I was born near the village of Jones, Michigan in 1936 where I was related to everyone in town. After living in Corey and Three Rivers I attended the Lawton schools where we would bring our hunting rifles to school so we could go hunting on the way home. Nobody ever worried about it. That's just how we did things.
We lived on a farm and I had a horse named, "Happy" and he was. And so was I. He would do anything for a "Clark" candy bar. For a really good time my best friend, Max, and I would chip in together and buy an Orange Crush pop and make it last all day.
I graduated from Lawton High ranked in the top 20; there were 19 in my graduating class. Then I enlisted in the Navy and worked on boilers on the USS Bennington as it sailed from Brooklyn around Cape Horn to the Pacific. I visited a lot of interesting places but after 3 years 4 months I was glad to be a civilian again.
I came back to Michigan and married a local girl and studied typewriter repair. Both were bad ideas.
Marilyn & I adopted Jeff & Denise. I gave up repairing typewriters in 1962 when I went to work for the post office. For awhile I was a Postal Inspector doing financial audits in Pennsylvania and rode the train home occasionally. Eventually I traded in my badge for a supervisor job in Kalamazoo.
I took flying lessons on the GI Bill and got a weekend job flying skydivers in Portage. The joke was that people would go up with me but would refuse to land with me :)
I divorced in 1974. I married the love of my life, Jan, in 1976. She was working at the Battle Creek post office. Jan also had a pilot's license so we joined the Kalamazoo High Flyers aviation club and flew all over.
Jan got a vacation job giving handwriting analysis lectures on cruise ships. She got to bring anyone along she wanted so she chose me. Those cruises took us to the Canary Islands, Madiera, Gibralter, Casablanca, the Caribbean, and the Panama Canal.
I retired from the post office in October 1992 as Postmaster of Lawton. After a year of being retired I answered an ad in the newspaper to work part time on the Grabemeyer Farms as an Agricultural Operating Engineer. I have dabbled in farming ever since.
My hobbies are collecting Navy memorabilia and shooting. I am a fifty year member of the NRA.
Jan & I are both retired now and "Living the Dream". We travel extensively along with our Golden Retriever, Missi. We are always planning our next adventure.
Being a member of the Royal Order of Raccoons has been a lifelong dream come true.