Darrell Mellor

Profile Updated: September 5, 2017
Residing In Olympia, WA USA
Occupation retired from computer network security
Military Service Army  
Comments

I studied first at Cornell College then later transferred to UNO where I graduated. While attending school I also worked as a child therapist at the former Nebraska Psychiatric Institute (which has since been torn down). NPI housed 92 inpatient beds, a special research ward and laboratory, day therapy for children and adults, and facilities for the intensive study of psychiatric problems in children. Interestingly, NPI is where I first learned about LSD and observed several uneventful experiments attempting to treat alcoholics and schizophrenics. But this was years before LSD became such a commonly available street drug. Most disappointing were my efforts in collaboration with others for forced tube feeding to assist an anorexic girl -- only to learn upon her death and autopsy several months later that she had an undetected brain tumor that was causing her refusal and/or inability to eat.

During the summers of my college years, I worked at
(1) an office of the US National Fish & Wildlife office in La Crosse Wisconsin performing necropsies of diseased fish and water analysis from lakes or streams that were polluted with heavy metals or infected with infectious pathogens;
(2) a Merck subsidiary named Gland_O_Lac that provided pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements for poultry such as chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, and turkeys by providing quality control of incoming source products;
(3) the Nebraska Testing Laboratories, a cement and pavement testing company, that expanded into testing and quality control of everything from tricycles to Swanson pot pies.

I remember having many free lunches from the large sample of Swanson pot pies provided to the testing lab after determining that there was no contamination of these frozen meals.

I also recall an 18-wheeler bringing a load of anhydrous ammonia for delivery to the local Air Force base asking how may gallons I needed to test the quality of the ammonia and responding that I only needed 100 milliliters at most. The truck driver complained about how he could retrieve such a little amount from the trailer that he was pulling. Other co-workers were not pleased with the ammonia odor as I carried a small flask into the lab for testing.

I served for 3 years of military service from 1970 to 1973. After basic training at Fort Lewis in Washington State, I was transferred to Brooke Army Hospital at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio Texas for pharmacy training. Upon completion of the pharmacy school, I was transferred to the Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington where we would sometimes fill as many as 3,000 prescriptions per day for active duty and retired military personnel. Rather routinely I would work in the narcotics vault preparing cocaine solutions for eye surgery or inventory the thousands of vials and syringes of morphine and other narcotics.

Ultimately, I was transferred overseas to Frankfurt, Germany and stationed in the 45 Medical Battalion of the 3rd Armored Division. I provided pharmacy services as well as drug and alcohol assessments for possible discipline or dishonorable discharge. During this time I was temporarily assigned to participate in a psychiatric counseling internship in the psychiatric and hepatitis wards at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt. (I believe that this Army hospital was subsequently converted into a US consulate facility.)

I took my military discharge while remaining in Germany to live and travel in Europe for approximately six months before eventually returning stateside.

I returned to Omaha in 1974 and took a job in the hospital pharmacy of the University Of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

After about a year at UNMC, I took a different job running several drug and alcohol treatment halfway house programs with contracts from the Federal Bureau of Prisons under auspices of the Eastern Nebraska Human Services Agency (ENHSA) that had only been created a year earlier in 1974.

In 1976 I moved to Pullman, Washington and was subsequently hired by the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS). I worked for several years in Pullman (home of Washington State University) as a child protective services investigator.

I mostly remember the half-dozen cases of incest that I investigated and referred for criminal prosecution. While I whole-heartedly detest the incidence of incest, I came to the point of questioning the consequences of my actions as families inevitably broke apart - with fathers going to jail, mothers becoming dependent upon welfare, and daughters becoming self-destructive and belligerent to their mothers, brothers and fellow sisters for failing to protect or at least warn them. One young incest victim slashed her wrists and then wiped blood from her arms all over storefront windows to express her distress. More often than not, the whole family exploded into parents and children who distrusted everyone and everything. I really began to question whether I was ultimately helping or hurting the family worse by my criminal intervention -- or if failing to respond so forcefully and criminally might have been less traumatic for the victim and the family.

