MEMBER PROFILE: Mary Burzynski

Mary Burzynski

Mary Burzynski

Currently resides in: Medford, Wis.

Position: Official court reporter

Member since: 1989

Graduated from: Rasmussen Business College

Theory: Stenograph

Why did you decide to become a court reporter?

After I decided a career in musical theater was too uncertain for me, I searched for something that was interesting, challenging, and rewarding.  That is when I learned about court reporting from a family friend.

What book are you reading right now?

My very favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Currently I am reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I have Vivian Spitz’s book, Doctors from Hell, and I look forward to reading it.

What advice or tips would you offer to new reporters? 

My best tip for new reporters is to join their state and national associations and become involved. Membership and participation in a professional association is a fabulous place to find a mentor, to discover the opportunities our career presents, to learn and to benefit from the experience of those who have been reporting for a number of years, and to make lifelong friends. Many of my best friends are friends I have made because I volunteered.

Did you overcome a challenge in your career? Could you tell us about that experience?

When I was appointed as an official, I took over the position of a reporter who was and is one of the best realtime writers I have ever seen. When I stepped into her shoes, I had been doing realtime only for a few years and only for myself. Now I had to provide it for others. Thankfully the judge gave me a few weeks to get my feet wet, but there were no ifs, ands, or buts, I would be sending realtime.

The only way to get over my fear was to work hard and to just jump in and do it, and that is what I did. Realtime is a living and evolving phenomenon.  It is often challenging but also rewarding. Am I perfect now? Oh, no. In my dreams! I keep working at it though, and I am proud of the job I do.

 

Favorite briefs

I wish I could say that I came up with some of my favorite briefs, but many of these I collected from friends. 

Psychotropic medication           STROEPGS

Are you aware                              RAUR

Were you aware                           WRAUR

Is it fair to say                                ST-FRTS

Is that fair to say                           STHAFRTS

Would it be fair to say                 WOFRTS

Termination of parental rights   TERP

Text message                                 T*EM

Text messages                               T*EMS

Text messaged                               T*EMD

Text messaging                              T*EMG

PROFILE: Mary Beth Johnson, CRI

Name: Mary Beth Johnson, CRI

Currently resides in: Pittsburgh, Pa.

Position: Professor of court reporting

Member since: 1990

Graduated from: Duquesne University, M.Ed.; Dickinson College, BA in American Studies; Court reporting training at Duff’s Business Institute

Theory: Berry H. Horne

Favorite brief: SOP city of Pittsburgh

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

My dad was a teacher.  I spent many days with a Lindy red pen, helping him correct papers.  Who thought I would have gone through hundreds of red pens in my 38-year teaching career?  My dad is now almost 92 and still fondly remembers his teaching days and asks me every September if I am ready to go back.

What surprised you about your career and why?

I am constantly surprised that, when people ask me what I teach and I say court reporting, their reply is:  “Are they still around?  Do they still use that little box machine?   How fast do they type?”

I reply that we embrace technology, we do not let it replace us! And yes, the machine is alive and well, recording verbatim the spoken word.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of establishing a court reporting scholarship at the Community College of Allegheny County endowed for court reporting students.  We received a $10,000 donation from a local court reporter, and I matched it.  Together, we try to touch the future of a new generation of court reporters.

I am also proud of the 100 percent membership of our students in NCRA and PCRA.

I am grateful to NCRA for selecting me as the recipient of the 2014 CASE Award of Excellence.

Have you accomplished something not related to your career that you would like to relate?

I have tried to learn Spanish in an effort to teach those whose native language is not English a tool that they can use to become part of the American Dream.  This process is taking longer than I imagined, but when I can speak to a man working in the yard and ask him if he would “lquieres una botella de agua” in Spanish and he answers “Si,” I feel I have made progress in conquering a language similar to steno.  When I retire from court reporting, I would like to open a little school and teach English to those who cannot afford to pay for classes.

What project is exciting you right now?

The Veteran’s History Project.  Through the efforts of Marjorie Peters, RPR, CRR, and Janis Ferguson, RPR, CRR, an arrangement was made for Retired General Dunlavey to speak with my Dad for two hours.  Janis flawlessly recorded my Dad’s bravest memories.  Our entire family of five children, three grandchildren, and great grandchildren solemnly watched the DVD as we celebrated my Mom’s 90th birthday.  The DVD and transcript not only will grace the Library of Congress but also the personal libraries of the Habas family.

