The information here, in this “About Me” is not completely the same as what is in my other website. Please visit there, as well. Thank you.
I’ve always found it difficult to write about myself. I’ve done so many different things in my life, at least so far, that I understand it can be overwhelming when I make a list of them. My personal feeling about it all is that there’s always more to learn, always more to discover, always new ways to challenge yourself, and if you don’t like something about your life, then you must do whatever is necessary to change and improve it.
With that in mind, I will create a short list of some of the more memorable highlights, and if you want me to fill in the lines between, then just email me and I’ll do my best to oblige. Just remember that I live by the concept that everything we learn goes into making up who we are. We may not be able to immediately use what we’ve learned, but that knowledge goes towards who we are, and possibly what we are able to do.
One particular event actually set me on my life course. At age 18 months I contracted a deadly illness. I was the first infant to use a new medication, Streptomycin, but the size of the experimental dosages were too high. This caused the muscles in my eyes, particularly my left eye, to atrophy. I had two unsuccessful operations at a very young age, but lost my depth perception and three dimensional vision forever. At age 8 I had the first successful eye muscle transplant ever performed. The Streptomycin has compromised my left side all of my life, and the limited vision caused me to rely more heavily upon, and to develop further my other senses. I’m so fortunate that it did, because I’d hate to think of what a boring life I might have lived had it not done so.
Graduated from Danbury High School, Danbury, CT
Graduated with a B.A. from Kentucky Wesleyan College, Owensboro, KY
History major, French minor, teaching certificate for Kentucky and Connecticut
Taught French in Derby, CT, to grades 3 through 7 for three years. For two years was the head of the Foreign Language in the Elementary School (F.L.E.S. Program)
Taught English, history, reading, and spelling to grade 7 for six years Derby Middle School when the F.L.E.S. Program was ended.
Master’s Degree credits from Trinity College, Hartford, CT
Left teaching after nine years to raise a son with disabilities.
Took courses to better understand and further develop my natural perceptual senses. I eventually became the Northeast Director for a school that taught Intuitive Development. Also taught and created courses for the school. Became nationally known for a specific event.
Left the school in order to put into use what I’d learned and developed. I decided it was better to do something, rather than just talk about doing it.
Found myself being directed towards developing nonverbal communication links and skills. Eventually the focus was upon dolphins, and then using what I’d learned from them to communicate with children with autism. I did pioneering research for 19 years.
I became a professional scuba diver (Divemaster level) through the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (P.A.D.I.) Lectured around the United States to dive conferences, and was the Northeast Director for a nationally known scuba scholarship located in Chicago, IL.
I wrote professional, peer reviewed papers, was published in many journals, and did Grand Rounds at hospitals. Spoke before organizations connected to Autism. Also spoke and lectured in schools, at conferences, in colleges, universities, and hospitals.
I traveled around the world and did communications research with both captive and free swimming dolphins, including three species: Atlantic Bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus), Spotted (Stenella frontalis), Black Sea Bottlenose, and fresh water Amazon River (Inia geoffrensis) dolphins. Many of my research projects lasted more than ten years. Some were located in Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Soviet Georgia (at the time), Bermuda, the United States, the Caribbean, and in the Bahamas.
I addressed many professional cetacean organizations, some of which I was a professional member, delivered papers, many of them published, and had certain programs in place.
In 1990 the first edition of my first book, the award winning, “The Secret Language of Dolphins”, was published by Summit Books, then the premier imprint of Simon & Schuster. My literary agency was William Morris Entertainment. The book sold in France, Germany, and Holland, and received the prestigious Delta Kappa Gamma International Educator’s Award of $2,000.00, which was presented to me in Louisville, KY, before an audience of more than 2,000 educators. It was twice optioned by Paramount Pictures for a feature film.
The book was reprinted in all countries in quality paperback, and in the United States by Stillpoint Press, under the different title of “Beyond Words: Unlocking The Secrets To Communicating”. “The Secret Language Of Dolphins” is still available today as an audio book on CD and can be purchased here:
From the jacket: “In her extraordinary work with dolphins, Patricia St. John has broken new ground in opening little known worlds, all in pursuit of what she fiercely believes in: learning the languages of those who have been unreachable. Using what she has discovered from her years of work with dolphins, St. John is able to break through to autistic children. Her story is a remarkable one.”
My newest book, “Once An Enchanted Island”, is fiction, but strongly based upon actual events. I have chosen to once again be a pioneer and with the new year, I will strike out on my own and explore the world of e-Books.
In 1990 I was invited to become a “Fellow” (a Fellow must be a published Member) of the famed Explorers Club, the New York City division. “Fellowship is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves by directly contributing to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration or allied sciences. Such accomplishments usually are evidenced by scientific publications documenting fieldwork or explorations.”
While there is more, as I said before, I’d rather not go into it all. So I’ll stick to the antiques end of things from here on.
I became an early member of eBay when it was still fairly new. I completed my research and decided to go in a different direction.
I knew my Great Grandfather, who had been born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1858, and died when he was 97. He told me many interesting stories, including having met President Abraham Lincoln twice, as a child when his father had brought him to a business meeting at the White House.
He built a Limestone-Brownstone four story home in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and was deeply involved with politics, and was well connected to at least two Presidents. His stories were always fascinating.
The home had incredible parquet floors, hand made tiles around the fireplaces, marble everywhere, a Tiffany Studios Glass inset pocket door window, and endless sets of silver, fine porcelain, and Continental Art Glass. I grew up around all of this, and it was alive to me. Nothing was a “antique”, but rather part of his home and our lives.
My other grandparents (he was a physician, she was very socially active) lived at 912 Fifth Avenue, in Manhattan, so they also had living antiques in their apartment. I “knew” about these things, and so when I see them now, I also “know” what I’m looking at.
When I began selling antiques on eBay, I found myself drawn to acquiring items of equal quality. When I realized I didn’t have nearly enough information about them, I began a course of self education that continues every day of my life. I have a personal library of over 250 books on various kinds of porcelain and glass, and a few other kinds of things, like antique oil lamps, Majolica, Sterling silver, and so on.
As my reputation for expertise grew locally, I have also become a paid consultant – appraiser, primarily for auctioneers and other sellers. There’s a fabulous story about one of my most unusual and valuable finds, a tea set that was stored in an open shoe box, but I will put that story into the blog.
I have never had a “brick and mortar” store. I prefer the freedom to be out and looking for things to acquire and sell, and not to be tied down to one location all the time. I suppose I’m accustomed to a certain amount of personal freedom in what I do. When I did some marine archaeology, I knew some of the more famous folks in the field. As Sir Robert (Bobby) Marx once said to me, “Treasure is trouble!” But he loved the hunt, and so do I, which is why I’m so willing to keep searching for the wonderful things I have found locally.
My colleagues say I have a good eye. I think I have great instincts. Either way, I love what I’m doing, and I am always fascinated by what I find. Sometimes it’s sitting on top of a cardboard box at a flea market, sometimes it’s at the top of a filthy kitchen cabinet, hidden from view for years, and at other times it’s right there in front of everyone at an auction – and only I know what it is. Now that’s a terrific way to become a treasure hunter, and I can stay dry while doing it all.
As I said, there’s more,but even I’m tired of all this “About Me” stuff. I think what we all want to know most about is what’s happening now, and not in the past – unless the past includes antiques, and the future holds a new book, and more antiques, too!
Please be sure to also visit my other website:
where I have the wonderful bowls I call “Enchanted environments “