This time of the year corresponds to the 11th Hour for the
BENEVOLENT and PROTECTANT BROTHERHOOD of ELKS, of which I
am a long-time member, a time for recollection, a homecoming
for those who wander, a mystic roll call for those who will
come no more. Thus, I take a few moments to submit, to those
of you who are interested, some of my personal history.
In January of 1964, after majoring in Psyche at COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY,
I went to Florida, trained in Scuba, Desco, and Hard Hat Diving,
worked a short time for NitroAir Corporation as an underwater
burner and welder, sky-dived, and married Nancy, the ex-wife
of our Sky diving Club's pilot. In June of the following year
we moved to Long Beach, California to hook up with Don Sands
and build another bitchin gas coupe or rail. Nancy and I were
married 7 years or so before we "split the sheets."
Although Don and I haven't been in touch for a number of years,
I'm still "spinnin' wrenches" and putting together
a coupla nice street machines. My "gearhead" buddies
and I have hit the SEMA SHOW in VEGAS for 16 consecutive years.
Additionally, I've owned and rode more Harleys than I can
Career wise, I've spent 42 years in the Life Insurance business.
My career company was CONNECTICUT MUTUAL. Five years after
CML merged with MASS MUTUAL (not a marriage made in heaven)
I became an independent agent. Long ago I earned my professional
designations from the AMERICAN COLLEGE, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania:
CLU, Chartered Life Underwriter and ChFC, Chartered Financial
Consultant. For several years now, my business comes strictly
by referrals from Physicians, Attorneys and CPA'S in Newport
Beach, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Vegas. I've served as President
of many industry associations and in the same capacity on
many private and public corporations including not-for-profit
corps such as the Boys & Girls Club locally.
My second marriage produced two beautiful daughters, Amanda
and Allyson, ages 22 and 20 respectively. Allyson, a stone
fox, drop dead beauty lives with her mother and is as yet
undecided as to her future. Amanda, very beautiful as well,
finished her Sophomore year in college and joined the US ARMY.
The ARMY trained her in nursing/pre-med at Ft. Sam Houston
in San Antonio, Texas and the Walter Read ARMY Hospital, Washington,
DC. She is now a reservist stationed at Nellis AFB in Vegas
and studying for her Masters in nursing, if not her M.D.,
at University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) via an ARMY scholarship.
She will be commissioned shortly and, I suspect, be career
ARMY. She lives in my "get away home" in VEGAS.
My, shall I say, permanent home is in Apple Valley, California,
here in the High Desert about 2 1/2 hours South of Vegas.
The High Desert is controversial: Some love it. Some don't.
Just like a Holley carburetor: Ya love 'em or ya hate 'em.
As a mechanic, I've always been partial to Holleys. As a "Desert
Rat" for 7 years now, I'm lovin' it. This is mostly small
town around here. Everybody knows everybody and who's sleepin'
with who. Social life for the most part involves membership
in the ELKS, MOOSE, EAGLES, VFW or all of the above. And for
you brother and sister ELKS out there, I was Exalted Ruler
of Victorville Lodge # 1877 for 2 years.
The move to the High Desert was primarily for two reasons:
to get away from the Orange County/LA rat race and to cut
back on my Life Insurance activity. Sadly, one of my long-time
partners died shortly after my move and I, by contract, had
to take over his end of the practice. But I'm not complainin'.
In today's world of electronic communications, it's not at
all that difficult. So I guess I could call myself semi-retired.
I do still cook professionally from time to time. Or will
prepare Italian entrées, soups, deserts and the like
on order for Vegas contacts. My Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookies
are renowned. Next time you hit Vegas, ask for some.
Best wishes for your reunion.
Photo Left: Bob
and daughter Amanda at SEMA show
Photo Right: Bob
sacrifices himself for photo to get the hat