MEMBER PROFILE: Kathy Zebert, RPR

Kathy Zebert, RPRFreelance reporter & owner of Stenedge

Currently resides in Athens, Ga.

Member since: 2005

Graduated from: Austin Court Reporting Institute

Theory: StenEd

 

Favorite briefs:

As the author of Briefly Speaking, an e-book with more than 3,000 briefs and phrases, and a new e-book on the horizon called Medically Speaking, it’s difficult to pick just a few, but if I had to pick the most useful, they would probably be from these two families of phrases:

Take a look at this document = THREUD

Take a look at that document = THRAD

Do you recognize that document = TKAORBGD

Let me hand you what’s been marked = HRARBGD

Let me show you what’s been marked = HRORBGD

Any brief that turns six or seven strokes into one is my favorite.

 

Why did you decide to become a court reporter?

Prior to court reporting, I’d been in the insurance and health care industry in multiple jobs. My childhood dream of practicing law led me to court reporting. It was supposed to be a stepping stone, and it was, but the stone has lasted 20 years.

 

How did you learn about the career?

I grew up in a legal family. My dad was a lawyer and a sitting judge for 50 years, and he had the first realtime courtroom in Mississippi. His passion for the law and his work ethic led me to court reporting and ultimately to Stenedge, where I get to give back what I’ve learned in the process.

 

What has been your best work experience so far in your career?

Stenedge has been a godsend for me. It never occurred to me that others would love my briefs or want to hear what I had to say about how, when, and why to interrupt the record. I just wanted to be able to provide quality training materials at an affordable price point. As it turns out, people seem to need the message, and it thrills me that I can carry on the wonderful legacy left to me by my dad, who passed away just before Thanksgiving of 2013. I’ve just recently created a document called “The Court Reporter’s Guide to Making the Record” for attorneys and judges. The attorneys are responding well to it, and there’s been interest expressed about having me speak to judges about it, as well as using it in their training manuals. It’s free for every reporter to print, copy, and hand out under the “Downloads” tab at Stenedge.com.

 

What advice or tips would you offer to new reporters?

Number one in my book is this: Be kind and supportive and uplifting to others in this profession. If we want to be treated as professionals by other members of the legal team, we must treat each other as professionals.

Number two: Get involved, network, and educate yourself as well as others about this profession and the importance of what you do. Finding your voice as a trained, silent listener is difficult, but necessary in order to effect change.

Number three: Take care of your own bottom line: your body, your checkbook, and your values. Never undersell your talent and skill.

 

Have you accomplished something not related to your career that you would like to relate?

Other than raising two wonderful children, the one thing I’m proudest of is that I finished my undergraduate degree in 2011 at the age of 51, with a 3.94 GPA. I took the LSAT without studying for it, just to get a feel for the test. I scored high enough to get accepted into law school. It was a long and winding journey, but it was so worth it. Although I chose to stay in reporting and transition into educating court reporters, judges, and lawyers instead, the education alone was priceless.

Profile: Debbie Dibble, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP

Debbie Dibble

Debbie Dibble

Freelance judicial reporter/CART provider/captioner

Currently resides in Dayton, Minn.

MEMBER SINCE: 1989

GRADUATED FROM: Intermountain College of Court Reporting

THEORY: Who can remember back that far?  It was back in the dark ages when conflicts weren’t a problem.  It was a lot faster to get through theory when you could write everything the same way.

Let’s call it “Strokers R Us!”

 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ENTER THE COURT REPORTING PROFESSION?

Court reporting found me. I worked for the police department in high school. One day the chief of police asked me what I wanted to be, and I said a court reporter. I honestly have no recollection of ever being exposed to court reporting; I’ve just wanted to be one as long as I can remember. No idea how I knew of the profession or where the thought came from and, after graduation, did nothing to prepare in that direction. After high school graduation, I left for college, majoring in business administration. A year of Humanities and Economics 101 later, while I was home visiting the family, my mother said, “Did you know there is a court reporting school literally two blocks from our house?” I enrolled the next semester and destiny ensued.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST WORK EXPERIENCE SO FAR IN YOUR CAREER?

