Throughout their lives, single and married, many people (friends, relatives, associates), places and events have influenced Mike and Libby. Remembering and documenting them all isn't possible, but here goes...
|Dan Abrams||Adult Day Hospital||Vern Anders||Ann-Margaret (Olsson)|
|John H. Armer|
|Larry & Joanne Backs||Tom Bader||Bill & Dayle Bakley||Barrow Neurological Institute|
|Barrows Furniture||Mark Barry||Harvey Beller||Neal Berger|
|Austin Berkey||Karen (nèe Swanson) Berry||Jim & Jean (nèe Kurs) Blair||Adelaide (nèe Payne) Brennan|
|Tom & Diane Brennan||Charlotte Brooks||Richard Brooks, MD||Bud Light Triathlon Series|
|John & Judie Carpenter||Ron Cimino||Joyce Clarke||Mike & Kathy Clarke|
|Buckner Coe||Bill Coleman||Coors Light Duathlon Series||Claudia Copeland|
|Elizabeth (Kitty) Copeland||Maurice D. Copeland||Rebecca (Becky) Copeland||Regan Copeland|
|Gloria (nèe Youngman) Daniels||Mary Therese Dixon||Terry & Mariann Dolan||Ken Dohrman|
|The Tennis "Drop-Ins"||Charlie Durang|
|Terry Eckhardt - see Cindy Radke|
|Mike & Bernie Fallaw||Bob & Pam Farrer||Fiesta Bowl Marathon||Maureen Files (nèe Copeland)|
|Steve Finklestein||Florence Crittenton||Coe College's "Flunk Day"||Field Enterprises Educational Corp (FEEC)|
|C. Allen Fort||Bob & Stephanie Foster||Lou Fraccola|
|Mavis Gal||Pat Gallagher||Garland's Oak Creek Lodge||GE 400|
|Ken Geiser||Chris Giles||Chuck & Mary Jane Graff||Roger & Joan Green|
|Mark & Carol Grumley|
|Art Harris||Frank & Arlene Haynes||Andrew Hertnecky||Vinnie Hicks|
|Barbie Hill||Dick Hill||Fran Hissong|
|IBM 705||International Harvester (Navistar)|
|Don & Carolyn Kaegle||Don Kauffman||Jan & Nita Keiser||John & Mary Kelly|
|Paul & Mary Ellen Kelley||Tim & Ann Kilcullen||Elsie Kittle||Tomm Kleyensteuber|
|Sarge & Mary Klimow||Dr. Pam Klonoff||Fenwick Knurd||Erika (Ricky) Koppitz|
|Rick & Kathy Kufner|
|Larry Lake||Mack Lathrop||Ron Lentsch||David Lerner|
|Gene Leber||Mike Lewis||Paul E. Luehr|
|Bob & Mary Manning||Katie Masters||Anna (nèe Noel) Mayberry||Art McCabe|
|Bob & Nancy McCray||MDQS & QRP/PLP||Mary Jo Meester||The Merchandise Mart|
|Joe & Carmine Miller||Bob Mendelbaum||Don Milne||Carol Minchew|
|Luis Narvais||Barney Nash||PHX Navigators||New Trier High School|
|Shirley Newman||Anna Noel (Mayberry)|
|Mike & Janice O'Brien||Bob & Sue Olson||Calvin P. Ostrowski|
|Don Papineau||Gordon & Emma Payne||Nicole Pesce||Larry Pettit|
|Phoenix College||Phoenix Country Club||Art Platt||David Porter|
|Dr. George Prigatano|
|Raceplace Events||Ralph Rabin, DPM||Ken Roberts||Harold J. (Hal) Rourke|
|Barry Sears||Myron Shapiro||Janet Shepard||Don Shourds ("Cowboy")|
|Sherry Shroyer||Heather Simpson||Sky Harbor International Airport||Nancy Smirbach|
|Mike & Marge Smith||Jan Snesrud||Joyce Snyder||Toni Sorel|
|Ann Spoelstra||Paul & Anita Swartley|
|John & MaryJo Tanler||Lolita Tarver||Dorothy Thompson||Top Seed Tennis Club|
|Rob Wallack||Larry & Denise Webb||Erika Wegner (Ricky Koppitz)||Janet White|
|Todd Wilcox, MD||Bill Wilton||World Book Encyclopedia||WWMCCS|
|John Worthy||Dan & Pepper Wright|
|Jim Yayman ("Fat Cat")|
Dan Abrams - is one of the tennis players in the Phoenix Tennis Center's "Drop In" group. A notably nice and pleasant man, Dan is a semi-retired commercial realtor who is well known in Phoenix and its suburbs. His many years in Phoenix have earned him high regard and many friends. During the summer, Dan and his wife devide their time between Phoenix and Flagstaff, Arizona - interspersed with traveling around the world.
Adult Day Hospital (ADH) is a part of Barrow Neurological Institute and is where Mike spent 5 months in neurological and physical rehab, following his head injury in 1988. Mike feels that this experience "put him back together" after his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), although he had difficulty understanding much of what was going on...or why. He had a lot of pain from many broken bones and his crushed right shoulder, and at first didn't grasp why he was being led through numerous (what he felt were) "childish games" and mental exercises while there. It's a testimony to ADH's staff and programs that Mike came to accept (and embrace) what was happening.
Of the various programs offered there, Mike was in the "Work Reentry" program, because he more or less was able to function at home activities. Even so, his physical therapy was intense and painful (see Heather Simpson), and he became very "competitive" in the neurological lessons. Understanding and acceptance of his presence there were crucial to Mike's return to work at Honeywell-Bull.
Vern Anders - Mike has known Vern and his wife, Diane, for as long as he's lived in Phoenix. Vern was one of the original WWMCCS developers Mike that worked with, starting with the "outpost" site separated from the main Honeywell plant, through the end of the project and move back to the main facility. He also stayed with the small group that provided support for the project, as well as those who enhanced it to become a series of commercial products (MDQS, QRP/PLP) that followed it.
When further changes within Honeywell - and later BULL HN - occurred, Vern was one of the few who remained with the small group to which Mike moved. This group, eventually named Testing and Test Support (T&TS), was where Mike concluded his Honeywell/BULL career of 28 years, and Vern was there throughout. Vern and Diane have also been steadfast participants in an annual "Holiday Party Reunion" for the group, which occurs every February and includes a frivolous "white elephant" gift exchange that all attendees enjoy.
Ann-Margaret (Olsson) - the movie star/Las Vegas entertainer lived in Wilmette when Mike and his family lived there. Mike and his friend David Porter met her on the tennis court, when at age 15 she expressed an interest in learning tennis. They showed her some of the basics of the game, but she didn't continue the effort to learn it for long. Ann Margaret Olsson went to New Trier High School in Winnetka, where she exhibited her singing talent on her way to being discovered when she attended Northwestern University in Evanston. She has most certainly forgotten those days on the tennis court, as well as meeting Mike.
|New Trier High School|
John H. Armer was a well-known Interior Designer and Antiques dealer who ran a successful Interior Design and consulting company for many years in Scottsdale, Arizona. Libby was fortunate to land an intern job with John and his partner, Bill Coleman, shortly after graduating from Scottsdale Community College's Interior Design program. Whereas she had previously had a short intern job, it was at Armer's that she could exercise her skills and knowledge in an environment where she met customers and worked with "design products" in meaningful ways. Libby's job was to design table settings with the high-end antique dinnerware, glassware and silverware on the 6 antique tables that were in the store. That store was famous for these tables and their beautiful setups, and Libby was able to do all the design work for this part of the store: John and Bill soon gave her full authority over this part of the store, and Libby met many of their important clients as she did this work.
