DAVID CROFOOT

 

The following is a thumb-nail CV covering some events since that warm sunny day in the spring of 57 when we were all in the big circle in front of the Chapel and Addison and I wasn't sure whether I had passed a makeup exam.

I spent six months in Fort Dix, NJ learning some of the intricacies of the Signal Corps and the duties of a barracks orderly - primarily washing wc's and windows what would later lead to practice in fording jeeps (one is supposed to install a fording kit before trying this - otherwise the oil becomes a chocolate milk-shake) along the tank trails in the red clay of Fort Knox.

In between these two events I spent some time at Harvard attending some classes, but mostly taking pictures for the yearbook and Cambridge 38 magazine until the administration and I decided that we were each wasting the other's time. In the summer of 1960 I married Pepperrell Merrill of Baltimore and Cambridge and we moved to the environs of NYC so that I could become a free-lance photographer.

The sojourn to Kentucky interrupted things a bit. Pounding the pavements with a portfolio ranks with being a barracks orderly, so I eventually switched to being an apprentice architect and photographic assistant to an architect and architectural photographer. After putting in the requisite twelve years and passing a week's worth of exams (repeats were allowed and needed for some, but missing by a point on one when you haven't studied (except OJT) is a bummer) I became a registered architect in CT and NY. There is obviously something to be said for the old guild system of training and I would suspect that it applies to a far larger portion of the population than current educational vogue admits.

Along the way we had three children spaced at five year intervals, so that they didn't fight like little Sendak fiends which is corroborated by two grandchildren who weren't and do with great regularity. The eldest, Anders put in a much better showing at PA'79 than I did, perhaps because parietal hours have change a bit especially if you hang out with the daughter of the Dean of Admissions. He is moving his crew to the north island of New Zealand in mid-September to help run a 3,200 hectare spread and continue computer consulting across the internet back to Greenwich, CT. The second, Kristin is newly married and with child, not having followed her parents order, and is making a major adjustment from Life in the Big Apple to life in Louisville where she is applying some of her skills as an interior decorator. Tjasa, the youngest at 27, is being a fanatic as she beats herself into shape for her second tour of the Hawaiian Ironman in mid-October.

In 1980 I thought that architects should know about computers because it would be much nicer if machines could do "dumb" things like drafting. Auto-Cad was not a glimmer in anyone's eyes and a fifteen man firm does not make SOM, but we got a refrigerator sized mini that ran accounting and job-cost software and a refrigerator unit to cool it's room and thus started a new sideline that became another carrier because I knew that contractors did not know what their actual cost were until well after the job was completed. So I got some additional OJT in computer operating systems; modems and multi-plexers; debit and credits (next to the window); payroll taxes and insurance and deficit financing. After the $3,000 per month mill-stone of a mini-computer had done it's life-cycle (5 years) I became a computer consultant that landed me with a construction management firm that was managing Euro-disneyland and Canary Wharf simultaneously - talk about big time deficit financing. When Canary Wharf went down the tubes for want of an operating tube stop aided by a major recession in Europe, I was made redundant and shipped back to the States.

A year and a half of living among scattered examples of things with a half-life greater than ten or one hundred years has certain things to be said for it. English isn't the only language spoken in the world (unless you are a computer freak - when it does help) and neither you nor I need everything yesterday. Then a scheduled event does not take place in a timely fashion the Portuguese response, delivered with a straight face: "Did somebody die?" I didn't find a consulting job that moved us back to the east side of the pond, but a friend suggested that Portugal was a much nicer place to grow old in since the youth cult learned to swim that far yet.

And so we moved to Eugaria - down the hill from Sintra. The trials and tribulations of the move will appear in an epistle Lusitanians. I am learning the intricacies of fixing up a Portuguese house for fun and profit and continuing a long term effort to become a Eolic Park developer and operator (WTG - wind turbine generator). Pepperrell is locating the sources and names for all the materials she uses in her school of decorative arts and decoupage. We are both learning Portuguese which is a bitch.

Coordinating a software user group meeting took me through NYC on my way from Lisbon to Denver and back and the dates meshed with the soiree at the Racquet Club.

DAVID CROFOOT
Quinta do Castanheiro
Eugaria, 2710 Colares, Portugal
crofoot@mail.telepac.pt
fax: 928-8096
(0?) 351 (0) 1 928-8039

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