Alumni (Volume 1: Spring 2012)

Marc Brunco (Class of 2010) recently starred in The Complete Works of 

William Shakespeare (Abridged).

A special playbill was created with drawings of the cast. Mark says: ” I’m top center if you can’t tell!”

Carly Larsson (Class of 2010) I’m currently studying illustration and graphic design in the Communications Design program at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. I recently entered a plate design for the New York-based dishware company Fishs Eddy. I am currently working at a bar/restaurant in Clinton Hill called Dee & Ricky’s. The owners actually have their own successful design firm and have designed for Marc Jacobs, which is pretty cool since the job actually  relates somewhat to what I’d like to be doing in the future, even if it’s a food service job. I recently was introduced to children’s book illustrators Ted and Betsy Lewin and had the opportunity to visit their studio. I’m hoping to intern for them this summer. They have written and illustrated over 300 children’s books, and graduated from Pratt along with other illustrators such as Tomie DePaola and Arnold Lobel.

(l-r) Andrew Maker, Royden Richardsen, Executive Director, CHIPs House and Ann Dempster, President, CHIPs House.

Andrew Maker (Class of 2002) Cape Dev Day

On Saturday, March 3, volunteers with Cape Dev Day (capedevday.com) gathered at Chatham Bars Inn to build a responsive website for a Cape Cod based non-profit.  Cape Dev Day received applications from across Cape Cod and after an intense selection process, Cape Head Injured Persons Housing and Education Group, Inc (CHIP’s House) was chosen.  The goal for the event was to design and build a new, responsive site in just one day.  On behalf of the Cape Dev Day team I am happy to announce that the day was a resounding success.  With talents from the design and development worlds coming together with the executive staff from the CHIP, the group was able to finish and the launch the new and refreshed site.  www.chipshouse.org

It was a lofty goal to take the site from its antiquated state to a finished product in the course of one day but the volunteers provided the necessary arsenal of skills.  From designers, to User Experience (UX) specialists to expert programers, the final product gives CHIP’s House the ability to reach new users, communicate with residents’ families and provides an easier gateway for donations.

Sue Malomo and Andrew Maker of 20Mile Technologies

Cape Dev Day participants included:

  • Chris Gillis (Design) of Chris Gillis Design
  • Chris OBrien (Design) of 20Mile Technologies
  • Dave Fravel Development) of 20Mile Technologies
  • Andy Milk Development) of Andy Milk Interactive
  • Tim Merrill (Design) of Wonderwheel Creative
  • Sue Malomo Development) of 20Mile Technologies
  • Rodrigo Passos Development) of 20Mile Technologies
  • Dave Fontes Development) of 20Mile Technologies
  • Troy Davies (Development) of 20Mile Technologies
  • Stephanie Kalis (Design) of flamingo99 Design
  • Andrew Maker (Project Management) of 20Mile Technologies

A special thanks to Chatham Bars Inn and their staff for the generous donation of space.

 When asked if they would do it again, everyone agreed that this will become an annual tradition to help support the growing need for Cape-based non-profits.  As long as they’re out there doing good, we’ll support them.

“Cape Cod Gurus Chip InCape Cod Times, February 28, 2012:

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120228/BIZ/202280303&cid=sitesearch

For more information:

CHIP’s House: chipshouse.org

Cape Dev Day: capedevday.com

Tumblr: capedevday.tumblr.com

Facebook: facebook.com/CapeDevDay

Twitter: @capedevday

Blake Russell (Class of 2004)
I joined the US Army. I deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2009-2010. I am currently a Sergeant for a cannoeer squad firing the big guns!

I am currently stationed at Fort Bragg, NC and love hanging out with my two little girls (Chloe, 2 and Lily, 1) and of course my wife, Sarah. Military life is great but stressful at times. I also enjoy working out running between 10-15 a miles a weekend and another 15 during the week, washing my car and watching blu-ray movies!

