I was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1937 to an English father who come to America in his late teens with his family and a Worcester born mother of Irish/Scotch ancestry. My father was a plumber/steamfitter; a trade he learned in England. My mother was a housewife who raised five children.
Although we lived in briefly in Massachusetts and Connecticut, most of the pre-military life was spent in Providence Rhode Island. After graduating from La Salle Academy in 1954 I enlisted in the United States Air Force at 17. My specialty there was an electronic technician.
The Air Force career started off at Sampson AFB in the finger lake reason of New York for basic training. Then it was off to Scott AFB in Belleville, Illinois for basic electronics school. Since I had never seen snow in Rhode Island, the Air force rewarded me with a year in Hopedale, Labrador, an isolated tour, at a D. E. W. (Distant Early Warning) station. There were similar stations from Greenland all the way down to Newfoundland. At these stations the military was just beginning to use the Klystron as the source for microwave transmission. The output was fed to a 90’ parabolic antenna. A miniature version of the Klystron was used in early microwave oven. The dish TV network uses a miniature parabolic antenna.
My next assignment was at Hamilton AFB in Novato, California overlooking San Francisco Bay to work at a transmitting/receiving operation. It would be a tossup as to which was the most beautiful base – Hamilton or the Presidio. Hamilton has been broken up with expensive homes; most of the Presidio in San Francisco was turned over the National Park Service.
There was a break of 90 days when I didn’t reenlist. I had gotten married at Hamilton to Phyllis Haney from Kentucky a fellow airman. In Rhode Island I took a job with the Electric Boat Company in New London, Connecticut working on pulling cables on the Patrick Henry, a nuclear submarine which was turned into scrap when it was decommissioned. Working there was enough to convince me that the Air Force wasn’t that bad so I reenlisted.
Upon reenlistment my next assignment was at Olmstead AFB in Middletown, Pennsylvania where I learned to install electronics at new installations. Olmstead is now the home of Three Mile Island power plant. From there I went to Keesler AFB for nine months of advanced electronic technician schooling. Upon graduation it was off to Lajes AFB in Terceira, Azores, Portugal. The military was just beginning to use transistors instead of vacuum tubes. From the Azores my next assignment was at March AFB in Riverside, California, my first experience with S. A. C., Strategic Air Command. I had already made up my mind to leave the military primarily because few in my career field were getting promoted. When I left the Air Force in 1964 I had 7 years’ time in grade as a staff sergeant; the people getting promoted had 14 years’ time in grade.
We have four children, three boys, David, James, Michael, and the eldest, a girl, Theresa.
On the civilian side, once I left the Air Force I went to work for Standard Register Company a national systems and printing company based in Dayton, Ohio. I retired from SRC after 33 years in 1998 while living in California. I opened a Proforma franchise specializing in business forms, commercial printing and promotional products. The franchise was transferred to Florida when we left California after 39 years My Florida business was sold to another Proforma dealer in 2009 when I officially retired.
My advanced degrees, bachelor and masters, are in History with additional credentials in education. I taught 1 year each at the 6th and 7th grades. I also taught for a time at the federal prison in Taft, California. I was an adjunct professor for 7 years at Bakersfield Community College, Bakersfield, California, teaching in the evenings. .
We moved to Charlotte County in 2003. My interest in the Curmudgeons started with the monthly editorial articles in the local newspaper. It was evident that the writers did their research before writing those columns. The yearly Town Hall Meetings hosted by the Curmudgeons, meetings which I attended, were very helpful in forming positions on people running for office and activities of the city/county.