(Training pics are full size; some more recent pictures -- with a bluish outline -- can be clicked to enlarge)
Ginny Atherton (Gravenor)
Tujunga, CA
Photo &
(Training bio)

More Recent

click photo to enlarge

(1) (2) (3) (4)
(1) Leonard Atherton and me, then Ginny Gravenor, holding a 98% silver tray decorated with an applique of Incan designs and engraved to us from the Sinfonica, on "el día de sus Boda." Orquesta members played indigenous music at the reception.
(2) PCV Marge Marquez, University 12, now deceased. Details about Marge are on the Remembrance sheet I turned in on that last day of our reunion.
(3) David Vargas and Judith Peters Vargas. Judy was the PCV trumpeter/ French horn player who was assigned to coach the Sinfonica Nacional Brass section. She also worked with a choir from a school for blind children. Her group number was a little lower than mine (perhaps 10), as she trained in the Seattle area, I think, and arrived in Bolivia slightly ahead of me. David was a Bolivian artist and self taught tenor. He had a marvelous spirit. He hosted my wedding to Leonard Atherton, the English person sent by Voluntary Service Overseas to conduct the Sinfonica. David married Judy, and after returning with her to Iowa, was killed in an auto accident.

(4) The picture with the owl is my "current" photo, taken this past March in Park City, UT. Yeah, it's real!

and Work
La Paz (1964 -- 1966)
Assigned to coach the woodwind section and assist  in development of the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional

Immediately after service, went to England with my new British Volunteer husband. Lived on the grounds (as did all the faculty) of a boys boarding school in Devonshire. Learned to make triffle, about cheeses and cricket afternoons. Taught drums as well as other instruments.
Then back to the states, to Delaware, and picked up music ed career teaching high school band and orchestra, and playing flute and piccolo everywhere. Conducted a community orchestra for a while, too.
Had interrupted grad school at Indiana U to do the PC gig, so started picking away a accumulating credits to complete a Masters, which finally got done at USC about 5 years ago!
My son, David, his wife and son live only a few blocks from me on this hill. David and I learned to ski together when he turned 6.  I ski now every year at least one week in Deer Valley, sometimes get to add time somewhere else.
I review convention performances and presentations for the National Flute Association in  The Flutist Quarterly. I’ll know if you read this bio if you don’t ask if I’m a “flautist!”
Yeah, read all the time.  An amazing book relevant to our shared experience is Marching Powder: a true story of friendship, cocaine, and South America’s strangest jail. By Rusty Young and Thomas M Fadden 2003. St Martin’s Griffin, NY. My apartment in La Paz was a few blocks from the jail…I heard things about it…but this book really fills in the gaps.
In Bolivia, I started collecting flutes, etc. Now, I also dabble in Chinese flutes, pennywhistle, fife and recorder. I also studied mridungun (double headed south Indian drum and ragas…leading to some special studies of Sanskrit. Much of this has taken a back seat when I returned to teaching public school coincidental to the opportunity to purchase my neat house. Sometimes I play for chants at the Siddha Yoga Meditation Center of Los Angeles.
Politics? We’ll talk, I s’pose! Let’s hope the CIA moles don’t show up for our reunion.
Haven’t been back to Bolivia. Took a road trip through upstate NY one summer, visiting the four towns I lived in between ages 10 and 22. Bittersweet at best. Glad I did it, though.

I now live in one of LA city’s neighborhoods called Sunland-Tujunga My still new to me house at 2000 feet overlooks a mostly undeveloped canyon with sunset views and mountain views to the north. Love doing the brush clearing and getting acquainted with the trees and animals.
Ongoing gig is as a musician educator. Always have five days of private flute students from age 4 up to whenever. Saturdays I conduct    a youth orchestra and coach chamber music. During the week I teach elementary instrumental music for LAUSD.  Used to play more, have also taught middle/high and junior college. My alter ego plays the trumpet whenever she can. This is a bit calmer

PC In Your Life

I have very fond memories of Bolivia and it, the culture and the entire experience are integrated into who I am. I retain enough Spanish to facilitate communication with non-English speaking parents of public school students. The unique perspective of our community development-arts development project with the symphony and with teens has informed much of my professional life.  Living with other volunteers at times, and with host country nationals gave me insights into all manner of life’s issues.
I have recently been attending All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena (worth a Google) and find that community seems to exemplify, or is compatible with our PC point of view.  

Best/Worst PC Experience

Great stuff:

  • Immersion.
  • New, really new, challenges and situations.
  • Incredibly blue skies, earthy exciting music on the zamponas and charango.
  • Salteñas.
  • Bolivian hospitality.
  • Dancing the cueca with a man in condor costume.
  • Avacados.
  • Performing in Santa Cruz.
  • The Diablada in Oruro.
  • Lake Titicaca trout.
  • Bolivian coffee (now available at Trader Joe’s Markets).
  • Awesome dramatic and often dangerous scenery and rides into Las Yungas,
  • The Valley of the Moon,
  • The train ride to Potosi,
  • The meat plane (a former paratroop plane) ride to Sucre. Wheeee!
  • Orchestra rehearsals by candlelight when the electricity was rationed.
  • Introducing Sr Molina, the principal flutist to the music of Bach for the flute!
  • Attending myriad embassy functions and meeting cultural attaches while campaigning for them to send print orchestra sets to the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional.
  • I also thoroughly enjoyed PC training at Brandeis U (2 months in the fall of 64) and at U of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (1 month).
  • Coquis,
  • Rum drinks,
  • Sunsets,
  • Cowbells in the salsa music drifting over the neighborhood waaaay into the night,
  • Jasmine,
  • Being serenaded formally and learning how to respond,
  • Going with our pension lady on a formal Sunday paseo.
  • Having the music director at the U compose a piece for me.
  • Performing with him.
  • Swimming in the most buoyant water in a lovely bay. 


  • Girardia,
  • Soroche
  • Dysentery.

RPCV Groups

NPCA, RPCV Los Angeles

In the Future
I expect to work forever….
Favorites to Share
Movies: That leap to mind: Evening, Chocolate, Sicko, The Motocycle Diaries
Books: Currently reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s The Second Coming of Christ.  Sometimes, read out loud to my self, without intoning, Shakespeare sonnets.