John Averell

Send mail

Member of the Silver Stringers
Contributor to the Melrose Mirror

I was born in Middletown, NY, December 23, 1934.

I grew up in Darien, CT until going away to Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL) where I majored in Physics.

I then entered Harvard Graduate School, and obtained my PhD in Experimental Nuclear Physics in 1963. It was during this time that I started using computers (1958), which have been my lifelong tools in all my work since then.

I married my first wife in 1956, when I entered grad school. We lived in many towns around Boston during the 25 years before her death in 1981, including Roslindale, Cambridge, Burlington, Winchester, and Franklin. I worked at Avco Corporation both in nuclear effects and in space systems, mostly in theorical work and computer modelling. I left in 1969 to join Polaroid in Cambridge, where I spent 19 very interesting years engaged in many fields including film manufacturing and analysis, color theory and fiber optic design.

I married my wife Shirley in 1983 and moved to Melrose in 1985. Shirley and I have six children between us, and I have ten grandchildren, all scattered around the country too far to visit easily.

I left Polaroid in 1988 on early retirement and promptly joined Lotus Development Corporation in Cambridge, where I moved exclusively into computer Software Development, working on various products. My group was "sold" to Revelation Software in 1995 where I continued to work until November, 2000 when I fully retired.

My avocation ever since high school has been music. I have been playing French Horn and singing in choirs most of my life. Until 2002 I was a member of the Melrose Symphony. I have been a member of the Melrose Polymnia Choral Society since 1985. I joined the Wakefield Retired Men's Club Band in 2002, and am enjoying playing the alto-horn there. In addition I have been co-conducting the band since 2005, a new and challenging experience for me.

In 2001 I was a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the Melrose school system, joining the effort to lay out a five-year plan.

Shirley and I moved from our house in Melrose in June, 2004, after living 19 years there. We moved only three miles north to a ranch house in Wakefield near the shores of Lake Quannapowitt, where Shirley rode her bike around the three-mile path as often as possible.

After a year and a half in Wakefield, we moved to Arlington, only about 12 miles west, to be closer to Shirley's three adult children and a newly adopted grandchild named Gabriel, our eleventh. Here we can enjoy being close not only to family but also to many restaurants, shopping, and cultural opportunities. We spent Christmas 2005 unpacking and enjoying the new digs.

After five years in Arlington, we decided to turn a page on the great book of life, and move to a retirement community. We found a wonderful place, NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, and after months of stress selling our house in Arlington, getting rid of incredible amounts of furniture, books, and general bric-a-brac, finally moved in August 2010. We love our apartment and the community, and will enjoy meeting many new people as well as not having to mow lawns, cook meals (mostly) and maintain the house.

The downside is that we are about 25 miles from Melrose, and I do not plan on coming regularly to meetings of the SilverStringers. But I'll be one of our numerous contributors, and will be available for technical problems as needed. In place of an internet journal, I have started a printed journal, written by and for residents of NewBridge on the Charles. The first issue of "The Bridge" was in July 2011, and will continue quarterly thereafter. All issues of The Bridge can be viewed and downloaded from the NewBridge resident website at .

August 23, 2010

Additional Articles by John Averell :
id 5186 Blastoff! -- Features 7/6/01
id 5030 I thought they were all gone -- Feature 8/3/01
id 5372 The Old Gray Mare -- Feature 9/7/01
id 5350 Lord of the Manor -- Feature 9/7/01
id 5424 Post attack Internet -- September 11, 2001 10/5/01
id 5518 None so blind -- Feature 11/2/01
id 5803 Which Witch? -- Feature 3/1/02
id 5962 Netherlands Cemetery (White) -- Feature 5/3/02
id 6056 Blowing it off -- Features 6/7/02
id 6994 We had a yard of it -- Storms 3/7/03
id 7466 Chess for fun -- Feature 6/6/03
id 7853 Why I am prolix -- Features 10/03/03
id 9149 The swan -- Random thoughts 4/2/04
id 10128 A house all spiffed up --Features 11/05/04
id 10323 Assignment: Give us YOUR resolutions -- Features 1/07/05 - see "A weighty resolution"
id 10338 Who is my neighbor? -- Random thoughts 2/4/05
id 10493 Right or wrong? -- Random thoughts 3/4/05
id 11110The "ring" saga continues -- Features 9/2/05
id 12063 How to conduct yourself on the podium -- Feature 6/2/06
id 12832 Adventures in Macy's spaces (Dondis) -- Features 11/03/06
id 13235 What we do for love -- Feature 3/2/07
id 13816 Thoughts from a hospital -- Random Thoughts 9/7/07
id 14104 A house's new face -- Photogravure 10/7/07
id 14253 Halloween house deja vu -- Photogravure 11/2/07
id 14428 Remember Pearl Harbor? -- Remembering WWII 12/7/07
id 10558 Starting up my new OLPC laptop -- Features 1/4/08
id 14331 Are your fonts too small to see? -- Computer Tips 1/4/08
id 14492 Where is Melrose? --Features 2/1/08
id 14677 Clean your mouse! --Computer Tips 3/7/08
id 14834 A questionable legacy from a wealthy ancestor --Features 5/2/08
id 15116 Use your browser tabs --Computer Tips 8/1/08
id 15181 The end of eugenics --Social Commentary 9/3/08
id 15548 The IRS will get you every time --Social Commentary 1/2/09
id 15667 More on an English teacher --Letters to 2/6/09
id 15768 My struggle with an OLPC laptop --Features 4/3/09
id 16065 Me Tarzan --Features 8/7/09
id 16207 Coming of age --Random Thoughts 10/2/09
id 16353 The little temple that could --Features 12/4/09
id 16503 A sailors best friend --WWII 2/5/10
id 16513 What does your keyboard Windows logo do?--Computer Tips 2/5/10
id 16793 Across Canada by train -- Photogravure 5/7/10
id 16962 You can count on it --Random Thoughts 7/2/10
id 17459 I remember certain names --Random Thoughts 12/3/10

To Home Page