|Last Updated:||March 15, 2011|
|Residing In:||Austin, TX USA|
|Occupation:||Commercial Real Estate & Investments|
|Comments:||THE FIFTY YEARS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL
The shows “American Graffiti” and “Happy Days” describe some of the typical times and good memories from this period of my life at McCallum. Academically, I did enough studying to get by, but I must admit studying was not a high priority. Carefree times abound, as we ventured to “The Teen Canteen” or drove up and down “The Drag” to the “Pig Stand” and “Dirty’s”. Working as a life guard in the summers was a great social networking tool and it put money in my pocket at the same time. While I have many fond memories of these happy-go-lucky times and love to reminisce about high school, this seems to be the time to fill in the blanks of the last half century. Life after high school for me started off slowly and just kept getting better and better as time moved forward. While it has been a great life, this is not to say there were not some real lows along the way including two divorces, and other life pitfalls.
After graduation there was UT, the Marine Corp, and Barbara. No, I didn’t graduate from UT, but, I did marry Barbara Phillips in 1964. We were blessed with three children; Sam Jr. (1968), Jon (1973), and Shelbi (1975). In 1969, I started a career in real estate. In 1973, I started my own real estate company. That led into home building, commercial development, commercial construction and leasing. I moved from there into buying and building office buildings, and strip centers, to keep and lease out. I was blessed to have my children help me sustain and operate the business, to this day. I ventured into other types of business, some worked well, and others did not.
My passion is traveling, and during my marriage to Barbara, I bought motor homes so that we could travel with our children. We traveled all over the U. S. from Key West to Seattle Washington and many other spots, although we never traveled above New York State. Occasionally, Barbara and I would take a trip abroad. I was married to Barbara for 16 years, but in 1980, we divorced.
Ken Nitsche introduced me to a lady he worked with at AT&T, my second wife, Ellen Krebs. She loved traveling, even more than I did. Ellen had two children, and I had my three. So I bought another motor home, one that would accommodate eight people on long trips. We even drove it to Expo 86’, in Vancouver, Canada and many other points of interest. On one tour we took, Ellen and I went to 16 countries in Europe. Ellen and I traveled to many countries, I think about 36, but I am not sure. We were married for eight years before getting divorced.
Divorced again, plus the middle age crazies, wow! I was a perfect fit. I lived it up; buying a new cigarette boat, trading in my Corvette for a new Corvette ZR1 and building a new home on Lake Travis. This was also time of social extremes from old friends, Tangerines (like “Cheers”) and fun on the lake, to limos, formal cocktail parties and new friends. The low points include two divorces, health issues and being sued for five million dollars over some property I bought…I won. Diabetes really took its toll on me, significantly reducing my desire to travel and turning me into somewhat of a home body.
In 2001, Diny Plotsky-Baumel and I had several phone conversations about the reunion. I found her to be the same sweet, kind, and wonderful person she was in high school. We had dinner on several occasions and got to know each other better. After dating for a few years, Diny told me that she had never been to Europe, so I told her that I would take her. She told me that she had four weeks of vacation; I said “let’s go”. After a couple week of preparation, we flew into France, rented a car and began our sightseeing journey. I tried to hit what I thought would be the points of interest in each country. I am not sure how many countries we covered, maybe eight or ten. Yes, we had a blast! We also made a few other limited trips. We dated for almost 10 years, before she realized the third time is a charm. She finally said yes. We are planning to marry soon.
I was fortunate to have many wonderful people who enriched my life in numerous ways in this fifty year journey. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful life.
The lesson I learned is, that in life it is not important where you start or where you end but all about the journey.
|Military Service:||Marine Corp.|
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