Libby (and Mike) remained friends with John and Bill through many "designer" social activities she became part of, even sfter the store closed and John became ill and retired. An extraordinary event took place a few years after Libby and Mike moved to their Biltmore home: she ran into Bill outside their house and learned he had just moved in 2 doors away! John had recently passed away, and Bill happened to rent the nearby house. Libby, Bill and Mike have rekindled their friendship and see each other often...all due to John Armer.
Tom Bader - also from Chicago, Tom was one of first WWMCCS team members Mike met and worked with after arriving in Phoenix. The connection to Chicago helped Mike become integrated into Phoenix life (there was a lot to absorb), and Mike and Libby had some social evenings with Tom and his wife, Shirley. After the WWMCCS work was over, Tom and others went back to the main plant, but new work and projects caused them to drift apart as groups and projects in this large company were always changing. Mike doesn't know when Tom left Honeywell...
Years later, when Mike and Libby were at an artist's party (part of Libby's career), they ran into Shirley Bader. Tom had died, and Shirley had remarried...to the artist! They knew him (John Dawson), and learning both Tom's passing and Shirley's new marriage was doubly surprising. Mike and Libby were invited to dinner at the Dawsons' place and had an enjoyable evening. Mike also happened to encounter Shirley at the airport, when Shirley was checking out an exhibit of John's there. Sometimes it's a small world...
Larry & Joanne Backs - are friends of Mike and Libby from Phoenix. Their connections to Mike and Libby are unique: Joanne worked with Mike at Bull, and Larry is an interior design associate of Libby's. At one time, Mike knew Joanne and Libby knew Larry separately, but both couples attended an ASID social event and then realized the "connections". The two couples have since maintained a social relationship, past when Mike and Joanne each left Bull, and beyond Larry's retirement from active design work.
The Backs travel a lot, all over the world, and Mike and Libby joined them once on a cruise to the Canary Islands, in November of 2002. Before the Copelands took their first cruise (26 years ago, to Hawaii), Larry and Joanne provided a lot of "cruise info" that helped make the adventure easy and fun - some things they would have had to learn in "real time". Mike and Libby regard that first cruise as their favorite: they had lots of fun!
Bill & Dayle Bakley - were key members of the Raceplace crew that Rob Wallack assembled to travel to and process Coors Light Duathlon and Bud Light Triathlon races. One of Rob's great strengths was to find people who had various talents and could work well together. Dayle was an incredible typist whose speed and accuracy to construct the data bases was all-important, and Bill's background as an olympic calibre athlete helped in many other ways.
The stress and conditions of these locations and events were enormous, but Bill and Dayle's efforts and good nature made the work go well in almost every situation. However, after about 6 years of high-pressure travel and work, Dayle developed liver cancer and passed away. The memorial service Bill and her daughters put on was poignant, moving...and funny: members of the crew spoke lovingly and with humor about how Dayle impacted their lives during these special years.
|Barrows Furniture in Phoenix, mid-196os||
Barrows Furniture - was a popular fine furniture store located in Phoenix from the 1960s through the late 1990s.
There were other store locations in Arizona, as well as Florida.
The Phoenix stores were owned by
Libby's first (paid) job in her Interior Design career was at Barrows Furniture. She was hired as a personal assistant to a well-known Interior Designer named Carol Minchew, although she first was a "general assistant" at the store for a short time. Working for 11⁄2 years with Carol was very important, as Libby learned about the actual career work, as well as met numerous clients in the store and at their homes. She was then "promoted" to be a salesperson on ths store floor, where for another 11⁄2 years Libby gained valuable sales experience - an important aspect of being a designer. Libby would have to sell store furniture along with her design services. Barrow's designer training program was an extraordinary introduction to the real world of Interior Design, and Libby absorbed all she could until she took her place as a Designer in Barrow's Design Studio.
Mark Barry is one of the younger tennis players in the Phoenix Tennis Center's "Drop In" group. A crafty and steady left-handed player, his slice forehand and wicked "lefty" serve are fearsome weapons. He's a semi-retired X-Ray technician who works for the Arizona Cardinals with the on-the-field medical staff at local games. Mark also is an accomplished folk singer, and members of the Drop-In group have been to some of his performances.
|Mark Barry at PTC|
Harvey Beller - is a long-time friend of Mike, from the days where Mike was running and working with running/endurance sports. Harvey is the director of The New Time Phoenix 10K Race, one of the oldest and largest of the local running events. For a number of years, Mike supported Harvey with his event, helping to manage the Start and Finish lines. Harvey and his Phoenix 10K have become important fixtures in the local racing scene.
Austin Berkey - in the late '60s, Mike worked with the computer user groups in various capacities, leading to an involvement with a national organization that sponsored blind computer programmers. This issue intrigued Mike, as he, though not blind, had empathy for opportunities for non-mainstream programmer development (being one himself). After discussion with FEEC management, Mike visited this organization's home in St. Louis to learn more. He felt that there was a potential "fit" for one of their students, and he went back to Chicago to explore ways FEEC's computer systems could work with a blind employee.
A key issue was if/how Braille documentation for an employee could be produced. Computer programmers use a lot of printed material (source listings, program dumps, printed output, etc.) in their work, and everything would have to be converted to Braille for a sight-handicapped employee. Mike and his team came up with an idea of stretching rubber electrical tape across the printer head of their mainframe printers and converting each character to a 9 matrix of dots. This worked sufficiently well that, although very slow, it seemed to work (although consuming 3 times the normal amount of paper for any listing or document). They started looking for a suitable employee candidate.
Enter Austin Berkey, a young man from Indiana who had the computer programming career development above. He was interviewed and hired by Mike's managers, and he was assigned to work in the group Mike managed - he was essentually Mike's employee. Mike helped him find aa apartment in Evanston, not far from where he and libby lived. It was important the Mike could help Austin find his way to and from FEEC's office in the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, and that Mike be nearby if there was an emergency: Austin had no friends or family in the Chicago area. Obviously, this took some time and effort to work out.
Austin was a remarkable computer programmer: he was smart and had an incredible memory (he memorized every program he wrote, even knowing details of memory layout and strutcture). Once he read the initial data (in Braille), he had it in his brain for the time he worked on it! He didn't need much "Braille printing".
He had another handicap, though. He was almost totally deaf. Austin was 85% neurally deaf, something which was progressive and not overcome with current day technologies. It was this handicap that ultimately led to Austin's failing at the job...
A well-intentioned decision to "mainstream" Austin's work in the department was proven wrong. Placing him in the "bullpen" with other programmers exposed the problem of his hearing difficulties, since what little he could hear was the normal language of others' frustrations with various problems they were having in their work. Occasional (loud) comments (e.g. "Damn!", "Oops!", "Oh, boy!", etc.) were about the only things Austin during his time there, and he started to imagine they were directed at him! He knew he was different, and having never been in a work environment to hear some normal loud activities preyed on his own insecurities, and his imagination turned malevolent.
