I had done well at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, I was encouraged to attend college. No one in my family had gone through a four year College experience, so I had no idea how the selection process worked. To make a long story short, I ended up at Allegheny because its name started with “A” so I found it quickly in that very large college book (and it gave me the most in scholarship and loan aid). At Allegheny, I lived on Third Main with a great group of freshman, all of whom contributed greatly to my maturation process. I joined PDT at the suggestion of Ric Upjohn, to whom I am forever grateful because my fraternity experience was fantastic then and today through never ending friendships. I was asked to run the intramural Turkey Trot (cross-country) and Jim Zeeb would take me each night for a 10:00 pm training run through the Meadville rural roads (You will get an idea what that was like by reading Jim’s memories of Allegheny!). Jim came in 1st and I came in 12th, which created the basis for my lifelong running activities (until recently). Along with Don Spiecher and a host of others, we had some very interesting learning experiences publishing the Campus newspaper. Through the efforts of many people (Cyndee Ball and Janet Fee were particularly helpful), I was elected Senior Class President with Senior Week after final exams being the big focus. Since our Class had little money in its treasury, I became involved in a lot of hair-brained money raising schemes. I recall we had a fun filled Senior Week. Oh yes, I also recall finding time to get a very good liberal arts education with a history major, which leads to the next part of this story.
Education after Allegheny
With the prospects of Vietnam service a real possibility and no real plan for post-Allegheny life, I took the LSAT (hardest test I ever took), somehow got enough points to qualify for Pitt School of Law, got Pitt to accept me, and so prepared to be an attorney (another surprise in my life!). Work as a knife salesman and dance instructor did not produce enough tuition funds, so Pitt gave me a scholarship. After a year of Law School and with graduate school deferments abolished, I entered the Army Officer Candidate School (for Engineers!!) to allow me to have some control over my future military service. After becoming an officer and completing my service as an Adjutant in the Providence, RI, Induction Center (See Alice’s Restaurant for a humorous depiction of my jobs at that Center) , I returned to Pitt and earned my JD in 1973. All further education (which was substantial) was in the nature of “on the job training”, seminars, lunch and learns, etc.
Yes, I believe in marriage. I have had two. The first was a wartime marriage in 1971, which terminated in the mid-1990s (See “Your Children” below). I am now married to Bonnie, and we are happily living in Seventh Heaven (See “Where you’ve lived” below).
Where I’ve lived
I am a very proud Pittsburgher; born, raised, mostly educated there, lived, worked, played in this wonderful area of southwestern Pennsylvania generally called Pittsburgh. The area’s jobs attracted good, hard working people mainly from European countries, who brought and kept their heritage values. All Pittsburghers have great neighbors. Meanwhile, the city sacrificed itself to produce one-fourth of the steel produced in the world during WW II and subsequently died and rose from death stronger than ever before. Today’s Pittsburgh has been recognized for just about every metro survey and award as the place to be educated, live, work and play. In particular, Bonnie and I now live in the mountains southeast of the Pittsburgh Golden Triangle (the “Laurel Highlands”). Our cottage, which was previously owned by my aunt and uncle and named “Seventh Heaven” by them, is made of a beautiful wormy chestnut wood and along with it’s outbuildings has 3 streams surrounding them. The land goes up and down with the streams. The spring has beautiful wild flowers everywhere. The summer has cool breezes and more than 50 different types of mushrooms popping up everywhere. The fall has the multi-colored leaves of a multitude of hardwood trees. The winter brings the beauty of snow covered nature, and there is always some type of wildlife to watch. Oh, yes, there are plenty of those great neighbors.
This could be a very long Section because of the many jobs I’ve had during my life, but I will only mention the two that count. After Law School, I was employed by a medium sized law firm in Pittsburgh. The practice covered just about every type of law that you can make money in. So as the newest attorney and the law firm practice of “the shit slides down the pole”, I became a multi-practice attorney eventually focusing on taxes and employee benefits law. I took that latter specialty to Buck Consultants, an international employee benefits firm, in 1984. At Buck, I worked with some of the country’s largest companies to assist their efforts in providing employee benefits. The work was very satisfying because it involved very technical and specialized challenges. I was very lucky to be employed by these two very good firms which allowed me to live a “no real complaints” work life (also to my surprise!).
My children / grandchildren
My first marriage resulted in three wonderful children (Callie, Leah and Michael) who are each very different people living in different parts of the country with different vocations. Callie has two children, Liam and Fiona. I love them all dearly and wish I would see them more often.
Yes, I also believe in retirement. As such, I have been retired for about 4 years. Since Bonnie is also retired we both keep ourselves active doing all those things that retired people do (see “Current activities” below).
Current activities / hobbies
I maintain the buildings and lands of Seventh Heaven (see above), which is something I never had time to do when working, so it’s a new experience. I bicycle (I’ve been to DC by rails to trails) and hike. I downhill ski. I have a large music collection (I am transferring my vinyl to digital because I don’t have the space) of both CDs and DVDs which I will play for anyone who wants to listen/watch or myself if no one else wants to listen/watch. The collection consists of some Rock ‘n Roll, a lot of Doo-Wop and the roots music to that music. We make interesting composite CDs. We go to music concerts, festivals and pubs. I have season tickets to Pitt football and basketball, and we go to monthly Craft Beer School. Time now permits us to frequent our neighborhood pub at which we compete in a weekly trivia contest and just hangout or have a meal. We entertain friends at Seventh Heaven, and I play poker with the boys (My bridge lessons at PDT never prepared me these wild poker games!). I workout to keep active (necessary because I have Parkinson’s Disease) and just had a worn-out left knee replaced. We also do those typical grand parenting and family type activities with our various family members.
My contact Info
Address: 196 Hoods Mill Road Acme, PA 15610