What have I been doing since Farfan?
Well, at the risk of sounding cornball – I have been enjoying life, and being thankful every day.
I met my wife, Chris in high school. Her brother, Larry, was my best friend back then. And - curse of the guy - she was this gorgeous chick who was my ‘friend’. Aaargh! When her brother, Larry, and I joined the Navy in January, 1964. I kept ‘my friend’s’ picture in my wallet throughout my 4 years in the Navy.
I went to Farfan – whooppee, y’all know about that. Then did a year and a few months onboard USS Stickell. Caribbean, Med, North Atlantic cruises. I still keep in touch with my shipmates from Stickell. In November ’67, I got out.
Came home to Milford, CT, got a temporary job delivering appliances. Larry and I again, working together - he got me the job.
Left that nowhere job and decided I wanted to do something different. I’d saved a few bucks, so another friend and I took off in my 59 Cadillac and headed south. We’d stop off in various places and work for a while, 2 weeks, a month, whatever, to put gas in the car, have some fun and pay our rent. That was a great experience. It ended in Miami, FL where we had a hard time finding work and we – brace yourself - got arrested. For ‘vagrancy and vagabond’. Yep, they arrested ‘homeless’ people way back then. Spent a few days in Dade County Jail, and got out after paying my fine, which my brother Western Union wired to me. I think I paid him back, it’s been a while.
Came back to Connecticut, settled down and met my first wife, Linda. She gave me two beautiful daughters, Brenda and Barbara. That’s right, they look like her. That marriage didn’t work out, entirely her fault, of course. So we got divorced after 4 years.
Larry and I were still friends, Chris had been married now for quite a while. She got married while I was in the Navy and had three children of her own, Kim, Marc and Erik. She eventually got divorced, too. I’d always kept in touch with Chris, through the Navy, and my marriage, she was my ‘friend’, after all. So, one day, long after my divorce, I asked Chris out on an official date. Whoo-Hoo, she said “Yes”. On that first date, I overwhelmed her with my charming personality, intelligence and spectacular sense of humor. Sad to admit, it wasn’t my good looks that won her over… at that time I still looked about 14 years old.
We ‘dated’ for about 3 years and finally got married. Bought a little house in Ansonia, CT. I got custody of my two girls, and we crammed the 7 of us into that little house.
I’ve worked routeman type jobs since way back then. Worked at Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, Charles Chips, and ARA vending services. When our ARA division downsized and was scheduled to relocate in Rhode Island, I took the postal exam for Letter Carrier and was accepted. I got a job as a letter carrier in 1984 in Shelton, CT, eventually transferring here to Florida. I’m still working as a letter carrier, hoping to retire in a couple of years.
I once applied for a job at radio station WCC in Chatham Mass, as a ship to shore telegrapher, and was told I could have the job. The pay was not enough, so I declined. I did work part time at WKM in New Haven as a S/S telegrapher for a while. Wow, work CW and get paid for it. I got my ham license in 1977 and worked my way up to Extra Class, asked for the call sign W4NB and got it. The ‘NB’ was a tribute to NBA and NBIK (which was my ship’s call sign). I stayed active on ham radio for 20-plus years, primarily working high speed CW. Quite a bit faster than the 30 WPM which was required to obtain my “Speed Key Certificate”. At speeds like this, I was unable to send code on my iambic hand keyer, so I had to use a keyboard to send. I copied in my head, sometimes typing bits of information on the computer. I’ve worked AM, FM and SSB voice, RTTY and satellite communications via CW, right here from my home on the Ham Radio Bands. It was fun while it lasted, but then along came the internet and I found myself more and more on the computer and spending less time on the radio.
I’ve had many hobbies over the years. Collectible automobiles, for instance - I’ve had a bunch of ‘em, discontinued that years ago. I still collect and enjoy coin operated devices. I’ve owned countless pinball machines, jukeboxes, video games, and just tons of other coin operated devices. I also still collect old radios, records and record players.
Last year I bought an RV, something I’ve always thought about. I bought an older Winnebago class A motorhome. It’s my newest passion, and I use it often, primarily for motorcycle events. I tow the bike to the campground, unload the bike, set up camp, and I’m good to go.
Motorcycles – ahhh - memories of Farfan, where I first fell in love with 2 wheeled transportation. I’ve almost always had a motorcycle parked in my garage since I got out of the Navy. I still ride today, and have graduated to Harley Davidson’s in 1995. Never could justify paying the price for a Harley until 1995. By then I had a few bucks, so I went for it. My current bike is an
‘03 Harley Low Rider.
One of my sons, Marc, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and all 3 of my sons-in-law ride Harleys, so it’s a family thing now. We get together when we can. They come here for Bike Week, or Biketoberfest, and bond with the old man. The 2 boys, Marc and Erik, are up in New Hampshire now, and my 3 daughters live in Florida. One of them, Kim, lives two blocks away. Chris and I have 12 grandchildren, whom we don’t see often enough in our opinion, but do see regularly.
As I alluded to in the beginning of this autobiography, today I am a very happy person, loving life, friends and family.
Where Chris and I call our Homeport Paradise:
I'm looking forward to what tomorrow has in store for me.
It's 2013 and Tomorrow finds me a Marathon Runner!
(Click the ICON for my Running Page)