Mike was his manager, and Austin came to him with this concern. Here, Mike's inexperience with personal problems failed to solve the problem, for, even though he assured Austin that the loud comments were "normal" and not at all directed at Austin. Attempting to get the other programmers to "cool it" with their normal comments didn't work, either. Eventually Austin's paranoia resulted in an "emotional breakdown" and he had to leave FEEC.
Austin Berkey was a talented and productive computer programmer who, even with the best of plans and intentions, could not adapt to a normal work environment, due to his many handicaps. To this day, Mike regrets how the experience turned out, wondering what, if anything, he or the company could have done to make it a success. He doesn't know what happened to Austin...
Jim & Jean Blair - are two people Mike worked with an Honeywell-Bull in Phoenix. What's notable about them is how Mike interacted with them over a period of years, because it exemplified several aspects of Mike's work and leisure life there. First, one of Mike's occasional duties at work was to interview potential new hires, because his boss (Ken Roberts) didn't like to get into the technical details of programming knowledge. One such interviewee was a new college graduate named Jean Kurs. Mike felt that she would be a good candidate, and she was hired to join his team at Honeywell. (He aldo helped her find an apartment location convenient to work.)
After a few years, Jean developed a romantic interest with a man in another department: one Jim Blair, eventually marrying him. Jim had a connection to Mike, too, as he was one of a group of runners who ran at lunchtime. Jean also joined this group and became a good runner herself. Many of this group participated in local charity runs, and the team did quite well in a popular corporate race, winning the team competition several years.
(Of additional interest is that Mike's scoring software was used to score this and other valley races, and his involvement with the Honeywell team wasn't well known...)
Adelaide Brennan (nèe Payne) - Libby's sister, was 2 years older than Libby. She was a star student growing up in Owensboro, and married a young preacher there at the age of 17. That marriage produced 4 children (Bobby, Marcia, Joannie and Edward), and Libby has always been close to her nephews and nieces over the years. Mostly a stay-at-home mom, Adelaide went to college and earned a doctorate in English. The marriage broke up after many years, and she became a professor at a local college in New Orleans - eventually becoming the head of her department there.
After the divorce, Adelaide developed a relationship with another English professor who taught at Tulane University in New Orleans, Steve Brennan. This relationship lasted many years, even though Steve took another teaching job at LSU, in Baton Rouge. The distance didn't affect their relationship, as they eventually married and moved to Shreveport, Louisiana for a short time before moving back to New Orleans to be close to her children.
Tom & Diane Brennan - are long-time Phoenix friends of Mike and Libby. They were also charter members of Top Seed Tennis Club, which is where they met Mike and Libby. Along with some others mentioned here, Tom and Diane became members of a "mixed doubles" tennis/social group that formed at Top Seed. Many years after the "tennis thing" ended, the couples remain friends, with occasional social interactions.
Bud Light Triathlon Series - was a series of triathlons (swim/bike/run) that Raceplace timed from 1991-1993. Following its success with the Coors Light Duathlon Series, Raceplace won the processing contract for this prestigious series. It was considerably more work than the Coors Light series, and it was often that events for both were held on same weekends, but in different cities. More crew members were added, but certain critical functions (such as Mike's computer/software knowledge) were shortchanged. "Quality" suffered, and after 3 years Raceplace stopped doing this work.
A memorable BLTS race was held in Chicago, on the Lake Michigan lakefront. That was one occasion where Libby was able to join Mike on the crew, but the conditions that day were extreme: a tornado hit the area, and the swim had to be canceled. Much of the equipment (tents, computers, etc.) was damaged. It was an awful experience for all (athletes, spectators, and crew), but all survived.
|Bud Light Triathlon Series|
Joyce Clarke - Joyce has been Mike and Libby's across-the-street neighbor since 2012, although they didn't know her until 2015 or so. This odd situation was due to Joyce's living most of the year in Canada: she and her husband, Gordon, alternated living between Canada and Phoenx (as many Phoencians do), but his failing health never permitted traveling to Phoenix during the Copeland's first years in their Biltmore home. Mike and Libby would occasionally see people coming in and out of the house, but if asked always told they were "visiting" the place for a short time.
Eventually, they met a woman who said she owned the house and was moving in. This was Joyce Clarke, who was permantly moving from Canada, as her husband had passed away. Another "visitor couple" arrived around then; this was Joyce's stepson and his wife, Mike and Kathy Clarke. Libby and Mike got to know them, too, and they said they were looking to purchase a house nearby, so they could be near Joyce (see below).
Joyce has lived across the street ever since, and has become a good neightbor to have nearby.
Mike & Kathy Clarke - as stated above, Joyce Clarke's step-son decided to purchase a home near her, and it so happened that the house next to Mimke and Libby came up for sale about that time. That house was owned by a woman who the Copeland rarely saw and with whom had an uneasy, "hands off" relationship with - not a good neighbor at all. Mike and Kathy Clarke wanted a house as a second home for the winter months, and this house next to Mike and Libby turned out to be it. Suddenly, Mike and libby had "replacement neighbors" they already knew and would be a positive change!
The Clarkes were at the time just visiting Joyce and needed to back (to New York State) and needed someone to take charge of making their new home "theirs". Interestingly, they saw Libby's work next door, and hired her to "do the place" in their absence. It was a rather simple job for Libby, as there was no remodelling needed and primarily furniture and accessories: Libby could be on hand to accept deliveries and organize the placement of items she ordered.
So it was that when the Clarkes cameto their new winter home, they walked into a completely furnished place as ready for them as a hotel would have been, complete with sheets, towels and all they needed. They were pleased, and the Copelands had "instant neighbors". It's been several years now, and the Clarkes come and go, and while they're in New York for half the year, Mike watches over their house, a situation that works for all. Mike also provides a "personal airport Uber" service for them (Joyce Clarke, too), because he's very familiar with how to get to the airport, as well as having free parking when picking them up...
Buckner Coe - was the senior minister at the First Congregational Church of Wilmette at the time Mike met and fell in love with Libby. Since Mike and his family had been members of this church (and knew Dr. Coe), it was the obvious choice for their wedding, and for him to perform the ceremony. Mike and Libby attended some pre-marriage counseling with him, and on May 23, 1964 they were married there by Buckner Coe.
(Of minor coincidental interest, he married Mike's long-time friend, Karen Swanson, married Herbert Berry the previous December. Was there something "special" about Buckner Coe and/or that church that yielded enduring marriages such as the Copeland's and Berry's (which have both exceeded 50 years)?...)
Bill Coleman - Libby has known Bill for many years, starting in 1979 when she started an Interior Design internship at John H. Armer. She worked closely with Bill in her work, and she and Mike saw Bill and John at various social events that were part of her career. Bill was especially attentive after Mike's bicycle accident/head injury, and Mike remembers Bill's concern.
Bill's relationship with John Armer lasted a remarkable 45 years, and Libby tried to keep up with John's health decline during the last years of his life - a somewhat difficult task if she didn't see Bill at gatherings or events. Then, in 2015 ran into Bill outside her home - learning that he had moved in to their neighborhood, 2 doors down the street! This was great news for both Libby and Mike, but he informed them John was very ill with dementia and was in a facility. John has since passed, but Bill remains nearby, becoming an integral part of their neighborhood (very much because be brought with him his wonderful dog, Buster, whom everyone knows and loves).