I got to do a 45-minute depo in Grand Cayman.  We had to be there for five days to obtain clearance from Scotland Yard – terrible hardship, I know! It was my 10th wedding anniversary, and my husband was the videographer. Does it get any better than that?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE?

I love to watch movies and I love to read, but I can only rationalize watching movies if I’m on the treadmill (so you know how often that happens) and reading has become a reward-only proposition. I collect all the books I’m going to read–when my transcripts are caught up, when the bathrooms are clean, when the barn is organized.  This obviously never happens, so the stack of books grows!

I did, however, request an e-reader for Mother’s Day. After adamantly refusing to give up the pleasure of turning the physical page–of those books I never read–I have come to appreciate the possibilities of reading in the car on road trips (the only time I can reward myself when the work isn’t done) without a flashlight duct taped to my forehead or using rubber bands or alligator clips to keep the book open, and I can still read in full sunlight when I’m by the pool sipping on … can you say, “Dream on”?

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER? 

Without a doubt, qualifying on the National Speed Competition, first attempt. I got a wee bit emotional. How embarrassing!

Also, I did a month-long daily copy, medical malpractice trial. We finished each day around 5 p.m., an hour drive home, rough to them by 9 p.m., final to them between 1-4 a.m. (depending on how hideous the experts were that day!) in bed, up at 6 a.m., hour drive back, on the record at 8:30 a.m. Doctors were deposed on Saturdays. The defense counsel sent me a huge bouquet of flowers with a card saying the transcript made the difference in their case.

Another highlight case: A two-week 507 Daubert challenge (nothing but experts), almost 300 pages a day. Had to print and bind final copies with my little 10-page spiral binder in my roach-infested motel room and have on counsel table the next morning.

The secret to my survival? Mountain Dew and clean writing!

WHAT ADVICE OR TIPS WOULD YOU OFFER TO NEW REPORTERS?

“And this too shall end.” Hold on, they’ll have to breathe eventually, or they will pass out!

HAVE YOU ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING NOT RELATED TO YOUR CAREER THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT?   

My spare time is spent on family, church, Cub Scouts, and anything else that sounds like fun. I spend Sundays playing the piano, the organ, directing the choir, teaching children ages 3-11 songs, and making flower arrangements. I spend my summers planning girls’ camps and our community day camp for the 100+ Cub Scouts from ages 8-11.

My husband is in “executive protection”; i.e., a bodyguard.  Through his career he has provided security for many personalities such as Mrs. Fields, Martina McBride, and Garth Brooks. When I married him, I had to go to the Fields’ house to see him because he worked 24/7.

My daughter, Makayla, is presently attending Mark Kislingbury’s Academy of Court Reporting in Houston, Texas.  She’s dying to teach me how to brief the years! (Ain’t gonna happen.)

My twins, Austin and Dallas, are 17 – guess where daddy is from? They’re high school seniors involved in varsity football, wrestling, and are Eagle Scouts.

Wyatt, who just turned 11, has the rare distinction of being one of few people alive who have held their heart and lived to tell the tale.  He plans to be a pediatric cardiologist when he grows up.

Favorite briefs (or a tip) 

Brief? What’s a brief? I understand I’m the brunt of many a joke in Mark Kislingbury’s theory class because I’m the worst “stroker” in the history of the profession.

Periodically is a six-stroke word. Seriously. And I would shorten it, but it has such a rhythm to it I love writing it. I can hear the “briefers” laughing in my head.

I do brief preponderance (P-P). After I’ve told astonished admirers, “It’s magic” when they ask, “How do you do that?”, I use preponderance of the evidence to demonstrate that I can write it faster than they can speak it.

Profile: Jennifer Sati, RMR, CRR, CBC, CCP, CRI

23Program director of judicial reporting/broadcast captioning program at Anoka Technical College and independent captioner/CART provider.

Currently resides in Dayton, Minn.

MEMBER SINCE: 1985

GRADUATED FROM: Northern Technical College, Minneapolis, Minn.

THEORY: The Big Green Book! I’m sure it had a name!

 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ENTER THE COURT REPORTING PROFESSION?

