Wow, 50 years!
I moved to Point Arena, along with the rest of my family in September 1954 ready to start the 7th grade. There were previous stops (reverse chronological order), 6th grade, Bayside, CA, 5th grade, Yokohama, Japan, 4th grade split between Okinawa and Eureka. 3rd grade in Indiana, 2nd, Marysville and 1st, Willows (where I was born). My 5 years in Point Arena qualifies it as my hometown, this is where I grew up.
I left PA after one week as a member of the Senior Class and moved to Cambria where I moved from 3rd string center to 1st string Quarterback when the starter broke his arm. I also played varsity Basketball on what may have been the worst team in the history of High School basketball-but we did win a game.
At Pomona College, I played Freshman Football and Wrestled for 3 seasons. I participated briefly in student government watched television, forgot to study and met my future wife, Jane. After graduation I attended Sacramento State College for 3 semesters and then joined the Army to avoid the draft.
After Basic and Advanced training I attended Artillery OCS spending 20 of 26 weeks on restriction, but I did graduate. The Army decided, probably because of my good attitude that I should jump out of airplanes. Fortunately, with the help of gravity, I made it to the ground each of my 9 jumps. From Jump School I went to the 6th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, NC. Trained for a while got married to Jane and then went to Viet Nam and ran an artillery fire direction center for a year. Luck was on my side and I got to come home without a purple heart.
Starting in 1968 I attended 2 more years of graduate school and then on to 4 years of Dental School in San Francisco. I was honored to serve as Class President and Student Body President as well as being elected by the faculty to the National Dental Honor Society.
I practiced General Dentistry in Sebastopol for 4 years and then attended an Endodontic (root canal) Residency Program at USC for 2 years. (At this point, 1980, Jane figured out that I had only worked for 4 of the last 20 years-she didn’t count Army time. Not bad until I realized that classmates who had gone into the military after high school were now ready to retire, I was just ready to start working.)
So I had a clinical practice for 20 years in Orange County, then taught full time at USC for 7 years. During that time I was President of the Southern California Association of Endodontists, of the California State Association of Endodontists, and of the Faculty Assembly of the USC Dental School. I also served 3 years on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Endodontists.
Somewhere in all of this I ran some marathons and ultramarathons, did some target shooting, read a book a week (mostly mysteries), and try to get within 10 pounds of my high school weight. I made it to the top of Mt. Whitney (on the 4th or 5th try). I spend time with my 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren as well with Jane, my wife of now 43 years. My military experience was reactivated in 2001 and I currently serve in the California State Military Reserve as a Colonel.
OK, almost time to retire. So I retired from USC (still a part time Clinical Professor of Endodontics), and took a job, in 2008, as a Supervising Dentist with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Currently I am working in Ione, CA.
I remember fondly my friends and my time at Point Arena Union High School. It was a great place, and the 1950s were a great time to grow up.