Hailing from South Bend, Indiana in 1958, I was born into a football family.” Here come the Irish of Notre Dame.” My father graduated from Notre Dame and was the Communications Director for Hercules Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware. My mother graduated from St. Mary’s and was a schoolteacher at St. John the Beloved.
I have crafted an extraordinary life characterized by ambition and adventure. From my childhood memories of living in Indiana, Idaho, Utah, and growing up in Delaware, to my adulthood where I retraced my roots through Montana and lived in Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona.
I discovered my first writing voice in college while attending Rowan University where I earned a degree in Communications with a specialization in Journalism. It wasn’t much of a voice, really. Just the facts. But it was the beginning, and my freelance articles were getting published.
I served as a commissioned officer in the US Army and as always, I was seeking out new opportunities to expand and honor my skillset. As time passed, I embarked on various entrepreneurial ventures. Including purchasing a Sylvan Learning Center. And at forty years of age, I went back to school, obtaining my master’s degree in education in 2000. Honoring my passion and commitment to lifelong learning and to the students I served.
In 2019, after years of being a car sales associate, loan officer and real estate agent, I faced the Covid pandemic with newfound determination and dedication to reinventing myself. Discovering, I must be who I can be. My passion for communication and exploration has shaped me into the dynamic individual that I am today.
In 2021, I moved to Costa Rica with my dog Lucky dreaming of spending my time in paradise writing. I am happy to say my dream has come true and I have found that man that I must be.
Early Life And Hustling
In the golden days of my early adolescence, nestled among the sprawling greens of Newark Country Club, our humble family enterprise thrived. I, was fourteen and driven by youthful entrepreneurship, steered our family’s golf ball venture. Under the dense canopy where the sun filtered through, creating mottled shadows on the forest floor, my three brothers and I would venture forth on our hunts, our hearts thrumming with the thrill of discovery and the weight of expectation.
Every rustle of leaves, every distant snap of a twig, served as a backdrop to our search. The fragrance of moss and dew-clad grass filled the air, its freshness only rivaled by the gleam of a newfound golf ball nestled among fallen leaves.
But the heart of our excitement was not just in finding these hidden treasures. It was the cat-and-mouse game we played with the checker, a vigilant sentinel on his green cart, ever on the lookout for the likes of us.
The thrill of discovering a spotless Titleist, its white surface gleaming like a pearl, was unparalleled. And sometimes, just sometimes, we’d find one propped against the gnarled bark of an old oak, untouched and pristine, as if left there just for us by nature itself. Those were the moments that made every chase, every dash from the checker, worth it.
Once our hunt was done, we’d retreat home, our loot in tow. The balls would be scrubbed and polished till they gleamed, then neatly tucked into egg cartons, ready for their second debut. While I had initially taken on the sales role, it soon became evident that Mary, with her cherubic cheeks and bright eyes, alongside our endearing youngest, Tom, were our secret weapons. Golfers couldn’t resist their sales pitch. But my brothers and I wouldn’t stray far. Hidden amidst the shadows, we’d keep a watchful eye, ensuring every transaction went smoothly, our pride swelling with every sale.
Thus, under the vast expanse of a cerulean sky, among whispered secrets of towering trees, my brothers, sister, and I found unity, adventure, tranquility, peace, purpose, and prosperity, hustling golf balls.
Personal Influences and Inspirations
My life was forever altered by the worn pages of a Chilton’s Repair manual. At fifteen, the aroma of gasoline and the clink of tools were more appealing to me than any adolescent adventure. I remember the neighbor’s old car that was for sale. Its black paint faded and its engine silent, standing like a challenge to my youthful ambition. I bought the car.
The money was hard-earned, every coin a trophy from days spent scouring the golf courses, searching for stray balls that were lost and forgotten. The dollars gathered were a bridge to something greater, a connection to a world of mechanics and machines that called to me.
With my brothers at my side, we pushed that silent metal beast down our street, its tires resisting the pull of our determination. It stood there in our driveway, not just as a car, but as an embodiment of dreams yet to be fulfilled.
A trip to the Sears store armed me with a shiny new toolset. With the guidance of Chilton’s Repair manual, I embarked on a journey, not just to repair an old car but to shape my destiny.
Days turned into weeks, my hands stained with grease, the metallic taste of determination in my mouth.
Finally, the day came when I turned the key, and the engine roared to life. It was not just a car; it was a symbol of victory, a testament to the power of youth, inspiration, and a manual filled with wisdom.
I sold the car for a $155 profit; at the time it seemed like a lot of money to me, but the accomplishment was colossal. It was more than just a transaction; it was the beginning of an affair with cars that would define my existence.
The seeds were sown, and I was hooked. My car-dealing days had begun, ignited by a 1959 manual, and fueled by the fiery passion of a young boy with a wrench in his hand and dreams in his heart.
After college and a short stint as a freelance writer. I had a family to feed so I answered and ad and was hired as a car salesman. Once a car man always a carman. I have sordid stories spanning four decades of being in and out of the car business.
And even though I had a fondness for Aristotle’s writings and many other books I read in college. It wasn’t until I started selling cars at a dealership that I encountered the second most influential book in my life. My trainer told me to read Zig Ziglar’s, “See You At The Top.”
I learned the most important thing in my life from that book and it has stayed with me my entire life. And that was the notion of “Stinkin Thinkin.”
All things are possible with a positive attitude. And your attitude is the one thing in life you have total control of. It is not what happens to you in life that matters, it is how you react to it. Having a positive attitude is the secret to living a fun life. Turning lemons into lemonade.
In the expansive mosaic of my professional career, each tile tells a story of ambition and resilience. I have orchestrated the symphony of buying and selling three businesses. As a seasoned conductor, I have attuned my skills to the fluctuating markets and shifting tides of entrepreneurship.
On the glimmering stage of the car showroom, my performances echoed those of a hawk, perennially ascending, circling its domain. My accolades of ‘Car Salesperson of the Month’ turned into countless rewards and promotions. I journeyed through the treacherous terrains of the automobile world, conquering every challenge, scaling every peak. Rising through the ranks of management to General Manager.
However, amidst the symphonies of success, there exists a softer, poignant tune. The classroom, unassuming, became the crucible of my most cherished accomplishments. Here, I was not just a professional educator with a master’s degree in education and the owner of the Salt Lake Sylvan Learning Center but a lighthouse guiding young students safely to the shores of graduation.
Their struggle was real and visceral, their path barricaded by the intimidating showers of the gym – cold, impersonal, and echoing with judgments. The chasm of vulnerability, where young souls feared baring themselves amidst body shaming and cruel whispers, was daunting.
Yet, I was determined to be their bridge, their safe passage, leading them from darkness into dawn by providing a needed gym credit in a lifetime activity.
With this mission, I produced a unique solution. A world where the polished wooden lanes of bowling alleys became avenues of learning. Brigham Young University’s correspondence courses provided the pathway, and with my Sylvan Learning Center’s accreditation, we transformed recreational games into precious high school credits. We helped over one hundred students meet the requirements needed to get their diploma. Without showering.
My alliance with the local bowling alley, over the years, was akin to a potter meticulously crafting an artifact; with every strike, with every cheer, we were chiseling away at the obstacles that stood between students and their future.
More than a clever academic strategy, this endeavor was a dance of community and togetherness. The students enjoyed it and its essence spilled over into familial bonds, strengthening ties with every roll, every pin getting knocked down. An initiative born out of necessity turned into a lifetime family activity for many.