I later moved to Forks, Washington for better hunting and fishing opportunities on the Olympic Peninsula working for several years as a welfare office administrator overseeing the activities of financial services workers providing food stamp and welfare assistance, social service workers providing adult protective services and nursing home placement, child protective services, foster care, and adoptive home placements as well as the clerical staff that supported the case workers.

As personal computers became available and useful, I transferred to Olympia, Washington, to work in the headquarters office of the Information System Services Division of the Department of Social & Health Services. Initially I worked in the area of information technology policy and planning for the current and future IT operations of this agency with ~20,000 employees located in approximately 250 buildings and/or field offices. During these years, we transitioned from proprietary mainframe based connections to dumb terminals, to offices with local area networks (LANs) connected with high capacity switches and routers over fractional Frame-relay circuits and later over standard Ethernet and TCP/IP connections to headquarters.

For a brief period of time as web servers and web browsers became a functional means of sharing information, I worked as a website developer to convert administrative rules, regulations, and procedural manuals into navigable web sites. This reduced and in many ways eliminated the thousands of pages of procedural changes that were printed and mailed to field offices each week.
Over the last half dozen years of my time with DSHS I worked to perform wide area network (WAN) design, engineering, router configuration, and security assessments as day to day business became heavily dependent upon IT systems but increasingly vulnerable to nefarious hacking or improperly configured system updates.

Since retirement from state service in 2013, I have remained in Olympia, Washington, but occasionally visit my older brother and his family who live in Bend, Eugene, and Sutherlin Oregon.

While living in Washington State, I have enjoyed hunting deer, elk, pheasant, turkey, and coyotes as well as the occasional prairie dog. Hunting antelope in Wyoming remains on my bucket list.

I still enjoy an occasional day of target practice with my AK47, AR-15, and various hunting and sniper rifles especially my Sako .338 Magnum Winchester. As a dedicated supporter of the 2nd amendment, I also practice with my 10mm Tanfolio and .45 ACP Kimber concealed carry pistols.

School Story

My most poignant high school memory is the death of my good friend John Nelson along with his parents and several of his siblings in an automobile accident over the Thanksgiving holiday period. This event really established my sense of life being very transitory - here today and gone tomorrow.

Along with Roger Brewer, John Nelson was probably my best H.S. friend since we were in so many classes together. But now Roger Brewer is also deceased.

On a lighter note, I recall being in J.R. Johnson's AP chemistry class sitting next to Pat Nance watching Pat tie thread harnesses to flies that he had captured and him trying to manipulate them to walk across his desktop as if he were a puppet master. I also recall (with perhaps some vagueness or misinterpretation of memory) having J.R. Johnson call Pat to the blackboard to show the solution for problem #7 which Pat did. Unfortunately, Pat wasn't paying attention since he solved the problem from several chapters beyond where we were currently studying and which none of us had read. I remember one day that J.R. Johnson simply walked out of the classroom in disgust and frustration that we were doing so poorly in meeting his expectations for what we should be learning.

I enjoyed the physics classes taught by Earl Schroer, the AP Biology or Physiology class taught by Alice Crocker, and AP math classes taught by Marian Heiser. Each of these teachers made an interesting subject more enjoyable and understandable.

I remember being in Dorothy Campbell's Spanish language classes especially on days when we were supposed to provide the English translation for pages from a Spanish text that we had translated the previous night as our homework assignment. Naturally, I didn't look up the meanings of the words for the pages of text we had been assigned to read. Invariably when called upon to provide an English translation, I would make it up on the fly. Mrs. Campbell was kind enough to tell me that I had the gist of the text but had missed some of the detail.

I also took a year of French with Miss Judie Bator but mostly remember sexually fantasizing about her more than I remember learning any French.

