The Early Part
I started life as a very small child. I lived on an acreage that was, at the time, about two miles outside of Council Bluffs, Iowa. I went to rural school through eight grade and then rode into town to attend Abraham Lincoln High School.
I graduated from high school and went on to college. This was in the mid-60s and there was a war going on. I also started a program at an electronics technical school partially because it was good for a draft deferment at the time. Half way through the program the rules changed and I got a notice. I appealed the notice and was allowed to finish the technical school.
I was looking for Summer work after my second year of college and was lined up to go back to a sheet metal factory job. I heard that the fixed base operator at the Omaha airport was looking for linemen. I applied for that job and was asked if I would be interested in working in the Avionics Shop instead. I could be around airplanes and electronics and get paid.
While working at the airport I took advantage of the employee discount to take flying lessons and earned my private pilot license just before the next phase of my life began.
About two weeks after the tech school program was completed I received my second draft notice. This was the summer of 1967. I went in for the physical and was processed for induction. I was shipped to Fort Benning, Georgia for Basic Training. While processing in at at Fort Benning we were asked if anyone was interested in flying. I was, but few others shared my interest.
I took the tests and was accepted into the Army Flight School. My slot had not come up by the time I finished basic so I was sent to Helicopter Maintenance Advanced Training while I waited for my flight school slot. I made it most of the way through the course and then the flight school slot opened.
I was sent to Fort Wolters in Texas for Primary Flight Training. With my previous experience I was one of the first to Solo in our flight (training unit). Then I went to Hunter Army Airfield in Savanna, Georgia for the advanced flight school.
On completion of the flight training I got my orders for Viet Nam. I served with the 57th Assault Helicopter Company in Kontum, South Viet Nam. I was in country for Thanksgiving 1968 and home for Thanksgiving 1969. For most of my tour I flew in the Gun Platoon flying UH-1C helicopters.
At the end of my service I went back to school at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. I graduated from the Aviation Management program in 1971.
During school I worked as an electronics technician in the consumer electronics industry. I worked in a stereo shop. I also began to buy and sell stereo equipment and later opened a couple of stereo shops. The rent to own business was very tough competition for the small stereo shop. Eventually I was looking for something else to do.
I kind of backed into the sound reinforcement business. I worked for a time as a repair technician in a music store. I got to know members of the local community. They kept asking for help with their sound. I began doing sound with a regional blues act. Their equipment was limited so I began to buy some equipment to augment the equipment that they had. Before long I could not afford to work with them anymore.
I worked with many local bands and did house production at the local Show Place. I also worked during the annual motorcycle rallies providing sound production. I was contracted for sound by the BrokenSpoke Saloon when they acquired property here. They asked if I would consider going on the road to do their other events. I went to Laconia, New Hampshire and Sturgis, South Dakota and continue this up to the present.