Joseph Ortiz

Profile Updated: May 25, 2012
Residing In: Carlsbad, NM USA
Occupation: Semi-retired
Yes! Attending Reunion

Studied for a year at Centre College in Danville, KY, then off and on at Miami Dade while working at Sunland Training Center. But I just couldn't decide on what I wanted to be when I grew up. For instance, at Centre I majored in Physics and minored in Art. This completely befuddled my Faculty Advisor.

Anyway, I kicked around for a couple of years (a while in Lexington, KY with friends from Centre) until I rediscovered Coconut Grove and became involved with New Party. New Party was organizing third party candidates for office across the country. I worked with Bob Kunst (still an activist in the Miami area), Oran Lindquist (now teaching High Scholol History) and Psychologist Alan Rockway (sadly lost to us too, too early in life). While it only lasted a couple of years it was possibly the most exciting time of my life. I traveled all across the country organizing local third party offices and had the opportunity to meet and occasionally work with people such as Gore Vidal and Dr. Benjamin Spock (National co-chairmen of New Party), Dick Gregory, Andrew Young, Julian Bond, Gene McCarthy, Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King and Daniel Elsbeerg. All this by the age of 22.

Although I burned out on politics after the '72 elections I was still in love with Coconut Grove and eeked out a living there making jewelry. Eventually I opened a jewelry shop (The Jeweler's Workshop) on Bird Av in '76.

As seems to be my pattern, by 1978 I was completely burned out on Miami in general and moved to Denver, CO just weeks after our 10 year reunion. I got by in Denver making jewelry and occasional part time jobs until 1981 when I got hired (on a fluke) to work in an R&D lab for an oil well service company called Smith Energy. While there I was fortunate enough to have published two research papers related to oil well fracture technology. Then the oil industry went bust and it was back to selling my jewelry. After 6 months I got a call from Gate's Energy (another serendipidous fluke resulting from a blind resumw I sent in on a whim). Anyway, I spent a few years in their R&D developing an automobile battery (you may be familiar with the Optima battery)

Then once again, burn out. I started working as a lab temp and ended up full time in an environmental testing lab as a Radiochemist. I spent the next 12 years in Denver as a Radiochemist until I was offered a position in the lab at the DOE's WIPP facility in Carlsbad, NM. After 9 years working my ass off I'd finally had enough. I resigned my position and when the haze cleared after a week or so I suddenly realized I was living in Carlsbad, NM. HELP! I've fallen into a Conservative Black Hole and I can't get up!!!

Thank God for Sattelite TV (local Cable here won't carry MSNBC or Current tv). So, any "Liberal" classmates out there please drop me a line and keep me sane. OK, Conservatives are welcome too. I've never shied away from spirited (fact based) debate.

Seriously, it would be great to hear from all of you.

School Story:

Favorite Memories:
1. Who was it that flushed the Sodium down the Boys Restroom toilet?

2. Mr. Spenser using the fire extinquisher on students who dozed off in class.

3. Bagel sales. hmmmm.

4. Mrs Dewhurst: "Nothing's fair but it all counts"

5. Marcella's and Jahn's on football nights.

6. Manuel Mouriz's swami act on the coffee table of my living room (my mother couldn't stop laughing)

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May 25, 2021 at 4:33 AM
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