I loved watching my fingers fly on a typewriter, and I wanted a specific career as well. Court reporting was the perfect fit!

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST WORK EXPERIENCE SO FAR IN YOUR CAREER?

One thing I love about this profession is the flexibility in career options. I have worked as a freelancer, official, CART provider, captioner, and educator. The opportunities are unlimited.

I love how we all have our “lists” of cases! We reporters have so much to talk about when we get together. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work on the O.J. Simpson trial with West Publishing, the Minnesota tobacco case, the first AIDS litigation in the 1980s, captioning NBA basketball, and so much more!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE GADGET? IF SO, WHAT IS IT, AND WHY DO YOU LIKE IT?

My favorite gadget is my Kindle Fire. I use it to read, play games, and watch videos. I just need to find more downtime!

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER? CAN YOU TELL US WHAT THAT EXPERIENCE WAS LIKE?

I am most proud of the work I’ve been able to accomplish at Anoka Tech, teaching this wonderful pro­fession to others and seeing others walk away with a deep passion for the career. I never set out to end up as a teacher; I kind of walked into this position. After I freelanced for 15 years, I decided to accept an officialship posi­tion. My office was right next to a new reporter who had literally just graduated from court reporting school! She would come out of a hearing and be so excited: “We had an interpreter! It was the coolest thing!” Every hearing was exciting for her! I felt so much joy watching her start out her career. Jill tragically died in a car accident after reporting just a couple years. Shortly after that, I found myself stepping in at the school with students taking their very first speed tests. Watching their faces light up when they wrote and knew they passed a test was just like watching Jill’s face light up when she was walking out of her courtroom. The highlight of my career is sharing this profession with students and watching them start their careers!

WHAT ADVICE OR TIPS WOULD YOU OFFER TO NEW REPORTERS?

Stay involved! Be members of your state association and NCRA. And by all means, pursue your certifications. Continuing education is critical to staying vital in the pro­fession and, in turn, the court reporting and captioning professions staying vital to industry demands. Graduate, pursue certifications, and stay current with the new technology.

Profile: Lisa B. Johnston, RMR, CRR, CCP, CBC

LisaCART provider

Currently resides in Palm Bay, Fla.

MEMBER SINCE: 1985
GRADUATED FROM: Orlando College
THEORY: Stenograph

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A COURT REPORTER? HOW DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE CAREER?

I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. When I was a sophomore in high school, I met Gerry Ryan, a court reporter in my county, and he told me all about his career and I was hooked. I knew right then that’s what I wanted to do. After high school, I went to court reporting school, and when it was time to intern with an agency, Gerry was kind enough to have me learn the ropes with him. After graduating college and receiving my A.S. degree, Gerry hired me, where I worked in his firm for 26 years. Working with Gerry, he gave me the love of the profession I still hold to this day.

I did a little bit of CART work and knew this was something I wanted to do full time. After Gerry’s death in 2011, I left the legal world of court reporting and became a full-time CART Provider. After 28 years in this profession, I am truly blessed with this path my career has taken me.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST WORK EXPERIENCE SO FAR IN YOUR CAREER?

I grew up and live on the Space Coast of Florida and watching the space shuttles take off and land was sim­ply a part of my life. As a court reporter, I covered many hearings and depositions out at NASA/Kenne­dy Space Center. In 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on its way back to KSC. It was a terribly sad time for the country and for my hometown. I was asked to work at the press site at KSC for seven days captioning the three-times-a-day accident briefings and also the three memorial services. It was such an emotional experience and one that I will never forget. I am so honored I was a part of that.

WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT YOUR CAREER?

What has surprised me the most about being a court reporter and CART provider is how robotic I am when I am working. The words will come from the speaker’s mouth to my fingers, and I may not be really thinking about what is being said; I am simply doing my job and writing the words. I will never forget a murder trial I covered and hearing the horrible testimony of how the victim suffered and died. During the three-week trial, I did my job and did not let the emotions get in. Only when it was all over and the defendant was found guilty and sentenced to death did I actually think about what happened to the victim and cried for her.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER?

