Russell Avery

Profile Updated: August 31, 2020
Russell Avery
Class of 1960
Residing In: Studio City, CA USA
Spouse/Partner: none, today
Children, Grandchildren: one stepdaughter, born '64, 2 boys born '91 & '96
Occupation: Architect (retired); now a writer
Yes! Attending Reunion
Occupation/Career(s) Details:

Got B. Arch. at Cal, 1968, worked in San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego.
Now a fiction writer, with forays into memoir, poetry, play- and screenwriting.

Published Author, Writer

Published novel Losing Ground in 2016, contemporary suspense/romance set in Cetral California and Berlin Germany.
Sequel is on the way

Different places I have lived:

Sedona, Arizona '57-'60 (Verde Valley School)
Yellow Springs, Ohio (Antioch College) '60-'62
Westwood, CA '62-'63 (UCLA)
Berkeley, CA '63-'75 m (Cal)
Ocean Beach, San Diego, '75-'86
L.A. '87-present

Family history living in South Pasadena:

Spoiler Alert: photo is 5 years old; now I look like George Clooney (not).
I was the first and last in the family to be born while we lived on Arroyo Drive in South Pas (Queen of Angels) but my brother, sister and I loved our town and assumed we and our parents would live there forever but had to move to Monrovia/Bradbury in '54.
None of us moved back but I go often to Buster's for coffee or the public library our mother used to go to every week, or to visit friends or the Arroyo Seco where we played a lot, including watching a Post Office helicopter deliver mail down where the Pitch-and-Putt golf course is today. But the memories are still sharp--Dolly's Records, Unruh's Shoes, Fosselman's (sp?) soda fountain, the Mission Food Mart, the Popsicle plant on El Centro, Les Balk Hardware where I went often with my father and so on.
After the war (WWII, of course) my parents invited a Japanese-American family to live with us since no one would rent to them--even though the father Charlie was a decorated veteran of the Allied 442nd Regimental Combat Team while his wife and baby daughter had to live in a Internment Camp in Arizona. I've never been prouder of my parents, facing down outrage and threats to do the right thing.
Been in Sherman Oaks and Studio City 23 years, both my daughter and boys out in the world. Mixed feelings there, and strange to be living alone these days. Suggestions welcome--most of you are long past this juncture.
Missing the picnics at the park that we used to play in so long ago; I'm so glad it has survived and thrived along with so much of the South Pas I knew from day one--including many of you.

Elementary school and junior high/middle school(s) that I attended.

Lincoln Elementary K-6
Clifton Jr. High in Monrovia
Monrovia-Duarte H.S 9th grade
10-12 at Verde Valley School, Arizona

Family members who also went to SPHS:

Judy Avery '56

Other SPHS graduates I keep in touch with:

Jerry Durfee '63
Mike Durfee '60
Judy (now Renshin) Bunce '60
Peggy O'leary
John Forsha '59 (kept in touch until his death several years ago).

School Memories:

Only attended Pacific Oaks Preschool and Lincoln Elementary before being moved away. I never got to ring the big bell at Lincoln like my brother and sister did. That's when I realized that life was unfair, there on the Mean Streets of South Pas.
Swimming at the South Pasadena Municipal Plunge and attending the annual swim meet and fun night (forgot the name). Ir was the best.

Organizations, clubs, sports groups, and other groups I (did or do) participate in (in high school and/or now):

On secondary school board in Arizona for 6 years.
Mystery Writers of America
Much work in philanthropy.

Milestones & Epiphanies:

Made it to adulthood, more or less.
Published my novel Losing Ground in '16

What's happening in my life now:

I retired from architecture decades ago and write every day--mysteries, plays, screenplays, memoir. An active single parent to a stepdaughter and my two boys out in the world, and how true is the adage that the child raises the parent.
I take immense pleasure in totally unplanned travel, usually in California or Arizona, often going to the places I've always driven past at 70 mph, and discovering a wealth of life and people in the slow lane. Or am I just getting old?

Pastimes & Hobbies:

Guitar, alone and with younger son, TV and films, collecting cheap but beautiful pens and too much other stuff, playing with Bandida, the Wonder Rescue Dog, gabbing with friends and family.

Favorite Music, Songs, Bands

Too many to list just now.

Favorite Books, Magazines, Movies, TV etc:

Too much to list just now.

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Nov 11, 2014 at 1:33 AM
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