Sean Sabella (Class of 2010)  I think this chapter right here might be good for Soundings. It gives a decent sense of what I’m up to in my latest project, and has enough motion in it to stand on its own. The working title is A Story About Miracles, which is both a misnomer insofar as the plotting is that of a sloppy, confused misadventure where nothing too exciting happens, and a good name insofar as it gets the reader to think of what it takes for something to be miraculous. It’s a story about two kids who run away from their crazy parents, and find out along the way that they’re not too different from the people they’re running from. I’ve been working on it for nearly a year now, and am around halfway done.

I like this section because it gets at some of the main themes: modern sexuality, family, and religion, and how all those things are kind of messed up these days. A lot of the book is an exploration of how those things could be better, and what it takes for them to become better (i.e. the “miracle” of the title.)

Chapter  4

Anthony trudged miserably along the highway. The sun was hot, his clothes were soaked with sweat, and he had long ago started to itch in awkward places. He had spent the first two hours of his walk with his left arm perpendicular to his body and his thumb stretched heavenward, at first invitingly, and then defiantly. The ache in his bones was too much for him now, though; his hand hung limp and useless by his side. The Baltimore skyline was approaching inexorably, step by step. That night he would reach the city, and he would have to scrape up some lodgings to spend his time there.

It was a miserable affair from the start. The first ten minutes or so were exhilarating; it was downhill after that. He was dehydrated, and had forgotten to pack himself any water. He was sure his parents had learned of his disappearance by now, and half expected that at any moment his mother or a police officer would arrive to pick him up and scold him. It was a painful fantasy to endure. Even the thought that all his walking would amount to a fifteen minute drive home left him feeling hot, bitter, and spoiled, a fuming, microwaved grapefruit. There was a span of about seven minutes where his frustration was strong enough and his progress small enough that he might have turned tail and headed home for a drink of water and a siesta in his air conditioned room. The seven minutes passed, though, and still he pressed forward. He stopped for a moment to lean against the road’s railing and to take stock of his provisions.

Anthony opened his backpack and spilled its contents onto the gravel. It contained the following: two granola bars, a bible, a copy of A Separate Peace and The Catcher in the Rye, a pocketknife, a cell phone, a book full of maps of the United States, a field guide of edible plants, a slingshot that he was rather attached to, a pair of jeans, two pairs of underpants, a favorite tee-shirt, exactly three socks, and a passport. He had done alright for himself, considering the dearth of time and thought he had available during his preparations. Still, Anthony couldn’t help feeling like a bit of a black sheep as he looked at that pile, his sad collection of precious possessions gathering dust as cars sped along the freeway. He chewed on a granola bar thoughtfully.

It was at this moment, while Anthony was resting his stiff legs and thinking about his packing job, that a pickup truck pulled over by his side, its passenger window rolled down.

“Anthony?” Hearing his name came as such a fearful surprise that Anthony lost his balance as he sat on the railing and flipped over, landing on his back on the other side of the steel guardrails. He gathered himself quickly to his feet, and nearly bolted. But he then realized that it was not his parents in the car. It wasn’t even one of his many, tepid acquaintances. It was his gardener.

“What are you doing out here, son?”

“I’m- uh, I’m… running away.” He said lamely. He expected something along the lines of
(“Son that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Get in the car.”
“But-”
“No buts, git, right now.” And he would climb into the car and the gardener would scold him for his lack of sense and berate him about the virtues of honoring his parents and staying in school and being a good steward, and to his horror and endless frustration, he would find himself agreeing, seeing his view of things, point by point, until the spirit was drained from him.)

But that is not at all what happened. Instead, the gardener smiled, wider than Anthony had ever seen him smile before.

“About time. Cummon kid, I can give you a ride as far as Philly.” Spellbound, Anthony gathered his things back into his backpack and took the passenger’s seat.

The inside of the pickup truck smelled of must, grease, sunlight and hard work. It was a smell that was unfortunately conducive to car sickness, but it was also a good, honest smell. The seats were crusty with the years, the radio had apparently been gutted a while ago, and the air conditioner didn’t work. Anthony noticed that the old truck had nearly four hundred thousand miles on it. The gardener brought the car sputtering out of the breakdown lane and back onto the highway.

“I’m going up to visit my son,” Said the gardener. “Lives right outside Philly. He’s got a decent place, and he’s used to me dropping off young people who need a place to stay. You’ll be well taken care of.”

