How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
I've lived in Hernando County for the past 14 years. I live in the High Point community. Before that I lived in Garden City, Mich., a suburb of Detroit.
Who are the members of your family?
From my first marriage, I have four children: Pamela Porkey, who lives in Michigan; Paul Henderson in Jupiter; Dr. Phil Henderson in Michigan; and Peggy Henderson, also in Michigan. With my second wife, Dorothy, I have three stepchildren: Terry Philp in Georgia, Larry Philp in Texas and Jill Pinion in Old Town. I have 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. My wife, Dorothy, passed away in 2004.
Tell us about your career.
I started and ended my career at Detroit Edison in Detroit. After about two years on the job, I joined the Army and served in Special Forces (Airborne) from 1952 to '54. When I returned, my job was safe and I started back at Detroit Edison. I retired after 39 years.
During my time at Detroit Edison, I started out as a laborer in construction, and from there I went into meter reading. I advanced to field service repairs, then to major appliance repairs and then commercial cooking appliance repairs. Toward the end, I was working as an instructor at the training school, and I ended up a supervisor in the field before retiring.
What kinds of activities are you involved in now?
I'm a very active member of American Legion Post 186 on Cortez Boulevard. Currently, I am serving on the executive board, and I'm head of the house committee.
I'm a past commander at this post and was a past commander at the post in Garden City, where I also was a member. Here, I have served as finance officer for three years, maintenance officer for three or four years, scholarship chairman for four years, and was co-chairman for the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for five years. I've been on the executive board for the past five years.
Do you have any special hobbies?
I spend most of my free time playing golf. I'm new to the sport, having just learned to play about three or four years ago. Golf takes up most of my time, but I love it. I also have a small workshop at home where I keep busy with home repairs and other general work.
What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?
I love to go to Hernando Beach and Pine Island. I just love being this close to the gulf. Of course, I also enjoy the great weather here so I can play golf year-round, and I like the many restaurants we now have here in Hernando County.
What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
It would be great if there were more places like Pine Island — more beaches and more access to water and the gulf.
I also feel that Hernando County would be so much better if people didn't run red lights. Maybe we need more police to catch those who run the lights. And although traffic has increased a lot since I moved here, the flip side is we also have more interesting places to visit.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
In 1991, I went to Africa to help install a new phone system in a Baptist hospital compound. We landed in Lagos, Nigeria, then traveled two hours north to Ogbomoso, where we spent 13 days updating their old phone system, which had been installed in 1950.
Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1438.