I love this job!
I get to talk to really cool people, and learn all kinds of fun stuff, that I then get to share — it's awesome!
Recently, I was walking down Lexington Road with my friend Lydia and her dog Lady, when I saw a Park Ranger coming out of The Wayside to hang up the “Open” sign. I was excited, because I never seem to be going past this historical house when it’s actually open. And then I realized I knew the Park Ranger: it was my friend Judith Broggi, a photographer I originally met through the Concord Players and later through our daughters’ mutual interests.
Now how the heck did she get here?
Judith started out with a degree in communications, and a flair for photography. She enjoyed a twenty-year career in commercial, editorial, fashion, fitness and bridal photography, a pretty demanding field full of people who cared more about the small stuff like perfect skin and not important life issues. After she had her daughter, she decided it was time to leave this shallow field and figure out how else to use her expertise.
She took her visual creativity and ran the Marketplace Gallery in West Concord for MinuteMan Arc, taking it from an organization that perpetually ran in the red to one that was profitable. From there, she became the archivist at the Middlesex School, where she realized she loved curating a collection, and so decided to get a Master of Arts in Museum Studies. She got her degree, and right then, the economy tanked.
She had imagined herself working as a generalist at a museum, planning exhibits and organizing displays. But those are the kinds of places that rely mostly on volunteers and interns, particularly in a down economy. Now here is where serendipity intervened: she did an internship up at the Buttrick Mansion, headquarters for the National Park Service here in Concord. She heard about a Park Ranger job opening, applied for, and then got it. She had no idea what a coup this was — this National Park is a coveted position, one that Park Rangers around the country would love to be assigned to. She had gotten it by being in the right place at the right time.
How lucky is that?
Judith tells me that Park Rangers are held to “an entirely different standard of scholarship and authenticity” than most regular tour companies, and that almost every ranger has at least one advanced degree. She loves the job, loves that she gets to talk about her research with people who care and will listen. She goes through a training every year, to refresh her knowledge — you can’t be making things up when you’re dealing with historical facts.
And there’s the safety factor: she has to maintain control at all times. You may not think this is important, but last year she pulled a dad and two kids from the river after their canoe capsized. Lucky for them she was there.
Judith rotates between the North Bridge, the Hartwell Tavern, the Captain William Smith House, the Minuteman Visitor Center, and The Wayside. All of which are a breezy commute from her Concord Center home, which is a historical house, of course.
Now I just need to get her to give me a tour of The Wayside.
Golfing For Good
Every now and then, I see the Rotary Club of Concord having a meeting, but I never paid attention to what they were meeting about, because that would be eavesdropping. But here is what I didn’t know: the purpose of the Rotary Club is for local businesses to come together to promote community service. I find that pretty impressive.
One of the great things they do is to award scholarship money to CCHS graduates — in 2011 they gave $18,000 — using funds raised through the Thomas R. Huckins Memorial Golf Tournament. Huckins was a Concord resident and Rotarian who played a key part in the construction of the Emerson Hospital Helicopter Pad, the Rideout Playground Field House, the Veterans War Memorial, and the renovation of Monument Square.
So the Rotarians want to continue to honor his memory by giving even MORE money this year, and that is where you come in: they need golfers. If you have ever wanted to golf at the Concord Country Club, now is your chance. The tournament takes place Monday, August 29, at the Concord Country Club, 246 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, with lunch and registration from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., and a shotgun start scheduled for 1 p.m. It costs $250 to register, which covers you for 18 holes of golf at this premier course, use of the putting green, a golf cart — so you don’t have to walk all that way — lunch, a clubhouse reception and dinner, tournament gifts and refreshments. Don’t worry, if your golf game needs a little help, you’ll also be able to buy mulligans.
If you don’t have a foursome to play with, they will assign you to one, so a lack of golf buddies shouldn’t hold you back.
To register, contact Phyllis Maurer at email@example.com, 508-254-7900. If you’d like to talk to someone in person about details, see Joe Saia at West Concord Liquors, 978-369-3872.