It has been a busy 50 years, but here goes.
After graduation from EHS in ’57, I made an attempt to attend Phillips U. for a semester, but I discovered that I just wasn’t ready to get smart. So, I let Gene Bodes talk me into joining the USAF with him to see the world (that proves how smart I was).
I spent my first year in the AF going thru basic training and tech school for radar repair. My first and last assignment after tech school was all the way to Sherman, Tx. (280 miles from home). During those 3 years, I met and married a wonderful young lady. We had 2 sons by the time I was discharged from the AF in Feb. 1962.
We moved to Garland Tx. as I got a job with Texas Instruments. I was fortunate to transfer into the Integrated Circuit Engineering Dept about 2 years later. This dept. was managed by Jack Kilby who is known as the father of the integrated circuit and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. I worked with an engineer in developing the first integrated circuit linear amplifier. Boy, has electronics come a long way since then.
After I left T.I., I was working for a small equipment manufacturing company when I got interested in the stock market. I decided I wanted to be a stock broker, but Merrill Lynch told me they required a college degree or sales experience to become a broker. So, I found a job in electronic sales with a small manufacturing rep. company. About a year later I attended a seminar on investing in commodity futures. With dollar signs in my eyes, I opened an account with $1,000. I purchased a contract of (you guessed it) pork bellies. I sold 2 days later with a loss of $660. I put in more money and bought a contract of fresh eggs. I sold 5 days later with a loss of $500. WOW!! (I will let you guys read between the lines on my last comment.). Commodity futures looked more exciting to me than becoming a stockbroker, so I asked the office manager what it took to be a futures broker. He looked over towards the windows and said “I have an empty desk”. Two weeks later I was sitting at that desk wearing my new suit and looking out the 10th floor window of a Dallas skyscraper. I thought I had found my calling. I could write a book about that wild ride, but I will spare you the gory details and leave it at this — it was a very hectic and pressure packed 3-4 years in that business.
Since my discharge from the military, up to now, my wife and I have added 3 more children to our family.
Over the next couple of years, I tried several business ventures including janitorial service, equipment sales, smoke and fire restoration, and selling life insurance. None of these seem to fit, so when a friend offered me a job at a environmental test lab for testing electronic components, I accepted. I soon became the department manager for military qualification testing. About a year later, a larger company bought us out and I was back on the streets. I then found a job as the production control manager at a company that manufactured printed circuit boards. After about a year, I realized this is not how I wanted to spend the rest of my working life.
Let’s see, what career field have I not explored? Oh, yes, technical publications. I spent the last 20+ years of my working years spread between 3 companies as a tech writer, a supervisor, and in management. At the 2nd company, Electrospace Inc, I worked in their aircraft division. We had contracts with the Air Force to modify and install the latest technology equipment in such aircraft as the AWACs, the World Wide Command Post fleet, and Air Force One. When Chrysler bought out Electrospace, they moved the aircraft division to Waco, Tx. I did not want to leave the Dallas area, so I went to work in the tele-communication industry with DSC/Alcatel. We built the large switches that control the world wide telephone networks. I spent my last 3 years with Alcatel in the Motorola division. We supplied Motorola with the equipment and software for their mobile phone network. When Motorola decided not to renew their long standing contract with Alcatel, the two companies came to an agreement that over the next 12 months we would train them on how to do our jobs so Alcatel could lay us off. All 250 people in this division, from the vice president on down, lost their jobs during the 12 month period. My time came on January 1, 2001.
RETIREMENT!!!! Oh, what a beautiful word. The last 6+ years since I retired has been great. I guess I have become that stock broker that I wanted to be 40 years ago. I have only one client — me. I spend most weekdays in front of my computer, short term trading stocks on – line. One of my sons and I try to go fishing on the weekends.
Yes, I am still married to that beautiful young lady that I married over 47 years ago. We have 5 children, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. We manage to get together 3 or 4 times a year. It is a very rewarding experience to sit back and watch them as they visit, joke, laugh, and just enjoy being together. My mother has lived with us for the last 7+ years. This has delayed some of our travel plans, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The recent photo shows my son Mark and me on one of our many weekend fishing trips. We always compete as to who is the best fisherman. This trip, I won.
See you in October…