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Who's Who at HUSBAY

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Who's Who in HUSBAY?

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Jim Chastain passed away on his 92nd birthday. To learn more, please click on this link.

Jim grew up in Mississippi, son and grandson of Baptist ministers. He was an electric Jim Chastaintechnician in the Pacific in the WWII Navy. He became a Unitarian while an undergraduate at the University of Utah and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

He spent his working career as a professor of finance, specializing in risk management and insurance. He taught at universities in Mississippi, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska and was Dean of the American Institute for Property and Liability Insurance , in Pennsylvania. In his last 13 years before retirement at Howard University in Washington, D.C. he was Chair of Department of Finance and Director of the Center for Insurance Education.

Since retirement Jim and his wife Ellie worked for an American Indian organization, operated a Kumon math program in Hawaii, were full time RVers, lived in Greece, played golf and tennis in Florida and worked in the Denver headquarters of the Hemlock Society. Since Final Exit Network was formed as an outgrowth of the Hemlock Society in 2004 Jim has been active with it, first as a Board member and now as President of the Final Exit Network affiliate of Florida and as a Senior Exit Guide. Jim coordinates Socrates Café groups in three libraries.

In fun Jim is an Admiral in the Nebraska Navy, a Kentucky Colonel and a Tennessee Squire but says his highest honor so far was being named an Honorary Woman by the National Association of Insurance Women.

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Dr. Noel Wilson SmithNOEL WILSON SMITH received his AB degree from Indiana University, his MA from University of Colorado, and his Ph.D. from Indiana University.

He is Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Courtesy Professor at the University of Florida, Fellow in the American Psychological Association, and has held offices in the American Association of University Professors.

He co-authored with J. R. Kantor The Science of Psychology: An Interbehavioral Survey (1975). He authored Greek and Interbehavioral Psychology (1993, Rev. ed.), An Analysis of Ice Age Art: Its Psychology and Belief System (1992), and Current Systems in Psychology: History, Theory, Research, and Applications (2001). He was an editor and contributor to Reassessment in Psychology: The Interbehavioral Alternative (1983) and founded and edited "The Interbehavioral Newsletter."

His professional interests include logic of science and history of psychology as a tool of analysis. He has served on the editorial board of professional journals and has organized professional conferences as well as presenting papers at such conference, published numerous papers in academic journals, and contributed chapters to academic books.

In 1999 he founded the Humanists of Sarasota Bay, served as president from 1999 to 2008, and was designated President Emeritus in 2012. Recently he participated in the National Geographic Society "Genographic Project" using DNA data that traces human migrations back more than 70,000 years from northern Africa to global distribution.

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About Bob Magill

Bob Magill Photo After Rutgers Business School I launched into the business world by starting a fishing camp in Ship Bottom, NJ. So much for higher ed. Later as part of the Cool Jazz era I played stand -up bass with various groups around the country. 

I quit life on the road just in time to meet and marry Mary Providence (Magill) who was a dancer with the Charles Weidman Company in New York City. She continued dance and then branched into acting at the Bucks County (Pa.) Playhouse.

We settled into country life nearby, and raised three sons. We became active in the Youth Hostel world and subsequently opened and operated a hostel in Perry, Florida and then another in Key West. Mary was on stage in Key West and we both wrote for the stage and screen. I had several short stories and a novel "Michael's Cut" (Amazon.com)published and we made the first plunge into films with "The Lift", a made for TV short feature.

We discontinued filmmaking after having completed many documentaries and narratives in the past decade. Having attempted an Eco-Village in British Columbia, we are more or less staying put in Sarasota. My first e-book ' 52(count 'em)52 'is due for publication on May 10, 2013.

Bob's latest work is "The Purpose of Life …is Life, amen."

The sole purpose of life, and therefore our only human purpose may simply be, life itself. That, upon reflection, would appear to be quite enough. The life force does have its urges though, lots of them, it would appear. After countless eons of self-replication along came sexual reproduction, life had apparently gotten to be in somewhat more of a hurry. Life then pursued bigger and better forms of itself as mobility, size, vision etc. ensued over time. more

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Karen Koenig Photo Karen R. Koenig and her husband moved to Sarasota from Boston in 2005 and were delighted to find Husbay members so warm and welcoming. She continues to love her work as a licensed psychotherapist specializing in overeating and binge-eating, writing books (she’s written six) and blogs, and doing talks and workshops on the subject.

Private practice, tele-coaching, and doing volunteer counseling at Women’s Resource Center give her flexibility to do other things she enjoys: dining out with friends, attending musicals at the Van Wezel and the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, taking walks and hikes with her husband, attending a bi-monthly discussion group, reading, trying her hand at screen- and song- writing, and hanging out with her cat.

