Roger Kovach's Personal Website

About me

My Story in Brief

This is the "About" post in my Blog, "Good Stories"

About this Blog

Throughout my life and career I have become famous among those who know me, whether in public, such as presentations at technical conferences or in the many week-long classes I taught, or in ordinary private conversations, for saying regarding almost any subject, "I have a good story about that."

I have decided that I should record at least some of those stories. Some are humorous; some are pointed; some are factually or otherwise interesting; most are just good stories.

About the Author

I was born shortly after Herbert Hoover was elected, the end of 1928, in a small private clinic on 62nd street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. I am the only person in the world who can make that claim. It makes me as "New York" as you can possibly be.

My earliest memories are of the Great Depression (running a tab at the local grocer for instance). I grew up in Flushing, Queens, went to PS 32, the State Street School, for grades one through eight. Nearly all of the kids in my first grade class were with me all the way through and graduated with me. I went to Bayside High School from 1943 to 1946.

I went to the University of Chicago in October of 1946 and left without graduating in the spring of 1950. I spent a lot of my time involved with the University Theatre, which was not an academic program, which pretty well wrecked my university career. I do not regret any of it. I will tell of my experiences and associations in the theater some day. After three years in New York (one in Yorkville, two plus in Greenwich Village) I went to Mexico for six months and then to San Francisco. In 1970 we moved to Bolinas where I have been ever since.

I have been married twice: for ten years to Terry Popp (nee: Flambert) and for more than 55 years to Barbara Degenhardt (Ruthman) who died shortly after our anniversary in 2013. I have one wonderful son, Alexander Frederick, and three step children, Steven and Rex Ruthman and Carla Adams.

I had a number of short term jobs in New York and San Francisco which culminated in a computer programming position with the U. S. Naval Supply Center, Oakland in 1959. I have been involved in computing ever since: eight years with the Navy, a little over a year at Pacific Gas and Electric, University of California for eight years, the Institute for Software Engineering for six, Boole and Babbage for twelve and Applied Expert Systems up to the end of 2006 when I retired a week after my 78th birthday.

This is my favorite picture of myself. It was taken, as you can see, on Praed Street, about a block or so above Paddington Station. It is the east wall of St. Mary's Hospital. The plaque states that Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in the laboratory two floors above (in 1928, the year of my birth.)