!
Terry Hershey bio
Well…it has been an amazing life. But those Teletext years were the most amazing. What a collection of incredible people doing interesting things. And that has been my criteria for jobs ever since – do interesting things with incredible people.
I’m relatively certain I win the award for longest-running Teletexter at Time Warner. I retired from Time Warner in 2006. Along the way, I helped lead the strategy group that recommended the acquisition of Warner Bros., helped run a large internal venture investing fund, coordinated the long-range business planning for all the divisions and did strategy projects. My focus often was on using digital technology for strategic advantage and new business opportunities. As part of my digital technology focus, I ran an interactive CD-ROM game company for Time Warner (another business overtaken by the Internet) in Burbank which had me working in New York on Monday and Friday and California Tuesday – Thursday.
During one of the highly political times at Time Warner, I lost my status as employee and consulted part-time to the company. We used that as an opportunity to try a different lifestyle. We moved to Florida and bought a real estate company. I ran the company and flew to New York a few times a month to do projects for Time Warner and Al commuted to New Jersey every week for his job as a “rent-a-CEO.”
After the 3 most boring years of my life (nothing met the criteria of incredible people and interesting work) we moved back to New York and I went back to Time Warner full-time. I had the luxury of working with awesome people like Walter Isaacson (a brilliant intellect and southern gentleman) and Quincy Jones (most creative person I have ever met.)
For many years we were boaters (nothing like McCune!!!) and loved our weekends on the water. Generally boated between Long Island Sound and Maine. One of our adventures was moving the boat from Florida to Connecticut through the Intracoastal Waterway. Great fun!
In 1998 we decided that when we retired we wanted to live in Colorado so we built a house and used it when we could until we moved to Colorado full-time in 2006. We enjoy the Colorado lifestyle – downhill skiing and snowshoeing in the winter and hiking and biking in the summer.
After retiring from Time Warner and moving to Colorado, I did consulting work for several years. My two primary clients were CableLabs and Microsoft (which meant flying to Seattle every week). After doing that, I turned by attention to pro-bono work. After giving a lot of thought to how I wanted to spend my time and energy, I decided to focus on the environment and education.
That decision led to what I am involved in today.
Al and I created an environmental education center that teaches people about sustainable agriculture and animals (we have goats, alpacas, a llama and heritage breed chickens), forest management and renewable energy (we have 5 alternative energy sources on the property). After we built the center and hired the staff, we donated it to a 501c3 which, of course, we are very active with and which I chair.
I sit on the Board of Trustees at Miami University in Ohio where Al and I went to school. It is such an honor to serve as a Trustee and endlessly fascinating to deal with the issues facing higher education today.
I was persuaded to help get an elementary school started in downtown Denver and wound up being the founding Board chair for the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, which is a charter (but public) school – and the first elementary school in downtown Denver in 100 years. It opened in 2013. That led to the idea of opening a charter middle school. I serve as the founding Board chair of that as well. Right now I am in the midst of negotiating with a developer of an urban renewal project for 40,000 square feet of space for the school.
In addition to those activities, I serve on a few Boards in downtown Denver, all of which are focused on making downtown a great place to both work and live – and to attract more families to live downtown rather than running to the suburbs.
Our base camp is an historic loft in a warehouse building in Lower Downtown Denver. We keep a place in the mountains and get there as often as we can to ski, hike and bike. This year we will add Florida to the repertoire. Despite the previous experience, we bought a place on the West Coast of Florida near a great many friends and will spend non-ski season there getting back into kayaking and improving our paddle boarding.
I collect quotes and one of my recent favorites reminds me of our wonderful group:
“When you’re through changing, you’re through.”
TVIS state: I remember a llama on 50th street at two in the morning. And Carl cooking veal and drinking Bordeaux on night shift. And Ray working headlines on the Vax. I created maps, then coded in the basement.
Current state: I am a professor at Steven Institute of Technology in the business school. My research on creativity is funded by the National Science Foundation. I am on the boards of two companies. My wife and I enjoy the XKCD-informed conversation of our 15 year-old daughter, who is beginning her sophomore year at Horace Mann.
Transition states: An interview with AT&T - How I would count ridges on a fingerprint image? The Bresenham algorithm – which we used in the games we coded in the basement. After AT&T, Bear Stearns, then Salomon, building trading systems. Later, management consulting at Coopers and Lybrand and PwC. I completed a Ph.D. in computer science at NYU while I worked, and I become a professor.
I have many reasons to be grateful for the opportunity I had to work with the exceptional crew at Time Teletext, and I continue to benefit from that experience to this day.
I have a Teletext colleague, Stu Gannes, to thank for the best thing that has happened to me in the 32 years since all of us worked together: After Teletext, Stu was working as a writer at Discover magazine, and his office was across the hall from that of a young reporter named Sana Siwolop. Stu introduced me to this wonderful woman on the Fourth of July weekend in 1984. Sana and I married in May 1986, and we now have two daughters: Lara, 20, is a junior at Johns Hopkins, and Elena (Lena), 18, is a freshman at William and Mary.
For the first five years after Teletext, I worked as an editor at Business Week, and I was joined there by Carl Desens shortly after I started.
In September 1988, I made the mistake of leaving Business Week for a job as a senior editor with a much higher salary at Financial World magazine. The shop was run by a handful of bitter ex-Forbes hacks who had zero interest in serious, responsible and balanced journalism. Once again, a former Teletext colleague, Marci Shatzman, helped me out big time. Marci was working as a professional recruiter in New York, and she recommended me for a position as world trade editor at The Journal of Commerce.
Since 1990, I’ve worked on Wall Street as an editor of equity research reports, a compliance officer, and an editorial manager. In 1996, I hired another Teletext alumnus, Dick Holman, to join Morgan Stanley’s editorial team. Dick and his lovely wife, Margaret, have been loyal friends through the years, and thanks to them, Sana and I have had the pleasure of seeing Ina Saltz and Steve, as well as Joel, from time to time.
Another Teletext colleague who has been a good and loyal friend is Fred Bratman. I can always count on Fred’s marvelous sense of humor to lift my spirits and his gentle barbs to keep me from taking myself too seriously.
Looking back, I feel particularly indebted to Don Sider for hiring me in the first place and thus enriching my life in so many ways.
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