I was born on a farm very near the small coal mining town of
Bethleham, WV. I lived there until I was nine years old and in
the fifth grade. I went to school in May of 1945 and while I was
in school that day my parents moved just a few miles to Shinnston,
WV. Were they trying to tell me something?
The section of Shinnston in which we moved was predominantly Italian.
I grew up thinking there was something wrong with me because my
name did not end in a vowel. I had a very good childhood. Most
of the same families still live in that part of Shinnston, known
as Pleasant Hill.
I attended grade school at Shinnston Grade School and later attended
Shinnston High School.
I graduated from high school in 1953 and worked for two years
prior to enlisting in the US Navy in May of 1955. I attended
Bootcamp at Bainbridge, MD during the summer of 1955. Upon
completion of Bootcamp I was transferred to San Diego, CA to
attend Radioman School. Upon completion of Radioman School in
San Diego, I was selected to attend Communication Technician "R"
branch school at Imperial Beach, CA. I then was advanced to CTSN and
attended Communication Technician "T" branch school at March AFB near
Riverside, CA. I completed "T" branch school in May of 1956 and
was transferred to my first duty station in Bremerhaven, Germany.
I stood my first watch as a "T" Brancher on July 4th, 1956, OP 2
Bravo Section. My supervisor was Chief Jones.
After spending nearly a year at Bremerhaven, the US Navy decided that
my services were needed in Turkey, so off I went on my trip to
Turkey which would take me nearly two months. I was given 15 days leave
in the states but due to the efficiency of the Naval Transit System
I had 15 days leave one month in Brooklyn Receiving Station, a week in
SC and over two weeks moving from one end of the Mediterranean to
After all this
traveling, fourteen of us finally arrived in Ankara, Turkey.
We then got a
tour of Turkey while the Turkish Bus Driver looked for, and
No place to live, no place to work and of course we had to buy
our meals in the
Chow Hall run by the construction company building Main Site,
Mud Site by the personnel, because it was the only place in
the world where
you could stand in mud up to your knees and have dust blow
into your face.
Finally after six months of odd jobs I did get to do what
I had been trained to
do. One thing we did accomplish, with a lot of work from a lot
of people, was to get an AM radio station (KTUS) on the air so
there was something
other than Turkish music to listen to.
The Navy felt sorry
for me, so after
a year I received orders to Cheltenham MD where I worked in R&D
until the end of my enlistment.
After receiving my discharge in 1959 I decided to reenlist
and was sent
to Adak, Alaska. Of course, like a lot of us I spent my year on Adak,
and when not
at work I was in the Ham Shack. I made 1st class and after
school in Fort
Meade, MD and then went to Morocco. When I returned to the
Morocco, I got
married to Joan Sirk, a hometown girl, and went to Pensacola,
FL for the
next three years. I made Chief while at Pensacola and was
Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone for three years. While in
Panama we had
two children. Upon completion of my tour in Panama, we were
back to Adak. I must have done something right while in Panama.
The tour on
Adak was very enjoyable mostly due to all the good people we were
with and a year and half later we were transferred to
AFB, FL. After my tour at Homestead the Navy again decided they
me for my outstanding performance and give me a good set of
orders. Where else
but Diego Garcia. I declined the reward and retired on July 15, 1974.
After retirement I returned to West Virginia and went to work as a
in a Buick Dealership.
I worked at the dealership for nearly five years when I decided
to go to work at the US Post Office. A big
mistake. I left after a very short time. My next and last place
of employment was as a Service Repair Tech
for an Office Supply Company. This job I enjoyed and worked for
The James and Law Co. for nearly
twenty years. I retired for a second time on June 30, 1996.
Since then we have done just what we have
wanted to do. For
ten years we have spent some of the winter months
in Florida or Texas. I carry my computer with me when
ever I travel and have my Ham Radio with me also.
You can either find me on the Internet or on the Ham Bands (80 through 2 meters)
any time of the day or night.
My children have both married and my son has three boys and my
daughter has two boys. As you can see I have the start of a good Basketball Team.
I also maintain three Web Sites:
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