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Robert Sandberg – A Brief Bio

Montaña de Oro - Morro Bay, CA

Montaña de Oro – Morro Bay, CA

Before retiring in 2015 and moving to Sonora in northern California in May 2016, I was working and living in the Los Angeles area where I had been living since moving from Chicago in 1983. I spent the first 33 years of my life living in the northwest side of Chicago and the suburbs of Norridge, Des Plaines, and Evanston. I will always have fond memories of Chicago, especially Evanston and Rogers Park where I lived while attending Northwestern.

After attending various grade schools in Chicago and Ridgewood High School in suburban Norridge, I graduated in 1968 and enrolled at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois as a chemistry/pre-med major. At the end of my sophomore year, I changed my major to anthropology. It was the early ’70s: Woodstock was well on its way to becoming a legend; Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and James Morrison made their individual, tragic, way-too-soon, exits. In May 1970 the Kent State massacre sobered the nation. Just a day or two later I made my way to Washington D.C. to protest the war. But that’s another story.

I earned all my degrees at Northwestern: B.A. in Anthropology, M.A.T. in Education, M.A. in 18th and 20th Century Literature in English, and, finally, in 1989, a Ph.D. in English. I wrote my dissertation on a volume of combined verse and prose that Herman Melville was working on during the last 10 or so years of his life. While working with the manuscripts at Harvard’s Houghton Library in the summer of 1981, I came across eight penciled manuscript pages of a preface Melville had written for the volume of combined poetry and prose that I was working on. This preface, “House of the Tragic Poet,” had never before been transcribed, let alone published. It was published for the first time as part of my dissertation.

I met my wife, Marcia, on New Year’s Eve, 1982, and, in June 1983, having finished all course-work for my Ph.D., I moved from Chicago to Alhambra, a suburb of LA. We got married that December. Thirty three years later, Marcia is cuter than ever, can always make me laugh, and is still my best friend. We have two wonderful children; Tim was born in 1985 and Linny in 1988. In 1984 I began teaching English in Southern California high schools. In 1995, while continuing to teach literature and composition in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I became an instructional technology coordinator and technology consultant for several nearby schools. In 1998 I began teaching education technology courses in the Charter College of Education at California State University, Los Angeles.

I became a grandfather in 2014 when Tim and Wendy had Loretta. Marcia and I retired in 2015 and in May 2016 moved to Sonora where we are now enjoying life living on .8 acres in a 115 year old farm house in rural northern California, “Motherlode Country,” on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada just an hour away from Yosemite. Tim, Wendy, and Loretta, and Lin and Russell can visit us easily and the lakes, hiking trails, and time away from the big city will give them many reasons to do so.

The night sky here in Sonora is really dark, almost as dark as the night sky in Joshua Tree, so I will really enjoy my telescope and giant binoculars. I have almost completed my work on the final volume of the Northwestern-Newberry edition of Melville’s writings, volume 13, “Billy Budd” and Other Uncompleted Writings. It is scheduled to be published in Spring 2017. And finally, now that I’m retired, after decades of waiting, I now have the time to read all seven volumes of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (among other things!).

In the event that our digital paths never cross again, all best wishes for success, health, and happiness.

Bob Sandberg
Sonora, CA
June 17, 2016

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