I am proud to have been born and raised in Oakland County Michigan! I grew up in a small town called Avon Township, later changed to Rochester Hills in 1984.
As a young boy growing up, I learned from my parents, Life would not be passing out any silver spoons to this family! Being one of three brothers and a sister, we were all told that when you turn 18 years old you are out on your own! So if there was any thing in life that you want, you and only you would be responsible for getting it! Needless to say, I didn’t waste any time getting started. I got my first paper route at the age of eleven and started working at the corner gas station at the age of 14. My father was a Golden Glove Boxer and wasted no time in teaching me how to defend myself in order to stand up and protect what I believed in. I was a “Tough Guy” and everybody knew it! This was the foundation that laid the ground work to becoming the man I am today.
I respected and obeyed my parents. Did my best in school while earning money outside of home. I played sports in high school and valued being a part of a team and the life lessons learned from it. After graduation in 1965, I had the opportunity to go to Lakeland, Florida and trained with the Detroit Tigers. How AWESOME is that?! ME Playing Ball with the Tigers!!
Returning to Michigan, I married a girl from high school and soon started work at GM Truck and Bus. It was not long after-wards that Uncle Sam was calling on all men to sign up for duty. Being a proud man willing to serve his country, I proceeded to the local recruiting office to enlist. I was told, because my wife was pregnant with our first child I had the option to stay home and be with her if I wanted to and chose to do so. I continued working at GM along with starting up my first landscaping company called Suburban Landscaping. As long as I can think back, I never was someone to “sit-back” and let the grass grow under my feet. Soon afterwards, a second daughter arrived.
Anytime there was a Strike at GM, I took advantage of the down time by being a Builder. I worked a long side of Pat Ray and Associates at their neighborhood development project, Coach Lamp Hills in Rochester Hills, Michigan. And, built my first home at the age of 25. There was no-time wasted laying around waiting to go back to work for me! I was always busy doing something.
I have met a lot of good people in my time!
During the early 1970’s, I led the Sandy Beach Development Project of White Lake Township Neighborhood Association as Vice President. The residents let me know just what it was that they were hoping for in a neighborhood beach park and I saw to it that it happened! To this day, I am still remembered for getting the job done quickly, beautifully and cost efficient. The results of successfully completing this project, residents are still enjoying their beautiful beach park today!
… I’ve also enjoyed the company of many good people that I met during the 1980′s, while being in a partner ownership of a major fast food restaurant located in Rochester Hills. I had the Best Employees a business owner could ever want! They were always eager to please the customers! In return, they were treated with respect and rewarded for their good service espically during the holidays and their birthday. Everyone wanted to work for me and the competition next door, hated it!
..The 1980′s – years of the Speed Demon!
Being young and full of spunk – I enjoyed Racing! Working at the gas station taught me a lot about Cars, Snow Mobiles, Dirt Bikes and o’course Lawn Mowers! At the age of 19, I bought my 1st car for $250.00. A broken down gold 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that needed a new engine! I modified it’s 318 ci-engine and turned my V-8 into a 426 hemmi!
“My 1st Car. . . now that was a nice-ride”
… Being active as I was and always wanting something to do, I took up Indoor Dirt Bike Racing during the winter months. This “indoor” sport proved unable to give me the thrill I was seeking and soon gave it up in pursuit of something more rewarding. That’s when I decided to ventured outside for the challenge of Snow Mobile Racing during the winter months! Racing competitions were held at a frozen lake or wooded trails. No One could come close to beating me, not even my older brother, so he quit . : )’ .Now that’s a real rush of speed worth getting frostbitten fingers for! I told anyone - if you want to race and were afraid of dying – well then, you best NOT even get into it! Yamaha sponsored me for 8 years as their TOP Enduro Sno-Pro!
… After all that was done and over with I finally came back to my first love, CARS! And, I have had my fair share of them – Fast and Beautiful! NOW that I’m all grown-up and have more common sense, I ride my trusty red friend “Mulch’em Up” my X-mark Lawn Mower. Which by the way has a chip in it to help move-it a long just a little bit faster. Can you cut 6 acres of grass in an hour? I Can!
“Mean while, still working at Generous Motors”
. I worked at GM Truck and Bus for over 28 years before retiring out with a Level 6 ranking. GM realized during my early years, that I was no ordinary guy. I worked back-to-back shifts at two different plants before they told me to make a choice and decide, which Plant will it be? I chose Truck and Bus in Pontiac Michigan. GM decided I would be a better asset to the company, IF I went back to school. This is when I attended Oakland University of Rochester Hills Michigan for Business Management. I up-graded my credentials by earning my Associate Degree in 1972. From there, I quickly advanced up the corporate ladder. And never once, let them brain wash me into thinking they held first place in my life. I had a wife and 2 daughters and I had God that I put before GM. I was sort of a “Robin Hood” kind of character, always looking out for the little guy and never letting the Company get away with taking advantage of anyone of my workers. AND, if someone thought they would try to take advantage of me…well, let’s just say they found somewhere else to work. I was back then and still today, all about fairness and integrity and keeping your word. Believe me, people knew – If I said it, it was done!
As time went on, I became a Zone Shop Committee Leader representing over 9,600 employees. I ran unopposed for 12 years, and then continued an additional 6 more years as a UAW Leader. Being well respected by the workers for Taking Care of Business, I was given the nickname “HAMMER”! I worked along side workers, day in and day out. Making sure any worker doing their job was never taken advantage of.
I retired in July of 1992, but not before finalizing my duties as an elected Union Official. There was a group grievance of $1.3 million dollars that needed to be settled first. I negotiated for compensation to be paid to 38 employees affected by lost wages due to out sourcing. To guarantee my demand, I personally hand delivered a pay letter to each one of them. Afterwards, I proceeded to the Union Hall to relinquish my duties as an elected Union Official, my final task and completion to the job I held at General Motors. I’ve been retired ever since then, if there is such a thing! I Landscape now, it helps to occupy my time. It keeps me fit and doesn’t let the grass grow under my feet! Mulch’em Up!!
A Butterfly is God’s way of saying, you have a second chance in Life.
As time passes on, so do people, places and things change in a person’s life. Many of which have also changed in mine. “Change” is how we grow and mature into the person we become. Please, do not pass judgment upon me. You have not walked in my shoes. Everyone has a story to tell and many will not! What I have done in my life has made me who I am. What has been done to me, has made me even better! God knows His Plan for my life, I just have to get there in His appointed time.
God, Give me the Grace to accept your timing . . .
So, I will tell you enquiring minds who want to know – Yes, I have been married more than once. In fact, I am married to my third wife Cherie. It was prayer that brought us together, a set time for God’s grace to Bless Us. It was at a time, when both of us were going through the worst of worst times a person can go through in their life. Alone, with no one to call our own to love, our paths cross. From the very moment we met We Both Knew – We Would be together! By all means, it has not been easy. I’ve been told by many “That’ll never happen – You can’t do that! ” but, it HAS Happened! When you believe, the unseen-supernatural powers of God can do the most wondrous things! And, it helps to have someone by your side. Getting through all the MUCK doesn’t seem that hard anymore.
With God, ALL things are possible!
Life can be cruel or Life can be all so wonderful! It’s what YOU DO with Your Life that makes you who you are. That’s why there is a rainbow after the storm. To remind us, a brand new day with a fresh new start is here and yesterday will slowly disappear.
Continuation still in process, Up-date coming soon.
Please come back again!