Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meet Bonny: Pilot, Scientist, and a Dog's Best Friend



Some people are just plain fascinating. Maybe they have just the right blend of the unusual --derring-do tempered by native intelligence and strength of character. And adventures, lots of adventures.

They’re the kind of people who leave their mark on the world -- sometimes big, sometimes small, but somehow significant. They're also, incidentally, great conversationalists and everyone wants to sit next to them at dinner parties.

Take Bonny Schumaker. She’d be interesting even if she weren’t the president of an animal rescue organization. Or someone who spends time in Antarctica saving whales. Or owns and flies a plane. Or was a student of Richard Feynman while on her way to a PhD in Physics. Or recently retired from the Rocket Ranch (a.k.a JPL) and now engages in rescue and environmental activities full-time.



And just to continue the list of reasons why, if Schumaker and I were at the same dinner party, you probably wouldn’t notice if I left the room to wash the dishes, she lives, part of the year, in a cabin high in the clouds above Millard Canyon.

And, around the cabin, Schumaker knows a couple of ravens and a red-tail hawk on a first-name basis. And last year she played landlord to a bear who took up temporary lodgings in her tool shed. And …

Oh stop me, already. Really, this can go on forever, and then you’d ask for dessert and coffee and that would only mean more dishes.

More on Patch.

23 comments:

  1. She sounds like my kind of people!. The title of your post sums it well.. kind hearted and damn smart...:-)

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  2. She's an amazing human being, and how cool that she lives right here in Altadena. I wish I had the ability to rescue animals the way she does. My small efforts seem so feeble in comparison.

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  3. Serve donuts and save the dessert plates. And then tell us more about Bonny.

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  4. But can she watch TV for hours on end? HA!

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  5. Bottom left in the photo, under the raccoon, is that a '54 Studebaker hubcap for a desk ornament?

    And with all those brains, how can she look so cheerful and agreeable?

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  6. How wonderful to have so many stories to tell and adventures lived. She has a killer smile, too!

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  7. I would totally notice if you left the room to wash the dishes, Karin. And not just because I'd already be in the kitchen checking out the pots and pans. All that said, Bonny sounds pretty amazing.

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  8. Bellis, I think the only feeble effort is no effort at all.

    Marjie, if you make the donuts. Or Des.

    Margaret, you're so competitive.

    Banjo & Carolynn, that struck me, too.

    Oh, dear Terry. I'll rinse and you dry.

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  9. Karin, the only reason we wouldn't notice your departure is because you're sneaky that way.

    Bonny sounds fab. I'm not surprised she lives above the clouds, for chrissakes, she can fly.

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  10. At your next dinner party, can I sit next to Bonny?

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  11. Great job of introducing us to a woman who I now want to meet. Or at least hear more stories about her. What a life, what a smile.

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  12. Why does this look exactly like my imagined image of a house in the California hills? That sunlight.... Guess it is..

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  13. More seriously, I just finished the piece on Patch and thought it was extremely well done, even by your high standards. People like Bonny bring me back to the James Wright line I keep quoting (or so it feels), the close of "Lying in a Hammock": "I have wasted my life." Wright didn't; Bonny hasn't. Unlike Wright, surely she's aware of that?

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  14. There's a piece on Patch? Excuse me...

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  15. oh my ....how fascinating..... it is always inspiring to meet brilliant people, how lucky you are!!

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  16. Karin, sounds she is a fascinating and spiring human being!

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  17. and it looks like she's racoons best friend too.

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  18. Someone connected me with her via email thinking she might take Louise. Now I'm embarrassed I even asked her. She does enough on this planet without having to take on a pittie project. What an inspiring human being.

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  19. We need to have all of you and the frabjously wonderful lady on the radio show at Poobah.com

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  20. Yeah, in addition to everything else, she's a wonderful storyteller. She was also one of only 12 people who attended Feynman's funeral, and we didn't even touch on the story behind that one.

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  21. Pilot, does she have her private jet?

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