What Ever Happened to ...? : 1969



May 4, 1951 - July 7, 2016

Janie A. (Brannin) Jennings died in her Longmont home on July 7, 2016, due to complications from esophageal cancer. She was 65. Janie was born May 4, 1951, in East Williston, New York to her parents, Henrietta (Bobbie) and Richard S. Brannin. She graduated high school from The Wheatly School and later from the University of Colorado, with a degree in Psychology. Janie married Rick Jennings in 2002. She spent 16 years working for Micro Motion and retired in 2015. She had an incredible sense of humor, and was able to keep her health care providers laughing while hospitalized over the last 4 months. Janie was a Colorado Master Gardener and spent many hours beautifying the gardens at her home. She was passionate about learning about plants, designing gardens, and working to make her portion of the world more beautiful. She always was willing and happy to share her knowledge with others. Janie spent many Saturdays at local farmers' markets advising customers and selling herbs and plants for Blue Ribbon Farms. Janie was an avid horseperson who for many years was very active in the Boulder Hunter Jumper Club, serving a term as president in the 1970s. She also judged and helped promote many local equestrian events during that time. She loved dogs, and since moving to Colorado, always had an Australian Shepard as a companion. Janie is survived by her husband Rick Jennings; her sister M-A Salisbury of Sarasota, FL; her brother and his wife Stan and Ellen Brannin of Rochester, NY; and their son Ed, his wife Jennifer, and their daughter Bridget, all of Rochester. She was preceded in death by her parents. Janie requested cremation and that there be no formal funeral; however, a celebration of her life will be held at a future date and place to be determined. Janie asked that any donations in her name be made to the Longmont Humane Society and can be sent to Ahlberg Funeral Chapel. Share condolences at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel .



I was born in New York City and grew up in East Williston, on East Williston Avenue.  My father was the school doctor at North Side School until he passed away in 1961.  I was a student there from kindergarten through 6th grade, and at The Wheatley School from 7th through 9th grade.  My mother then sent me to Saint Paul's School in Garden City as a boarding student.  I was there for one year; then at Long Island Lutheran for a year; then returned to Wheatley as a member of the Class of 1970.  I doubled up on course work and managed to graduate in December, 1969.

Next, I was a Writing major at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT for one fantastic year.  I lived in a dormitory that functioned as a small community of drunken-but-brilliant artists.  Peter Green, the founder and lead guitarist of the original Fleetwood Mac, who had just quit the band, came to Goddard at our invitation.  Peter and I became fast friends, playing music together daily for three months.  Nevertheless, I dropped out to "go on the road."  Hitchhiking around the USA, I gave poetry readings, played music, and worked every kind of hard labor imaginable.  I lived on a commune in Maine and, later, settled in Richmond, VA for five years.  The Sixties grabbed and held me tight with a magnificent vengeance, which I embraced with a mad obsession that carried through most of the Seventies.

I finally turned my life around in 1977 and began five years of work counseling teenagers that were abusing drugs and alcohol.  Two years into that I added a "second shift," studying Television and Film at the New York Institute of Technology, receiving a BFA in June, 1982.  Upon graduation I moved to Los Angeles and worked in the TV/Film industry for 25 years.  Like most folks, I began in an "entry level" position, but I soon moved up the ranks to Assistant Editor, Post Production Supervisor, Field Director/Producer and Writer.

For the majority of my career my "bread and butter" was editing film and video.  I was a member of the Director's Guild and Editor's Guild; was lead editor of an Oscar-nominated, feature-length documentary; and collaborated with the likes of Norman Lear, Graham Nash, The Jim Henson Company, and Ringo Starr.  I worked on the 10-hour documentary "The History of Rock and Roll", in which B.B. King and Carlos Santana both said that the greatest British blues guitarist (just think of the competition!) was, none other than, Peter Green (who, BTW, wrote "Black Magic Woman," a huge, enduring hit for Carlos and his band).  At 55 I retired from "Hollywood." 

Meanwhile, after many relationships over the years, at age 40 I got married, and in 1992 my son, Anthony, was born. My wife and I divorced in 2000.  In 2007 she and her new husband moved to Northern California, and I followed, to remain present in my kid's life.  For a while I set my sights on Europe, specifically an artist colony in the mountains two hours north of Rome, and I spent a year teaching myself Italian (to go with my Spanish and French).  However, reality intruded, and I stayed, and for the past ten years I have been living in a cabin in a remote mountain area of Northern California, near Nevada City.

Currently, I pursue my artistic passions; read obsessively; and research such topics as literature, painting, philosophy, Carl Jung, and recondite spirituality.  Relentlessly dedicated to writing, I have published two novels and a poetry collection.  I compose, play, and record music in my home studio.  My appreciation for music covers Classical, Jazz, Blues, Soul, and Rock & Roll.  I have always loved playing sports; if hard-pressed to pick two favorites, I'll go with baseball and rugby.  I am passionate about hiking, fishing, motorcycles, photography, and films. Whatever my accomplishments in life, the one I cherish most is being father to a brilliant son.

I remember Wheatley fondly, especially my numerous friends and some favorite teachers and staff.  In 9th grade I was the lead singer and guitarist in a rock band, "The Ravens", which performed in The Varsity Review and included my lifelong best friend, Bobby ("The Boy Wonder") Orgel (1969), who went on to play keyboards and arrange for Natalie Cole.  Our band also included Jimmy Byrnes and Artie Ernst, both in the Class of 1967.

I agree with Art Engoron: "We are everywhere, but we are all connected."  As William Faulkner famously said, "The past is never dead. It is not even the past."  I have always related to this concept of “the eternal moment,” in which people and events transcend all bounds of time.




Copyright 2014 / The Wheatley School Alumni Association