First of all, as of now, we and everyone we know are safe after
the tragic interstate bridge collapse near our Minneapolis
neighborhood. I am glad that I have the habit of avoiding
freeways in town at rush hours. My husband takes a different
freeway home from work, thankfully, because 6:00 is often when
he comes home. And it was too hot to be walking or biking on
the parkway today, so I was not under it either, again, thankfully.
One of our rowing teammates was on the Mississippi and saw it
go down - in an instant - very strange experience.

Since High School:

So, on to the bio. After high school I attended Illinois Wesleyan
in nursing, and then graduated from Illinois State with a BS in
library science. I worked as a supper club prep cook, postal
clerk, substitute small-town postmaster/shopkeeper, and a
library assistant while living in the woods of northern Wisconsin
(the goat -chicken - horse - rabbit - vegetable garden thing)
married to classmate Jim Boughner.    I moved to Minneapolis in
1976 after we divorced; and after many years of restaurant work
from food prep to bookkeeping and management, cash register
programming, point of sales accounting methods development,
etc, I went back to college at UW Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin
in 1982 for a masters in Vocational Rehabilitation. From 1984 to
1993 I worked in Red Wing and St. Paul in rehabilitation
services for private nonprofit agencies, MN State Vocational
Rehabilitation and MN State Services for the Blind.

In 1990 I married Randy, a rowing club teammate. In 1980 I had
been recruited for the team as a coxswain while working at a
restaurant (because I was short and had a big mouth - your job
is to steer and holler at the crew!) Randy and I met back then,
and got reacquainted in 1989 when I returned to the Twin Cities
and rowing. We live two blocks from the Mississippi in a cute
little old house we remodeled. Randy still rows competitively and
also referees at regattas. As I write this he is in Oak Ridge,
Tennessee competing at Masters Nationals. We spent many
years intensely involved in putting on a US/Canada regatta each
summer. I just kayak now. Since I did more steering than rowing,
I am used to seeing where I am going, hence my preference for
kayaking forwards over rowing backwards!

In 1993 I had to stop working due to illness, including among
other things, loss of my short term memory. I have done a bit of
part-time work since then, including 2 -1/2 years caring for a
delightful baby in my home. She is still like a granddaughter to
us at age 9, which is very nice since I never had any children. I
also have kept busy exploring the world of handweaving (Navajo
rugs, rag rugs, kitchen linens, scarves, etc.), and feng shui, and
more recently how to cope with newly diagnosed ADHD, while
monitoring the nursing home care of my 95 year old mother. We
are restoring an elderly fiberglass Scamp camper as well as
finishing the major remodeling of the 1908 house we live in
here. Despite the problems getting new data to stick on the old
"harddrive," I do still remember the good old school days! Like,
do you Oak Streeters remember the incredible shot in either 7th
or 8th grade that classmate Wayne Render made to give Oak
Street a one point victory in a basketball game? How about Mr.
Peters marching us up and down the hall if we were not sitting at
attention when he walked into our 6th grade class? Maybe that
memory was not so good! I remember learning to drive stick on
Dirk's MG (I think? They must have been crazy!) and Pat
Mountain's VW bug! Remember singing folk songs on the buses
to the away games? Slumber Parties? Latin Club! And I think it
was my volunteer work and being the student council rep for the
special ed program that influenced me to pursue a career in
vocational rehab - thank you Mark Powell - I think you were the
student council president at Fremd who assigned me to that job.
 
In the fall of  2005 I was diagnosed with uterine cancer, but
thankfully surgery totally took care of that, and now I feel
physically better after apparently spending many years fighting
a cancer I did not know I had. Don't ignore or become
complacent about new or old symptoms - which I did when other
labels such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia made me resign
myself to a painful life. A tentative MS diagnosis and major
balance problems that resulted in numerous falls apparently
were symptoms of my body fighting cancer - for at least ten
years they speculate. So now.......LIFE IS GOOD!  We could all
learn something from my mother's secret to living 95 years - she
says that what is important to living a good long life is three
things: your family, keeping your old friends and chocolate! I am
not sure in what order she places those!
Janet O'Leary
Randy and Jan Newberg
One of Jan's weaves
Jan's dog DOTTIE