Montgomery County Retired Teachers Association met at the Crawfordsville Public Library on Nov. 13. President Kim Nixon led the teachers and guests in the Pledge of Allegiance. Diane German gave the invocation. Teachers having birthdays in November were recognized. New member Donna Wilson was welcomed.
Program chair and vice president Steve Frees introduced our speaker for the meeting, Darla Goodrich, and her father, Howard Goodrich. She has four adult children and her husband is Mark Frank who works as a student coordinator for Ivy Tech in Greencastle. Darla has been the senior minister at First Christian Church since 2016 and served as an FBI agent for 10 years. She graduated from Texas Christian University and Eden Theological Seminary.
The Rev. Goodrich talked about her years as an FBI agent in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and in Los Angeles. She thanked the audience for the work that we have done in preparing children to be successful in the world. Most of her speech was about her experiences in the FBI. She joked that the FBI sweatshirt and jacket she was issued in 1989 must be made from some special fabric from outer space because they’ve never shown wear in over 30 years. She joked that that is the greatest mystery about the FBI.
The period of time it takes to become an agent is about one year. During this time the FBI interviews everyone who you see frequently and neighbors you’ve had. They also do polygraphs and psychological testing. Physical fitness is important and the interview by a panel of agents is intensive. After being accepted as a candidate she had 16 weeks of training at Quantico, Virginia and had the opportunity to meet Jodie Foster who was training for her role in the movie Silence of the Lambs.
Another interesting part of the training was being in scenarios in a fake town with actors playing the roles of suspected criminals. Everything was videotaped and evaluated. In small FBI offices, agents may be in charge of all kinds of crimes but in larger offices agents may specialize in particular types of crimes. While working in Los Angeles, Goodrich worked mostly on public corruption. It was difficult and time consuming. She felt sorry for one particular rookie who was pushed into planting evidence by an older more experienced policeman. In the end 29 police officers were convicted and did jail time. Some FBI agents do undercover work and she did it once posing as an interior decorator to get evidence.
One of the most interesting day’s work was when she took Monica Lewinski to get fingerprinted. She said that she was beautiful but seemed shattered. One of the best parts of the job was getting paid to work out as they had to stay in good shape. After having four children she decided to change directions as her children needed her. Later she went into the ministry. The members enjoyed the many stories she told about her time as an agent.
The minutes and treasurer’s report were given and accepted as read. Mary Lefevbre reported for the member’s concerns committee that cards had been sent to members who lost loved ones and to shut ins. Jan Armbruster reported that money collected for Pam’s Promise totaled $125 and that the crisis shelter had sent a thank you card for the money given to them last month. Volunteer hours are due next month. Kathy Steele, membership chair, passed out a membership list and asked that every check their information. In old business, Nixon reminded members to bring money next month for the catered dinner being done by Cindy Long. AMBA representative, Colleen Page, reminded people that the deadline for Medicare changes in Dec. 7. The next meeting will have the Crescendos entertaining with a Christmas program on Dec. 11. The meeting was adjourned and door prizes were awarded.