Where are they Now? Our interview for this installment of Where are they Now…Well-known Annapolitan – Rusty Romo! For those of you who don’t know Rusty, his four little Romo boys will ALL be attending NAPS this fall! His wonderful wife Sharon heads up the fundraising efforts at our favorite school!
What year(s) did you attend NAPS 1962-1966
What was your “connection” to attend the school My Father, Red Romo, was the head trainer for the Naval Academy and worked for NAAA
Your fondest memory(s)? How great the school was and how wonderful the teachers and staff was, the fact that we celebrated all the holidays, said a morning prayer, and did the Pledge of Allegiance, also how much effort the teachers like Mrs. Bullen took to make sure we understood the work and that we enjoyed learning.
Do you remember what part you played in the Christmas pageant if you had a role? I was one of the Kings (of course you were :-)
Looking back, through adult eyes, what do you think was the most valuable thing about your time at NAPS? NAPS taught me the importance of family … what it was like to go to a small school and how important family values are. I think we have raised our boys with the core values that my early teachers instilled in me.
Lastly – where are you now? I live in Annapolis, and own Harry Browne’s Restaurant.
A fun new feature we’ve had in mind for some time on the NAPS Alumni blog – Where are they now? Our hope is to introduce you to former NAPS students, and to give you a little peek into where they are today. It is very fitting that the first Alum we’re featuring attended NAPS “way back when”…I’m sure you’ll enjoy her story as much as we did! Ann first contacted me by completing the form to be added to the alumni database. A comment, at the bottom of her form, was reason for me to reach out to her to hear a little more about her story….
My name then was Margaret Ann Arnold; my parents were Margaret G. and Frank Robert Arnold. NAPS was paradise for me. The war changed everything.
Ann, when did you attend NAPS? 1940 through Spring 1942.
How was it that your parents selected NAPS for your elementary education? My father graduated from the Naval Academy in 1933, attended Naval Post Graduate school from 1940-42, during which time we lived at Fort Severn.
What are some of your fondest memories? I remember Mrs. Farrell’s Victorian house where our school was held; the nature walks we took, stringing cranberries, suet, and popcorn for the birds in winter. She had a menagerie for us to share on weekends with our families. We learned all of the names of the local flora and fauna and could identify the different types of birds’ nests. I’ve been a conservationist ever since childhood.
Do you remember what part you played in the Christmas pageant? I appeared in two productions: HMS Pinafore and Babes in Toyland. My mother made my costume (I wore the same outfit in both plays) and I am enclosing a picture (in pdf format) taken the afternoon of “Pinafore.” The Pinafore was very ambitious and the audience responded with much clapping and gales of laughter. The boys wore their fathers’ dress uniforms: fore-and-aft hats with gold and gold epaulets, which stood inches beyond their small shoulders. It was an impressive and comic sight. I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of the play itself. I sang “Poor Little Buttercup” while Mrs. Farrell provided all of the music on her piano. For Christmas in “Babes in Toyland,” several of us sang different phrases and choruses of the theme. Everyone had a chance to perform. It was wonderful.
What is the greatest thing you gleaned from your time at the Primary School? I think the greatest value came from being able to stretch my imagination against a background of nearly infinite information about nature, our American history, art and music.
By September of 1942 I was in first grade in Minnesota (my father was ordered to active duty in North Africa); many of my classmates there had not been to kindergarten. I thought that was such a deprivation for them.
So, Where Are You Now? In California I have taught school and am married, but have spent most of my professional life as a technical writer, presently retired. I am awaiting the arrival of a second piano, so that I can play with other musicians and teach music to four students at a time in my home. I will continue taking performance and music composition classes at a local community college.
Ann, thank you so much, it was nice spending a “little time with you.” Thanks for sharing your story.
Watch this space for info about where your classmates are today; what they’re doing, family life, etc. If you’d like to be included in our “Where are they now” feature, please contact Heather Crowder!