A note to anyone who remembers me from my freshman year at Thacher (Class of ’71) . . .
After leaving Thacher, I graduated from Laguna Blanca, attended Santa Barbara City College and graduated from UCSB. I spent seventeen years in the airline industry, domiciled in Washington, DC, Puerto Rico (briefly), Texas, and California. During that time, I saw much of the US and traveled in Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe and India.
I quit the airlines in 1996 after earning a JD from the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene and somehow passing the Oregon and California state bars (Thacher classmates will recall that I was not much of a student.) Following a year of volunteer service at a homeless shelter in San Jose, CA, I worked as a staff writer for Veterans Affairs in Menlo Park and then served as a circuit court mediation coordinator\mediator in Salem, OR where I now reside. Along the way, the US Army approved my direct commission as a JAG officer assigned to the 104th Division in Washington and then denied my commission due to medical considerations.
I’m currently employed as the Dispute Resolution Coordinator for Vocational Rehabilitation, Oregon Department of Human Services. I live with four dogs and ex-girlfriend (long story) in the W. Salem hills and spend my time-off staying fit, pursuing my love of music and plotting my retirement. At some point, I’ll likely move to a drier climate and start traveling again.
In retrospect, I’m bewildered by the realization that my Thacher experience occurred more than forty years ago. As one of my closest high school friends once said of us, the baby-boomer/Woodstock generation, “We weren’t supposed to grow old.” Turns out that we are growing old, so maybe we were not so special after all. And then again, maybe it’s the quality of our individual accomplishments and contributions in life that really matter and not the signature of a generation. Regardless, perhaps the Grateful Dead aptly described the blessings and challenges of life, “Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.”
Mark E. Masthoff CdeP 1971