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What a Long strange Trip It's Been

Over 50 years after leaving LHS, and attempting to put down what has become of me since then, is a bit daunting to encapsulate, but I'll try my best. Highlights - when I was a youth at LHS, no one, including myself, could have ever foreseen what would become of me. I was a shy and very awkward lad who really had a tough time meeting people, or defending myself, etc. Then, the toughest thing that one could task me to do was to introduce myself to a girl (the horror), or almost anyone, for that matter. Now I'll talk to a lamppost if I think that it'll talk back. Sometimes embarrasses the stuffing out of my wife and kids. What happened? I left Ledyard/Gales Ferry in March of 1974 for the US Navy to become a Hospital Corpsman. I didn't know it then, but it was to lead me to a life full of travel, adventure, and acquiring skills that would lead me to heights that I never dreamed of when I started. When in school, I was a marginal student just trying to get by and make friends. I think that my favorite classes were my Art and English classes, thanks to Ms Madison and Mrs Pittman. I now know where the former is, the latter I'd love to find out. My self imagery was not good - I thought that I was dumb, etc. I found out in very short order that none of what I'd previously thought about myself was true, that I was indeed smart and I became a really good Corpsman, taking care of people in Hospitals, Clinics, and aboard a US Navy destroyer. I worked in Psychiatry, Emergency and Clinical Medicine, and aboard Spruance I was Jack of All Trades and Master of None as one of 2 Corpsmen taking care of close to 300 people at sea, far away from home. We traveled to many places, some that I knew of, many I had not. Puerto Rico, Cuba, Germany, Norway, 5 ports in Africa, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro Brazil, and Barbados. Along the way saw, ate, and drank things never seen before in the USA. To say that it all changed me is an understatement. I was nowhere near that shy kid with terrible self imagery who put up with far too much crap from others. I left that world in 1978 and returned home which for a good while felt like a terrible mistake, until I started to pull new pieces together to help create a whole new life for myself. Key component was marrying a truly great woman and falling in after that was enrolling in and completing Nursing School. After graduation, for whatever reason, I rejoined the Navy as a Nurse Corps Officer and remained in it for another 16 years, eventually becoming a Nurse Anesthetist, and again traveling across the US and traveling overseas - California, Illinois, Maryland, and Virginia, with overseas travels to Sicily, Italy, the Phillipines, New Guines, Fiji, and Hawaii, providing Bedside Nursing Care and the Anesthesia care eherever we roamed. I retired feom the Navy 24 years ago and started another career as a traveling CRNA, providing anesthesia care throughout New England, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, finally giving up the ghost on all of it almost 6 years ago after 15 years on the road. We live in Ledyard, we raised 3 kids on the road in the Navy and they all 3 graduated from LHS. Landing here was either serendipitous or due to Divine Intervention, take your pick. What has all of the above taught me? That anything is possible, you have to have the right guidance, whether that be from people around you or from Above, a really strong work ethic, and most of all a great partner to help you and inspire you to greater heights. And a very healthy sense of humor (I prefer mine dry and dark, thank you) to help you through the really mind numbingly boring or abjectly terrifying ones. And most of all, Kindness counts.

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