Anne Hamik and Kevin Montgomery

Recorded August 25, 2007 Archived August 25, 2007 36:55 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBX002993


Kevin interviews his girlfriend, Anne, about her childhood and how her parents influenced her career and sociopolitical beliefs.

Subject Log / Time Code

Anne talks about growing up in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Anne remembers her father, Morgan Berthrong, who loved the outdoors.
what influenced Anne to become a doctor.
Anne talks about her relationship with her mother, Sharon Berthrong.
Anne talks about Sharon’s trip to Mexico to help single mothers.
how Anne and Kevin met.


  • Anne Hamik
  • Kevin Montgomery

Recording Location

MobileBooth East


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00:04 Okay, I'm Kevin Montgomery 38 years old confirmed yesterday. And today's date is the 25th of August 2007. We're in Cleveland, Ohio and and is my girlfriend.

00:20 And I'm an hammock. I'm age 43.

00:24 All right, so and I brought you to the storycorps bus because this project is important to me and you graciously agreed to come and I appreciate that by the way. So thank you very much for doing this and tell me a little bit about where you grew up and you grew up in Colorado Springs right now, which is right at the foot of Pikes Peak and Cheyenne Mountain NORAD is and Scott a great range of mountains. You can always know your directions West is where the mountains are and I think it's a great place to grow up your earliest memories. I mean where you in the same house B&B in your entire life or where did you live one place and move to another place was in kind of a cookie cutter neighborhood.

01:15 With a lot of regular folks and then my parents were divorced and we moved from there briefly lived in a house with my mom had just three young kids and she was a single mother for about a year and then we moved to my going to final child at home which was out on the edge of town kind of in the country where deer and raccoons would come running in the yard at night. And where was that exactly at the last house was in a place called cragmoor Village, which is right again in the edge of town along the Bluffs in Colorado Springs.

01:53 And did you go mountain climbing or you an outdoorsy person that not as much as I always wanted to be but we did go climbing in the Bluffs and my dad dad was an outdoors guy and he would actually fly his Falcons out there in the Bluffs and soon knew a lot about him, especially enough to tell us to watch out for rattlesnakes. Cuz rattlesnake Hill was one of the Bluffs but we never met we met up with only bull snakes which we bought him as pets but no rattlesnakes at the field. The field mice in the field mice with what did Bob them on that? I know have babies while waiting to be eaten in that both make actually left her and the babies alone.

02:45 So you said that your your dad was an Outdoorsman right? So he grew up Ashley in?

02:54 In Washington DC and he would have been a perfect person for a for this project but a while I was growing up there he met up with his neighbors whose or Frank and John Craighead who later became world famous Grizzly researchers. So as a child he got to go out with them on it and that day though environs Room Washington DC were more wild and that's when they first actually started finding Falcons and raising them. So he continued he actually went to medical school and all that but continued a relationship with them was an Outdoorsman with them and then bought a ranch in Colorado on a working Ranch as he was a physician. So he continued to be outdoors guy young man. He was a teenager when they first started. Yeah. Yeah, so that his father died when he was very young and throwing a stepfather who was thinking of a banker and not that much of an Outdoorsman.

03:53 Because his neighbors were down the road. We got 10 restock. And threw them. Did you ever meet his neighbor's I did one of the twins they were identical twins. I met one of them and you know, they were kind of in the retirement age at that point, but I was actually my the kind of my dad's second set of kids. And the first I got to go on, you know wild rides down the Colorado River and research trips for Grizzlies and stuff up by the time I came along that part was also kind of been retirement and you were young enough that they were too old but nonetheless now you you met these people about how old

04:42 I want of the second grader so I can relate years old. She wrote actually.

04:55 All of the songs that we sing is it at in elementary school with the

05:00 The greens waving grains

05:03 A weight. Do you know that?

05:22 Oh God Bless America. Amber waves of grain amber waves of grain Amazon.

05:33 Yeah, I was at one of the gate kids. So I let means that I I like to do my homework. I like turning homework in I like taking the test. And yeah, I did like school. So it was your was your father supportive of that so

05:53 But he's an outdoorsy guy. Oh, yeah, but he was exactly and he and he said that my mom I would say though because we were actually her original set of kids and he inherited as she took primary and then care of raising us. Although he was there is a supportive kind of person. She was really the one who kept close touch on track of us you're actually adopted. Is that correct? And are your siblings also adopted my day three of us. I'm the oldest I was adopted. I was a Bad Thing 2 weeks old. My brother II was also adopted and my sister who's just nine months younger than my brother Boise.

