Detailed information about my background is on
another web site, but
some of it is only accessible to members of my immediate family.
For those who do not know me, and/or who are interested, here is a summary:
Negatives and Positives from My Perspective
The negatives are that I've turned age
eighty-six (can't stop aging) and have a long list of maladies,
including two different cancer diagnoses (both of which have
apparently by cured by surgery and radiation).
The positives are that by all
measurements I've lived a charmed life and view myself as rich. If
I had the opportunity to do it over I
would change nothing.
I had the good fortune to be born into a
very stable, middle class family, which, like the generation before
them, were proud to consider themselves capitalists. A high
priority in their lives was to be financially independent and to provide for
the needs of their family without having to be dependent on anyone
else, least of all relatives or the government.
Like the two generations before me, I was
born in the San Francisco Bay area. Both my parents had graduated
from what is now called the Riverside City Campus of Riverside
Community College, in Southern
California, and within a year we moved permanently back to Riverside,
where I spent most of my childhood.
I was an only child but I was not spoiled.
My parents gave me every advantage they thought prudent and
could afford, and they made personal sacrifices to do so. Both, of
course, were products of the Depression, which influenced their lives
materially. My father at various times worked as a service station
attendant, as a part owner of a service station, as a real estate agent,
as a buyer at an aircraft plant during World War II, as an owner of a motor scooter
dealership, as an owner of a household appliance and phonograph record
store, and as a citrus grower. My mother at various times worked as
a stenograph machine operator (court reporter), as a bank teller, as a
secretary to an aircraft plant executive during World War II, as a
brokerage office assistant, and as a secretary to the President of
Riverside City College. If asked what their occupations were,
however, they would both responded "investor".
My parents placed a very high value on
education and as a result I had the best educational opportunities that
my abilities could assimilate.
By any standards I had an excellent public
school education - outstanding teachers and first-rate California schools in
Riverside, Laguna Beach and San Diego.
In 1950, I entered Stanford University
and, at the age of 22, received an AB degree in International Relations,
an interdisciplinary program that blended political science, economics,
history and language. I was very involved with the
Stanford Crew - as a coxswain,
team manager and business manager - for which I was awarded a Block
S. I returned to Stanford three years after receiving my
undergraduate degree and at the age of 27 received a MBA degree
from the Stanford Business School.
I have lived and taken courses at the
University of London and Oxford University (Ruskin College).
I am very proud of
my service to my
country in its Army. I enlisted as a Corporal at the age of 21 in
a Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) reserve detachment while I was still
attending Stanford as an undergraduate and at that time had had five years of R.O.T.C.
training in high school and at Stanford in the Quartermaster Corps.
I graduated a year later, received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Military Police
Corps, and a year after that went on active duty for two years - which I
served as a Special Agent in
the Counter Intelligence Corps. Much
of my active duty service was in a "civilian" capacity (i.e, I
did not wear a uniform and I worked out of a federal building in a
major city). I was released from active duty in 1957 and
remained in the Counter Intelligence Corps reserves until I resigned
my commission as a Captain (Army Intelligence and Security/Military
Intelligence) in 1964 (two years longer
than the eight year obligation I incurred upon receiving my commission).
My wife, Linda, and I met at
Stanford - she was a transfer student from Long Beach State College and in the class behind mine. We married a week
before I went on active duty in the Army - three months before she
graduated from Stanford with an AB in Education and joined me in Baltimore
where I was attending the Army Counter Intelligence School.
We have three children of whom we are
extremely proud. All are university graduates (University of
New Mexico, Cornell and Stanford) and productive members of society
with stable families of their own - they have given us fourteen
grandchildren (and two great grandchildren) of whom we are equally proud.
Linda was an elementary school teacher in
Fox Point WI, and both a substitute and home-and-hospital
teacher for our local school district in Contra Costa County,
California, for thirty years. She
retired in 1993.
We have lived in Baltimore MD,
Milwaukee WI , Riverside CA, Menlo Park CA and for the past
fifty-eight years in Walnut
I have worked as a janitor, as a bus boy,
as a waiter, as a smudger (lighting and adjusting smudge pots to prevent
freezing in citrus orchards in the winter), as a travel agent, and as a
manager of a travel agency. During college I worked (no pay) as
the Secretary and Treasurer of the Stanford Crew Association.
While earning my MBA, I worked three
months as an intern in San Francisco with Arthur Anderson
& Co., certified public accountants.
Prior to and during my military
service I considered several government jobs, including the Foreign
Service of the State Department - but I failed to pass the oral
examination on my second try (among other deficiencies, I could not
name, off the top of my head, three dozen fruits and nuts grown in
California's Santa Clara Valley - I still can't, and the land in the
what is now known as the Silicon Valley area is so valuable that
they no longer grow any of these fruits and nuts there any more !). The Army
asked me to remain on active duty in Foreign Operations Intelligence
(FOI) - I declined. While at Stanford Business School I actively
pursued a job with the National Security Agency (NSA), completing all of
their required hurdles including tests, interviews, security
clearance and polygraph examination. After not hearing from
them for many months, they actually eventually admitted to me
that they had completely lost my files. I was so impressed, I
decided I didn't really want to work with the NSA.
Prior to, and even during, my career with
Chevron, I considered jobs with and/or received job offers from several
companies: Arthur Anderson, Pacific Bell and Trane (in
management training programs), Procter & Gamble, Kaiser Aluminum &
Chemical, Ampex, Food Machinery and Chemical, Weyerhaeuser (in a
management training program in the comptroller's department), Fluor (as
a financial analyst), Financial Programs (as a petroleum investment
portfolio analyst), GRT (as comptroller) and AMFAC (as a tax manager).
None of them offered the opportunities I sought, including foreign
travel, as much as Chevron offered.
The day after I graduated from
Stanford Business School, I started my career with Standard
Oil Co. of California (which subsequently became Chevron, then ChevronTexaco
and now Chevron Corporation again) at its corporate headquarters, then in San
Francisco. In 1986, at the age of 54, I elected early
retirement when the opportunity presented itself (a buyout package
following the merger with Gulf Oil). During the intervening 27
years I held many positions in the parent holding company, including
corporate accountant, forecast analyst, financial analyst, tax
analyst, tax consultant, international tax consultant to the general
tax counsel, and manager of expatriate tax services. I was
also a director, vice-president and treasurer of a subsidiary,
Chevron Foreign Service Corporation, which was headquartered in New York City.
Chevron was an fine company to work
for, with excellent compensation and benefits. The period from
1959 through 1986 was one of unprecedented growth in the value of
Chevron stock, including a number of stock splits. I am
probably part of the last generation who spent their whole career
with only one corporate employer, in a period when the petroleum
industry led others in compensation and benefits - benefits,
some of which most employers today, including those in the petroleum
industry, can no longer afford to offer. Doing so enabled me
to accumulate more than enough financial assets to meet my goals of
retiring by the time I turned age 54 and remaining financially
secure. I'm in my thirty-third year of