I’m a retired nonprofit executive who spent 30 years in the sector, primarily as a professional fundraiser. I grew up in Phoenix, AZ, in a big family. My father was an Italian-American/Dutch-American Episcopal priest, and my mother was a Welsh-American/French-American NYC debutante and classical pianist.

I was married to my first husband at age 20, and we were married for 27 years. I married my second husband — my rock — in 2001. Together we have five kids from 37 – 50 — his two sandwich in my three — and 10 grandchildren, all living nearby in the Phoenix area. And we have two rescue cats, Pancho and Ziva.

I have a degree in English Literature from the University of Washington and post-graduate work in Public Administration at Arizona State University.

My blog is a chance to write, something I have always loved doing. I hope my musings will entertain you, inspire you, and make you think.

11 thoughts on “About

  1. Pauline — what a nice remembrance. Did you by any chance to to Phoenix Central High School? I graduated there in ’66. I recall it was a pretty big class. We moved to Phoenix in ’55 and went to the barn church and then the larger building. I heard a good number of your father’s sermons. And partly as a result, I went to Williams College, as he did. Your remembrance is the first time I’ve really learned anything about his life — which was pretty remarkable. Best wishes, Bill Matthiesen, Lanesboro, MA.


    1. Hi Bill –
      I thought I replied to your comment, but it may never have been sent. Thanks so much for the kind words about my dad. Yes, I graduated from Central in ’66. Where do you live?


      1. Hi Pauline,

        We were in the same class of 1966. My memory is pretty vague about those
        4 years — though I remember being involved in many different activites.
        I was the pianist for the swing band. We practiced every day during the
        last period. Also involved in setting up some folk music cafe events and
        playing in a folk trio the last couple years.

        I went back east to college at Williams — partly because I knew your
        dad had graduated there. As a teenage I admit I felt pretty intimated by
        his smarts and intense sermons. I wish I’d tried to have a couple
        conversations with him about his experiences. So it was interesting to
        read about some of those in your history.

        I’m still here in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. My wife, Liz,
        was also a Williams grad 10 years after me (when the school had finally
        become coed). I’m a retired industrial and educational filmmaker &
        videographer. And the two of us have also been playing music together
        for the past 35 years for contradances and  historic social dances
        ranging from English Country Dance (16 and 17 hundreds … Regency (Jane
        Austen era) ballroom events … Civil War reenactors … up into the
        Gilded Age and Ragtime eras … plus early pre-WW One Argentine tangos.
        (Website at _*www.bfv.com/spareparts/* )_

        The past couple years doing a lot of hiking here during covid. We have
        the AT running south to north through western Massachusetts, and I’m
        part of a group of retired guys who hike a couple times a week. I’m
        really lucky that Liz also enjoys nature and taking hiking vacations.
        Over the years we’ve done a fair amount of hiking in Wyoming, the
        Pacific Northwest, and trips in Provence and the Spanish Pyrenees. Liz
        is a plant person with lovely gardens, who’s written several gardening
        books and is active with the local Audubon Society here.

        So lots of things still keeping us active.

        Anyway … so lovely to read about your time with your dad. I hope
        you’ve also been enjoying interesting years. Have you been in Arizona
        the whole time? My folks both loved moving there in the mid-1950s.



      2. Ok, I hope three really is the charm! Lots going on around here, but I want to respond to your thoughtful comment. First, how did you happen onto my blog? Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂 Second, I did have to look you up in my CHS Yearbook, but I remembered you immediately. Even then you had a preppie look about you. I bet we were in advanced English together. And I was in a couple of plays my Freshman and Sophomore year; our paths may have crossed that way, too, Third, it was kind of you to tell me about the effect my dad had on you. And I’m sorry you never had a conversation with him. He was a little shy, unless he’d had a vodka. (It was amazing, though, given his addictions: every Lent, he would quit smoking and drinking. Then, after Easter, business as usual.) You were not alone in wanting to be with him. I had two boyfriends who continued there relationship with him after my relationship with them was over.

        You and Liz have led very interesting and full lives, Bill. And I think we have a lot in common, as nature and music are two of my very favorite things, along with birding and gardening.

        I need to stop – my oldest child, Annie, is expecting me in North Scottsdale soon to spend the afternoon with her and her two little ones, 4 and 2. Daughter Phoebe has three big boys, 18,15, and13. And son David has two little ones, 7 and 3. So, with Gene’s three grands, we have lots of children in our lives, and we enjoy them so much!

        All the best to you and Liz. I hope you’ll keep in touch. And in answer to your question, we moved to Phoenix in 1952, when my dad became the first rector of All Saint’s. I’ll fill you in on the rest another time.



  2. Dear Barbara,

    What lovely recollections of my family. And how nice to hear about yours. I thought I replied to your message ages ago, but I have a little trouble with this platform, so I probably goofed in saving it.

    The Bolles name is familiar, and I have foggy memories of your family. I hope we can get together somehow in 2021 to get reacquainted.

    Thanks so much for your kind remarks.


  3. Dear Pauline,
    My family attended All Saints from 1957 to 1970 when we moved to Oregon. This description is absolutely perfect. I remember Fr Paul’s electrifying sermons both in content and delivery. Every Sunday at Coffee Hour on the patio, I looked forward to his bending down for a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Your parents and mine were friends and we occasionally visited your home. I remember one evening after dinner, your mother played the piano. She was so elegant; I was mesmerized. I also recall a baby alligator. And could there have been piranha? Maybe my wee brain mixed that one up. I remember Paul and Francesca. As an adult, I have read some of the published sermons. One line has guided me often in life. Something about being too busy to be human being. My dad audio recorded many sermons on reel-to-reel tape. Thank you so much for writing this. I am glad to know these important lives have been captured for others to appreciate. Best wishes…

    Barbara Bolles, daughter of David and Beth Bolles; sister named Kathy; brother named Paul (yes) David.

    Liked by 1 person

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