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Unbelievable what I found in storage…

11 Jun

This is a big historical photo story. This starts out small but you’ll see by the end why I am posting all of this. Most of you know that my name is Laura Fleming Kerbyson.

This really gives some insight into my mind during some important times in my life. There are photos from teaching computer science, building Hard Rock Park and my big break at age 16 with The Beach Boys.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Almost Famous” you’ll see why I am the kid from the movie – except the real life story is much more interesting. There are some people who I want to see these photos. I was cleaning out a storage unit and found some things and snapped the photos with my cell phones.

You can tell from notes below in teaching computer science that when I had time, my handwriting is much neater as opposed to when I was at Hard Rock Park and I had to work so fast so my notebooks became organized chaos for my thoughts.

These notes are from teaching Software Development, JAVA, and Trig as a professor.

Before I was in computer science, when I was in high school I lobbied to get a job at a local newspaper as a reporter. They started me as an intern but you can see in my big break at the age of 16 they started changing my byline to reporter. When I was 16, the editor told me The Beach Boys were coming to town. He would give me eight pages of the newspaper for a special edition, if I could fill it. As you will see below – I did. I progressed from The Beach Boys to the Governor of Ohio and more. I wasn’t even out of high school when I did all this work.


Part of the reason I had been hired as a newspaper reporter was because of an article I wrote covering NASA and about the 10 teachers in space. I became well known for the article because it was published three weeks before Challenger exploded and in the article one of the teachers in space talks about being trained, “in all way in which we could die.”

All of this was why I could write my own ticket into college, and I did. I went on 13 awards and scholarships in my undergraduate. By the time I was 24 I had written for publications like The Miami Herald, The Columbus Dispatch and United Press International (at the age of 17 but they didn’t know it).

I was not your average kid. I was bold, daring and audacious. I took to helicopters to get my arial photos. Below are photos of the Blennerhasset mansion, and some flood photos. This was back in the day when we had to develop the film in a black and white dark room. I would have them strap me to the outside of the helicopter to get the photos. I did all that and began college at age 15. I took college courses all the way through high school and was in a gifted program since the age of 12. When I graduated high school, I had a 4.0 in my college courses. I graduated grad school with a 4.0 and this nation’s first place prize.

I progressed from all of that to working for GE at the age of 19. I eventually went to grad school and became a computer science professor and then took a risk and applied to be the Kickass Web Mistress of Hard Rock for Hard Rock Park. When we were building the park, I kept notebooks of my fast throughts and lists. Below are some of the notes I found today. They cover everything from building the park, to building the Kickass Jobs web site, to creating the online puzzle games. The first notes are from when I specked my $10,000 Alienware computer for the park.

This is from something Jon and I were working on…

This was infamous black leather skirt that I wore to my original job interview for the Kickass Web Mistress. The interview was with Steven Goodwin, the CEO. Can you believe I was that little back then. Below that are photos with my daughter (who is now 20 years old). The coaster poster is a piece of my work. My passion has always been for design. The Led Zeppelin poster used to hang in my office at Hard Rock Park.


Right before the park, when I was a computer science professor, I had also coached my daughter’s basketball team. We came in 2nd place this year.

I found her baby shoes in storage today.

And I found the paperwork for the mortgage for my second house.

And the mortgage from my third house….

I found the screen shots of our finished work on the M.I.T. Ballroom Dance web site.

I found a server, some software and the first video game I ever made.

I did game design for a while when I met and became good friends with Howard Dortch, the engine programmer from Sony’s Everquest and AMD fame. I wrote some of this country’s first game design curriculum in Ohio and won the Outstanding College Educator Advancing Information Technology in Ohio. My true strength is in the Internet and in design.

And I found the radio I ripped out of my Porsche when I redesigned all the electronics.

And from my early days in the 1990s in Florida I found a copy of the magazine where I was Managing Editor of The Florida Tech Journal and doing work for Knight Ridder. I did their magazine for the 25/43 project and some advertising for them.

And you know as an artist, I love to create. I found this character I had sketched.

I found a chest that I had purchased after Hurricane Andrew. I bought it for $35. It was real mess. I refinished it. It’s walnut with solid brass hardware. Mom, do you want this?

All in all, I think the trip to storage tells a unique story from my life. They are things a resume could never tell you. Truly inside the imagination and my mind…

I never aspired to be ordinary. I aspired to be legendary.

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