12/16/2012 WHS Classes of 65, 66 and 67 Gathering
In conjunction with the 60th Anniversary of Wakefield, the classes of 1965, 1966 and 1967 are having a barebones reunion on the evening of Saturday, May 18, 2013. Come whenever you want. Sta
. . .
I arrived at WHS in 1964 courtesy of my aviator Dad who took a desk job with the Navy so I could stay in one school more than a year. It was my 10th school.
One would think I would have developed some social skills but my modis-operandi was to find some other socially inept student for my bff. At WHS that was Paul White, my search for whom is the reason I am on this site. Thank you Virginia!
I matriculated to The Citadel and took a commission in the Marine Corps where I served until 1975.
I tried my hand at the insurance business with my father-in-law but the same lack of social skills that made me a ghost at WHS rendered me impotent as an outside salesman.
Mercifully, my wife left me and my job with "dad" evaporated shortly thereafter.
Amazingly I got placed by a headhunter with Honeywell Corp and spent two years in Boston ineffectively representing their line of electronic air cleaners. It was a race as to whether I would fired first, or quit.
I chose the latter and retreated to Jacksonville, Fl in 1979 where my parents had retired (I knew Mom wouldn't let me starve!) and tried my hand at self employment.
I took a lease on a closed service station and dug in as a "one man band" working bell to bell for several months. I had remarried and my wife's nursing income helped get us by. Eventually I hired a mechanic, expanded to a second store and within a few years had a company comprised of four convenience stores and one traditional service station. I was in high cotten.
My accountant convinced me sell them off and invest with him in a petroleum distributorship in Georgia. Using his crafty ability to bamboozle the Keating era banks, we leveraged ourselves into 25 convenience stores in two states.
But the bubble burst and by 1990 I was broke. I moved back to Jacksonville and started over with another service station.
And again, my wife's nursing income helped get us by.
After two years I was again in a position to expand. I chose to open free standing auto repair centers and by 1996 I had a chain of eight and was a big fish in a small pond.
Life was good again but tragedy struck. My wife was killed in an automobile accident.
Then Jacksonville got a football team (Jaguars) and my small pond got bigger along with the fish. I saw the handwriting on the wall and finally retired after selling my last stores in 2007.
So now, Dec 2007, my (3rd) wife Wendy and I now find ourselves in Maggie Valley, NC where we ride motorcycles on the Blue Ridge Parkway and I play in a rock 'n roll band at the local "Cheers".
Retirement is wearing thin so I am starting to think about doing something...but I am clueless at the moment. Probably my alligator mouth overloading my canary ass, but maybe I can muster up enough for one more hoorah.
Update: Dec 2012. Boy have I mucked things up. Wendy and I split in Dec 2009 and I tried to open another business in Maggie Valley - a small sign shop, but the business failed to thrive. I divested myself of it Aug 2012 and travelled to Ukraine to pursue my mail order bride to whom I became engaged the previous January after several visits back and forth.
I write this from Prague as we are currently exploring Europe awaiting her visa to marry and live in the U.S.
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