Garmel’s career combines, tennis, government and arts journalism

She is a regular attendee at NFPW conferences, has won more than 100 writing awards, served as chair of the Woman’s Press Club of Indiana’s 100th anniversary celebration  and is always a dependable and enthusiastic member of both organizations. Meet unique and amazing NFPW member Marion Garmel.

Name: Marion Simon Garmel

Marion Garmel

Marion Garmel

City and State: Indianapolis, Indiana

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Woman’s Press Club of Indiana, secretary, COA director. 2005-present. Woman’s Press Club of Indiana COA nominee, 1985 and 2012.

Years a member of NFPW: 40 (joined in 1974)

In a couple of paragraphs tell us a little about you:

I was born in El Paso, TX, on the Mexican border, and did not grow up bilingual, much to my regret. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor of journalism degree and spent three years after college working for the U.S. National Student Association in Philadelphia and the World Assembly of Youth in Paris and Brussels. It was then that I got to meet Eleanor Roosevelt, Allard K. Lowenstein and a host of people who became important in the passing of the torch to a new generation in the 1960s.

I spent all of the ‘60s working for The National Observer newspaper, the weekly family paper published by Dow Jones and based in a suburb of Washington, DC. I moved to Indianapolis with my husband in 1970, got a job on the Indianapolis News, and have been an arts journalist ever since, first on The News, which merged with the Star, which killed the News, which was eaten by Gannett. My beat was the “Culture Corner,” covering visual art, theater, dance books and television and editing a weekly arts and leisure section, until retiring in 2002 as theater critic of Indianapolis Star.

Marion Garmel, left, with 62-year WPCI member Ruth Chin.

Marion Garmel, left, with 62-year WPCI member Ruth Chin.

Any career advice you would give?

Go with the wind. You never know what life will bring and most people just fall into the careers that suit them. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. The only regrets I have are the things I did not do.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d love to be able to sing but I am musically deaf as a doorknob. Which is why I could never be a classical music critic. Rock? That’s another thing.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

The desert Southwest. It’s an acquired taste but it is wonderful.

What book are you reading? My siblings and I are reading and discussing the Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) every day by e-mail. These are the views of Jewish sages over the centuries in questions of ethics and personal relationships. Great discussions.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

That before I got involved in student politics and newspapers I was a serious tennis player and recently found a trophy for being part of the runner-up doubles part team in the New Mexico State Open, girls 18 and under, in 1954.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Are you kidding? This is a wonderful group of women (and now men) who are curious, intelligent, hard-working, clever, and they travel. Thanks to NFPW I’ve been to the Soviet Union (during détente), on the Lewis and Clark Trail in Oregon and Washington, and on a raft going down the Snake River at the foot of the Tetons. In a word, “opportunity.”

Way to follow me:

Marion Garmel on Facebook and LinkedIn

@mariongarmel on Twitter, no website.

 

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