Friday, September 8, 2017 –
Those of you connected with us on Facebook may have seen this old picture posted with me, my kids, and former wife Karen from about 1983 or ’84. It was taken with Lynnda, a young lady at the time was a Mormon Missionary, and taught me about the LDS Religion. Lynnda is on the left barely in the picture. I was her first convert. I enjoyed those meetings, and always liked her. (Sorry I couldn’t hang Lynnda)
After many visits by her as a Missionary, I was baptized a Mormon, but only remained active in the church for about two years, at which time I was divorced, and was then excommunicated. I’ve never made it with a church, school, club, or other organization having not being too compliant with any of these associations, and subsequently having quit or being booted by all of them.
I met Karen in April of 1975, while living on the Ranch in Monarch Utah. This was after moving to the Ranch in ’74 where on a Easter Sunday I climbed up on a branch in a Cottonwood tree to assess the future building of a tree house, and fell about 20 feet up while drinking a fifth of scotch.
I broke my pelvis in two places and my left arm. We were married in Sept;ember of 1975, and immediately left for California, seeking fame and fortune. Receiving the picture above brought back a memory I’d like to share with you.
Karen’s parents, Rex and LaRue were a couple of the finest people I’ve ever met in my lifetime. To this day, (they’ve both passed), I admire them both greatly, and truly regard knowing them as a gift.
Karen is a 5th or 6th generation Mormon with roots back to the pioneers traversing America on their trek to Salt Lake City. Karen’s Mother, LaRue was an active member in the church, but Rex was not. His family was Catholic, and having lost a twin brother in a private plane crash on a Christmas eve one year, took in the surviving three boys, all Catholics, but did not demand they change religions.
I met current wife Patty in 1991, and married in 1995. Her parents are also some of the finest folks I’ve ever met. It amazes me to be able to say I had these two men, Rex and William (Bill) in my life, and both influenced me in a positive manner greatly. I feel honored to have known both of them.
Patty’s Father Bill is a non-active life-long Mormon also. He married Georgette in the early ’50’s, and she is a Catholic. They too believed in allowing their children to make their own decision regarding religion. They are now 84 and 85 years old.
Patty has never been a part of any religion, and doesn’t feel it necessary for her to be a good person or to do the right thing, and I assure you she doesn’t. Many of you know her as well, and can attest to her character.
Not that Karen needed a religion, as she too is of most respectable character and very generous and kind. She was always a great wife and Mother, as is Patty. I lost my way back in the day and take responsibility for all failed marriages.
I only relate this as part of one of the reasons I write this journal is also for my kids, and possibly their kids to know who I was, as I’ve kept my past quite close and not shared much of it with anyone. Patty has recently commented how she’s learned things about me she hadn’t known prior to these writings, and we’ve been married over 22 years.
A little more insight I’ve never discussed was my youth. I was born in Honolulu Hawaii, but mostly raised in San Diego California. As a teenager I spent most days at the beaches surfing. This was the early 60’s and surfing was a popular trend then, and remains so today.
in 1962, shortly after my Mother died of breast cancer, I had began my 9th grade at Hoover High School in east San Diego, but was suspended from the school system after the first two weeks in for a poor attitude, and assumed threat of violence towards teachers. I was defiant, and struggled with authority figures, which to my detriment continued for much of my life.
After my expulsion I was relegated to attending continuation high school never to be allowed back into the regular school system. I went to San Diego Continuation HS, which had about 400 students. Only 16 of us were white kids. It was a rough place, and I didn’t spend much time there other than attending business related classes learning business machines, such as 10-key and typing, etc., (before computers).
I carried a surf board on top of my car to school back then. Those classes were held early mornings, and afterward I was off to the beach about 10am every day.
Due to lack of attendance, which no one monitored, I was held back and spent three years in the 9th grade, never moving beyond, and eventually quitting all together. In 1963 I joined the Marine Corps at 17 years of age for the next four years.
In 1965, I married the first Karen, and had a son, Richard born in 1966. I returned from Viet Nam in 1967 to find my wife had a boyfriend. This was discovered by returning unannounced and found them together. I left that same night and she ran off with boyfriend and my one-year old son, never to be seen again. I’ve tried to locate that son on several occasions to no avail.
The next three-years I stumbled about in what I liked to call “Educational Travel”, which included living in southern California, traversing 44 states on my thumb, back to northern California and spending some time in various jails along the way.
December 1969, after a 3-month stint in the Placer Co. jail, I decided my problem was not about me, but more so California’s problem picking on me, so I hitchhiked to SLC Utah. Six-weeks later I married my first Patty. That marriage lasted one-year until I discovered Harley Davidson’s and we divorced, having no children.
However, during the summer of 1970 before divorcing, I attended a community college in Salt Lake. I had walked into various class rooms and was “wrote in” by the teachers rather than going through the registration office, which being summer had a temporary staff, and probably wasn’t aware of this hole in their enrollment procedures. I chose a major in Computer Science, but after one tough semester, I changed to Accounting.
