Widow con­tin­ues op­er­at­ing hus­band’s com­puter mu­seum

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Valley Life - By GAIL SCHONTZLER

Boze­man Daily Chron­i­cle

BOZE­MAN, Mont. (AP) — Bar­bara Keremed­jiev suf­fered a ter­ri­ble blow when her hus­band Ge­orge Keremed­jiev died un­ex­pect­edly af­ter heart surgery in Novem­ber.

“Af­ter the ini­tial shock . I thought, what am I go­ing to do?” Bar­bara said.

Leave Boze­man? Go live near the grand­kids?

De­spite her shock and grief, she quickly de­cided she would stay and fight to sus­tain and ex­pand her hus­band’s cre­ation — the Amer­i­can Com­puter & Robotics Mu­seum.

On Jan. 2, she re­opened the free, non­profit mu­seum, which had been closed since her hus­band’s death Nov. 17.

“This mu­seum has to be a liv­ing legacy to Ge­orge,” said Bar­bara, 63.

“This was his love, his pas­sion. He gave it ev­ery­thing. I could not imag­ine this not con­tin­u­ing,” she said.

Af­ter con­fer­ring with fam­ily, sup­port­ers and friends at Mon­tana State University, her goal now is to make the small but well­re­spected mu­seum larger, self-sus­tain­ing and pro­fes­sion­ally staffed by 2021.

“He would be very pleased,” she said.

In a few short weeks, she has expanded the non­profit mu­seum’s board of di­rec­tors from four to 10 mem­bers to in­clude peo­ple with ex­per­tise in high-tech, fi­nances, man­age­ment, fundrais­ing, grant writ­ing and other fields.

Mu­seum con­sul­tant Art Wolf, a for­mer Mu­seum of the Rock­ies direc­tor and good friend of Ge­orge’s, of­fered to help for free. And they have de­vel­oped a three-part plan.

First, they’re rais­ing enough money this month to run the mu­seum for the rest of this year and to hire an ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor. The only change this year will be to the ex­hibit that hon­ors the 50th an­niver­sary of hu­mankind’s first walk on the moon.

Se­cond, they’ll spend sev­eral months putting to­gether a long-range strate­gic plan for the mu­seum’s fu­ture, which will in­clude a financial plan and find­ing a larger space to dis­play more of the col­lec­tion that’s in stor­age. And fi­nally, once the mas­ter plan is ready to show peo­ple, they’ll go out to raise se­ri­ous funds to make that dream a re­al­ity.

The mu­seum, which the Keremed­jievs founded in 1990, doc­u­ments and ex­plains hu­man­ity’s in­ven­tions in com­mu­ni­ca­tions and com­put­ing, from an ac­tual 4,000-year-old Baby­lo­nian clay tablet to one of the last sur­viv­ing main­frame com­put­ers used by NASA at the time of the Apollo Moon mis­sion. It has one of the first Ap­ple com­put­ers, do­nated by com­pany co-founder Steve Woz­niak, plus ex­hibits on ro­bots, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and women in com­put­ing.

USA To­day read­ers voted it in 2016 as one of the nation’s top 10 free mu­se­ums. A hand­writ­ten note from famed Har­vard sci­en­tist E.O. Wil­son called it “inch for inch the best mu­seum in the coun­try.”

Ge­orge Keremed­jiev, who worked around the world as a man­u­fac­tur­ing con­sul­tant, was the mu­seum’s “guid­ing force,” Bar­bara said. He did the re­search and cre­ated ex­hibits to ex­plain com­plex ideas so anyone could un­der­stand them, while she gave tours and trained stu­dents and vol­un­teers.

He found joy in learning new things and ed­u­cat­ing oth­ers about the his­tory of tech­nol­ogy and the peo­ple be­hind the mag­i­cal in­ven­tions that we take for granted, she said.

They met in 1979. She grew up in com­mu­nist Poland, was ed­u­cated at Wro­claw University, spoke English and worked as a tour guide. She met a friend, who in­vited her to visit New Jersey as a tourist, and there one day she met Ge­orge.

“It was love at first sight,” Bar­bara said. “It was fas­ci­nat­ing talk­ing to him.”

Dear Odd

I have no doubt that she has your best in­ter­ests at heart and is try­ing to pro­tect you from some of the very real dangers that so­cial me­dia and even text mes­sag­ing can have. Nonethe­less, tech­nol­ogy is some­thing that not only is here to stay but is go­ing to be­come even more present in our lives. Have a con­ver­sa­tion with your mother about this, and try to un­der­stand her rea­sons for keep­ing you off so­cial me­dia.

Per­haps once you have that con­ver­sa­tion, you will bet­ter un­der­stand why she is hes­i­tant and you two can come up with a com­pro­mise, such as putting pri­vacy set­tings in place, re­strict­ing cer­tain fea­tures and en­sur­ing that the so­cial me­dia sites know your age.

Dear An­nie: I’ve been read­ing let­ters from peo­ple com­plain­ing and/or ask­ing about what to do about not re­ceiv­ing thank-you ac­knowl­edg­ments. Here is the other side of that dilemma. What does one do when re­ceiv­ing gifts that for what­ever rea­son

Dear Re­frame Mind­set: Thank you for let­ting me know about Lovey­our­brain. It seems to be a won­der­ful re­source. Read­ers can find out more at http://www. lovey­our­brain.com.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected] cre­ators.com.

As­so­ci­ated Press

— Bar­bara Keremed­jiev shows off a re­pro­duc­tion of an An­tikythera Mech­a­nism, an an­cient Greek ana­log com­puter, at the Amer­i­can Com­puter & Robotics Mu­seum in Boze­man, Mont.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.