“That’s wonderfully nice of you sir but I don’t want to be any trouble-”

“Helping people ain’t trouble. That’s just the stupid way we tend to think. You be polite to my son and the missus, avoid anything illegal and you’re just fine.” Anthony blushed and looked at his folded hands.

“Thank you, sir. Really means a lot.”

“It’s my privilege, kid. My son’s, too. People ain’t nothin’ if they don’t take care of each other.” There was no sound for a little while, except the thrum of the motor and the rush of the passing world outside, the omnipresent sounds of breaths and heartbeats.

“So kid, what finally got you to leave the folks?” Anthony smiled guardedly.

“It’s not my place to say, sir. My parents are going through a bit of a hard time, I think we all need a little space.”

“Mum found out about Dad’s problem?” Anthony looked at him, wide eyed and a little red faced.

“How the hell do you know about my dad?” The gardener laughed, and Anthony turned a little redder still.

“When you’ve been around as long as I have, you can sense when someone’s got a bad case of somethin’. It’s all over your daddy’s face. Been praying for the man for years, but,” He sighed. “ God knows what he’s doing, I suppose.”Anthony unclenched his teeth, and his face turned from beet-red to a more delicate shade. He could not meet the old man’s eyes.

“I’m glad you’re out of there, kid.”

“Me too.” Anthony held back a tear, then checked his frustration with himself for having to hold back a tear. After some time, he began to talk in a loose, numb way. He was too tired to fight his feelings and his impulses; the words poured from him without resistance. Normally, he wouldn’t have spoken as he was about to speak. He had learned, by trial and error, that in matters of sexuality he was sensitive to the point of what some would call neurosis. It was normal, after all, to view sex as nothing more than a hunger to be filled, to value the other gender for nothing more than what it could give you. But he was not normal. For him women were to be treated like sisters and princesses, and men who didn’t do this were pigs. He couldn’t remember when he’d decided this, but he’d decided it thoroughly. (Once, at a party, Anthony’s friends were talking about “getting bitches.” After around the twelfth repetition of the word “bitches,” he said,

“Stop calling them that!” They looked at him confused, and he knew that, socially speaking, he’d made a mistake.

“I mean, that’s what they are. They’re bitches.” Said one of them.

“They were children, once.” He mumbled in return. It took nearly a half hour for the party to return to normal after this.)

But now, as then, Anthony’s defenses were spent, and he no longer had the energy to pretend. He spoke with painful honesty.

“We’ve known for a couple of years, Alex and I. Found out at the end of the eighth grade. I was just wandering around the house when- when I saw the glow from his office, heard some sounds. I’d  had some weird friends in middle school. I knew about all that. Told my sister, but she already knew. She wasn’t so bothered, but she could see I was bothered, so she got bothered about it for me.” He was shaking slightly. “We didn’t know what to do. We figured mum knew, but she wouldn’t mention it to her kids, and we never heard them fighting or anything. Figured she was in denial or something, or just didn’t care. I guess she was clueless all along.

Me and Alex, we looked out for each other. We always have. Whether it was problems with friends, school, parents… She’s the one I miss. She’s the one I didn’t want to leave, but,” He shook considerably for a moment, very pale, with dilated eyes. He gathered himself together with a few deep breaths and finished. “I had no choice.” The gardener laid a hand on Anthony’s shoulder but kept the other on the steering wheel and his eyes on the road.

“You always have the choice kid, don’t lie to yourself. But you made the right one. It would have been cowardice to stay.” Anthony tried to catch his gaze, half expecting the man to betray some lie. But the gardener’s face stayed steady on the road, and his expression held no trace of deception. If he was lying, he was certainly good at it.

“You think so? I mean, I’m running.”

“I know. On a battlefield, where people are trying to make you run, that’s cowardice. In America, where people are trying to keep you where you’re at, that’s courage.” Anthony smiled at that.

“What’s your name?” The gardener held out his hand as if to shake, but still didn’t take his eyes off the road.

“Name’s Eric Fisher.” Anthony took the hand.

“Good to meet you, sir.”

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