Coors Light Duathlon Series (CLDS) - was Raceplace's first major timing & scoring contract - in 1988; (For Rob Wallack, it was a major risk, because the dependence on Mike's new scoring software was critical...and he had just incurred the head injury)
The first event was in San Diego, and Rob had to gather a crew that could travel on weekends. It was at this event that Rob and the crew discovered the challenges of working with local volunteers: organizing; instructing; maintaining focus, etc. Other issues, such as dealing with weather and environmental conditions were situations the crew would face in most venues.
It's a credit to Rob that his talent for employing associates would would (and could) rise to virtually any challenge, to produce quality results each and every time. Also, all members of the crew got along incredibly well in dealing with the many unusual hardships.
Ultimately, this series and the quality of the work produced got national attention, which led to more out of town work (Bud Light Triathlon; America's Finest City Half Marathon; Komen Race for the Cure, and others), which continues to this day. Mike's contributions were exclusively on the data processing side, but no less important was the way the whole team adapted to whatever situations arose in the many cities they visited. However, no amount of experience, talent or hard work could overcome the issues produced in the several "mountain bike" series Raceplace took on. Those events were wretchedly produced, impossible to control, and favoured by participants of demented and belligerent personalities. After a few years of this craziness, Raceplace left that business...
|Coors Light Duathlon Series|
Kitty and Maurice
Elizabeth "Kitty" Copeland - Mike's mother grew up in Chicago, under unusual and difficult circumstances. Her father, a teacher, volunteered to help in the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 (considered the worst pandemic in history), where 20-40 million people died worldwide. He contracted the disease and died two days later, and Elizabeth grew up without a father, living much of her life with her mother (Elsie Kittle) and her maternal grandmother. Her grandmother never forgave her son-in-law for sacrificing himself and imposed an almost impossible schooling burden on young Elizabeth: she was allowed to attend school less than half of each year, for fear that she'd catch (another) flu and perish. Thus, she had to endure a life without friends and was forced to miss most of her formal education.
Despite this restrictive upbringing, Elizabeth was an extraordinarily successful student and managed to graduate in the top of her high school class (Senn High School, in Chicago). Her academic achievements won her a full scholarship to the famed The Pasadena Playhouse, where she met Maurice Copeland, an upperclassman there. They began a romantic relationship, which was clandestine because of a strict non-traternazation policy within the student body. Maurice graduated (he was 3 years older), but he stayed there, teaching some classes (fencing, among others), until she graduated and they could get engaged and married. Their son, Michael, was born there, before Maurice could establish a career in Radio. They moved to Chicago when he got his first job (in Radio, on "The Answer Man"), spending most of their lives there.
Maurice D. Copeland - Mike's father had a long and successful career in radio, television, TV commercials, films, and theater, spanning more than 40 years. His first job in radio was in Chicago, where he and his family spent most of their lives. That radio show was called "The Answer Man", which had a "question/answer" format: Maurice would read questions submitted by listeners, and the show's host star, one Albert Mitchell, would provide interesting and factual answers. The show aired for 19 years. He met Elizabeth when both attending The Pasadena Playhouse, a well-known theater arts college in California. They fell in love there, but existing "non-fraternzation rules" in the school prevented them from openenly dating: they had to both graduate before formerly getting engaged and marrying. Mike was born there, and they moved to Chicago, where Maurice's first job (in Radio) was waiting.
When they arrived in Chicago and lived in a small apartment, the entertainment industry there was in its infancy. World War II was looming, but radio was vital in communicating news and entertainment. Maurice had roles in over 10,000 radio shows, such as "Sky King", "Tom Mix", "Jack Armstrong", "Ma Perkins", "Captain Midnight", "Curtain Time", "Author's Playhouse", "Destination Freedom", "We Came this Way", "The Hall of Fansasy", "The Chicago Theater of the Air" and others.
For those interested, here's a recorded conversation with 3 vintage radio actors, one being Maurice Copeland.
Most notable to his family was his role in the pioneering of early TV. Chicago became active with the growth of live television in the early 1950s, and Maurice had the lead role in "Hawkins Falls", a TV series that ran from 1953-1955. At the same time, he starred in another series: "Those Endearing Young Charms", a show that ran in 1952. He had significant film credits, as well.
Gloria Daniels - had the misfortune of working for Honeywell-Bull during the time when Mike was recovering from his bike accident/head injury. She became his boss, and even though she had also suffered a past head injury, she wasn't able to help him enough to avoid being transferred from his job to a lower-level position there...in software testing. No particular blame goes to her, because the 7 year effort for him to "regain normalcy" was beyond the sort of support the company was equipped to offer. Mike languished there for 12 years, when the downward spiral of the company's business forced a subsequent manager (Andrew Hertnecky) to lay him off.
|"Drop Ins" at coffee||
"The Drop-Ins" - is a group of (seasoned*) men who play tennis at the Phoenix Tennis Center and then go to coffee at Einstein's Bagels three times a week. Mike has been playing (and socializing) with these guys since 2010, an activity that has become an important part of his life.
* The ages of these guys range from 65 to mid-80s.
|More "Drop Ins"|
Durang, Charlie is an old friend from High School in Libertyville. He was one of a small group of "nerds" that Mike hung around with; he was also editor of the school paper, Drops of Ink. Charlie played several sports (baseball and basketball), not well enough to make high school teams, but he was "accepted" by all the students there. He, Mike, and Tony Cresswell got together and produced the infamous "Fenwick Knurd Radio Show" that, because of the respect Charlie had with school administration, was played over the school's PA system before classes started once a week. Allowing this foolishness was a tribute to the achool's principal, C. Allen Fort.
Bob & Pam Farrer - are among the various couples that have known Mike and Libby since 1978, when they, too, became charter members of Top Seed Tennis Club. As year pass, and tennis has no part in their lives today, Mike and Libby see the Farrers much less often than when the couples were active tennis players.
Field Enterprises Educational Corporation (FEEC) - was the company where Mike got his first full-time job - in the stockroom - in 1960. He stayed there for only a few months, when he secured a transfer into the company's System Departrment, where the company's computer programming was done. Mike didn't have any idea what was done there, but he was happy to get out of the stockroom.
The company's business was the production and sales of World Book Encyclopedia, and the time the most popular and affordable encyclopedia in the world. Primarily sold to families and libraries by part time sales people who were mostly school teachers and librarians, World Book was targeted at families with kids in school. A companion product, Childcraft, was a "junior encyclopedia" meant for pre-school kids and their families. Both were extremely popular in the United States, and FEEC needed a lot of computing power to process the sales and incoming monthly payments ($6 per month). The well known Encyclopedia Britannica wasn't a real competitor for World Book, as it focused on college student and professional research usage.
Mike worked at FEEC for 13 years, programming several types of mainframe computers, to become the company's Manager of Technical Evaluation - which led to many trips to Phoenix and eventual move there in 1973.
Fiesta Bowl Marathon - was a major local running race that was also a popular qualifying event for the Boston Marathon. It was held consecutively from 1971-1984. Mike had started his "running period" in 1977, following a period where his tennis game seemed to deteriorate (he was losing matches against guys he used to and should have handily beat). He was at that time, very competitive and focused on his tennis...not a particularly good thing for his life and family.
This period wasn't really important in his and Libby's life, but where it led was...