Completing that first semester, I carried 16 units and had a 4.0 point or “A” average grade. I applied for and was awarded a one-year paid scholarship. I also had a student work program scrutinizing applications for student grants and loans, which paid me a little, along with the G.I. Bill for education. This helped me barely get by. Lots of oatmeal back then. Sometimes with prune juice to change up the flavor.
The following fall, I ran for and was elected Freshman President, and had a budget to work with. My first endeavor was having a stereo system installed in the cafeteria. This caused some dissension with some students, as I piped in loud rock n’ roll, and many were country fans.
I next started the first ski club for the school, which became the most attended club in the schools history, with more than a hundred members. Many like myself were there for the party, and didn’t even ski.
I put on an event during the off season of skiing (late Spring), and rented a ski lodge, hired a band, bought a bunch of kegs of beer and had successful fund raising event, which landed me in the admin’s office the following week to learn they did not approve of alcohol at school functions. Keep in mind this was Mormon country.
This led to an investigation of my background, trying to find a reason to expel me, and I was told they could not find where I ever registered for the school, nor could they find I had a HS diploma, nor taken an entrance exam, and wanted to know how I got enrolled?
I explained how, and asked how it would look to get rid of a class officer with a 4.0 point grade average as a student? I assured them I’d not have alcohol related events in the future and stayed out my term of Class President.
During the spring of ’71 after my discovery of Harley Davidson’s, which I started with a ’62 Panhead, and then a ’65 Pan. I finally ended up with a 1944 Harley Knucklehead. All choppers back then. I bought that Knuckle for $750, and sold it for $2,000 7 years later, thinking I killed that deal only to know today that bike is probably worth more than $20K. My next several bikes were all metric, and a lot more $$$.
That last Harley led me into joining the Baron’s MC Club. I quit that club in 1972. I was there for the party, motorcycles, and the rides. Some others had a different agenda that didn’t suit me. Although I was an angry young man, I was never violent and didn’t approve of such acts.
Regardless, my fragmented business related education permitted me to subsequently establish a successful Business Brokerage career in California with Karen number two’s dedicated help. Very few know this story, as it’s not one to be necessarily proud of, and now everyone can know…..
After burning out on having my own brokerage firm and my third divorce, I bought a boat and ended up spending most of 1986 on Folsom Lake and then buying a larger boat I became Commodore of the Sacramento Sea Ray Club in 1988, and spent a year mostly living on my boat cruising our delta, which has more than a 1,000 miles of waterway all the way from Sacramento to Stockton, and San Francisco. I would stay at various marinas. Many had hookups for electricity and water. Much like one would with an RV staying in parks.which I quit after a year, but continued boating until 1993.
I married Patty my fourth wife in 1995.
After some scattered employment, Brother Stan hired me to work for JBS in 1998. I was asked to post my resume on the Company’ web-site but I never did, with how that would look unless I lied. “Oh Stan relax, it doesn’t matter now”.
After leaving my business career, I’ve only maintained one client since, and still work for her today, which I’ve related to you prevously. However, having kept up on my required continuing education, and renewing my license every four-years, I have completed a number of house purchases as a broker for friends and family over the years.
I figure Patty and I have given somewhere around $60,000 in commissions back to these family members and friends during this time period. The latest one being our friends Al and Jackie, whom I love dearly.
They were here yesterday packing up the last of their belongings, to permit the sale of their home just down the road from us to close Monday. I had helped them buy this house a little over two-years ago, and it truly saddens us to see them leave.
We’ve ridden many miles together and spent some time riding together with the “Patriot Guard Riders”, of which I was a ride captain for some of those years, and led over 100 missions, as they are known. We’ve been many places not always on bikes together as well, such places as New Orleans and a cruise from there to Mexico.
The PGR allowed me the first time in over 40 years to have pride in serving my country as a US Marine, and as a Viet Nam combat veteran. We were not too popular in the ’60’s when I returned from that war, and many are not aware of this experience of mine.
Top-Ron & Marine Honor Guard 2010, Bottom-Al & Jackie
Last week, Contractor Jay had found a 9-acre piece he wanted to buy for the timber mostly. I offered to represent him and split my commission with him. Yesterday, he told me not be angry, but when I ended up in the hospital last week, he went forth with making an offer through the listing broker. I said that was fine, and that it wasn’t that much money for either of us anyway.
He then said, “but you still helped me”. I was baffled, but he reminded me during our conversation about the 9-acre property without utilities, septic, or well was listed for $89,000. I had asked him what he was willing to pay for it. He said, “$80,000”, (I believe he would have paid more).
I said, I would suggest he start at $72K, and come up to the $80K later. That’s what he did through the other broker, and ended up getting it for the $72K, saving himself $8K. That was satisfying enough for me, and I didn’t have to do anything for it!
Some of you reading this have worked with me in this capacity before, and know I love the grind, and seldom lose (actually only once since 1975 and that was helping Al & Jackie). That negotiation was with a crooked bank like they all are. I was never liked much by other brokers, who told me I was doing the right thing for my people.
Well, having been awake since midnight, it is now 6:20 am, and I may re-visit this writing again later today. As always, thank you for reading, and I hope this personal insight was not too boring for you. I enjoyed telling it after all these years!