My background goes back a while as I just celebrated my 75th birthday on September 13, 2007. The Neothink Society didn’t affect me until I had been retired for a few years as I’ll explain.
I grew up on a truck farm in Norfolk County, Virginia and my Dad’s main crops were celery and iceberg head lettuce. I liked working with my dad on his farm up to age 17. I started legally driving my dad’s Chevrolet 1 ½ ton stake body truck by myself on the highway at age 15 to the Norfolk Farmer’s Market. The local farmers started arriving about 4:30 am and that meant that I had to leave home at 3:30 AM 6 days a week during the summer. From the back of the truck, I sold up to 120 bushels of leafy greens and green beans, bundles of beets and big bags of cabbage wholesale to the retailers who came to market to load up with crops to sell during the day from either their horse drawn wagons or their small trucks.
I graduated from high school in 1949 at the age of 16 because there were no kindergarten classes or Junior High classes. I then attended the William & Mary / VPI Extension College in Norfolk, Virginia and flunked out my first year in June 1950 at age 17.
A very important world event occurred on June 25, 1950. Know what happened on that date? North Korea attacked South Korea on that date and the United States entered its first United Nations War and entered its first war without Congress declaring a Declaration of War as the United States of America’s Constitution calls for.
At age 17, with my parent’s permission, I joined the Air Force on June 27th and was sworn in on July 1, 1950. I was sent to basic training in San Antonio, Texas. The Korean Conflict ended when a cease-fire was reached on July 27, 1953. In August 1953 I was offered the opportunity to be discharged from the Air Force early and I took advantage of that opportunity. I was released from active duty in September 1953.
I entered Pfeiffer Jr. College in Misenheimer, North Carolina using my G. I. Bill in January 1954 with 98 other students. There I met my wife and we were married in June 1955. Shortly afterwards, I reenlisted in the Air Force and served until I retired as a Master Sergeant on January 1, 1973 in Wichita, Kansas. I became a better, mature student while serving in the Air Force and earned both my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees taking advantage of Operation Bootstrap while on active duty. I was too old at that time to get accepted in OCS (Officer Candidate School).
August 4, 1964 was another very important date that affected the lives of many service men and their families over the next eleven years. Know what happened on that date? Google that date and read about it – if you care to. Anyway, my Air Force life was good for me and my family and I enjoyed serving every one of those 21 years.
Wichita is known as the Air Capitol of the World. Why? Because Wichita is bound closely to aircraft manufacturing and is one of the world’s most important centers for the manufacture of light general aviation and business jets as well as the manufacture of major structural commercial and military components for large aircraft. Again, life was good for me there in Wichita and I enjoyed my aerospace job every day I went to work there putting to use the technical skills that I had learned in the Air Force and my college courses.
Okay, so how did Neothink enter my life? After retiring for the second time in 1990 due to a large 5,000 worker lay-off, my wife and I moved back to Southwest Virginia just 10 miles North of Mount Airy, NC where my wife grew up. We bought an old 14-acre apple orchard just 5 miles from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains Parkway and built our home right in the middle of the 14-acres. That’s unusual as most of the older homes were built close to the road in this area.
Life was quiet and life was still good, however, things outside of my computer started getting just a bit slow and boring. My wife and I had previously ordered and read Neothink Books back as far as the late 1980’s, so when Neothink started their multigenerational Promotions I took advantage and ordered Book # 1, then Book # 2 and finally the Miss Annabelle Book #3. I started looking forward to receiving and reading each book and when the meetings started my wife and I had the opportunity to meet other Neothink Members. We took advantage and attended both the N.C. meetings that were a 2-hour drive and the VA Meetings that were a 5-hour drive one-way. No judgments are made and it has been exciting meeting and getting to know other younger members and hearing and sharing our life’s stories. We all learned that the word T E A M stands for Together Everyone Accomplishes More. We have all become smart.
Neothink members are going to make a difference in many different areas of peoples’ lives and that will become apparent as time passes. I’m excited again about what life will offer me and other Neothink members and people everywhere. And this is important: everything that Neothink is offering is positive. That’s what’s really exciting to me.