After he had run (and completed) this arduous event a couple of times, he learned that Honeywell Phoenix was getting involved with the Honeywell Boston division in a cooperative effort to time and score the Fiesta Bowl Marathon. Since computers and software were involved, Mike joined the team being formed to host the "Boston operation" and do the processing for the local event. Mike got to know the 2 Boston programmers well, and he learned the basic technical concepts of their system. Through several years and many activities, this ultimately lead to Mike's all-consuming involvement with Raceplace Events, Rob Wallack and the timing and scoring business.
Florence Crittenton - tbd
Flunk Day - a tradition at Coe College, where the Student Council President declares a day in the Spring where all students skip classes and party. It was on this occasion in his Freshman year that Mike met Janet White, which led to a serious romantic relationship that lasted until he left school.
C. Allen Fort - was Principal of Libertyville-Fremont High School during the years Mike and Maureen attended. He was, in all regards, a "good guy": fair, lenient, and sometimes willing to "bend the rules" in favor of the students. He was well-liked and respected.
Lou Fraccola - was one of Mike's various managers during his years at Honeywell-Bull. Mike was working for Lou when he developed his "dump analyser" software and was asked to teach a class to technical support people in Paris, France. He made this trip with Libby, and Lou and his wife, Marie, happened to be there at the time. Having a friend there in that strange environment was very comforting to Mike, who was having lots of anxiety just being there. For Mike, this trip could have been much more stressful without meeting the Fraccolas there...
Pat Gallagher - was Mike's last boss at Field Enterprises Educational Corporation. They had traveled on business together and were friends of a sort. It was very difficult for Mike to tell Pat he was leaving, especially since Pat had "guaranteed" the down payment loan Mike and Libby used to buy their first house.
Pat was an fascinating guy, having been an Air Force pilot in his earlier days, and he was fun and volatile - due, no doubt, to his Irish heritage. He was a wonderful boss, who gave Mike much support and opportunity during their years working together...
In fact, Pat was instramental in Mike and Libby's purchase of their first house: it was his personal assurance (to the bank officer working their mortgage loan) that Mike's job growth at FEEC would warrant an unsecured loan to cover the down payment on that home. (This was many years ago, when such verbal guarantees were honored by banks...something currently unheardof.)
Ken Geiser - represented GE and Honeywell in the years Field Enterprises was using their computers, as lead vendor representative (not sales). Mike was his frequent contact, and when Mike got involved with the GE and Honeywell User Groups (GESUA & HLSUA), they often worked closely to set up and run the yearly meetings. Mike was president of the GE Users' group at one time.
The two worked together for so long, Mike approached Ken in 1970 about coming to work for GE. Ken knew all the important people at GE, but GE had just sold their large scale computer business to Honeywell: it was the wrong time for the company to be hiring from a key customer! Also, the new Honeywell operation in Phoenix was laying off people (and certainly not hiring), as they tried to make the business viable. Mike and Ken kept up the effort, and 3 years later Honeywell hired Mike to come to Phoenix and develop software. Ken Geiser was more than helpful in Mike's efforts to move to and work in Phoenix.
Art Harris - was the man to whom Libby (Payne) was engaged at the time she met Mike. He helped her move to Rogers Park, a neighborhood on the northern edge of Chicago's lake front, along with 2 of his cats. Libby discovered she was allergic to cats... Art was an interesting, if offbeat, guy. A college graduate, he didn't really have a career or regular job, but he did odd jobs for wealthy North Shore home owners: things such as cleaning gutters, seasonal storm window/screen replacement, and various tasks his clients needed. Work like this was important to home owners in these communities, and it paid well. Art operated a cash-only "business", and he invested heavily in the stock markets. He had a very modest and frugal lifestyle, but he was shrewd, hard working, and saved almost everything. Libby canceled their wedding 6 weeks before the date, after completing almost all the planning, mailing the invitations, and making her wedding dress.
Andrew Hertnecky - a (somewhat) personal friend (and sharing a common interest in running), who (had to) lay Mike off from his (Bull) job in 2000, when the decline of the company's business forced his number to "come up". They had been working together at Honeywell & Bull for years, and knew each other pretty well. One of the many and perpetual reorganizations at Bull resulted in Mike being assigned to Andy, and he was the manager who layed Mike off. This was undoubtedly the most difficult aspect of being a manager there. Mike was "expecting it" (everyone there was) for some time, and he never blamed Andy...
Barbie Hill - Barbara Nelson Hill (Barbie) is an old friend of Mike and Libby, who after a long marriage to Dick Hill, divorced him and moved to Florida. She and Dick married before Mike and Libby, but because of Mike's friendship with Dick the couples saw a lot of each other early in their unions. Both couples lived in the Chicago area, and neither having much money, spent a lot of "cheap time" together. The Copelands' daughters (Regan and Becky) were born almost the same time as the Hills' daughter Pam, and 2 more Hill children followed.
The Hills were devout Christians, and Barbie has
John & Mary Kelly - were the neighbors next door to Mike and Libby's first house, in Wilmette. They were an older couple with 2 daughters older than Becky and Regan. Their daughters had numerous friends (male and female) that hung around the Kelly's house, often living as "hippies" in a VW van parked on the street. This was during the late 1960s, and for a while Mike was rather unnerved, given the political climate at that time (Viet Nam war, etc.). In fact, these friends were nice, gentle, and very welcoming to the Copeland family, and we actually "good neighbors" (so to speak). The experience as good for Mike, who mellowed and adjusted to the situation quite well...
Paul & Mary Ellen Kelley - have maintained friendship with Mike and Libby almost since the Copelands came to Phoenix in the '70s. Although not nearby neighbors, the Kelleys became friends through mutual friends, and Mike and Libby found them interesting and warm people. Paul had been a Catholic priest (see below) in Atlanta, and Mary Ellen had been a TV personality there. He left the priesthood and married her, and they moved to Phoenix to raise a family. Among other things, Paul taught at a local college for a while.
The Kellys were living in north central Phoenix, but south of Mike and Libby's neighborhood, and they converted their property into a Bed & Breakfast - one of the first of its kind in Phoenix. Maricopa Manor became a growing success, and the Kelleys hosted some wonderful Christmas partys there for their friends. Mike became fascinated in Paul's constant improvements, as well as his marketing efforts: Mike and Libby stayed in a B&B during a driving vacation in northern California.
In 1984 Regan was to be married, and Maricopa Manor became the site for several wedding activities, such as out-of-toen guest lodging, rehearsal dinner, and wedding photography. Everything was perfect there, and the Kellys were wonderful hosts.
Fast-forward to 2000, and many things had changed for Paul and Mary Ellen. They had retired, sold Maricopa Manor and moved to a townhouse closer to 'hoods in which many of their friends lived, and the social contacts with them grew. Paul and Mary Ellen continued the wonderful Christmas parties, and Paul joined Mike and other guys in "Boys Night Out" dinners while Libby and her lady friends had birthday luncheons. However, Mary Ellen was a diabetic and was having health problems that eventually put her into a wheelchair and restricted her activities. She passed away some years later, and Paul moved into a nice retirement facility nearby.
