Port Orange Jock

One upstate New York man's successful journey through life doing the only jobs he ever loved. Being a Radio personality,(with one long side trip through the Postal Service).

Location: Port Orange, Florida, United States

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I studied hard and received very good grades in Radio/TV class, but otherwise I was just an average student. Other than Radio, the only other thing that occupied my time was a lovely young girl who had helped me get my school locker upon moving to the city in 1961. We soon became smitten and sat holding hands across from each other in homeroom. The only problem was the teacher who would sneak up behind us and crack his 3 foot ruler across our knuckles. I still feel that to this day. But more about the lady later. After high school, my Grandmother, Maude S. asked me if I wanted to live with her in California. She was moving there to be close to her son Bill. Since I had never been west of Ohio, I quickly agreed. I spent the next 16 months in LA, totally enjoying myself. This is where I really grew up and bought my first car. My cousin Bill helped me get a job with Vee-Jay records, which had their headquarters in Chicago. I packaged records for shipment while he was the National Sales Director. He had a beautiful home in Canoga Park in the west San Fernando Valley. He was a lucky man to have such a wonderful family. Lois, his lovely wife, and children James, Jerry and later Tracy and Max. I remember vividly taking horseback rides with my cousins every weekend in Chatsworth and still have the pictures to prove it. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. After 16 months, Vee-Jay went out of business and my cousin and I were out of work. He and his family moved back to Indianapolis while my Grandmother and I would move to Hialeah, Florida to be near my Aunt Dorothy. (because of a minor heart attack my Grandmother was told to stay in warm climates). My time in Florida would ultimately be very short. It wasn't long before I was on an airplane heading for Indianapolis. I spent about a year living in their home and really got to know all of my cousins very well, especially Bill's wife Lois. She was both beautiful and intelligent and I came to respect her very much. It was with much hesitation that I left after a year and went back to Rochester. Then came a very large decision in my life. I knew that I would be pulled into the military because of the VietNam situation and because at that time the draft was in effect. I had to decide whether it would be 2 years in Nam or 4 hopefully somewhere else. I decided on the latter. Then which branch to serve in. My father had been in the Army during WW2 and advised me against that. The marines probably would end up killing me. So I tried for the Navy. I thought they had the best looking uniforms. Unfortunately, I flunked the Math part of the test. The only one left now was the Air Force. Luck was with me this time and I was on my way to Lackland AFB in Texas for basic training. At this point I must tell you that not only did I hate basic, but I hated the heat of Texas as well. Best thing was, our class was the last to go through in only 4 weeks. Then on to Keesler AFB in Mississippi for tech school to be an Air Traffic Controller. As I look back now, I cannot fathom why I didn't ask for Radio school. After that school, they offer you what is called a dream sheet. This is your chance to get either the state or the base of your choice. (Good Luck)! Personally, I asked for NY state and got Loring AFB, Maine. It was so far north it was 3 miles from New Brunswick. And I thought winters were bad in Rochester. But at least I wasn't in Nam. I stayed there for 3 years, mainly because ever year on my dream sheet I put down Bermuda and England, knowing they would never send me there. The first year was rough. After that, I made friends with a civilian who worked at the only radio station in Madawaska, a border town. He let me use his car whenever and he asked me if I wanted to move in with he and his girl because they had a 2 bedroom apartment. Naturally I accepted. Also, the radio station was only on during the day so he let me play DJ all night long. I began to forget about the military because I worked 3 days on but had 4 days off and left the base as soon as my shift was over. My fun ended after 3 years when my new orders came down to go overseas. But ultimately, where I went would be totally different from what was in those orders. End of Chapter 2.


Blogger Jessica said...

It seems that everyone wants to be a DJ. Cute story..

1:10 PM  

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