Ruth Ryland Miller writes:

:Big, Big news.  I was thrilled to get into San Diego Watercolor Society’s International Show this fall…BUT even better, I just found out I won a prize!
It feels just as good as winning first prize at the Santiago Elementary School Art Show in 1958.  This is my first Prize in a National Show. It amounts to $250 cold cash, no new pencils or block of crumby paper, REAL MONEY.
This means I may just about break even on this enterprise.  It gets expensive shipping these paintings all over the place.  After appropriate amounts of form, cardboard and tape,
the box is the size of a pillow top queen size bed.  If I’d seen the writing on the wall early on, I should have gone with knitting when I quit smoking.
Pretty skeins of yarn, a few needles and a reasonably sized cute carry bag, AND possibly something to wear. Odds are not.
Paris 2 (1) Ruth Miller, House WhiteRuth Miller, Up Powell 13_x18_ Va di Vi

J & I are going to the reception on Oct. 3, 6-9 at SDWS Gallery at 2825 Dewey Rd, #105, San Diego.
If you’re in the area, please join us.  I’ll buy you a drink.

The Valley Art Gallery in Walnut Creek selected 4 of my paintings for their new fall show.  Drop by.  Its a tiny Gallery with those slide out walls small galleries use to accommodate lots of work.
Its fun working the walls even if you’re not needing art.

Walnut Creek is turning 100 and Celebrating through Art at the Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts.  September 21- November 16.
Should be an interesting show because it includes ALL mediums and they are going to hang it Salon Style.  Lots to look at!   My watercolor is called Va di Vi

I’m knee deep in CWA National Exhibition.  For all this work, I hope I get in this year.  Missed it last year.

I have a few new things on my website.

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Barbara Thornton writes:

Summary:  50 years, 1 husband, 2 children, 2 grandchildren, 3 post high school degrees, 2 home addresses (post college), 13 email addresses, 42 pairs of shoes,  1 medicare card, 5 careers done, 3 more careers to go.20150603_042429

Current career: building a business: practice and expertise in technology for cities in the 21st century.  And another business:  InterimExecutive.Solutions.  And another business:  a startup, a basket of technology and services to help elders live independently at home longer. That’s the current stuff.

Seems like a long jump from shoes (started an ecommerce company in 1997 selling women’s shoes) or human services (worked for the state, municipalities and as a private consultant to help develop stronger human services programs) but it’s not.  Love that geeky tech stuff!  I am passionate about Civic Tech, dream of writing open source code for a city digital platform and hang out at hackathons on weekends.  Asset Stewardship,  Follow me on Twitter @assetstewards.

Winding the clock backward, I left Santa Ana to go to grad school at Yale.  Bad choice, the school had “issues” and they offered to pay our tuition at MIT in City Planning.  I accepted.  Met Ron Alex when he tried to pick me up in the Boston Commons.  Guess you could say he succeeded.  Worked, gave birth to two kids, tried to do independent consulting, got bored, applied again to a nearby grad school (still living in Boston).  Got accepted.  Graduated from Harvard Business School in 1995 (our reunions are always the same year) at the age of 47, about 20 years older than the other 989 people in the class.  Loved it!

Barbara’s favorite son & daughter, Byron & Rucker

Next career:  Writing.  A book on the history of Santa Ana, then one on some science fiction.  Or maybe that will combine to one book.  Hoping Tom McNeal will give me some advice!

Barbara's favorite grand-daughter, Sylvia.
Barbara’s favorite grand-daughter, Sylvia.
Barbara's favorite grand-son, Sol.
Barbara’s favorite grand-son, Sol.


Barbara's favorite daughter-in-law, Victoria
Barbara’s favorite daughter-in-law, Victoria

Sol is 2 and Sylvia is 1.  Alas they are in Brooklyn with Byron & Victoria, 3 hours and 27 minutes away from where I sit.  I raised terrific kids.  Rucker will bring water to the parched world with city planning and Byron will make people healthy with MD and public health.  Their dad, Ron, looks forward to meeting my SAHS classmates because he forgot to go to his reunion.

Ron is an architect and does real estate development.  He is on his third year of talking about retirement.  He can’t do it until he cleans out our basement.  This is not imminent.  While we still talk of professional projects we might do together, I suspect travelling will be the next big joint venture.

Barbara Thornton, hello from Russia.
Barbara Thornton, hello from Russia.

Extracurricular:  Over 20 years serving on Arlington Capital Planning Committee.  Very proud that after 10 years of recommending, the Town finally let me design a new Maintenance Dept. which was approved this spring.  Going to theater whenever I can.  Small theater, like Company One in Boston.  Gym, Tai Chi and Aqua Aerobics are on the daily list with a 71% success rate.

But lately everything is diverted to the back burner while I have the incredible opportunity to be in touch with so many interesting classmates that I knew so very long ago.  How often in life do you get a chance like this!

Barbara Thornton


John Watters writes:

You are right that I was Student Body President. The way the system worked back in our high school days was the following. We elected a Student Body President and a Senior Class President at the end of 11th grade. Those elected served in those roles the first semester of the Senior year. Then at the end of the first semester we elected a new Student Body President and a new Senior Class President. So I served as Student Body President the first semester and as Senior Class President the second semester. Being Senior Class President the second semester meant I had to speak at our graduation. The other class speaker was our valedictorian, who I believe was Susan Tamura. During that second semester when I was Senior Class President, Nick Sanden as Senior Class Vice-President and Kathie (Swanson) Watters was Senior Class Secretary.

I suppose most of our class is still in California although many no doubt are living elsewhere. We have been living in Duncanville, Texas, next to Dallas, for the past 15 years. However, we travel 40-50% of the time out of the country. We lived in Africa for 26 years (Cameroon, Kenya and now visits to Nigeria) plus a year in France before moving to the Dallas area. We have been working in the areas of Bible translation, linguistic/language analysis, and development of educational materials, all in African languages. Kathie got her B.S. in Nursing from University of California San Francisco (with two years at UCLA) before we got married in 1970 and then she got a Masters in African Languages and Linguistics at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, in the early 1990s. I got a B.A. at UC Berkeley in History (1969), had two years at Fuller Theological Seminary, and then a Masters and Ph.D. in Linguistics at UCLA around 1980. We have been involved in a variety of roles and responsibilities and living situations over the years in Africa, and that continues more recently out of Texas involving language, linguistic analysis, training Africans to do the same in their own languages, developing educational materials, and the translation and use of the Christian Scriptures in African languages by Protestants and Catholics alike.

P.S. We have two daughters, 41 and 39, who have given us two sons-in-law and three grandchildren each. That makes three  granddaughters and three grandsons. We also have a son, 35, who produces apps for iPads and iPhones for Bottle Rocket Studios, but no daughter- in-law and no grandchildren, at least not yet.

John Watters

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