Monday, August 30, 2010
It all began back in 1966, the healthy son of proud parents in Walla Walla Washington. Only nine months later my parents divorced and in an unusual twist for the times, it was decided that I was to live with my father. My mother, who had three children from her first marriage (widowed) would continue to care for them. Unfortunately nobody discussed it with me so the reasons behind these events are still not known to me.
Jump forward about nine years, my father and I are living in San Francisco and he marries a beautiful woman from Queens New York who I would eventually be proud to call my Mom. My father and she went on to have two sons who are the two best friends I shall ever have and who both continue to inspire me to this day.
We moved around from California, to Ohio were my brothers were born then onto Vermont. It was here were I first left the nest, dropped out of high school and eventually found my way into the US Navy.
Basic training was tuff, and military life can be demanding, but it was truly what I needed because I was not ready to go it alone (though you couldn’t tell me that) and the military gave me a safe place to grow up. Like a family, the military offered discipline, a sense of belonging and most importantly they taught me to get up and go to work every day and handle my responsibilities. The military helped me realize that with the right inspiration a person can often achieve much more than think they can. I witnessed firsthand that individual motivation coupled together with unselfish teamwork can accomplish amazing results.
The navy showed me the world. While on board the USS Antrim I had the distinct pleasure of visiting seventeen different countries, four continents and sailed some of the most pristine oceans in the world. I first hand got to see how shop keepers in Spain enjoy siesta every afternoon, watched monkeys and cobras duel it out on the streets of Karachi Pakistan, and partied with the super wealthy in the private marinas of the Caribbean. I've seen a great snapshot of many individuals throughout the world and I have come to realization that we are far more alike than we are different.
Although I enjoyed some professional success in the second half of my enlistment I was restless and didn’t or couldn’t see myself as a career military man so I got out of the navy in March of 1988 in Jacksonville, Fl. I bounced around form job to job for several years, never settling on a certain career or path. I worked jobs such as a car salesman, technician in a Styrofoam cup factory, assembler of electrical enclosures, car parts puller in a auto salvage yard, you name it I tried it. My experiences took me to places like Reno Nevada, Omaha Nebraska, Waterloo Iowa, and Vinton Virginia. I have always been one to get excited over a fresh new direction or a well marketed can’t miss business idea which has led me into things like telemarketing promotions for minor league baseball, started a non-profit corporation, helped to bring to market a new and innovative product, and worked on live shows with stars such Liza Minnelli and the Pointer Sisters.
It’s funny how life can bring you in circles. After drifting across the country for several years I found my way back to Florida. At the time Florida was growing at a tremendous rate so there was some money and steady employment in the construction trades so I settled into a life as a construction worker. I worked in trades such as metal framing, drywall installation, painting, and HVAC and more. My restlessness had me attempt to get out construction a few times, an associates degree in recording engineering (working in rock and roll man!), and a shot as a salesman in a wholesale buyers’ club, complete disaster by the way with the exception of meeting my soul mate and best friend for the past twelve years.
Together we have built a life together that is who I am. She has shared with me the dearest gift any one could ever share in her daughter and together the three of us have become a family. Collectively the three of us traveled an adventure that has been ours and love has seen us through. Along with the normal ups and down of family life we persevered through the tragic loss of my mother to a violent crime and the subsequent trial and public attention that went with it. In the Spirit of my mother we have moved on, and taken stock in what’s truly important in our lives. Amidst our family darkest hour we became the recipients of love and support that came our way in the form of friends and strangers alike who held us up when our need was greatest. If this tragedy taught me anything it is that there is far more good than evil in this world.
For the last twelve years I have worked in the construction trades in one capacity or another, as an owner, superintendent, lead, technician etc, and have somehow managed to eke out a living. Each year is seems to get to tougher and tougher to do so. As if the fight that is surviving on a blue collar income wasn’t difficult enough unforeseen events like 911 which brought my panting business to a standstill and the housing market crash which crushed the Florida economy have contributed to a fifty percent decrease in my income. It had become glaringly apparent to me that a real concrete change was needed if our family could have any sort of financial future. In summer of 2008 I enrolled in college to seek a bachelor’s degree in Technical Management, in hopes of taking the next step to become a certified Project Manager.
I am currently one semester away from graduating and have already been accepted to graduate school to earn my MBA. I have really enjoyed learning and the process of producing written material more than I would have ever imagined. I thought I was a fairly well informed individual but my education has filled in a lot of the gaps that life experiences failed to reveal. Don’t get me wrong the school of hard knocks serves up lessons that will be ever engrained in who I am, but as they say the devil is in the details and the more I learn the more questions I have.
So it is here that I find myself with something to say and if nobody reads it then at least I said it. I have seen much change in America, some good, some not and I feel the need to climb on my soap box and speak my two cents worth. Maybe there are some like minded individuals who will like what I have to say and I sure there will be many who will think I’m nuts but that’s ok it should make for some great give and take and maybe we will all learn something!