So, after a few years of wedded bliss, look what we got!
Four kids! I'm the youngest. My sister Cindy is on
the left...blonde, blue eyes...we don't claim her...milkmen in
those days delivered, you know...Fred is my brother, and on the
right is my sister Nita.
I went to public school for kindergarten, then after that, it
was Catholic school from grade 1 through grade 6. Here are
the little angels in their uniforms. I'm on the right,
directly in front of the blonde girl with the pigtails.
Once I figured out that dad would pay 10 cents for every A on my
report card, it was straight-A's the whole way through. I
Ok, so lets fast forward a few years to about 1977. What a
motley crew, for sure! We lived in Salinas, California,
where it was foggy all the time, so no tans! I was a
runner, and I ate everything in sight, but never gained any
weight. It was like that until age 40, when I finally
filled out a bit. Good gosh, are those the same glasses on
my brother as he was wearing 13 years prior???
High School Graduation! Alisal High School, Salinas,
California, 1979. Valedictorian, 4.0 GPA, English
Department Key, Senior Scholar Athlete (Athlete with highest
GPA), Bank Of America Award, Mathletics Award, Cross Country
Team Captain. In my sophmore year, I became the third
fastest person in the history of my school in the 1/2 mile run
at 2:09.6. While getting all this high school stuff done,
I worked at my dad's gas station most days after school, and
every Saturday. Busy days!
Did I mention that mom was a men's barber in Salinas? No
man in the family was allowed to have shaggy hair...it just
wasn't happening! I went to Arizona Automotive Institute
in 1980, and since I'd never been to a barber other than Mom, I
didn't know how to go get my hair cut. Well, I was a
little rebellious anyhow, so here's Shaggy in 1980. All my
high school friends were convinced I had turned into a
Yeah, sure looks that way, huh!
Ok, who DOESN'T have an embarrassing 80's photo? Dig the
smoked, oversized glasses and that 'stache! It's 1986, and
I'm embarking on my first marriage. Still super skinny at
The photo below was taken right when I got new patches on my
letterman's jacket in 1977, after winning the Salinas City
Championship in the mile relay. I ran the 1/4 mile lap in
57.4 seconds, and I was the slowest of the four on the
team. I owe a great deal to the other three runners on the
So, fast forward to 2010, and an old high school buddy was in
San Diego to cheer his daughters at their track meet. What
better time to break out the old letterman's jacket! How
many 49 year-old men still fit into their high school
letterman's jackets? On the sleeve are league championship
and team captain's stars.
Ok, we've made it to the present day! As you might have
noticed by the previous photo, I'm about the same size I was in
high school. At 5'11" and 178 pounds, I'm about 3 inches
taller and 30 pounds heavier than when I graduated high
school. Good genes and diet are the only explanations,
since I don't exercise outside of the walking I do at work, and
the home and car maintenance I do all the time.
Yes, I am Mr. Badwrench! If it's broken, let me at
it! I do all my own home maintenance, with the exception
of major construction. Plumbing, electrical, appliances,
painting...most everything. Pop was a Chevron service
station operator from 1957 until 1989, so I grew up working on
cars. We always had two cars for everyone. Luckily,
we had a big house on a big lot. At one point, I think we
had 10 or 12 cars, all in running condition. Add that to
the dune buggies, ATV's, motorcycles, campers, and trailers, and
registration time was pretty confusing! I always have at
least two running, registered vehicles at all times, so that if
one breaks down, the other is ready to go.
Since dad loved cars, it was just second nature to be involved
in cars and dune buggies growning up, and now in
adulthood. There is always a project car in my garage, and
for fun I ride a Honda 3-wheeler in the dunes.
I'm lucky to be working in a job I love, in an industry that is
shrinking--aerospace. In the mid 1980's, I worked on Air
Force One, building the "airstairs" that the President of the
United States uses to walk out of the aircraft when there are no
rolling stairs available. My current job allows me to help
our country defend itself at home and abroad. I am proud
to work on the Predator Aircraft.
So, it has been now established that I am employed! By
having a great career, I'm able to have a nice house too.
Here's an overview, and a couple of shots of the back yard.
I love to entertain in my private back yard. The pool is
solar heated, so in the summer, the pool water is 90. In
the winter, it's too cold to swim anyhow, and the spa is hot all
the time. Here I am, doing what I love best about the
Most of my hobbies have revolved around cars and ATV's.
Lately, with the price of gas, and beach parking at a premium,
I've decided to take up motorcycling. A guy traded me an
old car for this Harley VRod, so I'm starting to ride on the
street. This thing is really fast!
If I'm not outside going somewhere or relaxing by the pool, I
like to read non-fiction, specifically the exploits of those who
fought World War II. One of my favorite pastimes is
Scrabble, and I've even invented Gerard's rule for starting the
game. Rather than relying on chance to start the game,
each player draws their 7 tiles, and whoever has the longest
word goes first. If it's a tie, then the normal,
lowest-letter-drawn goes first. This prevents the first
word from being really short. Having a short first word
crowds the board and makes the game longer.
One of my crowning achievements in Scrabble is making 7 words
with 7 letters, for 90+ points. The words were: infused, ti, an,
if, nu, es, and re.
A little more about me:
I have no children and don't want any. I have no pets, and
don't want any right now, because without them, I have freedom
to come and go as I please. If I start out on an adventure
Saturday morning, I can just keep going until it's time to go
back to work Monday morning! The pool cleans itself, and
if my trip is more than a couple of days, I have neighbor
friends who will watch it. I don't smoke, have never done
drugs of any kind, ever, and drink only at home, usually
Bailey's Irish Cream or Wilson Creek Almond Champagne and dark
chocolate of some sort. That's the drink of choice during
evening Scrabble games!
I don't watch broadcast TV any longer. After LOST
finished, I had the cable company remove the DVR's, saving $100
per month. This allowed me to finally start reading all
the books and magazines I had piled up all over the place.
I don't miss TV at all. There is still basic cable coming
in, so I can watch the news or a sporting event on occasion, but
that's about the limit of my broadcast TV watching. I do
like to watch DVD movies, though. Films that make you
think are my favorite. Independent, French, and Italian
movies are great, two of my favorites being "Wages Of Fear," and
"Open City." The films of Jim Jarmusch are fantastic,
especially "Night On Earth". I listen to mostly old-school
rock and R&B music. My favorite artists include Steely
Dan, Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Tom Jones, Harold Melvin
& The Bluenotes, and many others from the 60's, 70's and
Sometimes, it's just fun to mess with people! I normally
NEVER wear ties, but this tie at Kohl's just caught my eye, so I
wore it to work one day for no reason. It was so fun
fielding all the questions: "You're interviewing for a new job,"
"You're going to a wedding or funeral," and my favorite, "You
have a hot date." Nope, just wanted to mess with people!
Well, this is unfinished, so keep checking back!