06:39 Some people call it a natural kid, but my dad always made my dad angry cuz my brother and I are unnatural but she's she's at was born to she was raised by the family that we got her and and at what point in a you you eventually took school to another level of them were much higher than most people do I think you've became a PhD and MD at what point in your in your schooling. Did you discover your path?

07:22 So Ash has a tiny kid. I was the one that knew I was going to be a doctor when I get older. It was either that or veterinarian cuz I really like two animals probably more than people but and my dad actually even though he was in our primary kind of care giver I did like how he was and who he was and what are you in the position. So he's a physician and he seemed serious about what he did and very knowledgeable and they seem to have a lot of integrity.

07:58 He came home for dinner and we had dinner together know it's great. He is is question every day was what did you learn today? And then though it later in the evening. He would go work on books or work on other things and so really with my mom who is yuno took us to communicate clothing and made sure we had what we needed for the next day and and did all that if he was more of a a little bit of a distant parent. It was your mother working at the time. She was she was at that point. I guess we call them and administrative assistant. So she worked actually the department of pathology wish you meant by father. She was his secretary. And so so so that's what she was doing until I got into high school when she quit that and went back to and went to college. She actually never gone to college and she was determined to graduate from college before I did so

08:58 Did you get a master's degree? And then after that she was kind of a political activist and also consultant to Medical Offices. So you started you started high school at the typical age and you weren't an accelerated student, but you were a good student. I ain't so you may you may days and you wouldn't College. What was your what was your college experience? Like the college is great Colorado Springs at that point was the most Republican County in the in the United States. I think Orange County, California to keep it up. So that was what are surrounded by we had military bases there and and Nora exactly. So I went to what might be the most liberal College in the country. So Reed College in Oregon, it was recommended to my parents as a great academic institution, and I think it is but it was a lot different of Colorado Springs.

09:58 So is pretty shy then and and I was really surprised by what I saw, but I actually really really liked it from the shyness by your experience at the college. Now you remain shy until I graduated from college and took a job and new that I have in a research laboratory, but I had responsibilities that would not allow me to continue to be so shy so in college my friends would order food for me at restaurants. Are you no talk to people that I didn't know for me and that wasn't possible once I graduated.

10:42 Okay, but you did have a circle of friends. How did you how did you make friends? I actually think you know some shy people don't make friends very easily and fortunately I wasn't one of those so people coming to you and saying I need you know, they'd have to because I wouldn't go to them and so I got really lucky and met some really nice people who you know took the time to let me get over my shyness. That's great. So you actually ended up going to several different schools. You want to read I can meet and then I took courses at Stanford, why was doing research there? And then I went to medical school and graduate school at the University of Oklahoma, and I haven't gone to all these different

11:25 Places and then ultimately you you were on faculty at Harvard. Is that correct? So now I'm after medical school and went to Johns Hopkins for winning an internal medicine right in Baltimore. And then from there I went to Harvard Brigham and Women's Hospital for training and Cardiology. And then finally now I meant at Case Western University faculty in cardiology. Finally faculty after many many many years yet having been at all these different institutions. Is there one that you know, that that really pulls at your heartstrings more than others. So it sounds like read is is does a Canada definitely read was fantastic, but they know I was I was at the right age for something to really impact me but I think that places is unusually great and then Hopkins actually for training

12:14 Was a very intense place but also I think a lot of Integrity to the two would be my favorite what exactly Cardiology fellow Cardiology fellow and then how did you get involved with the research that you're doing now? I'm so is research and one-year research is mandatory for the training program. So you have to do some sort of research basic science or clinical science or whatever you wanted to do. I build the laboratory chose. I also got lucky that the head of that lab called me with it a question that was supposed to be based on some of the Advent do in research earlier, but it was one of the kind of questions were owned by the way, what's going on in my lab? Come by sometime. I can show you and he was very energetic person with very interesting research going on.

