where the writers are
Looking Back

Just a practice I sometimes do, looking back and remembering who I was, where I was, another self-indulgence.

Dec 2012 - Ashland, working for IBM from home.  IBM bought Internet Security Systems, which bought Network ICE, so IBM considers me an employee from my first days with ISS in June, 2000.  Can't believe I've remained steadily employed since then.  Actually, I haven't been unemployed since 1995 when I retired from the Air Force, knock on wood. This is my thirty-seventh Christmas married to my high school sweetheart, yes, the Prom Queen. Still have Quinn, Scheckter and Lady, aka Black Paws, the Gingerbear King and the Gray Shadow (or Loo Loo), respectively.

Dec 2007 - Ashland, working for ISS from home, managing BlackICE support and sales operations, second Christmas in our new home, third Christmas in Ashland.  Scheckter, Lady and Quinn were our feline family members.  Scheckter had been a rescue in California four years before.  Lady, another rescue, joined our houshold in 2006, and Quinn joined in December 2007 when he sought refuge from a winter storm. Smart, little Jade had passed away when she was 23.

Dec 2002 - Fourth year in Half Moon Bay, second year working for ISS in San Mateo, managing BlackICE support and sales operations. 

Dec 1997 - Mountain View, working for Progressive Angioplasty Systems in Redwood City, managing customer service and sales operations.  The company put all the employees up at the Palace Hotel in SF for the Christmas party.  Rocky, Jade and Crystal were still with us. Crystal passed away the next year.

Dec 1992 - Moffett NAS, USAF, managing the 750 Space Group Command Post, Onizuka AFB, second year in California. This was our first year living in military housing on Moffett. My wife's father passed away the previous December so it was a time fraught with reflection. We had three cats then, Jade (then 11), Crystal and Rocky.

Dec 1987 - Waldorf, Germany, stationed at Rhein Main AB, managing the 7575 Ops Group Flight Operations Center.  We lived up on the seventh floor of an apartment building.  We'd arrived the previous December, spending Christmas in the base hotel.  I was sick with the flu and we had Christmas dinner in the chow hall.  Everything else was closed.  Rocky, less than two years old, was the only cat living with us, as we had to leave Jade and Crystal with my wife's family in WV.  

Dec 1982 - Okinawa, Japan, 603 MASS Command Post, NCOIC Training.  Second year there.  We still lived off base in a small apartment.  All the Americans in the building celebrated Christmas together, with each apartment preparing part of the meal. We had Jade, who was then less than two years old, having acquired her as a kitten from neighbors the previous year.

Dec 1977 - Clark AB, PI, 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing Command Post, but then home on leave, Cool Ridge WV, and home on leave, Monroeville, PA.  This was my third Christmas as a husband, and my third in the military.  We left for Texas in a snowstorm before the end of the month to report to our new duty station at Brooks AFB, Texas.

Dec 1972 - High shool Junior at Shady Spring HS, living in Daniels WV but visiting Mom for Christmas, Penn Hills, PA.  Took the Greyhound bus to get to Mom's house, a seven hour ride. 

Dec 1967 - Eleven years old, Penn Hills, PA, Dibble Elementary School, Christmas with grandparents, Irwin PA. Dad was in Vietnam.  He sent me an Australian bush hat, a boomerang, and a silk dragon jacket from Vietnam.  Mom and Dad had divorced and Mom was remarried.

Dec 1962 - Student at Turner Elementary School, Laketon Road, Wilkinsburg, PA, Christmas with grandparents, Irwin, PA. Dad was in Turkey. Mom was a telephone operator. I loved Laketon Road.  It was all brick, which I thought was really neat.  We moved to McNary Boulevard the next year.

Dec 1957 - one year old, Arlington, VA.  Don't remember much more. We moved to San Antonio, Texas, the next month.  My sister, Sharon, was born there at St Mary's Hospital in the following July.

Looking forward to Dec 2017 and looking back and remembering....

Keywords: