January 6, 2008

Martha Kellar Ash writes:

After graduating from Lower Merion, I attended Mount Holyoke College and graduated with a degree in English. I spent most of the next 15 years at Rockefeller University Press in NYC, working my way up from copy editor to managing editor to director. In 1992, I took a huge leap of faith and married Mark, who’d been a single parent to his son and daughter for six years. I moved from NYC to Carlsbad, New Mexico, where they lived. Carlsbad is so isolated that the main industry is nuclear waste disposal. I had to drive three and a half hours to get a bagel.

Arlaina was 13 and Stephen, 9, when Mark and I married. Step-parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but, ultimately, the most rewarding. I distilled the experience in a three-page personal essay that I’d be happy to share with fellow step-parents or anyone else who’s interested. Just e-mail me at marthaash@verizon.net.

During my nine years in Carlsbad, I did freelance editing for several years before finally getting a job as a technical editor at WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant). I learned more than I cared to about the handling, packaging, transporting, and disposal of nuclear waste.

When Stephen left for college in 2001, Mark and I moved to Pennsylvania to be near my elderly parents. We lived in Devon while I got my master’s in technical and public communication at Drexel, and then settled in Ridley Park. I now work as a grant writer for Arbor Education & Training in Media, PA. 

Running and vegetarian cooking are two interests that have evolved with me over the past few decades. I bought my first pair of clunky blue-suede Adidas in 1976, when running was called jogging. Although I’ve run every distance from 5K to marathon, running’s not about racing for me. It’s been a constant wherever I go, whatever my situation, where I have time to reflect and free-associate and do some of my most creative thinking.

In college I read Diet for a Small Planet, which changed my eating choices forever. I still read widely about nutrition and health, and am most happy in my kitchen preparing healthful meals that taste good.
During the past year my father died, Stephen and his wife had our first grandchild, and my mother suffered a massive stroke. I’ve been very involved in her care, and would welcome hearing from classmates who are also caring for their elderly parents.

I hope to attend reunion, grant-writing deadlines permitting.





Lower Merion HS Class of 1973

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