13:14 Panda

13:16 And I seem to be a good Mentor. So I joined him and you ended up leaving Harvard with that group to come here to Cleveland. So a little bit premature for me to leave training I even though I got to spend a million years, but he and two others came up to Cleveland as a triumvirate to join a department Cardiology a case and I had to decide whether or not I was going to come up here. Also, there were three people in my position and the

13:49 And we decided to to jump ship and and come up here is Harvard feel about that. Well, you know, it's a big place and I've got a lot of really excellent people so I know I don't think they're they're crying in their soup but is 6 people leaving the department is a big deal. Even if not, all of us are fully fledged and you know, we're famous. So at least in the in the little Cardiology academic Cardiology world, we made the gossip seem so I really enjoy I think everybody has been to all six of us really like the city and you must have been working to raising young families and said, that's nice. We can actually buy a place to live that's larger than you know bathroom stall so that's good and

14:41 And the Winter's don't say this cuz we're just lived in Boston. So that's not a problem. And the people here are really friendly. So what are you studying exactly? What it what is your what is your research about? My research is about A protein that causes jeans to turn on and off and it seems to do that in such a way that it makes blood vessels healthier than they would be otherwise covered is undiscovered territory and hopefully everybody that's doing research tries to do something that's undiscovered. So if you're in MD researcher, I think probably we have a little bit more concerned at least hope that this going to have some kind of clinical application and and mine has some chance of being that so you decided to you going back a little bit here you decided to get a PhD or an MD first which how did that work out till after college? I went and did research and didn't know there was a

15:41 Possibility of doing both I thought you had to choose and I didn't know which way to go. And so that's one reason I did research for a while to find out their programs and actually scholarships that let you get both degrees at once. Well, let me know during the same time frame and Anna's couch that they pay for medical school and give you a small stipend which is really helpful. So during the research that point I just cover the scholarship possible and I could do both and I met some people that were doing both and that's when I decided to follow that path since your stepfather really had a lot of exposure to the medical community and they obviously at some level had to be brought that home but it seemed like you were the only person in your family to to delve into medicine and of the kids.

16:41 And it did go into medicine. He never pushed anybody. I'm in and it and which is good cuz it wouldn't have been the right thing for anybody else. They don't have an interest in it. So and they say push me either he was thrilled that I that I wanted to it. And apparently when he finds out I got it, you know accepted went out into Arduino outdoor neighborhood and screamed Yahoo, but said, he was thrilled but didn't push me and in fact, he'd been in a he was caught it. He was 20 years older than my mom. So his the path that he had taken didn't really exist anymore and medical getting into medical school and and the training was world's different by the time I got in so

17:39 Yeah, so he was excited about it, but my experience I think was a lot different than his.

17:45 And your your mother did she push you at all? Neither of them were really forcing issue on you, but they were very supportive for academic achievement was important to both of them and

18:00 Did you ever slip it all academically?

18:04 What is a tri Vin College we didn't get Grace and so I wasn't quite sure what my grades were. So I was not a straight edge student there, but no. Actually encouraged not encouraged not to be but encouraged not to care about what your grade was rather than just learn to what you wanted to learn. So probably was not a straight A student in college.

18:23 But you don't really know because of reeds grading you can get that you can they send it to medical schools. But how about your relationship with your mother? How do you how how do oil do you get along? So I was really fortunate to end up with her. I think you know she says and I agree. I've been I was a weird kid from the first day and she thought that most most people must mother's probably would not have been as willing to allow that into like encourage allowed allowed to come because I didn't you know from early on I didn't want the kind of things that you know, most people would at that time that you know, I knew from a

19:16 And it's early on as he start thinking about even if it's just fantasy when your kid that, you know, I didn't want to get married when I Was Eighteen and start having kids and and raising them and do you know do all that kind of thing that I was probably going to be no pursue a lot of academic achievement under spoiler batting a thousand ya no kids. No, no marriage High Academia. I think Elsa being shy she she knew it would be more difficult for me to may be achieved some of the things.

19:59 But she was okay with that and your father same way. So what is when you think of your mother would describe your mother to me? So she when she was growing up she grew up in a small town in Nebraska if I had a father was quite smart three boys and three girls in her family the boys only to college the girls were either nurses secretaries or Homemakers. So that's the time she grew up just by having a father who is kind of liberal in terms of what women can do. She she outgrew that way before she had kids herself meaning that her daughter was not going to let you know be combined to one of three professions.