Although she thinks fondly of Boston—her undergraduate years at Boston University and graduate studies at Simmons College School of Social work—and dearly misses friends and family from there, she knew after spending one day in Sarasota that this was the place for her. An ex-skier who gave it up because of the cold, she loves the weather here and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Find out more about her work and books at her website.

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Les Downing Photo Les Downing has been a member of HUSBAY for over 4 years. He had been a full professor in the SUNY system in the college at Oneonta, New York. As a social psychologist, he taught a variety of courses in social influence, group dynamics, and especially the processes underlying the power of religious cults to induce conversion and commitment of members. He authored numerous published articles and gave scores of presentations of his research to both professional and non-professional groups.
(see http://downing.socialpsychology.org/).

In recent years he has given talks to HUSBAY, Gulf Coast Humanists of Venice, and UU church groups in Venice and in Bradenton, Florida. Dr. Downing has served on the board of HUSBAY, and helped organize the first of its now annual Darwin Day lectures.

In retirement, he has developed a renewed interest in painting, and has been doing mostly large scale acrylic fantasy landscapes, which are posted on his art website at LESDOWNINGART.COM

He and his wife Holly, who is school teacher, spend ten months a year in Sarasota, and two months at their cottage in upstate New York, near Cooperstown. Les loves to cook and they enjoy entertaining.

Les has been a secular humanist throughout his adult life, and greatly appreciates the opportunities made available through HUSBAY for getting to know and to interact with so many like-minded others.

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When Barry Zack and his wife Joanne first moved to Sarasota in the spring of 2009, he was Barry Zack concerned that he would be unable to find people like the friends at the Ethical Culture Society in Maplewood, N.J. he lost in his move south. It wasn't long before he discovered the HUSBAY luncheon, which happened to be on the Wednesday of that month's Current Affairs Discussion Group.

Well, that's all it took. One meeting with this group convinced him that he had found a new home. He's never regretted for a minute making that choice, having met some of the most delightful and enlightened people. He now leads this group.

He took over this website, and attempts to maintain it diligently (notice the word "attempts"), and runs our the group that led him to join HUSBAY in the first place, Current Affairs .

During the 2011 Lecture season, with the help of some very dedicated HUSBAY members, he chaired the group selecting speakers and providing logistics.

While Barry is not sitting around, complaining about how our politicians are sending the world to hell in a hand basket, he is very involved in the environmental movement. His non-profit (intentionally) website OurNeighborhoodEarth.org is dedicated to the environment, providing news stories, climate change and endangered species awareness. It covers Green Buildings, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Recycling, Responsible Investing - to name a few.

Barry is the author of a novel, entitled Jewish Lightning. It's a ccoming of age story of one who never quite comes of age. The subtitle os "So, what could go wrong?" Answer: EVERYTHING! You can learn more by clicking here. And speaking of writing, Barry does the monthly newsletter for the Sarasota Authors Connection

He was formerly responsible for the Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club Group monthly newsletter; another effort to help preserve the environment from the assault by for-profit-only corporations.

Barry also does websites and newsletters for profit (using the word loosely). Let Barry know if you're considering either one of those by contacting him here.

To help Barry grumble about all of the things wrong in the world, he does a semi-irregularly scheduled blog on Wordpress, which he aptly calls Restless Knights and Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.

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Dr. Jack Wayne

Jack Wayne was born during the Great Depression, just one of the depressions from which his Jack Wayne Photo family suffered. He spent his childhood in Windsor, Ontario and, after four years at the University of Toronto and two more at the University of Michigan, plunged into the world of work.

His employment as a rehabilitation worker for a sheltered workshop provided public speaking opportunities at Ontario psychiatric hospitals and he developed an ability to communicate with residents of the back wards.

Jack then completed his Ph.D. in Sociology and began a thirty-year career as a university professor, using his new skills to talk with colleagues and lecture to students.

Prof. Wayne taught at the University of Toronto with a two-year secondment to the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and a year as Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, Cambridge. His research and publications were on diverse subjects: Urban Networks, colonialism and social transformation in Africa, Imperialism, Social Welfare, and the Family. His contributions to the university community included ten years as Director of the Transitional Year Programme, an access program that brought minority and working class students to U of T and supported their learning. Jack also served as Advisor to the university President on anti-racist initiatives and as Vice-President, Salary and Benefits, of the Faculty Association, bringing economic justice to poor, underpaid professors.

After retirement he turned his attention to Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc., a publishing company that developed textbooks for the post-secondary market. CSPI was founded by Jack in 1985 and sold in 2008. In 2010 he established Three O’Clock Press, a company that focuses on literary works, and its subsidiary Memoirs Publications, a self-publishing company. Jack served as President of the Association of Canadian Publishers and continues to be involved in the Canadian publishing community.

