How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
We moved here in 1982. It will be 28 years in January that we have lived here in Hernando County. Our home in Spring Hill proudly displays an American flag. Prior to moving to Florida, my wife and I lived in Natick, Mass., which is about 18 miles west of Boston.
Who are the members of your family?
My wife, Ann, and I have been married for 59 years, and we have five children: daughter Kathryn lives in Webster, Mass.; son Nick lives in Holliston, Mass.; daughter Lucy lives in Ashland, Mass.; son David lives in Shrewsbury, Mass.; and son Paul lives here in Spring Hill. We have nine grandchildren.
Tell us about your career.
I graduated from Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C., in 1943. After graduation, I was drafted and became a radio operator and gunner on B-17 bombers during World War II.
After the war, I attended Georgetown University and graduated in 1949. For one year, I attended Georgetown's medical school. Then in 1952, I went to work for the Army — as a civilian — as a physiologist doing research on food and clothing, using young members of the Army. The work sent me to Yuma, Ariz., during the summer months, and Manitoba, Canada, in the winter.
In 1956, I was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Army Reserve, and worked one weekend a month and two weeks a year for the next 24 years.
Monday through Friday, I worked as a civilian at the Army's Natick Labs in Natick, Mass., as a military analyst and continued research on mechanical engineering items. I spent the summer of 1959 up on the Greenland icecap, where it was never warmer than 18 degrees below zero.
The Army Reserve, from time to time, would send me to school. I would take time off from the Natick Labs so I could attend such schools as the Command and General Staff College, the National War College and the Army War College. I also served in Germany twice and helped with special civil affairs projects.
In 1970, I was asked by the Natick Labs' personnel director if I'd like to transfer to his office. I did. I became chief of the Management Employee Relations Branch. While there, I was in charge of the suggestion program, the upward mobility program, Equal Employment Opportunity, incentive awards and disciplinary actions, as well as problems that arose between employees and supervisors.
In December 1980, I retired from the Army Reserve as a full colonel. And on Jan. 1, 1982, I retired from the Natick Labs as a civilian employee.
What kinds of activities are you involved in now?
I serve on the board of directors — I am a past chairman — of the Enrichment Centers of Hernando County, and currently we're involved in building a new center that will also be used by the county as a special needs shelter in Brooksville.
I am program chairman, public relations chairman and newsletter co-editor of the local chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees. I also serve as program chairman of the local chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, and am a member of the local chapter of the Reserve Officers Association. I am a past president of all three of these organizations.
I am also a member of the Oak Hill Hospital Community Advisory Committee and the Postmaster's Customer Advisory Committee, and vice chairman of the Hernando County Human Rights Coalition. I have a television show called the Veteran's Voice, where I interview veterans. The show is broadcast over Ch. 622 on Bright House cable television. And I am a eucharistic minister at my church, St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Spring Hill.
Do you have any special hobbies?
I follow the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox during the baseball season. I enjoy cooking — baking especially. I keep a grandson supplied with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I also enjoy taking vacations with my wife and playing with my toy poodle, Lulu.
What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?
I enjoy working with people to achieve objectives. Every organization I belong to has goals and objectives. I enjoy going to my favorite restaurant — the Cara Mia Italian Restaurant in Spring Hill — and also to Perkins Restaurant in Spring Hill with my grandson.
What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
I would like to see an end to the fraud, waste and abuse that exists in our county. I'd like to see an end to ethnic discrimination among professionals.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
I was the prime mover in getting streetlights installed in Spring Hill. In the early 1980s, I was vice president of the Spring Hill Civic Association, and the president gave me the go-ahead to pursue the project.
There were two main reasons that drove me to push for the lights: first, a young man driving his car on a then very dark Mariner Boulevard drove off the road, overturned and was killed; second, a couple left their Spring Hill home in daylight and drove to Commercial Way, but then couldn't find their way back home after dark and had to spend the night in a hotel across from the Weeki Wachee attraction.
At a special meeting of the Hernando County Commission and the Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, the project to install lights in Spring Hill was approved.
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.