Journalist 18 years with United Press International (UPI); writer 21 years with United Technologies Corp. (UTC)
After graduating from Wayne State in June 1965, worked that summer at Great Lakes Steel, squirreled away my money and went to Europe in September ’65 on the RMS Queen Elizabeth. Bought a motorcycle in Munich and toured Europe for the next four months. (The sojourn to Europe was driven by tales told by Bill Smith and Alf Merrifield, both Redford grads.)
Returned home from the excitement of traveling alone in Europe and got a job in, of all places, Des Moines, Iowa, as a news reporter for United Press International. (I was married in Des Moines. Archie Dettman and Bob Dillon -- both 1960 Redford grads-- attended the wedding.) Was transferred by UPI to South Dakota, Nebraska and Connecticut, left UPI in 1984 and went to work for United Technologies Corp. at UTC’s corporate headquarters in Hartford.
Worked for UTC at corporate headquarters, at Hamilton Standard (now Hamilton Sundstrand) and at Otis Elevator Co. before retiring from UTC in June 2005. My work allowed me to travel within the United States and to Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.
Since retirement, I have been doing a little freelance writing. In brief, this is the 50 years of my life since Redford graduation. It tells only the good, leaving out the bad, the ugly and the many heartaches.
Memories of Redford High School are like looking into a kaleidoscope, changing colors, shapes and sizes as the memory turns, giving off only fleeting glimpses… A brain-jarring football block from Don Lee at practice… Playing the trombone in band and orchestra… Marching in the band down Woodward Avenue in the Thanksgiving Day parade on a cold, drizzly November… The fraternity/sorority dances (that no one today believes we had in high school) nearly every weekend during the school year… Wolfing my sandwiches at lunch in the cafeteria… Skipping lunch to play in the band… Walking to and from school, hatefully hauling my football gear and/or trombone… As a senior, getting a ride to school in the mornings with Al Walker and Mac Lenover… Redford’s amazing ethnic diversity during our years -- Greek, Albanian, Irish, German and Hungarian, among others… My first class as a freshman at something like 2 or 2:30 in the afternoon. Unbelievable… A pigeon-toed Coach Waha putting down the chalk lines for football or baseball or whatever… Hanging out, carless, on a Friday night with my confidant Bob Dillon, watching the world go by on Grand River… Pat Bucchianeri and I teasing each other about the mechanics of playing a trombone… Watching my Latin teacher, a gentle Elmer Polzin, demonstrating how a Roman warrior fought with a spear and shield… Hearing a 25-cent glass break on the floor at the Mill… Cruising to the Franklin cider mill on a Sunday afternoon… Touch football at the Rosedale Club House… Bill Peppo’s long, stretching strides as he carried the football on the end-around play… Learning football Coach Ed Larimore’s single-wing offense, seemingly a return to out-of-date football but an offense ahead of its time… Double-dating with someone whose date was Coach Larimore’s daughter, wondering what it was like having to talk to the football coach before leaving with his daughter. A few of my Redford memories but only the good, avoiding the bad and the ugly.
What grade school(s) did you go to?
Bachelor of Arts, Wayne State University
States/Countries: (where have you lived?)
Michigan, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Connecticut