Nevertheless my favorite teacher was Frank Hobbs. In his AP English class, he did the extraordinary thing of meeting privately with students to go over the compositions that they had written. Not only did he critique the spelling, grammar, and punctuation but also to have a dialog about what the student was trying to express -- to challenge their ideas, opinions, and thoughts.

It seemed like I had the same 30-40 students in each of my AP classes. I remember remarking to my parents that there were so many of the ~600 graduates whose names I did not know and faces that I did not recognize. I am certain that many of those other ~560 students did not know my name or face.

In looking through the yearbook, I didn't realize that there were so many social groups and activities to which I was largely oblivious. I guess that I spent to many hours with my head in the books rather than the faces of the people.

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Oct 13, 2019 at 4:33 AM
Darrell Mellor has a birthday today.
Oct 13, 2018 at 4:33 AM
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Nov 02, 2017 at 1:47 PM
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Oct 21, 2017 at 8:12 PM

Posted on: Oct 21, 2017 at 4:48 PM

A very enlightening and impressive profile.
I suspect that most high school students feel inadequate and embarrassed although most will bluff and bluster to create the impression of being self-assured.
In my view, the individuals who persevere and work through difficult times are the ones who have the greatest strength of character; and the profile summary that you have written shows that you have that kind of great strength.

Oct 23, 2017 at 8:04 AM

Posted on: Oct 20, 2017 at 7:28 PM

Darrell, that was a wonderful writing on your life filled with humor, so much diversity in your jobs and overall living. WA State was my home for 20 years. Well done! And, by the way, I remember you.

Darrell Mellor has a birthday today. New comment added.
Oct 13, 2017 at 1:04 PM

Posted on: Oct 13, 2017 at 4:33 AM

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Sep 17, 2017 at 2:17 PM

Posted on: Sep 16, 2017 at 7:42 PM

I see that you did military service in the Army.

Did you have any interesting or memorable experiences while serving?

Did you serve while the draft was still in place or after the services went all voluntary?

In my basic training unit, we had a number of fellows for whom a judge had given them an option of either going to jail or joining the military. Needless to say, many of them were not upstanding citizens but for those who could take orders they probably did well in the combat infantry units to which they were sent.

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Sep 15, 2017 at 8:07 PM

Posted on: Sep 15, 2017 at 7:02 PM

If you don't mind my asking, how did you wind up living in New Jersey?
Since you worked for the IRS for 35 years, I assume that was one of your first jobs.
Was New Jersey a state at the time that had job openings for IRS personnel?

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Sep 15, 2017 at 6:40 PM

Posted on: Sep 15, 2017 at 6:40 PM

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Sep 15, 2017 at 6:32 PM
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Sep 10, 2017 at 9:27 PM

I am pleased that Mary Ann was able to find this website without needing to register with and use Facebook. I hate the idea of needing to use a commercial resource that will use and re-sell our personal information in exchange for the benefits that Facebook provides.

Also, I commend Mary Ann for identifying the options that need to be selected to disclose someone's birthdate or to allow other to comment on your profile. I wish that I had paid more attention to the details of this website's configuration the way that Mary Ann had done.

Kudos to her for finding this website and for figuring out how to most effectively use it.

Mary Ann must have been one of the students paying attention to our North High teachers.

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Sep 10, 2017 at 8:42 PM
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Aug 04, 2017 at 10:57 PM
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Aug 17, 2017 at 12:47 AM

Posted on: Aug 04, 2017 at 10:54 PM

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Aug 04, 2017 at 10:52 PM
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Nov 01, 2017 at 11:03 PM

Posted on: Aug 03, 2017 at 10:22 PM

I am generally very wary of registering with most of the social media websites because they are commercial -- meaning that they will inundate me with numerous advertisements, collect personal profile information, and sell personally identifiable information to 3rd parties. A website created and operated strictly for the benefit of its participants is a welcome discovery -- I only wish I had found this site sooner. Kudos to Ed!

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