I am a very fortunate man who is now over 60 years old. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and had a pleasant childhood with caring parents and siblings. Economically, we weren't very well off but we had everything we needed. Almost every summer, we would take a trip to the Jersey shore where I learned to love the sights and sounds of the sea. I had an interest in the ocean from an early age. I grew up watching Flipper, Sea Hunt and Jacques Cousteau specials on television. I read Aquaman comic books and had a set of fish ID flash cards that I memorized thoroughly. I was a nerdy kid but I was having fun.
After high school I drifted for a while. I couldn't afford college and the economy was horrible. I can't remember how many times I would get a job, only to be laid-off within a month or two. It was a depressing time so, quite naturally, I did what most young people do and impulsively married someone I was completely incompatible with. It was a bad relationship that we both struggled to make work for eight long years. The silver lining was that we moved to Arizona to get a fresh start. There, we qualified for student grants and scholarships and both graduated from university before going our separate ways.
I became a physical therapist and have been steadily employed ever since. It's been a rewarding career, giving me a great deal of satisfaction and allowing me to meet great people and have wonderful experiences. While I was on internships, I met my soul mate Betty. She was a physical therapy intern from a university in Minnesota. She was bright, intelligent, spirited and beautiful. I fell for her hard. After the internship was over, she returned to Minnesota to finish school. However, she was determined to move to warmer Arizona after graduation. Three years later we were married in an outdoor ceremony overlooking a desert sunset. In addition to having an amazing woman to love, I also gained two really terrific step-children, Trevor and Trina. I still marvel at how well these kids accepted me and my family into their lives. They were good kids whom Betty had already raised to be decent and kind. Helping her to finish raising them was one of the greatest things I've ever done.
During the summers, we would take trips to San Diego to cool off. One of the many great things there was SeaWorld. Betty loved the dolphins very much. At the time, SeaWorld had an exhibit where dolphins were swimming in a shallow tank and visitors were encouraged to touch them as they swam by. Dolphins like to play and they seemed to enjoy staying just beyond the reach of everyone's fingertips. I fondly remember holding Betty by her belt to prevent her from falling in the tank as she reached farther and farther to pet a dolphin. Anyway, all this rekindled my interest in the sea. Also, I had a friend from college who had recently become SCUBA certified and encouraged us to give it a try. That led Betty and me (and, eventually, Trevor and Trina) to take up diving. That was back in 1993. Since then, Betty and I have had great underwater adventures in the Bahamas, Mexico, Jamaica, the Florida Keys and the Cayman Islands. After the kids grew up, we moved to the Kona Coast of Hawai'i where we dive almost every weekend.
Trevor and Trina now live in Omaha, Nebraska. Trevor has been in the US Air Force for over 20 years. He and his wife, Roxy, have three great kids (TJ, Ashley & Katie) who are all either in college or will be soon. Trina has an MBA and works for a major corporation. She gave birth to her son, Jacques, while she was living here in Kona. I was so fortunate to have a hand in raising him for the first seven years of his life. I had never cared for a baby before and feeding him, burping him and even changing his diapers was an unusually rewarding experience for me. As he grew, I would pick him up after day-care or school and we would play or read until his mom got off work.
I'm at a point in life where I do a bit more reflecting than I ever did before. I realize how lucky I am and how wonderful my life has been. There have been plenty of bad times and heartaches but all of that had to happen for me to be where I am today. I'm married to my perfect match, I'm winding down a good career, I have a home in Hawai'i that looks out over the ocean, I have a fair amount of adventure and I have the love of family and friends. Whatever happens from now until the end of my days, I have nothing to complain about.
My Photostream is a collection mostly of my underwater photos but there are also lots of pictures of family get-togethers, vacations, various things I found interesting or funny, and snippets of everyday life in Hawai'i. I hope you enjoy my photos and, if you've read all this, thanks for listening (reading). Aloha!
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- February 2010
- Highspire, PA
- Kealakekua, HI, United States
- I am:
- Male and Taken
- Physical Therapist
- Diving the Kona Coast