20:44 And as soon as she had the opportunity as soon as the kids were old enough sheet, you know, I grew one of those three professions too. So I think that's fantastic. But also, I think the whole time even when she was a single mother of three young kids. She's always been an extreme Democrat and I don't mean extremist interviews, but and her conviction to write in caring for you know, all the people that she come in contact with

21:15 So it for December when we were kids we would often have a young woman living in our home as a single mother.

21:26 But you're with your mother with wood would help people with with their lives.

21:31 This is it. This is touching you would you like to clean up?

21:40 You got to share that with my dad. He's sitting here with us.

21:46 So tell me how she would do this. What was that these women, you know teenagers we get pregnant in an abortion and words to the family.

22:03 It's okay. Okay, so you don't mind talking about this though, right?

22:10 Assess whether or not you can actually discuss.

22:16 Alright, so, alright. Let me let me get off the subject to help you out here a little bit. Tell me about your your your mother's trip to Mexico recently.

22:31 So my mom is an atheist and she went to Mexico with a missionary group.

22:40 And they went to a small village in Mexico. And again helping women there who were coming over come by the fact that their husbands had gone to the United States before work or work and they were left with many many children. And so they were to help them going to build up their infrastructure Tustin actually helping him and help each other, you know organizing baby singing groups in that car and also to help them with their education a lot of these women wanted some education to hadn't had an opportunity. So they'd help him organize ways to raise tuition or get scholarships. How old is your mother? She is 6767 return this last.

23:25 May right when it was spring when she went or interpersonal interactions with with the the people that she was seeing in Mexico. She doesn't speak Spanish. So a lot of things was through an interpreter, but she got a huge kick out of it and she felt that these two women really opened up to them.

23:55 Because I really appreciate people coming down to try to help him that's amazing. It's very philanthropic of of her and I and I'm wondering it was your with your father the same way he was a moor.

24:10 Hardcore worker scientist type person who I think didn't have the kind of a man. He is shared her political views, but he didn't have the time or make the time to do the kind of thing. She went to help people out.

24:25 In that way and I think he he did hope that he was helping people through his profession and I think probably was better suited to do it that through that pain you did. He always work with animals.

24:40 Work tote drink it so use a pathologist. So he worked actually with dead humans mostly. Oh, yeah, you did a pathological exam Falcons. And then with the cattle on a ranch would do minor surgeries on them when they needed it until we to have Catalan and horses. Also, we had a an owl and a magpie that we raised also and bees beekeeper.

25:14 Jack of all trades. Can you show me a book where where there's a picture of your father being pecked in the head by a falcon? What was that book that was written by his two best friends in high school when they were probably in their early twenties is called Hawks in the hand and Frank and John Craighead and with a photo of a taken on one of their expeditions out outside of Washington, DC.

25:42 How has how have has your parents personal plates showed their political stance affected your adulthood?

25:57 I think that I think I would have been a liberal regardless, but just because you were weird expression of their weirdness, but I think that it would be more my mom's activity that would have affected me because she actually has just so you know a single person on that mean I'm married but two says of one person has really actually caused actually laws to be rescinded in the state of Colorado because of things that she's done in and groups that she's raised. She's so I think it really impressed upon me that you're there a lot of people who don't bother to vote or don't think that politicians are worth, you know our concern but I think she showed me that one single person really can make a huge changing things. Was there any experience in your in your schooling or maybe even working as a doctor in the hospital that that you feel has has

26:57 To change your view of humanity or the way Society works or any of those things your political stance. I think being kind of a person I don't like crowds since I don't really appreciate people in masked so much relationship becomes one-on-one when you're taking care of somebody else that's more your speed. And so then you know, it's always surprises me that you know, you think of, you know, these people they're huge crabs people more people than we need an oral and yet every time you meet with a single one of those people

27:41 You know you appreciate them and and you see that their family members, you know.

27:47 Really appreciate them.

27:50 I'm so I think that's medicine there has I think it helped me appreciate all the individuals that make up the huge mass that I don't really like them.

28:03 A giant ball of people ain't okay and your your voracious reader?

28:09 When did you when did you start reading?

28:17 It's early as I could I'll tell my mom started to read to all of us when we were little tiny kids over every night. We'd have, you know, we'd be read to before we can read and then I picked it up as soon as I could and and red.

28:31 All the time do siblings read as much as you do. You're so you you were particularly Avid when it comes to me books and authors.

28:44 El Nino

28:49 I can't even say right now. What who my favorite authors are

28:55 Because I don't I try to actually makes it up a lot and not read too much of one person just cuz there's so much out there.

