Things I did not know

Sept. 1, 2009
One of the surprises that Kristy Menage Bernie concocted for the final seminar of July's RDH Under One Roof conference was “things you did not know” about RDH columnists.

by Mark Hartley
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One of the surprises that Kristy Menage Bernie concocted for the final seminar of July's RDH Under One Roof conference was “things you did not know” about RDH columnists.

There's not enough space here to share all of the columnists' “secrets” but here are some of the highlights:

  • Anne Guignon, the author of the “Comfort Zone” column and an annual presenter at the conference (as well as other meetings) shared that the college course she dreaded the most was public speaking.
  • Anne–Marie DePalma, the author of the “From the Podium” column, shared that, while in high school, she was in the color guard carrying a flag with an award–winning band.
  • Dianne Glasscoe Watterson, the author of the “Staff Rx” column, plays piano in her church and sings with a trio.
  • Karen Kaiser, the author of the “Hygiene Touch” column, enjoys creative cake decorating, and is a black belt in Shorin Ryu karate.
  • Bill Landers, the author of “The Landers File,” is a champion fencer with hundreds of medals.
  • Tricia Osuna, who writes about technology issues in the magazine, once danced with a U.S. president at his inaugural ball.
  • Lory Laughter, who writes the “From the Edge” column, shared that her nickname as a child was Roni (pronounced like the ending of macaroni).
  • Noel Kelsch, the author of the “Infection Control” column, enjoys the hobby of skeet shooting.
  • Kristine Hodsdon, who is the director of RDH eVillage and writes the “Clinically Speaking” column, shared that she has never lived outside of New Hampshire.

Granted, there's no nepotism involved with being an RDH columnist. They're not my next door neighbor or my aunt's second cousin. I do, however, communicate with them fairly frequently. I was just as surprised as the UOR audience to learn of these “things you did not know.”

Just for grins, I asked Cathy Seckman and Dr. Heidi Emmerling for a similar glimpse into their backgrounds. Seckman is one of the magazine's most prolific feature writers, and Emmerling wrote quite a few features herself in the 1990s (she updated us on the advanced hygiene practitioner position in the August issue).

As a 13–year–old, Emmerling was an exchange student to Japan. “I missed my 13th birthday because it occurred as we were flying over the international date line,” she said.

She also noted that she was “an award–winning seamstress.” I asked her to elaborate.

Heidi explained, “In high school, I sewed all of my own clothes; we were very poor. I won a regional gold medal for a plaid wool jumper — very 1970s.”

Seckman said, “I've been riding a motorcycle since 1986.” I knew about the motorcycle (she was the “biker chick” in the 2009 UOR skit), but I was surprised to learn that she has been riding for so long. I vote for her to answer any reader's questions about motorcycles.

Cathy also said, “I've been above the Arctic Circle.” Again, I had to ask for an elaboration.

“We've been to Alaska twice. On the second trip, we took an add–on tour to Kotzebue, which is in the northwest part of Alaska. Kotzebue is 26 miles above the Arctic Circle, on the Bering Sea. It's the only city within 33,000 square miles, and it's about 20 blocks by 20 blocks. Most of the population works at Red Dog Mine across the Baird Mountains. They fly over, work 10 days, fly home for 10 days, then repeat. Ninety percent of the diet is subsistence — in other words, whatever they can shoot, spear, or forage in the 10 days they're at home.”

These writers are interesting, aren't they?