Jack and his wife Susan are seasonal and intermittent residents of Sarasota. They developed Humanist values in utero and live most of the year in a country where Humanism is the default perspective for many. HUSBAY is a very welcome extension of these experiences. It provides a warm and continuing connection in a non-snowy environment with fine people who share many of their perspectives. Jack led the former Philosophy Special Interest Group at HUSBAY.

More about Jack Wayne can be seen on our Write Stuff page.

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Dr. Emanuel (bud) Klein

Photo of the Kleins DISCLOSURE: What follows is a very scant recounting that has been abstracted from my book ”On My Way: my journey to Secular Humanism”, which is now being prepared for printing by Publisher
Jack Wayne, (one of Husbay’s own) at his Firm, “Memoir Publications” a subsidiary of “Three O’clock Press.”

I was born on March 8, 1929 in Far Rockaway, N.Y..

During my eleventh year of life I got my first real for pay job working in a cigar factory & retail cigar store.

My Bar Mitzvah activities became a personal disaster for me. I discarded my gift prayer book and tallis ( a prayer shawl).

At age 17, with the G.I Bill to soon go out of use for WWII vets, I quit High School and enlisted in The US Navy, serving as a Hospital Corpsman.

Since it was my intention to gain admission  to a New York College after discharge, I had to make up some High School course credits.  I served on night duty for most of a  summer to allow me to attend a private school for the missed High School classes. 

I attended Hofstra College in Hempstead N.Y. and took a job the nearby, to the college (Nassau County Hospital) as a Hospital Orderly.

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I graduated from college Cum Laude with Honors in Psychology and Biology and was accepted as a Freshman Student at the University of Louisville Medical School in Kentucky.

I was elected President of my Medical School Fraternity  and was a Med School designated “Student Research Scholar.” 

In addition to my GI Bill supplement I earned cash or living accommodations by working in the Emergency Room on Saturday night shifts  and employment as a “ Sub Intern” at the Jewish Hospital.                 

I did my Internship year at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.

My Residency training encompassed General Surgery, Urologic Surgery and Dermatology at The Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, In.


    J Darwin Soder J. Darwin Soder was born in Wichita, KS and moved to Sarasota in 1979. He earned two M.A. degrees and taught Economics and Business at Southwestern College and at Wichita State University in Kansas. During 1962-63, “Jdar” served as a Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico instructing young men in wilderness camping skills.

In 1971 Jdar joined 200,000 fellow citizens in a powerful demonstration against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C.

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He was careful not to be included among the 10,000 protestors arrested by police that week because he had already decided to seek government employment.   In 1972 he was hired as a Labor Economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While working for the U.S. Maritime Administration in 1976, he earned a rare civilian assignment to attend the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.  To report for duty in Newport, Darwin and three friends motored his live-aboard 36’ diesel-powered Gibson houseboat 600 miles up the Intercostal Waterway (including 60 miles of open Atlantic Ocean, which few house boaters dared to enter) and survived a near miss from hurricane Belle while anchored in a small harbor on Delaware Bay. 

One year after his resignation from Federal service in 1978, Jdar sailed a 29’ sailboat from Washington accompanied by his brother David, landing in Naples, FL.  In 1980 he accepted an assignment teaching personal finance to sailors aboard a US Navy warship while it cruised the Mediterranean. A year later he moved his live-aboard home to Sarasota.  The next three years were filled with cruises to the Dry Tortugas, a island paradise 70 miles West of Key West, FL and a 1500 mile three month tour of the Abacos in the Northern Bahamas in 1983.  In 1984 Darwin started a money management business from which he retired in 2003. He may be best remembered as the Founder of the Mutual Fund Investors Association in Sarasota, which educated more than one thousand local investors in the art of mutual fund investing with monthly lectures at Selby Library from 1985-1990. Soder took pride in exposing three local investment scams he had uncovered by pretending to be a client of the unscrupulous firms.

Darwin was a member of the Sarasota County Archers from 1985-1995 and served as its Treasurer in 1992-93. He achieved a 1st place ranking in Olympic style archery competition in the Florida Sunshine Games held in Sarasota in 1992. From 2002 to 2011 he served as Treasurer with HUSBAY. Jdar attended the Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy sponsored by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in 2009. He was an avid sailor, motorcyclist, and a student pilot. In retirement, Darwin has enjoyed many summers touring North America in a small motor home. He is a dedicated financial supporter of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and The American Humanist Association. He ardently believes in Science rather than superstition.

