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 My Background

          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: 

bulletNegatives and Positives from My Perspective
bulletThe 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).
bulletThe 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.
bulletI 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.
bulletLike 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.
bulletI 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".
bulletMy parents placed a very high value on education and as a result I had the best educational opportunities that my abilities could assimilate.
bulletBy any standards I had an excellent public school education - outstanding teachers and first-rate California schools in Riverside, Laguna Beach and San Diego.
bulletIn 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.
bulletI have lived and taken courses at the University of London and Oxford University (Ruskin College).
bulletI 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).
bulletMy 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.
bulletWe 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.
bulletLinda 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.
bulletWe have lived in Baltimore MD, Milwaukee WI , Riverside CA, Menlo Park CA and for the past fifty-eight years in Walnut Creek CA.
bulletI 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.
bulletWhile earning my MBA, I worked three months as an intern in San Francisco with Arthur Anderson & Co., certified public accountants.
bulletPrior 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.
bulletPrior 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.
bulletThe 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.
bulletChevron 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 retirement.


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