Since I started my career, I have always wanted to become a Registered Merit Reporter, but I could not seem to pass the test. Oh, the nerves! I would try and try, then take a break, then try again. I gave up for many years, simply thinking I wasn’t good enough to pass the 260 wpm. It seems like I could pass everything else, but not my RMR. Then, 10 years after obtaining my RPR, I finally passed my RMR. Never give up on your dreams! I am so proud of myself for not giving up and so proud that I passed. I love seeing RMR next to my name!

HAVE YOU ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING NOT RELATED TO YOUR CAREER THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?

My husband and I have a 40-foot motorhome and for the past seven years we have been able to take a few months a year to travel the United States. We have been to all 50 states, and 49 of those in a motorhome. We have made wonderful memories together that I truly treasure. And thanks to technology, there are times I am able to provide remote CART while traveling on the road. Work and play? A perfect combi­nation!

FAVORITE BRIEFS

-BT a little bit
NAEURPL any way, shape or form
KROPBG correct me if I’m wrong

Profile: KristiI Herrera, RPR, CCP, CBC

Kristi HerreraCART provider and captioner

Currently resides in Dallas

MEMBER SINCE: 2006
GRADUATED FROM: Court Reporting Institute of Dallas
THEORY: StenEd

Being able to provide CART for people who would otherwise struggle to communicate has been incredibly rewarding.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A CART PROVIDER? HOW DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE CAREER?

When I was in my 20s in court reporting school, a teacher mentioned that she used to provide CART. Prior to that, I never even knew that career existed. I became more intrigued the more I looked into it. I have always had an unexplained attraction to people with hearing impairments. Coincidently, I took a year and a half of American Sign Language in high school, which I am able to use today. I certainly didn’t think I would still be a CART provider seven years after fi rst looking into it, but now I can’t imagine missing a semester. I would like to eventually get into a court, but I think I would still have to hang on to one evening class a week to wean myself off CART. The people are just too great!

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST WORK EXPERIENCE SO FAR IN YOUR CAREER?

Being able to provide CART for people who would otherwise struggle to communicate has been incredibly rewarding. The people I work with are so grateful, and they are not shy about relaying that fact.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE GADGET? IF SO, WHAT IS IT, AND WHY DO YOU LIKE IT?

My LightSpeed! Being able to pack all my equipment into a laptop bag makes it so much easier to get around college campuses on busy days.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?

My favorite movie is Silence of the Lambs. I have a tattoo of the moth to prove it!

HAVE YOU ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING NOT RELATED TO YOUR CAREER THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?

Despite becoming a mother at 15 years old, I graduated from high school a semester early and also spoke at my graduation.

FAVORITE BRIEFS

SPHULT simultaneous
KHRAPBT cochlear implant
WRAB We’ll be right back.
AEUFD advisory

Member Profile: 10 things you don’t know about me

Lisa Schwarze, RPRName: Lisa Schwarze, RPR

Specialty: Owner of Sworn Testimony, PLLC, and Game Day Captions

Resides in: Lexington, Ky.

NCRA member since: 2005

Graduated from: Madison Business College in Madison, Wis.

Theory: StenEd

  1. I have kayaked in the Atlantic Ocean.
  2. I have a Russian tortoise as a pet.
  3. I have milked a cow.
  4. I was kicked out of typing class in high school because I typed too fast.
  5. I watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation every year on Thanksgiving Day.
  6. I am a Cheesehead. Go Packers!
  7. I have two first-place medals as a bicyclist in racing competitions.
  8. I have crossed the Mackinac Bridge, the third longest suspension bridge in the world.
  9. I have backpacked through Belgium and the Netherlands.
  10. As a child, I took piano lessons for years but couldn’t play chopsticks today.

Schwarze’s favorite briefs

My favorite briefs are contractions — AO*EU-L (I’ll), AOEU-L (I will); AO*U-L (you’ll), AOU-L (you will); AO*EUPL (I’m), AOEUPL (I am). You get the picture.

I am also crazy about the wide DZ key, eliminating lots of second strokes for a plural ending as well as an -ed ending. For in-stadium captioning, I like *UBL for “University of Kentucky.”

Q&A

Why did you decide to become a court reporter?