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Dan Dana is retired from a career that encompassed psychology, teaching, mediation, corporate training, and business entrepreneurship. He is the author of three books on workplace mediation and several conflict resolution curricula. Born in Dan Dana Headshot1945 to a Protestant family in rural Missouri, his life experiences include:

Dan and his wife Susan live in Sarasota, Florida. He is the father of one and grandfather of two. He has been an atheist for over 50 years.

Dan is the author of a free ebook, The Reason Revolution: Atheism, Secular Humanism, and the Collapse of Religion, and thanks many HUSBAY members for their contributions during its preparation.

Dan was interviewed in December 2017 for a podcast named “Reason Revolution,” coincidentally the same as his ebook and rather similar in its general message. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hFwNh1E3-s

Barbara G. Walker is a researcher, lecturer, and author of 24 books and numerous articles on comparative religion, history, mythology, symbolism, mineral lore, the tarot, the I Ching, a collection of original Feminist Fairy Tales, an autobiography, a novel, and two essay collections: Man Made God and Belief and Unbelief. Her Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets has been in print since 1983 and was named Book of the Year by the London Times. Its companion volume is The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects. She received the Humanist Heroine of the Year award from the American Humanist Association, the Women Making Herstory award from New Jersey NOW, and the Olympia Brown award from the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is listed in that prestigious 1200-page compendium of notable freethinkers, Who's Who in Hell.

As an artist, she created 78 original paintings for the Barbara Walker Tarot Deck, and 64 more for her I Ching of the Goddess cards, both published with companion books. She was a professional knitwear designer, and her books on knitting patterns are American classics. She invented over a thousand original pattern stitches, more than any other single person known to history. She also invented a new system for charting patterns, developed a color technique that she named Mosaic Knitting, and received an Inspiration award from Vogue Knitting magazine.

A complete list of Barbara's works can be found here.

She grew up in a Philadelphia suburb and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked as a newspaper reporter in Washington D.C., before moving to Morristown, New Jersey, where she taught modern dance, along with studying, knitting, designing, painting and writing, in addition to homemaking and motherhood. Her marriage to research chemist Gordon Walker, Ph.D., lasted 64 years, until his death in January 2017. Her son, Alan Walker, currently lives in Massachusetts.

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Barb Art Show

Baerbel Kavanaugh won 3rd Prize at a recent juried art show at University Park Country Club.

Well over 30 artists had admitted more than 150 works.

Baerbel works primarily in oil and her overall style is modern realism.

She approaches each painting as an emotional and intellectual challenge and often her initial ideas of forms and values change completely during the process. Her subjects range from people, to landscapes, to nature and are not an accurate representation of reality, but rather an interpretation of her perceptual experience and her feelings.

Baerbel often works in series. Her latest one is called "Art Fusion" and combines parts of famous paintings to create new compositions and meaning.

The artists that have influenced her most are Fairfield Porter and Wolf Kahn.

Baerbel's art website is baerbelkavanaugh.com


Ernie Kinnie

His Website
(click on the image
below, left, for a link)

A very diffeent kind of website.
You owe it to yourself to have a look. And check out Ernie's work on our Write Stuff page.







Bonnie Friedman

Her Podcast




In addition to authoring Hospital Warrior, Bonnie also does a podcast.

Her latest is a subject on everyone's mind these days (click the link below to hear it):
Love In the Time of the Corona Virus -Yes, No and Maybe

More about this book can be found on our The Write Stuff page.


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Betty Comora




Betty at the keyboard

"BETTY COMORA, a versatile entertainer, enjoys performing as vocalist, pianist/vocalist, rhythm banjoist and --would you believe -- washboard player! Other interests are song and play writing, video production and organizing fun events. She "comes to the aid of the party" with enthusiasm and her good sense of humor." ( Arlene Corsano, writer/producer)

After performing with wedding and top forty bands, today she concentrates on her favorite style of music -- the jazz of the 1920's through the 40's -- Dixieland, Swing, Ballads and Big Band. She has been featured in jazz festivals and events throughout the United States plus in London and Stockholm - and will be featured for the fourth year in the www.SuncoastJazzClassic.com in Clearwater, Fl.

Betty was contacted to produce a number of Jazz Concerts in NJ and NY shopping malls. They featured top artists including; John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Al Cohn, Ronny Whyte, Warren Vache', "The Harlem Blues & Jazz Band", Vince Giordano's Nighthawks, "The Speakeasy Jazz Babies" and many others.

In several shopping malls, Betty's "Cats & Jammers" strolling jazz band music appealed to folks from 5 to 95. A reporter called her "Queen of the Mall".


As Entertainment Co-ordinator for several restaurants, she worked within the alloted budget to the benefit of owner, the musicians and the patrons....keeping live music afloat.

More on Betty's website.

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