Well this is my part of our web site to tell everyone a little about who I am and where I come from. There’s not anything earth shattering or out of the ordinary really to put on here, so all you get is just me.
I was a Kennedy’s Child. I’m a Californian by birth. I was born 15 August of 1962. It was while my dad was a student at Cal State Berkeley. The hospital was actually in Oakland, but my folks lived a few blocks away in Berkeley. It was actually the same summer that the Oakland Raiders started their first practices as an official NFL football team. That’s something kind of neat. And since I’m really hung up on birthdays and that kind of stuff; it’s an easy way to remember how old I am. Seriously, whenever anyone asks my age, I have to do the math every time.
The only thing I remember about the bay area from that time was when I was around 3. Our apartment building shared garages and one day one of them caught fire. I was with my baby sitter on my tricycle out front watching the fire men show up and put out the fire.
After that we moved out to the Central Valley, to a town called Merced. We lived there a few years, about 2 blocks from a large park and the city zoo. I’ve not been back there for several years, but the last time that I was, the park and the zoo were still there. My dad had graduated and gotten a job teaching history at Atwater High School, in Atwater CA, about 7 miles up Highway-99 to the north. If you don’t know where those towns are, they’re about an hour north of Fresno, and an hour from Sacramento. If you want to know what life was like in the Central Valley in those days, rent the movie “American Graffiti”. That really was what life was like. Another idea to see what it’s like is to watch the show called “Myth Busters”. Several of their episodes are filmed out in the local area there.
During our time living there, my middle brother Bruce was born. My parents were hoping for a Christmas baby, but he disappointed them, by being born on the 29th of December, 1965.
Two years after that we moved, since my parents were renting that house, and decided that the Central Valley was somewhere to stay a while. They purchased a house right outside of Atwater, on a street called Sunset Blvd. We lived there until I was a senior in high school, when we moved again.
School was actually nothing very exciting for me. I don’t know why, other than I never got the hang of math, so I got very frustrated with that all the time. The other factor was that the rest of the work was simple enough that I got very bored easily with repetitive work. That’s a trait that I still have today. If something is very mundane and simple to do, I get bored with it very fast, and have to push myself to do that.
Growing up on Sunset was fun though. Our neighbors were all Almond growers. That meant that we had lots of room to run around and play on. We also had plenty of irrigation canals to play and swim in, in summer, and in the spring before they were filled, to hunt down frog’s eggs and watch them hatch and grow. The neighbors to our north were also quite fun to play with. We had a large turkey ranch behind us. You do get used to the smell and dust fairly fast, since you’re around it all the time. The one thing you can always do is have fun with them. Without a doubt, turkeys are among the dumbest animals that ever walked this planet. We could throw clods of sand up in the air toward them, and they would chase them around until we got bored. You could also start gobbling at them, and they would get going and it would pass around the farm. There’s nothing like hearing 100,000 turkeys gobbling all at once. Deafening.
We had an acre farm as well, and my parents planted all kinds of good things. We had several almond trees. We had two kinds of plumbs, three kinds of peaches, cherries, apricots, persimmons, and loquats. We also had strawberries of different varieties, and about 10 grape vines. We also grew a lot of our own veggies, including one of our own creation. My mom found out that you don’t plan cucumber and cantaloupe in the same hill. When you do, you a “cucelope”. That’s a cucumber that tastes like a cantaloupe. They make some interesting pickles. That was one batch we threw out.
After we moved to Atwater, I had another brother join our family. Mark was born March 17, 1970. That made five us, and a cow, sheep, pig, a dozen chickens, and two dogs. We didn’t have cats much growing up. They always kept disappearing. I always joke and say we had membership in cat of the month club.
We lived in Atwater, as I said until the summer of 1976. It was during that year, that my dad did his course work for his Ph.D. We moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, living in married housing at New Mexico State University. I didn’t want to move, I was rather angry about it at first. However, by the end of that year, I was mad that we were moving back to California. In fact all three of us boys didn’t want to move. It was while we were living there that I got to like the desert. It was just as warm as what I grew up with in California, but different none-the-less.
We moved back to California, and spent a few months repairing the house after renters didn’t take care of it too well.
Once again we decided to move. My dad moved up in education, to become a high school principal. After applying for several jobs, he got the job of principal of Raton High School, in Raton, New Mexico. We moved there right after school let out in California, my senior year no less. Again I was none too thrilled about it. But that ended up being a good thing. It was living there that I fell in love with New Mexico. So much so that when people ask me where I’m from, I always tell them New Mexico. For those of you who don’t know where Raton is, it’s on I-25, four hours north of Albuquerque, NM, four hours south of Denver, CO, and four hours west of Oklahoma City, OK. It’s either the last town you do through or the first town you come to driving from ABQ to Denver, or anywhere in between.
I graduated in 1980 from Raton High, and went to NMSU myself. I majored in Social Skills, and parties. So needless to say I moved back to Raton very quickly. At that time, and somewhat still today, there’s not much for young people in Raton, so I did the natural thing. I joined the Air Force.
I spent 8 years doing that. I was an administrator in various jobs and positions. My first assignment was what I call a 2 year vacation. I was stationed at RAF Bentwaters, UK. The base is now closed, but is about 10 miles from the town of Ipswich, in Suffolk. I was a clerk in the Orderly Room of the 2164 Communications Squadron. I was in charge of tracking all the rations and awards and things.
After that two year stint, I was transferred back to the U.S., and was stationed at the largest cattle ranch in the air force, Beale Air Force Base, about 50 miles north of Sacramento, California. That’s somewhat of a joke; but the base started out as a POW camp, so they had a lot of room. After the end of the war, the Army Air Corps, rented out extra land to the local ranchers. I was assigned to be the clerk of the Alcohol/Drug rehabilitation and Human Relations Office. The location of that office always made us laugh. We shared a building with the Class VI store; in military lingo that’s a liquor store.
During my assignment there I also had the opportunity to go on an extra duty assignment with Air Force Entertainment. I got to worth with and meet some incredible people while on that assignment. The biggest thrill was working with Bob Hope. It was during this job that I met Lucille Ball, just about 8 months before she passed away.
I was assigned there until 1989. When I received orders to move to Omaha, Nebraska. I was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Reconnaissance. I wasn’t told what I was doing, other than I had to get a Top Secret Clearance to do the job I was going to do. In fact I found out that my security clearance was classified. That’s kind of odd. But oh well. What I can tell people is that I basically worked as a graphic artist on a daily briefing “newspaper” and I created the weekly briefing power point show, for the general staff. All of this had to do with anything from international politics, to weapons systems, to spy stuff. The office I was assigned to was called Current Intelligence. To give you an idea of how classified stuff was that I worked with, my office door was about 3 feet thick. As far as the information I dealt with… well if I told you too much I’d have to kill you.
After that stint, I went to work where I am now. The University of Nebraska at Omaha. I’m the administrator for ½ the Department of Economics, and work for the Chair of the program. It’s work and I enjoy it, and enjoy working with students. I also like the fact I can take classes, and am on the 10 year program for a degree. Some day I might get serious about that. I’ve been at UNO for about 18 years now.
So here I am now. As to what Eric and I are doing in our every day lives, I suppose you can go to our blog and read the rest of our information.
This is just a start so check back now and again and see what I’ve added. I might come up with some fun facts about hobbies and all that stuff.
See you all around the Internet.