During my first week in high school typing class, I was kicked out for typing too fast. My instructor asked if I would help her with “extra” activities in the classroom and opt out of testing in fairness to the others. Oh, and would you join the Future Business Leaders of America team to compete in typing competitions? It so happened that I was also taking a Gregg shorthand class. So I jumped on a bus with the other FBLA students and traveled to Green Bay for a competition in both written shorthand and typing. I had a first place medal in both by the end of the day, and it was effortless.

Honestly, the hard “work” was far beforehand and did not make me a happy youngster. Beginning at the age of 8, I took piano lessons at my mom’s insistence. Without hesitation, I can tell you piano lessons were every Saturday at noon — at the same time as kickball with the neighborhood kids. Needless to say, I was reluctant to go.

My Diamante is my piano now, nothing more and nothing less. Mom gets the credit for my piano skills. One of the FBLA leaders pointed out to me court reporting as being a profession that would combine both these skills. I enjoyed both, and so I pursued court reporting.

Do you have a favorite gadget? If so, what it is, and why do you like it?

I love technology. My favorite gadget, which has come in extremely handy, is an iPhone app, TurboScan. This app allows you to scan in a document by taking a picture of it, e.g., original exhibits the attorney wants to retain, and sends a PDF of the document to your email. Handy, handy, handy.

What are you most proud of in your career? Can you tell us what that experience was like?

I am most proud of being a CART provider and developing a remote CART program. CART squeezes my heart bigtime. Four years ago I got a call from the University of Kentucky to provide CART for a student coming on board as a freshman. I jumped at the opportunity, although I had lots of fears, including where to park on campus. In a sea of undergraduate students, I found the student I was captioning for and captioned a class in an auditorium-seated room with cables from my steno machine to my computer to, ultimately, Alex’s computer. At the end of class, Alex came to me and said, “Thank you so much. I had no idea how much I wasn’t hearing. This helps me so much.”

Realizing that a freshman in college does not need me plugging cables into his computer every day, I spent endless hours with an IT professional to develop a remote CART program. Within a month, Alex was without cables, although I was still in the classroom. By the end of three months, there was no captioner in the room and we were providing CART with no cables.

Our remote captioning program today is seamless and amazing. I have captioned conferences taking place in Puerto Rico from my home in Lexington. In this instance, my audio feed included the “client” showing others at the conference how he could “hear.” When he cried, so did I. Last semester we had eight students receiving captions from captioners all across the United States. The experience cannot be put in words. CART squeezes your heart, period.

10 things you don’t know about me

Charlene Sasso, RPRName: Charlene Sasso, RPR

Specialty: Admissions coordinator at StenoTech Career Institute

Resides in: West Caldwell, N.J.

NCRA member since: 1978

1. Within one year’s time, I passed these tests: New York Federation of Reporters, New Jersey Certified Shorthand Reporters, and the RPR. One year later I passed the Nevada Certified Shorthand Reporters exam.

2. I worked on the committee that established the Nevada Shorthand Reporters’ Association. The president of the committee, a pen writer, gave me the task of setting up the first state directory.

3. In Guatemala City, I danced in the President’s ballroom. This was between coups.

4. I collect rosary beads from around the world. My favorites are the ones my kids made for me in summer camp.

5. When I was 10 years old, I had a ride in a blimp. My grandmother garnered me the invitation; she owned the restaurant at the airport. I now see that airport through my office window.

6. I was a hair model for the International Beauty Show when I was in 11th grade. They didn’t inform me that they were cutting a foot of my hair off!

7. I performed with my high school band on the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. It began to pour down rain, and we ran to the bus and came home.

8. Ed Sullivan was on my plane. He petted my dog outside of JFK airport. I got him to sign his autograph on the linen napkin they used back in the day: To Tuffy, All the Best, Ed Sullivan.

9. Desi Arnaz Jr.’s parade float hit my car. The car was one month old. Ever since then, each new car gets some damage in the first month. Thanks, Desi, for the 30-year curse.

10. I stayed three weeks at a cold war army base in Czech Republic with my son when he was selected for the international hockey team camp in sixth grade. Eating Army food was difficult for us, as was getting used to the light brown tap/ shower water.

Do you want to nominate someone for the member profile series? Send your pick into the JCR’s Writer/Editor, Linda Smolkin, at lsmolkin@ncra.org.