Celebration of Life – Margo Macartney

This announcement is on behalf of Margo’s partner Helise Dubnick, If you plan to attend please contact her directly at 520-366-1391.

If you have some writing you would like to share with Helise, please send them to  irthma@gmail.com

3 responses to “Celebration of Life – Margo Macartney”

  1. Elena Broslovsky Avatar

    We will be hosting a zoom call for Helise before the Celebration of Life to share stories about Margo. If you would like to attend please send your email to irthma@gmail.com. She would also like any stories you care to write.

  2. As was the case often in Synanon, I knew of Margo before I met Margo. That’s kind of the way it goes with a close-knit family the size of ours. She was Margo Stern back then in 1972. I had heard of her vicariously as I listened to tapes about her husband Chester and his shenanigans. I worked with her in 1975 at the school in Barn #4, we were both Demonstrators along with Ann Wisser, Linda Simon and others. Jarrie Tent was running things at the school in Tomales. At that point Margo was one of the older, old timers around in Synanon time…and that was saying a lot for being in Tomales. By 1975 Chester had already split and from what I could tell, Margo was a good fit in the school, working with the youngsters who were somewhere between eight and twelve years old. But then again, what did I know? After three years in Synanon, I was still wet behind the ears having just rotated to Tomales as a member of the Breeders. Margo was down to earth and made me feel welcome. She was complicated and although she had come through the same door as I, only well over a decade earlier, she never struck me as being quite as comfortable as I had thought one should or would be after so many years.
    We were all kind of in some sort of purge and churn mode where big time changes were coming at us seemingly on a weekly basis and the longer one had been in Synanon, the closer one’s value to the family might get scrutinized or analyzed in a Game. It seemed like all was in flux more so than usual. Old timers were being sent out to work, diets were changing, we were getting lean and maybe a little mean, and I think that there were more people in Synanon at that time than ever before. At that point in Synanon’s history I could only faintly imagine what Margo had seen and experienced as the wheel turns and who’s on top today might find a restive subterfuge in the pot sink next week. Oh, she had been a wonderful team player as we all did yeoman’s work attending to the daily lives of a young David Akey, John Paul Jones, Karen Wegerbauer, Denver Cook, Grant McDaniel, John Spataro, Nicole & Alex Wisser, and the like. Great kids all, and I enjoyed every minute of the four months or so that I worked with them along with Margo and the rest of the staff by my side, but that was at the very beginning of some monumental changes and perhaps Margo was sensing some things on a deeper level that few could perceive. I didn’t get to know Margo very well because my journey in Tomales was just beginning and from what I have learned of her story, hers was still to be filled with many twists and turns and great accomplishments. I read and enjoyed her book while I marveled at her ability to study, pass the BAR and write of one of her more meaningful cases. She was a hero in my small world, as I view all that I worked with and shared some experiences with as heroes that helped to get me through the reformation of a life worth living during a small space in time half a century ago.

    1. Thank you Gary for sharing these memories of Margo

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