29:05 I don't actually don't want to pick some. Okay, so so you were telling me that you know that your mother would have people she was bored people at the house. This was with your with your father that they did you did. She hit you in your age. How old were you when she divorced and and and how old were you when when your your stepfather came into play and she was probably divorced about a year before she was remarried. Okay. So these people that would come to stay at the house. This was prior to your first grade second grade. You have to be in school, but definitely the first and second credit yet.

30:05 That's shopping when she was divorced cuz it was really feasible for her to continue to do that. And I think I can. Mike Lee for one thing because when you have these women in your house you you know feed them and you know, try them around and right answer that stump then yeah.

30:22 And it was actually through a Catholic agency in when she was divorced. She kind of got booted out of the church. So

30:31 Okay, so having

30:35 Having been left behind by the Catholic Church, your mother also decided to to and for many reasons. It sounds like that. It's no longer take on boarders so to speak but she did continue to you know, she was obviously politically active. Did she continue to do charitable things? She did that you can have as when we were kids we would go.

31:05 She would drag us along to do, you know stuff envelopes for campaigns or do things like you were active as well? Well, no, nothing like that. So you've had you said that you had an interest in animals as you were growing up. You nearly decided to become a veterinarian. What are some of the different pets you had you mentioned a snake. So we had a snake we had Again The Magpie who is named Engelbert Humperdinck, and we had the owl hoot.

31:43 I can consider the horses my pet. I didn't like him they're big and then I've had rabbits rabbits rabbits that don't live outside in cage, but live in your home and run around like a cat that's currently have two rabbits rabbits names. This is any cardiologist at I never hear this will know that I am Geeks other their names are Judkins and sounds who were some of the Pioneers in developing catheters that are used to look at people's hard arteries in Neenah open up blockages.

32:22 They're very cute cute.

32:29 When you finish school and you know, you started working. What year your first job was what hazard is that is that residency? Is that what is that? When you're a resident with the additional training is called her residency and I did that in Internal Medicine when you're doing that. You're you're working grueling hours. Right? Right. Is it different than than the rest of your medical career at is it more intense actually since I've done that at they changed actually, I don't know if it's a la but it's a it's a mandate by the group that a credit dates colleges in Bend medical training programs. We're not allowed to work as hard as I did then she can only work 8 hours a week now.

33:18 And that but now is back Lee. There are no limits on how long I can work. So.

33:26 So, but now being said he was high time in the research lab my I get to decide my hours unless I might clinical service take care of patients. And so the hours can be as long as I let them be weight. Would you say you work harder now or or or did you work harder? Then? I worked more hours then and I are the reason I moved to Cleveland was cuz I work too many hours and I use this to try to change that a little slower Pace you but I just I just died. I knew I needed a break. I kind of a a cycle I was in.

34:07 Okay. So along the line, you know, you're you're moved the Cleveland, I guess that was last November, right?

34:14 And sometime between then and April your friends got on your case the few friends that you have that you claim to be your friends.

34:26 Got on your case about about getting out there and doing something other than than sitting in front of a test tube and a microscope. Is that correct? Maybe that how did the how did this play out? I'd like to know except I know you know what I'm talking about.

34:48 So for the email all my friends are either married or in serious relationships and so they told me I had to you know meet some people like I like you said besides the test tubes.

35:00 And are you referring to the test tubes as people? And and so actually I was at my on my birthday this year in March where I got an email from my current boss to was complaining that people aren't working hard enough and it was a day after I just spent 28 hours straight in the lab.

35:20 And so I didn't take the store very well. And I decided that was enough of that and I

35:26 Went online to one of those dating. Thanks, and I said I can I'm going to meet some people and I'm going to work less.

35:34 It's coincidental. But when I move to Cleveland I decided I would look on one of those dating things. That's how it that's how you and I met on and

35:52 Since you've been exposed to the outside world the world outside the lab that is what do you what it what do you say of your experience?

36:03 Aiea

36:08 I'm glad I went to Misha come.

36:15 Well, I wanted to thank you for for doing this with me. I really appreciate it. And I've got to say that I'm very happy that I've gotten to know you and and and know you even more now having asked some of these questions.

36:34 That is there anything you want to ask me before we finish up?

36:44 You're right. You weren't going to be good at this interview. Thank you very much. Thank you.