Nonetheless, when Regan and Becky planned a surprise 50th wedding anniversary party, Paul was an important part of the festivities as he was the officiant of Mike and Libby's emotional repeating of their wedding vows. Paul is happy in his new situation, but his health has restricted activities outside of his home, and he's not able to see his many friends much...
|Elsie & Maurice @ wedding||
Elsie Kittle - was Mike's maternal grandmother, the only grandparent he ever knew. A remarkable woman, she single-handedly raised Mike's mother, Elizabeth, while living in apartments in Chicago. Her husband, Roy Kittle, died in 1918: he volunteered as a nurse in that year's flu pandemic, catching the disease and dying two days later. Elizabeth was only 3, having almost no knowledge of her father. Elsie, her mother, and Elizabeth lived a hard life while Elizabeth grew up, and much of her early education was "home schooling" (Elsie's mother had great fear of sickness and insisted Elizabeth not attend school during the winter and spring seasons!).
Elsie's household persevered, though, and she had menial jobs until her brothers gathered money to send her to business school. That enabled her to get jobs as a stenographer and executive secretary - which she did almost until her death in 1965.
Mike was fond of his grandmother, and family visits to her apartment seemed "magical". She lived in a high-rise apartment on Chicago's north Lake Shore Drive, facing Lake Michidan...it almost seemed to touch the beach and lake!. It was far different from where Mike, his parents and his sisters lived; it was almost like going to an amusement park, with elevators, fantastic views, a fancy restaurant, and long hallways. Elsie was a fun hostess for these family times, and Mike never knew of her history and hard times.
Elsie attended Mike and Libby's wedding in 1964, making it all that more special. She died a year later...
Tomm Kleyensteuber - has the most wide-ranging relationship to Mike, as he worked with Mike both in Chicago and Phoenix. Tomm joined FEEC several years after Mike, and he also worked with him in a unique and important project there. When FEEC committed to changing computer vendors from IBM to GE/Honeywell, there was a large problem to be solved: conversion of existing applications to a new platform that couldn't run those programs directly (IBM was able to). This was considered in the decision, but some had to be done nevertheless, because reprogramming all those programs wasn't possible.
The technical effort to create a "program translator" wasn't available back then (1970), but an article in the Wall Street Journal gave Mike an idea: 2 young entrepenuers had actually done such a thing, and Mike thought he might try so himself! Very much a "pipe dream", designing and writing such a program for their specific conversion (IBM705-GE435) wasn't a project Mike's company wanted to actually do, but he was given permission to see what he could do. Tomm was assigned to help him, and they started...
It took months, and results weren't particularily encouraging at first. The task was to "de-assemble" the IBM programs' code and data structure (the IBM instruction set was small, only 26 instructions, but determining where the progreams' data and constants were in each program was a real challenge. The "target" source code was to be COBOL language, and the task was making propane gas from wood chips: seeming impossible. Eventually, though, some positive results started appearing - some very crude COBOL source code that, when compiled, actually ran on the GE computers and produced results.
The resultant programs were very slow, and this process, while successful in nature, wouldn't do for most of the high volume major applications. However, the conversion was viable for a number of the non-critical applications FEEC had (weekly, monthly and quarterly functions), and that gave FEEC significant relief in their overall schedule. The other programmers could focus their work on redesigning and reimplementing the most important programs to be converted, which they did. The "crazy project" Mike and Tomm did was a great help for the company's move to new computers. A further long-term benefit was that, once all the software source code was in a high-level language (COBOL), subsequent upgrades to new computer systems was immensely easier.
Then, several years after Mike had left FEEC and moved to Phoenix, Tomm did so himself. He contacted Mike and asked for a "good word", which he gave, and Tomm was ultimately hired and brought to Phoenix. Tomm didn't work with Mike, per se`, but had other assignments elsewhere in Honeywell's large operations. He eventually rose to a managerial position, and they had less and less contact. Tomm's wife was apparently unhappy living in Phoenix (reasons unknown), and one day he and his wife up and moved to Cincinati, Ohio. Mike hasn't heard from from them since.
Erika (Ricky) Koppitz - got Mike's attention almost as soon as he transferred to Libertyville High School: she was a 6 feet tall and redheaded. Mike dated her a bit in their Junior year, taking her to their Prom. Ricky is noteworthy because she was the first girl Mike kissed...
Art McCabe - played a most important role in Mike's life: He hired Mike and brought him to Phoenix! It was a involved and lengthly process that took 3 years to accomplish. Mike had been visiting the General Electric large scale computer facility in Phoenix for about 8 years, as he represented Field Enterprised Educational Corporation in its technical work with new computers. He met many marketing types from GE over the years, and his involvement with the GE 400 and GE 600 Series computer user groups often put him in contact with Ken Geiser, a customer relations manager there. Because of Mike's involvement with the User Groups, he also met Art McCabe, who was manager of various GE computer software systems. As much as anything else, these contacts were important when Mike started to seek employment with the GE in Phoenix.
In 1970, Mike first contacted Ken Geiser, with whom he had a good relationship, asking for advice on whom and how to get a job there. Ken told him that it was a particularly bad time to be doing that, as GE had just sold their computer business to Honeywell. He also said that hiring an important customer's (FEEC) employee (Mike) was a delicate situation (obviously...). Mike had to wait almost 3 years for things to "open up", and it was an interview with Art McCabe that actually produced a job opportunity.
Art's offer was to become a member of a small team of developers working on a highly secret U.S. military system called WWMCCS. Mike knew nothing about this project, of course, but he jumped at the chance to move to Phoenix and become only a developer (he had advanced at FEEC too far into management and was unhappy with that work). He flew to Phoenix with Libby, and they spent a few days looking to buy a house - which they did - and started the process of selling their home in Wilmette. A lot started happening very quickly, and both could see big changes ahead. Mike was needed almost immediately, and ss a moving date approached, Art arranged for Mike to stay in another manager's condo for 2 weeks prior to the family's actual move to Phoenix.
The WWMCCS team was located in an old wearhouse a mile away from the main GE/Honeywell plant, mostly due to security concerns and need to isolate the team from normal "plant activities" - a good thing. Their environment was austere for sure, but it afforded a great way to do nothing but work together, as well as learn the new team members who were coming on board (Mike among them). The project's scope and management grew as well, and Art was promoted to Director level. He brought in a manager from another GE/Honeywell project, Ken Roberts, to take over for him, and Art moved back to the main plant.
One of the people Art also brought into the team was a woman named Mary Maxine Williamson (generally known as "Mary Max"), with whom he had a personal interest. Although there may have a minor company policy violation with Mary's presence on the team, since Art wasn't her immediate boss, their relationship grew, and Art and Mary got married (Art's first wife had passed away). Their marriage lasted until Art passed away in 2003. (Mary passed away in 2007.)
Mary Jo Meester - is a girl Mike briefly dated in his freshman year at Coe College. Mary Jo was a student at the nursing school that was across the street from his dormitory...and wasn't a student at Coe. For a reason he can't recall, Mike visited the medical clinic in that school one evening, and Mary Jo was working there. She had red hair (!), and Mike somehow arranged a date with her. This "date" was to a college or fraternity function (he doesn't remember), and Mike learned an important fact of college life there.
Unknown to Mike was the "bad blood" that existed between the nursing students and the sorority girls at Coe (whatever the reason). A male Coe student who deigned to date a nursing student was "boycotted" by the sorority girls at Coe. It wasn't until "Flunk Day" that Spring that Mike was able to interact with a sorority girl (who turned out to be Janet White). That turned out to be an important "interaction" indeed!...
