This biography is dedicated to my family. No one else could possibly have the patience to read it all.
In high school I did a lot of things - work, party, and car stuff. Anyone remember the Piston Poppers? I did not do a lot of homework though, so I spent some time in summer school in order to graduate. Before we graduated, a group of us signed up for the National Guard rather than face the draft. It was only 6 months of active duty and 3 years in the reserves if you signed up early. Active duty provided an opportunity to meet people from all around the country, different socioeconomic backgrounds, different races, etc. This was quite an experience after the relatively homogeneous atmosphere at Capuchino. I would recommend it to all young people. In the reserves we were lucky enough to have the infamous Sergeant Urbanski of the Millbrae police force as our First Sergeant. I am sure that he gave a number of you traffic tickets and other grief. While in the Guard I dug a number of 6’ by 6’ by 6’ holes and buried one of Sergeant Urbanski’s cigarette butts. At least he could have smoked a cigar. I did manage to get an honorable discharge, but without any significant promotions or other recognition.
Following active duty, I began my working career in a gas station. As you know, they had lots of car stuff to do back then. It took me about a year to figure out that this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. For me that was pretty quick figuring. I decided to go to college. Luckily CSM would take anyone. As you might expect, the entrance exams revealed that I needed to repeat a number of high school courses. I had to take a pretty heavy load each semester to keep up.
In 1963, I married Barbara Lusinger who graduated from Mills the year before. She was working and put me through CSM. I was working a little and we thought it would be better to buy a house than rent. Did you know that in 1964 a women’s income could not be used to qualify for a home loan? Instead, we decided to have a child. You don’t want to wait too long before you have children. I managed to graduate from CSM, with honors no less. I was accepted at UC Berkeley and in 1965 Guy was born. This was the beginning of two years sleep deprivation. Between work and school, I was gone from 4:00 AM to 11:00 PM.
At Berkeley I majored in Physics. Not for any good reason, I just liked the subject. That was probably due to Mr. Jenvey, one of my physics teachers at Capuchino. Education is interesting. I have ample fingers to count all of the really great teachers and professors that I was lucky enough to study under. In my usual fashion I did my research shortly before graduating to find out that you need at least a Masters, preferably a PhD, to get a job in this field. At this point, I was not up for that. As luck would have it, I found an engineering position at Litton Industries in San Carlos. It is wonderful work for me, dealing with basic physics principles on an almost daily basis. I even got to use some of my textbooks from college. Basics do not change. The name of the company has changed a couple of times, but I am still there in 2009 with no plans for retirement. The company is now L-3 Communications (LLL).
Once I was down to working only eight or so hours a day, Barbara and I began to expand our family. We had Mark in 1968 and Michelle in 1971. We bought my grandmother’s house on Jenevein Avenue in San Bruno, where I still live. It was all family for the next 10 - 15 years, every evening and every weekend. Barbara then got certified as a medical assistant and went back to work. I started graduate school at night working on an MBA. All of our plans were cut short in 1988 when Barbara was diagnosed with a uterine sarcoma. This resets your priorities very quickly and very completely. We were married for 32 years before Barbara passed away in 1995.
In 1994, on a Capuchino reunion cruise, Barbara and I met a lovely woman, Pam Quarg, Capuchino Class of 1965. We made plans to get Pam’s widowed father together with Barbara’s widowed mother. Unfortunately this did not happen before Barbara passed. A mutual friend reintroduced us after Barbara’s death. Pam and I were married in 1998. After being divorced for 20 years and never having children, Pam was suddenly the mother of 3 and, after never having a dog, I was suddenly the father of 2. Pam is now the proud grandmother of twin girls, born December 10, 2004 to Michelle and Adolf Zierke.
We lost our 2 dogs in 2003 and 2004 at the ages of 15 and 16. In 2007 we rescued an 18 month old Shih Tzu we named Makena after one of our favorite spots on Maui. Pam and Makena are Certified Pet-Assisted Therapy Partners. They visit nursing homes, hospitals, and Alzheimer’s wards. Makena brings smiles to patients and nurses alike. Pam and Makena are also part of a Hospice team visiting terminally ill patients. On the lighter side, children who have English as a second language get read to Makena without being criticized by their peers. Pam and Makena received their first Certificate of Award from the Quest Learning Center in 2009, which makes us very proud.
We are truly blessed. All of our children and grandchildren live in Placerville. We see them often. In 2001 we bought an old orchard in Placerville. In 2003 we planted 5,287 grapevines. Guy and his wife Chrissy now run a small winery, http://www.fentonherriott.com/. They won their first gold medal in 2009 for their Tempranillo.
Some couples renew their vows after 25 years of marriage…we don’t know if we’ll make it to that number, so we renew our vows every 2.5 years…and what fun we’ve had. We went to Las Vegas in 2001, to Makena Maui in 2003, to Paris in 2006, and back to Maui in 2008. Michelle and Adolf were married at the ceremony in 2003 and renewed their vows with us in 2008. Do you have any suggestions for 2011?
Just to be complete, I am not a big sports fan, but the 49ers do get credit for my first big screen TV purchase in 1989. After wearing out my hip jogging, I now stick to walking and stationary bicycling. I have gained enough weight to make these strenuous exercises. Finally, I know everyone wants to know what my favorite movies are, but I didn’t watch many movies. I thought that movies were just for making out.