Greetings friends and classmates,
Thanks to promptings from Randy, I finally wrote a biographical piece for the new class webpage. I’m sure that everyone appreciates the hard work and time it took volunteers to create the new website.
During the past few weeks, I have been thinking about those good-old-days in Decatur. I entered kindergarten at Dennis School in 1949. We lived only a half block from Dennis on Taylor Street and my Mom walked me to kindergarten to make sure I got across Wood Street in one piece. I still have the class pictures from each year at Dennis and amazingly can pick out some of my favorites from each. After surviving sixth grade with the Mr. Sanders I moved on to Woodrow Wilson Junior High School followed by MacArthur. Many of the classmates that I graduated with in 1962 are in my kindergarten class picture in 1949!
In 1962 I enrolled at SIU along with several others from Decatur. Dave Hoyt was one of my freshman roommates in a four man room in Felts Hall, Thompson Point, in Carbondale. After a false start in forestry, I majored in Marketing in the School of Business. In 1967 I graduated from SIU with a B.S. degree in Marketing.
I secured a position with Wilson & Company through an on-campus job fair. The week after my last final I was working in Cedar Rapids, Iowa learning the meat packing business. I missed the SIU graduation ceremony and was mailed my diploma, which was anti-climactic after five years of studies and college social activities.
During my 14 year career with Wilson, I married and we had two wonderful daughters, Susan and Amy. We lived in Wheaton and Glen Ellyn, Illinois as well as Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1981 along with a fellow manager at Wilson, we resigned our positions and founded H&M Marketing, Inc., a food brokerage company specializing in meat and deli products. For 24 years we represented food companies in Midwest markets before I pulled the plug in 2005.
We always enjoyed camping in the North Country and became fond of northern Michigan. In 2001 we purchased a lakefront cottage on Fife Lake, near Traverse City & Lake Michigan. We spent the next four years traipsing 350 miles between Fife Lake & Wheaton and planning our retirement. The day I retired we made one last trip north and stayed.
By keeping a daily journal, I developed an interest in writing. I submitted several articles to the Decatur Herald & Review which were published. This lit a flame that landed me a column in the Traverse City Record Eagle. Writing two nostalgia/human interest columns per month, twenty-four per year keeps a guy busy! I couldn’t have done it without the editing talents of my wife, Dian. I wrote for eleven years then retired to have more time to travel, enjoy our lake, entertain family and friends plus operate my amateur radio station. On Labor Days one might find me walking across the five mile long Mackinac Bridge, an annual event until COVID.
We are very blessed and enjoy a peaceful and simple life on a beautiful clear north woods lake surrounded by forests and abundant wildlife including bears, deer, bobcats, coyotes, loons, eagles and even an occasional mountain lion. We enjoy feeding the birds, boating and fishing and entertaining guests. Our health thankfully is good and we are striving to keep it that way.
Best Wishes and Good Health to All