The Merchandise Mart - in Chicago, is the world's largest commercial building and wholesale design center. It encompasses 42 million square feet in 25 floors and span 2 square blocks on the north side of the Chicago River. The Mart was built in the 1930s by Marshall Field and Company, to become a major showroom and retailers' marketplace. Primarily filled with furniture and accessory showrooms, most floors (8-22) are closed to the public and accessible . During the Second World War, the Mart housed governemt offices, but in 1945 Joseph P. Kennedey (President Kennedy's father) purchaesd it and revived its original merchantile purpose.
The 1st 7 floors house a variety of commercial companies (the Chicago Transit Authority occupied the 7th floor for many years). Mike's first job, following his abbreviated college experience, was at Field Enterprises Educational Corporation (FEEC), which consumed the entire 5th floor and part of the 19th - a very large company. Conveniently, Mike could take "The El" (CTA commuter train) from his home in Evanston to a special stop that was part of the Mart. Many people got to and from the Mart via public transportation. Employees for Mart companies could occasionally visit the designer showrooms in the building an purchase furniture and designer items at wholesale prices, which was for some a nice "perk". Mike worked there for 13 years, before moving to Phoenix.
Reuben Muns - of all the people Mike has worked with throughout his career, Reuben Muns stands out as the most unique: genius-level, he truly was a giant in the computer industry. Mike happend to share small cubicle with him and two others (Ron Lentsch and Ron Cimino), and Reuben sat directly across from Mike. The small team had a table between their desks, and Mike and Reuben often worked facing each other across it. For seveal years, Mike had the benefit of Reuben's face-to-face tutelage...even though Reuben was a heavy smoker. (This was years ago, before many current laws wer e enacted.)
Nonetheless, Mike witnessed and helped to create the software component they dubbed, "The MunsMac Software Computer". This was, in essence, a software program that acted as though it was a (hardware) computer: having "created instructions" that would provide the functions needed for the Database Machine product they were building. To fulfill the specified functions in the WWMCCS specifications (there were 398 separate items), Reuben's idea was to create a "computer within the host computer" that would act like computer circuitry: hence, a "Database Machine" called MunsMac. In the early 1970s, this was a revolutionary concept, one which has also been used in some modern day computer languages, such as Java.
The team wasn't aware of the ground-breaking idea they were (creating), but it was they way they solved the enormous challenge of the WWMCCS requirements. Its "father" was Reuben Muns, and Mike was privileged to be a key part of its "birth".
New Trier High School, located in Winnetka, Illinois, is one of the most famous high schools in the USA. Scenes from Home Alone, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Uncle Buck were shot at the high school's west campus in Northfield, and scenes from Sixteen Candles were shot outside the high school's east campus in Winnetka. The Breakfast Club's title comes from the nickname invented by students and staff for morning detention at New Trier, the school attended by the son of one of John Hughes' friends. The movie Mean Girls was based on New Trier. Risky Business was filmed in Winnetka, with scenes in and around the New Trier area.
Many of New Trier's studenta and graduates are famous: movie stars, politicians, and business "giants". Mike attended this well known institution for 1½ years, when his family moved to Libertyville, Illinois. His sister Maureen attended it for less than a semester, but shared a "homeroom" with Ann-Margaret.
|New Trier High School|
Shirley Ann Newman - was a girl Mike met while working at the Merchandise Mart: she worked for The Toni Company, a firm that produced a "home hair permanent kit" that was very popuar in the 60s & 70s. Toni became a division of Gillette in the 60s. The company's offices on the 3rd floor of the Mart housed their research lab, and employees there could get their hair done for free any time they wished. Shirley had gorgeous hair! She was also quite pretty, and they met at a "social mixer" that the Mart sponsored Friday evenings in a large banquet/ballroom facility in the building. Mike went there a few times to meet women, and while it wasn't a "meat market" as such, he met some women that way.
Mike dated Shirley for several months, through the Holidays of 1962. He met her parents at her home, and when it came time to exchange Christmas gifts he ordered an expensive silk scarf from Neiman Marcus. Shirley was several years younger than Mike, and clearly from a different background, living on the Chicago's West Side. Mike enjoyed being with her on dates, but when she mentioned that she had received a package from "Niman Marcus" (badly mispronouncing the first name), Mike was disappointed that she wasn't familiar with that store. (He sought to impress her with the source of the present; the gesture fell flat...)
There wasn't much "romance" in their relationship, and when Mike left to go to Air National Guard Basic Training and Tech School (for almost 7 months), they wrote each other a few times. This correspondence was only prefunctory, and was withering when Mike received the "fateful greeting card" from Libby Payne. Mike stopped writing Shirley (never to see or hear from her again) and started the intense mail correspondence that ignited their romance. He didn't regard Shirley as a "romantic placeholder", but in fact that was her role at the time. To this day, Mike hopes the best for Shirley, because she was a really nice person...
Rob Olson - tbd
Julia Overton - tbd
Don Papineau - was a fellow computer programmer at FEEC in Chicago. He was one of the four colleagues (Mike, Barry Sears and John Worthy) who went out to lunch every day. Don was quite witty and had a series on one-liners and acronyms that kept them all laughing. Many, if not all, of Don's quips (PDA, BFOG, OPL, etc.) would today be classified as very "non-PC", but they were right for this group. Over the years at FEEC, Don and Barry became close personal friends, vacationing in Indiana together and finally driving to Phoenix to attend Regan's wedding in 1984. That occasion was the last time Mike and Libby saw Don, as he died in July, 2004. He is still remembered with great fondness by many...
Gary & Patricia (nèe Simmons) Peshak- tbd
|Phoenix Country Club||
Phoenix Country Club is the oldest country club in Phoenix - Libby and Mike were members there from 2001-2011. Libby thought joining this club, in downtown Phoenix, could be a benefit to her business, and they were then living within walking distance of the club when the moved to the high rise condos they lived in during that period. PCC was and is primarily a golf club, and although there are tennis courts, a swimming pool, and workout facilities and classes, Mike and Libby didn't get much use of the club facilities. Mike took up tennis, after many years' hiatus. Libby also played a little tennis, too, but it was confined to clinics at night, as she was working 7 days a week to keep her business going.
Mike's tennis (and that's all he did) was with a men's Saturday group, some inter-club play, and 2 years of USTA play, representing the club. He also played in several "club championship" tournaments, winning the 65+ Mens class and becoming Club Champion in that division. (Full disclosure: that year, only one other man entered that division, a man 84 years old, and Mike didn't have much trouble winning that match...) In summary, the "country club experience" didn't help Libby's business much, and it primarily became a vehicle for Mike's recreation and friendship acquisition. Neither Mike or Libby made any friendships that lasted beyond their membership there.
Dr. George Prigatano - was Mike's primary psychologist/therapist at the Adult Day Hospital, (part of Barrow Neurological Institute), where Mike spent about 6 months of neurological rehab that followed his bike accident/head injury in 1988.
Radke, Cindy - is the wife (Terry Eckhardt is her husband) of a couple that Mike and Libby met while living in the Regency House. Meeting in a humorous way on the elevator (Mike was going up with what was obviously party stuff), Terry asked why he and Cindy weren't invited (to the party). This led to a short, silly conversation about Terry and Cindy being new residents, didn't know anybody, and felt "excluded" from social activities in the building. Mike felt compelled to meet them more directly, doing did so soon thereafter.
When Mike and Libby got to know this couple, they found a lot in common, and the friendship grew. At that time, Libby and Mike lived 6 floors below Cindy and Terry, and once Terry was shaking a dust mop over the railing, and it fell off and landed on the flag pole on Mike and Libby's balcony. More silly fun with the two couples when Terry came down and announced their flag pole had damaged his dust mop...
