Jonnie is my given name yet I’ve gone by my middle name, Sandy for most of my life until starting college at age 49. My father, John, had wanted a son as a namesake and named me Jonnie, but was not disappointed to have an understanding inquisitive daughter. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I’m happy to have spent most of my life living in and around the northern areas of Pittsburgh except for a few years residing in Philadelphia, PA and Phoenix, AZ. Early careers were in a variety of professions including office administration, real estate, creative entrepreneurship and 22 years in the admissions department for a residential treatment program for juvenile delinquent males. There were also 23 joyful years of being a homemaker and mother of two sons.
Intense interest and talents in a variety of art and creative hobbies led me to open a business teaching stenciling, doing commissions and selling supplies in the ‘80’s and more recently in 2009 starting a café and vintage wares shop (pictured at right) and presently I’m semi-retired operating Creative Harmony Arts & Books part-time in Harmony.
Between 2005 and 2010 I attended Butler County Community College (BC3) part-time to obtain a college education that was unaffordable after high school graduation in 1973. Student loans were not an option. In 2010 I graduated with a Certificate in Human Resource Specialist Management and met Phi Theta Kappa status in studies pursuing a Psychology major for an associate degree which I will probably suspend due to my lack of interest in taking Biology and required labs.
I pursue writing essays, reviews and critical analysis and criticism with the intention of also publishing a psychological thriller trilogy for young adults and a personal memoir before I’m ready to apply for Medicare in three years. An avid reader and writer, my essays, reviews, op-ed pieces, creative non-fiction, short stories, research articles, video productions and podcast are about relevant contemporary subjects. One topic that has my special attention is the recognition of domestic home life and its importance and value in an educated society where women and men alike need to excel.
Past essays, op-eds and a horoscope column for BC3’s Cube newspaper add to my published credits. Community involvement with local organizations; Harmony’s Historic Architectural Review Board, a Jackson Township’s municipal committee, Meals on Wheels and The Strand Theater in Zelienople have all benefited from my efforts volunteering.
Living in the Harmony area for 30 years has given me an opportunity to revisit the local historic flavor of rural life after a childhood growing up on farmed land. My two sons, ages 31 and 27 live locally and are making an impact on the world with their involvement in education and media. I have been a widow for 14 years and dearly miss my husband of 29 years who had been a high school sweetheart. It’s important to express emotions of life, death, family and career experiences through writing, art and music which is why I have chosen to offer the community an avenue to find important literary works in my bookshop and a studio for shaping their creative processes into art forms. I hope to influence others with similar interests as they journey through life and be moved into action by their desire to share stories.
I’m determined not to become a cat hoarder or a bag lady with a shopping cart as I age into prime time. Staying healthy until I’m a Centenarian is a daily goal and a struggle while trying to wear my passion as a smile. Every day is a new chance to embrace these goals.