Monday, June 7, 2010

Mike Combs, Class of 1960

Graduation, 1960

Where's my helmet?

I was born caesarean in Torrance, California in 1942. As a native born Californian, I was a rarity at that time. The doctor told Mom that she must not have any more babies, and she replied, "Put a zipper in that incision, I'll be right back." Eleven months and four days later brother Ronald was born, also caesarean, the greatest gift I could have ever had.

I often say I had the best childhood of anyone ever, and growing up with Mom, Pop, and Ron in Point Arena was what made it perfect. I've never told Ron how much he has meant and means to me, because we're guys, and guys don't tell each other that sort of thing - but we feel it anyway.

We moved to Bakersfield after the war, and I went to Catholic school kindergarten in 1947, then Pop bought a house trailer and we moved all around southern California from one drilling rig to the next for about two years. I went to the first grade in Lawndale, Carpenteria, and Fillmore, and should have in Newhall except there was too little time before the school year ended.

In the summer of 1949 my Uncle Walter, who had a small store in Gualala, wrote that "the sawmills are hiring." Mom was tired of the constant moving - she told Pop, "Honey, you've just become a lumberjack."

We arrived in Point Arena just after the Pacific Enterprise hit Wash Rock and sank off the Lighthouse Point in early September, 1949 (the 10th of September, I think). Ron and I started at Point Arena Elementary in the combined 1st and 2nd grade class taught by Mrs. Phillips.

I graduated from the 8th grade and entered Point Arena High in 1956.

After graduation in 1960, I went to Humboldt State for a year (roommate Gary Phelps), then Santa Rosa JC (roommate brother Ron). I enlisted in the Air Force in 1962, went to Russian training at Indiana Univ., and married Marilynn.

After 2 years of training, the Air Force sent me to Turkey near Istanbul to intercept Russian missile test activity. Later, the AF sent me to Univ. of Arizona for a BS in Acct.

I was commissioned in 1968, and went to Michigan State for an MBA. I was sent to England for 5 years, Illinois for 4, Hawaii for 4, and retired at Travis AFB as a Major in 1984 after 21 years in the AF.
Halloween at Lockheed, Sunnyvale, 1985

I worked at Lockheed, Sunnyvale for 10 years (Marilynn passed away in January 1988, not long after our Silver Anniversary - Alice and I met later in 1988 through Great Expectations, and we were married at the Presidio of San Francisco in 1989); then I worked at other CPA jobs at Power Spectra, Sunnyvale; NUUMI, Fremont; and Kaiser Permanente, Oakland until 1998, then retired to Gualala.

Disneyworld, 1990

Alice and I travel a lot - 4 month bike trip in Europe, 1998; two month bike trip in Scotland, 2002; Tahiti Honeymoon, 1989; and Caribbean holidays and cruises, Meditteranean and Alaskan cruises, Yangtze River (China) cruise, vacations in Mexico and Australia, October 2009 in India, March 2010 in Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda), June 2013 up the Mississippi from New Orleans to St. Louis, February 2014 in Argentina and Antarctica, and many others.
Catalina, 1991

Alice's Reseda High reunions always include a cruise, and we have been on 5 during the past 20 years. Point Arena reunions have been a lot of fun, and Alice and I danced so hard at the 1999 reunion that I had a swelling in my right ankle for eight years - but we still dance hard every chance we get!

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