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About Me

There was a John Mack, M.D., who was a Harvard professor and Pulitzer Prize Winner who gained notoriety when he asserted that he believed his patients, who, under hypnosis, said they’d been abducted by aliens.   I’m not him.

I live in South Newfane, Vermont. I was a tenured prof of Clinical and Community Psychology at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury for 22 years.  When I first moved to Vermont, I was Visiting Professor of Education and Psychology at Marlboro College.   Completely separate from college teaching and psychological consulting, I was an IT consultant/programmer/architect for large corporations and banks for about twenty years.

Over the past few years I’ve had a wonderful time playing a number of roles as an actor in the Brattleboro area.  I’ve recently taken on managing the Hooker-Dunham Theater and Gallery, 139 Main St., Brattleboro, VT.

After three years on the Newfane selectboard, the latter two as chair of the board, I’ve recently become a “civilian” again, much to my great relief.  Public office was often a nightmare between dealing with governmental bureaucracy and local  “politics” that are can be just as miserable and sometimes nasty as they’re stereotyped to be.   I wouldn’t say it was thankless — I got tremendous support from the great majority of townspeople and ultimately I’m very glad I did serve my town.

I was an undergraduate at U.C., Berkeley, at the height of civil rights, anti-war, communal/ hippie era . I got a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1971 at NYU and immediately took off to Chile, doing volunteer work in support of the government of Chilean President Salvador Allende, as his coalition of parties of the left tried to transform Chile into a socialist society. I was back in the US, when, on September 11, 1973, Augusto Pinochet brutally crushed those aspirations.

For more than twenty years I was a member of a group in NYC variously called “The Sullivan Institute,” “The Fourth Wall,” or, pejoratively, “The Sullivanians.”  We performed theatre in the East Village, supported demonstrations with street music and theater, drove around all night monitoring radiation levels near nuclear power plants, made films and lived an unconventional communal life-style.  Though it’s long ago now, I still have close friends from those days.

For most of my adult life, I’ve taught college-level psychology, always with a political edge. Sometimes too sharp an edge for some students.  I’ve taught prisoners and guards, septuagenarians and teenagers. I’ve had students with brilliant, lively, challenging minds and students I had to wake up by slapping a yardstick on the lectern.

I’ve had some tremendous fun in recent years renewing my connection with theater.  I got some wonderful parts.  I reprised a role I’d done thirty-five years ago: Mr. Smith in Eugene Ionesco’s classic absurdist comedy, The Bald Soprano.  Then I became the a power-hungry, virulently anti-semitic Henry Ford obsessed with pursuing his vision of  personal greatness at any cost.   I had still more fun as the murderous protagonist of Ira Levin’s “comedy thriller,” Deathtrap. Yet nothing was more exciting than playing Madame in Jean Genet’s bizarre drama, The Maids.  Somewhere on my blog you’ll find pictures of me with my gorgeous, if I do say so myself, French manicure.   Most recently I was an out of control power-driven creep of a psychiatrist — a role I’ve seen enacted too often in real life.   Now I’m devoting myself to keeping the Hooker-Dunham Theater and Gallery alive with activity by taking on managing the space.  My next acting project is a highly unusual version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  In December, I’ll play Scrooge in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  More details about that are in my recent Reflections Blog entries.

Although I’ve recently stepped down from being President of the Board, for many years I’ve been on the board of the In-Sight Photography Project, a wonderful non-profit organization.  

I play sax with the Buzzards Brass Band and jazz (sax and flute) in various jazz and rock ensembles.

I have a lovely wife (whose request to be excluded from these writings I am happy to respect), three terrific sons, two delightful grandchildren.