Fred retired from IBM after 31 years, then ran a small Internet-based business from home from 2003-2015: "Bracksco Wine Nook, featuring VintageView Wine Racks and Personalized Wine Accessories." He now offers his services as an Audio Describer and VoiceOver Artist and is the webmaster for the American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project.
In February 2011, Kathy, along with her Seeing Eye dog Wilda, retired from her job as Director of the Client Assistance Program for the State of NC. In January 2020 she received her eighth dog, KOINU (which means puppy in Japanese), a very small black lab who is doing great! (Read this Facebook post about Kathy and her dogs!)
Daughter Michelle is a nurse in the (cardiac) Cath Lab at Rex hospital, following five years at Durham Regional Hospital. She lives in Durham with her Boston Terrier, Tanner.
Son Dan married (nurse practitioner) Reneé Denbow in March 2014. They "gave" us three grandchildren: Blakely, Hayden, and Ariella. At the start of 2019, Dan took a new job with Intuitive Surgical (which makes the da Vinci Surgical Robotic System), and they now live in the Atlanta area.
The Grandkids (August 2023)
Fred maintains websites for The Audio Description Project (for which he received an award in July 2016 and which is now a half-time contractor job); the Triangle Chapter of the American Wine Society, the Needham High School Class of 1964; and for members of Brown University's radio station WBRU in the 1960s. He continues in his role as an audio describer (since 1999) and trainer for Arts Access. He was previously on the board of Arts Access, the Wine Society, and the North Carolina Reading Service.
We moved into our custom designed new home in 2001. We also owned a condo on the Intracoastal Waterway in Belhaven, NC, from 2007-2020; but we sold it as we want to do more traveling elsewhere (like Atlanta!). We finally resumed yearly international travel in June 2023 with a twice-postponed trip down the Danube river, then visited Iceland. In June 2024 we will travel by ship from Lisbon to Amsterdam for our 50th Anniversary.
|My Facebook Page
I worked in software development and human resources for IBM for nearly 31 years, but I retired in 1999. I took time off to whittle away at my home project list and to "smell the roses" before deciding what to do next. From the Fall of 2000 to the end of 2006 I worked part-time from home for IBM Human Resources at RTP to help maintain the Lotus Notes databases I left behind when I retired.
When I retired, I was a Senior HR Professional, and my core HR responsibilities were primarily executive and technical resource development. However, during the last three years there I spent over half my time developing applications using Lotus Notes for use by my IBM HR teammates and internal customers, mostly software development managers, a position I held prior to joining HR.
In the summer of 2003, I started my own small business as a distributor for a unique line of wine racks called VintageView® (sample pictured left). I named the business BRACKSCO and named the website Bracksco Wine Nook (www.bracksco.com, now closed except for my article on how to build a wine room). I really enjoyed helping people design wine rooms, and I also sold personalized wine accessories, which required learning some new skills. I closed the business and retired in July 2015.
In June of 2014, I began work (part-time) as a professional voice-over artist. My voice profile can be viewed and listened to at www.bracksco.com/voiceover (additional recordings at www.voices.com/people/fbrack). I had an unusual honor in February 2024 by being (an indirect) part of a team that WON AN EMMY for Technical Achievement in the Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards for TV stations. I'm "indirect" because I was a contractor for the TV station and wasn't named. However, the "Technical Achievement" was the integration of audio description that I wrote and voiced for the prerecorded parts of a fund-raising program of four Triangle area Arts Councils called Big Night In For the Arts. I'll be doing it again March 7, 2024.
I am also a web page designer and webmaster. I have designed and maintained eight websites. My primary responsibility which keeps me busy every week is the Audio Description Project's website.
|Kathy and I love wine, and we built a
wine storage room
in our new house. We are life members of the
Wine Society and are active in the
Other interests include computers, boating, music, photography, amateur radio (I'm N4ECU, though inactive), tandem bike riding with my wife, walking, nature, fine dining, and occasional skydiving (well, I skydived once...).
My family consists of:
We have lived in Raleigh, North Carolina since 1981. Previously, we lived in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and the suburbs of Boston, where Kathy and I grew up (in Melrose and Needham, respectively). In the past, we used to go back to visit Cape Cod every couple of years, and we spent many vacations at Emerald Isle, NC; and we spent many weekends at our now-sold condo in Belhaven. My work in building a high school reunion website and college radio station memories website has renewed some old acquaintances, which I find most delightful. If you know me from "those days," send me an email to say hello!