Mary Ann Syzdek

Howard and MaryAnn Bakken

I'm really enjoying the Then and Now additions to the CHS alumni page. Since I haven't been back in Connecticut for many years now, it brings back some delightful memories. Thanks to Susan for all her effort.

After high school, I went to Skidmore College where I got an AB in English. I taught high school in New York and then in Connecticut while working on my Masters in English at Wesleyan during the summers. I met my husband Howard while we were both teaching in Guilford. He was a classical musician newly out of Yale Music School and we left Connecticut for the mid-west when he began his doctoral studies in organ performance at the University of Illinois. He eventually took a job just west of Chicago and there we stayed for some thirty plus years. I taught at both the high school and junior college level before our children were born, did some free-lance editorial and advertising writing while they were small, and then began a twenty-five year career as a public librarian, working in reference and outreach services. I loved being a librarian and was glad I found it, even if somewhat belatedly in my professional career. Six years ago we retired and moved to the mountains of western North Carolina, an area we both love.

Ethan Bakken

Our son, Ethan, is a photographer in a Chicago studio that does product advertising shoots. If you've seen the photo menus at McDonald's or looked at High Sierra luggage on the internet, you've seen his work.

Chad & Emily Anderson, and Evan

Our daughter, Emily, and her husband, Chad Anderson, are both teachers in Asheville, about twenty minutes from us. She's in elementary and he's in high school social studies. Their son, Evan, is almost two. As all you grandparents know, that first-born grandchild makes the somewhat bitter pill of aging a lot easier to swallow.

My parents, who are both now dead, moved from Cromwell to Florida over thirty years ago so I have no more Connecticut ties. In one of those "small world" situations, Nancy Neville McGinnity and I found ourselves living in the same Illinois town for awhile, and I keep in touch with Bill Moore's wife Vicki, whose parents were close friends of my parents. I touched bases with Chuck DeRenne after the last school reunion, and I've recently reconnected with Joe Gallo via e-mail. It's really fun to see where we've all come during these almost fifty years. I'm sure everyone who makes it to this year's reunion will have a grand time catching up. Can't wait to see the photos on these pages. I hope some one (ones) will feel moved to organize a 50th reunion especially for our class. It might well be an incentive for us to make a New England trip.

If anyone is ever visiting Asheville, don't hesitate to give me a call.

MaryAnn (Syzdek) Bakken

[information current as of June 2009]
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