Begleitbrief von Donald Philip Muno zum Buch "The Muno Family"
As I will be mailing the Muno book tomorrow I thought an accompanied letter should be included. Some of the things I'm going to include I would not ordinarily mention except for the uniqueness of your future efforts and the honor you are bestowing to my early family. Before my wife took it upon herself to research the Muno family I knew very little beyond my grandfather, Dan Muno. He came out from Lincoln, Nebraska where my father was born and spent his life as a baker. The last years were in Oregon City, Oregon where I was born October 9 1944. The Muno Bakery still exists there today and has received magazine cover status as one of the finest bakery's around featuring many old German recepies. While no longer owned by a Muno, others who have spent a lifetime working there continued with its success.
My father began as a baker. During World War II he served in the army as a Sargent preparing meals for troops. Later, he returned to the army as a civilian engineer laying out airstrips on the Islands stretching from Alaska to Russia. Upon returning to the states, he created Freeze-bake Frozen Foods and invented successful ways of freezing pies etc. without them turning to liquid upon thawing. This was accomplished by a formula he had designed with a chemist in Seattle, Washington and a seaweed powder from Japan. His business became very successful as he shipped to five western states. However, his doctor told him he would die if he continued. He therefore walked away from a great business success and returned to college.
I remember long night hours of study as he had a wife and two children at home during this time. He distinguished himself and became a teacher and counselor with a Doctorate of Education. His academic research lead him into intelligent brain research, further enabling him to help the most difficult people. I remember that medical doctors would send him patients. His research was based on factoring three intelligence areas: deductive, inductive, and spacial relations. Being able to test and then correlate their innate abilities provided patients with a map that would tell them how they learned and what areas they would most likely be very successful. He was dead on every time. Again, ahead of every one else, but in a new career field. It was during this time that I actually took a course he was teaching at the University of Portland. It was my hardest A.
I followed my father into education. First, however, I had wanted to pursue art as a career but found little challenge at the University. Spoiled by early success - I had been asked to do a large mural at a university when I was only 16 and in high school. While in college,I turned to literature and English, and began my teaching career in Seaside,Oregon. I was publishing newspapers, yearbooks, coaching golf and serving as the English department chairman. After 6 years, I was hired by the high school where I had graduated to take on a difficult assignment in journalism that had resulted in two prior teachers being let go in advance of their contracts. Awards and success followed, and I became president of the teachers' union of about 400 teachers during a very challenging time for teachers.
I left Oregon City after four years to take on a high school principalship near Crater Lake. The school was small, 400 kids. Nearly 30 percent were native American. The school and district were cited with a Federal unequal educational citation and my work was cut out for me. But four years later, Washington D.C. awarded my school with having the top Title IV minority ed program in Oregon. This had usually be awarded to Oregon's largest school district in Portland Oregon.
Portland's top school had just grown in size when a new neighboring school was closed combining two top staffs often seeking only one head athletic position. Needless to say,tension was high. When I was brought in to Wilson High School everyone was asking who is this “outside” person? After all, Portland was so large that they never went outside to hire; but there I was taking over both curriculum and budget with over 200 teacher's, many with doctorates, their own police force, another 100 staff, two swimming pools, athletic stadiums, two drama stages, one with a balcony.
In the eight years spent at Wilson I was able to transform the school into a modular scheduled curriculum allowing students to spend quality time in major interest areas of study. I introduced computers into many curricular areas. Eight National titles followed: English, Social Studies, Journalism, Math, Business, Computer Programming, and our Nations 1st place in Jazz music for 5 years running. It was a zenith of overwhelming success. In 1989 I was awarded Oregon's Administrator of the Year. This award included all of Oregon's Universities as well as high schools. I knew my father would have been very proud, as my success was largely due to his early training and guidance.
It was when I moved to the less advantaged part of Portland that new challenges would be faced. But
unexpectedly, I would find a young doctor working with special needs kids and upon first meeting, we found that we shared a unique classical education. We became very close friends and could not have been closer had we been brothers. I published his mother's autobiography as a request from his mother while still alive. The Baroness would never return to Meersburg and George would come out of hiding as Presidents and Senators would now seek his favor.(HRH George Graf und Freiherr von Bothmer zu Shwegerhoff)
Following the reuniting of Germany, I assisted in reclaiming Bothmer Palace in Klutz Germany among other things. During Princes Dianne's funeral in Westminster Abbey, it was George who left the Queen's box and placed a wreath on Dianne's casket. George's father left a throne to become the last Ambassador to the Austrian/Hungary Empire - he brokered the ending of World War II. To add some historical perspective, George's earlier ancestor, England's first Prime Minister, was responsible for placing Elizabeth's family on the English throne. It was during associations these past years that I was knighted and received other titles. A strangehappening for an immigrant's great great grandson now living in America.
I am now 66 and have 4 adult children and 9 grandchildren. Patricia and I live on the side of Ben Lomand; one of the tallest of the Rocky Mountains in Northern Utah – much like Switzerland. If you saw the 2002 Winter Olympic men's downhill, we live on the other side of that majestic mountain.
My daughter is a Registered Nurse and has four children. Her husband Chad was honored by Governor Huntsman (now US Ambassador to China) as a war hero with a bronze star with accommodations. My oldest son Brent is an artist and helped start a new business Inna/vita. His products are marketed to doctors and health practitioners seeking herbal remedies with amino acid form codes. My middle son Nathan is a salesman leading the west coast sales in heating and air conditioning with over a million dollars sales each year. He speaks four languages and has two young sons. Todd, my youngest, is finishing his BA at Weber State University in Media Communications.
Stefan, now you know far more than you wanted to know. I've never shared parts of the above outside of family, but I trust it may give an unexpected turn on events not included in the Muno book.
PS. And just for fun... Patricia's cousin Brig General James B. Thayer's son is Tommy Thayer, lead guitar player for KISS. This past year he completed 100 concerts world wide.