An interview with Margo Armstrong

Hi everyone,

At the recent induction ceremony for WRITERS HALL OF FAME, Singer/songwriter/performers Larry Lee and Randle Chowning were inducted as the 2015 recipients. It was a grand evening. As part of the auction to help the organization fund college scholarships for budding young writers, I offered a featured spot on my blog. I was delighted when a friend of mine, Margo Armstrong, was the high bidder.

Margo and I discussed possible formats for her featured spot and agreed to set it up as a series of questions and answers. So here, ladies and gentlemen, is Margo Armstrong. She has an incredible story to tell!

Hi, Margo, and thanks for two things: supporting WRITERS HALL OF FAME and agreeing to today’s interview.

I’m glad to do both, David.
Q
You recently attended and supported the annual Writers Hall of Fame Quill Award event when song writers and singers Larry Lee and Randle Chowning were inducted. What is your interest in supporting the arts?
A
Since early childhood living in America and Germany, my family exposed me to ballet, literature, and music. At age 5 I attended my first Symphony concert. I love and have supported the arts, especially since my marriage to Bill H. Armstrong, Emeritus professor and legendary painter .
Q
Please tell us about your family.
A
I have two daughters, Sonja and Janel (both teachers) and two granddaughters — Sonja’s daughters Lauren and Ashley. Lauren has a degree from U.M.K.C. and R.N. from St. Luke’s and Ashley has a Journalism degree from M.S.U. Both live in Overland Park, K.S. Bill, my husband of 25 years, has two sons. Sister Karin is a Chiropractor and raises champion dogs. I also have two nieces and extended family that I love and cherish.
Q
Describe a “typical” day in the life of Margo Armstrong.
A
For about 42 years I was in health care as a Chiropractor. Since my retirement I start the day with necessary business phone calls, managing properties I own, and three times a week I go to the Mayer Center. I walk each day possible in the neighborhood, listen to internet lectures on brain, psychology, health etc., and stay busy with household and family projects. I enjoy social events with friends, such as Symphony, the Arts, the community activities.

Since November 2014 have become a caregiver to my brilliant, talented husband, who had an Ischemic stroke. Thank God his mind and speech are fine and he is regaining the use of his right hand and leg. Such interests and responsibilities as these keep me busy.
Q
Tell us about your early years.
A
My childhood was unusual. My mother was born in Berlin, Germany. My father was American who as a young man spent 20 years in Alaska during the Klondike. He was 27 years older than she. They were blissfully married for three years when he died. I was 10 months old. My mother and I lived in Manhattan, N.Y. with extended visits to Germany with my grandmother and Uncle Alfred. Wonderful memories.

My mother remarried. Both she and my stepfather tried to get their significant assets out of Germany back to America, but could not. I experienced Nazi Germany and World War II as a young girl. I was grateful that we survived, but the war was hell.
Q
What experiences in your early years do you think influenced the person you are today?
A
That life can be uncertain and should not be taken for granted. To know what it’s like to live a privileged lifestyle in a home of luxury, precious art, and beautiful things — and in a minute a bomb destroys everything, leaving only the clothes I was wearing. My parents were exceptional role models, not allowing us to be victims, but with intelligence and strength showing how to cope and survive. I learned to pray and become strong in faith, which is a lifetime journey. I cherish the presence and love of family and good friends, and values and accomplishments that last. I learned to have political interest, to be aware, to be involved. I learned from experiencing to evil regime of Hitler and his Nazi party.
Q
What would you still like to accomplish?
A
Keep learning new things or improving. Seeing my daughters and granddaughters live their best lives. Continue to be an influence for good to our community.
Q
What are your favorite places to go?
A
Colorado , San Francisco , Lake Tahoe ,the Bavarian Alps of Germany, Austria.
Q
What do you like to do to relax?
A
Listen to music, read, meditate, walk.
Q
Do you have any books that you recommend to others?
A
German Fairy tales, individuals, current or past who inspire me; Wayne Dyer, Dr. Christiane Northrup, etc.
Q
What advice do you have for young people of today?
A
Become educated. Learn to succeed. Have moral and ethical values. Faith is a personal journey. Do all you can to make the community, the world, and our environment a better place. Be an example for respect, integrity and love.

Margo, lovely. Thank you again. It has been a pleasure.

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4 comments on “An interview with Margo Armstrong

  1. Thank you for introducing us to Margo, David– she sounds like a lovely person. My MIL was also greatly impacted by WWII. She was a “survivor” of life’s struggles before Auschwitz and remained so afterwards. I’m not sure what was more needed to get through– luck, resilience, or endurance. She had them all.

    • Glad to introduce Margo, Michelle. Her story is fascinating and those early rough experiences forged a beautiful woman with a love of family, life, and community.

  2. Margo, it’s nice to meet a supporter of all kinds of arts and education. Your advice is very sound for people of all ages. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life story with us. David, thanks for sharing your space with Margo.

    • Good morning, Jane. Aren’t we fortunate that there are kind people in the world who reach out to the arts and support them with their presence and their checkbooks!

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