to explain where I've been and what I've been doing hasn't
been asked of me since I was a teenager. But here goes:
I worked at Coca-Cola right out of high school,
fixing vending machines. I guess post-high school college
wasn't a consideration.
Don't ask me why, I guess I could see no future in coke,
but I enlisted in the Navy in February, 1962.
After boot camp at Great Lakes, with snow on our bunks,
I was sent to photo school in Pensacola, FL. Following school,
I went aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington in San Diego.
We left almost immediately for a trip around the tip of South
America for the ultimate destination-- Pensacola again.
(We were to become the training carrier for Navy and Marine
Pilots). It was quite exciting duty, lots of helicopter time,
night flight operations, crash and fire photography.
During my two years service on the “Lex”, I came
home and married Kathy Murphy (Penfield ‘62). Our daughter
was born in the Navy Hospital at Pensacola .
I was transferred to Washington, D.C. to work in the Naval
Photo Reconnaissance Center . Then, as my discharge date
of Feb. '66 approached, the Navy said “we need you
for six more months”, which was ok, as I was discharged
in the summer, and had time to secure a job at Kodak with
some of the same Kodak people I had worked with in the Navy
facility in D.C.
Once again, don't ask me why, but I took the Rochester Fire
Dept. exam in late 1967 and was appointed in January, 1968.
Our son was born that year also. I worked in every division
of the department, including arson investigation, code enforcement,
dispatching (before 911) and suppression. I earned a degree
in Fire Protection Technology along the way. It was as a
battalion chief at a fire that I fell through a floor into
a basement. The injury finally necessitated spinal fusion
surgery, and retirement before I was ready, in 1998. I retired
a deputy chief.
We built a home on Sodus Bay five years ago, where I play
golf at Wayne Hills Country Club and fish. But I live the
dearly-missed fire duty vicariously, as my son is now a firefighter
We have had just the two children, both married and living
in the area, blessing us with two grand children
I've had an exciting and satisfying life.