50 years in a few paragraphs .... this'll be tough! But here goes.
Most of you, my 'city slicker' classmates of 1966, may not relate to this, but I was born and raised on a small family farm near Titusville, Pa ... less than an hour's drive from Allegheny. At the time, I recall my ambition in life was to get away, as far as possible, from the south end of a north-bound dairy cow. I came to Allegheny, not sure yet of the vehicle that would take me away. But 'figured' I'd figure it out soon enough.
Looking back 50 years, Allegheny was the vehicle for the journey mentioned above ... the ability to think critically, recognize, analyze, and then solve problems, deal with adversity, the perseverance to hang in there began with the discipline which Allegheny required.
In the summer between our sophomore and junior years, I met my wife to be, 'Miss Canadohta Lake 1962' ... a little lake between Titusville and Meadville. Linda was from Pittsburgh and a nursing student at a large hospital there. Long story short, we became engaged (that's even more serious than getting 'pinned'!) on Christmas Eve, 1964. In June of '65, we were married. And Linda transferred to City Hospital School of Nursing in Meadville to complete her training. We rented a little apartment on North Main St., where the library is now located.
A note here .... after dating only two weeks, it was more or less, our mutual conclusion that we would spend our lives together. And Linda confided early on that she wanted 8 children. I figured she'd get over that ........... but she didn't! We had the eight (4 & 4), but that wasn't enough as we later adopted twin girls. Regarding the large family, let me add here .... conception was wonderful!! And it only got better after that. Seriously ......, for me there has been no blessing like the joy of parenting.
Providing for this brood over the years has, at times, been a challenge. Most of my working life has been spent in construction, several years in Meadville. Up the street a few blocks from the Theta Chi house is a plot of 36 lots called Shadow Oaks .... developed by my wife and me, along with several nice homes in/around Meadville. There's a golf course at Conneaut Lake (Oakland Beach) of which I was, at one time, the majority stockholder and built the clubhouse and lounge there. Also... there is a 20,000 sq.ft. doctor's office complex near Oil City, a steak house there.
Other jobs, early on, included a couple years as a fireman on the railroad which passed through Meadville, also a stint as Manager of Management Development at Talon- Division of Textron, also in Meadville.
The only trouble with a career in construction is that construction is the first industry to hit the skids when a downturn occurs. This was the case in the 'Jimmie Carter' years when the last home I built was mortgaged by the owner at 13.25% Suddenly no one was building houses anymore. I had a mountain of debt and the 'babies needed new shoes'.
For the above reason, our family moved to Atlanta in September, 1976 where I had been hired by Waffle House as a construction superintendent. Before actually beginning work, I learned that there was better opportunity for earnings and advancement in restaurant operations so I enrolled in their management training program ..... moving through the ranks rapidly to a position of asst. v.p./operations with a territory extending from south Atlanta to Lake City , FL .... basically all the units on I-75.
After several years with WH I was able to return to the construction industry and have been here in some capacity for the past 30 years.
Gotta wrap this up!!! Anybody still reading??
The children are all adults now, and have children of their own (20 grandchildren). Five family members are UGA (University of Georgia) grads. Apparently the entrepreneurial bug has been contagious as all of the children have their own businesses or work in a sibling's business. One daughter is a math teacher and one has passed (2004) due to a head-on with a semi.
My wife too, has passed ..... just last fall days before her 69th birthday, PLS .... a rare (less than 1,000 documented cases), insidious disease similar to ALS but affecting only voluntary muscles instead of involuntary like the heart and diaphragm. We are all adjusting to life without her. She was the quintessential wife and friend, mother, and grandmother. I continue to deal with life without her, as do the children. But there is strength in numbers they say ..... we're all finding this to be true. And fortunately, the family is geographically close .... one in BIrmingham, three in Augusta,GA, the others here in Macon, GA.
If any classmates pass through Macon, it would be great to hear from you, maybe do lunch or dinner, quaff a quick one even.
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