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Looking Back 50 Years Ago This Month




Well, here it is November 2008, I haven't blogged for a month, it's three in the morning, I'm awake, wife is fast asleep and I thought about 50 years ago, 14 November 1958, I joined the US Army to serve 3 years. I got shipped off from Houston, Texas to Ft Chaffee, Arkansas to get a hair cut, military clothes and boots then off to Ft Stewart, Georgia for basic training at the tender age of 17.


I will never forget my dear old mother saying "Son if you go to jail stealing gas and spare tire from those 1955 Chevy trucks and the other boy's mother don't get you out of jail, you'll be there for a long time, cause I ain't got no money to get you out." So the next day I joined the Army.


Needless to say all those guys are dead today. Most of them got killed robbing stores or people. I was the only one had finished school with nothing better to do. Couldn't find a job paying anything because of my age and not being married. Sacking groceries at a neighborhood store was about it in 1958 for about $1.50 an hour.


So today in looking back I made the right decision. I made it through Army training on to Germany during the Kennedy Crisis and the Berlin Wall. Then later more tours to Germany, got married had two kids. On to Vietnam survived came back to the Presidio of San Francisco. A Few years later back to Germany with a second wife that lasted all of two years. But by that time I had almost 14 years in Germany.


Finished college in 1979 while in Baumholder, Germany came back (single) and retired with 21 years of service at Ft Benning, Georgia which was fitting since I took basic training in Georgia. I returned home to Houston where my mom and first wife and kids were. Got a job with the Yellow Cab Company as a driver services instructor teaching Defensive Driving to the applicants wanting to be a cab driver.


The current Yellow Cab Airport Manager died of cancer, I was selected to replace him and held the job for three years while Houston was Boom town with the growth and influx of people from other states. I remember Michigan was doing very badly in the job market at that time along with other states. The city was registering about 100 cars a day, Houston was building and growing by leaps and bounds.


Anyway, in 1986 that played out, I was down graded from 45,000 a year to 25,000 so I resigned my position which was offered to another person for 18,000. I got married for a third time and moved to Killeen joined the postal services did ten years and retired in 1995. Got divorced in 1996 married again in 1998 for the 4th and final time to a lady in banking, we joined church together, still there, and my life has been great to this day.


I had my own Bowling Pro Shop business since 1993, moved into a Bowling Center in 2000, bought a home, had my stroke in 2004 and here I sit at my computer looking back at 50 years. Through all the struggles and life changes I'm wiser, have reasonable health, 10 years left to pay off my home, survived a stroke, and look forward to many more years and do what ever I can to encourage others to be a winner and most of all give what few years we have left on earth to God.


I got more years behind me than in front. So, as the song says,"I've come a long way baby." Peace to all.




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Guest lwisman




Congrats on your 50th anniversary!! What a life. It is great that you took the time to reflect. What a great story.



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Thanks for sharing this with us, Fred. You have had an interesting life. Paul and I have been to Germany twice and really enjoyed our trips.

Paul was in the Army during Korea, but he never left the states.


And I loved your Mother's advice. Definitely not wishy-washy!





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you have led quite iunteresting life. by looking back at your life I can imagine we all go through bumps in our life, but if we keep positive attitude & God in our heart. life is wonderful blessing.




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What an interesting life you have. Ever thought of writing a book. I'm sure it would be a best seller. You have come a long way baby. Its not over. I am happy for you that you have found happiness and wisdom through it all.



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hi fred,

that was a great blog!. marie claire is have a book there in the making. we actually have much in common...though i have not lived in germany....i spent seven years in the military, got my college degree that way, had a few of those marriage bumps etc. i like to think some of life's experiences have helped me to be less judgmental and more caring to least i hope.

it is good you are settled and have the right companion to share with. and can look back on a life that has been truely lived to the hilt!.....have a great thanksgiving! kathy[/b]

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