I was a working guy until sixteen years ago. I spent some years in the military and got a degree on the G.I. bill. As an adult, I’ve worked as an accountant, newspaper delivery guy, credit union manager, boatyard worker and, finally, publisher of a small boating newspaper – the sale of which to a large corporation enabled me to retire.
The newspaper was a project started on a partner’s dining room table. The idea was born on the aft deck of another partner’s yacht – after a long day in the boat yard and too many beers afterward. Competition? What competition?
The paper began with 16 pages and when sold a few years later the page count was over 200. We printed every two weeks , distributed across the state and were perhaps the first paper in our state to be fully computerized. Of sweat equity, we put in a lot. We paid our employees higher than market rates, provided zero-deductable health insurance, paid vacations, bonuses and, in addition to vacation, our employees were given nearly a month off, with pay, at Christmas. We took enough for ourselves, but left enough on the table for others. In some years, our salesman made more than we did. We sold for enough to retire comfortably but modestly. Enough about that. I just wanted to give you a feel for where I’ve been.
At this writing, I’m 68 and I retired fifteen years ago. I retired early for two reasons – one personal and one financial. On the personal level, I was married to an older woman and we wanted to enjoy some retirement years before her/our health gave out. On the financial level, I saw the internet coming and recognized early what it would do to our classified ad revenues – indeed, our whole business.
When the paper sold we bought a new 5th wheel camper, sold the house, hit the road and had some wonderful years as “full timers”. She’s gone now, but I still live in an RV – although now a motorhome. I have a lady friend and we’ve RV’d together for the past couple of summers.
So, what’s this blog about? Well, it’s about the things I’m interested in and things that I think may interest some of you. I have no intent to create a political opinion site, but you’ll have to forgive me if sometimes I can’t quite control myself. I’m upset about I see going on in both governance and government. I have little respect for either of our two major political parties and I’ll let it go at that.
I like to fish from a cedar strip canoe that I built a few years ago. I take a lot of digital photos and I’ll share some. I love my Kindle and read a lot – some fiction, some not. I’ll talk about some of the things I read. It won’t interest everyone, but that’s life. And, on occasion, I’ll throw in some references and links to tunes that I like – everything from Yo-Yo-Ma to Bob Dylan with some Dixieland thrown in here and there. I once tried a hand at writing song lyrics. I’ll post some of the old ones now and then and, perhaps, get into writing some new ones. A water color or two may pop up from time to time. Although it’s been many years since I took up the brush, I’ve recently been giving thought to doing miniatures and that may lead me back into bigger things – who knows?
So, there you have it. Hope you enjoy the ride. I intend to.