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I currently work as an Environmental Engineer for IIW, P.C. in Dubuque and have been employed there since 1991.
A link to my facebook page would be: facebook.com/robert.blok.50
I was in my sophomore year attending SCI/State College of Iowa (now UNI in Cedar Falls, Iowa) in 1966. Sing Out '66 (now Up with People) performed in the Field House. I was in the front row and was inspired by how positive and vision/mission/future driven the group was. My life took a detour that night onto a path of exciting travel, growing, learning, adventure and never returned. I would be a different person with much bigger goals and possibilities from that point on.
I finished the school year, had a 'garage sale' in my dorm room to raise $ to drive to Estes Park, Colorado intending to join the National group of Sing Out '66 (18 years old then). Wanted to join Cast B being formed ... was instead sent to Bear Creek Ranch in California with 6 others to build a dam. (I have great pics of Sing out Bear Creek and building the dam). After 5 months I joined Cast A in Hawaii and traveled for about 18 months with the Colwells and Cast A. Went to Italy and was a guitarist with the advance group of 7 that did 124 school shows in 94 high schools trying to get people to attend the big show coming after us. Spent 60 days in Italy doing mini shows until we had enough money for all the cast to return to the US . Upon arrival right off the plane, Dan Skuce invited me to join his Cast D (Sing out Development) and gave me and a guy from England a $20 bill and a plane ticket to Los Angeles, California and the challenge of, "develop 100 or so Sing Outs on the west coast".
We did just that ($20 went further back in the 1960s) and then went to the southern states to do the same. In 1969 at the Christmas UWP (in Albuquerque, New Mexico) I thought about the future ... and realized I needed to go back to college and get on with my life.
That was a good decision ... married now 40 years, two children, 5 grandchildren and a great retirement schedule filled with grandkids, working part time all over the USA in over 100 schools, gardening, singing at Care Centers, church work, national director of LDA/Lutheran Disaster Assistance, national Data Collector trainer for NSIP, and in I my spare time I love to read Rosenburg, Cussler, collect antique marbles, and sometimes write songs for special occasions (wrote a retirement song for my celebration and then sang it at 5 other retirements, "Why would anyone want to retire?", and a silly song with my two grandsons, "Marbles are fun", performed at the 2014 Des Moines, Iowa Marble Meet). I also have an endless list of "Honey-do projects" I am always working on. Downsizing and getting rid of 'stuff' is at the top of the list. Life is good!
My UWP timeline:
Saw first UWP performance, spring of 1966
Estes Park, Colorado ... summer of 1966
Bear Creek - built dam, Sing Out Bear Creek ... 5 months
Cast A - transportation director for a year with Bill Parker
Brought the UWP cast to my home town, Dubuque, Iowa and helped start Sing Out Dubuque and Jr. Sing Out Dubuque following shows at DBQ Senior High School
David's Island - more transportation ... 1967
Cast A, Viva La Gente/Italy - Advance team ... 1967
Cast D - Local Sing Out development/California and southern States ... 1968-69
After I came home to Dubuque Iowa at Christmas 1969, I directed Junior Sing Out Dubuque (for ages 5-12, We rehearsed every Saturday for 3 hours year round for about 10 years doing shows in care centers and nursing homes). I left Dubuque in 1978 for my first elementary principal job in Anita, Iowa. Jr Sing Out was directed by Clarke College music majors for a short time after I left.
The High School Sing Out Dubuque group was going strong when I returned. There was a strong leadership group that had built SOD into a professional sounding musical group. I joined the SOD cast for a time but spent most of my time with Jr Sing Out as director.
Since retiring in 2007 after 33 years in education (4 years as a 4th grade teacher and 29 years as an Elementary Principal) I have been working for NSIP/National SAM Innovation Project. Check it out at samsconnect.com
I currently live in Portland, Oregon
After leaving SOD, I stayed involved in other Sing Out groups and then began a long career in the music industry. In 2001 I re-engaged with Up with People and became involved in helping to bring UWP back after they ceased operations in late 2000. In 2006 I founded the first national organization providing education and advocacy around gender identity development in children and youth and in 2007 I founded and am currently the Executive Director of TransActive Education and Advocacy, the leading U.S. non-profit serving the needs of transgender children, youth and their families. In February 2013, I celebrated my 30th anniversary with the love of my life.
You can learn more about me, and what I'm doing now by visiting: TransActiveOnline.org
Or on Facebook at: facebook.com/jenn.burleton
My mother embroidered "S.O.D. Up With People" on some windbreakers. This one on the right is falling apart, but still shows the emblem.
More information can be found at my website.
I currently live in Urbana, Illinois, where I am a professor and librarain at the University of Illinois College of Law.
I am also an avid amateur photographer. pdhealey.blogspot.com
Unfortunately, there has been little drumming going on with me since then but now that I'm retired, some music (and possibly some drums) is beginning to come back and fill in which helped in my reawakened interest for this music. I found on iTunes two albums: Up With People: The Sing Out Musical (1966) and Up With People III (1968). Those two albums have all the songs I remember doing back then, one performance of which was on stage at the "UD". It would be fun to find a recording of that.
Military and airline life had me traveling from Florida to Alaska, Maine to California, throughout Europe, the Pacific and Indian Ocean and I finally returned to Iowa and settled down in Waterloo where I've been since 1998.
We did learn to view the world in a more accepting, positive, and affirming way. That's enhanced my faith, and made working with people a whole lot less stressful! Shoot, I should have gone into journalism after writing those opinionated essays for Sing Out (NOT!) Remember Pace magazine?
Since 1971 - Rolled with the times, the family, the economy through a few careers: hospital secretary, stay-at-home mom to two terrific kids, K-12 Gifted Program teacher, and currently, pharmacy technician. On the side: community volunteer in a great small town, theater, bands, choirs, Sunday School, flood cleanups, daily boating on the Mississippi 7 months a year, (and just occasionally and infrequently, as a pastor's spouse, church organist.) And I'll become a grandma for the second time in August. (Someone got older!) Love being in Northeast Iowa, and having relatives to visit in scenic places across the country.
So, did we change the world??
I continued working as a nurse, and eventually went back for my Master's degree and am now a nurse practitioner working at the Minnesota Veteran Home. I am divorced, and have a daughter who is in college. Although I am on Facebook, I do not spend much time on it.
I'd love to hear from others.
We had lots of fun and I even had some romantic encounters on the road to Kansas with local Up with people groupies. I know how it feels to be a music star...
I graduated in applied economics from the university of Antwerp Belgium. I started as a junior diplomat in Zambia. I was in de diamond business with South African De Beers in London and Sierra Leone. Later on I joined Johnson & Johnson Pharma international. As a manger I travelled all over the place. At first in Scandinavia and southern Europe. Later, I was sent to Japan for 8 years and was responsible for Russia and sub Sahara Africa respectively. Today, I am semi retired (at 60), but still run my consultancy for pharma in Africa.