We lived in Lawrence, Kansas during the depression.  Dad worked for Skell Oil Company, and I was the only child my parent’s had. I remember we would say we had dirt for our front lawn as we couldn’t afford to water the grass.  The depression made you feel special if you were able to have a dessert. And if your dessert had raisins, then it was extra special.

Dad’s job took us to Kansas City, Missouri for a few years, then Duluth, Minnesota when I was in 6th grade, and by high school we moved to Minneapolis.   When I was in 6th grade I came home and asked my mom, “who is Eh”?  Mom had to explain to me that was a term used in everyday Canadian vernacular as an expression.   In 1955 I attended the University of Minnesota, my major was history and I was ROTC since flying was my passion.


Sitting in a psych lecture, this pretty blonde came across the room and sat next to me.  She asked to borrow a pencil.  After the 3rd time of her asking to borrow a pencil, I thought maybe I should invite her to coffee or something. That pretty blonde was Barbara and she became my wife in 1954. After her two years at the University, she started working along with me to help me finish my studies.  After graduation the Airforce took us to the Philippines. The area we lived in had many break-ins, so while I was deployed I hired a man from an area tribe called the jungle fighters to protect my wife and daughter. This man came and sat on our roof while I was gone with his blow gun and darts and kept them safe at night.

The Airforce also took us to Taiwan, Japan and Iran before landing in New Mexico.  After 10 years in the Airforce, my eye sight wasn’t as good as it once was. Now that I was out of the service we spent several years in New Mexico where I became an insurance agent.  We headed back to Minneapolis where Barbara and I started our life together, now with four kids (two girls and two boys!)  I spent 30 years as an insurance agent.  Barbara had COPD and had a side kick called oxygen.  After 56 years of marriage and a really good run, Barbara left us in 2013. That’s when I sold our house and moved closer to one of my daughters who lived in Neenah.

Our family still gets together several times each year.  In our younger years my brother and his family and our kids would have family Olympics with events like tug-of-war. For many years we stopped having Family Olympics, but then brought it back with changed games.  One game had a container of cool whip and with only your face and mouth you had to find the piece of bubble gum and blow a bubble. Great fun!

Our family has grown to include eleven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.  My great-grandson in Florida asked his mom if they could go to Kentucky Fried Chicken to find out if it’s finger licking good.   He said it was!

These days I am on the computer several times a day, chuckling back and forth with some buddies that I knew, one who was a paratrooper.  We send emails back and forth to each other.   Most recently I stopped driving which has been challenging for me to get around.  My daughter helps me several days a week get out for shopping and errands.  I’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s so I have a scooter that gets me down to the different activities licitly split.  I’m just trying to not run over any old ladies!