Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey - Places to Go and Things to Do

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, and encouraging exploration of South Jersey.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Jo Ann Wright, brief biography

Hello, not much to write about lately so I thought I'd do a brief biography so you'd know something about the woman writing this blog.  Also, I googled my name at a friend's suggestion and found lots of Jo Ann Wrights - none of them me and none of them directing to this blog, so here we go:

Like many another New Jersey resident, I was born in Philadelphia.  We lived there until I was about 12, then moved to Maple Shade, New Jersey.  That turned out to be a lucky move because at the time, Maple Shade students went to Merchantville High School, a very fine educational institution which probably changed my life.  

Books have always been at the center of my life and it was the same in my early childhood in Philadelphia.  My grandmother Lyons had several bookcases in the basement that I was permitted to borrow from and there I met Edgar Rice Burroughs, Guy de-Maupassant, Dickens and Twain, among many others.  All the books weren't for adults, I also borrowed and LOVED Outdoor Girls on a Hike, a series of books from the 1920's about plucky hiking and canoeing girls who also solved mysteries. 

After graduating from Merchantville High School, I worked at W. B. Saunders Publishing Company until I married and moved overseas.  My boyfriend had been drafted and when he found out he was being sent to Germany, he asked me to marry him.  We traveled for a year after his discharge, another wonderful adventure that shaped my life.

Back in the states, I went to college while I worked at a series of ordinary clerical jobs to pay the tuition.  First I took a degree from Glassboro in English, then another in Art at Rutgers and finally, I graduated from the University of the Arts in Phila. with a masters in Art Education.

During all of that, I raised my wonderful daughter, Lavinia, who is a filmmaker and journalist in New York.  

For thirty two years, I taught different grade levels in two schools in Gloucester City and as an adjunct professor at the Univ. of Arts in Philly.  When I retired 7 years ago, I pursued my interest in history and the outdoors as a volunteer, hiker, and blogger.  So there you have it!  (added detail - I wrote two books after I retired and self-published them both, though I prefer the modern term 'independent publishing.'  One is a historical fiction account of WPA workers in New Jersey, a photographer and a writer who is working on the State Guides.)

Latest outings:  A hike at Parvin State Park (where I go on a nearly weekly basis) and a hike around Pakim Pond at Brendan Byrne forest a few days ago before the temperatures dropped again.  So that's it for the past couple of weeks.  I was hiking every day at Timber Creek but my vet, Dr. Sheehen in FAirview (whom I most warmly and strongly recommend.  He is a great Vet and a true animal lover) suggested that anything under 20 degrees was too cold to walk a dog.  So we've been housebound ever since.  Hopefully it will warm up in the next few days. 
Happy Trails!  Hope you are staying warm!  Jo Ann  

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