In case you're wondering, my formal name is pronounced as if it
were Michelle--only it's Michon. Then there's the my married last
name; it's pronounced "Cook". I can always tell when my name is about
to be read aloud because there's a LONG pause. I answer to Missy.
I also hate talking about myself but here goes.
All of us love music. We can't help it. It's part of our soul. When
I was young, I remember "playing" on the radiator beneath the window.
I would either use the music within me or listen to the radio. Either
way, I was happiest "fingering" the radiator My parents wondered if
I'd like piano lessons. They enrolled me in the B-W children's program
when I was 5. I loved it. The next year, I was enrolled in the B-W
Conservatory of Music under Prof. Margaret Schluer. I loved that too.
My very first piano recital was in Kulas Auditorium at B-W.
In elementary school, I accompanied the school choir and played for
recitals and Sunday School. By 8th grade, I was playing Chopin's Fantasie
Impromptu and encountering problems. I have small hands. My teacher
told me that I could never do justice to the "war horses" like Grieg,
etc because my span was so small. For years, she had worked me with
exercises to widen my reach. It remains an octave and a note to this
day. Finally, I had to make a choice: piano (which I loved) or grades.
I picked grades and discontinued piano lessons in the 10th grade.
I was graduated with a a B.S. in Chemistry from Capital University.
My work experience was first with NASA and then with Lubrizol Corp.
as their Organic Nomenclature expert. They then appointed me as Head
of their Chemical Library and I also translated French and German.
I retired to have children.
One day, while sitting in church, the music began to irritate me.
The organist played every pedal note staccato. Finally, I turned to
my husband and said: "I can do better than that!" He commented: "Why
don't you?" When I replied that I didn't know how to play the pedals,
he said to take lessons, so I did. Jim Hawkins, another AGO member,
at the Willoughby School of Fine Arts was my organ teacher for 10years
and remains a dear friend. I began to substitute and loved it for
16 years. I finally relented and now take permanent positions. Currently,
I'm organist with Lyndhurst Community Presbyterian church under Dr.
Harry W. Eberts Jr.
Because of our two sons, involvement with school was a "must". I
am pleased to have received various honors, including the Ohio PTA
Honorary Life Membership (the PTA's highest honor). I was also named
Lake County's PTA Volunteer of the Year from among 52 different PTA's.
Currently, I'm a 10-year member of the Willoughby-Eastlake Board of
Education, and am serving my 6th consecutive year as President. I
serve on the Board of Directors of the W-E School of Licensed Practical
Nursing and am a charter trustee of the W-E Schools Foundation. Other
interests include the YMCA, Lake County League of Women Voters, Willoughby
South Instrumental Music Boosters, Willoughby Hills Historical Society,
and of course, the AGO.