Peter H. Hartmann

 



Yearbook Saying

Newport  . . .  
after school basketball  . . .  Mary  . . .
  late arrival from Portsmouth  . . .  
DLS's all-around fan  . . .  volleyball.

 

 

Biography - July 2006

Dear Classmates,

After coasting through high school, I spent a semester at Knox College in Illinois, enjoying six months of nonstop partying without benefit of attending classes before they threw me out.  I had a draft number that pretty much made me immune unless the communists decided to invade Hoboken, but I didnít know what else to do so I joined the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman.  The Navy, in their infinite wisdom, sent me to Great Lakes for boot camp in the dead of winter, but then made up for it by sending me to San Diego for the summer.  

I may owe my life to ping-pong.  Something I didnít realize when I signed up to be a Hospital Corpsman was that the Navy supplies the medics for the Marine Corps.  When I got to Hospital Corps School I found the school graduated a class every week, and every graduate of the school was going directly to Field Medical School, into the Marine Corps, and over to Vietnam.  Marine Corps medics had a high casualty rate in Vietnam.  

About half way through the four-month school, I was playing ping-pong and dislocated my knee.  They took me to the base hospital, put me in a full leg cast, and then sent me back to the barracks.  During the night my knee started to swell, my temperature spiked, and I wandered the base, delirious and dragging my casted leg behind me.  They put me back in the hospital, which set my graduation back a week.  And that week, for the first time in the four months I had been at Hospital Corps school, all of the graduates were sent to stateside bases.  I still have a ping-pong table in the basement, just in case.  I ended up spending my entire Navy career at the Newport Naval Hospital changing diapers in the newborn nursery.  It turned out to be good practice. 

While I was in San Diego I visited San Francisco and vowed that I would return there some day to live, which I did when my tour of (diaper) duty was up.  San Francisco is a golden city and I highly recommend that you move there and live there or at least visit it.  I worked at the VA Hospital where I met my wife Mary.  I went back to school, pursuing a degree in English, this time with the government footing the bill.  I found school more to my liking this time (actually, I liked it a lot the first time, I just didnít do any of the work part).  When Mary and I were ready to have a family, we wanted to live someplace a little more normal (golden city, but a little weird).  She started looking for openings in other VA hospitals while I worked to finish up school.  On the day I turned in my last paper, the Associate Chiefís job opened in Madison, Wisconsin and we decided it was fate. 

I may be one of the few people on Earth who owe their jobs to a degree in English.  I applied for a Research Assistant position at Christensen Associates, an econometric research firm.  The company had just finished a long-term project for an electric utility and had a large report in the works; the idea of having an English major edit the report appealed to them.  The company used Data General hardware for most things, but when they bought their first PC, I found myself drawn to it, and when the person who babysat the Data General box left, he recommended me to replace him.  Iíve been with them ever since.  Theyíre great to work for, value family, dress casually, and pay me enough to keep me from looking elsewhere.  I manage the computer system, do all the user support, and still edit their technical papers.

We live in an unincorporated area west of Madison, Wisconsin.  Itís beautiful farmland -  corn fields and rolling hills.  We have three children, two dogs, and a cat.  Nick, our oldest child, loves cars and just graduated from a technical college with an automotive technician certificate.  He wants to work in a garage until he knows what heís doing enough to move in to racing.  Chris, our middle child, is just about to start college after taking a year off after high school.  Heís an Eagle Scout and loves the outdoors.  He hopes to work in computer animation.  Kathryn, our youngest, will graduate from high school in a year.  Sheís hoping to attend the U of M in Minneapolis; she wants a big school in a big city, but one that isnít too far from home.  At various times in the past year sheís decided to become a doctor, a lawyer, a forensic pathologist, a botanist and one or two others that Iíve forgotten.  Weíre hoping sheíll pin it down a little during her freshman year.  The dogs are English Springer Spaniels, female littermates.  The cat is a stray that showed up one day and decided to stay.  With three children, two dogs, and a cat, we find life busy, but rewarding. 

Hello to everyone and I hope life has been good to you.

Sincerely,

Peter Hartman

 Funny Story - How We Found Peter After 35 Years

We did a national search for Peter Hartmann and found dozens.  We had to start somewhere and we saw one phone number that was listed as "Peter and Mary Hartmann" in Wisconsin.  (The "Mary" came from his Yearbook Saying).  We decided to try that one first and sure enough it was his number.  But after talking with Peter for awhile, we realized it wasn't the same Mary!  It was just a coincidence, but still it saved us a lot of calling.

 

 

De La Salle Academy, Newport RI                                                                                                       Class of 1971