I built my first museum exhibit in the barn behind our house when I was eight. The barn was my archeological site, and I was always searching for new artifacts for the collection. I nailed bottle caps, forks, and spoons to shards of broken wood and hung these precious objects on the walls. On fold-out Formica tables I arranged dirt-caked Mason jars and liquor bottles. I found an old wooden sign, painted it with my museum’s name – The Old Thing – and staked it in the grass. For a penny I pried open the oversized barn doors and invited visitors to view the latest findings through the dusty dim light heavy with mildew.
The Old Thing was just one of the character-building activities at our home in Groton, MA. Television and sugar cereals were off limits but tottering into the kitchen to ask for a snack on a pair of homemade stilts was encouraged; tightrope walking often occupied the daylight hours; and many evening before dinner dad and I practiced juggling. After dinner mom and dad sometimes sat my brother and me down at the kitchen table to write; they gave us a prompt, “a story about an invention using lemons,” and then left us alone with our imaginations.
Unwittingly, I prepared for radio journalism and museum story development; practicing balance, curiosity, dexterity, creativity, diligence, courage, and risk-taking in a four-ring circus. Today I exercise these tools in ways unimaginable during the time spent teetering on the rope, arms outstretched for balance.
I am a writer, researcher, storyline developer, interviewer, script writer, audio editor, and producer who believes in the power of stories and storytelling to connect us with one another and with our environment – built and natural. I also believe in the incredible power of sound to instigate dialogue, prickle the imagination, and implore introspection.