Terry worked as a lawyer for the county, and Cindy worked for Cisco; they were recently married. Although both couples have moved (Cindy and Terry now live in Flagstaff), they see each other now and then: the latter come to Phoenix often; Libby and Mike have gone to Flagstaff a few times to escape the summer heat in Phoenix.
|Mike & Barry Sears||
Sears, Barry - one of Mike's best friends in Chicago, worked with him at FEEC. He was part of a group of 4 fellow workers: Mike, Don Papineau and John Worthy. The three others joined FEEC after Mike: Barry was the first, being hired a a new programmer trainee (back then, there were no Computer Programming college programs; almost everyone entered the field via "OJT"). Barry was an Ivy League college grad (BROWN), and he and Mike became "lunch buddies": they usually went off site to some restaurant in walking distance...but sometimes taking a taxi. After Don and John came into they department, they joined Barry and Mike in their "lunch ventures". Of the four, only Mike and Barry maintain contact today, as Don died a few years ago and John developed political leanings that Mike and Barry didn't share.
|Barry Sears & Libby|
Myron Shapiro - tbd
Janet Shepard - tbd
Don "Cowboy" Shourds - is one of the "Drop Ins" tennis/coffee group that Mike plays with twice a week. Don is significant because he manages the group: reserving the courts, handling the money, providing new tennis balls each day and generally "runs" the activity. And, yes, he (always) wears a cowboy hat....
Sherry Shroyer - tbd
Sky Harbor International Airport - tbd
Mike & Marge Smith - tbd
Nancy Smirbach - tbd
Joyce Snyder - tbd
Ann Spoelstra - was a girl Mike dated in 1960 after he started his computer programming career at Field Enterprises. She was attractive, classy, and pleasant company, but Mike knew there was no future with her, as she was a Catholic. They had only 3 or 4 dates, which were important because she introduced Mike to the world of "fine dining". That is, Mike quickly understood that Ann knew how to behave in nice restaurants, knowledge Mike didn't have but sensed he should acquire. Mike knew he needed to know how to execute the basics of wine ordering and such, so he without regret "wrote off" these expensive dates as a valuable learning exercise.
Tarver, Lolita - was the "target" of a shooting in The offics of Field Enterprises. It was one of the most bizarre situations Mike ever faced in his career (there or anywhere else). Mike was managing 2 programmers, but he also had a small clerical staff that served the entire Systems Department. Several of these cherical people were Afro-Americans women, and Mike didn't know much about them. Late one day, he heard an argument between two of them, but it seemed to resolve itself before everyone left for the day.
One of these women, Lolita Tarver apparently was the object of the argument, and early the next morning became the target of a gunshot the following morning. The shooter, Dorothy Thompson, another clerk working for Mike, had let the dispute fester overnight and came into work early, waiting for Lolita. She had sat at her work station, still wearing her winter coat, and when Lolita entered pulled out a Derringer-type pistol and shot at Lolita. This, of course, caused an uproar among those there, and Dorothy calmly go up and walked out. No one stopped her...
Mike arrived a few minutes later, to find the place in chaos, not knowing quite what had happened. Someone called the police, who arrived soon and started to gather information and evidence (the bullet was lodged high in a wall, making it clear that the shot was wildly off). The interviewed Mike, who knew little, even what had led up to the shooting incident. The police did get Dorothy's information and address and went off to locate her.
Some time later, after the police had apprehended Dorothy Thompson, she went to trial for the assault, and Mike had to go to court and testify what little he knew. She was apparently convicted, never came back, and Mike doesn't know what happened to her. A strange incident, for sure, which taught Mike that "personnel issues" weren't his forte` - an important lesson for him.
Thompson, Dorothy - see Lolita Tarver (above)
Wilcox MD, Todd - has been a client of Libby's for many years - one of her best. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, but his work takes him all over the country. A number of years ago Todd took a contract job in Phoenix to manage the Maricopa County Jail's medical system. This enormous hospital and healthcare system has been run by (the nortoroous) Joe Arpiao, famous for his "Tent City" jail and periodic immanent roundups. The whole system was in need of major overehauls, and Todd was commissioned to find the problems and fix them.
For a while, Dr. Wilcox commuted back and forth from home to Phoenix, but he decided to purchase a permanent residence because he needed to be in Phoenix more and more of the time. He found a newly constructed loft in midtown Phoenix, but it was starkly new and unfurnished. A recommendation steered him to Libby, who had recently moved to a formal design studio not far from his new residence. After some initial planning, he gave Libby "free reign" on this project, turning it into a stunning loft residence. Among the features was a 12 foot metal sculpture that was created by a local artist, Jay Willet (a personal friend).
This project turned out so well that Libby asked if she could have it photographed for submission to the ASID Design Awards - which it won 1st Place in its category. The success of this project fostered a long relationship with Dr. Wilcox, extending to major work on his home in Salt Lake City. This latter project is complete, and Todd has sold the loft in Phoenix, but they remain good friends to this day. The special client relationship with Dr. Wilcox reaped an extraordinary benefit when Libby and Mike neared their 50th Anniversary.
Todd vacations in Hawaii often, and is well known there at a particular resort. Libby once mentioned to him that she and Mike had really enjoyed their Hawaiian cruise on their 25th anniversary and thought they might go back to their favorite island, Kauai. This is the island Dr. Wilcox frequently visits, and he offered to help Libby and Mike find good accommodations at his favorite resort.
They started looking into this resort, but because of their financial situation felt they couldn't afford to fly and stay there. When Todd asked how their plans were going, she said they couldn't make this trip at that time. That's when he said that he wanted their 50th Anniversary to be something "special"...and he offered to pay for their stay there (via accrued points) if they could get there and back. When Libby came home from one of her many trips to Salt Lake City - working on his residence there - she told Mike of Todd's offer. Mike broke into tears (a somewhat common emotional reaction, following his Head Injury): he didn't know how to "process" such an extraordinary offer.
They did in fact accept this incredible offer, travelng there on their 50th Anniversary. In summary, this incident not only shows what a special client/friend Todd Wilcox has become, but also demonstrates the way Libby works with her clients, going well beyond the simple "client-vendor" relationships.
Bill Wilton - owned and operated the Sinclair Oil gas station close to Mike's Wilmette home. He let Mike hang out there, and Mike learned about car maintenance activities, as well as how to deal with customers: valuable experience that would pay off when Mike went to college.
World Book Encyclopedia - tbd
Worthy, John - was the last of the FEEC "lunch group" (Mike, Barry Sears and Don Papineau) to join them as computer programmers. He had started at FEEC a couple of years earlier, working as a computer operator. Mike's programming tasks frequently took him into the computer room, and he soon noticed that John was very smart and attentive: he stood out from the other operators.
During some conversations Mike had with John, he found out John was a good basketball player. Mike was playing in a YMCA league in Evanston, and he invited John to try out with the team. John was indeed good, and his joining the team immediately improved it.
Mike also saw John's interest in the programming work at FEEC, and he helped John get transferred to the Systems Department. John had an aptitude for programming and soon became an important member of the staff. (An Afro-American, John also benefitted from a new program at FEEC to hire minorities: he was in a good place at the right time.)
|Mike, Barry & John Worthy|