This is a special year. Not only do I turn 70 but 2016 marks the golden jubilee of my enlistment in the U.S. Air Force — up to then, my home and travels consisted primarily of Daly City, California and the San Francisco Bay Area. That all changed on June 24, 1966. With the exception of my first six months of enlistment (Basic Training and Medical Corpsman School in Texas), from 1966 to 2016 I moved across the country and to Europe: Rome, New York; Wiesbaden, West Germany; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Laramie, Wyoming. With each move new friendships were made and new places were experienced but the seven years I lived in Wiesbaden likely made the most impact: that’s where I met and married Susan, where I FINALLY completed my Bachelor’s degree, and where adventure became an integral part of my life.
Since meeting Susan in 1971, we’ve traveled to over 40 countries (visiting five of seven continents), cruised both the Nile and Mekong rivers and walked the beaches of four of five oceans. We’ve experienced the majesty and abundance of wildlife in East Africa and stood before grand pyramids and monuments in Egypt and the majestic temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Together we’ve run many of the major marathons in the U.S. and I’ve trekked to the Base Camp of Mount Everest in Nepal and rafted the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon in Arizona. I’ve also backpacked hundreds of miles with friends in both Glacier National Park in Montana and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
I fully realize how extremely blessed and fortunate I’ve been. In part that’s why I constructed the collage. Also I hoped the collage might teach me a bit about myself. It did: I still like to take photographs; I’ve been blessed with wonderful friends; I’ve certainly aged and no longer run as fast or as far as I once did; I still enjoy skiing and experiencing the outdoors; we’ve enjoyed the companionship of some wonderful spaniels; and travel continues to entice. But most important, Susan and I still enjoy each other and doing things together. That truly is worth celebrating!